Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

I've been published, a while ago, here it is: The Dialectic of Perception

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.

I think you are underestimating how much time these things take, but not the trends. We're fighting a lot of inertia right now. The right was ideologically resurgent on 9/11, and used it as an opportunity to push its advantage - and overshoot. The damage will be felt for decades, as will the revulsion.

In the long run, we're all dead. John Maynard Keynes
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Jun 10th, 2007 at 01:15:40 PM EST
well, I was a lot more optimistic at the time that things would turn around back to Reason rather shortly.  I guess that is why, but I hope you are right.

"Schiller sprach zu Goethe, Steck in dem Arsch die Flöte! Goethe sagte zu Schiller, Mein Arsch ist kein Triller!"
by Jeffersonian Democrat (rzg6f@virginia.edu) on Sun Jun 10th, 2007 at 04:18:22 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The damage will be felt for decades, as will the revulsion.

I think that's quite broad brush. The commons of the world will feel the damage and the revulsion, but they don't set policy.

European elites will continue to seek advantage in the shadow of the shining city on a shining hill, the necrophilic embrace of America's "reputation" whilst Middle Eastern elites will continue to hide behind Washington's skirts in rightful fear of their own people.

It wasn't the right that won, it was authoritarianism. An ideology which adheres only to the ruling elite ruthless enough to claim it, be it of the "left" or the "right", just as liberalism isn't necessarily a leftish position.

There have been liberal right-wingers. Can you imagine any US politician giving the speech below nowadays ? Yet it came from Margaret Chase Smith, a republican, yes a republican, in 1954 about Eugene MmCarthy.


I think that it is high time that we remembered that we have sworn to uphold and defend the Constitution. I think that it is high time that we remembered; that the Constitution, as amended, speaks not only of the freedom of speech but also of trial by jury instead of trial by accusation.

Whether it be a criminal prosecution in court or a character prosecution in the Senate, there is little practical distinction when the life of a person has been ruined.

Those of us who shout the loudest about Americanism in making character assassinations are all to frequently those who, by our own words and acts, ignore some of the basic principles of Americanism --

The right to criticize;

The right to hold unpopular beliefs;

The right to protest;

The right of independent thought.

The exercise of these rights should not cost one single American citizen his reputation or his right to a livelihood nor should he be in danger of losing his reputation or livelihood merely because he happens to know some one who holds unpopular beliefs. Who of us doesn't? Otherwise none of us could call our souls our own. Otherwise thought control would have set in.

But this time it was right wing authoritarians, as it usually is in the USA. But don't think 9-11 allowed this, it merely allowed it to come into the open.

Vietnam was a filthy war fought, not against communists, but against a people who merely wanted to control their own sovereignty. who did not want their leaders imposed upon them by remote corporations, the better to rape their land. The people almost destroyed S Vietnam suicidally in order to save it.

During the 70s the dirty wars of S America, CIA backed militias genuflecting to washington's demands, kept their peoples in terrified acquiescence.

Then Reagan turned on Central America.

Yet somehow all of these filthy wars, the torture, the terrorism, the death squads never quite made it into people's consciousness. Not because it wasn't reported but because we weren't having our noses rubbed in it, it was somebody else's war. We weren't involved, we weren't implicated. We could tut-tut and pass the canapes.

Now it's all over the place. 9-11 changed nothing, it just lifted the rock and revealed the squalid underbelly of every working practice operative since the 50s. Every working practice we all signed up for. NATO, the special relationship, we are all complicit.

keep to the Fen Causeway

by Helen (lareinagal at yahoo dot co dot uk) on Sun Jun 10th, 2007 at 04:26:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]

you're right, and with more practice I will learn to write clearer.  That was difficult for me because of the limited space - one page per author, as the book was a collection of essays from grads and luminaries from all sorts of spectrums in American studies.  I really had to cut and cut and cut.

"Schiller sprach zu Goethe, Steck in dem Arsch die Flöte! Goethe sagte zu Schiller, Mein Arsch ist kein Triller!"

by Jeffersonian Democrat (rzg6f@virginia.edu) on Sun Jun 10th, 2007 at 04:34:44 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks for that link and that speech...too bad that can't be condensed(ha)into a bumper sticker...the only reading some people here in the US do anymore.

"People never do evil so throughly and happily as when they do it from moral conviction."-Blaise Pascal
by chocolate ink on Mon Jun 11th, 2007 at 02:47:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Hi JD..nice to hear from you.

"People never do evil so throughly and happily as when they do it from moral conviction."-Blaise Pascal
by chocolate ink on Sun Jun 10th, 2007 at 04:00:14 PM EST
Hi Ink, yea, decided to drop in.  Nice to here from you too.

"Schiller sprach zu Goethe, Steck in dem Arsch die Flöte! Goethe sagte zu Schiller, Mein Arsch ist kein Triller!"
by Jeffersonian Democrat (rzg6f@virginia.edu) on Sun Jun 10th, 2007 at 04:19:20 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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