Recent quotes:

Heartless capitalism

One thing I want to make sure of, if you look at the leaders of capitalism at that time, when capitalism was I believe at its highest flower and spreading its benefits to most of mankind, almost all of those capitalists were strong believers in the Judeo-Christian West. They were either active participants in the Jewish faith, they were active participants in the Christians’ faith, and they took their beliefs, and the underpinnings of their beliefs was manifested in the work they did. And I think that’s incredibly important and something that would really become unmoored. I can see this on Wall Street today — I can see this with the securitization of everything is that, everything is looked at as a securitization opportunity. People are looked at as commodities. I don’t believe that our forefathers had that same belief.

Meet The Philosopher Who’s A Favorite Of Steve Bannon And Mussolini - Culture – Forward.com

If this weren’t bad enough, throughout the talk Bannon pines for the days of “enlightened capitalism” informed by “Judeo-Christian values.” When were these days exactly? Bannon stipulates the years preceding World War One. You know, the years of King Leopold II, of the Herero Genocide, of the Homestead Massacre, of murderous factory conditions – the enlightened years.

Suzanne Nossel: Donald Trump’s Assault on the Enlightenment | Foreign Policy

Trump’s declaration of war on the arts and humanities must be seen in the context of his repudiation of the American ideals — grounded in the Enlightenment — of self-expression, knowledge, dissent, criticism, and truth. These proposals are an early effort to entrench within the machinery of the U.S. government his elemental disdain for intellectuals, analysts, and experts. Seen this way, they deserve to be rejected even by conservatives who have gleefully targeted these agencies in the past. If Donald Trump makes our venerable federal arts and humanities agencies disappear, it will represent a victory for his illiberal agenda, one conservatives and liberals must unite to defeat.

Donald Trump’s Assault on the Enlightenment | Foreign Policy

The principles that Trump aims to defeat include the bedrock tenets of the Enlightenment and of American democracy — that rational thought, informed debate, and measured discourse form the basis of good government.

Dostoyevsky and Russia's soul

Dostoevsky, who traveled widely in Europe but was suspicious of it, despised passionately the revolutionaries and their desired revolution. He spent the 1860s and 1870s obsessing over Russia’s looming confrontation with itself. His four most important works (Crime and Punishment, The Idiot, Devils, and The Brothers Karamazov) are not simply novels, but rather dystopian warnings about what would happen if Russia did not return to its pre-Petrine origins.