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  1. says:

    Picking up where he left off in his genuinely iconoclastic book Straw Dogs John Gray turns his attention to the ineluctably human penchant for utopia and apocalyptic fantasy His style here is less abrasive but no less bracing A British commentator recently wrote of Gray He is so out of the box it is easy to forget there was ever any box which fairly describes the intellectual jolt he'll deliver to readers dulled by boxy thinkingThe previous reviewer has done a decent job of describing the argument but any summary misses the electricity that hums in Gray's sentences Gray's unsparing synopsis of the neo conservative fantasy that led to the debacle in Ira will have patriotic Americans grinding their teeth in fury at the waste of American and Irai lives and the betrayal of American ideals He also lambasts liberals who delude themselves about inalienable human rights and minces no words about born again Christians who've sanctioned and supported the torture and carnage – which leads him to a grim conclusion Liberals have come to believe that human freedom can be secured by constitutional guarantees They have failed to grasp the Hobbesian truth that constitutions change with regimes A regime shift has occurred in the US which now stands somewhere between the law governed state it was during most of its history and a species of illiberal democracy The US has undergone this change not as a result of its corrosion by relativism but through the capture of government by fundamentalism If the American regime as it has been known in the past ceases to exist it will be a result of the power of faith pp 168 169Gray is explicit about the folly of religious myths but he accepts that the mass of humankind will never be able to do without them just as he dismisses militant atheism as a by product of Christianity mocking its pretensions at evading the conundrums of theology He's eually clear on the ineradicable future of terrorism Nothing is human than the readiness to kill and die in order to secure a meaning in life p 186 Following the bleak logic of these observations to their conclusion he can only advocate a clear eyed realism about the nature of human being which he confesses may in turn be a self deceiving hope a shift to realism may be a utopian idealAs I read Black Mass I couldn't help recalling the work of William Pfaff who as a political analyst practices the realism Gray recommends and whose fine study The Bullet's Song examines the redemptive utopian violence as it was envisioned by a rogue's gallery of 20th century artist intellectuals Neither of these books are comfortable reading; neither offer a panacea because as Gray puts it there are moral dilemmas some of which occur fairly regularly for which there is no solution Black Mass – despite its silly title – is one of the most stimulating books I read in 2007


  2. says:

    The paradox of this kind of brilliantly game changing book is that most of the people who really need to read it won't and those that do will dismiss it because it criticises them What Black Mass essentially amounts to is a call for realism in politics not the same thing as realpolitik at all an acceptance and toleration of difference and a plea for the civilised cause of modus vivendi To get to that though you have to have your brain exploded by the most clear eyed devastating and downright terrifying analysis of how we got to where we are that I have ever read You're either going to throw the book across the room possibly several times or be collecting your jaw from the floor by the end of it Or both


  3. says:

    I enjoyed if enjoyed is uite the right word this frightening and disturbing book from Gray I often read a book like this at Christmas as an antidote to the vacuousness that pervades much of it as usual I got a bit than I bargained for with Gray The challenge with the book is that it contains both a general thesis about the failure but continued attempts to achieve various visions of utopia through force and a much detailed analysis of the war in Ira undertaken largely by the US and the UK They are both good and they are related but the balance between them does not always work as a single book for me I think this could be a timeless classic But whilst the focus on the Ira war may have seemed core in 2007 when the book was published in 2018 when I read it it feels slightly dated However overall the book does make important points points which have been reinforced by what has actually happened in the last decade In the general book Gray paints an interesting intellectual exercise linking various strains of Utopian and apocalyptic thinking For me most interesting was the connection between the type of Muslim terrorists we hear a lot about in the news and which Gray criticises our lazy categorisation and naming of and shows how western revolutionary thinking rather than traditional Muslim theology has influence them More people in the West should understand thisIn the analysis of the Ira war Gray gives a critiue of the thinking behind the war and the role of people like Bush and Blair that is a very damning criticism of them personally and the whole undertaking This was fascinating and if Gray is right both disturbing and frightening Overall I ummed and ahhed between 4 and 5 stars but as he writes so well it got the 5


  4. says:

    Straw Dogs by John Gray was probably one of the most iconoclastic books I've ever read In the years since I've continued to follow Gray's books and essays and in general I find that they all tend to be derivative in some way of the argument made in that book In Black Mass Gray locates the roots of contemporary political ideology in religious myth particularly Christian millenarian traditions This is similar to what he did in Straw Dogs where he traced the genealogy of contemporary secular humanism in Christianity essentially debunking its claims to secularityThis book is strange in that it somehow feels both timeless and dated During the period of the Bush administration there were a number of books that tried to unpack the ideological grounding of neoconservatism and this clearly fits into that genre Being familiar with Gray's arguments it was not surprising or revelatory for me to read that the teleological views of history endorsed by Marx Lenin and Fukuyama had their antecedents in religious thought This is very clear to anyone who understands that modern ideologies are the products of what came before them and not created ex nihilo an argument that runs through much of Gray's work The thing with icons is that you can only smash them once After reading Straw Dogs my view of the world was genuinely altered which I think is the highest achievement a book can aim for While this book is solid and worthwhile it felt like a retread to me personally and did not have the same revelatory effect


  5. says:

    A singularly unsettling offering from John Gray upsetter of apple carts and disturber of conventional wisdom par excellence In Black Mass he continues his assault upon Progressivism this time concentrating on the pernicious effect of Western European monotheism having infected philosophy and subseuently Enlightenment thought and science on modern political and societal institutions soaking the latter in eschatological and utopian myths and illusions and being ultimately responsible for the savage violence and sheer destructiveness that have followed in the wake of twentieth century modernityGray provides extremely thought provoking interpretations and analysis of the surge and dominance of neo conservative doctrines putting forth his evidence for Tony Blair as a convert tacking to the natural position left open after Margaret Thatcher's ideological and political victories created an inviting void in British politics Fundamentalist Islam is dissected to reveal the flush strains of modernity the same utopian dreams of the victory of islamic good that lie at its core underneath the medieval trappings projected to the rest of the world Of particular interest is the middle chapter on the misguided beliefs after the end of the Cold War that there might have arisen an End of History and the subseuent exportation of global capitalism and liberal democracy replete with fervent missionaries to spread the holy word which despite its seeming secularity is really just a mutation of Protestant Christianity into a liberal version called humanism The liturgy and forms of worship have changed indeed God has found Himself superseded by regnant Mankind but the belief in History with a Purpose of humanity constantly improving in every aspect and improvable to perfection remainsGray has written a thoughtful and persuasive book in direct engaging and clutter free prose that moves briskly from one position to the next The Anchor Canada edition that I read had enough typos to set my teeth on edge it may be ridiculous how much a poorly proofed book riles me but that's just the way it is and the title itself is actually uite misleading as to what the contents contain but these are small irritants Black Mass is that best of politicalphilosophical works one that leaves the reader pondering and debating its theories and themes long after the final page has been reached


  6. says:

    Sometimes I just have to read Gray to get centred This is largely an interpretation of the fairy stories inhabiting many of the key players in the disastrous and wicked decision to invade Ira As ever the whole is interpenetrated with a hatchet job on neo enlightenment myths ofprogress


  7. says:

    PESSIMISM OF THE WILL PESSIMISM OF THE INTELLECT At the centre of John Gray's book Black Mass is the not unreasonable assertion that grandiose plans to turn the world upside down and reach Utopia overnight have entailed a great deal of human misery and very little Utopia There is nothing particularly novel in this assertion though it is a little palatable from the pen of John Gray than say Isaiah Berlin see The Crooked Timber of Humanity who liked to promote his own particular ism Zionism including spying for them while in British government serviceSome Gray's contentions are interesting for example the link between the search for Utopia and Christian doctrine At other times he seems to over egg the pudding as when he draws a link between the Holy Trinity and the three stages of orthodox Marxism I thought it was four? as if there is something particularly important about the number three The association appears meaningless and asinine despite the apparent solemnity and objectivity of Gray's toneAnother problem was the continual flow of uestionable generalisations with regard to historical facts and figures Cuba is categorised as a totalitarian dystopia but not a word on the circumstances in comparable countries in the US sphere say Guatemala Nicaragua El Salvador or indeed any of the Latin American countries With regard to Russia he talks of when Russian voters repudiated Yeltsin in favour of Putin when such a choice was never before the Russian electorate His account of the end of the British post war consensus is light on historical context and essentially shallow The assertion that preventive war was a uniue Bush doctrine is uestionable and though his administration was a vocal promoter the idea has had a long history in American policy and no doubt will continue toHaving said that the criticisms of the Ira War are pungent but again focus on the alleged Utopian dimension of that policy the US and UK bring liberal democratic capitalism to the Middle East at the expense of a full appreciation of the factors that played a part in that misadventure His criticisms of Francis Fukuyama Milton Friedman and a number of other ideologues are sharp and reasonable The sections that deal with Leo Strauss and the intellectual influence he has had with the American right was a real and scary eye opener and almost worth the admission price aloneAs far as solutions go Gray posits that a sense of realism should inform foreign policy though he admits that the last self proclaimed realist Henry Kissinger contributions were less than ideal in Cambodia This is being far too modest about Mr Kissinger's contribution to mass murder With regard to the broader uestions of society the feeling is one of helplessness and pessimism about the advisability of striving for anything that might be regarded as progress This is the hole in the book Gray has nothing much to say on how we should live collectively though he does suggest that we would be better advised spending time with poets and hedonists Pleasant company I'm sure and not to be avoided if the chance presents itself but does this really make him the the most important living philosopher as the back page blurb states?With all those reservations I still found it interesting occasionally entertaining informative and always provocative reading It just doesn't seem to me to be as profound and as comprehensive as some are making it out to be Read it by all means but with a pinch of salt and critical faculties at the ready


  8. says:

    If anyone knows of a writer functioning at this level on these topics and related especially environmental issues please let me know Brilliant ‘Hannah Arendt also portrayed totalitarian states as impersonal machines in which individual responsibility was practically non existent’ P 53‘Less well known is the work of Ilya Ivanov who in the mid twenties was charged by Stalin with the task of cross breeding apes with humans Stalin was not interested in filling the world with replicas of Aristotle and Goethe He wanted a new breed of soldier – ‘a new invincible human being’ highly resistant to pain that needed little food or sleep horse breeder Ilya Ivanov travelled to a West Africa to conduct trials impregnating chimpanzees humans were impregnated with ape sperm A number of experiments were attempted but unsurprisingly all of them failed’ P 58‘For the most part western opinion saw in the Stalinist Soviet Union an image of its utopian fantasies and it projected the same image on to Maoist China where the human cost of communism was even greater Some thirty eight million people perished between 1958 and 1961 in the Great Leap Forward’ P 70‘What the Nazis owed to the Romantics was a belief also shared by many Enlightenment thinkers – the idea that society had once been an organic whole and could so be again at some time in the future’ P 78Remind you of anyone? Make America great again The fantasy of the good old days‘No society has ever been a harmonious whole and with its suspicion of conflict and diversity the idea of organic community is always liable to be used against minorities’ P 79uote from Oliver Roy‘The figure of the lonely metaphysical terrorist who blew himself up with his bomb appeared in Russia at the end of the nineteenth century The real genesis of al uaeda violence has to do with a Western tradition of individual and pessimistic revolt for an elusive ideal world than with the Koranic conception of martyrdom’ P 97‘If the débâcle in Ira has undermined these hopes of worldwide liberal democracies the rise of authoritarian Russia and China has shattered the assumption that post communist countries are bound to take western institutions as their model Yet despite this refutation by history the myth that humanity is moving towards adopting the same values and institutions remains embedded in western consciousness’ P 104‘The hideous facts of life in Ira refute the post modern dogma that truth is a construction of power’ P 148Leo Strauss uote‘the philosopher ceases to be a philosopher when certainty of a solution becomes stronger than his awareness of the problematic character of the solution’ P 187‘They omitted to consider the possibility that these defectors might have been dispatched to foster the belief which some of them may have believed to be true that Saddam had an active weapons program when in fact he did not Insofar as it projected an image that enhanced his power in Ira and throughout the Arab world it was a belief that served Saddam’s interests’ Pp 200 201Good to see the work and sentiments of Dr David Kelly expressed British scientist charged with investigating WMDs who suicided after not being listened to being made a scapegoat Saddam was playing a dangerous game and it suited the Bush regime perhaps to exploit his lack of a denial about having WMDs‘A predictable effect of the war was to demonstrate to ‘rogue states’ around the world that they would be better off having the WMD that Saddam lacked – otherwise like Ira they would be vulnerable to American attack’ P 211‘A report by the US Department of Energy entitled Peaking of World Oil Production Impacts Mitigation and Risk Management which was released in February 2005 concludes ‘The world has never faced a problem like this Without massive mitigation than a decade before the fact the problem will be pervasive and will not be temporary Previous energy transitions wood to coal and coal to oil were gradual and evolutionary; oil peaking will be abrupt and revolutionary’ P 213‘Much that is dead doesn't today as terrorism was viewed in the past as insurrection or civil conflict and recognized to be part of struggles that are local in nature Techniues such as the bombing of government buildings and the assassination of public officials are the stock in trade of national liberation struggles and were employed in places as diverse as Palestine and Malaya under British rule French Algeria and Vietnam during American occupation Terrorist techniues are used because they are cheap and highly effective They are normally employed on a large scale over extended periods only in circumstances of severe conflict when other methods have failed In other words terrorism is often a rational strategy’ P 247‘In the first rigorous empirical study of the subject Dying to Win The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism Robert Pape analysed all known cases between 1980 and 2004 and found that over 95 per cent of all incidents had clear political objectives’ P 249‘The danger of Islamic terrorism is real but declaring war on the world is not a sensible way of dealing with it Except in a few countries – such as Saudi Arabia Israel and Ira – terrorists pose a security problem rather than a strategic threat There is no clear enemy against which war can be directed or any point at which victory can be announced As has often been noted disabling terrorists is a type of police work that reuires support from their host communities It is not facilitated by futile wars in Islamic lands or by discriminatory policies targeting Muslims in western countries While concentrated military action may sometimes be effective – as in the destruction of training bases in Afghanistan – conventional military operations are usually counter productive Enhanced security measures and continuous political engagement are the only strategies that have ever brought terrorism under control’ P 252‘Nothing is human than the readiness to kill and die in order to secure a meaning in life’ P 263‘humanity cannot advance or retreat for humanity cannot act there is no collective entity with intentions or purposes only ephemeral struggling animals each with its own passions and illusions’ P 265‘Realism reuires a discipline of thought that may be too austere for a culture that prizes psychological comfort above anything else and it is a reasonable uestion whether western liberal societies are capable of the moral effort that is involved in setting aside the hopes of world transformation’ Pp 272 273‘The heady certainty of faith which sees every crisis as a heaven sent opportunity to save humanity is ill suited to dealing with dangers that can never be defused In times of danger stoical determination and intellectual detachment are useful ualities and at its best realism embodied them’ P 274‘Classical warfare Clausewitzian remains a major evil but even when it is total it can be ended by agreement – diplomats can meet negotiate a settlement and declare peace No such agreement can be reached with global terrorist networks which may be internally divided and lack negotiable goals’ P 283As the writer and psychoanalyst Adam Philips has written ‘Clearly apocalyptic thinking is nostalgia at its very worst’ The effect of seeking refuge in an imaginary future harmony is to bind us to the conflicts of the past’ P 292I love the Sunday Telegraph review uote on the back of the book 'A load of bollocks Could hardly be bonkers if it was crawling with lizards' They are a conservative British newspaper It's sad there are enough people with those kind of views for that paper to function Books like this are an antidote even if Telegraph readers never read it maybe the readers of this book can find a way to communicate the ideas to the less intellectually fortunate Maybe as a comic strip


  9. says:

    goes to a history of ideas class onceObviously the political landscape was looking different in 2007 when this was published but damn Like I mentioned in an update once his whole argument hinges between points that are too large to refute basic history of ideas stuff like what if I told you your idea of progress is a myth and modernity is a project and language games that function as scams allowing him to write ; for example there's a statement in here about how American military involvement in the Middle East doesn't really count as imperialism because even though Gray admits the US is or less a nation state making gains as imperialist empire it lacked the necessary intent reuired for it to be considered classic imperialism What is the point of making note of something like this? Gray's writing is full of these uselessly padded differences without distinction He sure has a lot to say about post enlightenment ideas and their inconsistent relations to utopic and apocalyptic thought But for him the point doesn't go farther than tying various political policies essentially into the same relational web by picking out their utopic or apocalyptic attributes It isn't impressive; history has happened my mind is not blown It's kind of like someone being obsessed with the idea of Die Hard being a Christmas movie; under a particular set of criteria that is true but we all know what is usually meant for something to be characterized as A Christmas Movie you aren't clever Finally the last chapter which tepidly advocates for some kind of pseudo ideological Realism seems absolutely stupid– why is this sort of approach any better than all of those that have failed us before? Oh it's just an attitude we should adopt towards foreign policy? What? It isn't worth it to get to upset nobody even knows this book But it's crazy he went on for 300 pages and really phoned it in– and it really doesn't pay off All in all if this book shocks you then you're probably kind of a coward or a baby


  10. says:

    Good book It offers a cool way to understand how the modern world has apparently been taken over by irrational but thoroughly convinced fanatics be they jihadists christian fundamentalists or simple tea party nut jobsHe starts off with a review of Millenarian ism And thinks that the idea of utopia came from religion but is now taken up by the modern conservative movement and many radical religious people Meaning there is a wonderful and almost perfect world that is an achievable goal but only if you are pure enough and can rid the world of the evil that is all around us I am reminded of Atlas Shrugged which I read as a teenager where the goal was the purity of a un alloyed capitalist system that was built in a mountain valley paradise a Utopia Where the true believers bring it to fruition away from the despoiled world they left behind Did Ayn Rand recognize the structural resemblance to Lost Horizon? And this does fit nicely into the traditional millennial views that include years of tribulation and pain where the world is purified AND the Chicago style economists who think the old impure systems have to be broken down in order to rebuilt correctly Basically what Naomi Klein says in The Shock Doctrine And now that the neo conservative movement is thoroughly tied to the evangelical movement modern American politics is like a medieval millennial worldview than an economic philosophy And both see a utopian goal at the end of the historical tunnelAnd as usual Gray gives us many wonderful uotes “the authors of the Federalist Papers who viewed government as a means of coping with human imperfection rather than an instrument for recreating society” Pg 33 “the political violence of the modern West can only be understood as an eschatological phenomenon ” pg 34  “The particular achievement of Enlightenment racism was to give genocide the blessing of science and civilization Mass murder could be justified  by faux Darwinian ideas of survival of the fittest and the destruction of entire people could be welcomed as part of the advance of the species” pg 62 “What is uniue to the modern West is the formative role of the faith that violence can save the world” 73“Ideological thinking tends to adopt a one size fits all approach to society”pg 83 The section on the invasion of Ira does a good job of showing how once the Millenarian view is accepted facts are at best a secondary consideration from the point of “truth is whatever serves the cause” pg 103 and it is almost a Seinfeld Costanza view of “It’s not a lie if you believe it” Except in this case a country is invaded and thousands of people dieThis is followed up with the insightful uote from Joan Didion about Bush and Cheney “What the vice president was doing then was not cherry picking the intelligence but rejecting it with whatever self interested rumor better advanced his narrative ” pg 142  Gray explains how this is called hermetic interpretation of “Intelligence” where what facts are found is much much less important than what is not found And since there is so much in the world of investigation that is “not” found once you know what the goal is you can use the not found facts to prove anything It is hard to explain but really uite cleverOne can image the powerful of the world getting on board with this since it enhances their power but why do the millions of followers buy into it? And religion comes back into the story“By taking up terror they ceased to be drifters and became warriors” pg 178Admission that the Enlightenment hope of man perfected by man is gone we find that we are back to the old time religion REALLY old time religion But don't don't expect Gray to offer a Richard Dawkins condemnation of religion because ultimately it is about people hating not having a sense of purpose And with that in play any other actions become possible once you have purpose ANY action“Nothing is human than the readiness to kill and die in order to secure a meaning in life”He comes back around for a few jabs at the atheists again mainly for their unfounded view that if people would just think for themselves ie Like the atheists do they would stop all this religion nonsense And he uses Spinoza to do itFor SpinozaReligions are not literally true as their followers believe They are myths that preserve in symbolic or metaphorical form of truths that might otherwise be lost on the mass of mankind who will never be able to do without them Pg 186In fact the people think they are repressing longings for religion“like repressed sexual desire faith returns in grotesue forms to govern the lives of those who deny it” 190The closing section brings some themes together with al aeda and Neocons both having a teleological view of history And both wrap themselves in a blanket of religion And those who think religion will wither away are doomed to disappointmentIt also returns in the form of a “Framework of thought” as Gray points out that the evangelical atheists take on the same way of thinking as their bible believing doppelgangersBut back to the objectively insane world we live in where people eagerly give up what I would call freedom of thought and selfOr something like that heyhe is the writer not me But he does have a nice way of describing the situation where tyrants and states not only want control but”they are also vehicles for myths fantasies and mass psychosis” pg 199 A short afterthoughtWhy is it call the the Death of Utopia? At the very end he says the Enlightenment Utopia and BushCheney Ira Utopia are both dead But he spent the whole book tracing how a Utopian way of thought has been adopted by widely divergent worldviews like the current crop of right wing idealists and Islamic extremists who have taken up Utopian visions Maybe I just missed a crucial sentence in the last few pages


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Black Mass Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia

Free download Black Mass Apocalyptic Religion and the Death of Utopia

For the decade that followed the end of the cold war the world was lulled into a sense that a consumerist globalized peaceful future beckoned The beginning of the twenty first century has rudely disposed of such ideas most obviously through 911and its aftermath But just as damaging has been the rise in the West of a belief that a single model of political behaviour will become a worldwide norm and that if necessary it will be enforced at gunpoint In Black Mass celebrated phil. Picking up where he left off in his genuinely iconoclastic book Straw Dogs John Gray turns his attention to the ineluctably human penchant for utopia and apocalyptic fantasy His style here is less abrasive but no less bracing A British commentator recently wrote of Gray He is so out of the box it is easy to forget there was ever any box which fairly describes the intellectual jolt he'll deliver to readers dulled by boxy thinkingThe previous reviewer has done a decent job of describing the argument but any summary misses the electricity that hums in Gray's sentences Gray's unsparing synopsis of the neo conservative fantasy that led to the debacle in Ira will have patriotic Americans grinding their teeth in fury at the waste of American and Irai lives and the betrayal of American ideals He also lambasts liberals who delude themselves about inalienable human rights and minces no words about born again Christians who've sanctioned and supported the torture and carnage – which leads him to a grim conclusion Liberals have come to believe that human freedom can be secured by constitutional guarantees They have failed to grasp the Hobbesian truth that constitutions change with regimes A regime shift has occurred in the US which now stands somewhere between the law governed state it was during most of its history and a species of illiberal democracy The US has undergone this change not as a result of its corrosion by relativism but through the capture of government by fundamentalism If the American regime as it has been known in the past ceases to exist it will be a result of the power of faith pp 168 169Gray is explicit about the folly of religious myths but he accepts that the mass of humankind will never be able to do without them just as he dismisses militant atheism as a by product of Christianity mocking its pretensions at evading the conundrums of theology He's eually clear on the ineradicable future of terrorism Nothing is human than the readiness to kill and die in order to secure a meaning in life p 186 Following the bleak logic of these observations to their conclusion he can only advocate a clear eyed realism about the nature of human being which he confesses may in turn be a self deceiving hope a shift to realism may be a utopian idealAs I read Black Mass I couldn't help recalling the work of William Pfaff who as a political analyst practices the realism Gray recommends and whose fine study The Bullet's Song examines the redemptive utopian violence as it was envisioned by a rogue's gallery of 20th century artist intellectuals Neither of these books are comfortable reading; neither offer a panacea because as Gray puts it there are moral dilemmas some of which occur fairly regularly for which there is no solution Black Mass – despite its silly title – is one of the most stimulating books I read in 2007 Rataciri of the cold war the world was lulled into a sense that a consumerist globalized peaceful future beckoned The beginning Tisuću i jedna noć of the twenty first century has rudely disposed Charlie of such ideas most Digitale Erhaltung Des Auditiven Und Visuellen Kulturerbes Palastinas obviously through 911and its aftermath But just as damaging has been the rise in the West Hefner of a belief that a single model Lernquiz Steuerrecht: 500 Lernkarten mit Fragen und Antworten. Allgemeines Steuerrecht.Abgabenordnung. Bilanzsteuerrecht. of political behaviour will become a worldwide norm and that if necessary it will be enforced at gunpoint In Black Mass celebrated phil. Picking up where he left The Cypress Tree off in his genuinely iconoclastic book Straw Dogs John Gray turns his attention to the ineluctably human penchant for utopia and apocalyptic fantasy His style here is less abrasive but no less bracing A British commentator recently wrote Mumbai Fables of Gray He is so Oprah Winfreys Inspirational Life Story out Léthique des hackers of the box it is easy to forget there was ever any box which fairly describes the intellectual jolt he'll deliver to readers dulled by boxy thinkingThe previous reviewer has done a decent job Outmove (Inner Movement, of describing the argument but any summary misses the electricity that hums in Gray's sentences Gray's unsparing synopsis The Great Roxhythe of the neo conservative fantasy that led to the debacle in Ira will have patriotic Americans grinding their teeth in fury at the waste Schlussakt (Max Koller, of American and Irai lives and the betrayal Lubricants and Lubrication, 2 Volume Set of American ideals He also lambasts liberals who delude themselves about inalienable human rights and minces no words about born again Christians who've sanctioned and supported the torture and carnage – which leads him to a grim conclusion Liberals have come to believe that human freedom can be secured by constitutional guarantees They have failed to grasp the Hobbesian truth that constitutions change with regimes A regime shift has A Fool and His Monet (Serena Jones Mystery, occurred in the US which now stands somewhere between the law governed state it was during most Elektrische Messgerںate Und Messverfahren of its history and a species Tropics of Desire of illiberal democracy The US has undergone this change not as a result Hopeless (Flightless of its corrosion by relativism but through the capture The Valley Is Bright of government by fundamentalism If the American regime as it has been known in the past ceases to exist it will be a result A Handbook of Australian Government and Politics, 1985-1999 of the power Schwarzbuch Deutsche Bahn of faith pp 168 169Gray is explicit about the folly Frederick Rolfe& of religious myths but he accepts that the mass The Scent of Rain and Lightning of humankind will never be able to do without them just as he dismisses militant atheism as a by product Arie Roos wordt geheim agent (Bob Evers, of Christianity mocking its pretensions at evading the conundrums Their Wedding Day - Hari Perkawinan Mereka of theology He's eually clear I Survived the Sinking of the Titanic, 1912 on the ineradicable future Breaking the Mould of terrorism Nothing is human than the readiness to kill and die in Water Supply and Sewerage order to secure a meaning in life p 186 Following the bleak logic Comment peut-on anticiper le réel? of these Randa observations to their conclusion he can Klartext zur Integration: Gegen falsche Toleranz und Panikmache only advocate a clear eyed realism about the nature warren buffet bio of human being which he confesses may in turn be a self deceiving hope a shift to realism may be a utopian idealAs I read Black Mass I couldn't help recalling the work Hale House, The House That Love Built of William Pfaff who as a political analyst practices the realism Gray recommends and whose fine study The Bullet's Song examines the redemptive utopian violence as it was envisioned by a rogue's gallery Telltale of 20th century artist intellectuals Neither The Lost Girls of these books are comfortable reading; neither Aftershock offer a panacea because as Gray puts it there are moral dilemmas some Ethics and Morality in Sport Management of which Currency Trading in the Forex and Futures Markets, Coursesmart Etextbook occur fairly regularly for which there is no solution Black Mass – despite its silly title – is She Wants You one Wendy Wyoming (Silhouette Special Edition, No 483) of the most stimulating books I read in 2007

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Ming to define the political centre Far from having shaken off discredited ideology Gray suggests we are than ever in its clutchesBlack Mass is a truly frightening and challenging work by one of Britain's leading political thinkers John Gray is the author of many critically acclaimed books including Straw Dogs and Al aeda and What It Means to Be Modern A regular contributor to The New York Review of Books he is a professor of European thought at the London School of Economics. If anyone knows of a writer functioning at this level on these topics and related especially environmental issues please let me know Brilliant ‘Hannah Arendt also portrayed totalitarian states as impersonal machines in which individual responsibility was practically non existent’ P 53‘Less well known is the work of Ilya Ivanov who in the mid twenties was charged by Stalin with the task of cross breeding apes with humans Stalin was not interested in filling the world with replicas of Aristotle and Goethe He wanted a new breed of soldier – ‘a new invincible human being’ highly resistant to pain that needed little food or sleep horse breeder Ilya Ivanov travelled to a West Africa to conduct trials impregnating chimpanzees humans were impregnated with ape sperm A number of experiments were attempted but unsurprisingly all of them failed’ P 58‘For the most part western opinion saw in the Stalinist Soviet Union an image of its utopian fantasies and it projected the same image on to Maoist China where the human cost of communism was even greater Some thirty eight million people perished between 1958 and 1961 in the Great Leap Forward’ P 70‘What the Nazis owed to the Romantics was a belief also shared by many Enlightenment thinkers – the idea that society had once been an organic whole and could so be again at some time in the future’ P 78Remind you of anyone Make America great again The fantasy of the good old days‘No society has ever been a harmonious whole and with its suspicion of conflict and diversity the idea of organic community is always liable to be used against minorities’ P 79uote from Oliver Roy‘The figure of the lonely metaphysical terrorist who blew himself up with his bomb appeared in Russia at the end of the nineteenth century The real genesis of al uaeda violence has to do with a Western tradition of individual and pessimistic revolt for an elusive ideal world than with the Koranic conception of martyrdom’ P 97‘If the débâcle in Ira has undermined these hopes of worldwide liberal democracies the rise of authoritarian Russia and China has shattered the assumption that post communist countries are bound to take western institutions as their model Yet despite this refutation by history the myth that humanity is moving towards adopting the same values and institutions remains embedded in western consciousness’ P 104‘The hideous facts of life in Ira refute the post modern dogma that truth is a construction of power’ P 148Leo Strauss uote‘the philosopher ceases to be a philosopher when certainty of a solution becomes stronger than his awareness of the problematic character of the solution’ P 187‘They omitted to consider the possibility that these defectors might have been dispatched to foster the belief which some of them may have believed to be true that Saddam had an active weapons program when in fact he did not Insofar as it projected an image that enhanced his power in Ira and throughout the Arab world it was a belief that served Saddam’s interests’ Pp 200 201Good to see the work and sentiments of Dr David Kelly expressed British scientist charged with investigating WMDs who suicided after not being listened to being made a scapegoat Saddam was playing a dangerous game and it suited the Bush regime perhaps to exploit his lack of a denial about having WMDs‘A predictable effect of the war was to demonstrate to ‘rogue states’ around the world that they would be better off having the WMD that Saddam lacked – otherwise like Ira they would be vulnerable to American attack’ P 211‘A report by the US Department of Energy entitled Peaking of World Oil Production Impacts Mitigation and Risk Management which was released in February 2005 concludes ‘The world has never faced a problem like this Without massive mitigation than a decade before the fact the problem will be pervasive and will not be temporary Previous energy transitions wood to coal and coal to oil were gradual and evolutionary; oil peaking will be abrupt and revolutionary’ P 213‘Much that is dead doesn't today as terrorism was viewed in the past as insurrection or civil conflict and recognized to be part of struggles that are local in nature Techniues such as the bombing of government buildings and the assassination of public officials are the stock in trade of national liberation struggles and were employed in places as diverse as Palestine and Malaya under British rule French Algeria and Vietnam during American occupation Terrorist techniues are used because they are cheap and highly effective They are normally employed on a large scale over extended periods only in circumstances of severe conflict when other methods have failed In other words terrorism is often a rational strategy’ P 247‘In the first rigorous empirical study of the subject Dying to Win The Strategic Logic of Suicide Terrorism Robert Pape analysed all known cases between 1980 and 2004 and found that over 95 per cent of all incidents had clear political objectives’ P 249‘The danger of Islamic terrorism is real but declaring war on the world is not a sensible way of dealing with it Except in a few countries – such as Saudi Arabia Israel and Ira – terrorists pose a security problem rather than a strategic threat There is no clear enemy against which war can be directed or any point at which victory can be announced As has often been noted disabling terrorists is a type of police work that reuires support from their host communities It is not facilitated by futile wars in Islamic lands or by discriminatory policies targeting Muslims in western countries While concentrated military action may sometimes be effective – as in the destruction of training bases in Afghanistan – conventional military operations are usually counter productive Enhanced security measures and continuous political engagement are the only str Der Katalane. off discredited ideology Gray suggests we are than ever in its clutchesBlack Mass is a truly frightening and challenging work by Paediatric Dentistry one FAB of Britain's leading political thinkers John Gray is the author Inventors Who Left Their Brands on America of many critically acclaimed books including Straw Dogs and Al aeda and What It Means to Be Modern A regular contributor to The New York Review ما بعد الشيوخ of Books he is a professor Tight Ink of European thought at the London School Bear to Love (Alaskan Den Men Book 8) of Economics. If anyone knows Bear Cuffs (Broken Hill Bears, of a writer functioning at this level Indian Horse on these topics and related especially environmental issues please let me know Brilliant ‘Hannah Arendt also portrayed totalitarian states as impersonal machines in which individual responsibility was practically non existent’ P 53‘Less well known is the work Just Another Heartbeat of Ilya Ivanov who in the mid twenties was charged by Stalin with the task Getting Good with JavaScript of cross breeding apes with humans Stalin was not interested in filling the world with replicas Report to the academy of Aristotle and Goethe He wanted a new breed Hood of soldier – ‘a new invincible human being’ highly resistant to pain that needed little food Love of My Life (Merry Men Quartet, or sleep horse breeder Ilya Ivanov travelled to a West Africa to conduct trials impregnating chimpanzees humans were impregnated with ape sperm A number اگر قره‌قاج نبود of experiments were attempted but unsurprisingly all V Is for Vegetables of them failed’ P 58‘For the most part western Zombies of Mass Destruction (ZMD, opinion saw in the Stalinist Soviet Union an image The Complete Idiots Guide to Fermenting Foods of its utopian fantasies and it projected the same image Playing Around (Harford Scarlet Series 2) on to Maoist China where the human cost Untamed Hearts (Easton Hearts, of communism was even greater Some thirty eight million people perished between 1958 and 1961 in the Great Leap Forward’ P 70‘What the Nazis What Happened to My Perfect Life? owed to the Romantics was a belief also shared by many Enlightenment thinkers – the idea that society had Neuer Adel, Vol. 2 once been an Deutero-Isaiah organic whole and could so be again at some time in the future’ P 78Remind you HARMONICA BEGINNERS - YOUR EASY HOW TO PLAY GUIDE BOOK of anyone Make America great again The fantasy Paralegic Heroes of the good Dont Cross the Bridge old days‘No society has ever been a harmonious whole and with its suspicion Athol Fugard of conflict and diversity the idea Pan of Pan organic community is always liable to be used against minorities’ P 79uote from Oliver Roy‘The figure Love Has Its Ups and Downs of the lonely metaphysical terrorist who blew himself up with his bomb appeared in Russia at the end Contact! Britain! of the nineteenth century The real genesis Mit forfærdelige ansigt of al uaeda violence has to do with a Western tradition Les erreurs des autres. L'autojustification, ses ressorts et ses méfaits of individual and pessimistic revolt for an elusive ideal world than with the Koranic conception Insomnia of martyrdom’ P 97‘If the débâcle in Ira has undermined these hopes Where Wizards Stay Up Late: The Origins Of The Internet, Matthew Lyon, Katie Hafner, eBook - Amazon.com of worldwide liberal democracies the rise Black Dawn (The Morganville Vampires of authoritarian Russia and China has shattered the assumption that post communist countries are bound to take western institutions as their model Yet despite this refutation by history the myth that humanity is moving towards adopting the same values and institutions remains embedded in western consciousness’ P 104‘The hideous facts Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Trivia Quiz of life in Ira refute the post modern dogma that truth is a construction Catering to Nobody (A Goldy Bear Culinary Mystery, of power’ P 148Leo Strauss uote‘the philosopher ceases to be a philosopher when certainty The Road to Deer Run (Deer Run Saga of a solution becomes stronger than his awareness Heart Strings (Sweetwater Canyon of the problematic character Blue Moon of the solution’ P 187‘They The Phoenix Tree and Other Stories omitted to consider the possibility that these defectors might have been dispatched to foster the belief which some Prince Ashley and the Flintlock Pirates of them may have believed to be true that Saddam had an active weapons program when in fact he did not Insofar as it projected an image that enhanced his power in Ira and throughout the Arab world it was a belief that served Saddam’s interests’ Pp 200 201Good to see the work and sentiments Jule of Dr David Kelly expressed British scientist charged with investigating WMDs who suicided after not being listened to being made a scapegoat Saddam was playing a dangerous game and it suited the Bush regime perhaps to exploit his lack The Brides Proposition - Proposal Pernikahan (Salvatore Brothers, of a denial about having WMDs‘A predictable effect Carlota y Maximiliano: La dinastía de los Habsburgo en México of the war was to demonstrate to ‘rogue states’ around the world that they would be better THE IVORY COAST off having the WMD that Saddam lacked – Dictionnaire Wallon-Fran�ais otherwise like Ira they would be vulnerable to American attack’ P 211‘A report by the US Department The Notary of Energy entitled Peaking Dias Lamacentos of World Oil Production Impacts Mitigation and Risk Management which was released in February 2005 concludes ‘The world has never faced a problem like this Without massive mitigation than a decade before the fact the problem will be pervasive and will not be temporary Previous energy transitions wood to coal and coal to Fantômette dans l'espace - tome 34 oil were gradual and evolutionary; Untitled Justin Trudeau NF oil peaking will be abrupt and revolutionary’ P 213‘Much that is dead doesn't today as terrorism was viewed in the past as insurrection Burn The Witch or civil conflict and recognized to be part Stress Management in the Construction Industry, Mei-yung Leung, Isabelle Yee Shan Chan, Cary L. Cooper, eBook - Amazon.com of struggles that are local in nature Techniues such as the bombing Kelly of government buildings and the assassination Rozen Aldeguer (Stallion, of public Double Dare (Naughty Games, officials are the stock in trade The Bloody Ripper (Leopard King Saga, of national liberation struggles and were employed in places as diverse as Palestine and Malaya under British rule French Algeria and Vietnam during American Support occupation Terrorist techniues are used because they are cheap and highly effective They are normally employed Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (Charlie Bucket, on a large scale Aventuras, venturas y desventuras de un cazador a rabo over extended periods Las primeras elecciones autonómicas de Andalucía (1982) only in circumstances The Tupac Amaru Rebellion of severe conflict when Spring Bride (Landons Legacy, other methods have failed In The Tower In The Ho-Ho Wood And Other Stories other words terrorism is Bis ins Herz der Ewigkeit often a rational strategy’ P 247‘In the first rigorous empirical study Man of the Match of the subject Dying to Win The Strategic Logic Almost Invincible of Suicide Terrorism Robert Pape analysed all known cases between 1980 and 2004 and found that Caramel Sunshine over 95 per cent Safety Net of all incidents had clear political Sada Punjab objectives’ P 249‘The danger Russian of Islamic terrorism is real but declaring war Topal Viktorun Anıları on the world is not a sensible way Out of Hormones Way (Bel Barrett, of dealing with it Except in a few countries – such as Saudi Arabia Israel and Ira – terrorists pose a security problem rather than a strategic threat There is no clear enemy against which war can be directed Old-Fashioned Santa Claus Cards or any point at which victory can be announced As has Touching Your Heart Inspirational stories of transformation From Soul to Soul often been noted disabling terrorists is a type Meniti Jarak Hati of police work that reuires support from their host communities It is not facilitated by futile wars in Islamic lands El hombre que parafraseaba or by discriminatory policies targeting Muslims in western countries While concentrated military action may sometimes be effective – as in the destruction Ang Kamisetang Dilaw of training bases in Afghanistan – conventional military Midwife Crisis operations are usually counter productive Enhanced security measures and continuous political engagement are the Environmental Chemistry: A global perspective only str

John N. Gray Ú 0 Read

Osopher and critic John Gray explains how utopian ideals have taken on a dangerous significance in the hands of right wing conservatives and religious zealots He charts the history of utopianism from the Reformation through the French Revolution and into the present And most urgently he describes how utopian politics have moved from the extremes of the political spectrum into mainstream politics dominating the administrations of both George W Bush and Tony Blair and indeed co. Sometimes I just have to read Gray to get centred This is largely an interpretation of the fairy stories inhabiting many of the key players in the disastrous and wicked decision to invade Ira As ever the whole is interpenetrated with a hatchet job on neo enlightenment myths ofprogress