Saturday, November 19, 2016

Richard Rorty in 1998 on the rise of Donald Trump

It's always a good thing when the internet discovers philosophy, even if it comes twenty years too late (and even if, like The Guardian, it refers to the most influential American philosopher of the past half-century an "obscure, left-wing philosopher.")  Here's the relevant passage, from Richard Rorty's Achieving Our Country.

Members of labor unions, and unorganized unskilled workers, will sooner or later realize that their government is not even trying to prevent wages from sinking or to prevent jobs from being exported. Around the same time, they will realize that suburban white-collar workers — themselves desperately afraid of being downsized — are not going to let themselves be taxed to provide social benefits for anyone else. At that point, something will crack.

The nonsuburban electorate will decide that the system has failed and start looking around for a strongman to vote for — someone willing to assure them that, once he is elected, the smug bureaucrats, tricky lawyers, overpaid bond salesmen, and postmodernist professors will no longer be calling the shots . . . One thing that is very likely to happen is that the gains made in the past forty years by black and brown Americans, and by homosexuals, will be wiped out. Jocular contempt for women will come back into fashion . . . All the resentment which badly educated Americans feel about having their manners dictated to them by college graduates will find an outlet.

No comments:

Post a Comment