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John W. Taylor (politician)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

John W. Taylor
9th Speaker of the United States House of Representatives
In office
December 5, 1825 – March 4, 1827
Preceded byHenry Clay
Succeeded byAndrew Stevenson
In office
November 15, 1820 – March 4, 1821
Preceded byHenry Clay
Succeeded byPhilip P. Barbour
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 11th district
In office
March 4, 1813 – March 3, 1823
Preceded byThomas R. Gold
Succeeded byCharles A. Foote
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 17th district
In office
March 4, 1823 – March 3, 1833
Preceded byThomas H. Hubbard
Succeeded byJoel Turrill
Member of the New York Senate
from the 5th district
In office
January 1, 1841 – December 31, 1842
Preceded bySamuel Young
Succeeded bySidney Lawrence
Personal details
BornMarch 26, 1784
Charlton, New York
DiedSeptember 18, 1854 (aged 70)
Cleveland, Ohio
Political partyDemocratic-Republican (before 1825)
National Republican (after 1825)
Spouse(s)Jane Hodge Taylor
Alma materUnion College

John W. Taylor (March 26, 1784 – September 18, 1854) was an early 19th-century U.S. politician from New York. He was the first Speaker of the House of Representatives from the state.

YouTube Encyclopedic

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  • ✪ Charles Taylor, "Democratic Degeneration: Three Easy Paths to Regression": March 26, 2018
  • ✪ 4) The Ultimate History Lesson: A Weekend with John Taylor Gatto (Hour 4 of 5)
  • ✪ Charles Taylor: "The Language Animal" – Institute for Social Justice


Hello. I'm Jonathan Lear. I'm the Roman family director of the Neibauer Collegium. And I'd like to welcome you to today's lecture. I expect that many of you, like me, have been reading Charles Taylor all of your intellectual lives. I remember, from my student days, reading Taylor's The Explanation of Behavior, Interpretation and the Sciences of Man, and then Self-Interpreting Animals with delight and admiration. Here was a philosopher who, in the face of massive social and intellectual pressures to study humans exclusively in terms of observable behavior or methods derived from physical sciences, was always willing to remind us-- and I think patiently, cheerfully, and doggedly-- of who we are. We are creatures who, if we are to understand ourselves adequately, must do so, at least in part, in terms of our self-understandings. We are, as he put it, self-interpreting animals. So as we come to interpret ourselves, the very acts of interpreting need to be part of the interpretation. Now, for Taylor, this made the study of history essential. For to understand our current self-understandings, we need to understand how they came to be. But for Taylor, we need to understand them not simply as causal antecedents, but as alive in the present. And only then can we be freed up to make informed choices about how to live. Thus, Taylor immersed himself and his readers not only in the history of political change, but also in the histories of linguistics, philosophical, scientific, literary, and religious thought. Now, of the many remarkable features that characterize his work, I would like to mention its generosity of spirit. I'm not here talking about a personality trait, but a methodology. Whether he is writing about the nature of language, the history of philosophical thought, social explanation, or taking a side in the current political debate, Taylor consistently tries to make the best case he can for the positions with which he disagrees. And I take it there are two reasons for this approach. First, only if one understands the position in its fullness can one come to understand the problems it genuinely faces and its genuine failures. And secondly, only by interpreting an opposing position generously can we hope to engage in a meaningful conversation with those who hold that position. And I think this has been a guiding light of Taylor's career-- to encourage and sustain conversation, especially across peoples and traditions who disagree. We see this in his theoretical work. I think no one has done more to integrate the so-called analytic and continental traditions of philosophy, and no one has done more to integrate the humanities and the social sciences. I think we also see this in his engagements in political debate, in his attempts to reconcile the claims of regional nationalisms with the claims of the nation state and the claims of the nation state in the face of globalizing pressures. His commitment to conversation manifests his commitment to shaping a flourishing and just human future through thoughtful deliberation. And I think this would be an ethical fulfillment of our capacity as self-interpreting animals. Now, we live in times that challenge this hope. We seem to be living through a shift in what Taylor has called the social imaginary. Times have become ominous. And I think this is different from living in times that are simply dangerous. In dangerous times, we're aware, however vaguely, that something awful, and even catastrophic, could happen at any moment. But there is no sense of inevitability. In ominous times, by contrast, we have a sense of living in a before, that bad things might be about to happen in which we don't know exactly when, where, or how. And thus, I think there's arisen a more easy availability of a fantasy in which a future generation looks back on us in our innocence. But an imaginary consists of more than shared feelings and fantasies. It also consists in modes of thought and outlooks that are taken as obvious. Now, in the second half of the 20th century, prompted in part by the defeat or implosion of certain totalitarian regimes as well as by an increasing globalization of the neoliberal economic order, it became popular in some quarters to believe that history itself was moving in the direction of democracy-- not just that history happened to be moving in that direction, but that there was an inner dynamic that so prompted us. And to take a paradigm example, when The End of History and the Last Man was published, Francis Fukuyama's photograph was on the cover of The New York Times Magazine, which I think means something. Now, times have changed, and history no longer seems to be democracy's shepherd. And I think it is a macabre irony that in such a short time, that phrase, "the end of history," has come to mean the opposite of the sanguine state of affairs that Fukuyama predicted. Or it has become-- the word "sanguine" has taken on the opposite sense of its ordinary meaning, bloody. We fear that if there is an impending catastrophe, there won't be any last man left to appreciate the gendered clang of that phrase. Now, within the academic world, we have seen the rise in a concern in what is called the Anthropocene. Now, officially, this is the study of the history and present impact of humans on the world. But by naming it as a period, we are anticipating its end. And I think these movements of meaning mark an anxious shift in the social imaginary. And what is to be done about this? Well, you can see before you, one of my first answers, invite Charles Taylor to come here and talk about it. Now, Charles Taylor is Professor Emeritus at McGill University. And just to mention the books that I think have become classics, he is the author of The Explanation of Behavior, Hegel, Sources of the Self-- the Making of Modern Identity, The Ethics of Authenticity, Multiculturalism-- Examining the Politics of Recognition, Modern Social Imaginaries, A Secular Age. And he's most recently published The Language Animal-- The Full Shape of the Human Linguistic Capacity. Now, among the huge number of recognitions and honors, Taylor is the recipient of the Kyoto Prize, the Templeton Prize, the John W. Kluger Prize, and the Berggruen Prize in Philosophy. Now, finally, let me thank the staff of the Neubauer Collegium-- Carolyn Ownbey, Brigid Balcom, Mark Sorkin, Jennifer Helmin, Dieter Roelstraete, and Elspeth Carruthers, who worked together to make an event like this, and actually, everything else we do at the Neubauer Collegium, possible. Please join me in welcoming Professor Charles Taylor, who will speak to us today on the topic of democratic degeneration-- three easy paths to regression. [APPLAUSE] Thank you very, very, much for those very generous words. Now, I have a cold, so I might be even less comprehensible than usual. If that happens, wave your hand or something in the back, and I'll-- I can't get rid of the cold, but maybe I can be clearer. Actually, Jonathan has given the background to wanting to talk about this-- it's a move to refute something which maybe doesn't need anymore refutation, the idea that we're on an escalator of history, that the countries that have not yet become democratic look across and say, that's what we want. And they make revolutions, and then they become democratic, and then it spreads out. And we were gulled into this, I think, by certain aspects of 20th-century history-- 1919, whole of new democracies, not necessarily very happy fate, but they began in '19. Of course, '45 and after, the decolonization. Then, of course, 1989. In the heady days of November, 1989, it could look as though that was what was happening. And what happened since inspired the-- I have to admit, extremely discouraging-- title-- Three Easy Paths to Regression. Now, I'll make you even more depressed by saying I've just chosen three there. But I've chosen these three because they happen to be coming together now to make a very, very difficult situation for us. So let me launch into what these three are and how they're combining, and then look at the set of problems of what we could conceivably do about it, which is going to be hard to discuss in totally general terms because I think these answers have to be worked out in each particular polity. But notice there are common features. Now, I'd like to start off by saying some words about democracy and the meaning of the term, because I think this is something very important to bring out. Now, you know about 200 years ago, the word "democracy" was not very highly prized, even by the people that we now think of as its founders, people like the founders of this republic. And let's look at why it's all-- it's the fault of Aristotle, if you like, like many things good and bad. Because Aristotle, as you know, defined democracy as the rule by the demos, demos being-- if you like the non-elites riding roughshod over the elites, mainly of money and birth. And he defined oligarchy as the opposite-- riding roughshod by those who have elite power over the demos. So the ideal society was a balance, which he called politeia. Somehow, you've got a balance of power, and so nobody is totally dominated by anyone else. No one's interest and good is totally disregarded in favor of others. And that's, of course, what the founders of your republic thought they were doing. If you take politeia and think of Plato's Republic, which is called Politeo in Greek, then republic was their word for that. Now, how did it come about? Very quickly after this founding in 1787 and all that, the word for the most desirable society flips from republic to democracy. I think what that has done-- it has put a permanent ambiguity in this term. And I want to bring it out, because I think it's very essential to see what is going on to separate the two. The ambiguity-- the [NON-ENGLISH],, that's the word-- comes out in the fact that the word "people" in all modern European languages-- [NON-ENGLISH], you name it-- has this double meaning. On one hand, we can use it for the entire population of a given polity. That's the people. So we might say French people were liberated in 1944 from Nazi rule. That's a perfectly obvious use of the word "people" to mean everybody. But when you get, on the other hand, appeals to the people against the elites, there you're going back to the Greek demos. In other words, our word "people" is systematically ambivalent between a word for the whole and a translation of the Greek demos or the Latin plebs, the same thing. [INAUDIBLE] and demos and populus and plebs-- the plebs were the non-elites. I think this corresponds to the fact that when we talk about democracy, we're using, it in two senses, on two levels. On one level, in one sense-- let's call it the Freedom House meaning-- when we have various attempts to say what countries are democracies in the world, and we say, well, the condition is rule of law and regular elections, which include everybody and which are free and fair-- this is very important-- those countries are democracies. So that's one use of the word where you take the wider-- meaning the people, rule by the people-- take the wider meaning of people as the whole. But there's another use of the word where the demos enters in where we want to discriminate between countries that are unquestionably democracies in sense one. Between those that are more democratic than others, what do we mean by that? Well, we mean societies are less democratic in this sense when they precisely have a tremendous imbalance in favor of the elites-- when the people who are from the non-elite don't have a chance to get certain things heard, to have certain changes made, and so on. And we have here-- I want to introduce this idea of this notion of democracy here-- not the one of Freedom House, but the one what I'm talking about now-- as a telic concept. That is, it's a form of government with a telos. And the telos would be that everybody counts at the limit equally. There's not a great imbalance in which elites have the power to shut out influence and initiatives and so on from non-elites. And here, we get something which, of course, applies to a given society. If that's understood in telic sense, in its telos, it applies whether it's at its telos or far away. And as a matter of fact, you might argue that there's never been a society which has totally realized this telos. But why introduce it? Well, because I think that it makes a tremendous difference to the whole social and political atmosphere, whether we are living in a period where it's generally understood that we're moving towards that goal as against living in a period when it's generally understood that we're sliding away from that goal. Cases like the moment-- well, 1989, for a whole lot of societies, the way was opened to become a democratic society. Or the feeling you had around Tahrir Square alas didn't yield its promise, but the promise you felt at that moment-- the promise that those kids in the square felt at that moment, the excitement, the sense that we're moving in this direction. And that shows that-- I want to argue when you come to social imaginary-- that is, the way people collectively understand their society-- the majority of us, in all our democratic societies, understand our society as a democracy in that sense, the telic concept. It's something that ought to be one which is open equally to members of the non-elite and the elite with the consequence that there's a great deal of very deep resentment built in along with the sense that this is not so, that there are blockages. Now, in a sense, it would be the very idea that we could come to this telos, come to the end at all and not slide back, when you think of it, is really crazy. And that's the depressing part, and let's get that over with first. Because look at the 200 years in which some kind of democracies have been operative. We've seen the roots or bases of elite power shift from [INAUDIBLE] power to [INAUDIBLE] large industry to now finance having overweening possibilities of influencing our lives. So the very basis of power, the roots of power, the background the power, the bases of power against which you have to work in order to achieve a society with-- achieve the telos of democracy change. And not only that, but even within a given type of power structure, history changes so that what looks like a good solution at time t is no longer one at time t plus 1. So let's look quickly at the history of this continent, for instance, over the last 200 years. Landed power was what was the disequalizer at the time of the foundation. Then you get to the Gilded Age, this great industrial commercial power. And in that period, you have movements one way and movement the other way. If you think of the Gilded Age, if you like, you get a situation in which there was this tremendous reaction in the 20th Century-- partly the the progressives, party Teddy Roosevelt with the business of anti-trust legislation, and of course, FDR with the building of the American welfare state, may it rest in peace. What I really mean is I hope it comes roaring back in November. And you get a tremendous shift. At the same time you have in European societies-- sometimes starting in the '30s, sometimes after the war-- the building of welfare states, recognition of union power, and so on, you get an equilibrating of power. And in these times, there was a great sense that we're building something new and important and really realizing democracy. And one measure of this is a tremendous turnout of the voting population in many countries. And since 1975, on the other hand, we've been sliding in the other direction. And the sense here is really palpable. Now, why these past regressions are easy-- and that's what I want to pick up on, because that's really the heart of our problem-- is that-- and I'm talking now about the first path, which is the path to regression through accentuating inequality, inequality which builds on itself. Because unfortunately it doesn't trigger automatically. You see, if you have a very rationalist view of how democracies work and democratic citizens work, you might think that automatically, people say, this is terrible, we've got to do something. And they would start voting in greater numbers, and so on and so on. But it's rather the opposite. I hope that's going to happen in November here. I won't talk about November in this country because we're counting on you. I really mean it. I really mean it. We're counting on you. Because if things get really bad-- maybe it needs Trump there-- think about it-- to get people mad enough to overcome this. But normally, in the way things worked after what the French called the 30 glorious years ending in '75, they worked that the things that were weakening popular power were in a spiral, self-eating spiral. So people stop voting. First reaction to feeling-- we can't do anything about this. We're powerless. Nothing can be done. Why are we bothering to vote? Well, that doesn't send them back at the next election, necessarily. On the contrary, what you get is a situation in which even less obvious avenues of political power-- so further people, as it were, resign, or as it were, throwing the towel and don't vote. There are all sorts of ways in which these spirals feed themselves. Or another way of looking at that spiral is the absence of high voting turnout and the absence of well-organized parties, organizing entities, like social democratic parties, has meant that the role of money has increased in elections. And where does the money come from? We get, of course, tremendous influence in this country after the absolutely scandalous decision of the US Supreme Court in the case of Citizens United, which nobody else in the Western world thinks is good jurisprudence that it would be said. And I hope that somewhere it will be changed and canceled. As a result of that, a tremendous amount of money is pouring in through these PACs and so on, which are increasing the power of money, buying a congressman and so on. So there is, again, this spiral. There is another kind of spiral here which we really have to get control of, which is the spiral of what I want to call dumbing down. I think that where you have very active parties of the left, movements of the left putting forward programs, getting some of them accepted, and so on, some kind of sense of what the mechanisms might be to further this, are evident tumults of people. And this is particularly in the case when you get the [FRENCH],, the 30 years after the Second World War. In many societies, there was a big party at the right, big party at the left. And if you wanted more welfare, and so on, you would obviously vote this way, and if you wanted less, you'd vote that way. Now the much more fractured situation-- partly for very good reasons because of the rise of these very important social movements-- feminist movements, gay rights movements, ecological movements-- had somehow fractured these big parties of the left. So you get people being less and less clear who they would vote for in order to get certain of the things they'd like done. Now, that-- there's a kind of dumbing down, a sense of helplessness, a sense of loss of connection with what-- loss of contact, grasp on what causes what. And so some extraordinary-- almost figure of fun, you might say, comes along and says I'll make America great again. And somehow, a lot of people buy this. But the actual mechanism by which this clown is going to make America great again is invisible. If you started to figure it out, you wouldn't figure it out. And maybe people are now figuring it out that the mechanism doesn't exist. But what I'm pointing out there is that there's a great loss of a grasp of how things work, which further drives people into abstention. So we have this spiral going on. And I want to make one last point in this first spiral. This is painful for many people. Why do I think that? Well, that's another way of saying that the way people live democracy is by a social imaginary of a democracy as a telic concept. But why do I say that? Well, because when people come along and offer a real hope of having an impact, people flock to that. Yes, we can. I remind you of a previous election. What are the parties arising from [SPANISH] in Spain? Podemos, this "yes, we can." And that really very much excites people for a while, anyway. They are given a sense of-- yeah, the sense that they can reverse this trend. Whereas they've been living in a period in which less and less-- does it make sense to believe that you can have democratic impact as a member of the non-elites? We see the possibility of moving in the other direction, in the sense of rising morale. Another way in which this is self-feeding is that the decline in the vote through discouragement is much more evident among poor than among rich, among less educated than much more educated, among people who live hand-to-mouth against people with a very regular income, among, very often, minorities as against the majority. But just to introduce a word of contrast, democracy is a very varied thing. In India, it's exactly the opposite. You have people who are lower caste vote more than the upper caste, people who are poor vote more than the rich. And that's partly because-- in this very interesting book by [INAUDIBLE]---- because there's this tremendous sense that the election itself is a realization of human equality because we're all there together and before the same polling station. And at least for a while, the election gives one a sense that something important is moving in India. Now, how long that will last is another matter, because part of what hangs over my whole talk is that these things just never just prolong themselves by themselves. But anyway, that is one important path to regression. What we're living in now is the marriage of that path with a second path I want to talk about. And there, another great need of democracy is a very strong sense of collective identity. We the people, belonging to this democratic society, are bonded by, first of all, a sense of certain common principles, but more than that, a sense of commitment to this particular project of realizing these common principles. So quite rightly, you in the United States, you're not just in favor of human rights equality, and so on. You keep referring back to your founding decisions, founding instruments, founding documents, like the Declaration of Independence, and so on. They're yours, and you feel very strongly about them in a way that-- I admire them, but I don't have the same feeling. So this kind of unity is really necessary for a society. It's necessary because societies have to call on their citizens to give something-- give taxes sometimes, go to war-- and also because, as deliberative communities, I have to have the confidence, when I'm deliberating with you about the common good, that you are not just thinking of-- you guys back there in the corner, you're thinking of all of us. As soon as you get in a society, a modern society, the very widespread suspicion on the part of some people that those other people aren't talking about us, or they're talking about the common good-- you get independence movements. I've lived that in Quebec. I know very well how that works. So these societies can't hold together. So there's no such thing as moving to a total cosmopolitan consciousness beyond national identities, which some people have proposed. That would be fatal for democracy, fatal for democracy. There would be no, as it were, ground at that heightened solidarity we have to feel. If we're going to have, for instance, redistributive measures, redistributive taxation, I have to feel that the people who are the recipients of this are my compatriots. But exactly that-- this is brilliantly worked out by Jeff Alexander in his book The Civic Code, the very fact that there are these sense of common identity which are partly matters of principle and partly matters of historical unity. We form an historical unity. They can easily slide into exclusionary forms. For instance, the ethos underlying the common identity-- we see this with the American Republican right. When Romney-- fortunately for the world, his speech was recorded. But he said, you remember, in his famous speech that was supposed to be before a private audience-- 47% of the population, they're just really hanging on, being distributed to. The implication is that the other 53% are really Americans that are giving to the society. That kind of, as it were-- there's a certain kind of becoming excessive with people who read Ayn Rand, and their minds get scrambled. Somehow the American way is really being so self-reliant that the others can drop dead if they don't have their own means of getting health insurance, et cetera, et cetera. I'm exaggerating, but this is the-- there's a tendency towards turning the ethos into an exclusionary instrument. Because visibly, these people don't live up to it. And on the other side, there are particular historical markers of this project, which are very often ethnic. If you're any European country-- French, [FRENCH],, and Germany, Germans, and so on-- it's very easy then to pick on the outsider. The immigrant is not really belonging. So there is this slide that can easily take place. Now, what you have today with so-called populism is a case in which the anger at the first degeneracy-- the anger at the loss of power on the part of non-elites, or the fact that I'm losing my job, and I can't get another job, and the government does nothing for me-- is channeled by people who are mobilizing the demos, but mobilizing it on this particular-- a different kind in each country-- exclusionary definition-- the real demos, which excludes those other people outside, which is, of course, for two reasons, utterly disastrous. First of all, it deeply divides the people. Secondly, it has nothing to do with curing the reasons why these people are finding their standard of living declining, or not able to find a job, and so on, which requires other kinds of measures than simply excluding those people. Now, here we get to something that is very varied from society to society. And this is where the remedy in each society has to look at these particular things. Now let's talk about-- I want to talk about my own society here. I mean North Canada as a whole, but Quebec. We had the society which a tiny number of people were left, about 70,000 on the shores of the St. Lawrence in 1763 when the French government signed over Quebec. Famously in the Treaty of Paris, they had this discussion. The English Navy took these French possessions, and the French Army took Hanover. So now let's do a trade, guys. And OK, we give you back Hanover. And what do we get? Well, on one hand, you had the rich sugar islands in the Caribbean, and on the other hand, Canada. [SPEAKING FRENCH] This is Louis the 14th of Voltaire. A few acres of snow is what they-- that's been [INAUDIBLE] ever since. OK. But anyway, you get this situation. We had these abandoned 70,000 francophones who have now brought about a society of 8 million people which is a vibrant society, a French society, and so on. They have a great sense of having fought tremendous odds. So there's a great worry about-- when we had our commissioner who went around the province, the question that came up again is [FRENCH],, will they change us. Interestingly enough, I was reading about the situation in Germany and the propaganda of the AFD in Germany. And the same question arose-- are they going to change us? So you have this kind of very-- I think very understandable worry. And you have to talk to that. Just to carry out this example, it's very interesting that you can find some way-- people have complex identities. You can find some way, very often, to talk against that by appealing to other things that the people are concerned or are really attached to. So when we had, in Quebec, the Parti Québécois government in 2013, '14, proposing this charter which would force Muslim women wearing headscarves not to have employment in the public sector, they had a poll. And it said were you in favor of this. And about 55%, yes. Then they had another poll. Should anybody lose their job because of this? 55%, no. So there were odd people who had second thoughts about that. And I think we can always find that for the nastiest forms of identity which tend towards exclusion, the concrete human beings can very often be appealed to with something else. But one of the toughest problems you find in this country, and to some extent in ours, too-- Arlie Hochschild, in the wonderful book Strangers in Their Own Land, calls these precedence notions-- that some people who were here first, Scots Irish, they get served first, and then the immigrants are served later, and then later, and later, and later. And so any act of great generosity towards these other people is seen as a kind of queue jumping. And I think I have to say that largely in the South, there still is this idea-- rich white, poor white, black. And so these are very tough things to beat. But you have to find a way of connecting people to something else in their identity with a larger movement. That's the only way to beat these things. But in any case, we have here this very, very dangerous-- now, I want to just object against using the word "populist." I think the word "populist" is very logical to use in a way which applies to, let's say, the progressives in the US at the beginning of the 20th century. It applies to Bernie Sanders. What it is is a movement that says, look, the present system is shutting the people, in the sense of demos, shutting the demos out. And what we have to do is somehow get channels, make a movement where we have channels that will allow them to impact on the decision-making process. So I think what we really should be-- the way we really should be using vocabulary-- and this is spitting in the wind because populism has become so popular with the media. We should say there's good populism and bad populism. You may not agree in detail with Bernie Sanders, but he was on to something which had some relationship to curing the ills that were actually driving people into the arms of Trump, whereas Steve Bannon has nothing of that kind at all. So we should talk about exclusionary populism and inclusionary populism. Anyway, that's a side thing. So the third path of regression follows, in this case, from these two, though it could arise independently. And that's where you begin to define democracy as rule by the demos-- against, as enemies, excluded or as an external force, these elites. In that situation, you abandon the notion that a democratic electorate constitutes a single deliberative community which has to go on talking to each other, resolving problems, moving on to other ones, living together, having a long sense of commitment to each other. You break that with the idea that these are outside-- in this kind of exclusionary populism, both these outsiders judge so on exclusionary grounds. And the elites that are pandering to them are not really part of the people. So anything goes as far as attacking them, excluding them, disempowering them, and so on. And the result of that is the present very, very anger-filled insult, as it were, intense language of Marine Le Pen or of the Trumpists. There are certain Republicans who will go along with them in this country. And this, of course, is another disaster for a society. So here we have three paths to regression. There are others, but I'm naming these three because they happen to be working together in a kind of synergy, a very bad synergy, in many of our societies, sometimes still incipient. AFD in Germany, maybe we can still fight back. Certainly, for the moment, stopped in France with Marine Le Pen, but it could come back. But this kind of deviation of our politics makes it very hard to win our way back. So just briefly, what are the big problem areas? I'm going on, maybe, a little bit. The big, big areas that we need, very much, policies in-- number one, we have to have good economic policies to ensure that the kind of neglect of people that we see in the Rust Belts in the world doesn't continue. See, the thing is we bought too easily certain kinds of facile, neoliberal notions that somehow globalization-- that is, trade liberalization on one hand, and as we're jacking up productivity through technological change, that these two together would make the global economy richer. True. The other good thing that globalization did is that it made the global economy less unequal across the whole, because very, very poor countries managed to accede to a higher status. But what they didn't do is ensure that there were not sacrificial losers to this process within the advanced countries themselves. The only societies that systematically did this, insured against this, were the Scandinavian social democracies, which had very-- a very complex-- when Trump mentioned Norway, I thought, wow. But I'm sure he didn't really see it. They have ways of ensuring that people are retrained, that they have the support, and so on, so that they aren't just made the victims of everybody else's success, the victims who pay for everyone else's success. So we need good policies in this area. We also need ways of fighting against what I call the dumbing down. We have to have mobilizations of different kinds. And this seems to be happening in the United States now. There are particularly-- I look at television at these kids from-- all over, but starting in Florida. I'm just so impressed, so impressed. And they're so clear. They're so focused on this. And they're not taking all this nonsense that they have been given before that you can't do it, or this is American rights, and so on. They're just not taking that. Now, is it possible that that will continue? And that, and a lot of other [INAUDIBLE],, and a lot of other movements so that you get to the point where there's the second great thing, where the mobilization is sufficiently powerful, actually, to overturn some of the legislatures in the Western world and scare others who have to join the program not to lose their seats. That is a real possibility. When I first started thinking about this-- I was working this out three or four years ago, and I was a little bit in despair because the popular reactions to some of these very bad, bad distributions-- the fact, for instance, that the inequality in both income and wealth has grown catastrophically-- were producing great popular protests like Occupy [INAUDIBLE] Square. But these wouldn't link up with the actual political representative system in which people get elected to positions where they can actually change the legislation. I was horrified to see some journalists went around [INAUDIBLE] Square and said to people, well, are you going to Vote Democrat for the next election? Vote? Vote? What's that got to do with it? This is completely a corrupt scene here. We're standing up. And the same thing must be said about the [FRENCH],, we called it in Quebec. Instead of the Arab Spring, we call it the Maple Spring in Quebec, which was the students turning out and campaigning against the raise of university fees, and so on. This, again, was thought out completely as a movement that would somehow galvanize and produce the effect without anybody dirtying their hands with politics. So I was a little bit depressed on this score two or three years ago when I was trying to work all this out. And now I see that there's some kind of hope. But this is definitely my second big area where we have to become mobilized and organized. But a third big area-- I think we have to think through, much more, how we can organize democracy at the base. There are certain cities in this country, and also in other countries, where we have people doing community organizing of a very interesting kind where they bring people together regardless of their political position, but taking account of their position of influence and knowledge in the community. And they talk together. And they very rapidly overcome their sense of, well, you're a Republican, I'm a Democrat, or whatever that division is. And they very rapidly come to see some of the things that can't be done, certain possible replacements for an industry that has pulled out of this North Wisconsin town. I'm thinking of a real case that somebody I know is involved in. But this is something else which can be possibly brought in as well as an alternative. And two things go on. They not only get much smarter about what they have to work for, what the goals should be, and what they should therefore press the state and federal government to do. That's one way of dumbing down, is to overcome. But secondly, the people actually change their view of who their allies are and who their enemies are because they come to understand each other. This is tremendously precious. It, of course, can't be [INAUDIBLE] generalized. But it's something that is very, very valuable. The more of these kinds of communities you have organized in this way in a society, the more-- the less dumbing down there is, the more clarity there is about what needs to be done. And you have also no go areas for various very poisonous kinds of divisive speech. These people can't be divided anymore because you're on one side and this other one is on the other. They've learned to work together and to understand how much they owe to each other. So they become changed in their sense of politics and their sense of who their allies are. That's the third thing that really needs working on. And I wish I had more developed things to say about this, but I'm a neophyte, I have to admit. My niece is one of these organizers and one of my great sources of knowledge about this. But fourthly-- and this is the most difficult thing that is going to be different in every society-- we have to find a language in which to talk to the people who have been mobilized against some other people, against those who are excluded. It is not going to cut it to say, you are deplorable, you are backward. Maybe this is true in some of them, but it's not going to work. [INAUDIBLE] going to work against us, because that's what Trump built on. I'm not politically correct. He got tons of votes saying I'm not politically correct-- tons of votes saying, in effect, the ordinary decencies of human life don't apply. But nevertheless, phrased like that, it worked. So the issue is where are these link points. Where is the equivalent to what I was talking about in Quebec of making a majority among people who don't want to fire women who've studied in order to be teachers or nurses and happen to be wearing a hijab? There's something really bad about doing that, right? So that will override the sense of discomfort. You also have to work, in this case, in the sense of discomfort because it really, in this case, does depend on lack of contact. Within Montreal, where there's a much more [INAUDIBLE],, much more movement between populations, you don't have the same kind of fear to anything like the same degree. But there are measures which we put in our report-- which have been shelved by the government, as inevitably happens, maybe not inevitably-- in which we were trying to present projects to increase the contacts between Montreal and these more peripheral areas. So that can be pushed along, but you can't go 100 kilometers an hour on that. It's something you have to work on over the long haul. In the meantime, you have to get other kinds of, as it were, points of possible common mobilizations which will bring people that have very complex identities. Imagine that you are somewhere in the Appalachian or other part of the Rust Belt, and you've lost your job, [INAUDIBLE]. You're not very feminist. No. You're a little prejudiced against people who are lower down on the precedence, as it were, scheme to you. But as a man, you sort of expected-- it's expected of you to be able to feed your family and your cat. And your dignity is really undermined. Well, everybody can understand that. We don't have to appeal to being anti-feminist. You don't have to appeal-- of all these-- what I'm saying is people's identities are very complex. So they have all sorts of elements of them, some of which make you even crawl, and so on. But there are ways of getting many, many, many of these people into the same political house. And only by doing this will you overcome politically. But also, you change then, you see, because of what I said earlier about local organization-- people talking to each other, they become changed, and they have another sense of themselves and who their allies. That also-- you can bring about change in that by bringing them into some political movement with other people. So we all have to see. I don't know quite-- I can see what Macron is doing. I can understand that. I can understand what [INAUDIBLE] in Quebec. But every society has to work out its own-- depending on precisely this understanding of what is getting to people. We have to understand what's really getting to people, what's really worrying them, how they see things. And that's the only way we can hope to get out of this very bad case. So there are three paths to regression that we're hurtling at 1,000 kilometers an hour [INAUDIBLE].. How can we stop it? Well, there are four areas we have to work on, each in our own country. And let's start. Thank you very, very much. [APPLAUSE] So let me explain the rest of our time together. I've asked two of our colleagues who work on problems and circulate around democracy to be extraordinarily brief. We're not going to have three papers. We're going have one talk, but two questions to open up discussion. So I'd like, firstly, to welcome Adom Getachew from the Political Science department, and then James Sparrow from the History department. And what we'll do is they're each going to ask a question, and Charles Taylor will respond. And then we're going to open up to questions from the whole group. This is really just to start the conversation going. And then there's going to be a reception afterwards to which everybody is welcome, and then we will end. That is our structure. So will you join me in welcoming Adom? [APPLAUSE] James, why don't you come up, too? We can all sit down. OK. OK. Thank you very much for a very thought-provoking talk, and thank you all for coming. I'm going to sneak in two questions under one theme. And the theme is about the international possible sources of both the regression and possible regeneration of democracy. And so one, I just wonder, in terms of a story of regression, how the three spirals you laid out might be related to the question of empire and the relationship between democracy and empire, both at its birth-- democratic politics in the Western world was concomitant with imperial expansion. And it seems like the story we have to tell about the United States also, in the contemporary moment, has to be a story about American expansion and what American expansion has meant for democracy at home. So if that's a way of asking about the ways in which maybe the international order, and empire in particular, relates to a possible-- the boomerang effects of empire and democracy, I also wonder if there may be resources in a more comparative vein from global soft democracies. So the kind of story you're challenging, the escalator history of democracy, tells the story of democracy's birth in the Western world. That's progressively expanded outward. And the lessons to be learned in that story go from global north to global south. But as you mentioned, democracies in India and South Africa, et cetera, may have lessons for our own democracies, our democracies in crisis. And I just wonder if you might think a bit about what those lessons might be, and how we can learn from a comparative perspective about democracy's trajectories. There's so many thoughts for this. One thing is that certainly, countries that have had empires have special problems. You take the case of France. You see the major target is Muslims, and the major target among Muslims is people from the Maghreb. And the Maghreb was ruled by France. And the majority of the Maghreb are Algerians. So you have this absolutely terrible history between France and Algeria, and it still weighs terribly on the French case. You see that in the attempt of the UMP government-- under Sarkozy, I think it was-- to, as it were, censor the history books, saying there's a lot of positives with the French Empire. But you also see this in the continuing sense of distance and suspicion, and the way in which the Algerian kids have been stuck in these [INAUDIBLE]. So that's one very important connection. But I think that the future is going to show us very important new ways that are going to arise. And I think two cases-- you mentioned India and South Africa. Now South Africa has gotten out of a terrible, very bad-- [INAUDIBLE] was in. And you can get, there, something that can really give us new ideas. Between Western democracies, when we're exchanging ideas, when there gets to be a larger group of democracies, there's going to be this similar change of ideas. And of course, India now has this terrible fight with the BJP turning against the best elements of its diverse-- But this whole issue of [INAUDIBLE] secularism, we're really engaged in that. Because-- just to tell you, as it were, autobiographically, the commission report we wrote had a very important chapter on [FRENCH].. This chapter draws on the work, among others, of [INAUDIBLE] in India talking about Indian secularism. There really is this crossing of the continents in developing ideas in common for a redefinition of secularism which isn't tilted against religion or is [INAUDIBLE] tilted for one religion or another, and so on-- has been something that we're working out with people from other parts of the world. OK. Well, I'd first like to thank you for an affirmation of the prospect of thinking democratic sense. It's a very bleak moment. And mostly what we hear is a combination of despair and faith. We have faith-based affirmations of the democratic faith of our civic religion, or at least what has been our civic religion. And it seems to me that we need some hard-headed thinking about the nature of what democracy is in order to make it through this moment. And so I'm glad to see that you're coming at it in a critical light. What I'd like to ask is if you could specify more elaborately what you think the relationship is between democracy and power. In passing, you referred to democracy as the mobilization needed to oppose power. And you were talking about a particular configuration of power. But it is often a kind of presumption that democracy is arrayed always against power. And I think there's an inheritance of the despotic and aristocratic modes of power against which democracy was defined as it emerged as a political movement and form. And I think we continue to inherit that presumption so that today, we have a very powerful negative definition of democracy, which is resist, resistance against the abuse of power. But I don't see a coherent positive articulation of what democratic power looks like. So we have an infinite variety of movements resisting power. But what are they coalescing around? And so the very powerful conclusion of your talk where you talk about the possibility to form coalitions, which is essential-- and I agree entirely that actually, if the Democrats or if the people mobilized against the current administration wish to prevail, they will need to form a coalition with the voters, with some of those millions of voters who elected Trump who also elected Obama before him in some of the key counties. But then what's the technique? What's the method? And critically for a philosopher, what's the underlying principle that unleashes and enables democratic power, and how is it different from the forms of power that capture that democratic energy and allow the regressions you've been talking about? Because it seems like the axes, the three paths you're talking about, all depend on the ability to capture democratic power in the name of populism, in the name of liberty in the form of private property, or even a hypertrophied civil society that serves the wealthy, and then to actually use it perversely to prevent self-government. So I wonder if you could just say what do you think are the principles of the foundations that open up the democratic and prevent it from being captured. Well, there has to be-- that's why-- I phrase this carefully-- I'm a Social Democrat. So I'm accused, and I accuse myself, looking back with nostalgia, to the [INAUDIBLE],, to the 30 years after the Second World War. And in a certain sense, I admit that. But I see that it has to be rebuilt on a different basis. In other words, instead of the old formula was Social Democratic Party, youth movement, women's movement, chess movement, all under the aegis of a party-- that's not possible anymore. So what you need is a more egalitarian form, less pyramidic, pyramid type form in which people are linked together for the long haul. Can I follow up on that? How do you do that when a large bloc of voters believes that that egalitarian is safeguarded by excluding others? In other words, what's the underlying principle? Well, the underlying principle is that the key to this, or one key to this, is the program. If you have a program that actually makes sense in the sense that it actually will bring some satisfaction, some redress of grievance, let's say, to all the people in the Rust Belt-- as against this phony stuff they're being fed now, which is they're going to save some jobs at the cost of slashing others or save no jobs at all-- then that is-- so these are the two elements that belong to each other-- the program, and mobilizing enough people around that program. So the women's movement, for instance, would feel itself in solidarity with that kind of program because that is what will-- the success of that is what will [FRENCH],, will burst the balloon of the exclusionary populism which is putting in power figures who are, as it were, undermining women, and so on. So you have to have this degree of solidarity around a program that really makes sense that could yield the goods. These two belong together. And that's people power. So I'm not at all thinking simply of resistance. Adom, I just want to ask you whether you want to have one last comeback as well. Yeah, sure. And it kind of dovetails with this set of conversations. And one thought is maybe the fragmentation isn't actually a bad thing right. So one thing we've seen over the last 10 years in the United States-- you mentioned Occupy, the movement for Black Lives. This set of possibilities has been opened up by the kind of failure or closure of that earlier moment. And I don't know. It doesn't lead us to what's going to be the party that takes over in November, but it does-- it has opened up what a democratic politics could mean in radically different ways. And I think that, too, is, in some ways, the lesson of, say, a place like South Africa. Even as the 1994-- the victory of 1994 has fallen into lots of political and economic crisis, what people are doing on the ground, the kinds of demands and claims that people are making around water rights, around the claiming of electricity-- and they may not be engaging in the political process in the ways we imagine-- say, voting for the ANC or not voting for the ANC. But they are-- they're, in some ways, short circuiting that process and placing demands on the state in ways that the state has to respond. And it doesn't respond in the same-- it doesn't respond, say, through legislation, but it might respond in other kinds of ways. And this could be a different model of what popular politics looks like. Exactly. We need a different model. So I'm saying that you're right. The [INAUDIBLE] social democratic model in which a pyramid under a party doesn't work. And not only that, but you're right-- the thing that dissolved it were all these social movements-- feminism, gay rights, ecological, and so on, which were tremendously positive, because they put a lot of things on the agenda that otherwise wouldn't be on the agenda. Now-- I sound like [INAUDIBLE]-- now we have to-- I read too much Hegel as a teenager. This is terrible. Now we have to somehow come to a working arrangement to sustain certain programs and keep them there, whatever the party label of the people doing that. And we have to find a way of doing that. That's the new challenge. You're at a university when you say you sound like a Hegelian, and people think, ooh, pretty good. [LAUGHTER] Thank you all. And why don't you stay seated here in case questions come to all of you or some of you? So we're open for questions. And Michelle, I saw your hand up first. Could you get a mic? Would you wait for microphones? Because other people will watch this later, and we're recording it. Thank you so much for a very inspiring talk. And I'm glad that you have some hope for things. You spoke about the need for a sense of collective identity. And then toward the end of your talk, you were saying that we need to find a kind of language to counter the people who are exclusionaries. And that seems like a negative-- a negative on a negative. But I'm wondering what kind of language you think would be more inclusive and positive. Many of the things in this country that bring people together are not things that, say, the liberal elite are very comfortable with-- symbolics like the flag or the Pledge of Allegiance. So there is a very important element to the symbolic order in bringing people together beyond the policies that you've been outlining, and also beyond the shared principles of the founding documents. So what kind of symbolics can be effective in finding a new shared language? Well, I think the symbolics are there, but you need something more than that. You see, these symbols of America are symbols which we all understand as underlying these basic principles. But that's not going to be enough to bring certain people over, bring them into the bigger tent. What must exist for that to happen is something that can capture them, for all their resistance and suspicion for this egalitarianism, for all that. I'm thinking again of the Rust Belts. This is crucial in France. It's crucial in America. It's crucial in East Germany. They're working now on this whole set of issues in German politics and a whole lot of other places. Have you got a way out for those communities? What is it-- [INAUDIBLE] in East Saxony, where they have a coal mine. They're going to close it down. And they've got to get, around that community, a sense that there is an alternative and get people mobilized around the alternative. You see, that is how-- these people are not going to, overnight, think Muslims are great. They're not going to think overnight that-- let's have tons of immigrants and refugees. But they're not going to vote for the AFD. I hope they vote for the SDG. You see what I mean? You bring them round to a larger coalition. So the symbols are there. But just saying the symbols are there and you guys are going against our symbols by proposing these exclusionary policies-- just doing that is not going to cut it, I believe. David. There's a microphone over here. Professor Taylor, I was wondering if you could comment on another issue related to this question of our present moment. And that is the question of the public sphere. It seems that the public sphere has undergone a massive mutation as a result of medial transformations and medial possibilities. Thinking about democracy from-- let's say, from Kant to Habermas-- has been thinking about a particular rational form of the public sphere. Some of us have the feeling that we've lost our grip on that rational form of the public sphere. And indeed, the possibilities of perfidious-- just to take one example, if anyone had listened to that surreptitiously-recorded discussion with the head of Cambridge Analytics, then we see the possibilities for a disruption of the public sphere. Could you comment on this issue and how you think that we might respond to that? Well, yeah. I wish I had real intelligent solutions to offer. But I agree with you. And this is part of my original talk, and I didn't want to go on and on. But that's one of the great crises. The public sphere has, first of all, fractured into [INAUDIBLE] and also-- what do you call it-- echo chambers. But secondly, the fracturing is made worse by the social media by things that appear on platforms like Facebook and so on. And there are-- I think-- my sense is there has to be some way of excluding or undermining postings on either social media or news broadcasts by organizations like Fox, where they have to pay a really big price for saying things that are clearly factually incorrect. Clearly factually incorrect-- so not opinions that Obama is a bad guy with the wrong views and isn't American, but facts, like suppose that he spent such and such number of billions. There ought to be-- there has to be some kind of way of punishing, on one hand, the news media, and on the other hand, the platforms, for allowing that to go on. Or we are in a hopeless circumstance in which maybe some very intelligent debate in the public sphere is going on in the "New York Times," the "Washington Post," there. But it just doesn't get down, or out, or across all these fracturing walls of the media. But I'm still struggling with this. It's part of the reason-- and I feel so-- yeah-- ill-equipped. Hi. Just wanted to connect to several themes that you mentioned-- the dumbing down, the elites, from something that really has been happening even well before our more recent crisis, and not only in the US. But it has to do specifically with taking a party, say, that is dominated by elites and using it as the principle of appealing to voters the cultural, the religious or something. They say, OK, here is a candidate that's anti-abortion, pro-gun, whatever. The abortion may have nothing to do with national politics. But the very idea that here is somebody who shares your values, who shares your cultural identity, or even if nothing-- nothing at all related to the actual policies, that's enough to have the elite people voted in by the masses, supposedly, contrary even to their economic or social interests. So this is something that has predated our current crisis, but I think it's very related to those whole themes that you've mentioned. I wonder if you can comment on that specifically. I don't think you can stop that directly. But I point out that-- let's say West Virginia was once a very highly unionized state. So I think the way around this is not to say to people, don't vote on these identity-based issues. They're very narrow. They exclude other people, and so on. Just preaching that isn't going to help. But there again, this is a state that belongs to a-- in a general sense, the Rust Belt of America. And they are very disadvantaged, and they are let down. And they have a sense that the government has abandoned them. So what one needs is a policy that will come to grips with that and offer something real here. And I think that is the way. We're not going to make, as it were, universal saints of them overnight, but we can make the whole society much healthier in its debate by winning them over. Luke. Thanks so much. So this is a question about-- a definitional question and a practical question about democracy. In the classic antithesis you set up going back to Aristotle between elite and popular factions in democracy, elite usually means having controlling wealth. And that's, I think, the dominant meaning you gave to it throughout the talk. But there is, of course, also the very prominent meaning that's been in certain discourse in this country-- and as you say, across the West-- that is educational elites. And these are often distinct, or at least distinguishable, groups. And many of us inhabit the latter, to some extent. So what do you think the responsibility of people with elite educations is, who may or may not control large amounts of wealth, to get to know our fellow citizens or to actually provide leadership? Because it seems that that's a crucial gap. And that might be a different question, slightly, than how power flows through wealth. Well, ideally, ethically, somebody privileged like me and you ought to be out there making sure that the benefit of this is spread everywhere, widely-- including, of course, making higher education more available to all sorts of people that isn't available for now. And one of the ways in which that could be done would be to reverse the trend in which so little is done by the public that the costs of higher education get piled on to the individual and make a make an immense weight of debt, and so on. So it's possible to conceive of making an appeal to people who are this privileged that they think of it as a kind of charge on them to work for the wider benefit. My question concerns your initial premise, which is that a well-functioning democracy involves a balance between two forces which are somehow naturally opposed, the demos and the elites. And I wonder about a result which is a quite stable polling result in many stable Western democracies-- not only the United States, Germany, France, Great Britain-- which is when citizens are asked which groups they respect the most, predictably firefighters come up very high. But in terms of parts of the government, it is the parts of the government which are not elected-- for example, judges. This is the case-- you might dismiss this, especially in the United States, as a cynical reaction to the venality of politicians. But it also holds in countries like Germany, which have strict and strictly enforced campaign spending laws. That might be read as a disappointment of the people in their elites, and in particular, a disappointment of the people in their political elites, and perhaps justified. I wonder if there's some other way, perhaps, of conceptualizing the relationship between the demos and the elites. Well, I think that that is a function of this sense of disappointment in not-- in finding oneself unable to contribute, unable to affect things, and so on. When you have the people, for instance, who were mobilized by Obama with this very broad organization that, of course, Axelrod and others created around the slogan "yes, we can--" they didn't feel, about Obama, that he's untrustworthy, et cetera, et cetera. So if you get a society in which there is very little of that relationship between people who feel, yeah, we put him there, we put her there as part of a common cause-- where there's very little of that, then of course. What else comes out about political leaders is they may be on the take, they're interested in their own career, and so on, and so on. That low view enters in. It's a function of the decay of parties is another way of putting it, the decay of political parties in all Western-- shrinking and decay of parties in all Western democracies. The people who get there-- the link with the people who get there become rarer and rarer and rarer [INAUDIBLE] belonging to a movement that puts them there. And I think that's the-- I think that the rising poll results about who do you respect, and so on-- and firefighters are very high, and politicians are very low-- is a function, is another facet of that whole development-- a decay of belief in the possibility of participating and a decay in the various chain links that allowed you to participate through parties, and movements, and so on. Sorry You have to speak into a mic if you've got to speak again. But I'm trying to keep it one question per. OK, good. Thanks. Sorry. Gentleman back there, yes. Professor, thank you for your lecture. This is not an original insight, but there are people who read the aspiration of, say, people that align with Trump, or even the Podemos movement, of exercising a kind of exclusionary aspiration for sovereignty which some might parallel to the regime of mutual and equal recognition that you've expressed previously in your work. Before you focused more on multiculturalism. Today it seems like you're focusing more on some kind of economic language that yokes people together in terms of class consciousness. So why is that exclusionary regime of sovereignty somewhat more imperiled or conceptually flawed than the inclusionary one which focuses on multiculturalism and maybe even class consciousness? And just a quick second question. I wonder-- Didn't get the first question. One is enough. I've got-- there's a lot of people. I didn't get it. Repeat the first question. So the idea that a movement like Podemos as having some kind of aspiration to sovereignty, why is that movement more conceptually flawed than what you argue for is the preferable format for resolving political tensions through a regime of multiculturalism where everyone's equally and reciprocally recognized? Maybe the problem lies in the aspiration to sovereignty to begin with. It's not my insight, but I was-- I wanted to hear your-- Why do I think that multiculturalism is better than this kind of scapegoating of minorities populism? Well, two reasons. It's a very bad to scapegoat minorities. But also, these people that are running these movements haven't got a clue how they're going to fix the lives of the people that they're appealing to. Marine Le Pen has no idea how she's going to get people jobs up in [INAUDIBLE].. And Trump has no-- he has no idea how he's going to get jobs back for those people. So I have two reasons to prefer this policy to that policy. I think we're going to-- I think this is going to be the last question. Back there, please. Right there. Wait for the microphone if you don't mind. My question was-- is an effort to try to get as specific as possible. It seems to me what you're struggling with is contests among groups that have shrunk in the United States. Unions have shrunk as industries have shrunk. And then there is the multiplying of causes. So we have Black Lives Matter. We have women's issues. We have the Wall Street protests. But I don't hear today, or see on the horizon, processes and people who are helping those who oppose Trump. And Trump, it seems, is excellent at dividing, creating backwashes and backwashes of division. So I don't see, then, the processes and the people would draw these disparate groups together. Well, then I'm very-- you're an American. I'm not. So how can I say? You may be right. If you are right, I'm moving to the igloo in the North Pole. But even though I'm an outsider, I daresay you are not entirely right about that. All of these kids who are saying we've got to have the rifle issue, put that up in center, they know that they have to vote out a certain number of people who are also the people who are in favor of Trump's tax law. So the makings are there of a very broad coalition at the polls, it seems to me. Don't miss the chance. There are so many more questions, and there's so little time. What I'd like us to do is thank both James Sparrow and Adom Getachew, and of course, especially Charles Taylor. And then please stay for a reception. You can continue the questions and conversations in groups. Thank you very much. [APPLAUSE]


Taylor was born in 1784 in that part of the Town of Ballston, then in Albany County, New York, which was, upon the creation of Saratoga County in 1791, split off to form the Town of Charlton. He received his first education at home.

Taylor graduated from Union College in 1803 as valedictorian of his class. Then he studied law, was admitted to the bar in 1807, and practiced in Ballston Spa, New York. In 1806, he married Jane Hodge (died 1838), of Albany, New York, and they had eight children. He was a member from Saratoga County of the New York State Assembly in 1812 and 1812–13.

Taylor served in the United States House of Representatives for 20 years, from 1813 to 1833, and served twice as Speaker of the House. He also was a representative of New York in the Missouri Compromise, where he took a stance against the extension of slavery along with people such as John Quincy Adams.

After leaving Congress, Taylor resumed his law practice in Ballston Spa, and was a member of the New York State Senate (4th D.) in 1841 and 1842. He resigned his seat on August 19, 1842, after suffering a paralytic stroke. In 1843, he moved to Cleveland, Ohio, to live with his eldest daughter and her husband William D. Beattie, and died there 11 years later.[1] He was buried in the Ballston Spa Village Cemetery.


External links

  • United States Congress. "John W. Taylor (id: T000091)". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress.
  • The New York Civil List compiled by Franklin Benjamin Hough (pages 70ff, 133, 146, 186f and 309; Weed, Parsons and Co., 1858)
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Thomas R. Gold
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 11th congressional district

Succeeded by
Charles A. Foote
Preceded by
Henry Clay
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Philip Pendleton Barbour
Preceded by
Thomas H. Hubbard
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 17th congressional district

Succeeded by
Samuel Beardsley,
Joel Turrill
Preceded by
Henry Clay
Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives
Succeeded by
Andrew Stevenson
New York State Senate
Preceded by
Samuel Young
New York State Senate
Fourth District (Class 2)

Succeeded by
Sidney Lawrence
This page was last edited on 17 May 2019, at 23:39
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