The politics of our anger: to transform the future or to punish the Other

There is a barrister that I follow ( @GeorgePeretzQC ) and he tweeted a link to this recent guest lecture by Martha Nussbaum on anger. 

He says, “This is about the important stuff. From one the most profound and interesting political philosophers writing today.” 

It was from a discussion thread with others which included: 

  • “Superb essay by Martha Nussbaum on why anger poisons democracy” and 
  • “[This lecture tells us about how] Politically extreme governments actively impairing quality of life and lowering living standards of the majority creates anger”.

She shows how anger comes from fear, but without fear we would also be without love. However there are two types of anger: the good one leads us to change the future for the better, the bad one turns us against other people and looks for retribution and scapegoats. 

Finally in this too-quick summary, people who are pre-occupied by their relative status and worrying themselves about being better than others, when they feel wronged they will focus their anger on retribution against the other. 

An excellent read – 

https://www.neh.gov/about/awards/jefferson-lecture/martha-nussbaum-jefferson-lecture

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