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By Lee Harris

Forgetfulness happens whilst those that were lengthy inured to civilized order can now not take into accout a time during which they'd to wonder if their vegetation may develop to adulthood with out being stolen or their young ones bought into slavery by means of a effective foe. . . . They fail to remember that during time of hazard, within the face of the enemy, they need to belief and open up to one another, or perish. . . . They overlook, in brief, that there has ever been a class of human event known as the enemy. "That, prior to September 11, was once what had occurred to us. The very inspiration of the enemy have been banished from our ethical and political vocabulary. An enemy was once only a good friend we hadn't performed adequate for but. or even there have been a false impression, or an oversight on our half - anything that lets right. . . . "Our first job is consequently to attempt to understand what the concept that of the enemy fairly capacity. The enemy is anyone who's keen to die as a way to kill you. And whereas it truly is precise that the enemy continuously hates us for a cause, it really is his cause, and never ours". So starts Civilization and Its Enemies, a unprecedented journey de strength through America's "reigning thinker of 9/11", Lee Harris. What Francis Fukuyama did for the top of the chilly struggle, Lee Harris has now performed for the following nice clash: the warfare among the civilized global and the overseas terrorists who desire to spoil it. every one significant turning element in our background has produced one nice philosopher who has been in a position to step again from petty disagreements and notice the larger photo - and Lee Harris has emerged as that guy for our time. he's the person who has helped make feel of the terrorists' fantasies and who forces us so much strongly to confront the truth that our enemy - for the 1st time in centuries - refuses to play by means of any of our principles, or to imagine in any of our different types. we're all evidently reluctant to stand a real enemy. so much folks can't hand over the parable that tolerance is the nice

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Does this mean that history is repeating itself? Are we again facing challenges like those we faced in our confrontations with Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany, and Soviet Russia? The answer is an emphatic no. For while fantasy ideologies may have inspired Mussolini and Hitler, the threats that they posed could always be clearly apprehended in Clausewitzian terms. The threats we faced during World War II were precisely the kind of threat that one classical nation state poses to another, so confrontations between us and them could be expected to follow a certain set of rules.

With 9/11 commenced the next stage of history, one whose direction will be determined by how the world responds to the possibilities that it has opened up. And yet, have we even begun to understand it? 1 The Riddle of the Enemy "KNOW YOUR ENEMY" is an admirable maxim of prudence, but one that is difficult to observe in practice. Nor is the reason hard to fathom: if you are my enemy, it is unlikely that I will go very much out of my way to learn to see things from your point of view. And if this ignorance exists even where the conflict is between groups that share a common culture, how much more will it exist when there is a profound cultural and psychological chasm between the antagonists?

And if you are the enemy, then you have an enemy. When you recognize it, this fact must change everything about the way you see the world. Once someone else sees you as the enemy, then you must yourself deal with this category of human experience, which is why societies that have enemies are radically different from societies that do not. A society that lacks an enemy does not need to worry about how to defend itself against him. It does not need to teach any of its children how to fight and how not to run when they are being attacked by men who want to kill them.

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