Minority Studies

Download PDF by Amit S. Rai (auth.): Rule of Sympathy

By Amit S. Rai (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0312299176

ISBN-13: 9780312299170

ISBN-10: 1349387622

ISBN-13: 9781349387625

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Example text

I say the strongest emotion, because I am satisfied the ideas of pain are much more powerful than those which enter on the part of pleasure. . Nay I am in great doubt, whether any man could be found who would earn a life of the most perfect satisfaction, at the price of ending it in the torments, which justice inflicted in a few hours on the late unfortunate regicide in France. . 60 For Burke, then, pain and danger, sickness and death are ideas that give rise to the strongest passions of which humans are capable, but can be a source of pleasure elevating one to that ultimate of sensations, sublimity.

Uncannily transforming from pastoral utopia to a site of domestic horror, the patriarchal family was also the model of political tyranny. ” In domestic as in political tyranny, the case of absolute monsters chiefly illustrates the institution by showing that there is scarcely any horror which may not occur under it if the despot pleases, and thus setting in a strong light what must be the terrible frequency of things only a little less atrocious. 20 That Mill could speak with seeming authority on despots, savages, and humanity in both the domestic and political arenas was due, in large part, to his own experience as an employee of the British East India Company.

Indeed, as Foucault’s later work enables us to see so well, the family, as the central incubator of sympathy (and sentimentalism more broadly), is absolutely crucial for the art of governing—without the one, the other could not be named. In the chapters that follow, I analyze the triangulation that links histories of race, metaphors of family, and practices of governmentality through a form of universal, humanized kinship: sympathy. I hope to show how the familial model of power is reticulated with savoirs of state: sympathetic discourses on the connections between property, marriage, kinship structure, race, class, family, and religion.

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Rule of Sympathy by Amit S. Rai (auth.)


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