In this video philosopher and Brazilian politician Roberto Mangabeira Unger discusses the problems of America’s current political landscape. He arrives at several insights, the most important of which I will highlight below:
Beyond the content of his video, I think there is much to be said about the medium. Youtube is generally a space reserved for viral music videos, viral junk videos, viral sports videos, and every other kind of viral video.
I appreciate that an Ivy League law professor is trying to communicate with the masses, but I can’t help but think that his message would have been easier to communicate and more effective had it been in a written document.
Apart from evoking an image of J.P. Morgan grasping a dagger-like armrest and some close ups for dramatic effect, the video footage doesn’t do much. If anything, his delivery makes the last line sound more like a comic book tagline than it already it: “Only a political reversal can allow the voice of democratic prophesy to speak once again in American life. It’s speech is always dangerous. It’s silence is always fatal.”
Unger’s video reminds me of his Slovenian contemporary, Slavoj Zizek, who even more vigorously embraces the internet. From what little exposure I have to their philosophies, it seems as if I might agree with a significant portion of both. However, as I have only ever been exposed to a few minutes of their videos, I don’t feel like I have a very complete grasp of what they are trying to get at.