On Brexit, Trump, and Anti-Intellectualism
Dave Huynh

We’ve made some bad assumptions about Western Democracy which we need to face. Either we learn from this or we follow a path similar to the path many European nations followed in the 1920s and 1930s.

None of this is new even for the U.S. If you look at the history of the 18th and 19th centuries our core values were xenophobic and exploitative of both other peoples and of the land/environment. It’s the liberal veneer that is new and being tested and found wanting. In those early American centuries the veneer was supported by religion (the abolition movement, for example) but now it tends to be secular and is proving much thinner than we had hoped.

This is like (or vaguely similar to) Einstein’s reaction to the Copenhagen Interpretation. I don’t think anyone really liked the idea of quantum uncertainty, but once it was shown to be the way things were, people had to adjust to the idea and work with the new way of (not-quite) understanding the world.

This is the way people are and (for reasons Emile Durkheim was familiar with) you are not going to change them with multimedia presentations or better data. A “City of Reason” is as much wishful thinking as a “City of God” was.

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