Bill Eggers is a well-known and very successful reasearcher and writer on government improvement. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and talking with Bill several times over the past few years. This morning Bill commented on the content and style of last night’s Republican Convention. Among other things, Bill noted that former candidate Ben Carson had mentioned Lucifer in his remarks.
Personally, I have not watched any news coverage, debates, or the convention this year. This marks a significant change for me. I was eight years old in 1960, and remember watching the remarkable Kennedy-Nixon debates, and the conventions that followed. I had been an avid follower of presidential campaigns. Until this year.
Following is my first reply to Bill Eggers’ post. This reflects my current thinking about the underlying FLUX dynamics that are dramatically disrupting the status quo of our capacity for civil discourse:
Bill, I completely agree with your comment and analysis. What I see behind all of this is the same dynamic as in the UK Brexit vote. I believe that we have a critical mass of citizens today, whose opinions are primarily informed not by facts and data where available, but by the opinions and rhetoric of others. The same internet that puts the knowledge of the world in our hands, also gives us the immediate access to false narratives, false claims, and false hopes. We have seen a division not only in belief and ideology, but in the ability to “learn, unlearn, and relearn.” We see this manifested in DJT’s awful/brilliant refusal to acknowledge facts, or his own lies.
And so, we see the consequences, in the breakdown of the framework of civil discourse. The inability to be compassionate, curious, and courageous in hearing the ideas of others, and the inability to enter into respectful dialogue. We have fallen over the cliff of complacency about the stability of the status quo, into a period of chaos. A new coherence and order will eventually emerge, but when and how are unknowable (see the oft-ignored little catastrophe cusp in the Cynefin framework on this).
From unknowing, unlearning people, it is easy to craft narratives of fear and blame. The arguably false narrative that ascribes some evil intent to “them” (as if there WAS some coordinated plot), in which some wrongs have been perpetrated upon the people. Wrongs that these people believe can, and will, be set right by a Nietzsche “uber-mensch.” A perfect storm to give us DonT and Lucifer.