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Ernest Gellner looks for the cause of some surprising developments in the twentieth century: the rising strength of Islam (in particular, Muslim fundamentalism); the upsurge in nationalism; and the unexpected and total collapse of Marxism. Behind both Muslim fundamentalism and nationalism, Gellner sees a break from local communities and hierarchies. And the main fault in Marxism, says Gellner, was the abolition of the profane. The big success stories today, he writes, “are the plural, liberal societies – what I call the unholy alliance of consumerist unbelievers.”

The reactions to the Austrian conservatives joining forces with the FPÖ can be attributed to the established political parties¹ need for a common enemy. In the “post-political era” the choice between Left and Right has lost its meaning, says Slavoj Zizek. The return of the extreme Right is the price that the “Third Way” of social democracy is paying for its renunciation of any radical political project.

Författaren som omskolades till orakel

Ett försök att förklara "Walser-affären"

I sitt tacktal för den tyska bokhandelns fredspris deklararerade Martin Walser att han fått nog av “instrumentaliseringen av Auschwitz”. Men när Walser själv bortser från den politiska sprängkraften i sitt tal och samtidigt gör anspråk på att tala med författarens auktoritet, bidrar han i själva verket till den cyniska instrumentaliseringen av litteraturen, skriver Lothar Baier.

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