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Imprisoned Intellectuals: War, Dissent, and Social Justice

Imprisoned Intellectuals: War, Dissent, and Social Justice Page 74 REFLECTIONS AND REPORTS Joy James Since September 11, 2001, many Americans discuss or represent war, terror, and death in shorthand. Two numbers separated by a dash speak volumes (maybe Wittgenstein was right about math and language). 9 /11 signifies American loss and mourning, American victimization and rage, American retribution, and American triumph over tragedy and victory in violent confrontations. In the wake of a national tragedy, which has expanded into global warfare, 9/11 also evokes for some an amnesiac claim of political innocence, a guise of national blamelessness in regard to state terror and violence, one which philosopher Cornel West, in a speech given in the Bay area months after the attack, describes as our “Peter Pan Complex.” Although evocative, the term 9/11 (which some Manhattanites shorten to 911) seems mute about U.S. terrorism. Our national refusal to “grow up” does not permit many to become literate in a language that adequately conveys the recent continuing history of the U.S. government in state terror (specifically, in light of 9/11, its support of violent extremists and the drug trade in Afghanistan and elsewhere, in coalitions seeking to destabilize and destroy communist or hostile governments to U.S. military http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Radical History Review Duke University Press

Imprisoned Intellectuals: War, Dissent, and Social Justice

Radical History Review , Volume 2003 (85) – Jan 1, 2003

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2003 by MARHO: The Radical Historians' Organization, Inc.
ISSN
0163-6545
eISSN
1534-1453
DOI
10.1215/01636545-2003-85-74
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Page 74 REFLECTIONS AND REPORTS Joy James Since September 11, 2001, many Americans discuss or represent war, terror, and death in shorthand. Two numbers separated by a dash speak volumes (maybe Wittgenstein was right about math and language). 9 /11 signifies American loss and mourning, American victimization and rage, American retribution, and American triumph over tragedy and victory in violent confrontations. In the wake of a national tragedy, which has expanded into global warfare, 9/11 also evokes for some an amnesiac claim of political innocence, a guise of national blamelessness in regard to state terror and violence, one which philosopher Cornel West, in a speech given in the Bay area months after the attack, describes as our “Peter Pan Complex.” Although evocative, the term 9/11 (which some Manhattanites shorten to 911) seems mute about U.S. terrorism. Our national refusal to “grow up” does not permit many to become literate in a language that adequately conveys the recent continuing history of the U.S. government in state terror (specifically, in light of 9/11, its support of violent extremists and the drug trade in Afghanistan and elsewhere, in coalitions seeking to destabilize and destroy communist or hostile governments to U.S. military

Journal

Radical History ReviewDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2003

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