Restoring Sanity: What to Make of War Enthusiasts?

"Lick Them Over There" WWII posterGuest Blog by Jamie Swift

As Canada’s Parliament debates the wisdom of continuing to participate in the war in Iraq – and perhaps even extending it into Syria, one of the country’s leading political writers has weighed in with his thoughts on the pro-war mindset. Joseph Heath is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Toronto . His book Enlightenment 2.0: Restoring Sanity to Our Politics, our Economy, and Our Lives  recently won the Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing

Here’s the Jury Citation that underlines why Prof Heath received this prestigious award.

A magisterial survey of the shambles that remains of the Enlightenment’s great promise, Joseph Heath’s Enlightenment 2.0 is a vivid chronicle of the descent of contemporary politics into a bedlam of competing irrationalities and appeals to unreason. Drawing deeply from popular culture, the social sciences, psychology, and public policy, Enlightenment 2.0 is an important work of serious philosophy that is at the same time lively, lucid, engaging, and entertaining.

Just as the prize was announced and the government was making it clear that Canada’s war in Iraq would continue, Prof. Heath wondered “How many political leaders go out of their way to celebrate the beginning, rather than the end, of the First World War?”

Food for thought from Ottawa Citizen.

And, for one award-winning Newfoundland writer’s views, consider Russell Wangersky’s reflections at the centenary of the beginning of World War I.