Wednesday, February 12, 2014

An Excerpt


"But then that's the problem, isn't it? We get older, we get no wiser, the wars of FDR and Truman turn into the wars of Kennedy and Nixon, the Gulf War of Bush I reappears as the Gulf War of Bush II, an we the people never do get together, except as atomized watchers of Desperate Housewives. We are, in the main, sitting fat and happy in what Robert Nisbet, in his splendid The Quest for Community, called 'the heart of totalitarianism': for we are 'the masses; the vast aggregates who are never tortured, flogged, or imprisoned, or humiliated; who instead are cajoled, flattered, stimulated by the rulers; but who are nonetheless relentlessly destroyed as human beings, ground down into mere shells of humanity.'  The totalitarian, wrote Nisbet, seeks 'the necessary destruction of all evidences of spontaneous, autonomous association,' leaving us a mass of anchorless individuals whose wasted lives are lighted only by the hideous bluish glare of the TV set.
Hey, what's on tonight?"

-  Bill Kauffman, Look Homeward, America! In Search of Reactionary Radicals and Front Porch Anarchists  p. 141

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