Who Took the Geist Out of Zeitgeist?

June 24

“Zeitgeist” was, a couple of decades ago, a cool new term that even then was not all that widely used. Hard to spell, meaning unclear. I’ll remind you: “Spirit of the Time.”

This is the thing I wrestle with around here from time to time, and usually it resembles floundering more than wrestling. (see yesterday’s Blog Post). But it seems to me that this many years after the Cold War ended, and after Reaganism proved itself to be as two-dimensional as it always in fact was, that some new way of conceiving what we are doing is due. Overdue. Now here’s someone else wrestling with it!

You have to be attracted to a piece with the line, “Never since the end of World War II, and perhaps since the Russian Revolution, has political thinking in the West been so shallow and clueless.” It’s a long piece by contemporary standards. But there are whole books with less to think about than this, so it’s a good reading value! The author ends up with more questions than answers. Just like me! But they’re good questions!

The details of daily life are plenty engaging, but without a sense of where we are in the narrative of history, life is a little smaller and emptier.

Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post and writes the Tom Toles blog.
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Tom Toles · June 23