The Corner

The New Totalitarians

There’s a review in today’s New York Times of ‘Terror and Liberalism’, a new book by Paul Berman that sets out to put Islamic fundamentalism into the correct totalitarian context.

As the reviewer notes:

“By putting the war on terror in this totalitarian context, Mr. Berman shows that while the differences between many of these movements are profound, so are the similarities. The totalitarian model makes it clear, too, that much of the recent discussion about the root causes of terror is as distorted as the arguments of those who once argued that the root causes of German Fascist or Soviet Communist terror were in the aggressive behavior of the democracies or even the subversive presence of the Jews. Mr. Berman’s also suggests that as totalitarianism has taken on liberalism, liberalism has often too-readily succumbed, seeking to treat even its enemies as reasonable when they were not.”

Too true.


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