By Lee Harris
Forgetfulness happens whilst those that were lengthy inured to civilized order can now not bear in mind a time during which that they had to wonder if their vegetation may develop to adulthood with no being stolen or their teenagers offered into slavery by way of a triumphant foe. . . . They overlook that during time of threat, within the face of the enemy, they need to belief and open up to one another, or perish. . . . They omit, briefly, that there has ever been a class of human adventure known as the enemy. "That, ahead of September 11, used to be what had occurred to us. The very proposal of the enemy have been banished from our ethical and political vocabulary. An enemy used to be only a buddy we hadn't performed sufficient for but. or even there have been a false impression, or an oversight on our half - whatever that lets right. . . . "Our first activity is for this reason to attempt to know what the idea that of the enemy relatively capability. The enemy is a person who's keen to die to be able to kill you. And whereas it's real that the enemy continuously hates us for a cause, it really is his cause, and never ours". So starts Civilization and Its Enemies, a unprecedented travel de strength by means of America's "reigning thinker of 9/11", Lee Harris. What Francis Fukuyama did for the top of the chilly conflict, Lee Harris has now performed for the following nice clash: the battle among the civilized global and the foreign terrorists who desire to break it. each one significant turning aspect in our background has produced one nice philosopher who has been in a position to step again from petty disagreements and spot the larger photo - and Lee Harris has emerged as that guy for our time. he's the person who has helped make feel of the terrorists' fantasies and who forces us such a lot strongly to confront the truth that our enemy - for the 1st time in centuries - refuses to play by way of any of our principles, or to imagine in any of our different types. we're all clearly reluctant to stand a real enemy. so much folks can't quit the parable that tolerance is the nice
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Extra info for Civilization and Its Enemies: The Next Stage of History
Once again, it is a mistake to see the promotion of such fantasies as merely a ploy on the part of fascist leadership— a cynical device to delude the masses, in order to further the real interests of certain other groups— for in all fantasy ideologies, there is a point at which the make-believe becomes an end it itself. This fact is nowhere more clearly exhibited than in the Italian conquest of Ethiopia, an event that decisively proved that Mussolini's imperial fantasy was not a smoke screen for other interests but was instead the motivating factor even in such a critical area as the decision to invade a foreign country on a forbidding continent.
We say that the past is behind us and the future is in front of us. To the Greeks, however, the past was before them, because they could plainly see its finished form standing in front of them: it was territory they had passed through and whose terrain they had charted. It was the future that was behind them, sneaking up like a thief in the night, full of dim imaginings and vast uncertainties. Nothing could penetrate the blackness of this unknown future except the rare flash of foresight that the Greeks called sophos, or wisdom.
All of which explains why those who subscribe to the values of the Enlightenment find the existence of the enemy so distressing. The enemy challenges the Enlightenment's insistence on the supremacy of pure reason by forcing us to respect those codes of honor whose foundation is far more visceral than rational, a fact that explains the modern intellectual's hatred for such codes in whatever guise they lurk. The enemy requires the continued existence of large groups of men and women who refuse to question authority and who are happy to take on blind faith the traditions that have been passed down to them.
Civilization and Its Enemies: The Next Stage of History by Lee Harris