Brian Katulis at The Liberal Patriot has some thought's provoked by reading George Packer's new book, Last Best Hope: America in Crisis and Renewal. They focus on story-telling and patriotism:
"We all need stories to give our lives a sense of meaning, purpose, and connection to one another. It’s the shared stories that help organize big groups of people to do big things together, whether it’s a national history, religion, or some other narrative that shapes our identity....
Packer hones in on what he calls the “revolutionary power of narrative,” arguing that “nations require more than just facts – they need stories that convey a moral identity.” The more inclusive the story is, the better it is for the nation, because it is better positioned to tackle challenges together....
Packer talks about the need to put our faith back in democracy and equality, themes The Liberal Patriot has underscored over the past few months. In discussing the early 20th Century progressive activist Frances Perkins, a woman who became a central figure serving with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt in implementing the New Deal, Packer highlights her patriotism as a driving idea behind her mission, a “patriotism based upon the love of the men and women who were fellow citizens.”
Packer also notes, “A century ago, to be woke was to be patriotic.”
The theme of patriotism runs throughout key parts of the book, and Packer notes that:
“Patriotism can be turned to good or ill purposes, but in most people it never dies. It’s a persistent attachment, like loyalty to your family, a source of meaning and togetherness, strongest when it’s hardly conscious… This feeling can’t be wished out of existence. And because people still live their lives in an actual place, and the nation is the largest place with which they can identify – world citizenship is too abstract to be meaningful – patriotic feeling has to be tapped if you want to achieve anything big. If your goal is to slow climate change, or reverse inequality, or stop racism, or rebuild democracy, you will need the national solidarity that comes from patriotism.”
Read the whole piece at The Liberal Patriot!