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Frank Pasquale
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Doug Henwood has warned that crisis is much better for fascism, repression, and consolidation of oligarchy. I think Ben Friedman's work there is solid, too. But AJ Sutter has a good critical review of Friedman's correlations, and of course FDR stands as a great counterexample.
Absolutely right. There is a certain political genius to First Amendment fundamentalism: by alternately offending social conservatives and economic progressives, the court assiduously cultivates its reputation for balance, objectivity, and nonpartisanship. Of course, such a maneuver is typical of the most curdled and cynical politics. It's the same spirit that motivates the mainstream media to applaud virtually any "bipartisan" initiative, however destructive (war) or cruel (benefit cuts for the poorest). One of the more ingenious turns of Gary Shteyngart's Supersad True Love Story (a novel that imagines exactly what happens to childhood under the assault of a constant barrage of salacious images) was to portray a totalitarian America under the tutelage of one, united, "Bipartisan Party."
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Jul 23, 2010