March 25, 2002

Freedom You Can Touch

I find myself swinging toward the belief that the "linguistic turn" taken by the academic left has truly deprived many of them of the ability to think at all. Consider Edward Said--on September 16, 2001!--condemning U.S. political discourse for "...flinging about words like 'terrorism' and 'freedom' whereas, of course, such large abstractions have mostly hidden sordid material interests, the influence of the oil, defence and Zionist lobbies now consolidating their hold on the entire Middle East, and an age-old religious hostility to (and ignorance of) 'Islam' that takes new forms every day." Said seems to believe that if he classifies "freedom" and "terrorism" as "large abstractions," then they will disappear. And then he can turn his attention to what is really important--"oil, defence, and Zionist lobbies" and "religious hostility to Islam."

But whether or not terrorism is an "abstraction," it is certainly very large indeed, and very very real.

And "freedom" is very real as well...

Posted by DeLong at March 25, 2002 10:04 PM | TrackBack

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