The Changing Face of Fanaticism

Source: Law & Liberty
by Nayeli L Riano

“Politics cannot be understood without reference to emotions. We can recall the first line of the Iliad, ‘Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus’ son Achilleus.’ Anger sets the epic into motion, and the rest of its magnificent lines showcase the interplay of human passions — pride, lust, love, honor, grief — in one of the greatest stories ever told. Consider, then, the literature of Homer, Milton, Shakespeare, and Tolstoy, or the political and historical writings of Thucydides, Machiavelli, Montaigne, and Hobbes: their works emphasize the propensity of our emotions — in virtue and in vice — to interpret the nature of politics and the inevitable conflict therein. Passion, it would appear, is a fact of political life.” (11/17/22)