Pankaj Mishra (2017)
Pankaj’s new book might well have been subtitled, ‘An Anthology of Terrorism’. And at times it’s not the most cohesive one, reading more like a smattering attempt to capture every act of politically subversive violence, and a checkered description of the perpetrators and their inter-relationships, since the Enlightenment.
But looking through this somewhat ramshackle layer of narrative exposes an uncut gem of substance. Pankaj makes the case that the same fundamental processes that are giving rise to the likes of Brexit, Erdogan, Hofer, Le Pen, Orban, Trump and Wilders simultaneously explain ISIS. Ressentiment, in a nutshell:
“… where individual dissatisfaction with the actually available degree of freedom constantly collides with elaborate theories and promises of individual freedom and empowerment.”