Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The rhyme of history …

… John Gray - From Rationalism to Ressentiment | Literary Review | Issue 449. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

This is not the first time Nietzsche’s idea of ressentiment has been used to illuminate the differences between Eastern and Western cultures. Max Weber used it in his writings on the sociology of religion, arguing that Christianity was a world-changing faith whereas Hinduism and Buddhism tended towards fatalistic acceptance and withdrawal from history. Mishra’s originality lies in using the idea to interpret the clash between East and West. The conflict has been dialectical, he suggests – for non-Western societies, a process of mimicry based on self-division. Anti-colonial writers and movements internalised Western values and ways of thinking, even as they despised and rebelled against them. Aiming to resist or destroy the West, they ended up parodying it.

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