Martha Nussbaum’s new book about the dangers of anger tells us more about the limits of the liberal mindset than the actual world of politics

Amia Srinivasan in The Nation:

ScreenHunter_2413 Dec. 01 19.48The 2016 presidential election was, it seems, decided by angry white men in the Rust Belt: angry that their fellow Americans increasingly do not look or sound like them; angry that black lives matter and that a black man is in the White House; angry that the movements of capital are indifferent to their needs and that movements of people have increased; angry that a woman thought herself fit to run the country.

One might well think that anger itself was the problem. Many have been calling for a return to a more civil and reasonable form of political discourse. But some go even further: Perhaps what we need is the total eradication of anger from our politics. If so, then those of us on the left should respond to Trump’s election not with our own anger but with something altogether cooler and calmer.

In her latest book, Anger and Forgiveness, the philosopher Martha Nussbaum argues for just this. Even “great injustice,” she says, is no “excuse for childish and undisciplined behavior.” For not only is anger bad because of its consequences—alienating political opponents, breeding revenge and violence, inhibiting progress—it is also a bad thing in itself, an immoral and incoherent way of responding to the world.

More here.