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For Americans feeling anxiety over the election of Donald Trump, some wise perspective from the German philosopher via Firmin DeBrabander, associate professor of philosophy at the Maryland Institute College of Art. Hegel, he says, believed that progress does not happen without crisis and conflict, that “happy periods are blank pages in history.” When there is peace, people become complacent about their freedom and their rights, and that sets the stage for a setback, after which people double-down again on their freedom and rights, and become more vigilant. Trump, says DeBrabander, challenges the left to fight harder and be smarter, and that’s a “golden opportunity” for progressivism. DeBrabander is an associate professor of philosophy at MICA. He has written social and political commentary for Salon and other publications, including the Baltimore Sun and the New York Times. His book, "Do Guns Make Us Free?: Democracy and the Armed Society," was published in 2015 by Yale University Press.
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