Get Smart: The Rise of Authoritarianism and Our Crackpot Culture
Los Angeles Times Book Review, February 6, 2000
2 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2008
Date Written: February 6, 2000
This essay reviews a book by distinguished cultural critic Wendy Kaminer on the rise in American society of culturally and politically powerful forces of irrational belief that have become increasingly able to impose what amounts to their private pieties on the polity and the public square. Kaminer has a wide range of targets in mind, ranging across the religious and belief spectrum, from Christian creationists to New Age occultists. She argues that the prevalent multicultural ethic gives them ground to demand that their beliefs be taken seriously and not effectively challenged on rational grounds.
Keywords: public policy; new age; occultism; organized religion; enlightenment; philosophe; skeptic; homeopathy; homeopath; Wendy Kaminer; Sleeping with Extra-Terrestrials; Irrational; secular humanism; liberal; recovered-memory syndrome; social behavior; authoritarianism; progressive; relativism
JEL Classification: B31; I39; K49
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation