A genealogy of fanaticism—unearthing its long history, before it became a tool in the Clash of Civilizations It is commonplace to hear fanaticism. Fanaticism on MR Online | There are few terms in our political vocabulary as damning as ‘fanatic’. Beyond tolerance Posted Oct 02, by Alberto Toscano. In his Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea, the scholar Alberto Toscano traces the history of the idea of fanaticism, a politics of passionate and unconditional.

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It could at most reorganize or restore, but never found a new polity. The moral fanatic is a subject who, in refusing to submit himself to the universality of duty, can easily turn into a well-meaning murderer.


Conservative thinkers since Edmund Burke have stressed the need to base political practice on common sense, custom, and tradition against what they regarded as the misty abstractions of fanatics. James, in his classic work on the Haitian Revolution reflected on the danger of tosccano.

Open Preview See a Problem? Here is where the thought of several Enlightenment philosophers becomes relevant when they see abstraction as the indispensable application of reason to political affairs. Following Augustinian terminology, the ideologues of the Reformation saw in this social movement an attempt to eliminate the key distinction between the earthly city and the City of God, or rather to push madly — through a politicized and plebeian millennialism — for the realization of the kingdom of heaven on earth.

This expanded edition includes new material that revisits the idea of fanaticism as it operates at the limits of the liberal political imaginary, highlighting its relation to fraternal violence, political purity and the refusal of compromise, as well as its centrality to times of social crisis and international conflict.


In this essay, I would simply like to assess a few moments in the history of this exquisitely polemical concept, moments that allow us to recognize the persistence of certain leitmotifs in the discourse on fanaticism, including the psychologization of politics, the problem of the universal, and the image of Islam.

Just a moment while we sign you in to your Goodreads account. It is rather the only way to maintain the integrity of our own cause and movement. May 04, Pages.

Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea

Liberals also imply that the policies and actions of the Western powers in the Middle East and Central Asia are carried out to defend moral and political values, instead of these values being used as an ideological cover to justify imperialist policies and tactics.

Ricardo Pereira rated it liked it Apr 29, However, for Gramsci such fanaticism could never lead to a coherent and effective project of reshaping society.

No trivia or quizzes yet. Firstly, for Kant fanaticism is linked to an obsession which, although it believes itself to be universal, reveals itself to be particularist. This spirit is also warranted by the experiences of the twentieth and twenty- first centuries, the first of which E.

Fanaticism: On the Uses of an Idea by Alberto Toscano

Partial to, though at times suspicious of Badiou. We could similarly say that the notion of fanaticism exists within a penumbra emanating from other important and far more precise concepts. Naveed rated it really liked toacano Sep 12, Showing how fanaticism results from a failure to formulate an adequate emancipatory politics, this illuminating history sheds new light on an idea that continues to dominate debates about faith and secularism.

There is nothing that this reviewer can add to that. Lexington Books, Top story Donna Murch interviewed by Sherry Wolf. But they do not consider structural realities such as racism and particularly U.

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And in toecano of recent history in Iraq and Afghanistan, they refuse to confront the fact that neither North American nor European liberals, much less imperialist intervention, toscanp emancipate women and men from the reactionary strictures of religion.

For Luther, the attempt to overthrow the secular authorities was a sign of disastrous pride, a religious catastrophe. Firstly, it is worth noting that in Hegel Islam appears as a spiritual and political phenomenon.

Fanaticism: A brief history of the concept | Eurozine

William Hebblewhite rated it really liked it Jun 22, Chapter on Kant had me faltering – I simply lack a frame of reference. We could borrow Justice William O.

They also argue that since British economic exploitation used direct force, the militant movement of the rural masses against imperialism was necessarily political. The more sophisticated proponents of this type of tosano politics claim to represent the traditions of the Enlightenment: This controversial topic has helped to shape the conflicting intellectual traditions that have emerged from within Marxism and other forms of leftism.

Aug 29, Pages. Chapter on Marx and religion manages to add something to the old insight that opium is medicine, salvific, not necessarily a pure befuddlement and distraction. Toscano locates the figure of the fanatic at the heart of modernity, even as he notes that bourgeois liberal democracy has largely constituted itself negatively against the figure of the fanatical “other” effacing the “fanatical” origins of said democracy.