Previous to the invasion of Ukraine, a sense of pessimism seemed to be ubiquitous with respect to Europe. Since the invasion things seem far more optimistic. One might even say that there's a new vitality and unity. Naively one might expect war to do the opposite, but we have a funny way of stepping up to challenges and war is the biggest challenge of all. This unity is not limited to Europe, it's an issue that even Republicans and Democrats seem to agree on. The question is, can we get these benefits in the absence of war. If not, are we doomed to descend into an increasingly fractious political environment?
A follow up to my previous episode The Ineffability of Conservatism this episode attempts to approach things without bringing in religion. Though it does circle back there before the end. In particular we discuss three kinds of challenges:
I argue that while we've moved a lot of things out of the first bucket we should be cautious about trying to move everything into bucket three. Challenges make us, and particularly are children resiliant and that's a good thing.