By Tom Rockmore
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Extra info for Before and After 9 11: A Philosophical Examination of Globalization, Terror, and History
34 A similar approach reemerged in the religiously tinted rhetoric of Bush, who similarly divides the world into terrorists and those who comfort them, on the one hand, and those willing to join with America to combat them, on the other. Second, religious conviction makes it easy to attach a moral stigma to 9/11, which links seamlessly to the American exceptionalist view that America is a land uniquely favored by God. This idea plays out in various ways. One is the view that if something has happened to the US, it is because Americans collectively and individually somehow have fallen below the proper level required by religious faith.
This claim is an ad hoc thesis, invented specifically for the purpose of explaining 9/11 after it occurred. According to this thesis, 9/11 can be understood as a clash between two religions: Islam, which is ill-suited to the modern world, and Christianity, which is very much up to date. This suggestion is a variation on Max Weber’s well-known thesis that religion, especially Christianity, is particularly important for the rise of capitalism. As concerns 9/11, Weber’s thesis can be reformulated as the general claim that various forms of religion are useful for, or on the contrary harmful to, the prospects of the democratic way of life.
Yet, accumulation of capital is not necessarily useful for society as a whole, even if it is obviously useful for some people, for instance the owners of the means of production. The full development of human beings as individuals is arguably unlikely to be realized within the free market that is oriented toward a different goal than the accumulation of capital. 11 Fukuyama, who thinks there is no alternative to the free market, assumes a free market enterprise system is best, if not for everyone, at least for the majority.
Before and After 9 11: A Philosophical Examination of Globalization, Terror, and History by Tom Rockmore