So, in the interest of delaying real work, I’m continuing my tour of THE NEW REPUBLIC. Here’s another illuminating article. Gladwell contributes to our democratic denial of personal sovereignty by reinforcing the ridiculous idea that “the studies”—what social science says—can give us not only data and all that but inspiration and practical guidance. The result is a mixture of scientism and moralism that produces a denial of tragedy, that does nothing to illuminate the true greatness and misery of being human. Although all postmodern conservatives already knew that, it’s always great to read someone not of our tribe railing against the expert mixture of scientism and moralism, which is, after all, the religious foundation of Silicon Valley fake libertarianism. It’s also great to be reminded, of course, of the genuine moral authority of Vaclav Havel, who actually knew something about the true power of the seemingly powerless, which is the willingness to risk everything in the service of truthful responsibility.
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