Sunday, August 19, 2007

Guerrilas, patriots, and terrorists in a flat world

If there’s such a thing as “book addiction,” I may qualify as an “addict.” I should always have something to read, something very interesting, or I get depressed. I went home nights ago feeling the blues and I was wondering why. Then I realized it’s been several days since I’ve finished Machiavelli and Adam Smith. I knew right then I needed a visit to Powerbooks.

And look what I got lately!: Guerilla: insurgents, patriots, and terrorists from Sun Tzu to Bin Laden” by David Rooney and “The world is flat” by Thomas Friedman! Powerbooks was having a sale and I got significant (at least 20 percent) discounts.

I got Guerilla because I’m fascinated with these types of people (in the same manner that I’m interested about snipers, ninjas, spies and spec ops). Guerillas are among the hardiest and the most tenacious of peoples in this world. They are creative and determined beings who struggled, persevered, adapted well to local terrain and give hell to technologically and numerically superior foes. Contrary to popular notions, most guerrilla movements are defeated (e.g. Che Guevarra in Bolivia, the Huks in the Philippines, Sandino in Nicaragua, the Communist Party of Malaya, etc) but some of them actually triumphed (e.g. Mao, Tito, Garibaldi, and Spanish guerrillas against Napoleon). Not that I fancy becoming one; I simply think I could use some lessons from their struggles in dealing with my own little adversities in life.

So all over the rainy weekend, I was communing with guerrillas, patriots, and terrorists while heavy rains were mercilessly pounding the roof.

Regarding Friedman, many academic types think his “world is flat” thesis is crap. In fact, its probably more like spiky, meaning that the distribution of the gains of globalization are often concentrated in a few global cities. But I just need to read him before making my own judgment. I need to read the book because it seems everybody else has already read it. I've read Friedman's "The Lexus and the Olive Tree" about globalization eons ago and it would be a shame if I miss on this one which is supposedly a sequel.

And then yesterday, I got Fareed Zakaria’s The Future of Freedom tackling the rise of “illiberal democracy” all over the world. Hmm, too little time, to many books to read.

No comments: