“Chris” notes that Civil War monuments are much more common in the South than the North. Throughout much of the South, it is impossible to escape The War. It may be objected at this point, by those of you who have spent time in cities and especially small towns in Northern states, that there are… Continue reading Confederates in Love
As for our Achilles-Nemesis, what reason is there to believe, along with apparently the professor, that it is our decision alone, or within anyone’s ability, to define the fight in some essentially different way, and still to fight at all?
The belief system as system does not require identification of its immediate object – identification of the particular other, identification of the particular group, or, vaulting concentrically to the super-political, in our era life-and-death determinatively, identification of the nation or nation-state or state-nation – as itself a or the final ideal, as true object of worship and devotion: Belief identifies the sacrificial community, at whatever level found finding, as intermediary, membrane, the cross not the crucified, existence prior to essence: extending life of embodied self beyond and before embodiment and therefore beyond and before time and other than extinguishable, at or in necessity instantaneously re-constructing the architecture of reasoning faith radially from least thought or thing to totality to infinity: transmortality:
1. Intro by way of a response to Mr. Halasz at the Crooked Timber thread:
@239: The Wikipedia entry on Kahn is a good capsule summary. I often wonder why, given that he’s a distinguished professor at Yale (not some wayward internet nobody), and given further that his work is in its way quite topical and unusually clearly written, his name doesn’t come up more often. I think it may have something to do with the fact that his analysis is somewhat inconvenient for our customary political conversations, and that his conclusions somewhat contradict his own avowedly liberal preferences, forcing him into intermittent apologies to his friends and colleagues, and leading him to adopt for his own part a pessimism of the liberal intellect, optimism of the liberal will similar to Charles Taylor’s. In short, he’s very good at explaining how sovereignty-based political orders work, why they call for and receive sacrifice of life (and other forms of ritualized or quasi-ritualized violence like torture), and why they still make the world go round, but he’s not good at providing encouragement to idealists and ideologues.
2. (Re-)extended discussion on the connection between faith and violence in relation to political theology and anarchism (to be revised and annotated as time permits):
@240 Mattski, and Anarcissie (@241 and various) and others: Following from the mention of Kahn’s work and specifically his focus on “sacrifice,” the link between faith and violence is more profound than a simple one-way transaction. I want to say more “complex,” but in another way the problem is that it’s so simple and immediate we have a hard time talking about it directly, even while we never actually stop talking about it. This connection also goes to the larger speculative discussion about the state-as-we-know-it and theoretical alternatives, and points to a particular liberal blind spot characteristic at least as much of those on the fringes of modern liberal discourse – anarchists, libertarians, communists, and their early modern precursors – as of those at the moderate and compromising center. This blind spot or possible blind spot is centrally evoked in the Schmittian challenge to liberalism, and understanding it might help to explain Schmitt’s claim that the political is uniquely defined by the potential for lethal violence.
Its notion turns the whole world upside down, since the ideal state-nation is the universal homogeneous state, the world state or the democracy whose demos would be all of humankind, not any particular state within history but the action of history itself under a declared progressively “federative concept.”