There was a time, not so long ago, that when people talked about changing society, they generally had Big Plans. These plans were big in the sense that, had any of them worked, the world we live in would have been changed almost beyond recognition. Things are different now. People may complain just as loudly, but they generally lack big ideas about how things should be redone. Or to speak more precisely: The big ideas that do remain are so obviously bad ideas (such as Islamic theocracy) that almost no psychologically well-balanced individual feels tempted by them. There is a stark difference between this ethos and a time when mild-mannered, middle-class people actually thought it might be helpful to tear down various pillars of Western civilization and rebuild everything from the ground up.
Nowadays, the disagreements that do remain tend to be over matters of detail. Political protest still carries the trappings of radicalism, but when you scratch the surface a bit, ask people what they really want, you typically end up with some fairly modest proposals. Antiglobalization protesters may still call for the overthrow of capitalism, but they’re usually willing to settle for an environmental protection rider or an amendment to the arbitration mechanism of the next free trade agreement. In France, activists have even insisted upon using the term altermondialisation to describe the movement, rather than antimondialisation, to emphasize the fact that they are not opposed to globalization—they would just like to see it done a bit differently.
May 13, 2015 @ 1:44 pm
I am definitely going to have to get my hands on this man's books.
May 13, 2015 @ 11:58 pm
He's Canadian. Weren't they assigned in school as some sort of cultural quota?
May 14, 2015 @ 1:30 pm
You're thinking of music and literature. Actual academicians had to hold their own against the crushing mass of American studies and findings. I'm mostly familiar with it in psychology, but even in the politics and policy I had to read, there was always a comparison with America's doctrine, so much did it manage to dominate by its overpowering volume.