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Catastrophes Real and Imagined

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Along these lines, one should risk the [[thesis]] that, far from jolting the United States from its [[ideological]] [[sleep]], 9/11 was used as a sedative enabling the hegemonic [[ideology]] to “renormalize” itself. The period after the Vietnam War was one long [[trauma]] for the hegemonic ideology—it had to defend itself against critical doubts, the gnawing worms were continuously at work and couldn’t be simply suppressed, every “[[return]] to innocence” was immediately experienced as a fake … until 9/11, when the United States was a [[victim]] and thus allowed to reassert the innocence of its mission. Far from awakening us, 9/11 served to put us to sleep again, to continue our [[dream]] after the [[nightmare]] of [[past]] decades.<br><br>
The ultimate irony here is that to restore the innocence of American patriotism, the [[conservative]] U.S. establishment mobilized the key ingredient of the politically correct ideology that it officially despises: the logic of [[victimization]]. Relying on the [[idea]] that [[authority]] is conferred (only) on those who [[speak]] from the [[position]] of the victim, it reasoned: “We are now victims, and it is this fact that legitimizes us to speak and act from the position of authority.” So today, when we hear the refrain that the [[liberal]] dream of the ’90s is over, that, with the attacks on New York and Washington, we were violently thrown back into [[The Real|the real ]] world, that the easy [[intellectual]] [[games]] are over, we should remember that such a call to confront harsh [[reality]] is ideology at its purest. Today’s “America, awaken!” is a distant call of Hitler’s “<i>Deutschland, erwache!</i>” which, as [[Adorno]] wrote long ago, meant its exact opposite.
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