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  • Author: James Turner Johnson
  • Publication Date: 02-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: "Stab, smite, slay!" These are not the words of Bashar al- Assad telling his forces how they should deal with the Syrian rebel movement, or indeed those of any other contemporary political leader, but rather the words of Martin Luther exhorting the German nobility to a harsh response to the peasants' rebellion of 1524–1525. His writings show that he sympathized with many of the peasants' grievances so long as these did not issue in rebellion, but when they turned to force of arms, he responded sternly. This was not a peculiarity of Luther. Consider the following from an English courtier, Thomas Churchyard, writing admiringly of the treatment of Irish rebels in 1579 by Sir Humphrey Gilbert, commander of the English army sent to put down the rebellion: "He further tooke this order infringeable, that when soever he made any ostyng [military campaign], or inrode, into the enemies Countrey, he killed manne, woman, and child, and spoiled, wasted, and burned, by the grounde all that he might, leavyng nothing of the enemies in saffetie, whiche he could possiblie waste, or consume."
  • Political Geography: Germany, Syria
  • Author: Alan Wolfe
  • Publication Date: 04-2014
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Ethics & International Affairs
  • Institution: Carnegie Council
  • Abstract: The Politics and Ethics of Identity: In Search of Ourselves, Richard Ned Lebow (New York: Cambridge University Press, 2012), 431 pp., $103 cloth, $34.99 paper. The Politics and Ethics of Identity dazzles the reader with its ambition and erudition. Its theme is grand: nearly all the claims made by social theorists emphasizing the importance of identity are wrong because human beings and the associations they create, including nation-states, can do without it. Its breadth is startling, and includes brilliant textual analyses of, among other things, Greek epic poetry, the operas of Mozart, Germany's search for a classical past, the contemporary conservative Christian book series Left Behind, and science fiction. If all this is not enough, it also contains important theoretical discussions of the nature of narrative and the question of whether modernity implies a sharp break with the past.
  • Topic: Politics
  • Political Geography: Germany, Cuba