Religion

Voegelin’s Gnosis, Part 1: The Self-Evident Divine

“This world itself exists by reason of a mystery, and the name for the mystery, for the cause of this being of the world, of which man is a component, is referred to as ‘God.'”

Posted in Anismism, History, Philosophy, Politics, Religion Tagged with: , , , , , ,

Only gradually… (toward anismism) (disbelief in disbelief 4)

“Out of the misty sea of myth, questions emerge; chaos arises… Only gradually can all these meanings of the uniqueness of being be developed.”

Posted in Anismism, Philosophy, Religion Tagged with: , , , , , ,

On the Consideration of Liberalism vs Islamism as a Syncretic Problem

A conflict so complex and all-encompassing that the two sides can be said to operate from “different interpretations of reality” may be somewhat simplified, at least as a matter of speech, if, setting aside for now any claims as to whose reality is more real or nearly real, we presume that both ideologies represent or emanate from distinct and comprehensive politico-religious worldviews, in other words are based on different creeds, and that both the problem and any solution must therefore be syncretic.

Posted in Liberalism v Islamism as a Syncretic Problem, Philosophy, Politics, Religion

Prophet of the Nones (disbelief in disbelief 3)

As far as I know, there is no single prophet of anismism, and that lack of a prophet may be appropriate if not inevitable to this particular anti-ideological ideological stance. If there could be such a prophet, however, Anandamayi Ma on first glance seems to fill that role well, which is to say incompletely and therefore completely, paradoxically and therefore simply, because her anismism extended crucially to the question or her own existence as a self.

Posted in Anismism, Philosophy, Religion Tagged with: , ,

Dying Declarations (disbelief in disbelief 2)

The religious affiliation of no religious affiliation among the so-called Nones may amount to a kind of popularized phenomenology or ambulatory deconstruction, the realized impossibility of the declaratory faith, potentially an actuality of belief independent of whatever verbal reduction or sign, if also potentially a condition of incoherence, of chaos not system, moral infantilization rather than advancement.

Posted in Anismism, History, Miscellany, Philosophy, Religion

Note On Disbelief in Disbelief and the “Interrogation of ‘the Nones'”

All belief is first belief about belief.

Posted in Anismism, Philosophy, Politics, Religion Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Three Notes on Liberalism vs Islamism

In Egypt, what Hussein Ibish calls “accommodation” would for Islamists, as well as for the felool, equate with capitulation, under the longer term prospect of extinction. This prospect is deemed intolerable, just as the proposed or traditional “accommodations” of liberal or other minority aspirations under Islamist or nationalist-authoritarian regimes may be perceived as intolerable to those “accommodated.”

Posted in International Relations, Liberalism v Islamism as a Syncretic Problem, On Liberal Democracy in Relation to Islamism, Philosophy, Politics, Religion Tagged with: , ,

Bad Irreligion

I suppose I may be faulted for being too naively forgiving toward Huckabee, but I find Williams’ attack on him to be both excessive and un-serious.

Posted in notes, Politics, Religion Tagged with: ,

Cairo and Philadelphia: Statement of the Subject

I am thinking about the confrontation between “liberalism” – in the form of “liberal democracy” – and Islamism, but with a focus, in response to current events but perhaps also to larger necessity, on Egypt.

Posted in Featured, History, Philosophy, Politics, Religion Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,

Liberals vs the actual Egyptian state (cc @ibishblog)

Hussein Ibish sees the workings of a master plot, not quite the same as a the plot of a mastermind, in Morsi’s Egyptian maneuvers. Yet the strengths of Ibish’s criticism undermine themselves: The picture of Egypt that emerges – of the real Egypt rather than the Egypt of liberal aspirations – is of a nation dominated by non-liberal forces, in which the primary negotiations are effectively two-sided, between the forces of the nationalist-military deep state and of the Islamists.

Posted in notes, Philosophy, Politics, Religion Tagged with: , ,

From the Featured Archives

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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