The value of public anger

March 22, 2009 | By | 2 Replies More

Glenn Greenwald finds virtue in public anger:

[The] anti-anger consensus among our political elites is exactly wrong. The public rage we’re finally seeing is long, long overdue, and appears to be the only force with both the ability and will to impose meaningful checks on continued kleptocratic pillaging and deep-seated corruption in virtually every branch of our establishment institutions. The worst possible thing that could happen now is for this collective rage to subside and for the public to return to its long-standing state of blissful ignorance over what the establishment is actually doing . . .

It’s a universal dynamic that elites want to keep the masses in a state of silent, disengaged submission, all the better if the masses stay convinced that the elites have their best interests at heart and their welfare is therefore advanced by allowing elites — the Experts — to work in peace on our pressing problems, undisrupted and “undistracted” by the need to placate primitive public sentiments.

Consider that it is now well established that emotions are not incompatible with rationality.


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Category: Economy, Politics, Psychology Cognition

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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  1. Dwight Bobson says:

    My Truth

    What made Jon Stewart’s takedown of Jim Cramer resonate was less his specific brief against CNBC’s cheerleading for bad stocks than his larger indictment of the gaping economic inequality that defined the bubble. As Stewart said, there were “two markets” — the long-term market that Americans earnestly thought would sustain their 401(k)’s, and the fast-moving, short-term “real market” in the back room where high-rolling insiders wagered “giant piles of money” and brought down everyone with them.

    How Capitalism and Free Markets Really Work

    The Actual Truth

    What To Do About IT

    Stewart and Cramer

  2. Tim Hogan says:

    I saw a movie called "Shoot Out" with Clive Owen and Paul Giamatti. In the movie Giamatti makes a comment about why he doesn't get mad. The character says he dosn't get mad because anger and its attendant bodily changes actually reduces his IQ and reasoning ability. Perhaps emotions do get in the way of rationality, a little, eh? Or do I just need to be more critical of films I go to purely for the gratuitous violence (which is very high in this flick!)?

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