Age of Anger
Pankaj Mishra in conversation with Professor Ciaran Benson
How can we explain the origins of the great wave of paranoid hatreds that seem inescapable in our close-knit world―from American shooters and ISIS to Donald Trump, from a rise in vengeful nationalism across the world to racism and misogyny on social media? In Age of Anger
, Pankaj Mishra answers our bewilderment by casting his gaze back to the eighteenth century before leading us to the present. He asserts that as the world became modern, those who were unable to enjoy its promises - of freedom, stability, and prosperity - were increasingly susceptible to demagogues. The many who came late to this new world - or were left, or pushed, behind - reacted in horrifyingly similar ways: with intense hatred of invented enemies, attempts to re-create an imaginary golden age, and self-empowerment through spectacular violence.
He argues that today, just as in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the wide embrace of mass politics and technology and the pursuit of wealth and individualism have cast many more millions adrift in a demoralised world, uprooted from tradition but still far from modernity.
Join Professor Ciaran Benson in conversation with Pankaj Mishra, as they explore the demise of the ‘western model’ and consider reasons to be hopeful.