“J’accuse”: Dreyfus in Our Times

  1. What is a collective passion? And is it something we should want, or get excited about? Today the political climate across the Western world is marked, we are told, by a curious and disabling atrophy or disaffection. We do not care enough. The election of Obama would be the exception. His election was of course inspirational, notably in terms of collective life: the mass registration of black voters was close to what might be called the forging of a new political constituency across generation and race. But the enthusiasm he roused, the very force of his rhetoric, so one argument runs, has at moments appeared to be something of an illusion, or even his Achilles’ heel. Despite the passage of the healthcare bill, it remains to be seen whether rhetoric can fully triumph over the crushing anomie of state bureaucracy and the realities of political power. And that is not to speak of the lethal counter-enthusiasm, the ugly, race-tinted hatreds also provoked by the election of the first black ...

The complete text of ““J’accuse”: Dreyfus in Our Times” is not in the Byliner library, but we love it so much we included an excerpt and a link to the full story on www.outsideonline.com.

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