Hot Air: The Philosopher Who Foresaw The Future

This fellow sings to me:

[The] Left is more likely to participate in a public shaming than to lobby for a new law; it is more likely to mobilize to occupy a park or shut down a freeway than to register voters. It “exaggerates the importance of philosophy for politics, and wastes its energy on sophisticated theoretical analyses of the significance of current events.” Its adherents “have permitted cultural politics to supplant real politics, and have collaborated with the Right in making cultural issues central to the public debate.”

Yet framing the public debate in that manner plays to the strengths of the political Right.

That’s from an article in The Atlantic magazine about a philosopher named Richard Rorty. Twenty years ago he predicted the rise of President Gag. Well…, if not Li’l Duce himself, then someone just like him. He wrote of a burgeoning “spectatorial, disgusted, mocking Left,” that would result in the rise of a strongman demagogue who’d promise to defang, de-tooth, and otherwise quash “smug bureaucrats, tricky lawyers, overpaid bond salesmen, and postmodernist professors.”

In other words, the sad, clownish greed monkey who fancies himself the new Leader of the Free World.\

Rorty

Read the piece. Rorty also has some tips for how the Left can rebound. Plus, he stresses something I’ve been harping on for years:

[The Left] wastes its energy on sophisticated theoretical analyses of the significance of current events.” Its adherents “have permitted cultural politics to supplant real politics, and have collaborated with the Right in making cultural issues central to the public debate.”

Time for us to get serious, kids. We’ve got to be politicians, not theoreticians.

2 thoughts on “Hot Air: The Philosopher Who Foresaw The Future

  1. janis starcs says:

    I wonder if your memory is playing tricks on you. I remember a conservative politician from California named Samuel “Sam” Yorty who was actively involved in educational issues. Rorty was a consequential thinker, even though I personally prefer Robert Nozick.

    ________________________________

    • glabwrites says:

      Thanks, Janis. I knew I was going to make that mistake when I first typed out the post. I promised myself I’d make the changes and then I forgot. Mayor Yorty would have had me jailed.

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