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About the Author. This carefully wrought and incisive presentation is a harbinger of a fundamental conversation that we are approaching in the United States and that may be no less significant for the West in general albeit contextually different. That divide is far more fundamental than the economic calculus that traces a loss of relative advantage to the dislocating effects of expanded intercourse.

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When we celebrate the extraordinarily wealthy as the hallmark of social progress above the multitudinous ranks of a sturdy yeomanry we have lost our way. Yes, a benefit does accrue to the impoverished in other parts of the globe, albeit of a smaller scale. Economists, reviewing, proselytizing? For whom is this working? For whom is this system organized? For whom was this society created?

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What is to be OUR identity? It is long past time that national sentiment be recognized as a positive good and not the vestigial superstition of cave dwellers living in the heartland as one high tech executive asserted today. Our own communities may serve us fine.

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This site brings together serious debate, commentary, essays, book reviews, interviews, and educational material in a commitment to the first principles of law in a free society. About Contact Staff. Nearly every political idea involves at minimum three components, corresponding to these questions: What is a good society—in other words, what should the world look like?

What would set things right? In answering the second question above, Bannon in effect summarized his political views, saying: I believe the world, and particularly the Judeo-Christian West, is in a crisis. Recent Popular Posts Popular. Comments Excellent and Astute essay!

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    This site uses local and third-party cookies to analyze traffic. If you want to know more, click here. By closing this banner or clicking any link in this page, you agree with this practice. Accept Read More. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, it serves as a powerful explanation of the sectarian violence that has steadily engulfed Pakistan since the creation of the state. Nevertheless, a few clarifications are in order. This ambiguity, Devji suggests, has been amplified by a concern to anchor national claims in a supra-national agenda—in the case of Israel, the fate of world Jewry; in the case of Pakistan, the future of pan-Islamism.

    It has already received attention in the ground-breaking work of Aamir Mufti and his attempt to frame the crisis of Muslim identity in late colonial India in the light of debates on the assimilation and emancipation of the Jewish minority in post-Enlightenment Europe. Like Mufti, Devji is engaged by the choices made by Jewish and Muslim minority intellectuals forced to confront the implications of a liberal-democratic order that presupposed rule by national majorities.

    And like Mufti, Devji is also concerned to explore how both Muslims and Jews in India and Europe, respectively, resisted not only their standing as a minority but also their status as pariahs.

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    While it is true that Muslim nationalism was inspired neither by claims to ancestral Muslim lands nor reference to common biological descent, both were indisputably key features in the construction of Jewish nationalism. This oversight raises further questions about drawing parallels between two states with putative Zionist identities in which one would expressly endorse the claim of every member of world Jewry to claim citizenship of the state of Israel while the other would deny as it does to Muslims in India, to say nothing of the global Muslim diaspora, any such prospect in the state of Pakistan.

    This is not to say that Muslim nationalism in British India did not galvanise Dalit politics, as is made abundantly clear by Devji in his analysis of the close if convoluted relationship between the Dalit leader, B. Ambedkar and Jinnah. Rather, it is to question whether the identity politics of caste, such as outlined here, helps furnish the tools to refine our understanding of Muslim nationalism as an expression of Zionism.

    Nevertheless, there remains the risk of over-working these parallels and obscuring in the process the significance of Dalit politics as arguably no more than a field of opportunity for Muslim nationalists to press their case. It was Jawaharlal Nehru, leader of the Indian National Congress and a staunch opponent of the Muslim nationalist agenda, who famously declared that in order for Muslims in India to claim nationhood they had first to reject the historical past they shared with other communities in India.

    What emerges from this is a fresh understanding of Pakistan as an idea that transcended the limits of the colonial state to play out on a larger international stage—another example, one might say, of the Zionist paradox that would internationalise the nation. His many speeches and statements serve as ample proof that it was not so much the discourse of history, but the language of law that animated his politics.

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    It would seem not. These circumstances precluding any idea of the nation couched in the language of territorial and historical integrity also favoured an anti-territorial view of the Muslim nation and national sovereignty. But their adoption also produced a certain distorted logic. In doing so, both projected a vision that was as radical and fantastical in its politics as any revolutionary ideal heralding the onset of a new era—a Year One—purged of the past and its memory.

    Instead what Devji offers us is a breath-taking vista—a vista as much of the past as the future of Pakistan. And it is precisely this keen eye to the future of Pakistan combined with a profound consciousness of the ambiguity of its nationalist past that makes Devji one of the finest chroniclers of this troubled country.