"The uniqueness of the work of art is identical to its embedded ness in the context of tradition. Of course, this tradition itself is thoroughly alive and extremely changeable. An ancient statue of Venus, for instance, existed in a traditional context for the Greeks (who made it an object of worship) that was different from
the context in which it existed for medieval clerics (who viewed it as a sinister idol). But what was equally evident to both was its uniqueness-that is, its aura. Originally, the embeddedness of an artwork in the context of tradition found expression
in a cult. As we know, the earliest artworks originated in the service of rituals-first magical, then religious. And it is highly significant that the artwork's auratic mode of existence is never entirely severed from its ritual function. In other words: the unique value of the "authentic" work of art always has its basis in ritual."
Now, what’s the goal of the rhextortionist? Let’s just look at the facts. When someone prevents you from saying P on the grounds that someone else might interpret it as meaning Q, you haven’t been prevented from saying Q. You’ve been prevented from saying P. A realist has to assume that the goal, therefore, is to prevent people from saying P. Further, we should ask: would the rhextortionist ever be satisfied by a superficial recasting of your statement? You rephrase P as P*, which means pretty much the same thing as P but is harder to interpret as Q. But now the rhextortionist says: “P* could easily be interpreted as P. And we now know that P is a dog whistle for Q. So you want to be really careful about saying P*.” The treadmill never ends; symbolic power can always be continuously redshifted as the universe of unspeakable objects relentlessly expands.
Rhextortion should be thought of within a broader picture of linguistic voodoo, and within a broader system of interpretive freedom in which the ability to appear to demonstrate that words mean something other than what they obviously mean confers both virtue and power.