The Parallel Parliament

Glen Pearson

Posts tagged “anger

Labyrinth

Posted on April 26, 2018

The thing about rage only two decades into the 21stcentury is that it’s everywhere.  In past eras it brewed in turbulent hotspots – the Middle East, India-Pakistan, the Balkans, the Congo, Nicaragua, among others – usually far away and, in consequence, far from our minds.  But the individual and collective anger has spread to normally stable places around the globe – Germany, France, Norway, Britain and most obviously in the United States. In his Meditations, the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius cogently noted, “How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.”  It seems to me that some are coming to terms with this observation.  The “age of rage” has been rolling on for years and the change which that kind…

The “Terrible Simplifiers”

Posted on April 17, 2018

Robin Sears’ article, posted in Sunday’s Toronto Star, was a cogent warning on the implications of extreme populism.  Titled “The Fatal Attraction of the Politics of Confrontation,” the column reminds us of what inevitably happens if we opt for leaders who would rather attack democracy as opposed to reforming it: “But the problem with those who bellow their promise to confront the swamp denizens, or to clean up City Hall is this: they always fail, and they leave a large mess for their successors to struggle through their first term trying to clean up.” As with the current Syrian conflict or the circus that is now Washington D.C., what we have isn’t war, but many wars.  By electing what Jacob Burckhardt calls the “terrible…

The Lost Art of Disagreement

Posted on October 9, 2017

What makes for a thankful city, a grateful community? Thanksgiving weekend is a good time to ask that question. Our divisions can overtake what are some of the great qualities of this city. Divisive opinions abound, while common purpose becomes rare. It’s tough to adopt a collective thankful culture while all this is going on.  We’re not alone though; the entire world seems in an increasingly grumpy state. A recent lecture by U.S. journalist and political commentator Bret Stephens in Sydney, Australia, created quite a buzz online and sheds some light on why a sense of collective gratitude seems harder to come by. A Pulitzer Prize winner, Stephens bemoaned what he termed “the dying art of disagreement.” While finding agreement is necessary for communities…

“Elysium” and Civil Disobedience

Posted on November 26, 2013

“It is not always the same thing to be a good man and a good citizen,” said Aristotle.  In other words, our individual strengths, as important as they are, can never reach their full capacity until will apply them to the broader world around us – our community of citizens. This is how a number of societies, filled with good people, fell apart.  The same people watched as growing inequities, even injustices occurred around them, and failed to pick up the cause and struggle for the greater good.  Thus, law-abiding individuals and their families remained behind a veil of distance as entire populations suffered in Germany and Poland, Czechoslovakia and South Africa, India and Guatemala, and the streets of the American south and the…

  

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