more beginner's speculation on Gillian Rose

Over-simplified version of one major theme in Gillian Rose (at least as far as I can make out) : humanity formulates ideals for itself, and then fails to live up to them. This is the record of history. The "diremption" (violent severance) of ethics from political institutions. The way idealistic intentions lead to their contraries (unintended consequences). Exotic but familiar American examples (my own) : the counter-cultural love-commune becomes the totalitarian death-cult. 19th-cent. Russian egalitarianism becomes 20th-century Stalinism.

The frustrated rage this failure produces, leads in turn to new crystallizations of (pseudo-moral) absolutist or evasive theories & ideologies. (See, in various ways : Derrida, Foucault, Levinas...). Rose demands a closer, harder look at the actualities of the chasm between the stated ideals of modern civil society and the technocratic-statist political mechanisms by which it is upheld and administered. But not on behalf of some new totalizing revolution : rather to make us more aware of this Janus-faced crisis of our civil institutions (our law), so that perhaps we can ameliorate the inescapable conflicts that result (a recognition of the reality of the "broken middle" is the first step toward forms of mediation).

The human tragicomedy of errors should lead to a sense of moral implication, mutuality, recognition, forgiveness, mercy. & comedy. Rose situates herself at the boundary between post-Enlightenment modernity and a more ancient religious conception of human nature - its correlation with & dependence on "Spirit" (Hegelian-Kierkegaardian/Judeo-Christian, I think...).

I may be way off the mark here. Rose is a very difficult writer. Forgive (&/or correct) my mistakes & bowdlerization, you who know better.

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