Patrick Lichty on Fri, 13 Oct 2017 14:04:18 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Constitutioanl radicalism

This might seem a bit dated but perhaps not.

In response to Brian Holmes' notion that the moderates are now the new radicals, I was reflecting on the July 4th 2017 tweeting of the Declaration of Independence by US National Public Radio. The Trump-base replies of putting radical and subversive content online, and I would not have been surprised at a comment about Communism. That being said, the polarization of politics in the United States, at least since Reagan, and likely since the McCarthy Trials and Goldwater days in the 60's make we wonder about Brian's idea that in light of severe polarization, has the center become the radix? Has the United states become so warped through populist remediation that its fundamental principles are now seen by the populists as radical and subversive?

If so, I'd like to consider the notionof Constitutional Radicalism in the USA. The idea of the Radical Moderate as healing agent.  This is not saying to reiterate Eisenhower-era hegemony - far from it. The Constitution and Declaration have some ideas that are being trampled to death by the Trump movement, egalite', freedom of speech, liberte', and so on.  This is also not a defense for a constitutional literalism that lets the alt-right off the hook for semiotic inversion (accusing the other of their own tactics as diversion), but a call for a spirit of the law separate from strict legalism, which was perfected in the Gordon Gecko days of the 1980's to the speculations crash of the 2008.

Has the United states, and a large part of Western thought become so warped by populism and anti intellectualism (which is a complex and stack in itself) that individuals seeking a humane, bjective society driven by reason, logic and empirical science look like some sort of freak show? If so, count me as a freak, and perhaps a political theory of constitutional fundamentalism as revolutionary forsce is a notion which time has come.

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