Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Jeff Sharlet - the Family interview

Guernica recently conducted a fascinating interview with religion journalist Jeff Sharlett regarding his recent publication: The Family: The Secret Fundamentalism at the Heart of American Power.

Excerpt from the (Rawlinson) interview:
One of the most interesting things about anti-intellectualism in American life is that it’s a very intellectual project. Real anti-intellectualism, the Family kind, you know, “Jesus plus nothing,” the systematic stripping away of history, of theology, of any kind of influence—that’s an intellectual project. Not for nothing does Doug Coe express some admiration for Pol Pot. In year zero, he did the same thing. Pol Pot had all the intellectuals killed. You only do that if you have an idea. That’s an extreme form of ideology that says: I can purify things.

There are two great traditions that have been written about before, which are American rationalism and American sentimentalism. What you see in the Family’s expression of power is that these are not two opposite poles, but the head and heart, the realpolitik of world power. The sentimental narrative, which is anti-intellectual—is absolutely interwoven with the rationalist Family agenda.


Nancy Rawlinson said...

Thanks for the link, yo.

highlowbetween said...

thanks for the interview - been meaning to read that book for awhile now.