Yesterday – following a period of roughly two months during which the Syrian War* has for some reason been top of mind for me – I finally put down some thoughts on the subject of ‘culturalism’.
The chore became the only post of the day – you can read it here – for two reasons: first and foremost, I was far too knackered to write anything else afterwards; and second, I really did want it to be everyone’s focus for at least 36 hours.
I’m glad I wrote the post, because it’s a point I’ve made several times before, and very few people (so I suppose that’s my fault – or skill – depending on how you look at life) ever spot it.
The huge challenge facing everyone trying to write creative fiction or insightful documentary analysis is equal, but 180° antithetical: that is – although there are probably only seven plots in fiction, there are at least seven interpretations of every history and every event.
A novelist, like a songwriter, takes very limited species possibilities, and then performs a new twist that radiates genius, make us think….and entertains. In the digital age, a good observer/columnist starts off with a potentially baffling range of evidence, and then distills it down to a reportage that achieves balance, generates debate…and informs.
Both types of writing, however, are 90% perspiration and 10% inspiration.
As a man largely in the latter camp, this is the logic that the overwhelming proportion of Slog output tries to make:
I will always reject systemic, one size fits all ideology. I believe in philosophy grounded in humanity. I believe humanity is flawed raw material, and therefore Utopian ideology will always fail.
The reason why Ken Livingstone has been suspended from Labour is simply that a UK socio-cultural pc ideology cannot bear to cope with what it sees as heretical. And the reason why Ken said the stuff in the first place is because his fundamentally Hard Left ideology is equally incapable of seeing the difference between fact and conjecture.
Philosophy is the passion of open minds. Ideology is the dictatorship of closed ranks.
That’s it. x
*The list of people to blame for the war in Syria is now so long, it stretches even beyond those bombing the poor sods into oblivion.