Josh Corey's Selah crossed my desk for the first time today; I was very impressed. Josh shows a tremendous amount of verbal gusto, allied with great stylistic acumen. The poems were much more original than his blog postings, which I find thoughtful, but often somewhat ingratiating/bien pensant - rhetorically impressive, you might say.
Today's post, covering literature/history/politics, is no exception. The somewhat ponderous self-righteousness of the left intellectuals, who feel they must recreate the wheel at every opportunity (justice, and the state, and violence, and so on).
I would encourage all bien-pensant anarchists to take a closer look at the radicalism of republican-democratic government (as attempted, albeit imperfectly - we live in an imperfect world, for the time being - here in the USA). What is democracy but the people taking responsibility for the state? What is democracy but the people establishing civil society as the measure of government? Anarchism would do away with the state entirely - how silly! Democracy takes responsibility for the state, without granting it "hegemony".
Inevitably, I can hear the wailing chorus, reciting the American government's serial betrayals of its own creed, its own careful & constitutional fragmentations of tyranny. The chorus from the left AND the right.
Take a look again at Auden's musings on Plato & the poets - their differing emotional chemistry. The poets are not Platonic-utopian, because, oddly enough, they are realists (immersed in the experiential & emotional particularity of the real).
Remember Stevens' lines about "the imperfect is our Paradise" (have I got it right?) - in flawed sounds & stubborn words, etc. -
Political dogmatism (gift of the 80s-90s) destroys the feeling for the future, the hope we carry along through the daily multifarious struggles - in the midst of human frailty - to make justice happen.
Josh talks about power. The American system is an inspired dispersal of power. It bears witness (on its good days) to the one thing that leavens power with grace : humility. What is the sign of humility in this world? Service, not power. "The greatest among you shall be your servant." That's the Jewish heritage for you : a recognition of the paradoxical (& hidden, & unworldly, & righteous, & pure) glory of freely-offered, unrewarded slavery to others. Love-in-action. Natural Law. Human (really human - childish, adoring) nature. "You must become as little children, if you would enter..."