Who would expect to find this in a children’s author? Someone from that Index, that’s who
Twain identifies a problem in the new democracy—its need to find new forms of nobility and thus its nostalgia for the old European aristocratic poses.
I bet some of those scholars have some perceptive things to say about democracy too, and there’s a textwall of entries on that. To talk about democracy (without the sugarcoating) is to indirectly talk about aristocracy.
Looks like something similar is going on with this scholar Paul Cantor- he has books both on Shakespeare and pop culture. Sounds like someone I trust to tell me about the latter. Oh no, he writes about my precious X-Files, does he slaughter my sacred cow?
Let’s continue with this though- this has disturbing implications
Huckleberry Finn is a perfect illustration of the way that the elite culture of today is often the popular culture of an earlier time period.
It’s not a joke that our upper-class seems to have many lower-class values. They’re not going to be able to help the people below them rise because they’re plebs themselves.
The cultural gatekeepers of the late 1870s tried to keep Twain out of the canon. He was seen as something slightly above a journalist. It’s gotten further and further away from Old Europe in America since the 1770s, and the world has followed. No no, caste isn’t real, don’t worry about it, let’s all just turn into plebs, doesn’t that sound like a good idea to you? “I hate you!” I hate you too, and I’m right to hate you, that’s the difference between us. That’s the meaning of master/slave-perspectivism, that one is right and one is wrong. “How dare you, I have human rights.” The right to be a slave and for everyone to pretend that you’re not? Womp WOMP. “That’s not good for my self-esteem.” If you don’t know the difference between the two types then you’ll never be the good one. “It’s good to be a slave and hate people who are better than me.” No, it’s not, I’m sorry. That’s called a failed political experiment when something like you is produced. Look, I’m trying to be your friend alright? This is your psychology clearly laid out before you. You can either use it to improve or continue in your pathetic ways. “All the corporations support my pathetic ways so I don’t care to improve!” Alright then you’ve stated why this is a failed political order and why educating people to acknowledge its rationality is only for pathetic people. Can you just admit that to yourself? I’m gonna guess “no”.
Anyway this is a pretty dark study
In Huckleberry Finn the American ideal of the self-made man is shadowed by the specter of the con man. As a result, a book that celebrates democratic freedom also chronicles the many ways that freedom can be abused.
It IS a bunch of con men out there. Be careful. Con men, con women, we need equality here, right? They’re not “selling” you freedom, they’re selling you enslavement, in subtle forms. The surface is always freedom. It’s typically the life of an animal in one way or another. And people are artists in this way because they make being a subhuman seem beautiful. I can only hope my veteran readers are able to see through them at this point. In the world of cons unfortunately they’re quite ready to accept other people’s cons too.