By William V. Spanos
Connects the yankee exceptionalist ethos to the violence in Vietnam and the center East.
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Additional info for American Exceptionalism in the Age of Globalization: The Specter of Vietnam
Indeed, the growth of liberal democracy, together with its companion, economic liberalism, has been the most remarkable macropolitical phenomenon of the last four hundred years. (EH, 47–48; Fukuyama’s emphasis) In the counterlight of my retrieval of the global scope and significance of the Vietnam War, Fukuyama’s ocularcentric obliteration of its disclosive singularity in his euphoric representation of the end of the Cold War assumes a glaring visibility of epochal historical proportions. The totalizing and encompassing—panoptic—“look” he so casually advocates against the “merely” immediate event comes to be seen, not as the means of a disinterested reading of the itinerary of modern (Cold War) history as he claims, but as the powerful enabling agency of a polyvalent imperial interpretive project.
It was just robbery with violence, aggravated murder on a great scale, and men going at it blind—as is very proper for those who tackle a darkness. The conquest of the earth, which mostly means the taking it away from those who have a different complexion or slightly flatter noses than ourselves, is not a pretty thing when you look into it too much. What redeems it is the idea only. ”22 And it is precisely this duplicitous logic of the repressive hypothesis, pushed to its nuanced extreme, that, as in the case of Fukuyama’s argument, contemporary liberal democratic societies, especially the United States, employ to justify their colonialist interventions in Third World countries.
I mean, to retrieve and reconstellate into the present historical occasion the forgotten and decisively important ideological function of the ruse of the Pax Romana, the peace of what I have been calling the Pax Americana. On the other hand, I do not want to suggest that the theoretical perspective of Heidegger’s Abgeschiedene as such (or, for that matter, its poststructuralist allotropes) is entirely adequate to this task of resistance either, since the consequences of his (and, in a different way, of those he influenced) failure to adequately think the political imperatives of his interrogation of Western ontology are now painfully clear.
American Exceptionalism in the Age of Globalization: The Specter of Vietnam by William V. Spanos