Steven Pinker’s new book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, is a propaganda windfall for the leaders and supporters of the U.S. imperial state, currently engaged in multiple wars, with over 800 military bases across the globe, asserting and using the right to kill untried “terrorists” any place on earth and still operating a torture gulag abroad and a record-breaking and abusive prison system at home. It is not surprising that the New York Times greeted the book so warmly, with a flattering front-page Sunday book review by the philosopher Peter Singer, who called Pinker’s tome “supremely important” and a “masterly achievement” (October 9, 2011), along with other positive responses. It reminds me of the welcome given Claire Sterling’s The Terror Network in 1981, a book that fit so well with the Reagan administration’s attempt to demonize the Soviet Union, with the Soviets allegedly behind the world’s terrorists (who included Nelson Mandela and his ANC, as well as any other resistance movements in the Third World). Sterling’s book was an intellectual disaster and fraud (see the critique in my Real Terror Network), but it was lauded by Reagan era officials and very respectfully treated in the mainstream media.
For more on this story, visit: ZCommunications | Stephen Pinker on “The Triumph of Angels” by Edward Herman | ZMagazine Article.