Demanufacturing Consent: Rebecca Gordon on Why Torture Still Matters

Traces of Reality
July 22, 2014


“The U.S. Still Tortures and You Should Still Care” with Rebecca Gordon

On this edition of Demanufacturing Consent: Guillermo is joined by Rebecca Gordon, a philosophy teacher at the University of San Francisco and author of the book Mainstreaming Torture: Ethical Approaches in the Post-9/11 United States. Gordon explains why institutionalized torture remains relevant in the “post-Bush era” of the United States and how the framework to carry out torture has been sustained during the Obama administration.

We discuss the connection between torture and racism and other forms of dehumanization; the use of language and euphemism in the distortion of reality; and the role of pop culture, television, and film, in the mainstreaming of torture. We also discuss the “ticking time bomb” consequentialist argument for “justifiable torture” and Gordon offers ethical counters to this unrealistic scenario.

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