The Only Super Power: Reflections on Strength, Weakness, and Anti-Americanism
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In The Only Superpower: Reflections on Strength, Weakness, and Anti-Americanism, Paul Hollander examines anti-Americanism (including the relationship between the foreign and domestic varieties), American culture (especially mass culture), the lingering political and cultural influences of the 1960s, and the controversial relationship between the realms of the personal and the political. He also revisits the part played by hatred, and especially the scapegoating impulse, in social and political conflicts. The essays range widely, from Michael Moore's political celebrity, the American love for SUVs, and getting old in America to Islamic fanaticism and the aftermath of the fall of Eastern European communist systems.
illustration: In the logic of colonialist representations, the construction of a separate colonized other and the segregation of identity and alterity turns out paradoxically to be at once absolute and extremely intimate. The process consists, in fact, of the moments that are dialectically related. In the first moment difference has to be pushed to the extreme. In the colonial imagination the colonized is not simply an other banished outside the realm of civilization; rather it is grasped or
the part of the Sunni minority, beneficiaries of his rule. There remains a remote possibility that the recent troop “surge” could accomplish something. In short I am not yet willing to conclude that the U.S. invasion was a totally misguided effort, although at times (depending on the daily news) I feel so. 22 Introduction V Some of the writings in this volume (mostly in part II) should make clear that notwithstanding my longstanding critiques of the adversary culture I am well aware of
nineteenth century that the Dutch, in many respects, are quite unlike the Afghans, and a comparison of the French and Russians, or Swedes and Italians, would also yield some obvious and highly patterned differences. Stereotyping fell into bad repute because of the hate-filled racial-ethnic labeling that justified the mistreatment and persecution in our times of groups including Jews, blacks, Native Americans, Armenians, gypsies—you name it. Group differences are not limited to those rooted in
no harm to her education, The policies leading to such changes in the curriculum were also described as a form of a “cultural populism” representing “attempts of women, ethnic and racial minorities to achieve cultural enfranchisement. . . .”7 Such “representativeness” often came to outweigh aesthetic or intellectual criteria. Harold Bloom wrote, “if you believe that all value ascribed to poems or plays or novels and stories is only a mystification in the service of the ruling class, then why
or phone calls are exchanged before people actually meet, what proportion of communications lead to meetings and to lasting relationships. Even the most methodologically ambitious researcher would be hard put to learn about such matters. This is a great pity since such findings could provide information about, among other things, the relationship between self-assessment (conveyed in the ads) and subsequent assessment by others. Whatever the success rate, people have been contributing to these