Re: w-s critique of po-mo

Tue, 11 Mar 1997 17:01:30 -0600 (NSK)
Nikolai S. Rozov (

i agree with distinction between world-system theory (wst) and
postmodernism (po-mo) by Peter Grimes and strongly
support Gunder in his anger and conclusions. i use to name post-modernism

this serious blame is based
on one simple observation: those who rush into po-mo very soon become unable
for any on-going, systematic, responsible, logically constrained intellectual
work. to involve into po-mo is to buy INDULGENCE FOR NON-THINKING, (take any
po-mo journal and you'll see that thinking is not necessary for any of
these free- style irresponsible essays)

degradation comes rather soon. i was told that most famous anthropological
schools in UK and US are already almost destroyed by po-mo, now the turn of
history and sociology comes

each epidemy has some interior strenth which is the reason of its power
and i am ready to recognize value of original works of Foucalt concerning
knowledge, power, language, etc, but most latter waves seem to be totally
muddy, i would be grateful if somebody presents any really new,
clear, productive and testable idea of last years in this tradition

at the same time, just as each new epidemy is a challenge for medicine,
each new wave of irrationalism is a challenge for rationalism, and here i
must agree with Robert Denemark (see below) that rational wst has no
sufficient and persuadive arguments.

but i don't agree with Robert when he sees the problem in:
>. Different
>scholars offer similar predictions based on dissimilar arguments.

i think that Robert here kept in mind explanations of the past , not
predictions of the future.
the real problem is that in social sciences now ALMOST NOBODY DARES TO
PREDICT, everybody are afraid of theirs renome' (i know the only positive and
bright example of prediction: Randall Collins by means of his
geopolitical theory predicted USSR collapse).

The well- reasoned carefulness (not to say cowardice) turns into total
intellectual impotence of rational social sciences (including wst),

why then to wonder that new generations of students see no prospect in
systematic work and prefer po-mo, where non-work leads to non-worse results!

i use to take that the breaking-point between OLD AGE of witch processes
and NEW AGE of Enlightment's rationalism (which i don't idealize, of course)
was the bright prediction of Galey's comet coming by means of sky-mechanics

what we need now for defense and prosper of rational social thinking is
predictive theories and braveness to make predictions


P.S. dear Bob, i am interested in your paper, the address below

> for their work. Fearing the rational choice cul-de-sac I suppose, all
> suggestions that agency ought be taken seriously elicit a negative
> response. The problem we face is that structural analyses of the world
> system sort suffer from indeterminancy. Different scholars offer similar
> predictions based on dissimilar arguments. It is difficult to evaluate
> which arguments are the best. One solution would be to trace the various
> logics down through the effects they have on individuals. If one argument
> has the capacity to predict the specific individual responses we
> subsequently see, while others do not, that logic would appear more
> complete. Hence a 'microfoundational' analysis would serve the cause.
> Best, Bob Denemark

Nikolai S. Rozov # Address:Dept. of Philosophy
Prof.of Philosophy # Novosibirsk State University # 630090, Novosibirsk
Fax: (3832) 355237 # Pirogova 2, RUSSIA

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