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oa Litnet Akademies : 'n Joernaal vir die Geesteswetenskappe, Natuurwetenskappe, Regte en Godsdienswetenskappe - Liefs nie op straat nie. Die openbare rol van die intellektueel vandag

 

Abstract

In hierdie artikel poog ek om die vraag aangaande die openbare rol van die akademikus as intellektueel te kontekstualiseer aan die hand van die hedendaagse globale, neoliberale "regeer-mentaliteit". Met die hulp van denkers soos Bourdieu, Foucault, Sennett, Arendt, maar ook die sosiale geograaf David Harvey, word dit duidelik dat neoliberalisme die individu se vermoë om die openbare sfeer te betree radikaal verskraal en moontlikhede daartoe begrens. Hierdie begrensing lei tot die onvermydelike depolitisering van intellektuele arbeid deur die toenemende individualisering van die self enersyds en die ongehinderde privatisering van die openbare andersyds. Dit word verklaar deur die alles-verterende en verreikende aard van neoliberalisme bloot te lê. Foucault en Bourdieu glo nietemin in die moontlikheid van verset en setel dit in die individu en in haar kapasiteit as gepolitiseerde intellektueel. Die herpolitisering van intellektuele en hulle rol in die politieke sfeer veronderstel egter 'n meer fundamentele herowering van die openbare sfeer. Die taktiese vraagstuk aangaande moontlike maniere van verset word dus onderlê deur die ontologiese vraag aangaande die vryheid van die self wat gestalte kry in die tussenruimte tussen die self en die ander wat die sosiale, maar ook die openbare en die politieke, impliseer. Met behulp van die denke van Levinas word ten slotte aangevoer dat trou aan die self nie gesetel is in die najaag van matelose vryheid nie (alhoewel dit onbetwisbaar is dat ons vryheid in gedrang is), maar in 'n sosiale dimensie wat via die ander die self in staat stel om die openbare en uiteindelik die politieke te herower.


In this paper I attempt to contextualise the question regarding the public role of the academic as intellectual in terms of the present global, neo-liberal "govern-mentality". With the aid of thinkers such as Bourdieu, Foucault, Sennett, Arendt, but also the social geographer David Harvey, it becomes clear that neo-liberalism radically attenuates the individual's capacity to enter the public sphere. This incapacitation leads to the inevitable depoliticisation of intellectual labour through the increasing individualisation of the self on the one hand and the rampant privatisation of the public on the other hand. This is explained by laying bare the corrosive and pervasive nature of neo-liberalism. Foucault and Bourdieu nevertheless believe in the possibility of resistance, which they locate in the individual and in his/her capacity as a politicised intellectual. However, the repoliticisation of intellectuals and their role in the political sphere presupposes a more fundamental recovery of the public sphere. The tactical question regarding the possibilities of and means to resistance is therefore rooted in the ontological question regarding the freedom of the self that comes into being in the social space between the self and the other. In the final analysis, the thinking of Levinas is used to argue that fidelity to the self is not realised through the pursuit of limitless freedom (although it is undeniable that our freedom is at stake), but in the social dimension, which enables the self - via the other - to re-enter the public and eventually the political sphere.

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/content/litnet/6/1/EJC62209
2009-03-01
2016-12-06
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