The Two Endings of Brison’s Aftermath

Susan Brison’s Aftermath ends twice: the final chapter discusses her various efforts to retell the story of her brutal rape and attempted murder (she calls it “attempted sexual murder.”) And ends with her final, planned retelling to her son when he is older: “Tragedy,” Wittgenstein wrote, “is when the tree, instead of bending, breaks.” What I wish… Continue reading The Two Endings of Brison’s Aftermath

Partisanship Has Reduced Our Efficacy as Citizens

I’ve been thinking a lot about the new evidence that partisan distrust and even hatred now trumps racial hatred. Consider the now-famous Iyengar/Westwood study, “Fear and Loathing across Party Lines: New Evidence on Group Polarization.” Iyengar and Westwood showed that partisan identification has ceased to be a wholly ideological or instrumental self-description. It’s gone from… Continue reading Partisanship Has Reduced Our Efficacy as Citizens

Varieties of Inequality

Clothes are seen hanging outside a bus which has been converted into a dwelling for Lu Changshan and his wife near newly-constructed residential buildings in Hefei, Anhui province in China on November 12, 2012 (Jianan Lu/Courtesy Reuters).

I can think of at least six kinds of inequality: Inequality of income: different people receive different wages, either for different jobs or for the same job, as profits from capital investments, or as government subsidies, transfer payments, or private charity. Inequality of consumption: different people consume different products (i.e. the generic widget) in differing… Continue reading Varieties of Inequality

Forgiveness and the Problem of Irreversibility

Part 1: Forgiveness and the Problem of Irreversibility Part 2: Forgiveness as a Manifestation of Divine Charity Part 3: A Duty to Forgive? Part 4: Prejudice as the Crystallization of Judgments Part 5: Charity as a Flight from Politics Part 6: Publicity without Politics In The Human Condition Arendt staked out a position that action’s novel self-disclosure… Continue reading Forgiveness and the Problem of Irreversibility