as implying the future The modern is much more commonly a known history quoted

As implying the future the modern is much more

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about Perth, Australia, "The 'modern' was only marginally understood ... as implying the future .... The modern is much more commonly a known history" (quoted in Morris 1998, r6 ). Gyekye ( 1997, 280) similarly ·conceives modernity as a commitment to innovation and change: the "cultivation of the ilu1ovative spirit or out~ look ... can be said to define n1odernity." Modernity is the incessant claim to produce the new.10 And yet, Gyekye also contests any account that ignores the complexity not only of modernity but also of notions of innovation and change. After all, he points out, traditional societies also change and often seek change, while on the other side, modern societies always embody and embrace traditions. Similarly, Gaonkar (2oor) warns against those who emphasize the place of change in modernity, ignoril1g· on the one hand the growing importance of routil1e, and on the other, that change itself is a new modality of power; as Cesaire (zoOI), Chakrabarty (zooo), and others have argued, this construction of history as a linear temporality is powerfully articulated to a variety of forms of violence and brutality, exhibited most clearly in slavery, colonialisn1, and global wars. Eurocentric thought allowed for liberating ideas, modernities good Alcoff 7 ( Department of Philosophy at Syracuse University., Project Muse, Mignolo’s Epistemology of Coloniality, ) Hegemony in Mignolo’s usage of the term is very much taken from the Gramscian idea of hegemony as the construction of mass consent. That is, [End Page 84] hegemony is achieved through a project of persuasion that works principally through claims to truth. Europe is ahead because Europe is smarter and more reflective than the rest of the world; the United States has the right to hog the world’s resources because it knows best how to make use of them. Leading liberals like Arthur Schlesinger make the claim for Western epistemic supremacy without any embarrassment : Schlesinger claims not that Europe (and the U.S. as a European nation) has made no mistakes, but that Europe alone invented the scientific method, which gave it the capacity to critique its mistakes . Moreover, he claims that, although every culture “has done terrible things,” “whatever the particular crimes of Europe, that continent is also the source—the unique source—of those liberating ideas . . . to which most of the world today aspires. These are European ideas, not Asian, nor African, nor Middle eastern ideas, except by adoption”(Schlesinger 1992, 127; emphasis in original). The result of the wide acceptance of such hegemonic claims in the United States and in Europe is a broad-based consent to imperial war as the presumptive entitlement of the political vanguard of the human race; the result of the acceptance of such hegemonic claims in the colonized world includes such symptomatic effects as the ones Samuel Ramos and Octavio Paz described when they said that Mexicans have an alienated relationship to their own temporal reality, and that they imagine the real present as occurring somewhere else than where they live.
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  • Fall '16
  • jane smith
  • Sociology, Imperialism, American Empire, Distinguished Professor of Communication Studies and Cultural Studies

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