By Adam K. Webb

"Beyond the worldwide tradition battle" offers a cross-cultural critique of worldwide liberalism and argues for a broad-based problem which may meet it by itself scale. Adam Webb is one among our most enjoyable and unique younger students, and this publication is sure to generate many new debates. This well timed quantity probes the various key demanding situations we are facing within the new millennium. this is often crucial interpreting for all scholars of politics and globalization.

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Indd 13 10/13/2005 11:05:10 AM 14 • Beyond the Global Culture War We can now see all the ways perfectionism and demoticism contrast with one another. Polar opposites, they are two basic streams of self-understanding that cut across space and time. Demots see perfectionists as impractical, contemptuous of most people, and wrapped up in ethereal pursuits alien to human warmth. In perfectionist eyes, demots are unimaginative, bound by deadening conformity, resentful of higher natures, and unable to escape their social roles.

The Sophists were itinerant teachers and orators in the second half of the fifth century bc. They taught rhetorical skills to wealthy Athenian youths for pay, and urged moral relativism and political expediency. 52 Some good illustrations will come from the Sophists and the Cārvāka school. But as historians of both movements point out, no complete texts laying out their thinking survive. We have only fragments and some perhaps unreliable paraphrasing by opponents. A third case rounds out the picture of ancient atomism with some more fully preserved writings.

33 In revealed religions such as Islam, mystics have put even more stress on this difference between higher and lower knowledge. 34 People who know spiritual truth first-hand can step back from petty moralizing. Earlier, we saw the contrast between demotic roles and perfectionist qualities. With this layering of higher and lower knowledge, mystical perfectionists just take their detachment from outward behavior to its logical conclusion. Conventions lose all hold on the happy few who see past the world and the rule-bound herds who inhabit it.

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