This is a great 2,900-word July 4th tribute/assessment of the United States at UnHerd, a magazine that impresses me more every time I click on its masthead.
From the conclusion:
Today’s America, caught in a war between the demands of national coexistence and absolutist obsessions with racial sin, is a place that the country’s Puritan ghosts would easily recognise. . . .
The current American revolution, by contrast, represents another outbreak of the Puritan spirit, which is guilt-ridden and self-obsessed, and at the same time determined to realise the kingdom of heaven on earth. At once deeply and inherently American, it is also opposed to what has been the American social and cultural order of the past three centuries. It is a mistake to believe that the Puritan ghost can ever be satisfied, especially through compromise. Puritanism is a revolutionary, iconoclastic and totalising movement, whose truths are religious and uncompromising. The question for Americans now is which of the country’s two founding visions they will choose: that of the country’s rationalist Enlightenment Founders, whose imagination of a great, continent-sized American nation has already been achieved, or the wilder visions of its founding saints.
I really like that last passage. It highlights a stark point I have increasingly been emphasizing: Modernity is, by definition, one where the left hemisphere holds hegemony.
But not all left-hemispherics are the same.
Broadly speaking, there are two types of left-hemispherics. The gnostic and the non-gnostic. All gnostics are left-hemispheric, but not all left-hemispherics are gnostics. That being said, because the left hemisphere is the psyche of gnostics, any person governed by his left hemisphere is "gnosticish."
I separate today's left-hemispherics into two categories: "political gnostics" and "cultural gnostics." The former were the Puritans and are the Marxists among us, the kind to be resisted with berserker fervor. The latter is our rationalist neighbors and friends, unwitting dupes of the Marxists perhaps, but still our friends, just trying to make it in a world that has fed them a long line of left-hemispheric bulls*** all their lives.
According to this author, history and current affairs show that America has two options at this point: political gnosticism or cultural gnosticism.
I'm afraid he's right, but we need to prove him wrong. We need to re-establish the right hemisphere's hegemony in our own lives and maybe, just maybe, help instill it in those around us.
Only then can the true revolution occur, and if it's truly right hemispheric, we might be able to do it without violence.