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Terror and Liberalism de Paul Berman
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Terror and Liberalism (edição: 2004)

de Paul Berman

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397547,777 (3.7)Nenhum(a)
One of our Most Brilliant public intellectuals, Paul Berman has spent his career writing on revolutionary movements and their totalitarian aspects. Here he argues that, in the terror war, we are not facing a battle of the West against Islam--a clash of civilizations. We are facing, instead, the same battle that tore apart Europe during most of the twentieth century, only in a new version. It is the clash of liberalism and its enemies--the battle between freedom and totalitarianism that arose in Europe many years ago and spread to the Muslim world. The author considers the wars against fascism and communism from the past, and draws cautionary lessons. But he also draws from those past experiences a liberal program for the present--a program that departs in fundamental respects from the policies of the Bush administration.… (mais)
Membro:ksiazki
Título:Terror and Liberalism
Autores:Paul Berman
Informação:W. W. Norton & Company (2004), Paperback, 240 pages
Coleções:Sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:current affairs, fascism, foreign policy, freedom, history, international relations, Islam, liberalism, Middle East, Militant Islam, nonfiction, political science, political theory, politics, religion, social science, strategy, terrorism, totalitarianism

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Terror and Liberalism de Paul Berman

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Exibindo 5 de 5
En grundig, videnskabelig og historisk analyse af den demokratiske liberalismes vanskeligheder med at tackle terrorisme. Suveræn til at sætte tankevirksomheden i gang. Også en hudfletning af "de nyttige idioter". ( )
  msc | Feb 2, 2017 |
Some parts brilliant, but to me a little muddled toward the end. I think Berman nails it with his core contention that the Islamist madness is yet another wave of totalitarianism. ( )
  clarkland | Jan 27, 2015 |
This is one of the most idiosyncratic, short, but compelling studies of the topic available. This is an original contribution to an overlooked connection between violence and the Left, along with an insightful study of terrorists amongst the Islamists. Berman postulates that a war against liberalism, the classical bulwark against barbarism is a century-old battle waged in the world. The Islamists and contemporary liberals are engaged in an ideological conflict against 19th Liberalism.

Berman writes:

[Camus] had noticed a modern impulse to rebel, which had come out of the French Revolution and had very quickly, in the name of an ideal, mutated into a cult of death. And the ideal was always the same, though each movement gave it a different name. It was not skepticism and doubt. It was the ideal of submission. It was submission to the kind of authority that liberal civilization had slowly undermined, and which the new movements wished to reestablish on a novel basis. It was the ideal of the one, instead of the many. The ideal of something godlike. The total state, the total doctrine, the total movement. "Totalitarian" was Mussolini's word; and Mussolini spoke for all.

The death cult infected the French Revolution and found its resurgence with the Western totalitarian death movements of the early 20th Century.

Moreover, Berman notes that the death cult migrated to the Arab Middle East as well. Berman sees Sayyid Qutb, an Egyptian writer executed in 1966, as one of the most important influences on the modern Islamic world.

Qutb states:

The Surah [No. 2] tells the Muslims that, in the fight to uphold God's universal Truth, lives will have to be sacrificed. Those who risk their lives and go out to fight, and who are prepared to lay down their lives for the cause of God are honorable people, pure of heart and blessed of soul. But the great surprise is that those among them who are killed in the struggle must not be considered or described as dead. They continue to live, as God Himself clearly states.

"Khomeini," Berman notes, "whipped up ... a belief that to die on Khomeini's orders in a human wave attack was to achieve the highest and most beautiful of destinies." In turn, Iran inspired the Hezbollah guerillas to introduce suicide terrorism to the modern world.

"It was the politics of slaughter -- slaughter for the sake of sacred devotion, slaughter conducted in a mood of spiritual loftiness, slaughter indistinguishable from charity, slaughter that led to suicide, slaughter for slaughter's sake. It was a flower of evil."

The battleground is a conflict of ideas: anti-liberal and violent, or liberal, Western, and democratic.

George Packer, in his work, The Assassins' Gate: America in Iraq, relates a compelling story, not the least of which is his account of Kanan Makiya (b.1949, Baghdad). Makiya is an Iraqi academic, who gained British nationality in 1982. He is the Sylvia K. Hassenfeld Professor of Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies at Brandeis University. As a former Saddamist exile, he was a prominent member of the Iraqi opposition, a "close friend" of the quixotic and notorious Ahmed Chalabi, and an influential proponent of the 2003 Iraq War. His life is documented in British journalist Nick Cohen's book What's Left (there is also information about Makiya in Paul Berman's Terror and Liberalism, pp. 54-57, 108).
  gmicksmith | Jul 22, 2010 |
Berman does a wonderful job of describing the continuum of thought from the romantic nihilists of the 19th century through both right and left totalitarian states in the 20th to the thoughts of Sayiid Qutb, the hugely influential Koranic scholar. Of particular note, Berman tracked down several volumes of the English translation of Qutb's "In the shadow of the Koran", a key interpretation of the Koran applied to 20th century society. But being a dedicated man of the left, Berman is afflicted with the same tics that he notes in other left-liberals: loathing of the Nixonian-Kissengerian realpolitic (which position I agree with) but holding grudges against any Republican who had any contact with the Nixon administration as being hopelessly and permanenty contaminated. This monomania is illustrated in the last chapter where Berman notes that George W Bush deviated strongly from the realpolitic script, pursuing many of the goals of traditional left-liberals but _cannot_ get away from the fact that many of W's senior staff served in one post or another during the Nixon years. Berman also persists in equating the pseudo-fascist Baath with the jihadis to try and hang Islamist notions on the Right. Lee Harris' "The Death of Reason" has much better insight into "Why do they hate us?" than Berman.
Berman can't bring himself to admit the utility of force, employing a transparent revisionism to nominate the soft left as the proper agents to change the minds of those who hate us, not recognizing the real Kulturkampf between the Islamists and the liberal West.

Of less importance is Berman's revisionist history of the left-liberals in the 1950s and his inability to credit military power with any utility either during the Cold War of during the current conflict. Berman is so in love with soft power that he cannot accept the strength of the religio-cultural Islamist project against attempts at cooption and "reform" coming from the West. ( )
  PaulFAustin | Oct 26, 2007 |
A trenchant analysis of the totalitarian roots of al-Qaeda.
  kencf0618 | Oct 5, 2005 |
Exibindo 5 de 5
Despite a smooth delivery that gives an appearance of sophistication, [Berman] suffers from the same anthropological illiteracy that has proved catastrophic in Iraq and now—increasingly—in Afghanistan, where US and NATO policymakers seem to have difficulty in grasping the complex, clan-based nature of the insurgencies they face.
 

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One of our Most Brilliant public intellectuals, Paul Berman has spent his career writing on revolutionary movements and their totalitarian aspects. Here he argues that, in the terror war, we are not facing a battle of the West against Islam--a clash of civilizations. We are facing, instead, the same battle that tore apart Europe during most of the twentieth century, only in a new version. It is the clash of liberalism and its enemies--the battle between freedom and totalitarianism that arose in Europe many years ago and spread to the Muslim world. The author considers the wars against fascism and communism from the past, and draws cautionary lessons. But he also draws from those past experiences a liberal program for the present--a program that departs in fundamental respects from the policies of the Bush administration.

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