Selections (1) … formerly “Current Comment”

A periodic roundup of selected political opinion and social commentary, reflecting the political values of liberalism and the ethical values of Buddhism.

Vol 2, No 1 ……… January 2nd, 2021

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FEATURED SELECTION:

New Yorker staff writer Adam Gopnik contends that we should focus less attention on the question of why democracies fail, and more on understanding why autocracies flourish …

“We are told again and again that American democracy is in peril and may even be on its deathbed. Today, after all, a defeated yet deranged President bunkers in the White House contemplating crazy conspiracy theories and perhaps even martial law, with the uneasy consent of his party and the rabid support of his base. We are then told, with equal urgency, that what is wrong, ultimately, is deep [and] systemic. Lurking behind all of this is a faulty premise—that the descent into authoritarianism is what needs to be explained, when the reality is that . . . it always happens. The default condition of humankind is not to thrive in broadly egalitarian and stable democratic arrangements that get unsettled only when something happens to unsettle them. The default condition of humankind, traced across thousands of years of history, is some sort of autocracy.”

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/01/04/what-we-get-wrong-about-americas-crisis-of-democracy?utm_source=twitter&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=onsite-share&utm_brand=the-new-yorker&utm_social-type=earned

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ADDITIONAL SELECTIONS:

#1 – New York Times opinion columnist Michelle Goldberg examines Donald Trump’s legacy of destruction …

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#2 – An insightful panel discussion on “How the pandemic has exposed America’s deep divide” from the PBS NewsHour …

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/show/how-the-pandemic-has-exposed-americas-deep-divide

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#3 – New Yorker staff writer John Cassidy with some thoughts on how we might avoid another dangerous and disastrous presidency like Trump’s …

https://www.newyorker.com/news/our-columnists/the-next-big-challenge-trump-proofing-the-presidency

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2 thoughts on “Selections (1) … formerly “Current Comment”

  1. ‘…less attention on the question of why democracies fail, and more on understanding why autocracies flourish…’ NICE!

    I always go back to Fromm’s ‘Fear of Freedom’.. The abysmal need to put oneself in the clutches of somebody who is superior and ‘knows better’… How anybody could see Trump as ‘superior’ beats me!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. If nothing else, Trump is definitely ‘superior’ as regards Buddhism’s three poisons – greed, hatred, and especially delusion!! And thanks for reminding me about Erich Fromm … “Escape From Freedom” is near the top of my list of books to re-read one of these days.

      Like

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