Using Technology to Deepen Democracy, Using Democracy to Ensure Technology Benefits Us All

Monday, September 29, 2014

Fear Itself

I'm an American terrified how readily Americans are terrorized. Polities, like people, can be driven either by love or by fear. Fear starves commonsense and commonwealth to feed the War Machine. Love, in turn, isn't for objects, love is for objections. King's Beloved Community, liberalism's most revolutionary self-image, for example, is not terminally reconciled but interminably reconciling. And in its ongoing reconciliation of human hopes and histories the Beloved Community reveals its indispensable devotion is to politics. Politics is premised on living selves changing in intercourse with different others, rather than the death-dealing defense of dead, closed, completed selves. That kind of moralizing, colonizing, controlling project is an anti-politics, not a politics, finally, for which differences are always threats and never promises, but it can drive polities just as it can drive people. For a time. Again, love against fear. And for the love of the open futurity invigorated by politics, FDR's admonition really is the true one: the only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

1 comment:

Dale Carrico said...

I'm not impressed by Dr. King because I read the Bible (although I'm an atheist who has), but because I read Arendt.