American Exceptionalism in the Age of Globalization: The by William V. Spanos

By William V. Spanos

Connects the yank exceptionalist ethos to the violence in Vietnam and the center East.

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Extra info for American Exceptionalism in the Age of Globalization: The Specter of Vietnam

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Would have been everywhere accompanied . . ” The alliance of liberal democracy and of the “free market,” there’s the “good news” of this last quarter century. 11 10 American Exceptionalism in the Age of Globalization Derrida’s analysis constitutes a powerful and, however belated, much welcomed thematization not simply of the reductive ontological priority of the transhistorical Logos over actual history in Fukuyama’s historiography, but of the theological provenance of its will to power over the singular event: of what I will provisionally call the imperialism of Fukuyama’s metaphysical ontology.

This difference to which I am referring is the end—the telos—which, in historically fulfilling the theoretical and practical possibilities of the founding ontological principles of liberal capitalist democracy, also discloses its limits: “that” which it cannot finally accommodate and contain within its imperial orbit. Which is to say, the contradictory imperial violence against its Other inhering in its “benign” (teleo)logical economy. 13 But because these histories tend to subordinate the idea of liberal democracy to the more inclusive category of the “civilized” West, they could (illegitimately) be interpreted as histories perpetrated by and in the name of the generalized West or by an unfinished version of the idea of liberal democracy.

In other words, this privileged version of postcolonialist discourse is determined by a problematic that restricts itself to an idea of the imperial that remains indifferent to or, more accurately, overlooks the inaugural ontological ground on which the developing structure of the West as the West rests—a ground that, as I have shown, visibly reasserts itself in the neo-Hegelianism of the post-Cold War end-of-history discourse. As such, it is a critical discourse that addresses an imperialism that has been rendered anachronistic, if not exactly obsolete, by the triumphant culture’s representation of the end of the Cold War as the end of history and the annunciation of this “good news” as the advent of the New World Order.

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