Indoor Public Space

Restore the Public SphereIf we recall, Habermas sees no clear distinction between public and private in feudal society.  Dignity was a blending of power and culture and the force that made ideas ‘true.’  The court was a form of government, but it was also a cultural show performed for the lower classes.  This was a public space, but behaviour was tightly scripted, leaving little room for individual opinion and personality.  ‘Private’ individuals were initially those who had no position in the state.  These merchants gained economic autonomy and shaped their opinions in the privacy of their homes.  When they emerged from their homes and encountered each other as equals — debating art and policy in coffee shops and salons — the modern idea of public space was born.  Equality was easy to maintain as most participants in this public sphere came from the same class and were collectively seeking to wrest dominance…

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