This Is More Than Hubris.

Trump and his enablers, his wealthy allies and appointees, his party power grabbers and network loyalists made a devil’s bargain with a pathogen. The virus has hit home with them. Here’s why they still won’t submit to reality.

Lu Hanessian
Breakthrough

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Lu Hanessian

Photo by Tabrez Syed on Unsplash

Back in 6th century BC, hubris was a crime.

Hubris originates in ancient and classical Greek ‘shame’ culture. Hubris was considered an excessive pride. A presumptive disregard of “divinely fixed limits…in an ordered cosmos”.

What’s happening now inside this disordered cosmos in which we find ourselves is something more than hubris. What’s driving Trump and his entourage, his political allies and donors, and his personal propaganda television network to bulldoze American life, trash norms and rules, amplify disinformation, and incite violence? What compels them to eschew masks, discredit scientists, downplay death, fudge numbers, rally and gather in crowds as if they were utterly walled off from the pandemic?

It’s more than hubris. More than pride and arrogance. Aristotle wrote that “the cause of the pleasure for those committing hubris is that by harming people, they think themselves superior”.

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Lu Hanessian
Breakthrough

Adjunct Professor, Journalist, Former NBC Network Anchor/Discovery Health Channel Host, Host & Exec Producer of “The Foreseeable Now” podcast.