Nit-pickable phrases of the day

Stumbled across these gems amongst the days readings. Both deserved a special nitpicking.

1. “Illogical racism” – Actually racism is highly logical. Humans like to draw boundaries around things. They imagine communities of like-minded “selves” and tie these communities to territory called “nations”. The creation of “one’s own community” then requires one to imagine an “Other” and to then scheme about ways to resist “the Other”. Racist discourses thus function as a means of unifying one group to resist against the Other. Seems sequential and logical to me. Although, of course, its logic is framed on the fallacy that one’s imagined community is REAL and not an abstraction.

2. “Cultural terrorism” – Might be the most trite phrase ever coined. Putting one already dubious concept (“culture”) in the context of the world’s most loaded word does not make the original concept any less dubious.

3. “Military intelligence” – One of the best oxymorons ever coined.

4. “Arab Spring” – Another delightful fallacy, contingent on history being unilinear and progressively better (the eponymous “thaw” seems to have come hand-in-hand with some¬†Islamist frost hath it not?).

5. “Humanitarian intervention”… I could go on…


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