Read Deborah Hill Cone (???)

Things I probably didn’t think I’d ever write: Check out this remarkable column by Deborah Hill Cone.

The unceasing propaganda in our time for the individual seems deeply suspect to me now. “Individuality becomes more and more a synonym for selfishness,” Susan Sontag said. I used to take pride in my independence, toughness, my very badness. But that seems sad from where I stand today. It’s not weak to care or to acknowledge you need other people.

This is the fundamental difference between the left and right: whether we understand ourselves as part of a community, or as pure individuals locked in eternal jealous combat (and dammit I really, really need to write that review of Who Cooked Adam Smith’s Dinner?). With any luck, over the next three nine years of Labour-led government more people will follow DHC’s path and realise that the self-centred narrative we’ve been sold for the past thirty years has not served us well, and does not reflect who we really are: social creatures who depend upon each other and are stronger together.

2 Replies to “Read Deborah Hill Cone (???)”

  1. I wish the left/right divide were that simple. Just finished reading Jonathan Haidt’s ‘the righteous mind’ and although I think he makes plenty of mis-steps it’s very much worth reading. He would point out that the ‘libertarian right’ of small government/market everything is out on its own – not ‘conservative’ at all in most senses. (He doesn’t get into the unholy alliance between libertarians and conservatives, which isn’t, as far as I can see, based so much on shared values, as it is on money, pure and simple. But he shows (it’s different in NZ, but still worth reading) there are many ways the right are more protective of ‘community’ than the left.

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