Sunday, August 20, 2017
Atlantic, New Yorker examine unraveling of American social and political stability
Today’s “book” will be a collection of a few periodical articles hitting the press shows Sunday.
First, for The Atlantic, Sept. 2017.
Most important is “How America Lost Its Mind” by Kurt Andersen. Truth from science and logic was for the robotic elites; human truth came from the gut. That sounds to me like the balanced personalities (Rosenfels-speak) won out – those attuned to reacting to social needs around them than to what is their own heads. The “Age of Reason” weakened starting in the 60s. We saw this with doubts about civilized living and modernity from the terrorists. Eventually we got a huckster like Donald Trump who could win other people under his wing. Young men find that the modern world offers them little, so they get picked off. Then why are a number of talented young men that I know in the arts and sciences, very much into their own worlds, still so sociable? Alan Truing, remember, with his Asperger nature and outside the normal world of social interaction, still had enough charisma to use his brains to save us from the Nazis.
Also Peter Beinart leads off with “The Rise of the Violent Left” with his piece on Antifa on p. 13, where he emphasized the supposed anarchy of the group as playing into the hands of authoritarians. Look at how the “Unite the Right” event in Charlottesville goaded them to fight, into tragedy. Antifa believes everyone who doesn’t join them against “systematic oppression” is an enemy.
The New Yorker, on Aug. 21,asks “Out of Action: Do ProtestsWork?” (p. 70) The general answer might be, well, no. Heller manages to review Mark Lilla and “The Once and Future Liberal” (Harper) who was on CNN this morning. I’ll leave the long piece on Wikileaks and Julian Assange for another time.
But the previous issue by Robin Wright (Aug 14) had asked “Is America Headed to a New Kind of Civil War?” which she discussed this morning on Reliable Sources on Jake Tapper’s CNN. There are estimates of a 35% chance of major breakdowns of law and order in the next few years, but we already saw that with Sandtown in Baltimore, and with Ferguson.