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Django, Josey, and the Left

To say that Edwards, Cogburn, and Wales are all in this sense Western figures more than they are Civil War figures is not to deny their connection to the South. It is a reminder of competing and complex themes or ideas of justice: Put simply, if we are in a retroactively judgmental mood, or, perhaps like the makers of The Outlaw Josey Wales and their audience, in a 1976 post-Vietnam state of despair about all official narratives and the full history of “the Union,” we can define all Union soldiers, and even the sainted Abraham, as “fighting for genocidal imperialism.”

Posted in Featured, Movies, US History, War Tagged with: , , ,

Theses on Contradictions within Liberal Democracy, in Relation to Islamism

1. The conflict between liberalism and Islamism is a creedal as well as cultural, social, political, and economic conflict.

2. As an ideological articulation of an Islamic concept in relation to and within an expansionary global political-economic system dominated by liberal-democratic regime forms, Islamism will absorb and re-express contradictions internal to the liberal democratic concept.

3. The “Great Separation” of religion from politics is a paradoxical mythic-fictive foundation of liberal democracy whose necessary concealment cannot be continuously maintained in the encounter with unitary political alternatives as under typical forms of Islamism.

4. The generally occluded, intermittently exposed theological (Christian-soteriological) origin of the Great Separation and therefore of liberal democracy conforms to the instruction of the Qur’an on the political realization of revealed truth.

5. The radical coercive potential of the modern nation-state will be turned irresistibly against those who would accept and implement this instruction, except under adaptive integration of an effectively liberal-democratic concept.

Posted in Featured, History, International Relations, Liberalism v Islamism as a Syncretic Problem, Neo-Imperialism, On Liberal Democracy in Relation to Islamism, Philosophy, Politics, Yoga Tagged with: , , , , ,

You know who else used to oversimplify history?

“Counterfactual certitude fallacy” would be a corollary of historical fallacy, as in any claim of certainty that a simple alteration of a particular fatal decision would have necessarily led to an on-balance better course of subsequent events.

Posted in Featured, History Tagged with: , , , ,

Chairman Mao and the Cosmopirates

If I could stand above the heavens,
I would draw my sword
And cut you in three parts:
One piece for Europe,
One piece for America,
One piece left for China.
Then peace would rule the world.

Posted in Books, Featured, History, International Relations, Neo-Imperialism, Philosophy, War Tagged with: , ,

stable state

Liberal presumptions re Egypt offer “textbook” examples of logocentrism, but in this world one book bounces against another.

Posted in Featured, notes, Politics, The Exception Tagged with: ,

Schmitt in Cairo (cc @ibishblog)

One could easily – the liberalist Twitterati have shown little hesitation on this one – compare Morsi’s assumption of the right to rule by decree with acts by Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, or a wide range of autocrats including Morsi’s immediate predecessor. If inclined, however, to support or excuse Morsi, one might instead invoke Franklin Roosevelt after or even before the 1941 American Declarations of War, or Abraham Lincoln suspending the Constitution to save constitutional order: Each was called tyrant, traitor, dictator by his political enemies, even amidst undoubted states of emergency. Now they are, generally but not universally, called “great.”

Posted in Featured, History, Politics, The Exception Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Genocidal Eros

It must be serious business, this empty escapism.

Posted in Books, Featured, History, Movies Tagged with: , , ,

Rooting for the Zombies

The zombie is a perhaps only slightly exaggerated version of the slave or other member of the lower orders from the perspective of the privileged. Like the hungry poor, the zombies confront the responsible citizen as insatiably ravenous mouths to feed, the “unreasoning mob” itself, human as less than human, pure destructive appetite. At the same time, the terrifying joy of the zombie movie, like the terrifying joy both of other apocalyptic genres and of the slave revolt, lies in the destruction of one form of inhumanity by the other that it has produced, or is produced from it. We witness or continually re-experience the liberating annihilation of the whole constricted, compromised, and evil world, all of its inequities, and all of its false values.

Posted in Featured, TV Tagged with: , , ,

Occupy Nothing

Ecologism comes as close to dialectical materialism as positive or bourgeois science can while still remaining positive science, somewhat in the same manner as cognitive science and physics approach each other at their limits, but on the level of lived history. Nature itself, including human nature, the working world itself, turns out always to have already filled the revolutionary opening that we workers of the world have never quite managed to occupy. The Earth is the true proletarian.

Posted in Ecology, Featured, Philosophy, Politics Tagged with: , , , , , ,

It’s the War, Intellectuals (not the Drones)

Regardless of where we come down in the end on the wisdom and justifiability of the administration’s war policies, criticism that does not take the full debate and its real subject into consideration, that merely repeats what we already know – that war is awful and morally, culturally, and politically deforming; that it exceeds the terms of normal, lawful policy; that it makes us act like “barbarians” all on the way to Hell – does not deserve to be and likely will not be taken seriously.

Posted in Featured, Philosophy, Politics, The Exception, War Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

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