Knowledge can never truly “be apolitical”. No matter what the political climate, sociology needs to make itself useful. Of course, to whom it should make itself useful, and to what ends, and how — these are crucial questions.
One shifts from an argument to a negotiation. Negotiations do not require epistemic consensus. Both parties can remain different.
relativism does not prevent us from making assertions; it only changes how we understand “what it is that we are doing” when we make assertions.
No social reform or revolution will bring us to an equilibrium prescribed by some essential human nature.
The universe runs on causality, not morality. Explaining the cause of an event and assigning moral blame are different, often opposed, activities.
What matters more: social oppression or personal virtue?
Radical sinks draw energies from unequal social relations without changing those relations. They give rise to extrinsic motivations for radical action. Radical praxis draws energies from unequal social relations and uses it transformatively. It involves motivations intrinsic to radical projects.
We can define radicalism not by its conspicuous oppositionalism or militancy, but by its effort to intentionally transform social systems. The radical Left is a loose constellation of attempts to achieve maximal human freedom and equality through intentional social-systemic transformation. Any process which draws energy from that trajectory without returning it can be considered in terms analogous to a thermodynamic sink.
Single-dialectic thinking, despite its merits, has limitations which give rise to some self-defeating intellectual habits. Tangled-systems thinking could overcome those limitations.
Single-dialectic thinking has limitations which explain why radicals have a tendency to antagonize their allies and to fight amongst themselves, splitting into subfactions and trashing the insufficiently pure. This is not just pettiness or zealotry. There is a real epistemic problem at work.