re: more productive discussions

Sun, 13 Apr 1997 15:04:22 +1000
Bruce R. McFarling (

On Fri, 11 Apr 1997, Richard K. Moore wrote:

> Example: "U.S. hegemony is not yet a fiction". Your mere statement is
> supposed to stand as a refutation of my argument. This is not discussion,
> this is a case of "Yes it is. No it isn't. Yes it is. ...". My argument
> was that even though obvious US hegemony is prominently displayed before us
> in the daily news, it is a fiction because it is not really _US_ hegemony,
> but elite _corporatist_ hegemony we are seeing, with a corporate-dominated
> US serving as a corporatist agent. Hegemony isn't a fiction - the "US
> Interests" part is.
> ...

It might clarify the discussion if there was a specification of
the definition of hegemony being used by the participants. According to
the definition I have recently seen (a preeminent position in the
international economy in production *and* distribution *and* finance), it
seems fairly clear that the US position in the 1950's and into the 60's
was hegemonic, and the US position today is not. On other definitions,
results might vary.
Of course, this does not address the question of which would be a
stronger contribution to WNS: clarifying the discussion or dropping it.
But it seems to me that discussions that are going nowhere fast as
participants trade characterizations of each other's arguments (as in
dlj's ability to hear the tone of voice of an e-mail message -- I'd like
to have the e-mail program that lets you do that!) will, on occasion,
benefit if they put the same effort into clarifying their own argument.


Bruce R. McFarling, Newcastle, NSW