Epistemic Closure’s Literary Potential
Julian Sanchez’s theory of “epistemic closure” occurring on the American right has attracted considerable attention on the intertubes. (See here, here, here, and even here.) The dangers of a having a political party completely detached from reality aside, I think this is a golden opportunity for some intrepid fiction writers to mine the current political climate for some real insights into human behavior and how we construct (or don’t construct) human experience. Reality is quickly outpacing fiction on the believable scale, and we have a group of people who are trying to willfully construct their own version of history, the economy, and current government policies. We should barter with chickens for health care! More seriously, the incoherence takes on various hues of irony in the historical context:
[Palin]’s been going around to Tea Party rallies, invoking the spirit of revolutionary Boston and castigating Obama for failing to exalt American power and punish our adversaries. She seems blissfully unaware that the imperial arrogance she’s preaching isn’t how the American founders behaved. It’s how the British behaved, and why they lost. Palin represents everything the original Tea Party was against.
The best we can hope for is future great reading from this nonsense.