Monday, March 27, 2017

"The essay seems to vacillate between the urge to expose the hypocrisy or mendacity of power in its use of humanitarianism as char- ter for invasion and domination, a critique that might still leave a (liberal) concept of the human intact, and a drive to expose a deeper, constitutive, and unredeemable involvement of the very concept of the human (and in particular, the suffering human) in the violence of geopolitical power. Repeatedly, though not consistently, Asad’s essay reaches for this sense of a deeper crisis of the modern concept of the human and its wider constellation rather than its (cynical, partial, and hypocritical) manipulation by power. But whether or not he subscribes to any version of the posthuman paradigm currently in vogue remains utterly unclear...

Throughout the essay, as in much of Asad’s writing, one gets the sense that there are only these two sociocultural realities (and modes of thinking) in the world: the liberal-secular-modern (which is imperialist in its worldly career) and those “traditional” forms that have somehow escaped its hold. [For insrance, a] mode of analysis of Afghan society and culture that is as scrupulous in its critique of the logics of imperial violence as in its approach to institutionalized (and traditionalized) forms of violence against women in Afghan society seems inconceivable in these terms"

 — Aamir Mufti on Talal Asad's essay Reflections on Law, Violence, and Humanitarianism (2015)

 A few interesting things in this narrative,
 but why does it avoid to mention the global capitalist system as the context?

Sunday, March 26, 2017

This is about one among the hundreds of thousands of victims of that "secular leader, the lesser evil" who has not been included in the Western regime change, and supported by a few liberals and leftists worldwide.
"[Y]ou don’t bring about major political change simply by changing people’s minds. It’s their interests that need to be assailed, not their opinions.

"Universities can’t get critical leverage in a situation of which they have become an integrated part, any more than a Picasso hanging in the lobby of the Chemical Bank can make an implicit comment on finance capitalism. By and large, academic institutions have shifted from being the accusers of corporate capitalism to being its accomplices. They are intellectual Tescos, churning out a commodity known as graduates rather than greengroceries." — Terry Eagleton

Terry Eagleton was forced to retire from his post as John Edward Taylor Professor of English Literature at Manchester University in July 2008

Death of the intellectual

"Brexit reinforces Britain's imperial amnesia"