Quotes by: Pankaj Mishra

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Democracy, loudly upheld as a cure for much of the ailing world, has proved no guarantor of political wisdom, even if it remains the least bad form of government.
Pankaj Mishra
Indonesia's diversity is formidable: some thirteen and a half thousand islands, two hundred and fifty million people, around three hundred and sixty ethnic groups, and more than seven hundred languages.
Pankaj Mishra
The French Revolution actualised the Enlightenment's greatest intellectual breakthrough: detaching the political from the theocratic.
Pankaj Mishra
Like the Britain of Beaverbrook and Kipling, Japan in the early twentieth century was a jingoistic nation, subduing weaker countries with the help of populist politicians and sensationalist journalism.
Pankaj Mishra
Policymakers can draw much from 'The Need for Roots': such clear prescriptions as that employers ought to provide an adequate vocational training for their employees, education should be compulsory and publicly funded, and include technical as well as elementary education.
Pankaj Mishra
Tiananmen Square in early 1989 attracted many dreamers like Ma Jian, who returned from Hong Kong to a one-room shack in Beijing in order to join the student protests.
Pankaj Mishra
Obama was expected to restore an ethical sheen to post-9/11 foreign policy, but he has intensified drone warfare in Yemen and Pakistan, pursued whistle-blowers, and failed to close down Guantanamo.
Pankaj Mishra
Shallowness and ignorance have been our lot in the mass consumer societies we inhabit, where we were too distracted to act politically, apart from periodically deputing political elites to take life-and-death decisions on our behalf.
Pankaj Mishra
German writers in the late 18th century were the first to uphold a prickly, literary nationalism, in reaction to the then dominance and prestige of French literature.
Pankaj Mishra
It's strange to recall that America animated none of my youthful daydreams. I did not see a Hollywood film until my late teens.
Pankaj Mishra
For boys like me, in north Indian railway towns in the '70s and '80s, where nothing much happened apart from the arrival and departure of trains from big cities, the Soviet Union alone appeared to promise an escape from our limited, dusty world.
Pankaj Mishra
For almost a century since 1918, the centralised nation-state has been the world's default political form. Its various experiments in industrialisation, urbanisation, mass literacy and consumerism have brought more people into public life.
Pankaj Mishra
So much of western self-perception and intellectual worldview has been shaped by the moral rhetoric of the Cold War, the discourse in which communism featured as a clear enemy, determined to rule the world.
Pankaj Mishra
I think there is no reason for us to bring to Islamism or political Islam the fear and ignorance of Western commentators and their hysterical vocabulary.
Pankaj Mishra
I grew up in small towns in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra - places like Akola, Betul, Wardha, Jhansi; I thought the rise of provincial India would be an interesting subject to tackle.
Pankaj Mishra
As a young man in South Africa at the beginning of the twentieth century, Gandhi developed satyagraha, a mode of political activism based upon moral persuasion, while mobilizing South Africa's small Indian minority against racial discrimination.
Pankaj Mishra
Happily, financial capitalism and free trade have not done away with national languages and literatures, as Marx rather too blithely hoped.
Pankaj Mishra
Many writers from the suburbs of history, such as Ireland and Argentina, produced more original work than their counterparts in the United States; they still seem to.
Pankaj Mishra
The British Empire passed quickly and with less humiliation than its French and Dutch counterparts, but decades later, the vicious politics of partition still seems to define India and Pakistan.
Pankaj Mishra
Indonesia is hardly immune to catastrophic breakdowns, as the anti-Communist pogrom showed. But, like India, it has been relatively fortunate in evolving a mode of politics that can include many discontinuities - of class, region, ethnicity, and religion.
Pankaj Mishra
An enlarged global public society, with its many dissenting and corrective voices, can quickly call the bluff of lavishly credentialled and smug intellectual elites.
Pankaj Mishra
In 1980, shortly before my 11th birthday, I wrote my first essay in English.
Pankaj Mishra
Minorities within nation-states frayed by global capitalism are naturally more resentful of hollowed-out but still heavily centralised systems of political and economic domination.
Pankaj Mishra
The idea that modernisation makes for enhanced national power and rapid progress and helps everyone achieve greater happiness has its origins in the astonishing political, economic and military successes of western Europe in the 19th century.
Pankaj Mishra
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