It is beneath the dignity of writers and thinkers to acquiesce in the description of what they produce as “content.” This is yet another term that has been smuggled across the border from commerce to culture. “Content” is contentless. It is just the media’s new name for merchandise. But the strenuous work of public persuasion cannot be shaped by the needs of the market. It must be shaped by the needs of the argument. If the quest for profit is allowed to deform the arguments that are presented to the public, to make them shallower and therefore easier to sell, then our politics will be disfigured by our economics.

Not everything that is sold is made only to sell.


Do not look down on nonsense. Nonsense comes to power. Nonsense murders millions. It prospers if we are too exquisite, too intellectually respectable, to bother with it.


Wieseltier, Leon. “Reason and the Republic of Opinion.” The New Republic, 11 Nov. 2014. Web. 15 Feb. 2015.

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