This week I explore an essay published in Israel’s newspaper Haaretz that The New York Times said “shook the Israeli left like an ideological bunker-busting bomb.”
In it, Nissim Mizrachi, former head of the department of sociology and anthropology at Tel Aviv University, describes what he calls the blind spot of liberals, who, he says, “do not see themselves as ‘classifiable’ from the outside.”
“I think the most blatant phenomenon in world politics today is the resounding defeat of the liberal vision,” Mizrachi says. “It’s a double breakdown: one involving the government, in the sense of the left’s inability to gain a political foothold among the masses; and more deeply, one involving an inability to imagine an order that accommodates opposition groups.”
Integral theory shows us that all first-tier worldviews, not just liberalism, are stuck in their ideological bunkers. And that the way forward is to explore and open to the world of others, particularly our political opponents.
In the second part of the episode, I apply this thesis to the culture war currently being fought within the African-American community, where the antiracists, led by Ibram X. Kendi, are sparring with the anti-antiracists, led by Glenn Loury and others.
What does a diversity of worldviews look like? It’s deceptively simple, says Professor Mizrachi, “We think the other side’s concerns are not mine, but they should be because I care about him or her. We share something in common here. We are sharing this land and this nation. It sounds horrible, but he or she needs to become part of us. Because they are part of us.”
Sounds kind of beautiful to me, but getting there sure ain’t pretty. I hope you enjoy the episode!