There are some quite superlatively excellent evidence-based blogs out there. From the precise idiosyncrasies of Though Cowards Flinch to the focussed pedagogy of Stumbling and Mumbling; from the persistent ideologies of Norman to the breadth of vision of Liberal Conspiracy; from the self-proclaimed champion of the genre Left Foot Forward to the occasionally explosive but always clearly fashioned coherences of Shuggy … all in all, these bloggers and many more I have neglected to mention this morning strive to pursue logical trains of thoughts with evidence clearly to hand.
Yet one of the plagues of our modern society and Western civilisation – a plague which has led to recent white-collar crime, economic misery and an emptying of the public coffers in the interests of a painful socialism for the rich and already wealthy (a socialism which I am afraid a lost generation will have to end up paying for) – is precisely the kind of Chinese walls of specialisation which evidence-based blogging is simply one more unhappy example of.
The whole financial services sector, built as it is on the backs of heavily corporate structures (and their corresponding intensely separate divisions of labour), failed to have that keen overview of its highly specialised areas of functioning which might otherwise have avoided the disastrous decline of its solvency and effectiveness. And the very fact that this is a paradigm for the rest of Western civilisation – those fragile links between complex machines which serve to make our society function so tenuously – doesn’t seem to have struck anyone usefully in power for the moment: everyone continues blithely on in their corresponding silos of ingenuity, as if nothing untoward had happened in the last five years – or, perhaps, as if anything that might have happened was nothing more than a simply unpredictable and unpreventable Act of God.
And so to our dearly beloved evidence-based blogging. Whilst incredibly perceptive, accurate and effective on the terms it cares to perform, no one can argue with the following reality: all the time, it is operating in the context of the agenda the right has been setting for years. In specialising in the process of rebutting any and every right-wing incoherence, it leaves little time to re-imagine the future in any other way.
What we are missing, then, from the modern didactic left-wing landscape, is a space where the futile and barren puerilities of our political right are left to suppurate in their own sour juices; for by choosing to rebut each and every one of them, and by a contamination and pollution through an almost physical contact, we have become as futile, barren and sour as they have shown themselves to be.
And if we continue to specialise in a detailed deconstructing of the enemy, whilst this will allow us to have the intellectual satisfaction of preaching the truth to our converted, the future which should surely belong to the imagineers in society will revert to the conservatives and their capacity to set a course of inimitable and tragic thought.
However two-dimensional, lacking in creativity and ingenuity that course might be.
Perhaps it is not time to discard evidence-based blogging entirely. But what we do need to add to the mix is an editorial mission to combine reactivity with pro-activity; reaction with action.
Not a hoary old desire or instinct to triangulate the opposition out of existence but a truly intellectual impulse to pursue a series of better truths: a mission to make the world a better place for everyone who treasures coexistence; an ideology which consciously accepts that to progress, certain ways of thinking must be visibly disregarded.
Not for the first time in history does being right mean being wrong.
It’s time for us now to recognise and accept this reality. As well as, in the light of such recognition, act in a coherent consequence.
Even as our moral philosophies have – to date – encouraged us to respect almost everyone.
I saw Brian de Palma’s “The Untouchables” last night – and wonder if its message is weighing heavily on my soul today. Chicago in the Thirties was an evil place of physical danger. Western civilisation in the early 21st century is simply an awful place of morally unacceptable decisions.
No comparison, right?