Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
BTW and PS:  iirc Gen. Butler, his book, the attempted coup, IBM, Prescott Bush have all been mentioned before by others in ET history;  just trying to pull some threads together and drape them over some dots, in an ongoing wrestling match with Exceptionalism.

Exceptionalism works two ways to blinker us:  one is imagining ourselves to be exceptionally good, so good and so right that no goodness or rightness can possible exist outside our belief system, much less contribute to our belief system.  The other, mirror-image function is to exceptionalise designated instances of evil as being so evil, so wrong, so terrible that no other evil can possibly be compared to them or understood in relation to them, nor can they in any way be connected with ourselves or our daily doings.

Manichaeanism in a nutshell.

Also very Cartesian/reductionist, in the neat taxonomic separation of one quality from another, and careful hierarchical grading.  [the same kind of psychotically rationalist taxonomy and grading repeatedly used by racial-purity nuts, but now we're getting deep into ideation and paradigms and all that abstract stuff.]

One example of the exceptionalisation of evil is the special status of the Nazi extermination programme and the outrage that arises if any other genocidal attempt is compared to it.  The ongoing media war between Armenians and the ADL/AIPAC bloc would be one example of an entrenched exceptionalism fighting against any connection with "lesser" -- or less apotheosised -- evils.

Somehow I see deconstructing exceptionalism as an important altermondialista task;  exceptionalism is like a kind of Enclosed or exclusive specificity, i.e. there is This One Thing and then a mass of Other Stuff that is lesser, less meaningful, not worth serious attention.  The wrongness of this model is not addressed by monoculture, i.e. eliminating all specificity;  nor is it addressed by playing numbers games (only genocides of 4mio deaths and more should count, blah blah, nor the reverse, 'one instance of X on Y violence is just the same as systematic and pervasive Y on X violence') -- it can only be addressed by a kind of  systems (biocentric) approach that acknowledges speciation within genera, uniqueness within replication,  grand pattern and local uniqueness, etc.  maybe fractals would make a good model of metaphor:  the smallest iterations replicate the largest patterns, which in turn are built up out of the smallest iterations.

Feh -- ideas too big to get my arms around them at this time of the day :-)

The difference between theory and practise in practise ...

by DeAnander (de_at_daclarke_dot_org) on Thu Aug 2nd, 2007 at 09:55:36 PM EST

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