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Word power: Pankaj Mishra on “the age of anger”

Just after publishing the immediately-preceding post, I read Pankaj Mishra’s essay, Welcome to the age of anger.  It is a brilliant combination of erudition and a quality not oft-alloyed with erudition  –  so-called “common” sense.

One paragraph from the Indian writer‘s response to the “seismic political events of 2016”:

Rich and poor alike voting for a serial liar and tax dodger have confirmed yet again that human desires operate independently of the logic of self-interest – and may even be destructive of it. Our political and intellectual elites midwifed the new “irrationalism” through a studied indifference to the emotional dislocation and economic suffering induced by modern capitalism. Not surprisingly, they are now unable to explain its rise. Indeed, their universal assumption, hardened since 1989, that there are no alternatives to western-style democracy and capitalism – the famous “end of history” – is precisely what has made us incapable of grasping the political phenomena shaking the world today.

Read the whole article, in which Dostoevsky, Freud, Musil and De Tocqueville are among those cited, tellingly.

Published in opinions and journalism word power


  1. Bob Evans Bob Evans

    I’m following up an email I sent to you a few minutes ago. As I said I’m going to subscribe. i intend to read the full text of Mishra’s article. I’ve just finished reading Thomas Frank’s book ‘Listen, Liberal’ written and published before the US presidential election and which, without being predictive, lays open the conditions that enabled Trump to win the poll. Here’s a link to the ABC’s Religion and Ethics program which featured Thomas Frank:

  2. Bobbie Mackley Bobbie Mackley


  3. Kaz Kaz


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