American Exceptionalism Kritik 1NC

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The ideology of imperialism is to deeply entrenched in society that the State has been corrupted and prevents any alternative

Van Elteren 3 (Mel, Associate Professor of Social Sciences at Tilburg University, “US Cultural Imperialism Today”

To the extent that advertising constitutes a pervasive public "art form," however, it has become the dominant mode in which thoughts and experiences are expressed. This trend is most evident in U.S. society. While alternative values and ideologies do exist in this culture, it is harder to find representations for them. Advertising distorts and flattens people's ability to interpret complex experiences, and it reflects the culture only partially, and in ways that are biased toward a capitalist idealization of American culture. 47 At this level, goods are framed and displayed to entice the customer, and shopping has become an event in which individuals purchase and consume the meanings attached to goods. The ongoing interpenetration and crossover between consumption and the aesthetic sphere (traditionally separated off as an artistic counter-world to the everyday aspect of the former) has led to a [End Page 182] greater "aestheticization of reality": appearance and image have become of prime importance. Not only have commodities become more stylized but style itself has turned into a valuable commodity. The refashioning and reworking of commodities—which are themselves carefully selected according to one's individual tastes—achieve a stylistic effect that expresses the individuality of their owner. 48 This provides the framework for a more nuanced and sometimes contradictory second order of meaning. The dynamics of cultural change therefore entail both processes of "traveling culture," in which the received culture (in this case globalizing capitalist culture) is appropriated and assigned new meaning locally, and at the same time a "first order" meaning that dominates and delimits the space for second order meanings—thus retaining something of the traditional meaning of cultural imperialism. The latter is, ultimately, a negative phenomenon from the perspective of self-determination by local people under the influence of the imperial culture. Traditional critiques of cultural globalization have missed the point. The core of the problem lies not in the homogenization of cultures as such, or in the creation of a "false consciousness" among consumers and the adoption of a version of the dominant ideology thesis. Rather, the problem lies in the global spread of the institutions of capitalist modernity tied in with the culturally impoverished social imagery discussed above, which crowd out the cultural space for alternatives (as suggested by critical analysts like Benjamin Barber and Leslie Sklair). The negative effects of cultural imperialism—the disempowerment of people subjected to the dominant forms of globalization—must be located on this plane. It is necessary, of course, to explore in more detail how the very broad institutional forces of capitalist modernity actually operate in specific settings of cultural contact. The practices of transnational corporations are crucial to any understanding of the concrete activities and local effects of globalization. A state-centered approach blurs the main issue here, which is not whether nationals or foreigners own the carriers of globalization, but whether their interests are driven by capitalist globalization.

Imperialism doesn’t allow for the space of alternatives to exist

Ali 6 (Tariq, novelist, historian, and commentator on the

current situation in the Middle East, “The new imperialists – Ideologies of Empire”, Ch 3 Pg 51)

Then came the total collapse of the Soviet Union and the restoration of a peculiar form of gangster capitalism in the world. Did the triumph of capitalism and the defeat of an enemy ideology mean we were in a world without conflict or enemies? Both Fukuyama and Huntington produced important books as a response to the new situation. Fukuyama, obsessed with Hegel, saw liberal democracy/capitalism as the only embodiment of the “world-spirit” that now marked the “end of history,” a phrase that became the title of his book.3 The long war was over and the restless world-spirit could now relax and buy a condo in Miami. Fukuyama insisted that there were no longer any available alternatives to the American way of life. The philosophy, politics, and economics of the Other – each and every variety of socialism/Marxism – had disappeared under the ocean, a submerged continent of ideas that could never rise again. The victory of capital was irreversible. It was a universal triumph. Huntington was unconvinced, and warned against complacency. From his Harvard base, he challenged Fukuyama with a set of theses first published in Foreign Affairs (“The Clash of Civilizations?” – a phrase originally coined by Bernard Lewis, another favourite of the current administration). Subsequently these papers became a book, The Clash of Civilizations and the Remaking of the World Order. The question mark had now disappeared. Huntington agreed that no ideological alternatives to capitalism existed, but this did not mean the “end of history.” Other antagonisms remained. “The great divisions among humankind and the dominating source of conflict will be cultural. . . . The clash of civilizations will dominate global politics.”4 In particular, Huntington emphasized the continued importance of religion in the modern world, and it was this that propelled the book onto the bestseller lists after 9/11. What did he mean by the word civilization? Early in the last century, Oswald Spengler, the German grandson of a miner, had abandoned his vocation as a teacher, turned to philosophy and to history, and produced a master-text. In The Decline of the West, Spengler counterposed culture (a word philologically tied to nature, the countryside, and peasant life) with civilization, which is urban and would become the site of industrial anarchy, dooming both capitalist and worker to a life of slavery to the machine-master. For Spengler, civilization reeked of death and destruction and imperialism. Democracy was the dictatorship of money and “money is overthrown and abolished only by blood.”5 The advent of “Caesarism” would drown it in “blood” and become the final episode in the history of theWest.Had the Third Reich not been defeated in Europe, principally by the Red Army (the spinal cord of the Wehrmacht was broken in Stalingrad and Kursk, and the majority of the unfortunate German soldiers who perished are buried on the Russian steppes, not on the beaches of Normandy or in the Ardennes), Spengler’s prediction might have come close to realization. He was among the first and fiercest critics of Eurocentrism, and his vivid worldview, postmodern in its intensity though not its language, can be sighted in this lyrical passage: I see, in place of that empty figment of one linear history, the drama of a number of mighty cultures, each springing with primitive strength from the soil of a mother-region to which it remains firmly bound throughout its whole life-cycle; each stamping its material, its mankind, in its own image; each having its own idea, its own passions, its own life, will and feeling, its own death. Here indeed are colours, lights, movements, that no intellectual eye has yet discovered. Here the Cultures, peoples, languages, truths, gods, landscapes bloom and age as the oaks and stonepines, the blossoms, twigs and leaves. Each Culture has its own new possibilities of self-expression, which arise, ripen, decay and never return.6 In contrast to this, he argued, lay the destructive cycle of civilization:Civilizations are the most external and artificial states of which a species of developed humanity is capable. They are a conclusion, death following life, rigidity following expansion, intellectual age and the stone-built petrifying world city following motherearth . . . they are an end, irrevocable, yet by inward necessity reached again and again. . . . Imperialism is civilization unadulterated. In this phenomenal form the destiny of the West is now irrevocably set. . . . Expansionism is a doom, something daemonic and intense, which grips forces into service and uses up the late humanity of the world-city stage.7

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