America and the Collapse of Meta-Narratives

In the interview this summer with my twin brother Patrick, I talked about the breakdown of public discourse that inevitably follows the collapse of shared meta-narratives.

In America today…the absence of shared traditions, the absence of shared meta-narratives, [leads to a] fracturing into all these micro-narratives, and then our public discourse just becomes a circus to see who can shout the loudest. So we talk past each other because we’re not really interested in understanding the other person. Understanding means being able to really listen attentively from your heart, and being able to summarize back what the other person is saying in a way that they can say, “That is fair.” We’re not interested in doing that anymore by and large, or having that type of attentive and intelligence discussion in our public discourse.

This is a summary of a concern that I articulated at more depth in my article ‘Functional Nominalism and Contemporary Political Discourse‘ and 2016 and the Triumph of Nominalism.”