Mark S. Weiner

90% and beyond

In Austria, emergency medical services, EMS, Sweden, Uncategorized, Video on February 6, 2021 at 12:49 pm

The non-profit video production company that I founded, Hidden Cabinet Films, which includes a fantastic Board of Directors, is hosting a fundraiser for our latest project, “Tending the Wounded: A Social and Political Theory of Emergency Medical Services”:

The brave men and women of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are heroes of the medical world, but can we also understand what they do in social and political terms? Can the way that emergency medics tend to the wounded show us how to organize our societies better? What do they have to teach us about how liberal democracies can be resilient and endure? We believe that asking these questions is especially important in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and the divisiveness of our current politics.

The brave men and women of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) are heroes of the medical world, but can we also understand what they do in social and political terms? Can the way that emergency medics tend to the wounded show us how to organize our societies better? What do they have to teach us about how liberal democracies can be resilient and endure? We believe that asking these questions is especially important in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic and the divisiveness of our current politics.

In two weeks we have raised 90% of our fundraising goal, bringing us very close as a 501(c)(3) to being able to absorb two significant institutional grants. Can you help us reach the finish line? All gifts are tax deductible. Contributions can be made by credit card by clicking “Donate” on our GoFundMe page, via PayPal, or by check (contact me for details). Small donations stand right alongside larger ones in helping us remain a publicly supported organization and enabling us to bring “Tending the Wounded” to fruition.

Our previous major video project was a set of five films for the exhibition “Law’s Picture Books” for the Grolier Club, including “A Philosophical Question.” 

In Search of the Political

In Legal Philosophy, Uncategorized on December 19, 2020 at 1:14 am

The latest issue of Telos includes my review of Fred Siegel’s book The Crisis of Liberalism: Prelude to Trump (Candor, NY: Telos Press Publishing, 2020). A protégé of Irving Howe at Dissent, Siegel is one of the last vital links to the world of the New York Intellectuals. David Pan’s introduction to the issue, titled “Race, Russia, and Rights,” can be found on the Telos blog here.

Pan writes of my contribution: “The affirmation of rational discussion and legal institutions over all substantive morality leads to its own forms of blindness and intolerance, which Mark S. Weiner discusses in his review of Fred Siegel’s The Crisis of Liberalism: Prelude to Trump. As Siegel argues, the establishment of the policies of a liberal technocratic managerialism represented the triumph of rational discourse, but rather than solving the problems of the world, this victory led to the growth of an underclass that accepts the victim status attributed to it by elites. Siegel links this technocratic approach to the Rawlsian attempt to set aside substantive moral commitments, leading to the de-valorization of middle-class values. Rather than conceiving of virtue and justice as moral concerns that must be grounded in the beliefs of the entire population, the attempt to replace moral commitments with rational discourse and legal institutions ends up undermining the popular basis of such institutions.”

The journal is behind a paywall, but many university libraries hold a digital subscription.

EMS for Democracy

In EMS on September 17, 2019 at 7:26 am

My article EMS for Democracy: The Case of Människan Bakom Uniformen appeared today as the cover story in the fall issue of the UK-based, European-wide magazine Ambulance Today (see the link at page nine). The article is the first in a series that will consider emergency medical services, especially the work of ambulance personnel, from the perspective of democratic social and political theory.

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Update 1/29/20: for the next article in this series, see the latest issue of Ambulance TodayThis article considers the significance of EMS volunteerism, and is accompanied by four interviews with EMS practitioners in Sweden, Austria, Israel and the United States.

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Update 2/20/20: I recently gave a talk about EMS and social theory at a conference on mutual aid sponsored by the journal Telos. The talk can be found here.