Monday, July 04, 2016

Corey Robin on Elie Wiesel: "Trigger Warning: This post may upset you."

I replied to his post on FB pointing out the obvious: that the "sacralization' of the Holocaust (Robin's term) and the dehumanization of Palestinians are inseparable. He deleted my comment.
[Actually he didn't; he blocked my access to his page. It's still up and visible to me if I'm not logged in. But it's not visible on my "activity log" so I couldn't delete it even if I wanted to.]

Maria Farrell comments on Brexit, as any proper army wife would, quoting an angry mournful squib by a former military officer.  [history, again, of the obvious]

More from Pankaj Mishra, (quoted below)
In the neoliberal and technocratic worldview, the quantitative emphasis on what counts and what can therefore be counted (empirical data) has long obscured what does not count (subjective emotions). Today, GDP cultists and pollsters everywhere find themselves helpless before angry electorates convinced, as Belinsky was in his own hopeless situation, that ‘negation is my god.’ Nor can vulgar rationalism cope with the possibility that now universally emergent Underground Man may take pleasure in defying his rational self-interest.

Ressentiment in post-Thatcher Britain was long lucratively stoked by its tabloids, keeping left-behind masses roused with everyday ambushes of evidently globalised elites and their swarthy multicultural wards. It now seems that the vindictive passions were looking for a spectacular final act of negation.

The Etonians who ranged themselves on either side of a reckless referendum confirmed the cunning of unreason. Most of Sunderland’s – and England’s – electorate then found a chance to enact the Underground Man’s rebellion against an overpowering and demeaning reality. ‘Of course,’ he admits, ‘I cannot break through the wall by battering my head against it … but I am not going to be reconciled to it simply because it is a stone wall and I have not the strength.’
I shouldn't be surprised but I am that no one -or no one else- comments on Leiter's use of the term ressentimentI've said for years that somewhere Leiter says he has no friends in literature departments; in fact he was quoting Fodor. I've also quoted a friend (of mine) who's said that Fodor expresses surprise at colleagues with friends outside academia. And in fact Leiter "loves" literature, he just doesn't take it seriously. Literature includes the author as subject and object. Baudelaire and Dostoyevsky describe themselves as both master and slave. Where most people read Nietzsche as they read the others, Leiter takes him at his word. Bourdieu, a French bureaucrat rather than an American one, does the same with Flaubert.

Leiter, ressentiment, and "condescension from below"

The existence of "slave mentality", "victim mentality", or  "reaction formation", is not an argument in the defense of masters.

The search terms make no reference to race.
"Fiction deals with philosophical questions as such. Philosophy qua philosophy deals in fictional solutions."

continued in the next post.

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