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Bruce Katz makes the case for cities and investment therein in the current issue of Time.

Why Charles Murray has any credibility left is one of those things that disturbs me. It's not at the forefront of my thoughts, but whenever he writes one of these articles it jumps up and says "The author of that racist apologia for white people has the gall to theorize about American society again?"


"The author of that racist apologia for white people has the gall to theorize about American society again?"

And my second thought is, "And a major national publication is giving him valuable space (and money, too) for this stuff?"


Decades? Try centuries, all the way back to Thomas Jefferson and his fondness for the virtues of yeoman farmers, and the 1830s' anxieties over the seductive appeal the amoral city held for young people.

I wonder, too, if the distinction is that the virtues of the countryside are cast in terms of the people who already live there, and the virtues of the city are cast in terms of the way they attract new people to them; one's about staying in place and accepting your lot, the other about exploring people and places and one's own potential. If you're terrified of change, or suspect that you'll end up lower on the ladder as a result of change or your own inability to adapt, the city's going to be a place to be suspicious of, and its residents along with it.


Interesting that Andrew Sullivan pipes up. Sullivan is largely responsible for loosing the current incarnation of Charles Murray on the body politic by featuring Murray's (and Herrnstein's, let us not forget) "new" work prominently in the New Republic way back when he was Peretz's Poodle.


I wish I could remember who first said it about the right-wing teabaggers, but it gets the point across: "They wear their resentments like a badge of honor."

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