Comments: Confusion

...confuse intelligence or education with moral sense, as if the former automatically demanded the latter.

Indeed, why is this confusion rampant?

Or is this a case of the intelligent revolutionary being viewed as morally superior?
(forget for a moment what it is that he wants to do, and what he is revolting against...just remember that he is revolting against something, and destroying something in the old order...)

Posted by steve h at December 21, 2004 04:51 PM

I don't think the authors have fallen for revolutionary chic. The book, by the way, isn't too bad overall.

Posted by Bill at December 21, 2004 05:31 PM

I think the assumption here is not linking education to morality, but that a man who has traveled widely, and has a deep knowledge of other languages and cultures, is less likely to be a xenophobe or bigot.

It's still dubious. To cite a few examples, Qutb, Khomeini, and Pol Pot lived in democracies; Pol Pot had, IIRC, an advanced degree from a prestigious Parisian university. Milosevic had also visited many countries as an official of the Yugoslav central bank.

It does seem true, however, that to be a scholar of a foreign culture is a strange career choice for a nationalist fanatic. I can't immediately think of any similar examples.

Posted by Alex at December 25, 2004 12:41 AM