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Can the Militarist See Outside the Box?

by Marc Batko Thursday, Sep. 02, 2004 at 9:53 AM

Liberation theology and the theology of hope can give us strength against fundamentalism intolerance and jingoism generated by hyper-materialism. False consciousness can be replaced by exchanging roles and egalitarian passion.


By Marc Batko

“Truth is forever n the scaffold while wrong is forever on the throne. Yet that scaffold sways the future.” (Martin Luther King)

If mothers lived patriarchal love (love according to performance and obedience), we would not even exist today

War is not natural but sadism, mostly a product of governments. The fact that individuals and cultures have lived peacefully proves that war is not a natural or inevitable condition. (Erich Fromm)

The inside of the cup must be cleansed, not only the outside. Beware those who see the specks in their brother’s eye while turning countries into parking lots. Before you become teachers, be sure public goods are not privatized, education not narrowed to apprenticeship and conformity, mini-jobs and pseudo-independence and social risks (old age, sickness and unemployment) not recast as personal responsibility. The mosaic works while the melting pot rewards intimidators and hucksters.

Resistance traditions could give us courage and orientation in a time of arrogance and ignorance in one nation under educated. Apathy is a luxury we cannot afford (Dorothee Soelle). Apathy is the rival of love (Erich Fromm).

Liberation theology and the theology of hope can give us strength against the fundamentalism, intolerance and jingoism generated by hyper-materialism. As prejudice is a stepping stone to understanding (Hans-Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method, 1960), false consciousness, false security and false religion can be replaced by exchanging role and egalitarian passion. The war on terrorism could become a war on poverty. Economic assistance could become security policy. (Ernst-Otto Czempiel).

The industrialized man can be overcome by anxieties from a pathological economy of injustice and exclusion. Time is saved so it can be destroyed. Productivity grows while working hours increase and wages stagnate. Gifts and visions like memory and hope can fall by the wayside, dismissed as unrealistic in a culture that idolizes the short-term and the outside of the cup. Without festivity and fantasy, memory and hope, we become “ephemeral bubbles”. (Harvey Cox, The Feast of Fools, 1969).

Worldly distinctions can be seen as the actor’s costume. (Soren Kierkegaard). The ego must die so the self can be born. There is good in every person. Nonviolence is stronger than violence. (Martin Luther King). Cooperation, not violence, characterizes human existence. As carrots and beans thrive together (Gottfried Orth in “Cooperation not Violence” on, the human world flourishes in exchanging roles, self-criticism, humility and egalitarian passion.

Communities like individuals can plan for a future-friendly world. Communities like individuals can traumatize and terrorize themselves. We are called to double vision, to universal and particular history, to mystery, memory and hope. We are called to plant seeds of hope, faith and love and not to be obsessed with success.

The occupiers in Iraq lose control of major cities and pipelines. Humility and self-criticism are strengths for communities and individuals. The lesson of Vietnam is that imperial overreach, the hubris of vast military power and cultural presumption are no match for indigenous people filled with love for land, life and truth.

The myths of US exceptionalism and invincibility/invulnerability only prove our inability to learn, remember and mourn. Whoever builds his life on truth is like the man who built his house on the rock. The winds and storms will only destroy those whose houses are built on sand.

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A Stitch in Time Saves Nine Ignatius Thursday, Sep. 02, 2004 at 11:35 AM

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