Credulous Skeptics

Mark Lilla, The Tea Party Jacobins, New York Review of Books, May 27, 2010:

Americans are and have always been credulous skeptics. They question the authority of priests, then talk to the dead; they second-guess their cardiologists, then seek out quacks in the jungle. Like people in every society, they do this in moments of crisis when things seem hopeless. They also, unlike people in other societies, do it on the general principle that expertise and authority are inherently suspect.

The entire essay is worth reading. Some of what Lilla says strikes me as right, and some as wrong, but I hadn’t previously realized just how well he can write.

no it is all of us, not just americans. what will he die of

Hopefully the arrival of the ebook will at least mean that the Texan ‘education’ system can have its ideology/indoctrination texts and the rest of your country can have text books based in reality?