It seems we Americans are caught up in and even obsessed with dualities. Good and evil, god or no god, democracy or tyranny, Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, men are from Mars and women from Venus. It all makes for a compelling competitive narrative and a great show when our team, however that’s defined by a group of us, goes up against the opposition, particularly when our team wins. I even tend to think in the duality of patriarchy versus partnership, and frame my own narrative of the latter (the circle of equals) triumphing over the former (hierarchies of domination and control).
But more and more these days I’m thinking this is an overly simplistic and unsophisticated approach to the world, that maybe sells tickets to some sort of framed contest between two opposing sides, but does not serve the cause of coming to some sort of compromise consensus on a pragmatic path forward for our society. What is needed I think is a different metaphor for constructive conflict that allows for an array of constituencies to form ever-changing relationships with each other.