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Voltaire vs. Bronowski
Transcript of Voltaire vs. Bronowski
1929 stock market crash
Great compression- WWII and New Deal
New Deal does not make sense
"Civilization has moved, is moving, and will move in a desireable direction"
-J.B. Bury Through Candide, Voltaire criticizes optimism and progress. Life is not as simple as straight-line advancement. The American dream of "unlimited opportunity for the poor who are willing to work hard and play by the rules" follows Bronowski's and the Enlightenment philosophy of optimism in progress. Candide warns the American middle class about their blind optimism. Instead of following Bronowski's idea of straight line advancement, middle class history suggests that life is a circle. We must ask ourselves: How can progress exist if these horrible things have happened? Does it matter? "America in the 1950s was desperate to be optimistic again. By 1946 we had lived under the blanket of a general glumness for nearly two decades, first with the Depression, then WWII. When those obstacles were finally removed, Americans couldn't help but be consumed by an almost unstoppable longing to lead 'The Good Life'"
-David Bellm "With wage increases failing to keep pace with inflation, about 21% of middle-class Americans have spent themselves to the limit. Personal bankruptcies rose by a third last year and mortgage defaults- well, they're moving beyond subprime borrowers and hitting those with previously high credit scores"
-Claire Suddath, Time Magazine "Our optimism about America, our belief that in the end our nation always finds its way, comes from the past- a past in which we were a middle class society. But that was another country."
-Paul Krugman "America's self-image as the home of unrelenting progress- a nation of historic purpose and unrivalled opportunity where tomorrow will always be better than today- is the linchpin of its political and popular culture"
-Gary Younge Forced to join Bulgar Army Hears that Cunegonde and her family were raped and murdered Tricked out of ever penny Finally finds Cunegonde, but she is hideous and definitlely not worth the wait Over 5,000 banks fail National unemployment rate reaches 25% Hawley-Smoot Tariff Act Drought ruins farms Average people can afford luxuries US economy as a whole prospered Technological and production leader Income inequality Large employers not as safe National Debt and Unemployment 3 Theories for why job market is so tough