Psychopedagogy pp 149-164 | Cite as

Teaching Abjection: The Politics of Psychopedagogy

  • K. Daniel Cho
Part of the Education, Psychoanalysis, and Social Transformation book series (PEST)


The post-9/11 culture has been a culture of fear, fostered by George W. Bush’s “War on Terror,” the Patriot Act and the curtailing of our civil liberties, the travesties at Abu Ghraib, and other embarrassments of executive power now too many to enumerate. The temptation is to take this culture of fear as the sign that our present historical situation is one that is marked by a continuous state of emergency—to be taken in the Carl Schmitt’s sense of the exception to which the law applies precisely by not applying.1 To be sure, this temptation is real, and as a testimony to its reality is the accompanying uproar of academics, critics, and media persons, both on the Left and the Right. Generally speaking, if these voices are not overtly encouraging us to consider our current existence as this state of emergency,” then, at the very least, they call us to rethink the aims and goals of our current projects to reflect how such events have changed what is possible and necessary in the post-9/11 era. But against these rash announcements of the “new” status to which our times have become elevated is this clearheaded reminder given, some years ago, by Walter Benjamin in his “Theses on the Philosophy of History”: “The tradition of the oppressed teaches us that the ‘state of emergency’ in which we live is not the exception but the rule.”2


Civil Liberty Critical Educator Content Standard Binary Logic Media Person 
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© K. Daniel Cho 2009

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  • K. Daniel Cho

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