Understanding Christopher Hitchens, and Letting Go of the Future

Happy New Year.

Many have written about Christopher Hitchens, since his death on 15 December 2011. In the numerous articles I found, I only saw discussion about what Hitchens did/didn’t do, and should/shouldn’t have done, as well as what the commentators thought/felt about it/him.

Eventually, I realized that the mass of memorial-condemnation literature about Hitchens was itself a reflection of the character of the American intelligentsia and especially that of its left wing, which cared most passionately for and about Hitchens these last four decades. I was interested to learn what drove the man, why did the private human being Christopher Hitchens have the public persona “Christopher Hitchens?” The opinions I formed from this point are presented in an article just published by SWANS. I thought Christopher Hitchens himself, in his final column published by Vanity Fair, verified my hypothesis about him.

Christopher Hitchens, Coyote, or Saint Paul?
2 January 2012

Besides looking back on 2011 through the lens of Hitchens’ impact, I was drawn forward into 2012 by spelling out my view about the obsession many have with the future. My political philosophy (which is assuredly amateur, and not formalized) involves a rich blending of Jungian psychology, Buddhism and science, along with a few political and economic beliefs. Our political philosophies are helpful when they give us insights that contribute to social progress in the here-and-now; they become social impediments when we treat them as political objectives.

The Endless Reality of the Imperfect Now
2 January 2012

Best wishes for the New Year.