If we choose to believe, along with the physicalists-materialists-naturalists that “the natural world” is in effect synonymous with “all existence,” then “supernatural” becomes another name for “non-existent,” while “non-existent” stands for “false” or “irrelevant.” The contradiction or apparent contradiction between physicalism and its alternatives disappears, however, if we view the metaphysical or “meta-natural” “moment” – of the thingness of things and being of beings and so on, that the so-called scientific or physicalist-naturalist-materialist worldview cannot account for, and tends to disdain, and that the so-called religious worldview describes via mystery, miracle, and invocation of deities or of the Deity – as no more nor less “naturally” arising or simply “natural” than any (mere) “thing.” That this moment, rather than a happenstance or rarity or occasion would be a universal (or omnipresent) moment, perceptible or describable as a virtual adjacency of all experience as conceivable experience, makes the term “supernatural” misleading: To refer to the incompleteness of physicalism as a reference to the “supernatural,” as though the essence of whatever is might be located somewhere “beyond” or “above” itself, and for “all intents and purposes” nowhere, so never located at all except as on the other side of the “flaming walls of the world,” is to misstate absolutely the absolute matter of matters and states.

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Writing since ancient times, blogging, e-commercing, and site installing-designing-maintaining since 2001; WordPress theme and plugin configuring and developing since 2004 or so; a lifelong freelancer, not associated nor to be associated with any company, publication, party, university, church, or other institution. 

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    1. […] problem has been discussed at this blog many times, most recently here and here […]

    2. […] For the neo-Judaics, the “superiority” of the supernatural, always sensed or experienced as a “dimension of height” (Levinas), visualized and realized as above the eyes, as in or above the brow, the seat of consciousness in the face of the divine that resembles the human face that is only already its, or His, inevitable semblance (Rosenzweig), is the naturalness of the supernatural, the where of its becoming real as the becoming real or the coming into being of the always becoming: the super-natural as the most or supremely or superlatively natural, not a “supra-natural” but a “naturalest” as origin and essence of the common natural (of any creation of any world including Creation of The World and Creation of the All): the divine seemingly in the (non-, quasi-) place of the nothing, yet the distinction between the divine and the nothing, or the distinguishing of the divine from the nothing, as the everywhere and always already necessarily presumed status of any statement. When we read the name “God” in the old theologies, before we presume to disclaim His “His-ness” on whatever bases, we are misreading if we begin from a separation of divine and natural, rather than from their mutually presupposed and super-positioned identity as actuality of idea and idea of actuality. Natural and divine are not necessarily for the old theologians words for two different “things,” though old as well as new theologians will from time to time or at all times be guilty of approximation where not willing victims of error. One word is a word for the thingness of the all, the other for any other-than-mere-thingness including a necessary or natural quasi-thingness of any thing. Religion is the intimation of its own necessity as relation of the two and elaboration of that relation. “God” would be in addition to whatever else or not a name that returns us to that never fully displaced, or as-only-displaced, “my” in its universal quasi-adjacency to any all and all particularity or “the any”: the pure or originary natural, the natural itself or ultranatural. […]

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    Noted & Quoted

    TV pundits and op-ed writers of every major newspaper epitomize how the Democratic establishment has already reached a consensus: the 2020 nominee must be a centrist, a Joe Biden, Cory Booker or Kamala Harris–type, preferably. They say that Joe Biden should "run because [his] populist image fits the Democrats’ most successful political strategy of the past generation" (David Leonhardt, New York Times), and though Biden "would be far from an ideal president," he "looks most like the person who could beat Trump" (David Ignatius, Washington Post). Likewise, the same elite pundit class is working overtime to torpedo left-Democratic candidates like Sanders.

    For someone who was not acquainted with Piketty's paper, the argument for a centrist Democrat might sound compelling. If the country has tilted to the right, should we elect a candidate closer to the middle than the fringe? If the electorate resembles a left-to-right line, and each voter has a bracketed range of acceptability in which they vote, this would make perfect sense. The only problem is that it doesn't work like that, as Piketty shows.

    The reason is that nominating centrist Democrats who don't speak to class issues will result in a great swathe of voters simply not voting. Conversely, right-wing candidates who speak to class issues, but who do so by harnessing a false consciousness — i.e. blaming immigrants and minorities for capitalism's ills, rather than capitalists — will win those same voters who would have voted for a more class-conscious left candidate. Piketty calls this a "bifurcated" voting situation, meaning many voters will connect either with far-right xenophobic nationalists or left-egalitarian internationalists, but perhaps nothing in-between.

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    Understanding Trump’s charisma offers important clues to understanding the problems that the Democrats need to address. Most important, the Democratic candidate must convey a sense that he or she will fulfil the promise of 2008: not piecemeal reform but a genuine, full-scale change in America’s way of thinking. It’s also crucial to recognise that, like Britain, America is at a turning point and must go in one direction or another. Finally, the candidate must speak to Americans’ sense of self-respect linked to social justice and inclusion. While Weber’s analysis of charisma arose from the German situation, it has special relevance to the United States of America, the first mass democracy, whose Constitution invented the institution of the presidency as a recognition of the indispensable role that unique individuals play in history.

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    [E]ven Fox didn’t tout Bartiromo’s big scoops on Trump’s legislative agenda, because 10 months into the Trump presidency, nobody is so foolish as to believe that him saying, “We’re doing a big infrastructure bill,” means that the Trump administration is, in fact, doing a big infrastructure bill. The president just mouths off at turns ignorantly and dishonestly, and nobody pays much attention to it unless he says something unusually inflammatory.On some level, it’s a little bit funny. On another level, Puerto Rico is still languishing in the dark without power (and in many cases without safe drinking water) with no end in sight. Trump is less popular at this point in his administration than any previous president despite a generally benign economic climate, and shows no sign of changing course. Perhaps it will all work out for the best, and someday we’ll look back and chuckle about the time when we had a president who didn’t know anything about anything that was happening and could never be counted on to make coherent, factual statements on any subject. But traditionally, we haven’t elected presidents like that — for what have always seemed like pretty good reasons — and the risks of compounding disaster are still very much out there.

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