At The Financial Times: Three views of Paris, November 13, 2015, Part Three

Gideon Rachman’s November 16, 2015 essay titled ‘Do Paris terror attacks highlight a clash of civilisations?‘Subtitle ‘Multiculturalism is not a naive liberal aspiration — it is the reality of the modern world’

As much as Mr. Rachman denies the power that Mr. Huntington’s cultural paranoia has on the apologists for Western Civilization, as not just primary, but the measuring device that places all other Civilizations in a subordinate position. Despite the admonition of President George W Bush the ‘Clash’ has had remarkable staying power as idea and also as  a kind of sub-text that underpins so much of respectable bourgeois political opinion.

Mr. Rachman goes on to describe the various national iterations of anti-Muslim prejudice,Islamic radicalism indeed a realization that within the more moderate forms of Islam there is a growing  discontent:

Mr Erdogan has been labelled as “mildly Islamist” by The Economist and others. But there was nothing mild about his statement in 2014 that westerners “look like friends, but they want us dead, they like seeing our children die”.

The War on Terror has been waged with utter contempt for Muslim lives, if we are honest. The essay ends with a short resume of the No-Nothing Republican’s stance on the refugee problem: what escapes Mr. Rachman’s grasp, or is simply inconvenient, is that the Dixiecrat Migration to the Republican Party brought with it a virulent racism, that has metastasized over time. Also Mr. Rachman’s faith in Western Liberalism redemptive power is misplaced, recall that the Vietnam War was pursued by Liberals, another political inconvenience.

Quite obviously Mr. Rachman has missed the scholarship of Ulrich Beck whose books ‘Cosmopolitan Vision’ and ‘Twenty Observations on a World in Turmoil’ offer not a vision of ‘Multiculturalism’ but about a Cosmopolitanism, that enjoys the status of being already existent in the world, as an unacknowledged fact of contemporary life.

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About stephenkmacksd

Rootless cosmopolitan,down at heels intellectual;would be writer. 'Polemic is a discourse of conflict, whose effect depends on a delicate balance between the requirements of truth and the enticements of anger, the duty to argue and the zest to inflame. Its rhetoric allows, even enforces, a certain figurative licence. Like epitaphs in Johnson’s adage, it is not under oath.'
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