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

Saturday, November 08, 2014

The Political Paradox of Polyculture

America's apparent secular multiculture paradoxically energizes Republicans while enervating Democrats by skewing the lived experience of the stakes of election contests. The right is always fighting the last fight against secular multiculture experienced as an existential threat -- so that even when they win, they feel they are losing in a world against them and leaving them behind. Even fighting structural racism and sexism the left is always fighting within the terms of secular multiculture we affirm (exposing deceptions and hypocrisies, for example) -- so that even when we lose, we feel we are living in a world on our side or at any rate open to our aspiration. America's apparent secular multiculture creates a context in which conservatives are so reactionary they are forced to act like revolutionaries and in which liberals are so comfortable they are tempted to act like conservatives. This matters because electoral politics do matter and it matters both when we lose them and when we lose the sense that it matters when we lose them.

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