[lit-ideas] Armatya Sen. SoS?????? Interesting anyway.

  • From: "Mike Geary" <atlas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <lit-ideas@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Mon, 12 Jun 2006 23:28:45 -0500

I have rejected the idea that we are involved in a war of Civilizations or 
Cultures or Religions or any other grandiose schema from day one of The World 
Trade Towers Attack.  Nothing since that time has changed my mind.  We're not 
fighting Islam, or Islamists, we're fighting people who fear us and whom we 
fear in turn .

I read the following  in the Washington Post today and send it only because it 
says more eloquently how I feel about the current War On Terror and our 

"Here, in contrast [to Harvard political scientist Samuel P. Huntington with 
his celebrated theory of the "clash of civilizations."], is Sen celebrating the 
complexity of human identity: "The same person can be, without any 
contradiction, an American citizen, of Caribbean origin, with African ancestry, 
a Christian, a liberal, a woman, a vegetarian, a long-distance runner, a 
historian, a schoolteacher, a novelist, a feminist, a heterosexual, a believer 
in gay and lesbian rights, a theater lover, an environmental activist, a tennis 
fan, a jazz musician," etc. One's civilizational identity is not one's destiny, 
Sen observes, and civilizational "partitioning" -- seeing the planet culture by 
culture -- does not capture the messiness of the world. This Earth of ours, he 
says, is made more "flammable" by warring definitions of human identity, rather 
than an embrace of the many different facets that make us human."
Amartya Sen is Lamont University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University 
quoted from his latest book "Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny."

Mike Geary

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  • » [lit-ideas] Armatya Sen. SoS?????? Interesting anyway.