Habermas

jones/bhandari djones at uclink.berkeley.edu
Thu Feb 16 12:41:56 MST 1995


Mustapha,

"Habermas does manage to allude towhat is, I think, a real tendency of
capitalist development: namely, the progressive displacement of procedures
of consensus-formation by systemic mechanisms of action action coordination
 With the extensive and intensive expansion of market relations that
accompanies the accumulation of capital, the reproductive role of what
Habermas calls 'communicative action' (at least in its *idealized* form as
essentially non-coercive) is certainly diminished.  But so long as
Habermas's employment of the 'lifeworld' concept remains ambiguous between
the 'lifworld' construed as objective 'domain of action', the thesis of
'lifeworld colonization' must take on the additional connotation of a
*substantive* abuse of the latter....if the point of turning to value
theory is to explain the systemic tendencies to expansion which have the
result of curtailing the integrative scope of communicative
interaction,then we had better avail ourselves in it of a conceptual
framework that enables us to grasp the logic of those tendencies."

>From John Rosenthal "What is Life?: a Habermas critique", SOCIAL SCIENCE
INFORMATION, 31, 1 (1992), p. 8

I thought this article may be helpful; see also the chapter on Habermas in
Moishe Postone's Time, Labor, and Social Domination, to which I have
referred many times on this line.

I also understand that Julius Sensat's Habermas and Marxism is very good,
which is believable given the quality of the work of his which I have read.


Hope this is helpful.

Yours,

Rakesh



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