The institutions and organs that claim to provide knowledge and havens for intellectual activity have largely failed us, reducing intellection and critique to an esoteric, guild-like activity and dividing both the minds and the resources that could productively unite to influence events and improve conditions not only for those who think and create professionally. Rightly, or, more often wrongly, the humanities and the arts are assumed to be bastions of liberal sensitivity, engaged in relentlessly circular pursuit of an opaque post-modern politics. We are largely unable to explain or justify what we do outside our inner circles; worse, we are largely unable to explain or justify what we do to ourselves.
The present is rife with anxiety and uncertainty. Everywhere the sense of foreboding and impossibility presses down on efforts to organize, to inform, and to think. What would a thinking look like that was driven not by insular, endless debates and arcane mechanisms of selection but by a genuine desire to remove anxiety, to affirm life, and to resist getting lost in a web of contradictions?