In this remorselessly up-beat climate, feeling negative becomes a thought-crime, and satire a form of political treason. Everyone is urged to feel good about themselves, whereas the problem is that some of them don’t feel anything like bad enough. Evangelical Christians avow their faith in Jesus, a failed inmate of early-Palestinian death row, by maintaining a manic grin even when being carted off to prison for fraud or paedophilia. With its impious denial of limit, its bull-headed buoyancy and crazed idealism, this infinite will represents the kind of hubris which would have made the ancient Greeks shiver and glance fearfully at the sky. It is, indeed, at the skies that some of the will’s champions glance fearfully these days, searching for signs of nemesis.
Those who support the American imperium do not have to respond to such comments. They can simply dismiss them as ‘anti-American’. This is a marvellously convenient tactic. All criticisms of the United States spring from a pathological aversion to Sesame Street and baconburgers. They are expressions of smouldering envy on the part of less fortunate civilizations, not reasoned criticisms. There is, it would seem, no reason why this tactic should not be extended. All criticisms of North Korea’s odious repression of human rights are merely diseased symptoms of anti-Koreanism. Those who rail against the execution-happy autocracy in China are simply being odiously Eurocentric.
Terry Eagleton, After Theory (New York: Basic Books, 2003), 188.