By Pankaj Mishra
One in every of our most crucial public intellectuals unearths the hidden historical past of our present international crisis
How do 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 the world over to racism and misogyny on social media? In Age of Anger, Pankaj Mishra solutions our bewilderment by means of casting his gaze again to the eighteenth century earlier than top us to the present.
He indicates that because the global turned glossy, those that have been not able to get pleasure from its promises―of freedom, balance, and prosperity―were more and more prone to demagogues. the various who got here overdue to this new world―or have been left, or driven, behind―reacted in horrifyingly related methods: with excessive hatred of invented enemies, makes an attempt to re-create an imaginary golden age, and self-empowerment via incredible 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 broad 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 an analogous bad results.
Making startling connections and comparisons, Age of Anger is a publication of large urgency and profound argument. it's a background of our current quandary in contrast to the other.
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Additional info for Age of Anger: A History of the Present
The pages that follow try to make sense of bewildering, and often painful, experiences by re-examining a divided modern world, this time from the perspective of those who came late to it, and felt, as many people do now, left, or pushed, behind. 1. Prologue: Forgotten Conjunctures Everywhere, people are awaiting a messiah, and the air is laden with the promises of large and small prophets … we all share the same fate: we carry within us more love, and above all more longing than today’s society is able to satisfy.
In the late nineteenth century, European and Japanese ruling classes began to respond to the damage and disruptions of the world market by exhorting unity in the face of internal and external threats, creating new fables of ethnic and religious solidarity, and deploying militaristic nationalism in what they claimed was a struggle for existence. In the first half of the twentieth century it wasn’t just Nazis and Fascists who embraced, while frenziedly modernizing, the theories of Social Darwinism.
Hate-mongering against immigrants, minorities and various designated ‘others’ has gone mainstream – even in Germany, whose post-Nazi politics and culture were founded on the precept ‘Never Again’. People foaming at the mouth with loathing and malice – such as the leading candidates in the US Republican presidential primaries who called Mexican immigrants ‘rapists’ and compared Syrian refugees to ‘rabid dogs’ – have become a common sight on both old and new media. Amid the lengthening spiral of ethnic and sub-ethnic massacre and mutinies, there are such bizarre anachronisms and novelties as Maoist guerrillas in India, self-immolating monks in Tibet, and Buddhist ethnic-cleansers in Sri Lanka and Myanmar.
Age of Anger: A History of the Present by Pankaj Mishra