Re: [Sartre] Anti-Americanism
- Thank you Leon, I don't know what I'd do without you. You are absolutely certain about everything you say. You understand America completely. It's all about big cars, sunshine, lolly pops, hamburgers and homes in the suburbs, not to mention saving the world.
Again, returning to Sartre's insightful observations of bigotry, Sartre points out that "The rational man growans as he gropes for the truth; he knows that his reasoning is no more than tentative, that other considerations may supervene to cast doubt on it. He never sees very clearly where he is going; he is 'open'; he may even appear to be hesistant." (Anti-Semite and Jew, p. 18) Not so the bigot, the anti-Semite or the anti-American, and apparently not so, Leon. He knows everything with certainly. No doubt he has spent years studying America, visiting it from coast to coast, getting to know its people intimately, and assiduously studying every aspect of its culture.
As Sartre noted about Anti-Semitism, Hollander notes about Anti-Americanism "A new stage has been reached in the development of anti-Americanism when the United States and all things American are identified with a religiously defined, transcendent Evil and not merely with social injustice, moral corruption, economic exploitation, or the abuse of power as used to be the case until recently.'Inauthenticity' is a key component of the criticism directed at American society and culture both at home and abroad. It is linked to spiritual emptiness and more specifically to mass culture, the consumer ethos, the fraudulence associated with commerce, the pursuit of profit, and capitalist competiveness.[it is noteworthy that these were also all charges laid against the Jews by anti-Semites]. In our times, similar anti-American sentiments generate protests against McDonald's and Wal-Mart, 'ticky-tacky' houses in the suburbs, the omnipresence of plastics, or the difficulty of finding organic produce in the nearest supermarkets..Complaints about inauthenticity and standardization illuminate the romantic, individualistic components of what (I call) cultural anti-Americanism.. ("The politics of envy", by Paul Hollander, The New Criterion, Nov. 2002, pp. 16-17).
One more example.
>>America has always seperated its self from the rest of the world. <<Sartre pointed out "Thus the Jew remains the stranger, the intruder, the unassimilated.But the Jew's enemies will immediately say that the bond is ethnic, and he himself, at a loss how to designate it, will perhaps use the word race. Then at one stroke he has justified the anti-Semite: 'You see very well that there is a Jewish race; they recognize it themselves, and besides they crowd together everywhere. .Thus the anti-Semite wins on all counts. In a word, the Jew, an intruder.is compelled to remain isolated." (Anti-Semite and Jew, p. 83-85.)
----- Original Message -----
From: Leon McQuaid
Sent: Saturday, November 30, 2002 9:02 AM
Subject: Re: [Sartre] Anti-Americanism
"The politics of envy" -- please. Now that is self-deception. America is
notorious for not-owning-up to their mistakes. But that is ok in a way
because just about every nation does this to an extent. The ungrounded
'envy' argument (propoganda) is the real soothing instrument in this story.
Heven forbid the apathetic american voter should realize that America is not
all sunshine and lolly pops and rise up against his limited bi-party
('mono-party'in reality) state to take the responsibility of his governments
actions upon himself. Americans are blinded to the destructiveness in/of
their little suburbian home, big car, and Hamburgers. American culture is
the apitamy of inauthentic life. And what do the americans say when I
challenge them "At least we are like communist russia...Duh..." But as I
said all nations are guilty of wrong-doings, some are even worse; but don't
let that excuse you from introspection and change. America has always
seperated its self from the rest of the world. The world wants America to
admit they aren't the saviors of the world, they are part of it too. That
is why America is to be both feared and pitied.
>From: "Christopher Bobo" <cbobo@...>
>To: "Sartre_yahoogr" <Sartre@yahoogroups.com>
>Subject: Re: [Sartre] Anti-Americanism
>Date: Fri, 29 Nov 2002 20:45:22 -0800
>I started to respond to this but lacked sufficient time. I'll just add a
>few comments here.
> >>I mean it is enough having to put up with
>Americans' cultural, commercial and military conquest of the rest of
>the world without having to listen to them be sorry for themselves.
>What a load of nonsense!,
>This sounds so much like an Anti-Semite bemoaning the undue culture
>influence of the Jew that's its appalling. I'm surprised that despite
>Tommy's obvious intelligence in other matters that he does not see it. As
>Sartre said: "All that is bad in society (crises, wars, famines, upheavals,
>and revolts) is directly or indirectly imputable to him [the Jew]. The
>anti-Semite is afraid of discovering that the world is ill-contrived, for
>then it would be necessary for him to invent and modify, with the result
>that man would be found to be the master of his own destinies, burdened
>with an agonizing and infinite responsibility. Thus he localizes all the
>evil of the universe in the Jew" , or now, the American. (Anti-Semite and
>Jew, p. 40.) To further paraphrase Sartre, for Tommy, it seems that if
>nations war with each other, the conflict does not arise from the fact that
>the idea of nationality implies imperialism and the clash of interests,
>"No, it is because the Jew [American] is there, behind the governments,
>breathing discord." Similarly, Paul Hollander, in "The politics of envy,"
>appearing in the November 2002 issue of The New Criterion, noted that among
>intellectuals, quasi-intellectuals and even ordinary people, "blaming the
>United States becomes readily available, soothing alternative to
>confronting the real sources of their distress and taking responsibility
>for them." (p. 14-15)
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- However, to obsess over "consumer culture," as do the majority of American
critics (even the rabidly pro-American ones: see the bubbleheads on the Fox
News Channel) is also to ignore Sartre's very important theory of practical
groups, which, as Laing & Esterson cite in their "Sanity, Madness & Family,"
examines the discontinuity betw. praxis (what individuals that comprise
groups do) & process (what the group or group observers sees the group do).
Not that critics or observers should be taken to task for not knowing Sartre.
Our logical positivist philosophy refuses that very discontinuity; in other
words, the standard American & Western-Euro view is that there cannot
possibly be any discontinuity betw. what individuals do & what the group
accomplishes. It doesn't make "sense."
So, as far as our dominant world affairs policy, we see "terrorism" as the
amorphous mass that, for whatever reason, the terrorists see themselves
(maybe to the degree to which they've been, however much they deny it,
"Westernized"). In fact, such a view is really a matter of convenience, since
it allows some to wage war against an entire philosophical entity, rather
than a political or geographical one.
But what interests me more about this discontinuity project is that almost at
the same time Sartre was developing his theory, the Palo Alto project
(Bateson et al.) was developing its logical typing theory (discontinuity
betw. set & element: from Russell & Whitehead) with regard to schizophrenia.
I don't know yet of anyone that's commented on that.
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