In wrting the obstacle to natural harmony in society is the “insatiable craving to secure recognition for one’s person from others, which leads ‘each individual to make more of himself than of any other,’ ” Rousseau predicted the Kardashians and the selfie. But that is my Cliffs Notes summary of what I got out of Pankaj Misha’s essay How Rosseau Predicted Trump.
To go a bit deeper, Mishra seems to argue that Rousseau correctly observed the interplay of progress and human nature does little to remedy the injustices of social stratification, and in fact exacerbates them. And, skipping a few links in Mishra’s logical chain, it thus is inevitable that a Trumpian demagogue will eventually come to power in a democracy where the elites have failed to build an egalitarian society in favor of maintaining their own power and privilege.
Or, to abstain from the name calling Mike Pence so despises, and to acknowledge that Trump has his supporters, let’s not demean their choice and say demagogue. How about knight in shinning armor?