By Pankaj Mishra
One among our most vital public intellectuals unearths the hidden heritage of our present worldwide crisis
How will we clarify the origins of the nice wave of paranoid hatreds that appear inescapable in our close-knit world―from American shooters and ISIS to Donald Trump, from an increase in vengeful nationalism internationally to racism and misogyny on social media? In Age of Anger, Pankaj Mishra solutions our bewilderment by way of casting his gaze again to the eighteenth century sooner than prime us to the present.
He indicates that because the international grew to become glossy, those that have been not able to get pleasure from its promises―of freedom, balance, and prosperity―were more and more liable to demagogues. the numerous who got here overdue to this new world―or have been left, or driven, behind―reacted in horrifyingly comparable methods: with excessive hatred of invented enemies, makes an attempt to re-create an imaginary golden age, and self-empowerment via superb violence. It used to be from one of the ranks of the disaffected that the militants of the 19th century arose―angry younger males who grew to become cultural nationalists in Germany, messianic revolutionaries in Russia, bellicose chauvinists in Italy, and anarchist terrorists internationally.
Today, simply as then, the large embody of mass politics and expertise and the pursuit of wealth and individualism have solid many extra billions adrift in a demoralized international, uprooted from culture yet nonetheless faraway from modernity―with a similar negative results.
Making startling connections and comparisons, Age of Anger is a e-book of sizeable urgency and profound argument. it's a background of our current drawback not like the other.
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Additional resources for Age of Anger: A History of the Present
Three years later, Rashid Rida, the father of modern Islamic fundamentalism, exhorted fellow Muslims to learn from the resurrected Jewish umma while denouncing anti-Dreyfusards in France. An anxious struggle for existence, a deep fear of ‘decadence’ and emasculation, and a messianic craving for a strenuous ethic, a New Man and New Order, went global in the late nineteenth century. They fuelled ideologies that appear incompatible, even virulently opposed, but which grew symbiotically: Zionism, Islamic fundamentalism, Hindu nationalism, Buddhist ethno-centrism as well as New Imperialism, Bolshevism, Fascism and Nazism.
In all cases, he articulates a profound sense of inadequacy, and tries to draw an ambitious blueprint to overcome it. But this improvised programme of belief and action cannot be neatly mapped onto the classifications of ideas and movements (fascism, imperialism, liberalism, Bolshevism, Islamism, Zionism, Hindu nationalism), or the broad sectarian categories of ‘left’ and ‘right’, ‘liberal’ and ‘conservative’, that commonly mediate our understanding of history and current affairs. Closer attention to beliefs, mindsets and outlooks releases us from ideological and often moralizing categories; it reveals some shared aspirations, hopes, bitterness and dread between left and right, West and East, and apparently clashing ‘isms’.
There is a pervasive panic, which doesn’t resemble the centralized fear emanating from despotic power. Rather, it is the sentiment, generated by the news media and amplified by social media, that anything can happen anywhere to anybody at any time. The sense of a world spinning out of control is aggravated by the reality of climate change, which makes the planet itself seem under siege from ourselves. * * * This book takes a very different view of a universal crisis, shifting the preposterously heavy burden of explanation from Islam and religious extremism.