torsdag, januari 19, 2012

En filosofi för de mäktiga

"In The Great Gatsby, F. Scott Fitzgerald depicts the indolent, troubled world of upper-crust young Americans during the Roaring Twenties. A Yale graduate from an old-money family, Tom Buchanan is the most conventional character, and in the opening scene he expresses a conventional upper-crust view. The white, northern races - that is to say, virile, strong, commanding men like Tom Buchanan - rightly rule. The mansion overlooking the Long Island Sound, the horses, the trust fund - he holds them in accord with the higher justice of racial evolution. It was a convenient social philosophy for American elites, one expressed most consistently in the doctrines of Social Darwinism, which provided a seemingly scientific justification for the impulse of the powerful to think of themselves as exempt from the old and limiting constraints of duty and conscience. Today's convenient philosophy for elites is a new materialism." 
 "As materialism disenchants, the principles and norms and standards by which we can hold the powerful accountable melt away."
"Like the Social Darwinism and racial theories that eased the conscience of Tom Buchanan and gave him peace of mind in his supereminence, a materialist philosophy reassures those who hold power today. Because nothing we do in this vast cosmos governed by the laws of nature matters, because nothing lasts, the elites can do what they want and nobody can criticize them."

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