Alli's Simple-Minded Notes on Robert Bernasconi's talk on "The Tyranny of Meaning's History: Kant, Hegel, and Levinas":

A system is constructed such that to side against its telos is to side against Humanity.

Kant as the first to assign race a permanence.

Kant's philosophy of History and the "problem" of non-whites who seem to be outside it (Tahitians as "happy sheep and cattle").

Reason as purposeful work (the assembly line) vs. unreason (indolent enjoyment).

Preemptive war founded upon the idea of one nation being able to see further into the future than the others. The stronger nation does Nature's work.

If "civilized peoples" have a right to impose their will on "uncivilized peoples," there are no victims of History.

"Culture of genocide."

"The administration of the judgment of taste."

Levinas resolutely sets out to oppose "the tyranny of the idea of History," drawing "being" out of History's teleological jurisdiction. Responsibility for the Other: I must get out, I can't get out.

A distinction between State violence and "true revolutionary violence"--the latter characterized by suspicion of itself.

The possibility of forgiveness demands we escape History as destiny.


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