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Potemkin Progressivism


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potemkin-progressivism

Potemkin Progressivism

By Roger Kimball| June 22, 2017

It often has been observed that philosophy really got going when people started thinking seriously about the distinction between appearance, on the one hand, and reality, on the other. Plato is full of meditations on this theme, from the stick that appears bent when half submerged in a bowl of water to the texture and real significance of our experience of the everyday world.

The moral is: things are not always as they seem.

Alas, it is one thing to enunciate that moral in the abstract, quite another to take account of its operation on the ground.

Grigory Potemkin famously exploited our habit of innocence about appearances when he deployed a series of fake villages along the banks of the Dnieper River. His aim was to soothe his erstwhile lover Catherine the Great with the illusion of general prosperity as she floated past the smart-looking façades. After she passed, the ensemble would be hastily disassembled, moved down river, and reassembled to greet the Empress anew.

There is a lot of Potemkin in the current ululations of the Left. Thousands upon thousands of unhappy females congregate on the Washington Mall to prance around in their :snip: 

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