Patriotic Attachment, Libidinal Economy, and Cosmopolitan Citizenship: A Qualified Defense of Patriotic Love

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Virginia Tech

Terms such as "fascist" and "nazi" retain light and even comical currency in contemporary pop culture despite the gravity of the events that produced them. Departing from this common usage, I consider within political and psychoanalytic frameworks the normative effects common understandings of fascism and totalitarianism exercise vis-a-vis collective attachments (patriotism, nationalism), and specifically how this discourse shapes notions of citizenship. Working within this political-psychoanalytic model, I analyze the substance behind Barack Obama's Presidential campaign themes of hope and change by way of his Inaugural Address in relation to that of George W. Bush. I conclude by engaging the discourse on cosmopolitan citizenship, considering both how it fits into the framework developed for this project and the relation of Obama's understandings of citizenship and foreign policy to cosmpolitanism.

Nationalism, Citizenship, Political Theory, Governance, Psychoanalytic Theory, Cosmopolitanism