Little time this week, unfortunately, for me to keep up with the Pussy Riot conviction (as promised here) or anything else. But I recommend Charles Cameron’s series of posts (six so far, and counting) over at Zenpundit, including his annotated summary of their closing statements. The statements themselves are very lucid and articulate, as one should expect from women who can quote Rosi Braidotti *AND* Nicolai Berdyaev.
To get a sense of what the PR girls are up against, have a listen to radical traditionalist philosopher Aleksandr Dugin on the “holy war” Pussy Riot have started. “Geopolitician” Dugin’s political advice gets into Putin’s inner circles, even if Dugin’s attitudes toward Putin himself have sometimes been ambivalent.
What I find most interesting about Pussy Riot is that they are reworking both western themes (from punk, feminism, poststructuralism, democratic theory, et al.) and Russian philosophical themes (from Berdyaev, Dostoyevsky, and Orthodox Christology, to name but a few). Western activists can learn from them that the building of global alliances requires a willingness and openness to learn from our interlocutors — to learn their reference points, whether these are Orthodox Christian, Islamic, or whatever else — so as to undercut the widely held impression that western ideas are always the free-floating, cosmopolitan, decontextualized (and decontextualizing) tools of power wielded from above.
I think we’re gathering more evidence everyday for the convergence of moral philosophies that I predicted here: i.e., that conservative strains in specific cultural (or civilizational) contexts will seek out and converge with similar strains in others, and the same with liberal strains. The net result will be a kind of social politicization of global culture into a global “moral majoritarianism” (as in the U.S.-based “Moral Majority”) and a rival global moral liberalism – transcendence- (and tradition-) based versus immanence- (and emergence/evolution-) based global philosophies, if you will.
Since conservatism (in all its flavors) is the fall-back position for most people who find themselves in confusing conditions — and the next hundred years will be mighty confusing, especially if climate change scenarios hold up well — it’s up to liberals to get better at articulating the spiritual contours of an immanence-based politics and philosophy.
Later addition: Of course, there are many liberalisms, and many conservatisms too. The kind of liberalism that resonates best with an immanentist metaphysic is the progressivist, democratic kind articulated by political thinkers in the Jamesian-Deweyan pragmatist lineage, or the Laclau-Mouffes, Gibson-Grahams, and William Connollies of more recent political theory. But that’s a whole ‘nother topic…