Atomized Junior on estate tax repeal in the wake of Katrina and Rita. In deference to obvious injustice, it may have been off for a few months. But the poor are accepting of their lot and the rich are importunate in extracting the benefits for which they have paid our elected representatives.
Another prankster. Two secrets, besides foolishness, a boot on his head that helps him be seen above the crowd and a loudspeaker with which to be heard above the political candidate. As the self-styled father of public relations, Edward Bernays, used to say, "News is what juts out." We could learn a lot from Vermin.
Liberal education is the ladder by which we try to ascend from mass democracy to democracy as originally meant. Liberal education is the necessary endeavor to found an aristrocracy within democratic mass society.
In Liberal Education and Responsibility he writes,
...I am almost soley concerned with the goal or end of education at is best or highest - of the education of the perfect prince, as it were....
Yes, but the education of Wolfowitz or Perle, like the education of Alexander the Great, requires not only Aristotle, but Diogenes. For the aristocracy of the perfect prince is always on the verge of corruption. Those who flatter their own vanity and that of those in power are contemptible. Strauss was an arriviste, and his work stinks of the elitism of the assimilated Jew who has joined the Club and now presides over the ritual of the blackball. The perfect prince of this world was Jesus and he did not consort with power, or train Caesar's elite. Between Athens and Jerusalem Strauss stopped over to sup with Machiavelli. The enemy of Strauss and his students is democracy. Liberal education in the streets will unmask these Aristocrat wannabees, come Carnival.
So many times each day I hear God's name taken in vain. But "Filthy lucre" - we don't say it anymore. God has come home to the earth and made his peace with greed. God is the economy in which vice thrives for pubic benefit. The God we curse is dead. The God we worship, Lenore, is the Devil, though he goes by the name of Market, not Moloch. The more we moralize the market the more corrupt we become intellectually, and spiritually. The deadness in our eyes, the eyes of the Saved, is beyond God's grace. God has abadoned us to the Market, as he abandoned his people to the Flood, that the earth be cleansed.
I would be wise, O Lord! but please let me stop short of virtue.
(Apropos of Tracy Gary, an heiress and progressive activist, who gave away a fortune and lives on fewer dollars per year than a receptionist in a law firm. I would escape from Wealth Bondage, but let me keep the 401k.)
Have just finished Charles Taylor'sModern Social Imaginaries. Educated in history, philosophy, politics, and economics at McGill and Oxford, Taylor writes within the style of analytic philosophy but with a far wider range of explicit and implicit reference. He has learned much from Foucault, and the Frankfurt School. What a Marxist might call "false consciousness," or "ideology," or what Wittgenstein might call a "language game" or "social practice," or what Foucault might call an "episteme," or what Chomsky might envisage as the "manufacturing of consent," or what postmodernists might call "the social construction of the real," or what might be called with Lyotard a "master narrative," or what might be called with Baudrillard a world of simulacra, is for Taylor, quite wonderfully, both a constitutive myth or set of practices that bring us together to be an "us," a people, a nation, or an economy in profane time, as well as being a set of rationalizations, screens, and dodges.A social imaginary is what we see the world through, the lens, which both reveals and distorts. As the eye cannot see itself, so we see with the imaginary, but remain unaware of it as lens among others. "We ever must believe a lie / When we see with, not through, the eye," as Blake wrote. In a world of appearances behind which there is no "ultimate reality," our yearning for transcendence does not die, but is rekindled in a myth of progress, or freedom on the march, or religion comes to the forefront in constituting a people whose imaginary may include Armageddon or the Rapture. WB is a social imaginary, if you will, an attempt to foreground the moves in this language game we call Freedom and measure in dollars. We see through, not with, the lie/eye/I that is Wealth Bondage. Taylor is one of the most interesting philosophers I have read in a long time. Though modest and lucid in language, his intellectual reach and range is extraordinary.
Gaawd, I mean really, why take it out on beautiful, rich white people? No Blood for Hubris wants to blame me for all those fat black women and black criminals and those yucky clothes they wear, and everything. I mean this is America. Everyone has a chance. You can't blame me just 'cuz I don't work. I would if the Trust Fund ever went dry. But it won't 'cuz Daddy is smarter than those stupid black people. I don't want to say that they get what they deserve, 'cuz I am sure there are exceptions. But I got what I deserve and why shouldn't they?
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