Monday, October 19, 2009

White House Communications Director and Mao

By now, many people have heard about the White House Communications Director who gave a speech including praise of Mao as one of her favorite political philosophers.

The odd thing is that what seems to have impressed her as a deep political thought was this saying of Mao's: "you fight your war, and I'll fight mine." She emphasizes it: "And think about that for a second. You don't have to accept the definition of how to do things, and you don't have to follow other people's choices and paths. OK? It is about your choices and your paths."

That's it? That's her idea of profound political advice? Something so anodyne and banal ("follow your own path") that it has been featured in any number of after-school specials, pop songs, and so on ad nauseam? For that bit of triteness she had to look up one of history's most notorious mass murderers? A word of advice to would-be fans of political philosophy: you're probably better off citing the wisdom of Sammy Davis, Jr..


Blogger Michael Drake said...

It's pretty hard to make much sense out of the crap she's talking. But I do think it's a pretty clear elision to fail to note that there are two "political philosophers" she cites here - Mao and Mother Theresa.

9:17 PM  
Blogger Stuart Buck said...

Well, wasn't Mother Theresa well known for her book on Rawls and Dworkin before she took off for India?

10:32 AM  
Blogger Michael Drake said...

Yes, but it was her work on the efficiency of economic allocations in the presence of externalities that really rubbed me the wrong way.

8:13 PM  

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