Monday, September 21, 2020

Teacher Tom: In Search of Something Good and True

Teacher Tom: In Search of Something Good and True

In Search of Something Good and True

"Ah, children, ah, dear friends, don't be afraid of life. How good life is when one does something good and true!" ~Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Here in the US, we are in the run up to what many of us consider to be the most pivotal political moment of our lifetimes. Of course, only future generations will be able to tell us whether that's true or not. It could be that the last Presidential election was the most consequential or perhaps we'll find that it's one to come, but nevertheless it feels like more Americans than ever are taking the democratic process more seriously than ever before. We are reading and thinking and arguing. The election dominates the news and dinner table conversations. 

Looked at one way, this is how our democracy is designed to work. It is designed for two political parties. It is designed for average people talking among themselves. It is a system of self-governance that relies upon all of us engaging with one another in the project of self-governance. Looked at another way, of course, it's not working at all. The idea is that an educated populace would, through it collective voice, create the best possible governance through a process of civilized public debate and compromise, but when we look around we see little but anger, enmity, and strife.

Like most human "systems" it looks better on paper. One of the characteristics of any of our systems is that our human brain, for better or worse, has evolved to believe itself. It CONTINUE READING: Teacher Tom: In Search of Something Good and True