Thomas Edsall has written an insightful post that brings together a lot of academic thinking on postmodernism, post-truth, tribalism within the context of political behavior and Trump.
In my history classes, I lectured on this. Now I wish I had done more with the modern day application of the term. I often introduced the Greek root of idiot with our American revolutionary use of the terms, republicanism and radical Whigism.
For my ex-students, please remember our lessons on “us versus them”, the scale of nationalism (soft patriotism to excessive nationalism), and the application of logic and reason to external events.
For Steve Bannon or anyone of his ilk, putting world affairs in terms of “going to war” over Islam versus Christianity or a knee-jerk reaction to the South China Sea is unequivocally dangerous to our lives, society, and world peace. World events do not circulate around Bannon’s or Trump’s assessment of Christianity versus Islam ad nauseam.
The world is exceedingly more complex than their constructions.
The issue of jobs and crumbling infrastructure and education for developing skills in our time are the issues to confront, not the fantasies of Bannon’s extremism and Trump’s self-absorption.
Please, students, go back over our lessons. Go back over the dangers of excessive nationalism and the always present need of reason and the middle way to live in our times.
Read the article linked below. And, think. Think hard. Then, fight against their delusions.
Only months ago Donald Trump’s chief strategist predicted military involvement in east Asia and the Middle East in Breitbart radio shows
Berlin is one my favorite cities. I was on the Berlin Square in 1999, and was impressed with the interaction of the World War II-bombed church in the midst of modern city activity. This act of terrorism has struck deep and must be avenged.
Authoritarianism is ascendant and with it anti-rational bigotry. History does not end. It eddies.
This link to Roger Cohen’s op-ed piece in The New York Times describes his interpretation of why we need a more intense approach to ISIS. Freedom is a burden, but happiness stems from having the courage to fight for it, defend it, and struggle with personal choice and the continuing daily dilemmas of society. He brings up an interesting point that the free world must leave behind over-consumption. This point needs expansion. Nonetheless, it is true. Click on the full link below to read his op-ed piece.
“Freedom is not for everyone. The road to Raqqa is in many ways the road from freedom’s burden — from personal choice and its dilemmas to submission to an all-encompassing Islamist ideology. If the free world and potential allies from the region are to fight this magnetism, they must rouse themselves from liberty’s consumerist drug.”
The central question looming over the coming year is whether or not the Islamic State is an existential threat to Western societies.