John Steinbeck provided me with a Eureka moment months after Judith Butler talk
In May, I had the privilege of moderating an audience question-and-answer session at the Vogue Theatre with renowned feminist scholar Judith Butler.
In her talk, she examined how people are reacting to their own "precarity" in the face of economic uncertainty and government repression.
As the moderator, I was permitted one question, so I asked why so many people seem unaware of their own precarity.
Nowadays, there is virtually no financial security when the Internet, globalization, and currency movements can obliterate entire industries and leave communities virtually broke.
I'm often baffled how so many people walk around in a state of semidelusion, ringing up huge debts, oblivious to the vicissitudes of the modern economy.
Butler gave a fairly lengthy response to my question, but I didn't feel she fully addressed the psychological state of denial that's on display across North America.
“Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat," Steinbeck explained, "but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires."
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