Fourth, I think that Winston Churchill might thrive and be honored in Delta – at least the Churchill that led Great Britain through the profound and existential challenges of World War II. With many different viewpoints being expressed by the various leaders and political parties of Great Britain, Churchill was able to find common ground (or at least common belief in his capacity to extract an ounce of victory from probably defeat). Churchill made many difficult decisions in the very complex, unpredictable and turbulent environment of war. Like Lincoln, he heard many contradictory opinions regarding which actions to take. Even more fundamental contradictions were present regarding what the enemy was thinking and doing. Churchill ultimately stood alone in making decisive commitments in the midst of relativism – but made these commitments with the help of his team of allies and rivals – a communitarian blending of individualism and collectivism.
As a side note, I would be remiss if I didn’t include a couple of cultural heroes. I should add Frank Gehry to the list, since I have been referencing his work. Perhaps I should also include Lin-Manual Miranda and Steven Sondheim—Sondheim being the composer of Irony-infused musicals and Miranda being the composer of irony-filled Hamilton. The Broadway musicals composed by these men fully exemplified the intermixing of artistic forms and social/political commentary.
A final thought. Why do I call the residents of Delta “eternal ironists”? I do this because I don’t think things will change much for these residents during the coming months and years. I think that Irony (in the Rortian sense) is here to stay. The “cat is out of the bag!” Once a society accepts diversity and creative mashing-up of forms and ideas, then it is hard to go back to a former social structure or type of interpersonal relationships where uniformity and constraint prevail. The interplay between rights and responsibilities (“communitarianism”) and the interweaving of premodern, modern and postmodern styles are hard to undo or unweave. As I noted in the subtitle of my book on postmodernism (Bergquist, 1993), certain forms and outcomes of change are irreversible.Download Article 1K Club