Arquivo para September 21st, 2017

For an ethics without oppression

21 Sep

We replace the theocentrism of the state by the theocentric state, authority AEticaEoutrountil recently could not be questioned, now the king is naked, or the politicians are naked.

As a substitute for “command and control of the state” and to produce free and responsible citizens, this is the problem of the philosopher Lévinas in his essay “Libertá et commandement” (Original Spanish: Revue de metaphysique et de morale, LVIII, 1953, p. (1993), pp. 264-272, Italian translation Libertá  e comando (Freedom and Command), In: E. Levinas, A. Peperzak, Ethics Prima e Philosophy (Ethics as First Philosophy), organized by F. Ciaramelli, Milan: Guerini and Associates, p. 15-19.

Levinas takes back from Plato the idea in which we can be free only if what is commanded presents itself as ethical evidence for who must fulfill the order, or as Kant wanted in his law of reason: it is the latter that is obeyed, and not to the exteriority of the command, we would say in current terms the warning of the Authority.

Although autonomous means among other things not to follow the irrational command, and there can be a risk even of death, if that is the price of freedom.9 Socrates’ death is beautiful, though unjust, it may be even more beautiful precisely because it is unjust : she attests the possibility of rejecting it, says Lévinas in the essay.

The tyrant can kill, but cannot subject the will, while remaining free the inner reserve, the opposition of thought, for there is a private dimension of discordant consciousness, and this means that there is no denying the interiority.

“But things are not as simple as that,” Lévinas says, because the fact that there is an interior space, the “achievement” of autonomy, a concept dear to Kant and many idealists, is not to be well examined, since, in addition to the intimidation that can torture, we now have television advertising on radio, network media and also on pressure groups, ranging from economic lobbies to editorial groups of newspapers, TVs and websites.

Man, whose liberty is by nature “non-heroic,” for man is made of “fear and love,” and both may at times not act with indignation, thinking that silence is more prudent.

What is mined or obstructed in authoritarian groups is the very capacity for divergence, reserved for free spirits, not recognized in the dark times of inner slavery, says the Bible the righteous lives of their faith, but one can add their values and of his conviction, but how to allow an ethic of dialogue and otherness?

The experience of totalitarianism should have left us a legacy.