Quotes Suitable for Framing: Richard Rorty

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But there is a problem with this left: it is unpatriotic. In the name of “the politics of difference,” it refuses to rejoice in the country it inhabits. It repudiates the idea of a national identity, and the emotion of national pride. This repudiation is the difference between traditional American pluralism and the new movement called multiculturalism. Pluralism is the attempt to make America what the philosopher John Rawls calls “a social union of social unions,” a community of communities, a nation with far more room for difference than most. Multiculturalism is turning into the attempt to keep these communities at odds with one another.

If in the interests of ideological purity, or out of the need to stay as angry as possible, the academic left insists on a “politics of difference,” it will become increasingly isolated and ineffective. An unpatriotic left has never achieved anything. A left that refuses to take pride in its country will have no impact on that country’s politics, and will eventually become an object of contempt.

Richard Rorty, The Unpatriotic Academy (1994)

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13 Comments

  1. Identity politics, far from being progressive, is a reversion to the old politics of feudalism. The rent seeking identity group gatekeepers become the new feudal lords.

  2. Actually, there are huge constituencies which are perfectly happy with an unpatriotic left. Patriotism means appreciating your ancestors and appreciating the people around you, and they only do that in re to like-minded folk in their immediate social circles.

  3. “An unpatriotic left has never achieved anything.” Nope. The left always achieves despair, destruction and death.

    “A left that refuses to take pride in its country will have no impact on that country’s politics …,” There you go again. The left, with the media’s help is driving this country, especially the politics of the country, to socialism, balkanization and self destruction.

    “… and will eventually become an object of contempt.” Yes. By those who had admired us and also by those who hated us and they will continue to hate us in the fear that someday we may wake up.

    I used to like Independence Day. Tomorrow, I’m attending a couple of family events. I hope that politics doesn’t rear it’s head simply because I no longer trust whether or not my relatives actually believe in America and what it stands for anymore.

    Nope.

  4. @ JFK

    Smile without ceasing.
    Look through them as they know not what they believe. So many have swallowed the pill that deaden’s the senses. They will come back to appreciate what you appreciate, however it just might be in times that are much darker than they are now. Smile anyway.
    Your confidence is from knowing God.

  5. Unlike Brigette Gabriel I did not grow up in a bomb shelter. I lived as an air force brat, and later as a commissioned officer, under the US/Canada NORAD umbrella. We were and are allies, not enemies (well, the war of 1812 excepted). As a Canadian Forces veteran I salute our American neighbours on your July 4th Independence Day. To those who wear now, or once wore, your country’s uniform, I thank you for your steadfast defence of liberty and all the sacrifices that entails. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The USA is a great nation.

    Sic Itur Ad Astra! (Such is the pathway to the stars! – motto of the Royal Canadian Air Force.

    Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The USA is a great nation.

  6. Orwell: “”The assumption . . . that all human beings are more or less approachable and will respond to a generous gesture, needs to be seriously questioned.” Not operative when you are dealing with lunatics liberals in the academy, the deep state, the lying media, et al.

  7. What makes this truly hilarious is that the mural was painted by Victor Mikhail Arnautoff, an artist and professor at Stanford, who was a Communist. Originally a White Russian exile, his politics swung sharply to the Left. After the death of his wife in 1961 he emigrated to the Soviet Union and lived there until his death in 1979. The Left always eventually eats its own. For what it is worth, I think his murals are some of the worst examples of the social realist art of the thirties.

  8. , I think his murals are some of the worst examples of the social realist art of the thirties.

    That may be, but at least it’s representational art. A great deal of public art, art in galleries, and even art in museums is just dumpster filler.

    Again, the decision-making stratum in this country is unfit to wield the discretion it does. Just horrible.

  9. Donald:
    We can agree that certain art (and literature) would never be missed, but once we start censoring the past and give public agencies the right to do so, we set a precedent that leads to what Bradbury described in “Fahrenheit 451”.
    Besides which: If you want to prove how badly your people were treated, why hide the evidence?

  10. The PC Taliban deserve all the mocking they can get, but sometimes art is simply wretched. Art is correct that most art is crap, but most commissioned art by public authorities seem to specialize in bad art. The Renaissance is often raised as an argument against this proposition, but we forget just how much publicly commissioned bad art was produced during the Renaissance and, mercifully, has not been preserved down through the centuries.

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