Archive for the ‘culture’ Category

Breaking a (not self-imposed) silence simply to link to an excellent discussion of the US Tea Party phenomenon by J.M. Bernstein, a philosophy professor at the New School.

In truth, there is nothing that the Tea Party movement wants; terrifyingly, it wants nothing.  Lilla calls the Tea Party “Jacobins”; I would urge that they are nihilists.  To date, the Tea Party has committed only the minor, almost atmospheric violences of propagating falsehoods, calumny and the disruption of the occasions for political speech — the last already to great and distorting effect.  But if their nihilistic rage is deprived of interrupting political meetings as an outlet, where might it now go? With such rage driving the Tea Party, might we anticipate this atmospheric violence becoming actual violence, becoming what Hegel called, referring to the original Jacobins’ fantasy of total freedom, “a fury of destruction”? There is indeed something not just disturbing, but  frightening, in the anger of the Tea Party.

Posting will continue to be scarce as I try to prepare for my summer at St. Olaf. The past few weeks have been a blur of trying to figure out some details for the fall, while also trying to do some reading. I’ve undertaken a ridiculous task of trying to read the Critique of Pure Reason and Infinite Jest at the same time, while also trying to do some other reading that’s more pertinent to what I should be reading right now. Needless to say, it’s an uphill battle.


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