Andrew Kopkind

Politics and culture in the age of Reagan

Politics and culture in the age of Reagan

Some excerpts from Andrew Kopkind’s reporting for The Nation

A new chill is in the air. The powerful producers of the plays of history have opened a sequel to their old cold war hit, and many of the cultural props that supported the first run are coming back into style. There's a retro look to the political landscape, the feel of the Dulles days. Rebellion, utopias, and tender-mindedness are out; conformity, realism, and hard-heartedness are in. Liberals - who always manage to mediate the terms of discourse - are out of high office and high fashion, and once more many of them have enlisted in a cold war, with their familiar postures and attacks....

At the core of the process is war - the militarization of American society, the obsession with national security, the preoccupation with loyalty, patriotism, and power. War, Orwell said, is the engine that drives society. It is certainly the motivation for neoconservatism, the New Right and, now, cold war liberalism.

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