In “A Theory of Justice,” John Rawls discusses societal progress through collective creativity and labor. Rawls is correct that we gain strength and innovation by participating in the collective, but I would rather think of this idea as relevant to our lives and relationships on a smaller scale — reflected in 2020 Spotify Wrapped.
Friedrich Hayek wrote in The Road to Serfdom (1944) that “We are ready to accept almost any explanation of the present crisis of our civilization except one: that the present state of the world may be the result of genuine error on our own part." Perhaps he’s right.
I’m tired of being mad at the state of the world. But I am absolutely furious that I’m still being told that the only way to make progress is to replace anger with politeness and respect.
It is extremely easy to want to return to the worldview a lot of us had prior to Trump’s presidency, a time that we now call "normal." I want to caution against this wishful thinking. It does us no good to long for the way things felt before Trump moved our Earth.
18th century philosopher Immanuel Kant didn’t give us much warning about what an internalized duty to know everything about every tragedy would mean for our mental states, but what he did offer was a distinct source of all good in the world: good intentions.