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Figuring ViolenceAffective Investments in Perpetual War$
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Rebecca A. Adelman

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823281671

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2019

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823281671.001.0001

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A Radical and Unsentimental Attention

A Radical and Unsentimental Attention

Chapter:
(p.245) Conclusion: A Radical and Unsentimental Attention
Source:
Figuring Violence
Author(s):

Rebecca A. Adelman

Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823281671.003.0008

This conclusion posits ethical anger as an alternative to the forms of affective investment critiqued in the preceding chapters. It notes that none of the figures described in this book are permitted to be angry, a prohibition that sustains militarism by making it easy to imagine that no one objects to it. This ethical anger is distinct from that which is felt vicariously for suffering others, or on their behalf, as forms of second-hand feeling that short-circuit the possibility of the other’s anger and subjectivity. The form of anger that this conclusion endorses is a way of registering the suffering of others without making any kind of epistemological or affective claim on it. This anger notes what is unknowable about the suffering of others, and it is a frustration not with that unknowability (rooted in a greed for experience and sensation) but with the efforts to make it falsely intelligible. Consequently, such anger has the potential to serve as the foundation for a more meaningful ethical response to the suffering that militarism engenders.

Keywords:   anger, ethics, militarism, political subjectivity, suffering

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