What is the liberal empire that is proposed as an alternative to nationalism like? Here is my favorite quote from Hazony’s book:
Dogmatic and utopian, it assumes that the final truths concerning mankind’s fate have long since been discovered, and that all that remains is a way to impose them. . . As the opponents of liberalism have been vanquished one by one, and universal liberal empire has seemed to come within reach, dogmatic imperialism [became] the dominant voice within the liberal camp – a voice that has rapidly taken on the worst features of the medieval Catholic empire upon which it is unwittingly modeled, including a doctrine of infallibility, as well as a taste for the Inquisition (46).
You can see from the style of writing why I liked this book in spite of disagreeing with a large chunk of the argument. Hazony tries to find roots of the modern nation-state in the Hebrew Bible, which I find kind of embarrassing in its sheer ludicrousness but this part I just quoted is spot-on and very powerful. I never thought about globalism this way but it makes a lot of sense to me. I hate authors who tell me what I already know because I feel like they are stealing my time. And I feared Hazony would be like that. But from the start, I discovered that the book was giving me new insights.
More to come later.
P.S. Isn’t it great to have me read all the hottest new books on nationalism and give reviews? This is a response to those who think that Humanities profs don’t contribute to the public good outside of teaching. This is also an argument against those who want to silence academics like me.