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History shows us the same grim phenomenon over and over: under extreme circumstances, apparently ordinary citizens turn into merciless torturers and systematic executioners of defenseless victims. War crimes and genocides may be orchestrated by dictators and terrorist leaders,but they are carried out by individuals who otherwise show empathy, sound moral judgment, and aversion to violence. How does this happen?
Today, the “wretched of the earth” are no longer those oppressed by colonization, but rather the unemployed and the working poor, migrants and refugees, landless peasants depending on public or familial assistance to survive—in a word, the economically useless. Uselessness is the most pernicious form of inequality, because it drives these men and women into traps of poverty from which escape is all but impossible.
The Revival of Democracy in America and the Better Angels of Your Nature Letter from a European Friend
A worthy heir to Alexis de Tocqueville’s landmark nineteenth-century analysis of the democratic experiment in the United States, Renaud Lassus’s The Revival of Democracy in America is both a brisk, lucid assessment of the nation’s current political and social climate and a resounding call for optimism at a moment when the prevailing winds seem to be blowing the other way.
Simplexity, as I understand it, is the range of solutions living organisms have found, despite the complexity of natural processes, to enable the brain to prepare an action and plan for the consequences of it.