American Exceptionalism Kritik 1NC

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Turns Case

Hegemony inevitably fails due to the myth of American exceptionalism

Walt 11 (Stephen M., Ph.D. in political science from the University of California-Berkley, Professor of International Affairs at Harvard, “The Myth of American Exceptionalism”, Foreign Policy, October 11, 2011,

Over the last two centuries, prominent Americans have described the United States as an "empire of liberty," a "shining city on a hill," the "last best hope of Earth," the "leader of the free world," and the "indispensable nation." These enduring tropes explain why all presidential candidates feel compelled to offer ritualistic paeans to America's greatness and why President Barack Obama landed in hot water -- most recently, from Mitt Romney -- for saying that while he believed in "American exceptionalism," it was no different from "British exceptionalism," "Greek exceptionalism," or any other country's brand of patriotic chest-thumping. Most statements of "American exceptionalism" presume that America's values, political system, and history are unique and worthy of universal admiration. They also imply that the United States is both destined and entitled to play a distinct and positive role on the world stage. The only thing wrong with this self-congratulatory portrait of America's global role is that it is mostly a myth. Although the United States possesses certain unique qualities -- from high levels of religiosity to a political culture that privileges individual freedom -- the conduct of U.S. foreign policy has been determined primarily by its relative power and by the inherently competitive nature of international politics. By focusing on their supposedly exceptional qualities, Americans blind themselves to the ways that they are a lot like everyone else. This unchallenged faith in American exceptionalism makes it harder for Americans to understand why others are less enthusiastic about U.S. dominance, often alarmed by U.S. policies, and frequently irritated by what they see as U.S. hypocrisy, whether the subject is possession of nuclear weapons, conformity with international law, or America's tendency to condemn the conduct of others while ignoring its own failings. Ironically, U.S. foreign policy would probably be more effective if Americans were less convinced of their own unique virtues and less eager to proclaim them.

America can’t behave well if it strives to be the best

Walt 11 (Stephen M., Ph.D. in political science from the University of California-Berkley, Professor of International Affairs at Harvard, “The Myth of American Exceptionalism”, Foreign Policy, October 11, 2011,
Myth 2 The United States Behaves Better Than Other Nations Do. Declarations of American exceptionalism rest on the belief that the United States is a uniquely virtuous nation, one that loves peace, nurtures liberty, respects human rights, and embraces the rule of law. Americans like to think their country behaves much better than other states do, and certainly better than other great powers. If only it were true. The United States may not have been as brutal as the worst states in world history, but a dispassionate look at the historical record belies most claims about America's moral superiority. For starters, the United States has been one of the most expansionist powers in modern history. It began as 13 small colonies clinging to the Eastern Seaboard, but eventually expanded across North America, seizing Texas, Arizona, New Mexico, and California from Mexico in 1846. Along the way, it eliminated most of the native population and confined the survivors to impoverished reservations. By the mid-19th century, it had pushed Britain out of the Pacific Northwest and consolidated its hegemony over the Western Hemisphere. The United States has fought numerous wars since then -- starting several of them -- and its wartime conduct has hardly been a model of restraint. The 1899-1902 conquest of the Philippines killed some 200,000 to 400,000 Filipinos, most of them civilians, and the United States and its allies did not hesitate to dispatch some 305,000 German and 330,000 Japanese civilians through aerial bombing during World War II, mostly through deliberate campaigns against enemy cities. No wonder Gen. Curtis LeMay, who directed the bombing campaign against Japan, told an aide, "If the U.S. lost the war, we would be prosecuted as war criminals." The United States dropped more than 6 million tons of bombs during the Indochina war, including tons of napalm and lethal defoliants like Agent Orange, and it is directly responsible for the deaths of many of the roughly 1 million civilians who died in that war. More recently, the U.S.-backed Contra war in Nicaragua killed some 30,000 Nicaraguans, a percentage of their population equivalent to 2 million dead Americans. U.S. military action has led directly or indirectly to the deaths of 250,000 Muslims over the past three decades (and that's a low-end estimate, not counting the deaths resulting from the sanctions against Iraq in the 1990s), including the more than 100,000 people who died following the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003. U.S. drones and Special Forces are going after suspected terrorists in at least five countries at present and have killed an unknown number of innocent civilians in the process. Some of these actions may have been necessary to make Americans more prosperous and secure. But while Americans would undoubtedly regard such acts as indefensible if some foreign country were doing them to us, hardly any U.S. politicians have questioned these policies. Instead, Americans still wonder, "Why do they hate us?" The United States talks a good game on human rights and international law, but it has refused to sign most human rights treaties, is not a party to the International Criminal Court, and has been all too willing to cozy up to dictators -- remember our friend Hosni Mubarak? -- with abysmal human rights records. If that were not enough, the abuses at Abu Ghraib and the George W. Bush administration's reliance on waterboarding, extraordinary rendition, and preventive detention should shake America's belief that it consistently acts in a morally superior fashion. Obama's decision to retain many of these policies suggests they were not a temporary aberration. The United States never conquered a vast overseas empire or caused millions to die through tyrannical blunders like China's Great Leap Forward or Stalin's forced collectivization. And given the vast power at its disposal for much of the past century, Washington could certainly have done much worse. But the record is clear: U.S. leaders have done what they thought they had to do when confronted by external dangers, and they paid scant attention to moral principles along the way. The idea that the United States is uniquely virtuous may be comforting to Americans; too bad it's not true.

Conflict Impact

The aff is always reaching for unattainable infinite hegemony that results in endless conflict

Chernus 6 (Ira, Professor of Religious Studies and Co-director of the Peace and Conflict Studies Program at the University of Colorado-Boulder, 2006, “Monsters to Destroy: The Neoconservative War on Terror and Sin”)

The end of the cold war spawned a tempting fantasy of imperial omnipotence on a global scale. The neocons want to turn that fantasy into reality. But reality will not conform to the fantasy; it won’t stand still or keep any semblance of permanent order. So the neocons’ efforts inevitably backfire. Political scientist Benjamin Barber explains that a nation with unprecedented power has “unprecedented vulnerability: for it must repeatedly extend the compass of its power to preserve what it already has, and so is almost by definition always overextended.” Gary Dorrien sees insecurity coming at the neoconservatives in another way, too: “For the empire, every conflict is a local concern that threatens its control. However secure it may be, it never feels secure enough. The [neocon] unipolarists had an advanced case of this anxiety. . . . Just below the surface of the customary claim to toughness lurked persistent anxiety. This anxiety was inherent in the problem of empire and, in the case of the neocons, heightened by ideological ardor.”39 If the U.S. must control every event everywhere, as neocons assume, every act of resistance looks like a threat to the very existence of the nation. There is no good way to distinguish between nations or forces that genuinely oppose U.S. interests and those that don’t. Indeed, change of any kind, in any nation, becomes a potential threat. Everyone begins to look like a threatening monster that might have to be destroyed. It’s no surprise that a nation imagined as an implacable enemy often turns into a real enemy. When the U.S. intervenes to prevent change, it is likely to provoke resistance. Faced with an aggressive U.S. stance, any nation might get tough in return. Of course, the U.S. can say that it is selflessly trying to serve the world. But why would other nations believe that? It is more likely that others will resist, making hegemony harder to achieve. To the neocons, though, resistance only proves that the enemy really is a threat that must be destroyed. So the likelihood of conflict grows, making everyone less secure. Moreover, the neocons want to do it all in the public spotlight. In the past, any nation that set out to conquer others usually kept its plans largely secret. Indeed, the cold war neocons regularly blasted the Soviets for harboring a “secret plan” for world conquest. Now here they are calling on the U.S. to blare out its own domineering intentions for all the world to [end page 53] hear. That hardly seems well calculated to achieve the goal of hegemony. But it is calculated to foster the assertive, even swaggering, mood on the home front that the neocons long for. Journalist Ron Suskind has noted that neocons always offer “a statement of enveloping peril and no hypothesis for any real solution.” They have no hope of finding a real solution because they have no reason to look for one. Their story allows for success only as a fantasy. In reality, they expect to find nothing but an endless battle against an enemy that can never be defeated. At least two prominent neocons have said it quite bluntly. Kenneth Adelman: “We should not try to convince people that things are getting better.” Michael Ledeen: “The struggle against evil is going to go on forever.”40 This vision of endless conflict is not a conclusion drawn from observing reality. It is both the premise and the goal of the neocons’ fantasy. Ultimately, it seems, endless resistance is what they really want. Their call for a unipolar world ensures a permanent state of conflict, so that the U.S. can go on forever proving its military supremacy and promoting the “manly virtues” of militarism. They have to admit that the U.S., with its vastly incomparable power, already has unprecedented security against any foreign army. So they must sound the alarm about a shadowy new kind of enemy, one that can attack in novel, unexpected ways. They must make distant changes appear as huge imminent threats to America, make the implausible seem plausible, and thus find new monsters to destroy. The neocons’ story does not allow for a final triumph of order because it is not really about creating a politically calm, orderly world. It is about creating a society full of virtuous people who are willing and able to fight off the threatening forces of social chaos. Having superior power is less important than proving superior power. That always requires an enemy. Just as neocons need monsters abroad, they need a frightened society at home. Only insecurity can justify their shrill call for a stronger nation (and a higher military budget). The more dire their warnings of insecurity, the more they can demand greater military strength and moral resolve. Every foreign enemy is, above all, another occasion to prod the American people to overcome their anxiety, identify evil, fight resolutely against it, and stand strong in defense of their highest values. Hegemony will do no good unless there is challenge to be met, weakness to be conquered, evil to be overcome. The American people must actively seek hegemony and make sacrifices for it, to show that they are striving to overcome their own weakness. So the quest for strength still demands a public confession of weakness, just as the neocons had demanded two decades earlier when they warned of a Soviet nuclear attack through a “window of vulnerability.” The quest for strength through the structures of national security still demands a public declaration of national insecurity. Otherwise, there is nothing to overcome. The more frightened the public, the more likely it is to believe and enact the neocon story.

Ecocide Impact

The military destroys the environment

Majeed 04 (Ameer Majeed, Physicians for Global Survival (Canada) February 2004, “The Impact of Militarism on the Environment: An Overview of Direct & Indirect Effects” BY ABEER MAJEED A research report written for Physicians for Global Survival (Canada),,d.aWw DS)

The world’s militaries are a significant contributor to resource depletion with some sources estimating that they account for 6 percent of all raw materials consumed (Donohoe 2003; Renner 1991; Shahi and Sidel 1997). In her general review of literature on military production and consumption, Ana Schjolden (2000) notes that there are very few sources that address military consumption. Military secrecy and scarcity of data are recurring obstacles in attempts to investigate the impact of militarism on the environment. The military use of land, airspace, oceans, fuel, and non-fuel minerals is discussed below based on available data. 3.1.1 LAND A 1981 estimate places the global direct military land use in the range of 0.5 to 1% worldwide or roughly 750,000 to 1.5 million km2 , an area roughly larger than the combined surface areas of France and the United Kingdom (797,000 km2) (Biswas 2000). This area, however, would be substantially greater if the land used by arms producing enterprises and indirectly by military forces were also included. In the United States, at least 200,000 km2 or 2% of total US territory is devoted to military purposes (Renner 1991). In Canada, the Auditor General’s report (2003) notes 18,000 km2 of land, over three times the size of Prince Edward Island, is used for training and other military activities by the Department of National Defence. The environmental consequences of military activities on land are discussed later. Worth noting at present, however, is the disproportionately high number of habitat for endangered plant and animals often contained in military lands. In the US, more than 220 federally listed threatened or endangered species have been confirmed as residents or migrants in and around US military installations and military training ranges (Dudley and Woodford 2002). Land area that is used for military purposes also prevents it from being used for alternative and more productive uses such as habitat preservation or agricultural production. In Kazakhstan, for example, more land is currently reserved for the use of the military than is made available for wheat production (Biswas 2000). 3.1.2 AIRSPACE The worldwide military use of airspace is not known. Canada, however, may have the world’s most extensive airspace for military purposes. The zone assigned to Goose Bay air base at the northeastern coast of Labrador extends over 100,000 km2 (Renner 1991) and in Alberta and Saskatchewan, the Cold Lake air weapons range stretches over 450,000 km2 (Miller and Ostling 1992). In the US, at least 30% and as much as 50% of airspace is used by the military (Renner 1991). One of the most contentious issues surrounding military aviation isthe low-level supersonic flights. Noise levels of up to 140 decibels (at which acute hearing damage can occur in humans and other mammals) are produced by planes flying at an altitude of 75 meters. In Nitassinan, near Goose Bay, Labrador, four NATO countries (Canada, Netherlands, Germany, and the United Kingdom) have yearly performed thousands of low-level flights at the height of 100-250 feet, almost at maximum speed (Heininen 1994). The land over which the exercises occur are inhabited by the Innu. As a consequence of these activities (sonic booms and aircraft emissions), the feeding and migration behaviour of caribou herds have been disturbed and the livelihoods of the Innu imperiled. In 1996, Canada renewed the 1986 Multinational Memorandum of Understanding (MMOU) for another 10 year period with the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands. The current memorandum allows for up to 15,000 low level and 3,000 medium/ high level Physicians for Global Survival The Impact of Militarism on the Environment 20 training flights annually (Newfoundland and Labrador Department of Finance 2001). Italy also signed the memorandum in 2000 while France, Belgium and Norway conducted trial activities at Goose Bay in 2001. 3.1.3 OCEANS The global military use of oceans has not been assessed although the US Navy, is known to operate in over 765,000 square nautical miles of designated navy sea ranges (Willard 2002). Naval activities, however, can affect ocean ecosystems far beyond their designated ranges. The military use of the sonar system known as Surveillance Towed Array Sensor System Low Frequency Active sonar (or LFA),for example, can potentially cover 80% of the planet’s oceans by broadcasting from only four locations (Science Wire 2001). The LFA sonar was developed in the 1980s and used by the U.S. Navy to detect the presence of deep sea Soviet submarines by bombarding them with high intensity, low frequency noise. It has had a profound impact on marine species. The frequencies that dolphins and whales use for hearing, to find food, families and direction fall within the range used by the military — 100 to 500 Hz (Science Wire 2001). Whales send signals out at between 160 and 190 db and the Navy has tested its sonar signals at levels up to 235 db. In March 2000, four different species of whales and dolphins were stranded on beaches in the Bahamas after a US Navy battle group used active sonar in the area. A government investigation found evidence of hemorrhaging around the dead whales’ eyes and ears, indicating severe acoustic trauma. Causation was established to the mid-frequency sonar used by Navy ships passing through the area (NRDC 2003). Since the incident, the area’s beaked whales population has disappeared. This has led scientists to conclude that they have either abandoned their habitat or died at sea. On August 26 2003, a US federal judge ruled that the Navy's plan to deploy a new high-intensity sonar system is illegal, violating numerous federal environmental laws and endangering whales, porpoises and fish (NRDC 2003). 3.1.4 OUTER SPACE Space is considered the ultimate military high ground and also offers the potential for unsurpassable political and economic power projection. It has been used for military purposes in the past. Historical as well as ongoing use have been largely passive and include activities such as reconnaisance, communications, and navigation (Marshall et al. 2003). The Global Positioning System (GPS), for example, provides precision targeting for military missions, while civilian customers use less accurate frequencies as navigational aids (Wirbel 2002). Military expenditure on space has consistently outweighed civil spending (Marshall et al. 2003) and despite a UN Outer Space Treaty enjoining nations to reserve the use of space for peaceful purposes only, the 1996 Vision for 2020 report of the US Space Command reveals plans for offensive space weaponization. Due to limitations imposed by time, this report is unable to present a detailed analysis of the environmental consequences of intensified use of space or a space war. However, such an assessment would first requires identifying the weapons that may be used. Distinct classes of space weapons include: (1) direct-energy weapons such as space based lasers (2) kinetic-energy weapons against missile targets (3) kinetic-energy weapons against surface targets and (4) conventional warheads delivered by space-based, or space-traversing, vehicles (Garwin 2003). In addition, non-space weapons also need to be considered and include: (1) surface-based anti- satellite (ASAT) weapons such as high-power lasers, or missiles with pellet warheads, or hit-to- kill vehicles and (2) rapid-response delivery of conventional munitions by forward-deployed cruise or ballistic missiles, or non-nuclear payloads on inter-continental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) (Garwin 2003). Physicians for Global Survival The Impact of Militarism on the Environment 21 Li Bin (2003) offers an assessment of the space debris that would be created in a potential war. The destruction, for example, of Cosmos, a Soviet anti-satellite interceptor with a mass of 1,400kg, would triple the population density of the debris in Low-Earth Orbit (LEO). In addition to the interceptors themselves, those satellites targeted by them would constitute another source of debris. A process of collisional cascading may set in (collisional fragments trigger further collisions) and could eventually form a “debris barrier” that would prevent the stationing of any new stations or other space activities in Low Earth Orbit (Bin 2003). Other defensive counter- space measures such as the use of microsatellites (‘space mines’) and nuclear detonation in space would also severely impact upon the space environment. 3.1.5 Energy and Fuel Resources The world’s militaries depend on petroleum products for nearly three quarters of their energy use and consume approximately 25% of all global jet fuel (Renner 1991). The global petroleum consumption for military purposes is almost one-half of the total consumption of all developing countries combined (Biswas 2000). The Pentagon is considered the single largest domestic consumer of oil and quite possibly the largest worldwide (Miller and Ostling 1992). Additionally, it is estimated that worldwide military-related carbon release could be as high as 10% of the global total (Renner 1991). A significant consideration with regards to sustainable use of resources is military diversion of fuel resources from environmental applications. For example, the Pentagon uses enough energy in 12 months to run the entire US urban transit system for almost 14 years (Renner 1991). 3.1.6 Non-Fuel Minerals Available global figures in the absence of reliable data are rough estimates. However, the worldwide use of aluminum, copper, nickel and platinum for military purposes is thought to surpass the total consumption of these materials by all developing countries combined (Biswas 2000). The military is estimated to account for 11% of global copper use, 9% of iron, and 8% of lead (Renner 1991). Overall, on a global basis, between 2 and 11% of fourteen important minerals is consumed for military purposes: aluminum, chromium, copper, fluorspar, iron ore, lead, manganese, mercury, nickel, platinum, silver, tin, tungsten, and zinc (Biswas 2000). The manufacture of a single F-16 jet requires 5,000kg of materials: 2,044kg titanium, 1,715kg nickel, 543 kg chromium, 330kg cobalt, and 267kg aluminum (Renner 1991). Military demand for these minerals contributes to the major and highly visible environmental damage caused by mining operations. Ponting (1991) cites 70% of the world’s ore (95% in the US) is obtained by the most environmentally destructive of all methods — open cast mining. Durning (1990) explores the potentially powerful effects that military demand for minerals can have on the environment. In an assessment of apartheid’s environmental toll in South Africa, broad land areas were revealed to have been deeply scarred by reckless mining to finance the military superstructure that upheld minority rule (Durning 1990). The connections between natural resources, armed conflict, state oppression, and mining corporations are examined later in the report.

Environment Impact

We’ll win two external impacts: environment and structural violence – exceptionalism creates an ideological filter that pushes an American environmental agenda, causing global overconsumption and flawed conservation policy – it also filters out structural violence produced by US-driven conflict as collateral damage

Nixon ‘11(Rob, Rachel Carson Professor of English, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor, pgs. 33-36)

There are signs that the environmental humanities are beginning to make some tentative headway toward incorporating the impact of U.S. imperialism on the poor in the global South-Vitalis's book America's Kingdom: Mythmaking on the Saudi Oil Frontier (2008) is an outstanding instance, as are powerful recent essays by Elizabeth DeLoughrey on the literatures associated with American nuclear colonialism in the Pacific, Susie O'Brien on Native food security, colonialism, and environmental heritage along the U.S-Mexican border, and Pablo Mukherjee's groundbreaking materialist work on Indian environmental literatures,'? Yet despite such vitally important initiatives, the environmental humanities in the United States remain skewed toward nation-bound scholarship that is at best tangentially international and, even then, seldom engages the environmental fallout of U.S. foreign policy head on. What's at stake is not just disciplinary parochialism but, more broadly, what one might call superpower parochialism, that is, a combination of American insularity and America's power as the preeminent empire of the neoliberal age to rupture the lives and ecosystems of non- Americans, especially the poor, who may live at a geographical remove but who remain intimately vulnerable to the force fields of U.S. foreign policy. To be sure, the U.S. empire has historically been a variable force, one that is not monolithic but subject to ever-changing internal fracture. The U.S., moreover, has long been-and is increasingly-globalized itself with all the attendant insecurities and inequities that result. However, to argue that the United States is subject to globalization-through, for example, blowback from climate change-does not belie the disproportionate impact that U.S. global ambitions and policies have exerted over socioenvironmental landscapes internationally. Ecocritics-and literary scholars more broadly-faced with the challenges of thinking through vast differences in spatial and temporal scale commonly frame their analyses in terms of interpenetrating global and local forces. In such analyses cosmopolitanism-as a mode of being linked to particular aesthetic strategies-does much of the bridgework between extremes of scale. What critics have subjected to far less scrutiny is the role of the national-imperial as a mediating force with vast repercussions, above all, for those billions whom Mike Davis calls "the global residuum.'?" Davis's image is a suggestive one, summoning to mind the remaindered humans, the compacted leavings on whom neoliberalism's inequities bear down most heavily. Yet those leavings, despite their aggregated dehumanization in the corporate media, remain animate and often resistant in unexpected ways; indeed, it is from such leavings that grassroots antiglobalization and the environmentalism of the poor have drawn nourishment. As American writers, scholars, and environmentalists how can we attend more imaginatively how can we attend more imaginatively to the outsourced conflicts inflamed by our unsustainable consumerism, by our military adventurism and unsurpassed arms industry, and by the global environmental fallout over the past three decades of American-led neoliberal economic policies? (The immense environmental toll of militarism is particularly burdensome: in 2009, U.S. military expenditure was 46.5 percent of the global total and exceeded by 10 percent the expenditure of the next fourteen highest-ranked countries combined.)" How, moreover, can we engage the impact of our outsized consumerism and militarism on the life prospects of people who are elsewhere not just geographically but elsewhere in time, as slow violence seeps long term into ecologies-rural and urban-on which the global poor must depend for generations to come? How, in other words, can we rethink the standard formulation of neoliberalism as internationalizing profits and externalizing risks not just in spatial but in temporal terms as well, so that we recognize the full force with which the externalized risks are out sourced to the unborn? It is a pervasive condition of empires that they affect great swathes of the planet without the empire's populace being aware of that impact-indeed, without being aware that many of the affected places even exist. How many Americans are aware of the continuing socioenvironrnental fallout from U.S. militarism and foreign policy decisions made three or four decades ago in, say, Angola or Laos? How many could even place those nation-states on a map? The imperial gap between foreign policy power and on-the-street awareness calls to mind George Lamming's shock, on arriving in Britain in the early 1950s, that most Londoners he met had never heard of his native Barbados and lumped together all Caribbean immigrants as Jamaicans.'?' What I call superpower parochialism has been shaped by the myth of American exceptionalism and by a long-standing indifference-in the U.S. educational system and national media-to the foreign, especially foreign history, even when it is deeply enmeshed with U.S. interests. Thus, when considering the representational challenges posed by transnational slow violence, we need to ask what role American indifference to foreign history has played in camouflaging lasting environmental damage inflicted elsewhere. If all empires create acute disparities between global power and global knowledge, how has America's perception of itself as a young, forward-thrusting nation that claims to flourish by looking ahead rather than behind exacerbated the difficulty of socioenvironmental answerability for ongoing slow violence?" Profiting from the asymmetrical relations between a domestically regulated environment and unregulated environments abroad is of course not unique to America, But since World War II, the United States has wielded an unequalled power to bend the global regulatory climate in its favor. As William Finnegan notes regarding the Washington Consensus, "while we make the world safe for multinational corporations, it is by no means clear that they intend to return the favor."? The unreturned favor weighs especially heavily on impoverished communities in the global South who must stake their claims to environmental justice in the face of the Bretton Woods institutions (the World Bank, the IMF), the World Trade Organization, and the G8 (now G20) over which the United States has exercised disproportionate influence. That influence has been exercised, as well, through muscular conservation NGOs (the Nature Conservancy, the World Wild- life Fund, and Conservation International prominent among them) that have a long history of disregarding local human relations to the environment in order to implement American- and European-style conservation agendas. Clearly, the beneficiaries of such power asymmetries are not just American but transnational corporations, NGOs, and governments from across the North's rich nations, often working hand-in-fist with authoritarian regimes.

Racism DA

American exceptionalism creates “saving life” from danger in order to continue its conquest and imperialistic policies – universality is one of the oppressor and doesn’t account for the Other and causes a cultural racism between “Us” and “Them”

Cuadro 11 (Mariela, PhD in IR at the National University of La Plata, BA in Sociology at the University of Buenos Aires, Master in IR at the National University of La Plata (IRI), Researcher at the Department of Middle East in International Relations Institute (IRI) at the University of La Plata, Member and researcher at the Center for International Political Reflection (CERPI), “Universalisation of liberal democracy, American exceptionalism and racism" Transcience Volume 2—Issue 2,
It is important to note that, understood this way racism appears not as an ideological question, but as a mechanism linked with a determined technology of power (biopolitics). It is what permits establishing a separation inside the realm of life (that is, in the realm that power has absorbed and put under its administration) between what can live and what must die. The distinction between races and its organization into a hierarchy is, thus, a manner of fragmenting the field of the biological. In a few words, racism is “the means of introducing a cut in the realm of life that power took in charge: the cut between what must live and what must die” (Foucault, 2008: 230). This is understood by Foucault as the first function of racism: the function of fragmentation. It is important to withhold this fact: the first function of racism is the fragmentation of a realm that is understood as being biological and universal (thus, non political). Therefore, when talking about racism we talk about a racist discourse constituted by a dominant logic of construction of identities and otherness that tends to the production and consequent “negation” of differences. Indeed, we are thinking about a logic that enables the possibility of extermination and exclusion (or hierarchical inclusion). So, this logic, this discourse, is articulated through different specific languages. Hence, we talk about cultural racism. If we assert that there is a US cultural racism is because the function of fragmentation works through cultural lines. With ´Etienne Balibar, we are talking about a racism without race (Balibar, 1991a). If the concept of “human race” does not work anymore as such, racism as a mechanism defined as we did, continues validating the sovereign right of killing around other elements: cultural elements. We are stressing the existence of a structure that works through two functions, articulated around different (biological, national, class, religious, etc.) languages. In Balibar’s words: “Racism is a social relation and not a simple delirium of racist subjects” (1991b: 69). The second function that completes the Foucauldian notion of racism is that of what we call “life improvement”. Basically, what this function establishes is a relationship between the own life and the life of the other. It is a positive relationship that proposes not just the survival of the warrior relationship -that is, the fact that in war I have to kill in order to not being killed-, but the improvement of the own life through the killing of the other that appears as dangerous. If we are talking about a universalistic racism, the “own life” does not present itself as being particular, but as being the life. All particularities are put on the Other. In Foucault’s words, “The death of the other does not simply coincide with my life, considered as mi personal security; the death of the other, the death of the bad race, of the inferior race (or of the degenerate or the abnormal) is what will make that life in general be healthier; healthier and purer” (Foucault, 2008: 231; italics are our own). This mechanism is able to function because the others are not understood as adversaries or political enemies, but as dangers for the population. We add to this Arendt’s thinking. For the author, particularly in IR, racism has another function: to serve as a bridge between nationalism and imperialism (1958). If nationalism refers by definition to a particularity and, in contrast, imperialism has to be accompanied by some sense of universality of this particularity, this passage is only possible through racism, that is, through the idea of “imposing a superior law upon the barbarians” (Arendt, 1958: 126). In that case, the “national interests” of imperialist policies are invisibilised and the power acts in the name of universality. In this sense, racism as discourse entails other elements: the idea of own superiority (developed when dealing with exceptionalism) paradoxically combined with the fear of the other understood as danger for the population12, and a specific relationship between particularity and universality. Indeed, racism is theorized by Hanna Arendt as a bridge between nationalism and imperialism because it has a complex relation with both. As Balibar argues, “Racism appears at the same time in the universal and in the particular” (1991b: 89). Racism is understood as a structural process of otherness construction that works fragmenting an imaginary homogeneity, in order to encourage the improvement of a “We” considered not as a particular identity but as universality. In other words, starting from a strong particular identity, the racist discourse denies it and transforms it into a universal one. Thus, it establishes a universal and non-historical norm, through which the others are evaluated, constructing, therefore, a hierarchy of particularities. The universal from which it starts does not enter in this hierarchization, because it is considered the standard (the good, the white, the correct, the natural), from which the other particularities have deviated or to which they have not arrived yet. As we have said, many authors sustain that in a biopolitical world talking about identities and otherness does not have any place, because of the inclusive character of the biopolitical power. When dealing with the idea of normality, Foucault points out a difference between its construction in a disciplinary society and in a control one (that is to say, in the interior of a biopolitical technology of power). While in the former the norm is established a priori and from there subjects are divided in normal and abnormal, in the latter, it is established a posteriori, taking into account all the possible cases, that is to say the normal and the abnormal ones. This is why Foucault affirms that this is an inclusive technology of power. Nevertheless we coincide with Chantal Mouffe who postulates the impossibility of an ad infinitum inclusion defended and sponsored by liberal cosmopolitanism theorists. At least in the context of the actual capitalist system, based on a series of exclusionist practices (starting with the exclusion of the workers from the means of production), some sort of inclusion/exclusion game functions. This is what explains that Foucault talks of an expansive racism or an inclusive racism (2002). Furthermore, we do not have to forget that racism is the actualization of sovereign power into the mechanics of biopower. That is to say that the binary identity construction characteristic of the former may be developed in the latter. Indeed, as said, it is what permits that a power which has to make live, can make die. This is only possible, as said, through racism inscribed in the mechanisms of the nation-state: a universalistic racism.

Racism is evil and must be resisted for humanity to survive

Memmi 2k (Albert, Professor Emeritus of Sociology @ U of Paris, Naiteire, Racism, Translated by Steve Martinot, p. 163-165)

The struggle against racism will be long, difficult, without intermission, without remission, probably never achieved. Yet for this very reason, it is a struggle to be undertaken without surcease and without concessions. One cannot be indulgent toward racism. One cannot even let the monster in the house, especially not in a mask. To give it merely a foothold means to augment the bestial part in us and in other people, which is to diminish what is human. To accept the racist universe to the slightest degree is to endorse fear, injustice, and violence. It is to accept the persistence of the dark history in which we still largely live. It is to agree that the outsider will always be a possible victim (and which [person] man is not [themself] himself an outsider relative to someone else?). Racism illustrates in sum, the inevitable negativity of the condition of the dominated; that is it illuminates in a certain sense the entire human condition. The anti-racist struggle, difficult though it is. and always in question, is nevertheless one of the prologues to the ultimate passage from animality to humanity. In that sense, we cannot fail to rise to the racist challenge. However, it remains true that one's moral conduct only emerges from a choice: one has to want it. It is a choice among other choices, and always debatable in its foundations and its consequences. Let us say, broadly speaking, that the choice to conduct oneself morally is the condition for the establishment of a human order for which racism is the very negation. This is almost a redundancy. One cannot found a moral order, let alone a legislative order, on racism because racism signifies the exclusion of the other and his or her subjection to violence and domination. From an ethical point of view, if one can deploy a little religious language, racism is "the truly capital sin."fn22 It is not an accident that almost all of humanity's spiritual traditions counsel respect for the weak, for orphans, widows, or strangers. It is not just a question of theoretical counsel respect for the weak, for orphans, widows, or strangers. It is not just a question of theoretical morality and disinterested commandments. Such unanimity in the safeguarding of the other suggests the real utility of such sentiments. All things considered, we have an interest in banishing injustice, because injustice engenders violence and death Of course, this is debatable. There are those who think that if one is strong enough, the assault on and oppression of others is permissible. But no one is ever sure of remaining the strongest. One day, perhaps, the roles will be reversed, All unjust society contains within itself the seeds of its own death. It is probably smarter to treat others with respect so that they treat you with respect. "Recall," says the Bible, "that you were once a stranger in Egypt," which means both that you ought to respect the stranger because you were a stranger yourself and that you risk becoming once again someday. It is an ethical and a practical appeal -- indeed, it is a contract, however implicit it might be. In short, the refusal of racism is the condition for all theoretical and practical morality. Because, in the end. The ethical choice commands the political choice. A just society must be a society accepted by all. If this contractual principle is not accepted, then only conflict, violence, and destruction will be our lot. If it is accepted, we can hope someday to live in peace. True, it is a wager, but the stakes are irresistible.

Biopolitics DA

Biopolitics DA: Appealing to the improvement of life creates the biopolitical rationality of giving power to the subject and stripping it from the object

Cuadro 11 (Mariela, PhD in IR at the National University of La Plata, BA in Sociology at the University of Buenos Aires, Master in IR at the National University of La Plata (IRI), Researcher at the Department of Middle East in International Relations Institute (IRI) at the University of La Plata, Member and researcher at the Center for International Political Reflection (CERPI), “Universalisation of liberal democracy, American exceptionalism and racism" Transcience Volume 2—Issue 2,

To start talking about racism in Foucault’s terms, we need to make a short reference about the framework in which Foucauldian racism works: biopolitics. The definition of this technology of power by the French philosopher is done with the background of sovereign power. Sovereign power has as a fundamental feature the right (belonging to the sovereign) to make die and let live. As Foucault argues this right is exercised in an unbalanced way, always on the side of the death. Actually, the sovereign exercises his right over life from the moment in which he can kill. In other words, the power over life is a passive power, one that derives from the fact that the sovereign decides not to kill, that is to say, decides not to exercise its right to ‘make die’. Biopolitics radically changes this sovereign power (which does not mean –we will see it- that this one disappears). Instead of a sovereign having the right to make die and let live, the subject and object of biopolitics is the population, understood as a mass of biological individuals. And the new technology of power has as object and objective the life of population this way constructed: it has to make it live. Let’s remember that Foucault does not understand power in economic terms, that is, as something that is possessed and exchanged, but as something that can be only exercised. So, when he affirms that biopolitics has the power to make live, he is saying that it is a power that is exercised only through the promotion of life. This improvement of life which is the main feature of biopolitics supposes a different understanding of Foreign Policy in relation of that designed by the governmental rationality of the reason of state (raison d’ ´ Etat), hinge between the sovereign power and the new technology. Indeed, it supposed a balance of power that entailed the coexistence of a plurality of states (which would be nostalgically remembered by Carl Schmitt) based on an understanding of international politics as a zero sum game (the realist thesis). This way, the state had a limited objective in relation of its foreign policy, whose other side was an unlimited domestic policy (the “police state”).

Truth DA

Truth is partisan and universal for conqueror that allows the state to continue to kill

Cuadro 11 (Mariela, PhD in IR at the National University of La Plata, BA in Sociology at the University of Buenos Aires, Master in IR at the National University of La Plata (IRI), Researcher at the Department of Middle East in International Relations Institute (IRI) at the University of La Plata, Member and researcher at the Center for International Political Reflection (CERPI), “Universalisation of liberal democracy, American exceptionalism and racism" Transcience Volume 2—Issue 2,

In Society must be defended, Foucault (2008) establishes an important distinction between the noblesse “war of races” discourse and that of the liberal bourgeoisie. According to the author, the noblesse racism was a discourse that underlined particularities. It was a binary war-like discourse which affirmed that there existed two races fighting for power. The winner of that fight was the one who wrote History. That way, there was not only one big Truth: truth was the result of a battle and, thus, it was a partisan one. In other words, it was a historical-political discourse that assumed its particularity. This discourse changes with the advent of liberal bourgeois historical narrative and the establishment of the nation-state. The new racist discourse is an universalistic one: “a discourse of a combat that does not have to be fought between two races, but from a race given as the real and only one, which possesses power and is the norm holder, against those who deviate from it, and those who constitute many other dangers to the biological patrimony” (Foucault, 2008: 65). Thus, war is not thought anymore as a constitutive element of society; instead, it is considered as an instrument to protect and conserve society as a whole (defending society). In effect, in the search of making a unity of the conquered state, the notion of nation played a fundamental role because it searched to subsume differences and postulated a homogenous state. Now it is not a particular race which has to be saved of destruction, but the whole society: it is a universalistic racism. That is why Foucault argues that while the noblesse racist discourse is a conservative one, the liberal bourgeois discourse is an expansive one (2002). What is the function of racism in the new technology of power? If biopower has the mandate of making live, if it has life as its object and objective, Foucault asks himself how does it exert the sovereign power, the power to kill. The answer is racism, inscribed in mechanisms of the state. Therefore, liberal discourse effected a rewriting of the war of race’s discourse that substituted the historical war for a fight for life and a binary society for a biologically monistic society. At the same time, discourse about the unjust state is substituted for a state not considered as the instrument of one race against the other, but as the protector of the integrity, the superiority and the purity of the only one race: human race. Liberal humanitarianism is born.

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