Get Smart: The Rise of Authoritarianism and Our Crackpot Culture

Los Angeles Times Book Review, February 6, 2000

2 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2008

See all articles by Kenneth Anderson

Kenneth Anderson

American University - Washington College of Law

Date Written: February 6, 2000

Abstract

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

Anderson, Kenneth, Get Smart: The Rise of Authoritarianism and Our Crackpot Culture (February 6, 2000). Los Angeles Times Book Review, February 6, 2000. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=935777

Kenneth Anderson (Contact Author)

American University - Washington College of Law ( email )

4300 Nebraska Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20016
United States

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