Hi Dan,
Floris Koot

Floris, thank you so much for responding to my little article. Of course, it is completely incomplete. And, of course, there’s more to it than the US. As a friend commented on G+, it’s really about “fear of the future” all over the world.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers — at all.

The point of my article is that as far as I can see we are very far off from the dialogue and action essential to creating a meaningful society. So the first goal is to invite that dialogue.

You make very clear in your fine article on the Romans how what we assume about our “civilization” is very far from that the ideal of an actual civilization.

And yet, I believe there are people who would like the dialogue on this “experiment” in governance and principle called the United States, one that rises above the clatter of crossed swords (anger, warring camps, demogoguery and ideology).

I certainly don’t know if the goal is to make the US “whole” again. I think that’s probably much too grandiose, given where we really are. Political rhetoric is a barrier. A humbler goal would be to just start talking to each other about what a good country is, a good society, a good world, to give up on the idea that we are actually “civilized,” but not the ideal that we should become so — which might be the goal of your own article.

Your article suggests that you are a very thoughtful person and want to ground your work in the history of self-deception.

In that, we may be kindred souls.