Its the time of year when Christianity, Islam and Judaism have holidays which seem both complementary yet somewhat antagonistic to each other. One of the phenomenon’s of the past generation has been the idea of interfaith and combining global concerns with some form of spiritual /religious strain that in addition to the above mentioned religious groupings would also invite to the big tent for a seat at the table the straggling entities comprising “atheists, agnostics, feminists and anyone else who has suffered from the oppression the globalization of selfishness and materialism,” as one such invitation appeared.
The Jewish variant of what seems a form of messianism is termed Tikkun Olam , those who want to heal, repair and transform the world. Any religious liturgical material is always prefixed by the word “liberation” or “freedom” or “higher meaning.” I can’t help but not be dismayed by the discrepancy between the outwardly hyper-liberal peace and love, groovy share etc. demeanor and how that is transformed when you question or disagree or just poke at some inconsistencies or lack of coherence. It’s the Zimbardo Stanford Prison experiment under live enemy fire. There is an underside of militant aggressivity that is rooted in some strange sector of the psyche that I need a map to get away from. If I don’t sign an on-line petition against the possible military strike in Iran, then I am for fascism for example. And on it goes.
The other plank in the rhetoric is that the world has never been more close to the brink of total destruction than it is now. There is something intrinsically fatalistic about this, a pathological strain of romanticism looking for some pretext to fall onto a sword or be immortalized like Keats or swallow hemlock like Socrates or be discovered centuries later in some forsaken cave in the Judean hills. So, even if the West masters its war gene and neutralizes Iran, there is always the shadow of global warming, which will plunge us into the Dark Ages without warning and by extension disagreement is a vote for brackish drinking water and soot filled skies and the unpredictability of the salmon run off the British Columbia coast. The rejoinder that that our parents and grandparents with the Cuban Missile Crisis, Cold War fallout shelters, and WWII seemed equal to the challenges of today, that is these prophets of destruction resemble fear mongering fire and brimstone types of the woebegon years, a super secular priesthood of self anointed holy men and women who hold the truth and are marching the front ranks, the pole positions of those closest to the light.
Its hard to know where it all began. No shortage of wild and wooly cult leaders from the past, but perhaps the modern phenomenon can be attributed to Martin Buber and Gustav Landauer where radical secular politics, varieties of non-violent anarchism and deep left fieldism, were a natural extension based on religious interpretation. ” Socialism without god is like a body without a soul and religion without socialism is like a soul without a body.” This is the mantra of the religious left, and the message is plausible, but can be interpreted in many ways, centering as it does around the larger, and very complex ideas of charity, its role and administration. In Buber’s time the idea that a man like Gates or Buffet or Steve Jobs would hold more wealth than most sovereign states would have seemed like science fiction.
…finally this flyer for this free the wounded earth supper said the meal would be an “Easter Seder”. I told the organizer that this does not make sense. That its either yids for jesus or something like Salvador Dali, ” I don’t d
This eloquently articulates some of the views of Buber :
the dialogue with the eternal thou takes place through the engaging in dialogical encounters between people, and between people and nature. dialogue with the eternal thou is not a separate category of activity, it is the natural extension of our life of dialogue across all three realms of being. in this context, libertarian socialism refers to the organization of society along dialogical principles. socialism should not be understood solely as an alternative to capitalist economic oppression. capitalist oppression is not just a matter concerning the production and distribution of material wealth throughout a class divided society. religious socialism views the oppressive character of capitalism as essentially spiritual in nature.
the pursuit, administration, safeguard and reproduction of excessive material wealth and the consumerism that serves as its life-line, subordinates to its demands our ability to engage in the alternative pursuit of a creative spiritual life. capitalism transforms every space and time into a category of trade-commodity, thereby rendering the whole of being a continued and permanent realm of “it”.
it is important to clarify that the dichotomy here is not between matter and spirit, as this dualistic dichotomy is not intellectually sustainable. the dichotomy is between materialistic commodification and the realm of the creative spirit. religious socialism argues that the creative spirit is actualized through the creation and sustaining of communities of dialogue. it is in this sense that we read martin buber’s genial statement: socialism without god is like a body without a soul and religion without socialism is like a soul without a body. Neither case can be alive…Read More:http://dialogicalecology.blogspot.com/2010/12/some-basic-thoughts-on-religious.html