22 November, 2008

When Post-Modernism Goes Bad

I was at an interesting talk the other night to launch the book Thinking Palestine*, a collection of essays based on papers delivered at that conference on the Palestinian "state of exception" I was at a while back. I will discuss the talk and the book in more detail later, but first an anecdote. Ronit Lentin, the editor of the book, mentioned a piece by Eyal Weizman, in which he discussed how some Israeli army training centre has taken on some crazy post-structuralist academics. The use of post-modernist and post-structuralist ideas in army training is apparently part of a whole new paradigm in urban warfare tactics the Israelis have been developing. After graduating from their course, the Israeli soldiers apply their post-structuralist ideas in a somewhat over-literal manner, deconstructing Palestinian houses by driving tanks through them.

As previously noted, elements of the Bush administration have also evinced a certain fondness for weirdo post-modernist ideas.

*Ronit Lentin (ed) (2008). Thinking Palestine. London: Zed Books

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