File spoon-archives/lyotard.archive/lyotard_2001/lyotard.0109, message 48

Subject: RE: 9/11/01
Date: Sat, 15 Sep 2001 21:25:21 -0500

Excellent post, mal. Thanx.

ps--hey, I lost your new eddress; please resend. 

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Matthew
Asher Levy
Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2001 12:12 PM
Subject: Re: 9/11/01


I want to respond to the anti-religious sentiment you are voicing here.
should preface this by saying I don't read all of the posts from this
and so I apologize if I am reopening a discussion that is already tired.

In my way of thinking, the most important statement made by various
postmodernisms is that "mystification" is not something that can be
overcome.  There is no meta-science that can tell us which beliefs are
mystifications and which beliefs are true.  The pragmatic realization is
that things are true or false based on what you are doing at the moment.
The explanations we use to guide our actions are never true in an
ahistorical sense.  Nevertheless, they are true insofar as they allow us
act well (and "wellness" is also contingent).

It is always the other folks that are mystified.  If your point is
that fundamentalism is unthinking, I would agree; however, nobody
the necessity of faith to living and nobody escapes metaphysics.  Some
faiths just happen to be "secular."

I really liked your wrestling analogy because the cartoonish nature of
of the representations that have been floating around have been haunting
If you are like me, you have also been resisting your own desire to
things down" to a more simple set of choices.  It is also too simple to
"theism" as the cause here.

I have been thinking about Battaille's idea of general economy.  Isn't
interesting that a few days ago we were having a budget emergency and
now no
dollar figure is too inconceivable to spend?  People are so generous now
with their money and with their blood.  I am not scoffing or sneering at
people who want to help.  Far from it.  I am just thinking that we could
have afforded to be more generous last month to our "enemies."  When
are desperate we do desperate things.  The trillion the west will be
spending on cleanup, compensation, revenge and military buildup would
been better spent on a new Marshall Plan-type operation.  We
put Japan and Europe in a position to compete with us financially.  We
do that with other countries as well.  As long as our policies make use
other people's poverty, the world is going to be resentful.

Battaille's idea of general economy is religious in a way because it
requires that we judge economic exchanges by a non-limited standard.  It
requires that we look beyond the benefit the individual expects from
individual exchange.  It is not theistic, but that doesn't matter one
way or
another.  My point here regarding religion is that framing our
by means of opposing secular and religious thought only muddles things.
Being militantly athiest only limits who would be willing to cooperate
us if we got a good idea.


----- Original Message -----
From: Mary Murphy&Salstrand <>
To: <>
Sent: Saturday, September 15, 2001 9:21 AM
Subject: Re: 9/11/01

> Steve,
> It feels good to be writing again and also to hear from you.
> A couple of short points about your response.
> I was talking about Americans subjectively, not objectively. Certainly
> the map does not fit the territory, as I thought as I showed in one
> paragraph in my post, referencing some of the terrible things we have
> done in the middle east.
> What I meant was this. American policy is really a form of
> anti-globalism because its wants to act unilaterally to achieve its
> with the narcissistic thought that there will be no consequences.  In
> short and to be vulgar - we want to fuck the world without getting
> fucked back.
> 911 revealed that project to be a folly.
> For me globalism is a condition (something like Lyotard's
> It is not a matter of tendencies, but of an emerging situation.
> Like you, I refuse the resurgence of religion, whether Islamic,
> Christian or Jewish.  All are involved in a mystification that must be
> overcome.  My hope is a world where people begin to take
> for their own actions and not ask "why does god permit this to
> (It happens because of neo-liberalism in the context of globalism. God
> is irrelevant!)
> The whole idea of framing this conflict in terms of Jesus versus Allah
> as a kind of World Federation wrestling match scares the hell out of
> eric


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