In response to news that Howard University is disbanding its Classics Department, Cornell West reminds us that Frederick Douglas and the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. were inspired and nurtured by the classics. West argues that the attack on the classics is an attack on the soul and symptom the moral and spiritual rot of American culture.
In an essay on Hannah Arendt in a series on the Great Thinkers, Finn Bowring rightly focuses on Arendt’s worry about the power of intellectual elites. At home in abstraction and theories, intellectuals have an uncanny ability to lose themselves in flights of fancy and reject or deny the facts of this world. The philosophical temptation is to live amongst logically coherent fictions and deny those real facts that frustrate their beautiful forms.
This is not a post about a particular political candidate. Nellie Bowles writes about “The Dirtbag Left,” which is the left’s answer to Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity, a hate-filled brand of populist outrage that is taking over a large fringe of the progressive movement.
What are the great problems facing the country? If one follows the political theatrics these days, it is whether we should have Medicare for all or Medicare for all who want it. Add to that questions about how much to tax billionaires and the middle class, how many immigrants should be welcomed, and National Disclosure Agreements. Arguably, however...
In an essay on Arendt in this year’s Critique 13/13 Seminars, Seyla Benhabib asks whether it makes sense to read Hannah Arendt’s The Human Condition as a core text in the somewhat arcane world of critical theory. For Benahabib, Arendt’s text is “critical” insofar as it “shares with the Marxist tradition a critique of the alienation of the homo faber from the products...
McKay Coppins created a fake Facebook account and dived head first into the world of Donald Trump’s propaganda machine. What he found surprised him. And yet, it is exactly what Hannah Arendt argued 70 years ago about the nature of modern propaganda. The point of propaganda is not to make people believe it.
Jon Baskin in The Point identifies a disturbing tone in liberal culture. He recalls Lionel Trilling’s 1947 admission of his “deep distaste for liberal culture.” While Trilling identified with liberalism, he wrote that too often...
Roger Scruton died earlier this month. In obituaries, he was frequently called a conservative philosopher. The Guardian wrote that he “was a philosopher and a controversial public intellectual’ who “dedicated himself to nurturing beauty, “re-enchanting the world” and giving intellectual rigour to conservatism.”
This piece was originally published October 27, 2019.
It is still too early to draw the lesson of the whistleblower who came forth this month to report that President Donald Trump has been running a covert and shadow foreign policy aimed at using United States foreign aid to further his personal and political aims.