3 readers online now  |  69 million page views

Critical Theory & Postmodernism - Tools for Contextualizing Morality-Free Strategy

Reader comment on item: The Middle East Forum: Strategy, not Advocacy

Submitted by Ludvikus (United States), Jun 13, 2014 at 11:36

Dear Daniel Pipes,

Regarding your distinction between

"Strategy" [http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/strategy],

i.e., "the science and art of employing the political, economic, psychological, and military forces of a nation or group of nations to afford the maximum support to adopted policies in peace or war" [emphasis added]

as oppose to

"Advocacy" [http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/advocacy],

i.e., "the act or process of supporting a cause or proposal : the act or process of advocating something" [emphasis added] as you can see, the former includes the latter. So it's not possible to use your rule when posting a Comment on your Middle East Forum.

However, in the making your the distinction, you oppose "Morality" [http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/morality] arguments, which involve beliefs as to what is Right or Wrong, or Good or Bad.

In that regard, I wish to mere point out here that the Western World abandoned the Religious justification of Moral behavior with the Historical developments of the Renaissance, the Enlightenment, and the 1776 American, and 1789 French, Revolutions, and subsequently the failed European 1848 Revolutions; in particular, these - selected, incomplete - "publishing" historical events are relevant:

1) the August 1789 Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen;

2) the 1791 (American) Bill of Rights (amended as an after-thought to the 1789 USA Constitution);

3) the 1791 Rights of Man by Thomas Paine;

4) the 1848 Communist Manifesto by Karl Marx;

Skipping the intermediary history I come down to our Contemporary World which involves, the substantial European German, Critical Theory [http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/critical-theory/], and, the substantially European French, Postmodernism [http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/postmodernism/]

Now I suspect that this may be at best "distasteful," to you, personally; however, in my view, it isn't possible to implement Strategy outside the historically prevalent "ways" of Western "intelligentsia."

I want to conclude this Commentary with a reference to you implicit understanding of what's required in your excellent article, here, on your Forum with your Critic, perhaps somewhat Postmodern, of "Saidism" [http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2651409?uid=3739832&uid=2129&uid=2&uid=70&uid=4&uid=3739256&sid=21103852046431] of Edward Said's "work" on Orientalism: [http://www.danielpipes.org/7957/orientalism]

In light of the overwhelming successes of this work, and what it has done to the Middle East, or Oriental, studies departments in the USA, and in Europe (less so), I do not agree with your conclusion - that the "work" should be ignored; I rather recommend that this "Palestinian" intellectual should be emulated regarding his adoption of the most current prevalent tools of the time - then it was Deconstruction [http://www.iep.utm.edu/deconst/].

And I know you have the means to do to Islamism what was done to Soviet Communism in part by your wonderful scholarly American Polish Jewish father, Richard Pipes [http://rightweb.irc-online.org/profile/Pipes_Richard].

Regarding your opposition to Moralizing it's certainly useful to observe the arguably still Critical, and Postmodern valid view: "Nations have no permanent friends or allies, they only have permanent interests." - Lord Palmerston.

Regarding the anti-Edward Said "Orientalism" view(s) relating to the existence of the "Middle East" its also useful to point out that it was the American "Imperialist" Alfred Thayer Mahan who coined the term in 1902 in his article, "The Persian Gulf and International Relations", published in September in the in the serial, National Review;

and that there are seventeen (17) Wikipedia-listed Middle East Countries which are the subject of your Forum.:

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Daniel Pipes replies:

Strategy is based, to be sure, on values. But it takes those values for granted and focuses on how to win.

Submit a comment on this item

Reader comments (8) on this item

Title Commenter Date Thread
Machiavellism and/or Realpolitik ? [179 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
LudvikusDec 10, 2017 10:35241521
War of Words - Independent of "Morality" - by Varda Meyers Epstein [246 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
LudvikusJun 29, 2014 10:05215651
Critical Theory & Postmodernism - Tools for Contextualizing Morality-Free Strategy [552 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
LudvikusJun 13, 2014 11:36215367
After the animalistic crime by Islamofascist in Toulouse. France - Now is the time to rebuke Euro anti-Israel biased and distorted media [392 words]LunaMar 21, 2012 05:28194619
Balance [48 words]paulFeb 23, 2012 01:05193577
How to cause a difference? [151 words]
w/response from Daniel Pipes
C_30Feb 9, 2012 12:27193250
2There should be more policy activism [27 words]saraFeb 2, 2012 18:19192988
2Which Fails First - Advocacy or Strategy [562 words]M. ToveyFeb 1, 2012 11:31192956

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to Critical Theory & Postmodernism - Tools for Contextualizing Morality-Free Strategy by Ludvikus

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List

ADVERTISEMENTS

eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2019 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)