Social and Political Theory

Pride, Prejudice, and Politics

In Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Mr. Darcy is greatly understood by those with whom he has not developed an intimate acquaintance. Elizabeth, in particular, finds him offensive until she falls madly in love with him and they live happily ever after.

Our pride and our prejudice stand in the way of compassion and understanding for each other, leading to a breakdown of our political system. We lack political and civil intimacy; these relationships are shaped by manipulative tactics and reactivity rather than dialogue and philia. We sometimes feel detached, hopeless, and bitter rather than meaningfully engaged and purposeful.

Let’s fall madly in love with each other through a shared sense of community. Let’s transform politics into a positive sum game. Let’s let go of our pride and prejudice. Let’s change the world by changing ourselves.

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