The reach of Mr. Ganesh’s latest essay, from ‘Social Media’ , ‘The Contract With America’, Frank Capra, to the fate of ‘mature democracies’, might cause the reader to wonder how he will construct this rhetorical being?
Mr. Ganesh’s cynicism about ‘Social Media’ is shop-worn, but self-congratulatory. Never a surprise to the regular readers of his political interventions.
Mr. Ganesh’s historical reach is an expression of his ignorance of American History. His search might have begun with the Post-War attacks by the Republican on The New Deal as a ‘Generation of Treason’, with attacks against Social Security, The Tennessee Valley Authority*.
In 1994, the right swept Congress with new cadres who were shrill in both anti-government creed and partisan style. Mark Zuckerberg was 10 years old. When Sarah Palin played the proto-Trump on a presidential ticket in 2008, Twitter was still budding. What the scholar Richard Hofstadter called the “paranoid style” of politics was nearing escape velocity before social media gave it, at most, a last kick.
While 1994 and the un-named Contract With America might have a certain historical attraction: the whole political career of Ronald Reagan, that began in California, was the occasion for him to use his tag line ‘Government is the Problem’. That defined the whole of his toxic political career. His attacks on the Berkley Rebels of 1964’s ‘Free Speech Movement’ led by Mario Savio, was the beginning of his career. Except for his role as GE’s spokes person. Obama called him a transformational president.
On the pressing question of the fate of ‘mature democracies’ Mr. Ganesh links to a Financial Times news story by Victor Mallet and David Keohane, in Paris November 13, 2019
Headline: Year of ‘gilets jaunes’ leaves angry mark on France
Sub-headline: The marches may have dwindled but Macron was forced to give ground
In 2021 The Rebellion Against The Elites, the active resistance to the Neo-Liberalization of France, continues unabated, even though this newspaper doesn’t report the story. Twitter is the social media platform, to view that continuing expression of resistance. The reader need only consider, that the Jupertarian Politics of énarque Macron, have been discarded as excess baggage, mere pose, as a return to greatness of France, that lost its ability to ensorcell the voters.
On the question of Macron, and his admiration for Napoleon see :
Une part de nous
Emmanuel Macron’s admiration for Napoleon
By Sudhir Hazareesingh
*Elia Kazan made a film, ‘Wild River‘ in 1960 about the TVA: how telling, that Mr. Ganesh, as a cinéaste, should have missed this Kazan film and the biographical expose of Capra.