Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Twilight of the Elites

Crooked Timber: Guest Review by Aaron Swartz: Chris Hayes’ The Twilight of The Elites
Chris Hayes, MSNBC, B.A., Brown 2001; Aaron Schwartz, Conde Nast, drop-out, Stanford, 2005



Brian Leiter: A dustup at the NDPR! [the debate is apropos]
An interview with an Oxford philosopher!
Suppose you say ‘justice requires that all individuals have the same amount of resources’. Any decision made by the democratic majority which fails to distribute resources in that way counts as unjust. It would seem, then, that we cannot be both committed democrats and committed proponents of justice – at least, of demanding justice. Something ‘has got to give’, to put it in a very non-philosophical way, and the question is what, precisely, must give: justice, or democracy? The book in effect argues that democracy must give in to social rights.
Jon Stewart and Bassem Youssef



Stewart: "So comedy... a lot more lucrative than the heart surgery business?
Youssef: "A lot... And you don't get sued"



It's hard to overstate the significance of the exchanges between Youssef and Stewart. Not that either of them say anything new. They've "formulated" no new "ideas". They've "created" no "concepts". They're just a couple of adults acting like children. And the rest of those above, intelligent or not, are children by comparison.

Stewart's riff on "2000 years" of Muslim/Jewish tensions made me cringe (as if he'd say the same thing to the Papist Sunday School teacher Colbert), but it set up the punchline, and the timing was good.

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