Infibulation,Value and Choice

Tue, 10 May 1994 18:40:00 PDT

St. Christian writes:

"... i arrive at the point where
everything we know and every explication we have for what we do is
fundamentally a lie because it was imposed upon us, it is an artefact of
coercion. "

There is a problem in using the term "lie" by virtue of that term already
having a value judgement; e.g. a "lie" is "wrong" and this implies that there
is something "wrong" with culture "causing" is to belive as true that which
is objectively demonstrable as false. Underlying that statement is the
belief that somehow culture is or ought to be involved with truth as it can
be objectively demonstrated. But the whole notion of a "constructed
reality" presumes that "objective truth" is not the name of the game as
mutually constradictory "constructed realities" exist between and within
cultures, and even may be held by the same individual.

Other than this minor quibble with St. Christian's use of the term lie (which
he takes from Garfinkel) I find interesting his comment that:

"i think this notion - of the inherent
violence culture enacts on the individual - is fascinating and speaks to
issues of why culture is never stable and of why knowledge of any sort is
always and only provisional."

D. Read