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5/3/13 World of Islam Professor Ahmed Eric Gilston

The Cult of the Scapegoat:


MIMETIC RIVALRY, ORESTIA, POST 9/11 AMERICA AND MUSLIM SCAPEGOATING
The cult of the Scapegoat is what I deem herein as the surrealistic melee that has engulfed the American psyche in the wake of 9/11 tragedies, and that which lies at the root of the East vs. West dichotomy. The key here is the notions of what a Greek comedic tragedy entails in Ascelysus play Oresteia and how exactly it can be explained by using Rene Guenons understanding of mimetic rivalry. Both of these literary works provide the framework that when aptly applied to the context of post 9/11 America uncover a world systematized in the symbolic language of the hortatory negative that which seeps into the minds of women and men in society obstructing and subjecting our psyches development, which our characters nature is built on the particular responses to our (quasi-positive and negative) experiences in life; for is it not that all experience mirror the genius of this negativity? 1 This process of subjecting our ontological perspectives or rather Weltanschauung to the metaphorical double meaning of what our reality is, and has been innately ingrained into all modern societies symbol system. Such that the national narrative of nations are mimetically dramatized for the sublimation of the populaces conceptions of morality, language, and actions; vis--vis structural violence that the states symbol system maintains the imaginary barriers and patterns - which are construed pedagogically to induce the view humankind in terms of Aristotles political animal.2 Additionally Freud sees this more as destiny compulsion, an extension of all such instances being the workings of what he calls the neurotic attempt to so shape ones later life that some earlier unresolved problem is lived over and over again.3 Perhaps in this sense, we can see how powerful Clytemnestra in creating the mimetic rivalry in Oresteia - when she places the Watchmen on Agamemnons house to watch for the signal fire marking the destruction of Troy brings about the scapegoating of Muslims in America. It is her ability to manipulate Agamemnon that starts the mimetic violence that leads to the destruction of the House of Atreus. If she - being the antagonist were the principle engineer responsible for getting the whole episode of mimetic rivalry started, then perhaps the analogy would be Al-Qaeda for America. The analogy then of Agamemnon and/or Aegthius being the protagonist parallels American military machine, that perhaps is more definitively the Military Industrial Complex. In any case there appears to be a paradox which arises out of Clytemnestras placing of the Watchmen on the tower, and as Rene Guenon concept of mimetic rivalry explains, If a societys growing awareness of victimage effects and the weakening of these effects are correlated, the phenomena we are dealing with are ruled by something like an uncertainty principle. As our knowledge of them increases, they tend, if not to disappear, at least to become marginalized, and that is the reason why some people object to my thesis on the grounds that
1 2

Kenneth Burke, Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method (p. 10-11) Ibid. (p. 23) 3 Ibid. (p. 18)

2 victimage phenomena are not effective enough to account for the religious practices and beliefs of primitive people. This is true, indeed, of the victimage phenomena we ourselves can observe. At the root of primitive religion, phenomena must be postulated that are analogous to but not identical with those still taking place around us. If phenomena completely identical with those we must postulate were still present among us, they would still generate primitive religion and could not be scientifically observed; they would appear to us only in the transfigured and unrecognizable shape of religion.4 In this instance one might draw a better notion of what American Exceptionalism, or rather American Weltanschauung is, or what I described earlier as the general surrealistic melee of the populace in our futile pursuits of trying to fulfill our mimetic desires which of course cannot be quenched - the didactic correlation of Oresteia and America post 9/11 here is, on one hand, the images the media implanted in our minds of the September 11th attacks, and the on other, the religious zeal and national fervor that has engulfed America eth following the twin towers collapse. Thus the victimage phenomena is still felt within the American psyche, and one can say that it has created a ophthalmic malaise, or confusion of principles, that women and men find themselves. Combined with this pedagogic prison of the modern Big Technology state, which shrouds ones eyes to the see the beauty of the soul and its creator, we should all, as Americans, be quite alarmed by the trajectory of our society towards militarization, extremism, and materialism. This is exactly the same process of human psychological development or more aptly its degradation, that Emerson explains as all things shall hint or thunder to man the laws of right and wrong, and echo the Ten Commandments.5 However, in spite of this depressing faculty of our ontological existence in the modern liberal secular state (whatever that is), there are those souls of whom are like a bird trapped in a room trying to fly upward against the ceiling might find that the window is open and thus escape the subjectivities of their minds dislocation (as Freud put it) and that, as Emerson reiterates to a more spiritual conveyance, The highest minds of the world have never ceased to explore the double meaning, or, shall I say, the quadruple, or the centuple, or much more manifold meaning, of every sensuous fact: Orpheus, Empedocles, Heraclitus, Plato, Plutarch, Dante, Swedenborg, and the masters of sculpture, picture, and poetry. For we are not pans and barrows, nor even porters of the fire and torch-bearers [sic], but children of the fire, made of it, and only the same divinity transmuted, and at two or three removes, when we know least about it. And this hidden truth, that the fountains whence all this river of Time, and its creatures, floweth, are intrinsically ideal and beautiful, draws us to the consideration of the nature and functions of the Poet, or the man of Beauty, to the means and materials he uses, and to the general aspect of the art in the present time. 6 For the man of Beauty, or women for that matter, holds in their innate balance of beauty in the act of being, in and of itself: a harmonious ecstasy of knowing that the only governing principle to his/her life, rests in the palm of the Beauty of the creator of the universe, and creation itself, to which utterly consumes the seekers (or lovers) every moment. But before I go any farther on my ontological tangent, let me ground my reflection of Oresteia and post 9/11 America in a historical context, which will explore the double meaning of the symbols of the hortatory negative to that which is implicit in Greek play Oresteia, particularly that of Aschyesuss attempt to critique Greek society as he saw it.
4 5

Rene Girard, The Girard Reader (16 Kenneth Burke, Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method (p. 10) 6 Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance and Other Essays (p. 66)

3 In the same manner I hope to put my own commentary on American society by using his play as well as Guenons theory of mimetic rivalry to frame this discussion, that the Greek tragedy Oresteia hints at, that which truly provides one with some insight into the duplicitous context post-9/11 America finds herself in. For all things aside, Aeschyluss play Oresteia tells us that violence only begets more violence, a cycle that will never end unless we seize to adhere to its fugacity. For it is the ripening of American Weltanschauung that truly scares me the most, for which the current state of Big Technology obscures the mind to the truth of our existential existence that which is the beauty inherent in the perfection of nature itself. The crux of the paradox which arises out of the mimetic rivalry between that of the Greeks, in Oresteia and with Americans in the post 9/11 world is best explained by William Tyrell in his definition of mimetic rivalry, as a man in a context system where rewards of victory were few and the stakes were fought as a winner-take-all. Men learned from their youth the objects to be desired by watching others and, in particular, their fathers. From others, a man derived his sense of worth. Thus his desire learned from others drives him into conflict with them; at the same time, those with whom he competes are the source of his self-worth and identity. Moreover, it was incumbent upon a youth to surpass his father in deeds and fame. The fathers age and respect owed him kept the rivalry as an external mediation and generally ended positively. But the ethics of mimetic rivalry fail to establish a curb on the sons desire.7 In this last notion we find that the modern American psyche prone to scapegoating for the victimage created by the 9/11 terror attacks, which symbolically demarcate the beginning of the process of catharsis needed to reconcile our societies unfulfilled mimetic rivalry. This is an American blood-feud that parallels the House of Atreus, so from Agamemnon all the way to Ajax, for it is their inability to fulfill their mimetic desires - particularly in the latters case which drives him to irremediable shame before his model, madness, and suicide that allows the never ending cycle of violence to occur. Thus, victimage, suffering, and death exist throughout the Hierarchy of Order in our society, which is increasingly subjecting ourselves to the same violence and self-destruction that killed Ajax.8 Let us take a look at every major war in U.S. History which have all been brought on by a preemptive attack upon which the war drums begin to play: Spanish-American War the American battleship Maine runs into a landmine in Havana Harbor; Vietnam- Gulf of Tonkin incident; WWI -the Sinking of the Lusitania; WWII Pearl Harbor; and now Americas War on Terror 9/11 attacks. The point here being that these events (are all mimetically staged) in order to justify Americas destiny in shaping the world, and can be viewed as such in Oresteia, as nationalized slayings of Iphigenia by her father Agamemnon, a necessary perquisite for King Argos to be successful in his campaign against Troy. As Kenneth burke suggests to this principle of the Cult of the Scapegoat American peoples conceptualizations of the East vs West dichotomy are coagulated by cultural relativism and political othering that implicit to the ways in which the ripening of American Weltanschauung has the Ironic aspect of the principle is itself revealed most perfectly in our tendency to conceive of a perfect enemy. The Nazi version of the Jew, as developed in Hitlers Mein Kampf, is the most thoroughgoing instance of such ironic perfection in recent times, though strongly similar trends keep manifesting themselves in current controversies between East and West. He goes on to imply that man finds himself in Hobbes notion of bellum omnium cotra omnes (the war of all against all) in this dichotomy between East and West that seems to be so pervasive in world news and events, a most
7 8

William Blake Tyrrell, the Sacrifice of Socrates (p. 3) Ibid. (p. 3)

4 contriving plot to which, This principle of drama is implicit in the idea of action, and the principle of victimage is implicit in the nature of drama. The negative helps radically to define the elements to be victimized.9 This is to say that Greco-Roman ideals of what a comic tragedy should be, are exemplified in Aeschyluss play Oresteia, and if compared contextually to the circumstance America finds herself in as of post September 11th, there arises some interesting parrallelities that brings some clarity to a diluted narrative. Insofar as the concept of Greek comedic tragedy and the events of 9/11 are concerned the comparison unequivocally starts with the power of the symbol and in the case of Pathei Mathos (learning through suffering), which is a theme so inherent in the conceptualization of Greek tragedy unsaid meaning, and as such The destruction of the World Trade Center symbolized the destruction of a powerful symbol permeating national lifethe symbol of what it means to be American and dream the American dream. The notion that in the United States, Americans live in a land of opportunity and are free to follow and work for their dreams and thus are free to do and be what they want to be is firmly embedded in the American psyche. Viewers who watched the collapse of the towers thus were in effect watching the demise of a giant. Americans watching these images of the towers collapse, felt pity for this giant that had fallen and thus pity for the death of an era and an American way of life, and fear for who or what would succeed it. What followed afterwards the US decision to wage a War on Terror by invading Afghanistan and later Iraqwas reflective of the pity and fear the nation felt for the people who died on 9/11 and the need to purge these emotions. The US response was in many respects similar to that of the tragic protagonist one reads about in the dramas of Sophocles, Aeschylus, or Euripides who reacts to his tragic situation by retaliating and in this way reflects the problem of revenge and excessive violence so pervasive in tragedy.10 Here we can see that Freuds destiny compulsion is created on a grandiose scale of national dramatized narrative to which the double speech of symbolic metaphors which todays leaders employ as ironically as Clytemnestra to usher on the slaughter of the House of Atreus. So Oresteia in many ways personifies Americas brutal War on Terror, and its global crusade of revenge, but surely the Furies will be calling for its judgment. From the antebellum period up until the post-9/11 era the American people and their society have underdone tremendous change, within this change I might add, there has been a shift in the paradigm between American psyches power and reasoning capabilities, whereby if religion is the middle that they both, meet, penetrate, and permeate each other, then keep each other in balance.11 To these ends Noelle Vahanians, Great Explanation, provides us with a vital lens into this paradigmatic shift in the psyche of Americans that began in the nineteenth century, as she, Vahanian mediates on thinking in light of the death of God in our postmodern secular world, and she claims that the only form of thinking that is not calculative or pragmatic involves thinking the absurd. Thinking the absurdity of the world involves suffering violence, a violence that mirrors and sometimes mimics the external violence in the world. Vahanian struggles with the violence inherent in our thinking, and this struggle to think the absurd is punctuated by concrete examples, such as religious aspects of the U.S. struggle in Iraq and the organic thinking writ large in the structural violence of factory farming of domestic animals. She
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Kenneth Burke, Language as Symbolic Action: Essays on Life, Literature, and Method (p. 18) Nathalie M. Kuroiwa-Lewis, Oedipus, Runaway Planes, and The Violence of the Scapegoat (p.11) 11 Religion And Violence in a Secular World: Toward a New Political Theology edited by Clayton Crockett
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5 argues that the failure of our conceptual intelligence ultimately involves a lack of imagination, and the solution although seemingly oxymoronic, is the institutionalizing of imagination. She articulates a poignant hope amid the absurdity that marks our violent consciousness and our brutal manner of being in the world. This is an ironic and necessarily absurd hope that may bring tears to our eyes.12 And so, from the Great Awakening to last weeks Boston Bombings one may note that in literalist interpretations of biblical scripture there marks the sign of the conceptual limitations of our imagination, that both Emerson, and Eisenhower, so admonishingly warned that future Americans destiny must beware of the ripening of American Exceptionalism (Weltanschaunng), and it is here that metahistorical thinking has been almugated by Nationalist sentiment and symbols, from the early Puritains to Fundamentalist Christianity of today (espoused by evangelicals and biblical literalist) concerning their view of the Holy Land, becomes the sine qua non of Paul Tillichs, Ultimate Concern, whereby it is The problem of religious violence is inherently theological because it concerns our being and not-being. Insofar as our life in the world in its finitude constitutes a matter of ultimate concern, our discourse concerning this relationship harbors a theological component to Tillich. A formal theology means that insofar as our desire manifest desire for truth, justice, and salvation that ultimately concern our being and nonbeing, they are formally or inherently theological, whether we confess more recognizably traditional theological doctrines. This formal theological component contrasts with an obsession with content on the part of more orthodox theologies.13 And in doing so, indeed history has shown, that reason and faith, power, and reason do not exist independently from each other, that indeed they together are a formidable force of social chance. But when reason and faith are abandoned and replaced with dogmatic faith to literalist and reductionist interpretations of world events (i.e. monolithic portrays of Muslims and Islam) inevitably the political interests of the state, terrorist, or whomever; violence will slowly negate the delicate balance between power and reason, here the sublimation of public sentiment becomes the root of the issue between this imaginary East vs West, and it becomes the duty of the citizen to speak out against his/her governments atrocious human rights abuses that have come in the wake of an empires hegemonic policing of the world. Wherefore, the Democratic states populace cannot differentiate between power and reason, then of course, the blind will lead the blind, inevitably resulting in that empire utter demise. In any case, the notion that we can break out of this cycle of violence is the only way to bring about a national catharsis, violence will only beget more violence, as we see a process of Americas empire going through, in the words of Rene Girard, the sacrificial misreading common to Christians and non-Christians alike has obscured the nonsacrificial significance of the Judeo-Christian Scriptures but not entirely suppressed its impact. Thus, our society could result from a complex interaction between the Judeo-Christian and the sacrificial. Acting upon the latter as a force of disruption- as new wine in old wine-skins- the former would be responsible for our constantly increased awareness of victimage and for the decadence of mythology in our world.14 The power of symbols is truly all-pervasive on the individuals actions and thoughts in society, as the insecurity and trauma we all felt in the wake of the September 11th attacks led
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Religion And Violence in a Secular World: Toward a New Political Theology; edited by Clayton Crockett (p. 8) 13 Ibid. (p. 11) 14 Rene Girard, The Girard Reader (p.18-19)

6 almost every American to echo that old call to arms. Interestingly enough, this blaming of Saddam and Iraq, Taliban and Afghanistan projected these public insecurities on the Muslim scapegoat. Kenneth Burk, in his observation of Hitlers Nazi parties strategies in unifying Germany writes, [t]he curative process that comes with the ability to hand over ones ills to a scapegoat, thereby getting purification by dissociation. This was especially medicinal, since the sense of frustration leads to a self-questioning. Hence if one can hand over his infirmities to a vessel, or cause, outside the self, one can battle an external enemy instead of battling an enemy within.15 Invariably, semiotics forms of violence promote the perspective of violence as this natural phenomenon, which has been ingrained into our consciousness through psychosomatic and social constructions. This is particularly so in the way the elitist in America use structural violence to consolidate the power to decide over the distribution of resources is unevenly distributed.16 Furthermore, much of the structure violence in American society is arbitrated by the states use of signs, symbols and language. This is an attempt by Americas ruling class to unify the minds of people with fictitious ideologies with which media, education, and technology disseminate and define violences definition.17 We are taught to believe that violence is a natural phenomenon inherent to all of human beings. This notion is disseminated into society through a historically entrenched oligarchic categorization of violence, which has spurred a people at the behest of the nation to commit atrocious crimes against their fellow man.18 This is done in order to obtain and sustain the selfinterests of the few, which have also become our national interests. Furthermore, this oligarchic categorization of violence has becomes so ingrained in American society that it envelops our relations with others and society.19 This is a process known as interpersonal neurology that states that our neurological functioning and development is a by- product of whether or not our basic need for positive human interactions are fulfilled. This is determined by a neurological process that develops in relation to positive or negative experiences that are shaped by through the interactions we have with our parents, role models, and society.20 The basic human needs for positive emotional and mental support are diluted by institutions, which reach their invisible hand into our psychosomatic development. And thus instill anger, hate and fear into our neurological functioning and development through institutionalized violence. In this sense, we find that violence become a self-fulfilling prophecy through this ill-conceived notion that there is some genetic disposition which causes human beings to commit violent acts.21 To perceive that violence has become an ontological function with which the ruling class
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Nathalie M. Kuroiwa-Lewis, OEDIPUS, RUNAWAY PLANES, AND THE VIOLENCE OF THE SCAPEGOAT: (p. 11716 Ho, Kathleen. "Structural Violence as a Human Rights Violation." Essex Human Rights Review Volume 4, no. 2 (2007): (p. 4) 17 Said Abdul Aziz, Minding the Heart: Unpublished Manuscript (p. 4) 18 Zinn, Howard. The Zinn reader: writings on disobedience and democracy. 2nd ed. New York: Seven Stories Press, 2009: (p. 40) 19 Said Abdul Aziz, Minding the Heart: Unpublished Manuscript (p. 2-3) 20 Siegel, Daniel. "An Interpersonal Neurobiology Approach to Psychotherapy: Awareness, Mirror (p. 915) 21 Alfie Kohn. Human Nature Isnt Inherently Violent. Edited by Colman McCarthy. Washington D.C.: Center For Teaching Peace: (p. 11)

7 uses ideology, such as competiveness and materialism- in order to harness Americas modes of production. In this sense, we find that violence in principle as well as design maintains a distorted view that human nature is violent for the purposes of profiting from the societal problems that arise out of this paradox.22 Furthermore, as we are born into this society our psycho-bio-socio- development is shaped by our relationships with others and society as a whole.23 When human needs are not met in context of our development in society (i.e. environment) much of the societal ills we find in America are in fact by-products of this belief surrounding violence. And so, the fact that our society holds this so called truth to be self-evident presents a paradox with which we must open our senses - both physical and metaphysical - to see be able to see the illusion, in which all negative experiences can be subdued by conscious knowledge of our Buddha nature and/or inner divinity with an emphasis on mindfulness of just being.24 Such a notion becomes even more apparent and applicable if it is perceived in the provisos of how we, as Americans, rationalize capital punishment in our judicial system. An institution, which we believe, is just another natural function by which the state maintains order and civility amongst its citizens. However, this is not so, for these institutions help to maintain an atmosphere of disorder and delusion.25 As well, historical materialism would suggest there is an inherent metanarrative of systematic violence that gives credence to violence itself, in which our belief systems and identities are shaped by our interpretations of the past and present world we live and if our basic human needs are met.26 And so, as children develop in our society, if their basic human needs are not met, for instance abusive parents, these children will become the numerous murders and rapists that are caged like wild beasts.27 Thus when violence becomes the institutionalized norm, through its metanarrative functioning: We see that our capitalistic system is inherently flawed and exists only to profit from our consumption in life. Marx adamantly noted this system would eventually collapse.28 Furthermore, if human nature was in fact violent our capitalistic system would most likely work, but this is not the case for it is not in our nature. Many of Americas institutions function to nullify and homogenize our belief systems. This not only blinds us to the many forms violence takes, but also that cultural and structural violence dictate much of our thoughts, behaviors, and actions.29 This, of course, is particularly true when by our disregards to the many ways in which we are violent towards the self, others,
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Henry D. Thoreau. On the Duty of Civil Disobedience. In Solutions to Violence Editied by Colman McCarthy. Washington D.C.: Center For Teaching Peace: (p.81) 23 Ho, Kathleen. "Structural Violence as a Human Rights Violation." Essex Human Rights Review Volume 4, no. 2 (2007): (p. 2) 24 Nhat Hahn, Thich . Creating true peace: ending violence in yourself, your family, your community, and the world. New York: Free Press, 2003. (p. 30) 25 Ibid. Clarence S. Darrow. Resist Not Evil. (p. 154 -55) 26 Ho, Kathleen. "Structural Violence as a Human Rights Violation." Essex Human Rights Review Volume 4, no. 2 (2007): (p. 9) 27 Clarence S. Darrow. Resist Not Evil. In Solutions to Violence Edited by Colman McCarthy. Washington D.C.: Center For Teaching Peace. (p. 152) 28 Marx, Karl. Grundrisse: foundations of the critique of political economy = Grundrisse der Kritik der Politischen Okonomie. England: Penguin Books, 1993. (p. 83-91) 29 Edkins, Jenny. Trauma and the memory of politics. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2003. (p. 14)

8 and mother Earth, even when we do not perceive it as so. In so doing, the capitalistic system is inherently violent and self-interest serves to maximize the ruling classes wealth, which comes at the expense and degradation of humanity and the natural world.30 Perhaps it is just me, but I have always felt that there was something inherently wrong with a society that is driven by avariciousness and materialism, while preaching freedom and democracy, despite its dogmatic faith to explicit and implicit violence. In retrospect, I dont think any physical object or substance can dull the pain that one is exposed too by violence and its implications on human nature, especially in its more brutal forms. Only through a spiritual connection based on love of the beauty of the creator and created will the masses be set free from the chains of our capitalisticzombie drivenmarket economy.31 Thus bringing forth the fortitude, humility, and knowledge needed to mend souls that have been hurt the most.32 The only way we can reverse state violence and its cyclical nature in society is to separate education from the ruling class that disseminates a false reality that human beings are violent . This will enable human agency to see through these illusion of our subjective realities and begin a new cycle based on love and harmony with each other, so that the generations to come may grow in a healthy and truly free society.33 Ultimately, the question that asks is Islam an enemy of the west become inherently problematic, and to answer it one must begin by trying to deconstruct its meaning and purpose in current political and cultural ethos that has enveloped America ten years after 9/11. This is to understand the human condition (albeit in its limited sensuality perspectival of reality), which is perhaps best in the present context-answered through Edward Saids notion or Orientalism, and with his theories particular emphasis on the cultural and ideological functioning within modern western thought. This is to say that Orientalism, in and of itself, is a style of thought grounded in an ontological and epistemological separation between the east and the west, which is of course an imaginary dichotomy that promulgates or rather distributes a certain form of geopolitical awareness of the way things are into aesthetic, scholarly, economic, sociological, historical, and philological texts that act together forming a nexus of unbalanced exchange of cultural ideas with different types of superstructural power that are dependent upon the interests of both power intellectual and power political.34 While this is not to say that modern western thought works in a vacuum, it nevertheless has arisen out of the Orient vs. Occidental knowledge and epistemology of antiquity that is inherently in contrast to the Occident school of thought. Reiterating Paul Tillichs reconceptualization of relations with others- we need not view relationships through the objectively based I-It terms, rather that we should attempt to be aware of these individualized labelings of the other which are imaginary categoricalizations and typologies that have been pedagogically institutionalized into western thought in order to prison the human condition in its more degenerative mode of being, and non-being- that which is to view reality in purely materialistic forms. Instead of the more creative and interconnected relationships in terms of I-

Ho, Kathleen. Structural Violence as a Human Rights Violation." Essex Human Rights Review Volume 4, no. 2 (2007): (p. 4) 31 Said Abdul Aziz, Minding the Heart: Unpublished Manuscript (p. 20) 32 Nhat Hahn, Thich . Creating true peace: ending violence in yourself, your family, your community, and the world. New York: Free Press, 2003. (p. 12) 33 Freire, Paulo. Pedagogy of the Oppressed. 30th anniversary ed. New York: Continuum, 2000. (p. 86) 34 Edward Saids, Orientalism, 1978 (p. 90?)
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9 Thou, whereby the latter takes into account the whole value of spectrum of self-evident truth, which exists between the finite and the infinite. In this sense, what Edward Said is trying to convey as the focal point of what Orientalism can be grasped more formatively using Jeremy Benthams concept of the Panopticon, which is nothing more than a simple idea in architecture, never realized, describing a new mode of obtaining power of mind over mind, in a quantity hitherto without example-the possessor of this power is the inspector with his invisible omnipresence, an entirely dark spot in the all transparent, light-flooded universe of the panopticon.35In this sense of the Benthams view of reality, in and of itself, is unproblematic and its existence is unquestionable and this is the nontemporal space where thing become complex in the fields of the unreal, the nonexistent, and that which deals with the subject of fictions.36 For Bentham concerns are particularly of the function of fiction has on reality itselfAnd the main thrust of the panopticonic writings is that a certain reality- the panopticon prison- is sustained in existence by something that is utterly unreal, that is, by an imaginary nonentity; it is through its very nonexistence that the nonentity sustains the reality in existence-if it were to exist the reality itself would disintegrate.37 Thus, in brief, this philosophical critique goes to challenge the ways in which western institutions orientalist scholarship and thought are part of a panopticonic reinforcement of these inherently violent caricatures and tropes in American society that dehumanize Arabs and Muslims- alike, to the point of becoming a cathartic scapegoat for Americas unfulfilled mimetic desires.

35 36

Jacques Lacan, 3. Society, politics, ideology: edited by Slavoj Zize (p. 252) Ibid. 253 37 Ibid. 253