“We are apparently swimming in a reality unfolding moment by moment. The truly good news is that we are together. . . all forms of us.” -Pari Center, Italy, participant
“We are living in a post 2020 world…for the rest of our lives.”
Anand Giridharadas is a journalist and writer. He is a former columnist and foreign correspondent for The New York Timesand a visiting scholar at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. He is the author of India Calling, The True American, and Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World.
From Anand, 7.20.21:
“…got me thinking back to a conversation I once had with Krista Tippett, the brilliant host of On Being. And so today, on Billionaire Space Day No. 2, I share with you this brief reflection about the background ethos of the age…”
July 21, 1969, New York, New York: Rain-soaked New Yorkers watch TV and cheer as they see Apollo 11 astronaut Neil Armstrong’s first step on the lunar surface (Getty)
What we do alone and what we do together
On the billionaire space race
This is a story, in some ways, about two rival faiths. A faith in what we do alone versus a faith in what we do together.
These are two parallel and rival spiritual orientations. They are both very strong parts of our culture.
One tradition inspires the celebration of a heroic soloist, capitalist, pull-yourselves-up-by-the-bootstraps story.
But that’s never been the only story. We’ve also always had this story of movements. It wasn’t individuals who got rid of the King of England. The most important things we’ve done in this culture have been together.
These two tendencies, what we do alone and what we do together, have always vied for primacy in American life. For much of the 20th century, they lived in a certain healthy tension. And right now the relationship between them is very unhealthy. It’s become a relationship of mutual annihilation, instead of a relationship of adversarial cooperation.
I think we need to get back to a place where we understand both and celebrate both the very real heritage we have in this country of doing things alone and of doing things together, and the relationship that those things have.
Because at our best, we do things together in a way that allows people to do things alone. And people do things alone in a way that creates the opportunities to do things together. These things don’t have to be at war with each other, but they are absolutely at war today.
“This is a challenging conversation but a generative one: about the implicit moral equations behind a notion like “win-win” — and the moral compromises in a cultural consensus we’ve reached, without reflecting on it, about what and who can save us.’
We Americans revere the creation of wealth. Anand Giridharadas wants us to examine this and how it shapes our life together. This is a challenging conversation but a generative one: about the implicit moral equations behind a notion like “win-win” — and the moral compromises in a cultural consensus we’ve reached, without reflecting on it, about what and who can save us.” -On Being
From Krista Tippett on Twitter:
“…a lovely reflection, honored to be cited.”