The Philosophy of Food
May 19, 2003 2:20 PM   Subscribe

Open Democracy: Anticapitalists Of The World, Left And Right, Unite? Open Democracy is a very interesting project which proposes to discuss - and open to discussion - the great issues of our day. While mostly socialist and liberal - with some new anarchism intelligently thrown in - it refreshingly makes space for conservative philosopher and polemicist Roger Scruton's reflections on the political and social consequences of how we eat. Despite a vaguely anticapitalist bias, so far as I can see, Open Democracy seems to be intellectually wide open. I've been a subscriber for a while now (it's free, btw) and it's that old-fashioned thing: it makes you think. Do consider adding it to your usual peregrinations. [I'll resist the temptation of pointing to favourite essays and debates - it really is worth exploring one one's own. Jacknose was the first to refer to Open Democracy on MeFi, back in December 2001.]
posted by MiguelCardoso (5 comments total)
Great link Miguel - thanks.
Did you realise that Roger Scruton is the wine correspondent for the venerable leftish weekly, the New Statesman? The spectrum of contributors on openDemocracy seems a little like that in the NS...
posted by plep at 2:31 PM on May 19, 2003

That is an interesting discussion, thanks. I have thought for a while now that the entire "spectrum" metaphor, or the seating plan with parties right and left of the aisle, doesn't really describe the structure or dynamic of political opinion here in the States, but the two-for-one party-of-the-partisan system we have here tends to set that metaphor in stone. I can't even express sympathy, short of actual support, for a conservative agenda item [home schooling and, dare I say it, vouchers, sometimes seem less like a crackpot movement of religious fanatics than a rational and pragmatic response to the state and realistic prospects of our educational system, e.g.] without causing confusion, nausea, vertigo and suspicion among acquaintances on one side or the other.

I remember Scruton as the author of an excruciating and expensive tome on aesthetics I had to slog through back in the day. I believe it was the architecture one. Argh. I think I prefer Arthur Danto of the Nation.
posted by hairyeyeball at 2:58 PM on May 19, 2003

The following Scruton quote sums up , for me, the contradictory feelings the man evokes in me:
That experience of food lies buried within us1, and the species-memory2 of it will influence our conduct however much we wish to grow out of our genes. Hence the change3 from hard-won to take-away diet (from game to play4) has changed the spiritual as well as the social complexion of humanity5.
1. Wholesome, inoffensive warm opener - ok.
2. Batty comment.
3. Sensible observation, I guess.
4. Nice, literal and metaphorical analogy.
5. Conservative, but also banal interpretation.

Infuriating me, but in a good way.
posted by dash_slot- at 3:25 PM on May 19, 2003

Miguel great link to a great site.I strongly suggest the 5 part article on Globalization by Tom Nairn it is well worth the time and effort.
posted by thedailygrowl at 3:39 PM on May 19, 2003

debate: a contention by words or arguments; a regulated discussion of a proposition between two matched sides. (Miriam Webster).

whenever a new debate site comes i like looking for the Israel-Palestine debate. Not because it's more interesting than other conflicts, but it is good for marking the borders of the debate (exposing ideological camp biases).

It seems that on the Palestinian side we have plenty of opinions; on the Israeli side we have a guy who has an "Israeli wife" but "won't talk" to his relatives because they are settlers.

So the question is - where is a debate in that, isn't it more like a choir practice?

I'm still waiting to see one debate site that will show me everything - from Fatah to the Kahane Hai, from Likud to the Hizballah. Otherwise, it remains a site of no contention, preaching one ideology, not a meeting ground of ideas.
posted by bokononito at 7:41 PM on May 19, 2003

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