I think that politics has always been susceptible to conversion so that it’s not actually about living people it’s about signaling membership within a particular community.
There are these two basic fundamental fears, these ur-fears that are rippling through our societies. The first is the fear of complexity, and the second is the fear of change.
In America now, you can defend the humanities but only on economic grounds. So a theater improves a neighborhood. Or many people who study English become McKinsey consultants. But the fact is that you do it for itself, intrinsically, and you do it for the cultivation of the person and the cultivation of the citizen. Which should be reward enough.
I’m very diffident towards values, any kind of. Because you know, values can be very dangerous. And as the poem of Yeats says, the passionate intensity in believing in something can be very dangerous.