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Monday, October 03, 2005


Nicely-turned phrase of the day

"Bush's ownership society turns out to be the on-your-ownership society."

- Katha Pollitt, writing in The Nation
The article from which this line is taken discusses why things which might seem to some to be inexplicable -- the rise of fundamentalism, attacks on abortion, the decline of quality education -- are all quite explainable. Here's an example:
"If you think of current behavior as an advance accommodation to what is on the way, some things make sense that otherwise are mysterious. Why, at the very moment that we are talking obsessively about academic 'excellence' and leaving no child behind, are we turning our public schools into factories of rote learning and multiple-choice testing, as if learning how to read and count were some huge accomplishment? Well, if your fate is to be a supermarket checker--and that's a 'good job' these days--you won't be needing Roman history or art or calculus."
The article becomes a nice elaboration on the classic radical definition of the difference between a liberal and a radical:
"A liberal is someone who thinks that things like the invasion of Iraq, the pathetic response to Hurricane Katrina, and all the other 'bad' things that happen are the irrational outcomes of a perfectly rational system. A radical is someone who thinks they are the perfectly rational outcomes of a completely irrational system."

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