What the American Right Looks Like in 2013

File:Serpiente alquimica.jpg


The above image is of a ouroboros (a serpent biting its tail). Nothing gets in. Nothing gets out. It’s why the right is so goofed up in the United States right now. Its epistemic closure divorces it from reality. And the Republican gerrymandering of Congressional districts (based on the last census) isolates its crazier politicians (Michelle Bachmann, etc.) from serious electoral consequences.

The following quote from Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) seems apt: “[O]nce it has established its premise, its point of departure, experiences no longer interfere with ideological thinking, nor can it be taught by reality.”


Quote source: Arendt’s “Ideology and Terror,” quoted in Mary-Jane Rubenstein’s Strange Wonder (Columbia 2008, p. 23).

Image source: Wikipedia Commons.

About Santi Tafarella

I teach writing and literature at Antelope Valley College in California.
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4 Responses to What the American Right Looks Like in 2013

  1. Staffan says:

    Seems to me Arendt’s quote applies to ideologists in general and not just those you disagree with. How many liberals are still clinging to Locke’s Blank Slate? At the most they make a bargain with reality and say nature/nurture is fifty-fifty, (which of course it isn’t). And the part of how shared environment – family, school etc – is zero or close to zero, that just bounces off their retinas like it wasn’t there.

  2. Luke says:

    Gerrymandering was demanded by civil rights group to ensure election of minorities. It works. Socialists like Barbara Lee and Maxine Waters usually get something like 80% of the vote in their districts.

    • Santi Tafarella says:

      Well, there are some unintended consequences over time. Among them the encouragement of epistemic closure in Republican dominated districts.

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