For the tender-minded

More books and reviews are coming soon.

The Affluent Society, Fortieth Anniversary Edition
John Kenneth Galbraith. Houghton Mifflin Company. New York: 1998.

“[T]he payment for publicly produced services has long been linked to the problem of inequality. By having the rich pay more, the services were provided and at the same time the goal of greater equality was advanced. This community of objectives has never appealed to those equalized. Not unnaturally, some part of their opposition has been directed to the public services themselves. By attacking these, they could attack the leveling tendencies of taxation. This has helped to keep alive the notion that the public services for which they pay are inherently inferior to privately produced goods. While public services have been subject to these negative attitudes, private goods have had no such attention. On the contrary, their virtues have been extolled by the massed drums of modern advertising. They have been pictured as the ultimate wealth of the community. Clearly the competition between public and private services, apart from any question of the satisfactions they render, in an unequal one. The social consequences of this discrimination — this tendency to accord a superior prestige to private goods and an inferior role to public production — are considerable and even grave.” (p. 111-112)

Representations of the Intellectual: The 1993 Reith Lectures
Edward W. Said. Pantheon Books. New York: 1994.

“A second advantage to what in effect is the exile standpoint for an intellectual is that you tend to see things not simply as they are, but as they have come to be that way. Look at situations as contingent, not as inevitable, look at them as the result of a series of historical choices made by men and women, as facts of society made by human beings, and not as natural or god-given, therefore unchangeable, permanent, irreversible.” (p. 61)


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