Critical Theory and World Politics

By Richard Wyn Jones | Go to book overview

Notes

The title of this chapter alludes to Nancy Fraser's “What's Critical About Critical Theory? The Case of Habermas and Gender” (Fraser 1989b).

1
Bertolt Brecht's poem, “An die Nachgeborenen, ” which hangs on my office wall, makes this point most poignantly:

To Those Who Come After

You, who will surface Out of the flood In which we went under Bear in mind When you speak of our failings Also the dark times That you escaped.

We walked after all Changing countries more Often than our shoes Through class wars Despairing When there was only injustice And no outrage.

Of course we know: Even hatred Of baseness Distorts one's disposition. Even anger About injustice Makes one's voice hoarser.

Alas, we Who wanted to prepare the ground For kindness Were ourselves incapable Of being kind.

You however Once the stage has been reached Where human beings are One another's helpers Consider us With forbearance.

—Bertolt Brecht (1939: 143; translation, M. Neufeld)

2
The parallel with Rosenberg is striking. In one case we have a Marxist theorist who does not interpret history in terms of class struggle; in the other, we have a feminist theorist who does not interpret history in terms of gender. What is particularly puzzling is that Weber does provide elsewhere a gender-framed analysis of one of the case studies featured in her book (see Weber 1994b).

-145-

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