by George Packer published in The Atlantic
Read original on The Atlantic's website
George Packer writes that over the past four decad...Show description
Posted 685 days ago
Packer's article is pretty much just a re-labelling and description of the politics that we all know about already. There is nothing new in the idea that Democratic Socialists and Progressive Capitalists occupy the Democratic Party while Conservatives and Populists occupy the Republican Party. In a dual party system, this is not some sort of magical change, but a natural coalition reflecting the Left-Right political spectrum we have known about for centuries.
Packer is just articulating this in another format, Smart, Free, Just, Real...this is just terminology being used as a gimmick, quite frankly. But I don't think that's really Packer's fault; it's just part of the publishing industry. To have your article read, shared, posted, liked, etc., you have to write in a way that makes it seem novel and not too academic. The traditional labels of conservative, liberal, etc. might alienate people or make it seem like they are reading something stale. The "Four Parts" are just another way of telling this story.
Once we get past that, the article is fun to read. Packer is not a political theorist; I don't think he tries to be. He's a "descriptor," somebody who can look at the feelings and emotions of people in large groups and translate that onto the page. It reminds me of his book, The Unwinding, which is basically a bunch of biographies stiched together to tell the story for a broader populace. He is very good, one of the best, at tapping into the political feelings that run through our country. You can argue all you want with his classifications or opinions, but what he conveys is true and representative of large swathes of people today in our country.