Jean-Luc Nancy writes in support of the Libyan war:
It is fine for the beautiful souls of the left and the sophisticated operators on the right to sigh or protest; whether in European or in Arab countries: one must know which world we are in. We are no longer just simply in the world of Western arrogance, self-confidence and imperialism.
Alain Badiou responds:
Don’t you see how after the terror from the air, heavy weapons are going to be supplied on the ground, along with instructors, armoured vehicles, strategists, advisers and blue helmets, and in this way the reconquest (hopefully a fitful one) of the Arab world by the despotism of capital and its state servants will recommence?
How can you of all people fall into this trap? How can you accept any kind of ‘rescue’ mission being entrusted to those very people for whom the old situation was the good one, and who absolutely want to get back into the game, by forcible means, from motivations of oil and hegemony?
(Image: Sunset in the Atlantic, Khaled Al Saai)
At Dissent's blog, Michael Walzer declares that “there are so many things wrong with the Libyan intervention that it is hard to know where to begin.”
At his blog, Juan Cole argues that “Libya 2011 is not like Iraq 2003 in any way” and urges the Left to “reason our way through, on a case-by-case basis, to an ethical progressive position that supports the ordinary folk in their travails in places like Libya.”
Aaron Bady is “trying very hard not to have a position on what is happening in Libya”; instead he details how Gaddafi is perceived in Africa and traces his role in destabilizing neighboring countries.
To recline on a stump of thorn in the central valley of Egdon, between afternoon and night, as now, where the eye could reach nothing of the world outside the summits and shoulders of heathland which filled the whole circumference of its glance, and to know that everything around and underneath had been from prehistoric times as unaltered as the stars overhead, gave ballast to the mind adrift on change, and harassed by the irrepressible New.
—from Thomas Hardy, The Return of the Native
This Week in Reading
When celebrity is the aim, a scholar who is ambitious is almost certain to become a sycophant—chained to the tastes adopted and the ideas embraced by the audience whose acclaim he seeks.
Paul A. Rahe writes of intellectual sell-outs in the Chronicle of Higher Education.
This Week in Reading
Welcome to a new weekly feature of TNI, in which we recap this week’s links at TNI | Syllabus, our daily links roundup.
This week on TNI | Syllabus (1/11/10 - 1/17/10):
Between unnecessary background information and rambling quotes from nobodies, newspaper articles these days are way longer than they need be. Snooty intellectual parties and hilarious bovine murder: Woody Allen has still got it. If you’re in the mood for public hangings, Victorian fashions, and canoodling, try this diary of a clerk in Victorian London, serialized online. Here is the most likely combination of publication and review subject: the New Yorker and Jersey Shore. Maybe the renaissance of the single will encourage musicians to make every song on a CD a show stoppers. This article by Katie Roiphe on sex in American fiction is the current source of scandal among the literati. The world’s first historical thesaurus is out, enabling users to track the history of meanings. Artist Matthew Albanese creates small-scale, extraordinary models of landscapes using ordinary objects and materials. Our culture is in love with professionalism, but it’s totally overrated. Humans love to hate because it feels so damn good. An anonymous Facebook employee dishes the dirt on the company’s privacy practices. We need markers like seasons and objects around to remind us who we are, lest we forget. If you could make a library out of all the books that we no longer have, it would be spectacular. It’s too soon to tell just how the Internet will change our lives, but it will, massively. Isaiah Berlin could be petty and malicious, but he was always tactful and civilized about it. Van Gogh’s letters reveal the artist as darker and more complex than we knew. Andre Aciman reminisces the morality and intimacies of the films of Eric Rohmer. Andrew Gallix reacquaints us with Barthes’ Death of the Author theory. Sean Carroll explains why time may go backwards as well as forwards. Everyone should read George Eliot, a perfect mix of the old and the modern. Pat Robertson was telling the truth about Haiti.
Check the Syllabus daily for the three best links on the ‘net.
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