Just to be clear, I didn't mean to suggest the empiricists didn't have
an 'agenda'; I assume everyone does (to some extent, at least) and we
all certainly carry biases and other baggage. What I did mean to
suggest, however, was that it seems cultural criticism has an inherent
weakness in that it begins 'honestly' (if that's the right word),
stating up front what its agenda is.
Let's put it this way: if I come out and say "you know, I'm here to
show the superiority of capitalism" and then begin my theory, I begin
from a point of weakness, it seems to me, because a certain swath of
people (perhaps a large one) will already have discounted me and my
work. They'll know where I'm headed: how I get there becomes
(perhaps, literally) academic...
I suppose I think its easier to get buy in--and more convincing from a
theoretical basis-- to work within the rules of the status quo/
(embrace the hegemon!) and then show the internal contradictions...
Anyway, I look forward to hearing other perspectives--and thanks, again!
David D. Brown