thinking post-colonial and the traps of dualism

The thesis which we will defend in this entry is simple: In part, the thinking the post-colonial is trapped in the same dualities that criticism, and it does not give account or of the western tradition, criticized, or of the other traditions whose subjugation and invisibility criticizes.

One of the themes of this aspect is that what is considered science as ‘normal’ presents itself as something universal; but in reality hides the limitations and the interests of the particular group that developed them: the western states. It is not only that the knowledge generated by those sciences look at what the West want to look, but that sets the look west as the universal norm; so that there is finally more to defend colonialism. Then, at the same time puts it to the west as a universal standard, degrades all non-western versions sub-human or nohumanas. The western scientific thought is a way to create and generate domination:

The thought modern western advances to operate on lines abysmal that divide the human from the subhuman in such a way that human principles are not compromised by inhuman practices. The colonies provided a model of exclusion radical that prevails today in the thought and practice of modern western as it did during the cycle colonial (Boaventura de Souza Santos, beyond thought abysmal in Epistemologies of the South, 2014, page 28).

In the face of this exclusion, then what it should be is to develop the voices of the excluded. In front of the false universalism of modern thought western, to recover the thoughts local and particular of the colonized. That would be the way to do speak to those who have been silenced.

The criticism is meritorious, but what sustains a position anti-enlightenment and anti-objectivist? (that is the conclusion that not a few times is obtained). On the one hand, it is possible to mention that the point of view from which the critique corresponds to values defended by the Enlightenment, so that is also an inner critic, a part of the development of the project. It is intrinsic to the project illustrated to develop an activity where it is critical to yes. Let us think, for example, The Dialectics of Enlightenment where she is critical, but it does so from the very promise of the Enlightenment, is not critical to the Illustration from the outside (the same point is in the Critique of Instrumental Reason in Horkheimer). Several of the criticisms made to the Illustration from this stand have been part of at least one wing of the movement from its inception is something that Jonathan Israel has defended in several works speaking of the radical Enlightenment. By the way that you don’t expect the Artwork to appear voices defending the dominated, or speaking against the logic of power or to defend the values of the tolerance (between us, Dusel has emphasized this as the basis of ethics in the ancient Egypt); the case is that indeed, the tradition illustrated has defended, and that defense has included a process of self-critical internal. The position post-colonial, and the dream of a situation where it exceeds the oppression does not cease to be an expansion of the enlightenment, something that -for example – the last texts of Foucault on the Illustration does not stop to pose.

This is recognized in several occasions by the tradition that we have mentioned but then it goes on to state the marginal of the criticism against a hegemony that applies to a project, the colonizer and the exclusive Is what makes Boaventura de Souza Santos with Pascal and Nicholas of Cusa in what A West that is not Occidentalista? or Dussel with Bartolomé de las Casas in (Meditations anticartesianas in the same text of Epistemologies of the South before cited. But is it true that these criticisms are so marginal? what are as part of an anti-modernity? And by the way, you must not forget uses self-congratulatorios: traditionalism hispanic not tired of used to make much of the empire than in Salamanca to discuss about the morality of the conquest. The marxist tradition may be marginal virtually but is fully modern and conceptually central to modernity. But even if one were to accept that are marginal, the case is that this dispute is an integral part of the tradition criticised, not something external to it. In the last instance, is quite modern and western idea of a radical change that overcomes all the previous tradition, something that postcolonial thought does not cease to be part.

The fact that, he argues, the critique of the development of western thought has been involved, until now, consistently, a degradation of the other, so that they create a universalism (human rights) to, at the same time, justify its denial is something whose criticism is part of the same development, and that it has already been argued earlier in that tradition. In a certain sense, not a few of the criticisms that performs the thinking, post-colonial as above. It does not prevent that represents a contribution, to the extent that can develop in a better way those criticisms, but does not reach to the deep theoretical transformation that many times arises. These are internal contradictions, and effectively constitute a dialectic of the enlightenment -not a simple rejection or support.

In some sense, the critics maintain several of the dualisms of modern thought as criticized (Carlos Perez in his From Hegel, p 73-79, trying to overcome the modern thinking, makes the same comment, that these are criticisms that operate on the interior of the dualisms modern, only changing the sign of the antinomies. For example, Grosfogel (in The decolonization of political economy and post-colonial studies, p 380-381, following using the text of Epistemologies of the South) poses a series of hierarchies that would be constitutive of western thought, and critiqued by the thought of the South, but many is no more that a specific version of ethnocentrism (i.and that the West favors their religion or their culture), which is quite broader than the West, or are hierarchies that are not unique to him (women didn’t have to wait for the deployment of the western reason to suffer the patriarchal domination). It criticizes the dualism of replicating schemes of dual -and the same schemes are dual-that would be constitutive of the West to simply invest them.

When you replicate these dualisms, it ends up producing something that is much more problematic: They simplify and reduce the traditions in the game, both the western and illustrated as other traditions outside of modernism, whose wealth is many times reduced to the negation of modernity. If it is proposed that modernity is the deployment of a unique reason and of the certainty, what do you do with statements such as Kundera, the history of the modern novel is the story of a thought of the ambiguity, uncertainty, and away from the only truth? And if the modern thought was one of evolution based on the idea of progress, as proposed, for example, Quijano, what do we do with all the criticism of those ideas internal to that thought? No one as modern as Popper and there we have all the criticism you want to the idea of a story that has an address}. In general, all the tradition of any significance is complex and is composed of a network of discussions (as well with the West, or Islam, or China or any tradition of your interest): it is through debate that weapon each tradition that it is formed.

Let’s look at some of the difficulties generated by this reductionism.

Disputes over colonialism are one of the internal discussions at the tradition of illustrated. Someone so enlightened in your perspective as Gibbon posed at the end of his account of the Crusades, one of the first companies colonialists from the West, and that ‘A more unjust and absurd constitution cannot be devised than that which condemns the natives of a country to perpetual servitude under the arbitrary dominion of strangers and slaves’ (in the chapter 59 of the Decline and Fall). It is fully eighteenth-century. Will not be out of place to recall here that the reaction of the EIGHTEENTH century to the civilizations non-european is much more complex (going from the strong self-assertion of the superiority of Europe to the search outside of Europe for better societies) that the situation of the NINETEENTH century (where it generates an assertion of superiority more simple). The european modernity early, following something that is common to several other traditions, did not fail to take what other traditions will be useful and interesting (it is thing of remember the reaction of Leibniz to the I Ching , or in general chinese thinking, beyond what you can criticize his reading, the idea that it is of advantage to look everywhere that seems relevant is something that a good part of the living traditions have used repeatedly).

Also it may be emphasized that the non-west is not a another homogeneous, it is not a simple another of the modernity that operates in contradistinción perfect it. This view that everything non-western is the same unit we are sometimes blind in relation to the processes pre-european invasion in America. So, Dussel14, in the text before quoted, defends Of the Houses in his justification of the human sacrifices of Mesoamerica, citing their argument that they have the right to offer them if they follow their convictions. But who is the subject of that ‘belief’? The peoples subjected by the aztecs, who gave tribute to those sacrifices, were so convinced of this logic? The fact that several groups took advantage of the emergence of Cortes to ally with him against the aztecs should remind us that from the point of view of these peoples, they were not identical to the aztecs; and that the imperialism and subjugation of other peoples, was not something that appeared in the New World from the arrival of the spaniards. So imperialists were the Incas, the Inca Garcilaso ordered a good part of their Actual Reviews , showing the good imperialists that they were, and what perverse that it was the resistance to this imperialism; and emphasizing then the difference of the Incas and the peoples they had conquered. Thinking of a situation closer: The mapuche resisted equally to the Incas and the spaniards, and in both cases represented a different tradition.

More in general, in the comparison of the western tradition to other traditions we will find points of difference and equality, which are different with each tradition: There are elements under which the islamic tradition and the western are very similar and both are separated from other traditions of the Old World (the idea of a creator God transcendent); the other in which the chinese tradition and the west have similarities (at least with part of that western tradition: the social institutions are in confucianism as in Ancient Greece, human creations).

For more strength you have the critique done thinking, post-colonial, to get caught up in the dualisms that complaint (which is not, to say truth, strange a thought that is basically controversial, against-of-something) does not generate a real alternative, which is what you’re looking for. Basing their thinking in authors central to the tradition of critique of western (that will not be all the Occiente but they are a clear part of the West), like Marx or Foucault, it is not enough to say that you have an alternative to such a thought -even if you delete that claim, the argument may be perfectly acceptable. In some sense, is required to overcome the critical simple to universalism, because that ends up playing the difference periphery / centre. In this process, the critique from the periphery who reject the universal condemnation, at the same time and again, to the periphery. If you refuse to one same position universal, not why it ceases to exist, let us not forget that globalisation is a universal strategy of legitimation (as it says Bourdieu in Raisons Pratiques, p 235) -and then, are those who always have busy. The critical critic, to use the old expression of Marx, is not enough.

Within this perspective, in any case, it is possible to find variants that try to go beyond rejection of simple to universalism. The approach of Dusel in his Ethics of Liberation, with its insistence on a critique of universal and objective from the position of the periphery -from the victims that the entire regime generates, can be in the end more effective. It is crucial not to forget the presence of the victims. The effort to recover the voice and perspective of the oppressed is more comprehensive than the critique of modern rationality; in other traditions, silenced by that rationality, there had also been victims, silencing and oppression. Not complaint just to universalism postulándolo as false, but for a universal basis since precisely the periphery; and that allows you to, with all of the reviews, perfectly to use the thinking center, not denying that it has generated contributions of interest or relevant, but just putting it as a thought, one of many, from which you can think of: You can retrieve aristotelian ethics of the practice (in paragraph 115 of the Ethics cited above at the same time that it denounces, and does not forget his defense of slavery, as in his text of Meditations Anti-cartesian. Read the above as the idea that universalism, fake in the center, it would be true from the periphery is in addition to reducitivista as reading, inadequate as a reality; but it represents a possible output to the simple rejection. In fact, it is curious that in social sciences, those from the periphery have managed to influence the center (for example to use cases only argentine: O’donnell, Laclau, the same Dussel) have a more complex logic around the special relationship / universal: they Have created from their context, but not only for their context. If this is true, then the pure post-colonialism, it is somewhat fatuous. Ultimately, it suffers from lack of self-awareness raising that is not-modern, between those who seek, in the most modern of all the possible moves, overcome entirely with a radical critique of the previous tradition.

The opportunities that opens up, and the difficulties that she has, the way of the postcolonial thought can be summarized thus: it Is a fact that the western tradition modern is a tradition as any other. And this way, like any tradition, it illuminates certain aspects, and those aspects are not your truth, but a truth for all; but, at the same time, conceals and does not allow to think other truths. In what it illuminates and what it hides a tradition is not so much a set of assertions as a set of disputes and discussions; and in those disputes, something is shown of the be. In this, all traditions do so: To anyone reading and thinking to Mencius will show something of his being, the same thing will happen if it does with Kant.

But it is also a fact that the western tradition is located in a different position precisely as they have become central in relation to each other and have become peripheral. And with that, then, all we will not forget that in Kant there is something of interest, but it will be easy to forget that for all there is of interest in Mencius. Moreover, when your domain, a fact already existing, it happens that she is already a part of the interior of all traditions; and not merely something external to them, that is already the other within a being-in-itself of each tradition to use hegelian terms. So, then, to deal to the modern tradition as a tradition among others, which is what allows you to recover what there is of truth, also requires a break with that tradition has been. The double game which it implies is manifest in something that is hard to maintain, but at the same time represents the main hope that we can bring to this position.

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