Pretty much under the cartwheel of Labor lately, not thinking very much. Ambivalent response to John MacKay's fine book. The prospect & orienting markers of the historico-philosophical Left, so subtle, so fine-woven, so refined now. The flavor of the word "capital". A kind of superstructure or brahmin sense. Predicated on the assumption that the People cannot or will not correct (or ameliorate) economic injustices through the channels of law, democracy & civil society; that the idea of Revolution is a forceful idea precisely because it is an Idea fused with Force; and that such Forceful notions (ideology) are justified in a sense by a kind of historical Revenge Ethic : because of the brutal Force of Capital, the countervailing Force of Revolution is justified. But in refined brahmin academic Leftism, such Force is assigned to a kind of theoretical Utopia (where it won't really hurt anybody). (Slavoj Zizek, on the other hand, seems to be doin' the good ol' Big Man (Chavez) kow-tow, which worked so well for the 20th century.)

My 70s ancient history among the community organizers emphasized a more "hands-on" approach to social consciousness and public service. Less intellectually ambitious, perhaps, but more practical. (& public service, you might notice (if you read your local paper), often transgresses supposed ideological differences.)

Meanwhile, we live in a Red-Blue atmosphere, where political thinking per se is suffused by a religious-symbolic vocabulary (on the right) and frustrated ressentiment (on the left).

I, personally, have a lot of trouble holding historical, religious, aesthetic and political ideas in balance in a single conceptual process. Maybe others have similar problems. It helps me to think of Roger Williams' attitude toward relations between cultures, religions, and politics. He had a sort of Greek sense of the universality of civic and political goods (the common good); he somehow was able to hold absolute religious convictions without feeling the need to impose them on others or on the world at large - mainly by way of a sharp distinction between spiritual/heavenly/personal reality and earthly/historical/social reality. Maybe these are signs of a kind of "providential" political prudence. Very different from the various strains of apocalypticism, millennialism.

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