CA 374 March 29 - CA 374 3/29 Richard Hofstadter, The...

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CA 374 3/29 Richard Hofstadter, “The Paranoid Style in American Politics” - Context: Harper’s Magazine, 1964, Goldwater (had more extreme ideas and thought it was possibly problematic) - What is the paranoid style? o Characteristics - suspiciousness o Objective – trying to find out why rational actors buy into these extreme views like Goldwater o More concerned with how ideas are believed rather than if they are true of false. o Clinical psychological term – “paranoid” o A negative/pejorative term o Not just right wing, we can see it throughout parties o Nativists concerned with immigration. o Universal phenomenon How do we identify the paranoid spokesman? - Good vs. Evil - Foresees a conspiracy - Militant leader – there is no room for compromise - Unrealistic goals Characteristics of the Enemy - Description: “he is a perfect model of malice, a kind of amoral superman” - He tries to bend history to his own will - “He makes crises, starts rums on banks, causes depressions, manufactures disasters, and then enjoys and profits from the mister he has produced.” - Possesses effective source of power (ex: wealthy, president of a company, scientists, etc) Copying the Enemy - Psychological projection
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CA 374 March 29 - CA 374 3/29 Richard Hofstadter, The...

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