Love and Politics

… Once things have come to this pass — once Democrats think that Republicans are bigoted know-nothings who serve only Mammon, and Republicans think that Democrats are bent on destroying the freedoms in whose name the American revolution was fought — is there a way out? Is there an antidote to the poison running through our political veins?

Yes, says Martha Nussbaum. All you need is love. That may sound facile and a little sappy, but Nussbaum is quite serious. In her new book, “Political Emotions: Why Love Matters For Justice,” she maps out the routes by which men and women who begin in self-interest and ingrained prejudice can build a society in which what she calls “public emotions” operate to enlarge the individual’s “circle of concern.” [cont.]

Stanley Fish (Florida Int’l U.), New York Times