American intellectual historians are no strangers to argument. But few have been as defined by contrarianism as James Livingston. Where others have mourned the early twentieth century defeat of the Populists and the Wobblies, he has made a career extolling the radical potential of the corporate order which emerged at the same time.
Reading Astra Taylor’s n+1 essay “Unschooling,” I was reminded of my first semester in a classroom. Like many student teachers, I’d been offended by the idea of myself as an authority figure.
What makes this perennial sad story worthy of another reexamination?
Thomas Friedman, three-time Pulitzer Prize-winning foreign affairs columnist for the New York Times, once offered the following insight into his modus operandi: “I often begin writing columns by interviewing myself.
Work in a capitalist society is a conflicted and contradictory phenomenon.
It’s taken decades and millions of lives, but elite opinion is starting to move against mass incarceration. The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books ran detailed exposés on the scale and violence of the penal state.
“This means that the economic problem is not … the permanent problem of the human race.”
We can await Ezra Klein’s downfall, but the future may not have shit to do with us either.
Issue 6: Praxis