Yes, we are in a world of trouble. But it’s also an opportunity to think big about what needs to change and what we might want in a new world to come. Here’s a terrific piece by Marilynne Robinson in the NYRB. There’s a lot for those of us who are in the public academy, but there is also something of an optimistic spark that I think we all need.
The theory that supports all this is taught in the universities. Its terminology is economic but its influence is broadly felt across disciplines because it is in fact an anthropology, a theory of human nature and motivation. It comes down to the idea that the profit motive applies in literally every circumstance, inevitably, because it is genetic in its origins and its operations. “Selfishness,” its exponents call it, sometimes arguing that the word in this context has a special meaning, though the specifics of the sanitizing are unclear.What Kind of Country Do We Want, Marilynne Robinson, New York Review of Books