Tag: Edmund Wilson

Covid Reading

I’m in the midst of recovering from covid—my family and I were hit with it two weeks ago—and doing a fair amount of reading. Just prior to getting sick, I had completed a long piece on oligarchy and the Constitution, which is actually the fourth in a series of pieces I’ve completed over the last few months that I expect to appear in print this summer. (The other three are on Adam Smith, John Maynard Keynes, and the idea of late capitalism.) The combination of being sick, and finishing those pieces, left me with time and energy for little more than resting in bed and reading. So that’s what I’ve been doing. Here is what I’ve been reading or re-reading: […]

The Millennials are the American Earthquake

This is a super-fascinating article for multiple reasons. First, it turns out millennials are even more like the 1930s generation than we realized. Not just in their politics, as Andrew Hartman recently argued, but also in their economic practices. Having come of age during an epic financial crisis, they’re now staying away from the stock market, and putting their money in savings accounts—the equivalent, during the Depression, of stuffing your dollar bills in a mattress for fear of there being a run on the banks. These little gestures signal deep cultural shifts that are ultimately really important for politics. My generation was raised to think that the stock market was our savior. Fuck pensions and Social Security! You can’t trust the state or […]

The Bernie Sanders Moment: Brought to you by the generation that has no future

Last week I met with a group of ten interns at a magazine. The magazine runs periodic seminars where interns get to meet with a journalist, writer, intellectual, academic of their choosing. We talked about politics, writing, and so on. But in the course of our conversation, one startling social fact became plain. Although all of these young men and women had some combination of writerly dreams, none of them—not one—had any plan for, even an ambition of, a career. Not just in the economic sense but in the existential sense of a lifelong vocation or pursuit that might find some practical expression or social validation in the form of paid work. Not because they didn’t want a career but because there was no career to be […]