Rorty Video

Virginia Heffernan in Screens (her New York Times blog):

According to Richard Rorty, natural disasters can kill thousands and millions of people, but leave Western institutions intact.

Terrorist attacks kill comparatively few people, but because they infantilize the citizenry and engender paranoia and a spirit of vengeance that licenses despotism, they can destroy institutions, including even the rule of law.

This is Richard Rorty’s speech on the assigned subject of Anti-Terrorism and the National Security State at the Einstein Forum in Potsdam, Germany, on March 4, 2004. He looks miserable delivering it. He had intended in the 1990s to shift his focus to poetry, I believe; sadly, politics kept mugging him.

Part 2 of the video here.  Also see this brilliant bit: What Died When Rorty Died?