POLITICIZATION

Can philosophers help resolve the real problems that people have in their lives?

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tbieter
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POLITICIZATION

Post by tbieter » Wed Dec 04, 2013 3:41 pm

"I figure that unless you are in the business of politics, covering it or columnizing about it, politics should take up maybe a tenth corner of a good citizen's mind. The rest should be philosophy, friendship, romance, family, culture and fun. I wish our talk-show culture reflected that balance, and that the emotional register around politics were more in keeping with its low but steady nature." (Emphasis added)

http://www.twincities.com/columnists/ci ... cities.com

This remarkable essay by David Brooks of the New York Times appeared in my morning newspaper. Here is the final paragraph.

I would amend the parapraph by explicitly adding the category of the arts.


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The Voice of Time
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Re: POLITICIZATION

Post by The Voice of Time » Sun Dec 29, 2013 4:02 pm

Would you like to say more about the essay? Reading essays is so tedious, I always prefer straight to the point.

marjoramblues
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Re: POLITICIZATION

Post by marjoramblues » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:07 am

Thanks, tbieter - interesting article and choice of paragraph related to a 'talk-show' culture.

'Politics as a tenth corner of a good citizen's mind, the rest should be...'

'Emotional register'...

I wonder who is considered a 'good citizen' - a balanced or passionate one; special focus on one particular area of life/thought or a more generalised outlook; a nit-picky pointer or a grand flourisher; zooming in and out as required. Narrow thinking of own narrative or a-reaching out...
Rational or emotional...

As usual, we have more colours than black or white; shades of good and bad.
I note that this thread is in 'philosophical counselling' - do you think that the 'talk-show' culture helps us see the truth of any matter? Can it give hope or offer understanding?

Here is an article, you might enjoy - related to art as therapy. Alain de Botton gives examples of art works that make him feel less alone...
...If art deserves its enormous prestige (and I think it does), then it should be able to state its purpose in relatively simple terms. I believe art is ultimately a therapeutic medium, just like music. It, too, is a vehicle through which we can do such things as recover hope, dignify suffering, develop empathy, laugh, wonder, nurture a sense of communion with others and regain a sense of justice and political idealism.
http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign ... rt-therapy
We can replace the word 'art' with 'philosophy'...
We can think of works of philosophy...
And the purpose thereof...
If we choose to...

marjoramblues
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Re: POLITICIZATION

Post by marjoramblues » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:12 am

The Voice of Time wrote:Would you like to say more about the essay? Reading essays is so tedious, I always prefer straight to the point.
Voice, reading an article is sometimes less tedious than reading some convoluted PN posts...
tbieter said enough for anyone who wished to follow it up...
A refreshing change of subject, thanks.

marjoramblues
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Re: POLITICIZATION

Post by marjoramblues » Thu Jan 02, 2014 11:34 am

The works of art chosen by A. de Botton relate to:

Hope
Empathy
Care
Sorrow
Work
Appreciation
Relationships
Consumerism

How many of us could...off the top of our heads...pinpoint a particular philosophical work which set us alight...or blasted a brain cell... to change the flow, huh?

tbieter
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Re: POLITICIZATION

Post by tbieter » Fri Jan 03, 2014 5:48 am

marjoramblues wrote:Thanks, tbieter - interesting article and choice of paragraph related to a 'talk-show' culture.

'Politics as a tenth corner of a good citizen's mind, the rest should be...'

'Emotional register'...

I wonder who is considered a 'good citizen' - a balanced or passionate one; special focus on one particular area of life/thought or a more generalised outlook; a nit-picky pointer or a grand flourisher; zooming in and out as required. Narrow thinking of own narrative or a-reaching out...
Rational or emotional...

As usual, we have more colours than black or white; shades of good and bad.
I note that this thread is in 'philosophical counselling' - do you think that the 'talk-show' culture helps us see the truth of any matter? Can it give hope or offer understanding?

Here is an article, you might enjoy - related to art as therapy. Alain de Botton gives examples of art works that make him feel less alone...
...If art deserves its enormous prestige (and I think it does), then it should be able to state its purpose in relatively simple terms. I believe art is ultimately a therapeutic medium, just like music. It, too, is a vehicle through which we can do such things as recover hope, dignify suffering, develop empathy, laugh, wonder, nurture a sense of communion with others and regain a sense of justice and political idealism.
http://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign ... rt-therapy
We can replace the word 'art' with 'philosophy'...
We can think of works of philosophy...
And the purpose thereof...
If we choose to...
I am reading Art as Therepy. I'm a John Armstrong fan. viewtopic.php?f=6&t=11187&p=142388&hili ... ng#p142388

Regarding talk show hosts, each morning as I walk my dog at the dog park I listen on my portable radio to Rush Limbaugh, the "Doctor of Democracy," (who is "on loan from God"). About two weeks ago, he quoted Chesterton on 'bigotry'. This morning I read some text on the nature of standards from Chesterton's Orthodoxy. As I was leaving for the dog park, Rush was raging against liberals relative to them destroying standards. His thought was pure Chesterton. I suspect that when he is not playing golf or watching pro football, he is reading, and reading a lot of Chesterton.

In general, I think there is little value in listening to talk radio. One is better off reading the best books.

I initially became interested in the concept of 'politicization' when I read this book:
http://www.amazon.com/Politicization-So ... of+society
I definitely recommend the book if you are interested in the problem.

I believe for some "activists" "politics" is their dominating category of thought. They interpret virtually all events using political concepts. Many activist clergy (usually on the left) have really replaced God with political "activism."

Their days consist in going from cause to cause.

Rodger, an ordained minister, was my neighbor in Duluth. A good guy, he became more interested in leftist political causes instead of preaching the gospel. Scroll down to where Rodger is protesting the recent wolf hunt in Minnesota
https://www.facebook.com/rodger.cragun

marjoramblues
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Re: POLITICIZATION

Post by marjoramblues » Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:21 am

'Politicisation' as a concept, or problem, related to philosophical counselling is quite new to me.

It poked its way into my consciousness via the media of online newspapers, TV and film - and some PN posters.

I would never have thought to buy a book on the subject, without first having a high degree of awareness and interest. Still not reached that point; however, thanks for the links.

What interests me is the how the word 'activist' can be viewed as both positive and negative.
Also, how the politically passive, but terribly frustrated, youngsters can make their voices heard without being labelled troublemakers/communists, with perhaps serious consequences re future employment.

It seems that there are increasing numbers of youngsters feeling hopeless and suicidal.
How would a magazine like PN - or philosophical counselling help them, or others?

What philosophical knowledge/political action could be harnessed to lessen feelings of alienation and hopelesseness; anger against the powerful and rich...so that there is a wind of change, or change of mind.

marjoramblues
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Re: POLITICIZATION

Post by marjoramblues » Sat Jan 04, 2014 9:24 am

Rodger, an ordained minister, was my neighbor in Duluth. A good guy, he became more interested in leftist political causes instead of preaching the gospel. Scroll down to where Rodger is protesting the recent wolf hunt in Minnesota
https://www.facebook.com/rodger.cragun
I like the sound of Rodger 8)
A philosophical activist making a difference?
An active philosopher getting out there...

tbieter
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Re: POLITICIZATION

Post by tbieter » Sat Jan 11, 2014 1:16 am

marjoramblues wrote:
Rodger, an ordained minister, was my neighbor in Duluth. A good guy, he became more interested in leftist political causes instead of preaching the gospel. Scroll down to where Rodger is protesting the recent wolf hunt in Minnesota
https://www.facebook.com/rodger.cragun
I like the sound of Rodger 8)
A philosophical activist making a difference?
An active philosopher getting out there...
"An American priest, Father John Dear, has been expelled from the Jesuit order.

Father Adolfo Nicolas, the superior general of the Society of Jesus, informed Father Dear that he was being dismissed from the Society because he had been “obstinately disobedient to the lawful order of superiors in a grave matter.” The American priest, who has devoted himself to peace activism, had refused an order to live in a Jesuit community, preferring to continue his own independent work.

Father Dear revealed the news of his dismissal in the National Catholic Reporter, the weekly paper for which he has been a regular columnist. The letter from Father Nicolas announcing his expulsion was actually sent last June."
http://www.catholicculture.org/news/hea ... ryid=20128

"WASHINGTON A popular U.S. Catholic priest and author known for his peace writings and some 75 arrests for civil disobedience actions across the country has been dismissed from the international Jesuit religious order, which says he was "obstinately disobedient" to its directives.

Removal of Fr. John Dear caps 32 years in the order for the priest, who has been known for protesting a wide range of issues, including U.S. policies on Latin America, nuclear weapons development, and the cooperation of Jesuit educational institutions with American military recruiting programs such as the ROTC.

The dismissal also raises the specter of Pope Francis, the first head of the Catholic church to belong to the Jesuit order, having to confirm the dismissal of one of the order's members."
http://ncronline.org/news/peace-justice ... ssed-order
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Dear

Political Activism, instead of authentic religous practice, can become one's god. A Jesuit takes vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience to his religious order. The Father John Dear case above is anecdotal evidence for the truth of this statement about a substitute god.

Father James V. Schall, also a Jesuit priest, writes what follows regarding political activism in his book, Another Sort of Learning , at pps. 207 and 262, respectively:

viewtopic.php?f=15&t=12067

"Activism is, no doubt, the religious enthusiasm of our age, perhaps the one real alternative to God in our era.We are no longer capable of distinguishing a person's interior from his exterior life. Salvation depends upon joining the right causes, designed to alleviate the right evil, defined by the right ideology. The older fraternity of a faith received as a gift, but allowing different politics, has been more and more replaced by a community of like-minded followers of a politically universal purpose, where the doctrinal diversities are reduced to insignificance because of the elevation of the cause. The question can arise, therefore, about whether bureaucrats, policy activists, experts, and sundry opinion managers require an interior life that would suggest, beyond the causes, a sense of prayer and fasting to remind them of a reality that is not exhausted or defined by the movements and interests of the world, however fascinating these might be." (all bold and underlining added)

"The effort to substitute an "activist" ideology for the faith, which we did not make, is, of course, rooted in the very project of modern intelligence as an autonomous reality, which systematically accepts nothing it did not cause to be or make."

Comments anyone, especially on the last quotation from Schall.

tbieter
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Re: POLITICIZATION

Post by tbieter » Sat Jan 11, 2014 9:27 pm

A few years ago a member of Congress introduced a bill to establish a cabinet-level department of peace. Led by a secretary of peace, the U.S. would then prevent and resolve conflicts all around the world. I listened attentively to all the discussions pro and con on the issue in the media.

To the best of my knowledge, no one in print or over the air, ever mentioned the existing U.S. funded agency established to promote "peace", the U.S. Institute of Peace. http://www.usip.org/our-mission

Apparently, I was the only person in the US who was aware of this existing agency.

The congressman was appealing to the prevailing enthusiasm for "peace".

Of course, the congressman's bill went nowhere, but he got a lot of publicity as a humanitarian and man of action, and the U.S. continued its mission of preventing and resolving conflicts all around the world..

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Arising_uk
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Re: POLITICIZATION

Post by Arising_uk » Sun Jan 12, 2014 11:53 am

... and the U.S. continued its mission of preventing and resolving conflicts all around the world..
LMAO!

tbieter
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Re: POLITICIZATION

Post by tbieter » Mon Jan 13, 2014 2:38 am

Arising_uk wrote:
... and the U.S. continued its mission of preventing and resolving conflicts all around the world..
LMAO!
I was trying to be sarcastic.

Philosophically, what is peace?

In his book On the Unseriousness of Human Affairs, James V. Schall writes at pp. 5-6:


"We are frequently told that " the drama of war is inescapable." This is the same fascination, as we shall see, of which Plato himself was aware. It is a fascination that indeed seems to make human beings more important than they really are. Yet, in the Christian tradition, peace is never really something we set out to accomplish or obtain as if it were something we could have independently of other virtues or activities. We set out to accomplish order and dignity and fairness and productivity. We think these are real attributes of existence and not figments of our imaginations. The abstract crying out for peace and more peaceis not a way to achieve it but a way mostly not to find it. Peace is not a thing alongside other things but a result, a "tranquility of order," as Saint Augustine called it. If we have no order, especially inner order, we have no peace."

If you agree with Schall's description of what "peace" really is, you should conclude that the bureaucrats employed by the US Institute of Peace never actually achieve a practical peace.


http://www.amazon.com/Unseriousness-Hum ... s+v+schall

tbieter
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Re: POLITICIZATION

Post by tbieter » Mon Jan 13, 2014 3:43 pm

tbieter wrote:
Arising_uk wrote:
... and the U.S. continued its mission of preventing and resolving conflicts all around the world..
LMAO!
I was trying to be sarcastic.

Philosophically, what is peace?

In his book On the Unseriousness of Human Affairs, James V. Schall writes at pp. 5-6:


"We are frequently told that " the drama of war is inescapable." This is the same fascination, as we shall see, of which Plato himself was aware. It is a fascination that indeed seems to make human beings more important than they really are. Yet, in the Christian tradition, peace is never really something we set out to accomplish or obtain as if it were something we could have independently of other virtues or activities. We set out to accomplish order and dignity and fairness and productivity. We think these are real attributes of existence and not figments of our imaginations. The abstract crying out for peace and more peaceis not a way to achieve it but a way mostly not to find it. Peace is not a thing alongside other things but a result, a "tranquility of order," as Saint Augustine called it. If we have no order, especially inner order, we have no peace."

If you agree with Schall's description of what "peace" really is, you should conclude that the bureaucrats employed by the US Institute of Peace never actually achieve a practical peace.
http://www.amazon.com/Unseriousness-Hum ... s+v+schall
Today is the funeral of Ariel Sharon.

This morning I watched Democracynow http://www.democracynow.org/ . The program was devoted to Sharon's legacy. According to the three guest professors, including Noam Chomsky, Sharon was a "war criminal" and "mass murderer".
One guest said that one of the Bush's and the New York Times called Sharon a "man of peace." The Oxford professor said that during his forty years studying the Israeli- Palestinian conflict, he had never discovered any evidence that Sharon was a "man of peace."

You can watch the program on the website.

Now I'll read some obituaries to see if Sharon was, on balance, a "man of peace" or a "mass murderer".

duszek
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Re: POLITICIZATION

Post by duszek » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:03 pm

That´s an example of the truth that words are not reliable.

If there is a conflict you can murder one of the two conflicting parties and thus make the war stop.
So in that sense a man can be a war criminal and a mass murderer and a man of peace at the same time.

When you say something about someone it is never a whole story, only a partial and biased one.

What was the perlocution behind the words chosen by the "New York Times" ?

(perlocution = what you wish to achieve by an act of speech, in this case flattery towards the right wing in Israel ??? )

tbieter
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Re: POLITICIZATION

Post by tbieter » Mon Jan 13, 2014 4:33 pm

duszek wrote:That´s an example of the truth that words are not reliable.

If there is a conflict you can murder one of the two conflicting parties and thus make the war stop.
So in that sense a man can be a war criminal and a mass murderer and a man of peace at the same time.

When you say something about someone it is never a whole story, only a partial and biased one.
What was the perlocution behind the words chosen by the "New York Times" ?
(perlocution = what you wish to achieve by an act of speech, in this case flattery towards the right wing in Israel ??? )
I don't know.

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