By Nancy L. Cohen
American citizens are coming to ask yourself what occurred to wish and alter. How did we get the following, to this divisive paralysis, in what was once presupposed to be a brand new period of revolutionary swap? How did we get from Barack Obama’s historical victory in 2008, to the Republican sweep of Congress simply years later, to the Republicans’ unforeseen post-election preoccupation with gays, intercourse, contraception, and abortion?
From the Age of Nixon to the Age of Obama, one of many leading forces fueling America’s political wars has been the response against the sexual revolution and the innovative activities which emerged from it, such a lot particularly feminism and homosexual rights. In Delirium, Nancy Cohen charts the start of the sexual counterrevolution: how conflicts approximately intercourse, women’s rights and women’s roles, homosexual civil rights, and relatives values, drove americans into irreconcilable camps, polarized nationwide politics, cut up and remade our political events, and unhinged the country. It explores a deciding upon side of our political debate and should turn into required studying as we input the 2012 presidential election season.
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Extra info for Delirium: How the Sexual Counterrevolution Is Polarizing America
Something within the thinker’s mind is presupposed, but the thinker doesn’t know what it is. Giving guidance to the reader seems to me less pressing than the essentially solitary task of providing guidance to the thinker who is undergoing self-exploration. This is not the same thing as, say, the ancient Stoic exercise of scrupulous self-examination conducted less in the service of an ideal of self-knowledge than as a kind of ethical hygiene, a practice of self-care. And while there are obvious similarities between Descartes’s highly deliberate progress through the steps of an argument toward the goal of truth and Socrates’ careful articulation of all the intellectual moves that must be made in order to arrive at knowledge of the nature of love or the soul, the Cartesian meditation is significantly different from the Socratic dialogue.
Contrary to the conviction of many American lawmakers, we don’t need a legislative defense of heterosexual marriage. History has already made it a nearly impregnable fortress impossible to take (even when its particular contractual terms are violated). However, it is a fortress that might simply be deserted. Bourdieu has his own exit from imprisoning names. ”8 Effective transgression thus becomes a delicate balancing act between useful and useless aspirations, as well as between moments of structural stability and other moments— to be seized and exploited—of structural uncertainty.
The ultimate goal was the mastery of nature, but knowledge of the world might also be considered (at least as Descartes stages the preconditions for this knowledge in the Meditations) as an afterthought in his extraordinary adventure in self-knowledge. The “Cartesian moment” may be, as Foucault claims, the prioritizing of a knowledge of objects over “care of the self,” but the pursuit of object-knowledge depends on a wholly solitary pursuit of the subject of knowledge. And this latter pursuit is just as arduous as the investigation of nature.