Patrick Lawrence is creating new thinking on world events.
17

patrons

America is a nation in crisis.

When I returned to the U.S. in 2010 after nearly 30 years abroad as a correspondent, I would not have said this. We seemed to be a nation in trouble then. Now our troubles have turned into crises. My focus is on two of the most urgent of these: Our conduct abroad is ever more at odds with 21st century realities. Our press has abandoned its responsibilities and so abandoned us. Our leadership fails us in such matters: Our foreign policy endangers and isolates us, and we are awash in mis– and disinformation.

We need a new narrative, a new accounting of ourselves, a public discourse we can make sense of. This is the necessary basis for all of the new thinking we have to do and all the alternative policies we must imagine and then realize. A lot of people seemed to realize this when I first came home eight years ago. Those then eager for “a new story” now seem on the way to desperate for one. I count these the first post-exceptionalist Americans. It is not too soon to think in such terms. If we have a future worth working toward, it lies in their thinking.

I share their thinking. My task is to address a community in need of address so that we can think together. All that I write is dedicated to this purpose. I bring to it three decades of living and working abroad and an understanding of the perspectives of others. I consider this understanding essential 21st century equipment and apply it in every commentary I write.

This is the simplest explanation I have of what the work is all about. And I need your support to keep the work going.

I stepped out of what we call “mainstream media” on my return to America. It seemed the only useful alternative: Little that needs to get done will get done within the frame of corporate media. I understood the risks and took them. I assumed on the basis of what I saw and heard that I would find a receptive readership that would help sustain the work. I have, and it is growing. I come to Patreon to find you and to ask that you join me and others who already have. Weekly columns of commentary, a blog, podcasts, teleconferences, and your collaboration as the work progresses: These are what I offer you.

A few years ago I published my fifth book, Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century. In it I identified the problems we faced—flinching from them is the very worst step to take—but expressed optimism that we can advance beyond our predicaments providing we free ourselves from nostalgia, a native insecurity, a presumption of innocence, and altogether an exceptionalist narrative that leaves us more isolated from others by the day. I hold to this optimism—even in the face of much contrary evidence, I now have to add.

Too many of my readers, colleagues, friends, and acquaintances are capable of thinking anew for me to step back from this basic conviction. This nation was founded on the assumption that people are capable of great change—departures from what had been—and it proved the point. Can we not prove this again? Can we not find new ways of being and conducting ourselves, new policies and frameworks? Can we not restore our public discourse from the dilapidated state our press has let is lapse into?

There would be no reason to write if I did not think so in each case. As I concluded in a recent column, “The future, by definition, will take whatever shape we in the present choose to give it. This we call history. The making of history is up to us.”

Please join me and my first patrons with whatever contribution you can manage. Patreon makes this easy. It will make other things easy, too. I want to work with readers, many of whom have ideas as good or better than mine. We can develop our thinking together as I share my work while it progresses. I am now working on my sixth book. I will welcome the input of those who support the project as it proceeds.

The work itself is the best I can offer supporters. But I have structured a rewards program to convey my thanks to committed patrons. You will find these expressions of gratitude on the right-hand side of this page. I have tried to keep them simple.
Tiers
"Commentator."
$7 or more per month
E-mailed links and a patrons-only note on publication of new work.
"Author."
$10 or more per month
The above plus access to regular podcast commentaries.
"Analyst."
$25 or more per month
The above plus a signed copy of Time No Longer, my most recent book.
"Consultant."
$100 or more per month
The above plus a private exchange monthly on current events via Skype or telephone.
"Speaker."
$500 or more per month
The above plus a speech annually at the donor’s request.
America is a nation in crisis.

When I returned to the U.S. in 2010 after nearly 30 years abroad as a correspondent, I would not have said this. We seemed to be a nation in trouble then. Now our troubles have turned into crises. My focus is on two of the most urgent of these: Our conduct abroad is ever more at odds with 21st century realities. Our press has abandoned its responsibilities and so abandoned us. Our leadership fails us in such matters: Our foreign policy endangers and isolates us, and we are awash in mis– and disinformation.

We need a new narrative, a new accounting of ourselves, a public discourse we can make sense of. This is the necessary basis for all of the new thinking we have to do and all the alternative policies we must imagine and then realize. A lot of people seemed to realize this when I first came home eight years ago. Those then eager for “a new story” now seem on the way to desperate for one. I count these the first post-exceptionalist Americans. It is not too soon to think in such terms. If we have a future worth working toward, it lies in their thinking.

I share their thinking. My task is to address a community in need of address so that we can think together. All that I write is dedicated to this purpose. I bring to it three decades of living and working abroad and an understanding of the perspectives of others. I consider this understanding essential 21st century equipment and apply it in every commentary I write.

This is the simplest explanation I have of what the work is all about. And I need your support to keep the work going.

I stepped out of what we call “mainstream media” on my return to America. It seemed the only useful alternative: Little that needs to get done will get done within the frame of corporate media. I understood the risks and took them. I assumed on the basis of what I saw and heard that I would find a receptive readership that would help sustain the work. I have, and it is growing. I come to Patreon to find you and to ask that you join me and others who already have. Weekly columns of commentary, a blog, podcasts, teleconferences, and your collaboration as the work progresses: These are what I offer you.

A few years ago I published my fifth book, Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century. In it I identified the problems we faced—flinching from them is the very worst step to take—but expressed optimism that we can advance beyond our predicaments providing we free ourselves from nostalgia, a native insecurity, a presumption of innocence, and altogether an exceptionalist narrative that leaves us more isolated from others by the day. I hold to this optimism—even in the face of much contrary evidence, I now have to add.

Too many of my readers, colleagues, friends, and acquaintances are capable of thinking anew for me to step back from this basic conviction. This nation was founded on the assumption that people are capable of great change—departures from what had been—and it proved the point. Can we not prove this again? Can we not find new ways of being and conducting ourselves, new policies and frameworks? Can we not restore our public discourse from the dilapidated state our press has let is lapse into?

There would be no reason to write if I did not think so in each case. As I concluded in a recent column, “The future, by definition, will take whatever shape we in the present choose to give it. This we call history. The making of history is up to us.”

Please join me and my first patrons with whatever contribution you can manage. Patreon makes this easy. It will make other things easy, too. I want to work with readers, many of whom have ideas as good or better than mine. We can develop our thinking together as I share my work while it progresses. I am now working on my sixth book. I will welcome the input of those who support the project as it proceeds.

The work itself is the best I can offer supporters. But I have structured a rewards program to convey my thanks to committed patrons. You will find these expressions of gratitude on the right-hand side of this page. I have tried to keep them simple.

Recent posts by Patrick Lawrence

Tiers
"Commentator."
$7 or more per month
E-mailed links and a patrons-only note on publication of new work.
"Author."
$10 or more per month
The above plus access to regular podcast commentaries.
"Analyst."
$25 or more per month
The above plus a signed copy of Time No Longer, my most recent book.
"Consultant."
$100 or more per month
The above plus a private exchange monthly on current events via Skype or telephone.
"Speaker."
$500 or more per month
The above plus a speech annually at the donor’s request.