Trumping Ourselves to Death

Ezra Klein on Vox:

Since Trump was elected, the bookshelves and op-ed pages have been alive with fears of Orwellian fascism – fears that, for the most part, remain far from manifesting. But even as Orwell’s dystopia has failed to materialize, Huxley’s dystopia has: We areburied under ignorance disguised as information, confused by entertainment masquerading as news, distracted by a dizzying procession of lies and outrages and ginned-up controversies, inured to misbehavior and corruption that would’ve consumed past administrations. We have lost control of our attention, if not of our government.

It is hard to read this paragraph from Postman without feeling he is speaking specifically about us:

When Orwell wrote in his famous essay “The Politics of the English Language” that politics has become a matter of “defending the indefensible,” he was assuming that politics would remain a distinct, although corrupted, mode of discourse. His contempt was aimed at those politicians who would use sophisticated versions of the age-old arts of double-think, propaganda and deceit. That the defense of the indefensible would be conducted as a form of amusement did not occur to him. He feared the politician as deceiver, not as entertainer.

Link: Amusing ourselves to Trump (I might have gone with “Trumping ourselves to death”)

via LibrarianShipwreck

Get the book: Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business

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