2014: How to Survive the Next World Crisis
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Top Cambridge public intellectual argues for economic, political reform if the dire events at the opening of the 20th century are not to be repeated.
1715, which, together with the treaties ending the war of Spanish succession, set the scene for an eighteenth century of European Enlightenment and British imperial expansion; the ﬁnal defeat of Napoleon, and the Congress of Vienna, in 1815, which ushered in an age of peace and industrialization in Europe; the slide into 75 years of hot and cold world war in 1914. Fancies need no justiﬁcation. If one is thought to be necessary, though, it might be something like this: by 15 or 20 years into each
too, and a right that is not justiciable is meaningless, Jefferson bases his rights on someone who otherwise plays very little role in his thinking – God. Jefferson appeals to God as politicians, not only American, have done ever since: in order to conceal something that they do not wish to call by its name, whether their violent intentions or only their incompetence or powerlessness. Jefferson does not want to admit the role of compulsion, rather than choice, in determining what a nation is,
recognized, almost regardless of what the Bible may be held to say, the need that the Bible should be there, like a rock, or a mountain. Bloom did not, however, appreciate the political signiﬁcance of the emotional need. The longing that the ethical substance of life should be concretely present to all can be fulﬁlled, according to Hegel, only in the state, and any surrogate for the state, political or religious, is necessarily inadequate. Understandably, the Northern Unionists, the East and West
doubt continue its discrete operations, paying academics and opinion-formers to promulgate the American religion even though its doctrines have been comprehensively discredited. But the event that will decide the character of the twenty-ﬁrst century will be America’s decision, in the face of global crisis, to maintain or abandon its belief in its own divine exceptionality. 72 Chapter 5 Living with the Elephant When Hegel pronounced that America could not achieve identity as a state until it
humanity. A third element, of course, are NGOs, which evidently have a role in global civil society, like other voluntary associations, but it is important to realize their limitations. They require no apology when they represent a particular interest group, such as trades unionists or the disabled or regional producers of particular commodities (sugar, for example). But when they exist only to voice concerns about a range of issues that are not germane to the economic well-being of their