Some Monday Links: The Left, Money & The New Republic-Garry Kasparov & Christopher Walken As ‘Max Zorin’
I think the only man who can save us from Silicon Valley as it currently stands, is the strange Nazi/Soviet funded superfreak, Max Zorin:
Now that’s a plan, but we probably don’t need to be saved.
Megan McArdle discusses the reality of trying to monetize not only writers and journalists, but intellectuals.
Chris Hughes, a founder of Facebook bought the New Republic:
‘Every new owner looks at media and thinks, “This is insane and inefficient. Obviously, this is a dinosaur industry ripe for rationalization by someone who actually knows how to run a business.” When you get inside, however, it turns out that the industry is not actually staffed, as previously assumed, by archaic snobs who wear suspenders and spats when they sit down with a glass of sherry to read the latest Dos Passos epic. Instead, most of the seemingly inexplicable inefficiencies are driven by the peculiar nature of this business.’
Tech-industry business models producing deliverables out of high-end, labor-intensive coding and programming work in ‘the Valley’ don’t necessarily translate successfully for East-coast, establishment ‘bookstore’ intellectuals, apparently.
Writers and academic refugees, political theorists and idea people tend to think differently than engineering types, especially when those writers are coated with the dust of the marketplace, harbor the skepticism and suspicion of journalists on the beat, and are busy just being the lone-wolf, creative, artistic and introspective types they often are (software engineers can be highly creative, but in a generally different way).
Of course, the New Republic was a space where the progressive Left, and some genuine radicals and true Leftist ideologues gravitated, and where they were often pushed against by and for practical purposes by more moderate, establishment liberals and other thinkers. They will continue to have a lot of influence.
We’ll see what happens, but nowadays the New Republic appears to my eyes more like Upworthy, Salon, the Huffington Post and other Left-leaning sites in the marketplace.
Visit the Upworthy generator if that’s your thing.
Libertarian editor of Reason Matt Welch took a look at the change of ownership at the New Republic under Hughes, and the move further Leftward:
‘The great irony is that The New Republic is repudiating contrarian neoliberalism precisely when we need it most. Obama proposes in his State of the Union address to jack up the minimum wage to $9 an hour, and instead of surveying the vast skeptical academic literature, or asking (pace Charles Peters) whether such liberal gestures are “more about preserving their own gains than about helping those in need,” TNR columnist Timothy Noah declares, “Raise the Minimum Wage! And make it higher than what Obama just proposed.”
Adam Kirsch, Simon Blackburn, Martha Nussbaum, John Gray. Here are a few links on this site to the New Republic: Leon Wieseltier At The New Republic: ‘A Darwinist Mob Goes After a Serious Philosopher’…Adam Kirsch At The New Republic: ‘Art Over Biology’
****Tech money and technology are affecting not only old media. Kids starting out now have touch screens all around them, staring at their smart phones, games etc. for hours on end. They aren’t necessarily idle.
The NY Times, the Ivy League, lawyers and law schools and various, assorted guilds in our society…take note.
This is probably more important than just debates about politics, ideas, and political theory.
On that note (yeah, I don’t think the New Republic is full of totalitarians):
From a Thomas Sowell piece, the Legacy Of Eric Hoffer:
‘Hoffer said: “The less justified a man is in claiming excellence for his own self, the more ready he is to claim all excellence for his nation, his religion, his race or his holy cause.”
People who are fulfilled in their own lives and careers are not the ones attracted to mass movements: “A man is likely to mind his own business when it is worth minding,” Hoffer said. “When it is not, he takes his mind off his own meaningless affairs by minding other people’s business.”
What Hoffer was describing was the political busybody, the zealot for a cause — the “true believer,” who filled the ranks of ideological movements that created the totalitarian tyrannies of the 20th century.’
As sent in by a reader for Reason magazine:
Chess-great Garry Kasparov grew up as part of the Soviet empire, in its waning days, and is now a human-rights activist in addition to his chess-work. He is calling for many in the West to have the courage of their convictions, which also challenges many on the Left, liberal-Left, as well as the libertarian anti-war crowd and activists of all stripes.
This is the stuff out of which neo-conservatives can be born.
Yes, the Soviet days are over, but don’t just fold and walk away from the table (poker, not chess, as Kasparov points out). Putin is bluffing, but still playing a dangerous, destabilizing game, from Ukraine to China, from the Baltics to his influence in Tehran, and this requires strategy and leadership.
(And, can you trust an activist?: What are his interests aside from his ideals, what truths may be be telling and why might they appeal?)
Not necessarily breaking things, just strategy and leadership:
That’s more of what Kasparov was likely driving at in this tweet from a while back:
I suppose we’ll also see what happens.
Stay tuned, and if you’re interested in supporting this blog, just read it, because it’s probably never going to make any money. It’s a labor of love.
Related On This Site: Are we still having the same debate…is it manifest destiny?: A Few Thoughts On Robert Bork’s “Slouching Towards Gomorrah”…Repost-Heather MacDonald At The City Journal: ‘The Sidewalks Of San Francisco
The classical liberal tradition…looking for classical liberals in the postmodern wilderness: Isaiah Berlin’s negative liberty: A Few Thoughts On Isaiah Berlin’s “Two Concepts Of Liberty”… From George Monbiot: ‘How Freedom Became Tyranny’…Looking to supplant religion as moral source for the laws: From The Reason Archives: ‘Discussing Disgust’ Julian Sanchez Interviews Martha Nussbaum.Richard Rorty tried to tie postmodernism and trendy leftist solidarity to liberalism, but wasn’t exactly classically liberal: Repost: Another Take On J.S. Mill From “Liberal England”