Faced with the looming captivity of the formal archive in the late 1930s, Sigmund Freud consigned his most important work—the story of the unconscious rise of Mosaic doctrine that underwrote the West—to a secret archive, itself a sort of unconscious. “Where do we meet with a similar phenomenon?” Freud asked. This essay answers that question. Where else but America? In the late 1630s, the story of Anne Hutchinson's orthodoxy was consigned to a secret archive as the radicals came to power. We continue to radically misread Hutchinson and our past in part because the revolution of the 1630s was so successful. America's “Puritan” lettered city was never particularly Calvinist, religious, nor conservative, but emerged as an ongoing state of exception, marked by a kind of mosaic of secular, industrializing instincts under a pretense of Calvinism. This America radicalized the world, and it's a truth that can hit home almost anywhere.
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David Ker Thomson; Home Truths: Some Notes on Radical America, 1637 to the Present. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 January 2009; 108 (1): 171–196. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-2008-028
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