Barack Obama Reflections Part 2—Simon Critchley’s Talk

Below is a link to New School political philosopher Simon Critchley’s September 2008 lecture entitled “Branding Democracy: Barack Obama and the American Void.”

My reflections on this talk will be published later.  

I mentioned in my previous post that we are living in a post-American world, but America the world’s leading “democracy” might no longer be a democracy.  Some would debate that America never was anything like a true democracy.  Indeed, America’s Founding Fathers were Anglophilic landholding slaveowners who were the among the first progenitors of a distinctly republican conception of Enlightenment political life.  Mass democracy never really made an appearance on the scene of American life until the rise of Andrew Jackson some thirty-five to forty years after the creation of the U.S. Constitution.  Critchley asks us to look carefully at what we mean by democracy, and more specifically, Critchley asks us to see the phenomenon and the person of Barack Obama in light of the peculiarly American “brand” of “democracy.”  I invite readers to give their responses…  I really think that many of Critchley’s rather disturbing and feather-ruffling conclusions are worthy of some consideration and discussion.

I think the following comment in the course of the Critchley lecture about Obama is especially poignant…

\”Barack Obama as a \’Blank Screen\’\”

The entire Simon Critchley lecture can be found right here…


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