Better Fences Needed

I may at last have space to write my Good Fences piece, but first a new reference. “Western” rationality is eating itself.

I particularly like the use of the word special in this piece (which I’ve not fully digested yet) when talking about Western civilisation (as I do when talking about humanity).

We are a failure.

Israeli historian Richard Landes may have written Good Fences before I ever got round to it. And linked it to the woke wave:

“It looks more and more every day that the West cannot control the catastrophic concessions its woke millennialists made over the course of the last two decades… in the name of progressive values.”

In the words of Creep – “You’re so fucking special.”

Like Landes …

“I’m only sorry that I’ve failed to communicate my understanding to people at a time when it really matters to see clearly.”

Turns out it is actually hard to communicate, and the story that is easy to communicate is the wrong one, the one that’s leading us astray. At root the problem is memetic.

2 thoughts on “Better Fences Needed”

  1. At this point the metaphor of “good fences” may need disentangling from the actual fences between the Israelis and the Palestinians — are they good fences or not? You could look at it different ways. Personally I don’t see the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in the same stark terms Richard Landes does, but as a nexus for discussing wokeness versus its nebulous opposite (which Landes suggests resulted in “Trump’s stunning victory” — for better or worse), it’s certainly instructive. It all reminds me of your recent link to Stephen Mumford’s thoughts on positionality (in “The Death of Argument?”).

  2. Ha, yes. As I posted it I wondered if anyone would pick-up on Landes Israel-Palestine interests. Obviously I’m interested in the general point here rather than his specifics, which are a “trigger” topic. But yes, the “fences” relevance wasn’t an accident. (Mumford has very strong left-right political interests too … )

    My main focus was the word “special” … and a few did pick up on this on Twitter.
    (Courtesy of the Creep quote.)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.