the paranoid center

Jesse Walker's piece in this month's reason is truly stellar. Too many good quotes to pick one, but I will anyway:

"If the Oklahoma City bombing stands out, that is because it is unique in American history. Eliminationist rhetoric may flower in some of the fringes, but the violence that sometimes follows is usually petty stuff. The most formidable eliminationists have always been in the American center, not on the margins. They aim to preserve or extend the existing social order, not to subvert it. And they have the most guns...

It's comforting to imagine that violence and paranoia belong only to the far left and right, and that we can protect ourselves from their effects by quarantining the extremists and vigilantly expelling anyone who seems to be bringing their ideas into the mainstream. But the center has its own varieties of violence and paranoia. And it's far more dangerous than anyone on the fringe, even the armed fringe, will ever be."

1 comment:

Gino said...

i really appreciate brevity when somebody puts up a link to read, but this was good enough to read through 4 times already.

lots of goodies to ponder here.