Thursday, June 01, 2023



Outside the arena of elite sporting competition this is a matter of frankly marginal importance for the majority.

Yet it is generating an undoubted hubbub, which is permitting the louder voices on both the left and the right to distort one of the really fundamental truths that ought to be understood by all members of a functioning liberal democracy: neither your tomes of sacred ideology nor your peer-reviewed books of agreed facts will dispense with the contradictions of either present day life...or history.



As many of us as possible surely need to be vocal pluralists (and part of that commitment involves acknowledging that it will never be all of us), which means recognising the need to balance and sometimes revise the assumptions that make collective existence bearable. 
People at the political extremes want to pretend that the world can somehow be made to reflect the simplicities of their own thought processes and that they owe respect only to those who are similarly, single-mindedly convinced.

Men are men and women are women is an over-simplification. Yet so too is men can be women and women can be men. 
There is clear and obvious room for open discussion here and the spaces where such parley traditionally occurs need to be protected from the authoritarian minorities. 
Look under the bonnet of anything coherent and you will soon spot incoherence. Similarly, anything apparently trouble-free rather often portends a good deal of trouble. 

With rationalism there is always an element of prejudice dressed up as common sense.  

The hard truth is that neither off-the-shelf theories nor rational guidelines absolve us from the need to acknowledge, even cultivate complexity even at its most awkward. 
And right now, this is what we are losing track of...again!


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