Tuesday, January 18, 2005

David Brin on the Real Culture War

Science fiction writer, astronomer, and cultural critic, David Brin, writes of the real culture war in a multi-layered and perceptive essay that calls upon the Left to be as critical of ourselves and our impulses as we are of the Right. He believes that the key to success is aproaching those now outside our coalition with love, understanding, optimism in the liberal project, and the right storyline.

Brin attempts with some success to explode the continued relevancy of the Right-Left spectrum in contemporary politics. Indeed, Brin explodes several of the myths surrounding the recent unpleasantness, including the idea that "morality" played any significant role in the election. Brin concludes that the real issue is modernity itself and how we are going to deal with a century of rapid change which will likely determine whether or not our civilization will survive. Will we look forward with optimism tempered by open critique (Enlightenment), or pine for a simpler time and a pre-ordained end, suppressing open dialog with rigid heirarchies (Romanticism)? High stakes, indeed...

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