American Decline

Evil Geniuses: How the Elite Unmade America w/ Kurt Andersen

Some fairly interesting commentary on modern American cultural history in this. One thing I often find interesting is the way in which the rhetoric of the socially conservative “right” and the progressive liberal “left” frequently mirror each other. Social conservatives tend to be nostalgic for the social mores of the 1950s and lamenting the corrupting impact of 1960s individualism, the media, and the entertainment industry on public/personal morality. Progressives tend to be nostalgic for the economic mores of the 1950s and lament the corrupting impact of 1960s individualism, the media, and the entertainment industry on economic morality. This is consistent with Murray Rothbard’s observation in the 1960s that the “true left” would be a kind of “free market cultural leftism” (which is what much though not all of modern libertarianism is) and Sam Francis’ observation in the 1990s that the “true right” would a kind of “socially conservative economic populism” (which is what much of what Trumpism in the mainstream and the alt-right on the margins is). There are some problems with such a paradigm but it fits in other ways.

On this Best of 2020: Sam hosts author, radio host, and Spy Magazine founder Kurt Andersen to discuss his latest book Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America: A Recent History and how the last 50 years have turned the clock back on economic equality and progress in America. Andersen and Sam begin their conversation discussing the power of nostalgia and how it took such a hold in American culture after the 60s counterrevolution and civil rights movement. The two continue their conversation discussing the Lewis Powell memo and how corporate leaders wanted to change public sentiment towards corporate capitalism. Sam also explains his appreciation of Andersen’s novel Turn of the Century and Andersen shares how his political attitudes changed during that period at the beginning of the 21st century. Andersen and Sam conclude the conversation as to what lies ahead for younger generations of Americans and how does Joe Biden help usher in change, maybe.

Leave a Reply