Monday, November 06, 2006

The Habermasian Moment

AMONG SPOKESMEN FOR THE Post-Marxist Left, Jürgen Habermas
(1923–) may be the most prominent and, in his own country, the most
honored. An advocate of “militant” democracy since the 1950s, he
has defended his persuasion in the international press, in multiple
books and articles, and as an academic lecturer.
Habermas proclaims himself the proud heir of the American
reeducation of the Germans that took place after World War I.
Despite his rise in the Hitlerjugend, a distinction shared with other
scholars who have been equally intent on breaking with the German
past, Habermas had moved into the anti-German Left by the early
1950s. He regarded what the Germans had suffered during and after
the War as fully deserved, and spoke of his country’s unconditional
surrender as a “liberating experience.

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