Occidentalism: A Short History of Anti-Westernism

Occidentalism: A Short History of Anti-Westernism Ceea Ce Am Numit Noi Occidentalism Este Portretul Dezumanizant Pe Care I L Fac Vestului Adversarii Lui N Cartea De Fa , Inten Ion M S Analiz M Acest Set De Prejudec I I S I Urm Rim R D Cinile Culturale Precizarea E Oportun , C T Vreme Prima Accep Ie A Cuv Ntului Occidentalism E Pozitiv I Declan Eaz Mai Degrab Admira Ie Dec T Ostilitate Prin Cartea Lor, Ian Buruma I Avishai Margalit R Spund, Dup Mai Bine De Dou Zeci I Cinci De Ani, Orientalismului Lui Edward Said, N Care Erau Prezentate Mecanismele Prin Care G Ndirea Occidental Denigra I Diaboliza Lumea Estului Occidentalismul Reia Povestea Raporturilor Dintre Est I Vest, Dar De Data Asta Unghiul De Vedere Se Schimb E Tot O Carte Despre Stereotipiile, Fantasmele I Construc Iile Urii Numai C Acum Inta Este Vestul, N Care Adversarii V D O Lume A R Ului, Lipsit De Suflet, Vibra Ie I Viziune O Lume Egoist I Mercantil , Cosmopolit I Uscat , Unde Iluminarea Spiritual I Autenticitatea Moral Nu Se Mai G Sesc Buruma I Margalit Iau N Discu Ie Argumentele Invocate De Cei Care Detest Occidentul I Analizeaz Urm Rile Pe Care Le Poate Avea Cocteilul De Intoleran , Prejudecat , Fanatism I Reacredin N Articularea Unor Idei, Atitudini I Ac Iuni Aversiunea Sau Chiar Ura Fa De Occident Nu Sunt Probleme Grave N Sine Occidentalismul Devine Periculos Abia C Nd Este Cuplat La Puterea Politic Atunci C Nd Sursa Puterii Politice Este I Unica Surs De Adev R, Avem De A Face Cu O Dictatur Iar C Nd Ideologia Dictaturii Este Ura Fa De Occident, Ideile Devin MortaleAcolo Unde Libertatea Politic , Religioas I De G Ndire S A Stabilit Deja, Ea Trebuie Ap Rat De Du Manii Ei, Cu For A Dac Este Nevoie, Dar I Cu Convingere N Cartea De Fa Nu Am Spus O Poveste Maniheist Despre Dou Civiliza Ii Beligerante Dimpotriv , Am Vorbit Despre Contaminarea Bilateral , Despre R Sp Ndirea Ideilor Rele Acela I Lucru Ni Se Poate Nt Mpla I Acum, Dac Vom C Dea N Capcana De A R Spunde Cu Aceea I Moned , De A Reac Iona La Islamism Cu Propriile Noastre Forme De Intoleran

Ian Buruma is a British Dutch writer and academic, much of whose work focuses on the culture of Asia, particularly that of 20th century Japan, where he lived and worked for many years.

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  • Paperback
  • 192 pages
  • Occidentalism: A Short History of Anti-Westernism
  • Ian Buruma
  • Romanian
  • 19 July 2017
  • 9789735051464

10 thoughts on “Occidentalism: A Short History of Anti-Westernism

  1. says:

    A series of short essays on non Western stereotypes of the west and their intellectual origins Focuses on Japanese nationalism, Russian Slavophilia, Fardid s Westoxification , and Qutbism and Al Qaeda Useful in finding some common characteristics the West is overly urban , overly mercantile, rational over spiritual, and ignoring the will of God Buruma suggests there is a common relationship with the German romanticism of Fichte, Herder, and Schelling, though there is not enough of a casual relationship drawn here for me to accept that Still, it is an interesting idea.

  2. says:

    This booklet somewhat confused me I read this immediately after Orientalism, the acclaimed and reviled book by Edward Said, that uncovered how Western culture had created a derogatory image of the East that was the source and justification for colonialism and imperialism With a title like Occidentalism you expect a study of the reverse movement, and Buruma and Margalit confirm that in their introduction And indeed they zoom in on various historical examples of resistance against the West, that have in common an image of that West as inhuman, barbaric and soulless Regardless of whether this image is correct, it is indeed a finding that, for example, Russian slavophiles in the 19th century, Japanese militarist nationalists in the 1930s 1940s and the current Muslim fundamentalists cherish ed that image and use d it as justification for their fight.Paradoxically, Buruma and Margalit state that in many cases these Occidentalists not only fully adopted and adopt Western technology, but were and are also ideologically inspired by Western thinkers the Japanese by fascism and Nazism, the Muslim fundamentalists very often by Marxist Leninist frameworks They are certainly not the first to see that paradox The anti Western resistance may often be presented as a return to the own, original culture, it is clearly contaminated by the same West.What really struck me and also astonished me was that Buruma and Margalit constantly indicate German Romanticism from the 18th and 19th centuries as the source of this Occidentalism And in the same line they call Hitler and Nazism the worst exponents of it Excuse me That s a bit strange Because both Romanticism as Nazism are typical Western products, aren t they We are hitting a conceptual knot, here Because it is clear that Buruma and Margalit equalize Occidentalism, hatred of the West, with anti modernism, resistance to modernity as it first took shape in the West Obviously there is a kinship between the two and hence the confusion but it would be better to make a certain distinction That would at least make clear that not only German Romanticism is the source of Occidentalism, but that there were quite a few thinkers and writers with reactionary traits in France and Great Britain also in this respect, Buruma and Margalit seem rather anti Germanic, a form of Germanotalism In the end both currents, modernism Enlightenment and anti modernism Romantics , are intertwined aspects of Western identity and their dynamics form the engine of the cultural evolution in the West.This booklet is struggling with this conceptual knot, that is clear, and it is therefore not surprising that a term such as Occidentalism has never caught on But of course, it does expose the particularly complex and paradoxical side of the interdependence between hatred against the West and opposition to modernity, and the adoption of modernist Western conceptual frameworks and technology In this interesting, yet too carelessly written book, you are not going to get a conclusive answer on this, and that s a pity.

  3. says:

    Berlin Todorov, against all Buruma , , , , , , 3,5 ,

  4. says:

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  5. says:

    If Occidentalism never caught on as a term to describe essentialized views of the West you can blame it on this weak attempt to popularize such a neologism The point that Western ideas have animated anti Western movements has been much better made by Pankaj Mishra and even Paul Bergman frankly This book, written in the years immediately after 9 11, exemplifies many of the myopias and failures of liberal intellectuals of that period An analysis of Osama bin Laden s actions immediately segues into a navel gazing reflection on T.S Eliot s views on urban life and ancient views on the corruption of cities If you want to understand al Qaeda s motives it might be easier to just read Bin Laden s three demands directly They were all straightforwardly related to foreign policy and did not require some biblical exegesis to decode.The book is well written But given the head 10000ft in the clouds content the prose just ends up giving it an air of cultivated pomposity A huge array of thinkers are summarized over a page or two each, meaning that they are pretty much all inadequately portrayed The issue of anti Western chauvinism is an important one but is poorly served by this lazy book, which I hope could not be written with a straight face today.

  6. says:

    An interesting focus on what seems the reversal of Orientalism But this book is written rather sloppy and struggles with the conceptual knot that is inherent with Western identity the struggle between Enlightenment and Romantics See my review in my general account on Goodreads

  7. says:

    As the sub title says, the point is to describe the West in the Eyes of Its Enemies the toxic mix of stereotypes, assumptions, and ignorance that dehumanizes its inhabitants.The book is essentially four medium length essays, each covering different strains of Occidentalism Although framed around illuminating the mindset of modern Islamic terrorism how could anyone justify mass murder the point is that this is similar to and descended from earlier mindsets Indeed, the book spends most of its time looking at strains of German anti Enlightenment romantics, Russian mysticism, Japanese nationalism and so on All of these were very much reactions to the West , so even as they invariably stressed tradition or authenticity, they were essentially modern creations as well for example, the Japanese military s devotion to a divine emperor was invented in the late 19th century Well written showcases a wide range of knowledge Still, I have to say it wasn t a very challenging book to read and, maybe I m being uncharitable, but I don t think it was that challenging to write It s not like the anti capitalist or anti urban or pro warrior mindsets haven t been noticed before, and tying them together in this context is interesting but didn t seem horribly profound.On the other hand, it is a slender book with an interesting idea it presents clearly, instead of padding it out to 300 pages with repetitive examples Overall, worth reading.

  8. says:

    I was really worried this book, given it s emotionally and politically fraught topic, would fail in subtlety at some point and veer into xenophobia or merely lazy essentializing Happily, co authors Ian Buruma and Avishai Margalit instead display a breadth of knowledge about history and political thought in many parts of the world that allow them to talk deftly about the development of anti western sentiments over the past several centuries without reducing any of the cultures under discussion to caricatures which is, after all, what Orientalism and Occidentalism do The authors examine Europe and America themselves, but also look at post WWII Japan, 18th and 19th century Russia, Nazi Germany and 20th century Iran, for example Further they chart the development of anti western sentiments into Occidentalism, a mode of stereotyping and demonizing that goes beyond criticizing or even acting against the West, and becomes a philosophy with which to justify extreme violence and efforts at cultural genocide Interestingly, Buruma and Margalit find some of the roots of Occidentalism in the West itself They highlight Marx s anti capitalist thought, for instance, and the Nazis anti intellectualism both components of Occidentalism, which fundamentally views the West as a soulless, mechanized purveyor of debauched urbanity and eradicator of traditional read rural values As a westerner who herself sometimes thought of the West in this way, it was helpful for me to understand the authors crucial differentiation between anti western thought and Occidentalism proper The former can still account for humanity, respect difference and needn t end in violence, whereas the latter is premised upon violent dreams of rooting out and destroying a corrupting, worthless, demonic force western culture, understood as an unnuanced totality of course It is equally crucial that the authors differentiate strongly between entire cultures or religions e.g., Islam who may be critical of the West and the groups within those cultures or religions who seem to really be working within an Occidentalist worldview e.g., Al Qaeda.I think it is always valuable to try and see oneself in personal and macro cultural ways with the eyes of others That there are humans anywhere bent on the destruction of other humans, imagining them to in fact be inhuman, subhuman and valueless, is not news It s hard to know what to do about it, however The idea that simple awareness of bad things does anything to obviate them is a neoliberal fantasy augmented by the ease of social media self expression Another neoliberal fantasy is that if we could all just talk it out and understand each other, we would find we are all neoliberals underneath, which of course is a crock There are folks who do not believe democratic processes yield good decisions, that women or poor people or whatever group of people really ought to be controlled for the good of the community, and that privileging individual expression over family or religious obligation is self indulgent and morally retrograde And those folks have cultivated these beliefs in lucid ways Even as a westerner I m sympathetic to the idea that we have elevated the individual and the material in our culture in ways that are fundamentally unhealthy for us as creatures and which create fairly demented value systems Being embedded in the culture, however, it s easy for me not to straight up demonize it I m not accusing the authors of simplistic totalizing neoliberal thought, but neither do they really discuss what if anything can be done to counter people who hate everything they believe you stand for and who want to kill you because of it As intractable conflicts all over the globe attest, meeting hate and violence with hate and violence yields two things and only two things, hate and violence And here the whole topic veers into philosophical depths neither broached by this book, nor within the scope of a Goodreads review Just food for thought Impotent, frustrating, saddening thought Definitely worth a read.

  9. says:

    There are some interesting tidbits of the history of ideas here, but they are woven into an oddly unbalanced and decontextualized story I m kind of mad at the authors for taking this title for a book that doesn t live up to its promise Occidentalism ought to be a book that looks at Occidentalism as the obverse of Orientalism, showing the parallels in these stereotyped ways of seeing the other while also surveying the material and intellectual contexts in which these ways of thinking arose.The worst part of this book is that, as this review in The Guardian notes, Buruma and Margalit give the impression that the ways of thinking they describe are almost wholly imported from Europe, thereby implicitly denying the capacity of Eastern intellectuals to think for themselves The best part of the book is the chapter on anti cosmopolitanism as an intellectual trend stretching across time and geography I also appreciate the recognition that the ways of thinking that the authors call Occidentalism a misnomer, as far as I m concerned are currently present not only among radical Islamists in the East but also among fundamentalist Christians in the West, although I d have liked that to be made explicit.

  10. says:

    This book s purpose is not to demonize the enemies of the west or assist in the war on terrorism , but to understand what drives Occidentalism, and to show that the suicide bombers of today have their roots in history that includes the west itself Understanding doesn t provide excuses, but just additional knowledge in dealing with those who demonize the west.The book looks at occidentalism from a variety of viewpoints One is the idea of war against the west, one is the idea of the city as an occidental evil that with an urban reality destroys the local culture Another looks at the idea of the hero versus the merchant, where the pursuit of economic wellbeing works against the true way things should be Yet another looks at the philosophy of the mental model of the west as seen by its enemies and how they interpret the west s intent We then get to religion and the various ways the west is seen as idolatrous, including the way that women are treated The last is the seeds that bring revolution, looking at various examples and showing how some current situations mirror these historical ones, and theorizing what that means for the world going forward.Well researched and insightful, this analysis goes back than two centuries to trace the roots of anti Western ideas and sentiments, and places modern terrorists within this historical continuum.

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