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November 08, 2002

Free Reads -- Anti-Americanism

Friedrich --

Jamie Glazov at Front Page magazine leads a panel discussion on the topic of "Anti-Americanism," here. How to explain it, and how to explain its virulence? What are the differences between native anti-Americanism and the anti-Americanism of foreigners? Good, provocative thinking and speculation from the panelists, Paul Hollander, Stanley Kurtz, Victor Davis Hanson, and Dan Flynn.

Sample passage (from Flynn):

Anti-Americanism is the religion for people who hate religion. It comes complete with a devil (the United States); sacred texts (I, Rigoberta Menchu, The Communist Manifesto, etc.); saints (Noam Chomsky, Mumia Abu-Jamal); zeal ... and many of the other characteristics that we find in various faiths.

Anti-Americanism, however, provides none of the social good that most religions provide, and it is of course a false faith as well. Why is America hated even within the West? America is hated because its existence contradicts the mistaken theories so passionately held by a significant portion of Western intellectuals.



posted by Michael at November 8, 2002



Wow! Right outa the park! A windshield somewhere out in the lot is doomed!

Posted by: Yahmdallah on November 8, 2002 3:51 PM

Good piece, huh? Smart guys. Which of the various explanations do you find most convincing? Guilt? The secular religion? I'm sure they all play a role, but I'm most struck, here in NYC, by the religious quality anti-Americanism has for my nutty-lefty friends...

Posted by: Michael on November 8, 2002 4:26 PM

Hi, Michael. How about you write that up in a blog: What is secular religion? Is Objectivism one? Scientology is. What makes the "true believer" in such secular religions religious?

At age 20, to find a simple doctrine that ends all the confusion and complexity of figuring out how to live a good life.... If the prior frustrations have been uncommonly severe, then the simple doctrine becomes compelling....

Posted by: Jim on November 8, 2002 10:21 PM

Hi Jim -- Hey, I recognize a good-professor move when I see one! Besides, you're the systematic thinker -- I'm just a scatterbrain who likes pulling disparate impressions together, or maybe just lining 'em up. I'd be fascinated to read your thoughts about secular religions, though. What are examples? How do they work? Etc, etc. Marxism, Freudianism, modern art, therapy -- is it key that they promise redemption or deliverance? Can "the market" be a secular religion too, as some critics charge?

You almost had me there. But I'll be checking Philosoblog regularly for your thoughts about it.


Posted by: Michael on November 9, 2002 4:14 PM

Hi, Michael,

Hey, you tell me to blog on stuff, so I'm just returning the favor!

A religion is a system of myths, rituals, and philosophy of fulfillment. So, many things could fit that roll without being churches or having God, soul and the like. Anti-Americanism/Marxism/leftism - does it have myth an ritual? Demonstrations are its rituals. "It's all power," history being a long process of arational power grabs - that's its myth. It's value is the egalitarian society, or defeating the white guys in suits.

Dunno. Just a thought.

Posted by: Jim on November 15, 2002 11:23 PM

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