'It will be called Americanism': the US writers who imagined a fascist future. “To have enslaved America with this hocus-pocus!
To have captured the mind of the world’s greatest nation without uttering a single word of truth! Oh, the pleasure we must be affording the most malevolent man on earth!” These words come near the end of Philip Roth’s 2004 novel The Plot Against America, but for some they could have been written yesterday. The election of Donald J Trump as president has been called “unimaginable”, but the truth is many people did imagine the forces that have brought him to power, or versions of them; we just stopped listening to them.
How Hannah Arendt Is Being Used And Misused In The Age Of Trump - Culture. Hannah Arendt, who wrote extensively about authoritarianism, the nature of evil, and power, is having a bit of a moment.
Currently circulating the internet (my twitter feed, at least) are two interesting articles regarding the Jewish philosopher’s legacy. First, we have Zoe Williams’ piece for The Guardian, “Totalitarianism in the age of Trump: Lessons from Hannah Arendt.” My dad predicted Trump in 1985 – it's not Orwell, he warned, it's Brave New World. Over the last year, as the presidential campaign grew increasingly bizarre and Donald Trump took us places we had never been before, I saw a spike in media references to Amusing Ourselves to Death, a book written by my late father, Neil Postman, which anticipated back in 1985 so much about what has become of our current public discourse.
At Forbes, one contributor wrote that the book “may help explain the otherwise inexplicable”. CNN noted that Trump’s allegedly shocking “ascent would not have surprised Postman”. Log In. Log In. Log In.