Allen notes that in ancient political thought, “the people” or demos referred not to the whole but to one part of the whole political community, namely the poor. The question of regime analysis or prescription was the question of which part actually ruled or ought to rule on behalf of the whole.
What keeps me on one side rather than the other is my belief that if we had been living more fully in that real world, a lot of what we call “the pandemic” simply would not have occurred (perhaps including the virus itself, if we accept the increasingly compelling theory that it was man-made).
I came away from Steubenville, as I came away later from Grove City, with the startling idea that things are possible. Small things; local things; putting two things together, not all things but two things.
The romantic impulse toward wholeness, or the longing for when things were better—take a few bad turns in that mood, and you find yourself chanting hymns to blood-and-soil. People can start out defending Berry’s proper prejudices and end up celebrating prejudice itself.