In the leftwing newspaper The Guardian, Pankaj Mishra has a long screed against the forms of populism sweeping the globe (“Welcome to the age of anger”)
Mishra does stumble across some accurate historical precedents – e.g., the role of Nietzsche, Freud, and the Modernists in undermining the notion that the pure rationality of an idealized Homo economicus controls our decision making; Tocqueville’s astute observations about the natural trajectory of the American ethos – but most of the piece is a screed dressed as literary pretension.
I chuckled at this:
That a rancorous Twitter troll will soon become the world’s most powerful man is the latest of many reminders that the idealised claims of western elites about democracy and liberalism never actually conformed to the political and economic reality at home.
Which, a couple of paragraphs down, is followed by this:
As Trump’s victory was declared, Simon Schama tweeted that we need a new Churchill to save democracy in Europe and America.
There’s ‘good’ tweets and ‘bad’ tweets, I guess.
If only Nietzsche were alive today, he could pen at least a blog post titled ‘Beyond Good Tweets and Evil Tweets’.