Sascha D. Freudenheim on Sat, 5 May 2012 03:08:59 +0200 (CEST)

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Re: <nettime> The insult of the 1 percent: "Art-history majors"

Wow, Brian! Nothing like an ad hominem attack to take the discussion to the next level of intellectual heft and seriousness. With my middle initial included no less!

I think your conclusions are absurd, both of my position(s) and about the environment you're supposedly examining so clearly. Yes, I did (apropos "Occupy Student Debt") argue against that movement. I don't think it's a "moral obligation" for spoiled kids to pay for their expensive educations. I think people have a moral obligation to pay their debts and not just walk away from them because they've intellectualized a rationale for why they shouldn't have to owe the debt any more. Nor do I think there isn't a problem in (higher) education--I just don't think that abandoning debt is the answer to that problem. It's pretending that Robin Hood-ism is the same thing as actual social change.

But that's the last battle. In this one, I'm not neutral. Far from it. I just find some of the attitudes and positions articulated here and elsewhere to be a whole lot of intellectual wankery--more words than actual action to help the people who really need help. It's a lot easier to attack verbally people like Conard than it is to close the laptop and go out and find someone who needs help and actually help them.


Sascha D. Freudenheim
Doubt is humanity's best friend.

On 5/4/12 11:15 AM, Brian Holmes wrote:

On 05/03/2012 04:40 PM, Sascha D. Freudenheim wrote:
My point is that I don't think over-generalizing from Conard's absurd
comments is necessarily very helpful. He's one guy. He's entitled to his
opinions, however ignorant we think they are. But there are people with
significantly more complex relationships to the world(s) of ideas, art,
culture, and wealth. Koch is one of them. I don't agree with most of his
political views, but he is evidence that there are people whose
motivations as part of the 1% are not as simple-minded as Conard's--and
not as simple as the rest of us often assume.

You know, Sascha, I am afraid you are the very example of the person
whose opinions should no longer count in intellectual debates. Because
you are unable to take a stand. You are unable to even see the ground
you are standing on.

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