- Jul 10, 2010
I think you mean "All the latter . . ." rather than "They all . . .", especially since Obama hadn't entered the picture as of 1964.aphronesis said:In terms of the theory, Richard Hofstadter's "Paranoid Style in American Politics" (1964) is the original essay, taken up by David Harvey on neoliberalism and his book "The New Imperialism", also Hardt and Negri's "Multitude," and Sheldon Wolin's "Democracy Incorporated."
They all deal with the Bush years, I don't think that many yet have fully linked Obama's extension of Bush' military/domestic security policies with the current era of economic disciplining, but it's coming.
In particular, though, your comment ". . .Obama's extension of . . " previous policies. I've always been struck by the thought that Obama is a truly conservative president - in the true, dictionary definition, sense of the word - not the emotional, political party affiliation sense, which I find to be anything but conservative.
It has seemed to me that the impact of the paranoid has grown over the decades - along with the impact of global warming. Both have been too subtle at times to honestly and accurately track, until you wake up one day and say wtf.
But, I don't think this characteristic is so much typical of the US (the paranoid style), as it is that, somehow, the US gives the political conspiracist a voice it would not have elsewhere. For instance, I have seen very similar tendencies of opinions in Latin America, Ireland, Russia, and (from) China. In the first three, I have spent time in those areas to experience 1st hand these political paranoias. In the last, I have known recent immigrants who readily adhered allegiance to conspiracy theories I had never heard of before. Given the political extremes of WW2 in Europe, I don't think they are immune, either.
I think it is a human tendency, but I know it has heavily impacted American politics.