Avis: We are too focused on nostalgia when we should be looking to the future

Avis: We are too focused on nostalgia when we should be looking to the future
Identity politics and a long-drawn-out ‘culture war’ will not produce any winners, writes Jordan Tyldesley

There’s a cognitive phenomenon called rosy retrospection. You can sometimes spot this in a conversation with a grandparent, which usually goes something like: “In my day… [followed by unsubstantiated claims of limitless opportunity, safety and happiness]".

Bien sûr, they aren’t the only generation with a penchant for nostalgic fetishism. When I look back on my childhood, I remember warm hazy days spent in the garden playing on my swing and looking up at the clouds from morning till night. And on a wider level, historical reminiscence has filtered its way into all aspects of society.

Our collective fascination for and fixation on the past has created a culture war that has the potential to drive a wedge through our communities and politics like never before. If we are to steer away from cultural conflict, we must understand the climate that has not only created it, but allowed it to flourish.

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