Re: Enemies

by James S. Robbins

My background is in political theory, political violence, mass movements and the like. I did my Master’s on the electoral rise of Nazis, and PhD on Soviet counterinsurgency in Aghanistan. I’ve always felt that I was studying Utopian political movements, both in and out of power. I never understood why the word “Utopia” had such a good connotaton, most attempts to achieve it have ended in bloodshed, misery and enslavement. The only experiments that didn’t were the voluntary ones, and they frequently collapsed under the weight of reality. I think there is room for an academic subfield that looks into the utopian urge and all its manifestations, great and small. Something from Lycugus to bin Laden. I’m teaching a new course this semester called “Power, Ideology and Legitimacy” that deals with a lot of this, but there is definitely a need to reconfigure some existing parts of poltical science, security studies, social psychology and area studies under a new title that more rationally encapsulates the concept.

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