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Dear Matriots

by Marc Batko Friday, Jun. 17, 2022 at 2:54 PM

The fire of youth will never be put out. Don’t let them break your spirit. We are only called to plant the seed, to be truth-tellers and story-tellers, to redefine and expand work, to revive our welcoming tradition and decry the tradition of fear.

Dear Matriots

by Marc Batko

Dear Matriots, seekers for an alternative economics and an alternative spirituality,

In Kaspar Hauser by Jacob Wassermann, a town was afflicted by drought, the wells were dry and people became angry and violent until a little boy played so beautifully on his flute that water rose in the wells again. Kaspar Hauser is a cultural symbol of our refractory and resistant nature, our questioning and yearning for authenticity., our utopian and future-oriented restlessness. “The Mystery of Kaspar Hauser” by Werner Herzog is available as a foreign film/DVD from My other fictional model is Oscar from Gunter Grass’ “The Tin Drum.’ As a protest against the Nazi enslavement and genocide, Oscar refuses to grow up and lives out his life in resistance and solidarity.

The security state is different from the constitutional state and is marked by generalized fear, de-politization and forms without substance. In "1984," Orwell warned of totalitarianism where the past was erased and the Party created a new language. The Party alone decided two plus two equals five, dissent was not allowed and children informed on their parents for thought crimes.

Whoever controls the past controls the future. Whoever controls the present controls the past.

The German philosopher Jurgen Habermas said that instrumental rationality threatens to colonize all life, relationships and dialogue. Professors lament that they are often only asked whether the question will be on the test and whether it will put money in our pockets.

The future must be open and dynamic, welcoming and dynamic, self-critical and intercultural. The future must be anticipated and protected in the present, not extrapolated from the present (cf. Jurgen Moltmann, Theology of Hope). The Zapatista vision of one world where many worlds fit and where everyone has a place could free us from fatalism, cynicism and one-dimensionality, the bitter fruits of vulgar materialism (cf. Ernst Bloch) and the self-healing market.

A Chinese friend Yu Xia designed a web site for me that offers 300 translated articles on anti-militarism, economic ethics, political theory, and liberation theology (

Jesus calls us to the creation of a new language and a new mathematics, to be salt, leaven and light. In Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s perspective, one act of obedience can be more valuable than a hundred sermons. Costly grace to Bonhoeffer and the eternal moment or kairos moment for Kierkegaard is crucial in following the God who as eternal everlasting love calls us to sacrifice, renunciation and abandonment of material cares. Faith is personal but not private and is more interruption than custom. In the words of Soren Kierkegaard, faith is a leap across seventy thousand fathoms of water.

Articles and translations can give us new hope and enthusiasm as we seek alternative economics and alternative spirituality.

The fire of youth will never be put out. Don’t let them break your spirit. We are only called to plant the seed, to be truth-tellers and story-tellers, to redefine and expand work, to revive our welcoming tradition and decry the tradition of fear. In a world where understanding is a fusion of horizons, prejudice can be a stepping stone to the event of understanding (cf. Hans Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method).

May we discover the wonder of parallel worlds and the different stages and phases of life. The race is not to the swiftest but to the simple, modest and merciful, to become as children, open, affirming and enthralled.

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