May 9, 2016

ANDREW SULLIVAN IS WRONG AGAIN: HIS MAINSTREAM LIBERALISM HAS BECOME SCARILY ANTI-DEMOCRATIC. Analysis: True. But note this:

Sullivan’s liberalism prevents him from directly endorsing Plato’s prescription for governance by “philosopher kings” as a means of preventing rule by tyrannous demagogues. Instead, he is forced to turn to the contradictory work of praising recent expansions in democracy even as he works to denigrate them. He imagines the “miraculous” election of Barack Obama as an expression of a potentially dangerously radical populism, but one in which America “lucked out” because Obama was “paradoxically, a very elite figure, a former state and U.S. senator, a product of Harvard Law School.” He praises the digital revolution that allowed voices like his own to speak truth to the power of corporate media, but laments the lack of elite control over the digital sphere has now created a space in which “the emotional component of politics becomes inflamed and reason retreats even further.”

These are valid points, but I’m not sure they can reasonably made via the pages of Salon, which in recent years has called for the rather un-democratic nationalization of the news media, plus Amazon, Google, and the film industry, and whose hyperbolic headlines are frequently indistinguishable from its many parodies on Twitter.

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