Category Archives: Uncategorized

My talk at Bard: “Democracy in Dark Times” and the revolt of the public

 [Below is the text and slides of the presentation I delivered October 12 at Bard College, New York, at the invitation of Roger Berkowitz, director of Bard’s Hanna Arendt Center.  The occasion was a conference on “Crises of Democracy:  Thinking … Continue reading

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The news media: Surveying the wreckage

The Pretense of Objectivity The ideology of news makes two moral claims:  that it is complete, and that it is objective.  News, in other words, provides consumers with just the right amount of information necessary to function as citizens, and … Continue reading

Posted in death of news, democracy, influence, newspaperss, the public, Uncategorized | 5 Comments

After the elections: The great unraveling

Candidates From the Lab We already know the most significant truth about the 2016 presidential elections:  that it is yet another brawl in the running global conflict between an alienated public and the institutions and elites that manage the established … Continue reading

Posted in democracy, the public, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Staring into the pit: The European malady

Even after two world wars, the nations of Europe were a force to be reckoned with. Seventy years ago, the European democracies joined the United States in an Atlantic Alliance that held off the imperial advance of the Soviet Union.  … Continue reading

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A social media beheading

Sometime last week, James Foley, an American free-lance journalist, was beheaded by a masked individual who claimed to belong to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).  This was a moral and political atrocity, requiring frank talk about … Continue reading

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Lessons of SOPA

The mid-January defeat in Congress of the Protect IP Act (PIPA) and its evil twin, the Stop Piracy Act (or SOPA), is a dramatic illustration of the decline of established authority in the face of a rebellious public.  The authorities … Continue reading

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A threshold moment: Egypt’s public, up for grabs

Sometimes an angry public withdraws from the structures and hierarchies which organize social life.  These are epochal occasions – the great hinges that turn a nation’s fate.  The power of the public resides in numbers.  If enough individuals abstain from … Continue reading

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