Monday, February 16, 2004

I've been rewriting this post, since I've gotten into a bit of an argument.
Ophelia Benson responds.

"When the Bourgeoisie rises, dynamic reason is its description and defense [see China, India, and Iran.] When it declines, brittle reason is its crutch."

I wrote that in the post below. Reading this at DeLong reminded me how true it is. Examine the range of reference in the responses. I probably would not agree with Aparna Jairam on a lot of things, but at least we could talk. And of course River is a programmer.

Perhaps it's up to the next generation, of economies not people, to bring about the humanization of computer technology. If so, I'd wonder if the coexistence in close proximity of high tech and agrarian communities, of conservative and modern, is the reason. The industrial revolution and the bourgeois revolution are repeating themselves, with computers replacing steam engines. And the cultures that invented the steam engine are tired. But of course the followers of a brittle logic- of a logic that does not take into consideration the effects of time- would not understand that thought.

--- And yes I'm aware of immigration. I comment enough on my preference for immigrants over Americans, at least as far as my social life is concerned. But at the same time, to critique capitalism one has to have an appreciation for stability. In the past that appreciation was foreign, as it were, to the left -to the left without power of course- but it has always been where they and grass roots conservatives have had common ground. Permanent revolution is the capitalist ideal. Someone has to defend those who want to live simply and in peace, or at the very least to force those in search of glory -intellectual or financial- to acknowledge not only the presence of the majority but their full moral weight.

One of the things I envy about Catholic as opposed to Protestant societies is the common language that seems to exist across educational, and even to some degree economic lines. There is no commonality between American intellectuals and the rest of this county. Brian Leiter was even proud to say in one post that he did not link to Atrios because Atrios did not have enough of a specialist's knowledge to warrant the attention. This shocked me. As a child I remember seeing Gore Vidal on the Merv Griffen Show, and my favorite writer on politics in this country is still Joan Didion. Someone I met years ago, who was at the time an assistant editor at the N.Y. Review, said with some distaste that Didion and her husband "want to have it both ways."
Well... Of course.

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