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Wednesday Lazy Linking

  • Walking While Black in America Today… Brad DeLong, Grasping Reality with a Ten-Foot-Long Flexible Trunk (2010-01-25). Ta-Nehisi Coates: Ta-Nehisi Coates: Fear, Parenting, and the Police: We talked some, last week, about how fear drives black parents. I think this is the sort of case that I was thinking about: The photos taken by Jordan Miles’ mother show his face covered with raw, red bruises, his cheek… (Linked Wednesday 2010-01-27.)

  • Populism. Ezra Klein (2010-01-27). Stopped clocks and all that, I guess. The rest of Brooks’s column is, in fact, nonsense; but this is spot-on: “Populism is popular with the ruling class. Ever since I started covering politics, the Democratic ruling class has been driven by one fantasy: that voters will get so furious at people with M.B.A.’s that they will hand power to people with Ph.D.’s. The Republican ruling class has been driven by the fantasy that voters will get so furious at people with Ph.D.’s that they will hand power to people with M.B.A.’s. Members of the ruling class love populism because they think it will help their section of the elite gain power.”

    Of course, the reason that the rest of Brooks’s column is nonsense is because Brooks identifies this as a problem with “populism.” It’s not. It’s a problem with populism as filtered through electoral politics. Or, to get to the heart of it, it’s a problem with electoral politics. Which is always based around zero-sum power plays and consists more or less entirely in only nominally opposed power-elite factions playing off fear of one another in order to secure support from a captive voter base. (Linked Wednesday 2010-01-27.)

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  1. Discussed at www.echoesandmirrors.com

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