[Paul Berman from a book on totalitarianism...]
What have we needed for these terrorists to prosper? We have needed immense failures of political courage and imagination within the Muslim world. We have needed an almost willful lack of curiosity about those failures by people in other parts of the world – the lack of curiosity that allowed us to suppose that totalitarianism had been defeated, even as totalitarianism was reaching a new zenith. We have needed handsome doses of wishful thinking – the kind of simpleminded faith in a rational world that, in its inability to comprehend reality, sparked the totalitarian movements in the first place.... We have needed a provincial ignorance about intellectual currents in other parts of the world. We have needed foolish resentments in Europe, and a foolish arrogance in America. We have needed so many things! But there has been no lack – every needed thing has been here in abundance.
Source: The End of Faith: Religion, Terror, and the Future of Reason, Pages: 135
Contributed by: HeyOK