The Open Society: Irony Rises, Feels Much Better

Not so fearless, apparently

I admire George Soros. He passes as a philosopher among businessmen and his Open Society Institute has done great good in the world.

In college, I avidly read Karl Popper’s masterful work on The Open Society and Its Enemies. In brief, an open society sustains a free market for ideas and their unfettered expression. A closed society tries to stifle same for reasons religious, political and/or ideological.

We are an open society on good days. China is not. The USSR was not. And neither, apparently, is the Huffington Post, where the following item appeared the other day:

Dept. of Misdirection: With Iraq a Disaster, GOP Goes Crazy Over a Newspaper Ad

I attempted to reply in their house blog that Soros had seen fascism up close in his youth — and that perhaps this early scarring had something to do with the ad targeting Petraeus, which was remarkably tone deaf and tellingly juvenile.

I argued, quietly and calmly, that to call the Iraq war a disaster does not make it so. That, to fill a bubble with the refrain does not make it so, though it may deafen us to what we might otherwise hear.

I stated that the left had acted to balance the right, that our soldiers were coming home, that we can all take a measure of comfort in the implications.

That the war is over, that it ended the moment Al Qaeda began to attack the Iraqis. (Would that all our enemies were so stupid.)

I reminded that the Iraqis, their neighbors and the rest of the world are now free of Saddam & Sons. That Iraq has held elections, forged a constitution, and created a fledgling democracy.

It was too much. They didn’t want to hear it. They refused to air it. They declined to give a reason why. (I asked.)

None of which is important. Except insofar as it highlights a larger picture, wherein the left & right continue to shout past one another, neither hearing what the other has to say — and so unwittingly limiting their audiences, preaching to the choir, filling their echo chambers with sound and fury that comes to stand in for original thought and authentic emotion.

We all suffered a major trauma six years ago. The word, ‘trauma,’ is related to the German traum, meaning ‘dream.’ Those who have been traumatized behave as though they continue to relive a nightmare wherefrom they cannot awaken, often thrashing about in an effort to call attention to their plight.

I want to wake both houses and alert them to the dangers within and without. While we squabble among ourselves, the world moves on.

Israel has just now bombed Syria, on suspicion of nuclear activity abetted by N Korea.

France is talking about war with Iran.

The political structure of Pakistan is wobbling.

The polar ice caps are crumbling.

Our economy gives evidence of another meltdown.

Our people are putting on lard like they expect an extended privation.

Our homeless children are showing up on porn sites everywhere.

Millions more have no health insurance and meanwhile a billion dollars no longer qualifies you at Forbes.

Wake up.


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