By Sean Gabb
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Additional resources for A Libertarian-Conservative Case Against Identity Cards
In my efforts at sorting out how these opposites relate, my reader will experience the allure of vital duality and how it helps organize an overarching critique of American novels and canonicity. 2 Coleridge’s response is philosophical: his unnamed philosopher mentioned in the epigraph claims that the “existence of things without us” (difference or otherness) is somehow “the same thing” as “our own immediate selfconsciousness” (acceptance or selfness). This huge Fichte-like metaphysical speculation that appears to erase history will be analyzed and debated in the following pages in a range of ways.
I am using this broad dialectic of identity as an example of a crucial collision: how commonality implies cohesion (often the values of family or community) and individuality implies separation (often the values of personal choice and singleness). A similar dialectic has generated the critical response to the American canon. Instead of portraying a balanced drama between these elements of cohesion and separatism, however, most critics of the early twentieth century decided to tell a story primarily of one pole of this dialectic, the pole of cohesion and consensus.
Nor probably will an endorsement for interdisciplinary studies help reduce the “turf wars” between humanists and deconstructionists. 12 Thus, in contrast to these examples that tend to illustrate only separate realms of inf luence for particular interpretative strategies, I suggest viewing such discord as interdependent pluralities. Clearly, such a commonsense observation can also be viewed as a troubling assertion. 14 The answers to cultural and ethnic questions, they contend, must be approached in specialized, “local,” and specifically ideological ways, not in the manner that the conventionally trained “transhistorical,” romantic critic might proceed.
A Libertarian-Conservative Case Against Identity Cards by Sean Gabb