(Damn, this has been in draft almost two weeks. It’s not much of an issue, but it’s something that i want to keep track of. My apologies for beating dead horse, especially when it seems that there are a few other Jindal posts stuck in draft. It’s kinda funny for me to see this lightweight fall on his face, crowing about his (losing) battles against corruption, promoting Intelligent Design, and talking shit about the Enlightenment.)
I’ve been using Jindal’s demon wrasslin’ as a crutch for a long time. It’s my immediate response to anyone who insists that he must be taken seriously. In my opinion, anyone can wrassle as many demons as he likes, but that person should not occupy a secular office. Demon wrasslin’ is an immediate disqualification. The other day, i was sneering at pure rationalism, but i gotta admit that i prefer post-Enlightenment politics.
On the other hand, somehow i just discovered John Rawls. It’s irritating that i lost track of how he turned up in my searches online. It had something to do with literature, that i’m sure of, just which writer and which movement, i’m not clear on. Rawls seemed like a genuinely good guy. I bookmarked him, hoping to read more on his philosophy later.
From this Daily Kos diary, it turns out that Jindal wrote a piece attacking John Rawls.
John Rawls, author of A Theory of Justice and a respected political philosopher, has single-handedly done more to retard honest discussion of issues like justice and equality than any recent writer. He has done this through his adoption of normative principles without acknowledging the necessity of underlying justification.
Multiculturalism, with its taboos against positing universally applicable principles; post-Enlightenment rationality, which claims objective transparency for itself; and other popular academic trends have found their ultimate expression in the “liberal neutrality” pioneered by Rawls and evidenced by Ronald Dworkin and other liberals. Rawls answers complicated questions of political obligation and morality with the maxim that society must maximize the advantage of its least attractive position, assessed against his list of “primary social goods.”
More dangerous than Rawls’s conclusion, which requires individuals to set aside their religious and other interests in the public arena, is his methodology. He refuses to admit that his initial principles are transcendental and objective truths, but instead claims to be presenting a self-evident “neutral” position from which all others must justify their departure. Unwilling to claim, and thus defend, the veracity of his position, Rawls limits his theoretical speculation to liberal Western democracies that have supposedly already accepted his premises.
Since i’ve just run across Rawls, i’m not qualified to defend him yet. However, to read that Jindal is actually stating that the Enlightenment and rationality are bad things, i’m realizing that the demon wrasslin’ was every bit relevant in illustrating his lunacy as i suspected. It seems that Jindal would be lockstep with Scalia’s view that government “derives its authority from God.”