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Notes on a Poetic-Military Complex

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Abstract:

The predominance of religiously (or ethnically) justified violence can be accounted for by the very fact that we live in an era that perceives itself as post-ideological. Since great public causes can no longer be used to incite mass violence, that is, since our hegemonic ideology calls on us to enjoy life and to realise our Selves, it is difficult for the majority to overcome their revulsion at torturing and killing another human being. The majority would need to be 'anaesthetised' against their elementary sensitivity to the suffering of others in order to do this. Religious ideologists usually claim that religion makes some otherwise bad people do some good things; from today's experience, one should give more weight to Steven Weinreich's claim that, while without religion good people would do good things and bad people bad things, only religion can make good people do bad things.

Keywords: Balkan; Karadzic; Njegos; Religion; enjoyment; ethnicity; ideology; poetry; suffering; violence

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09528820903184534

Publication date: September 1, 2009

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