by Jeffersonian Democrat
Sat Jun 9th, 2007 at 03:03:48 PM EST
Since I've been here a while, I thought that I would share my one and only publication so far. This is an essay that shares the pages with such luminaries as George McGovern and Noam Chomsky. I highly recommend (I do not recieve royalties) this work, entitled:
The United States in Global Context: American Studies after 9/11 and Iraq
edited by Walter Grünzweig, 2004, ISBN 3-8258-8262-4
Distributed by Transaction Publishers in North America
x-posted at Boo and Kos
This is my published writing so far, kind of embarrassed as I was absolutely wrong:
The forward is:
Richard Gallant is a graduate student in Germanic Languages and Literature at the University of Virginia with a focus in aesthetics, ideology, and revolutionary theater. After spending a year in Dortmund as an exchange student two years ago, he is currently exchange lecturer at Dortmund teaching a course entitled "Pornography and Literature: Henry Miller, Anais Nin, Sacher-Masoch, and Vladimir Nabokov"
(that was 2004, I now focus on Germanic Saga)
The Dialectic of Perception, Ideology, and its Material Consequences
Richard Z. Gallant
America has traditionally been percieved as a beacon of democratic ideals of the Enlightenment manifested into a material example for the rest of the world. It is this perception that greatly contributed to the unprecedented outpouring of sympathy and outrage immediatly following the tragedy of Semptember 11, 2001.
Political scientists, historians, and political pundits call September 11th a "watershed" moment in the history of the US and the world. Put more academically, it was a dialectical and historical turn. The initial reaction of the American people was confusion, fear, and bewilderment. In this atmosphere, the American public readily accepted, indeed demanded, the government to turn to right in America's response. Democratic ideology changed to a position of good verses evil and invoked this binary perception from WWII. Indeed, the West also turned with us, temporarily, as evidenced by the overwhelming support of the Afghanistan operation. This has proven to be dangerous as it led, gradually and event-by-event, by intentional manipulation of domestic perception, ideology and facts, to a war that was largely illegitimate in the perception of the world. Now we have just witnessed, as a consequence, the next historical and dialectical turn: not only the perception of America, but the perception of the "beacon of democracy" - the exposure of atrocities in Abu Ghraib.
It is difficult to say which way this new dialectical turn will lead, however, I believe that it will lead back to the left and to the center as the American people now face the discrepancy between our perception of who we are and how we think of the "War on Terror" and our actions. We have to examine how much damage our own ideology, and its turn to the right, has caused in the world's perception of us and how that has weakened the influence of our "beacon". The material manifestation in the now infamous photographs of American torture forces us, as well as people all over the world, to reconsider our ideological turn and the perceptions relevant to it. They are a material consequence of blind obedience to an ideology without, as Thomas Jefferson warned us against, questioning the authority of those directing our power, perceptions, and ideology. If an al Qaeda gas attack comes before the election, as some analyst in the US intelligence community are concerned about, what will the world's perception be and how will it affect current events and the power wielded by the US and the West in combating terrorism? Will we still enjoy the outpouring of goodwill expressed by the world as it was on September 12, 2001? The answer remains to be seen. Nevertheless, we can be assured that regardless what happens, this chain of events have been a catastrophe not only affecting the perceptions of Americans, but of the world.