Stephen and I hashed out some clarity via Habermas regarding our “flurry” about where to draw the line about what should and shouldn’t be part of a shared blogspace.
Habermas puts the public sphere in the zone of the private, for starters. This is linked to capitalism as the condition of possibility for a public sphere, because it was the transfer of the economy out of the household that initially allowed non-royal and non-divine elite/privileged persons to come together to exercise their faculties of reason.
We had a rather complicated discussion of the relationship between liberalism and capitalism…that capitalism needed liberalism (in the old sense of the rights of the individual) in order to develop itself (all us workers earning money for the stockholders), but once mass marketing took off, capitalism no longer needed the ideology of liberalism and has jettisoned it forthwith. The decline of liberalism led to the death of the public sphere.
Can it be reconstituted? What’s compelling about Habermas is his conviction that there is hope, and his consistency in living out his hope by engaging the method of public argumentation that he advocates.
And this is where the public/private distinction matters. First of all, Habermas separates the private into two realms (chart on p. 30). The Greeks, if I’ve got this right only had two distinctions (?) = between the oikos and the agora. Now, Habermas traces the history of a new development of the private, in which (?) the oikos and agora are merged, and the state supercedes both as “the public.”
Re our debate on/about Reflexivity, the distinction we’ve conflated has been between ‘the intimate’ (what the Greeks called oikos?) and the private (what the Greeks combined as Habermas’ public sphere AND the state). Boy Stephen, I’m taking some leaps here! Correct away. 🙂
This clarity lends itself Stephen’s criticisms of posts to Reflexivity that he thinks are “intimate” (which I concede may have some validity) but, in using the term “private” I felt he was being too encompassing, therefore dismissive of elements that do, in my view, belong here. We have some more hashing to do!
We also discussed the concept of “publicity” in Habermas’ usage. Back in the day, this was a term with double-meaning, both the sense of representation (like advertising) and in the quality of “publicness” – which is a form of civic (?) ratification. The question mark is because we also debated the differences between the civil sphere and the public sphere. I suggested that the civil constrains and limits what can become public. We didn’t resolve this one yet. 🙂
Finally, another Problem we didn’t work out, was that the private AND the intimate are both acted on by capitalism, and my argument is that maybe, somehow, and sometimes, the private/intimate needs to act back….