ANALYSIS OF THE DOCUMENTARY- THE POWER OF NIGHTMARES

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The documentary  is about two ideologies that have become very influential in international relations in 21th century. One of them is Neo-conservatism in the USA and the second one is Islamism that against the Westernization in İslamic countries. The argument of the documentary is both of these influential ideologies are kind of reaction to liberal modernity that is dominant form of political, economic and social system in the western world. But it was come to spread everywhere  else. The both reactionary ideas criticized selfish individualization that people became slaves of their desires and they argued people became more individualist then before. Thus people must be free from their desire other side is nothing and we are all part of the liberal capitalist system that like all of them just think to buy next iPhone model and so on.

People like Seyyid Qutb in Islamic world and Leo Strauss in America strongly criticized modernity in 60th and 70th. Their critics is about consumerism that people have no ethical value on their life, any high purpose, any moral code, they are all individual and they do not like communities. In different way both of whom are religious, idealist people and their ideologies are as a reaction to Liberal modernity. In terms of foreign policy, they criticized cultural westernization. For Qutb’s ideology it is cultural evolution and imitation of western life. On the other hand, for Strauss the policies defined by politicians as detant ( softening ) like good relation with USSR. He argued the America cannot be soft if it will be soft that will be nothing as America. America have external enemies all of the time, so it must be always conflict with someone. Against the Strauss, Henry Kissinger thought that USA must be friend with every country like USSR and even the Muslim world not because he like them, but he thought that in this way America can get allice.

On the other hand, these two ideologies have different comments against Liberal modernity. In the documentary, it mentioned very clearly.

About the Neo-conservatism, Leo Strauss: the theory accepted by many politicians in the USA. He was very critic on axis of evil term that he created. It is about American exceptionalism means that USA must fight to against evil. Here the evil is the non-western ideologies like Soviet Union. He said the USA should always fight against the evil (USSR). But after the Soviet Union weakened he moved on against Muslim world like Iran under Islamist Regime, Libya under Kaddafi and Iraq under Saddam Huseyn at that time. He started to see Muslim world as a kind of rival to the USA. So, he argued it is impossible to positive relation between them and should fight and eliminate them against the Liberal sides.

About the Islamism, Seyyid Qutb: In his point of view the time was cahiliyye that means ignorance that refer to before the prophet time. He uses the term because Muslims have many problems with their behavior, Islamic culture he argued Muslims lose Islamic rules with modernity and they should return the time like before Islam. Something is wrong in Muslim world. He argued Muslim world corrupted by the western ideologies and modernity. Muslims can no longer think good Muslims any more. He argued, we should eliminate the impact of the western life. He lived the as a Egyptian teacher in the USA and observed the western life. In there, he discussed with western people. He decided to back his hometown

You can watch on Youtube.

Muhammed İsmail AKKAYA

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Muhammed İsmail AKKAYA

IR (Researcher on Russia and Central Asia) [email protected]

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