Michael Aeschliman in National Review — Berlinski Detonates “Fatuous, Flattering” Optimism

Alexander Solzhenitsyn, Ben Shapiro, biology, climate change, coronavirus, Culture & Ethics, ethics, First World War, future, Herbert Butterfield, Homo Deus, Human Nature (book), Incarnation, intellectuals, Ivy League, Jonathan Swift, Law of the Jungle, linguistics, Malcolm Muggeridge, Martin Luther King, mathematics, Michael Aeschliman, Middle East, National Review, philosophy, Reinhold Niebuhr, Steven Pinker, Sunday Special, T.S. Eliot, The Better Angels of Our Nature
From climate change to the coronavirus, one tendency among writers and commentators is to an urgent, insatiable, almost sexual desire to cast unwarranted terror over other people. This tendency is matched by an equal appetite, among a large part of the public, for being terrified. The market is well matched with its suppliers. But this dynamic is mirrored by its opposite: a wish, proceeding from different personal imperatives but no less urgent, to assure us that the future looks better and better, all progress with little pain. There’s a market for this, too, and the relationship with the suppliers is just as tight. It’s to this second pairing that David Berlinski turns his attention in his recent essay collection, Human Nature. Two Celebrity Intellectuals Dr. Berlinski gets a fabulous review…
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