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Unformatted text preview: himself to be living as directed specifically against him; whereas the spokesman of the paranoid style finds it directed against a nation, a culture, a way of life whose fate affects not himself alone but millions of others.” ○ Historical examples­ Hofstadter then proceeds through a series of examples of this paranoid style, touching lightly on the anti­Masonic movements of the 1820s and 1830s, anti­Catholic agitation in the 1850s, the populist attacks on the “money power” and the gold standard in the 1890s, before settling upon his main subject, the McCarthy and Goldwater right wing of the 1950s and 1960s ● All of these tendencies share common traits­ “Let us now abstract the basic elements in the paranoid style. The central image is that of a vast and sinister conspiracy, a gigantic yet subtle machinery set in motion to undermine and destroy a way of life. … The distinguishing thing about the paranoid style is not that its exponents see conspiracies or plots here and there in history, but that they regard a “vast” or “gigantic” conspiracy as the motive force in history events. … The paranoid spokesman sees the fate of this conspiracy in apocalyptic terms –he traffics in the birth and death of whole worlds, whole political orders, whole systems of human values. He is always manning the barricades of civilization. He constantly lives at a turning point: it is now or never in organizing resistance to conspiracy. Time is forever just running out.” Sowell “A Conflict of Visions” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Conflict_of_Visions http://www.cato.org/sites/cato.org/files/serials/files/cato­journal/1987/11/cj7n2­17.pdf ● Sowell's opening chapter attempts to answer the question of why the same people tend to be political adversaries in issue after issue, when the issues vary enormously in subject matter and sometimes hardly seem connected to one another. The root of these conflicts, Sowell claims, are the "visions", or the intuitive feelings that people have about human nature; different visions imply radically dif...
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This document was uploaded on 02/11/2014.

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