Pankaj Mishra is one of the most trenchant critics of ‘Western Civilization’ and its apologists/explicators/advocates. As the Neo-Liberal Age and Globalism , the ultimate expressions of that ‘Civilization’, continues its confusing, sometimes fast and sometimes slow, collapse.
That Mr. Luce and Mr. Sachs are the targets of Mishra’s polemical interventions, is, perhaps, in an historically reductivist way, about the revenge of the Colonized against the Colonizer?
Perry Anderson’s comment about the function and purpose of polemic is instructive:
‘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.’
Thank you for your positive comment. The fact is that ‘writers/commenters’ share in the same egotism of those they criticize. With the proviso that the imperatives of criticism, are first about a recognition of an imperative to self-criticism, as part of that critical inquiry. The awareness of the power of that paradox , even from within the critical endeavor, renders the polemic in a more decorous, or should it be the recognition of civility, as key, sometimes? Thank you for offering an opportunity to really think about this question!