Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Democratizing enlightenment

by Zak Stein and Marc Gafni in the new issue of Spanda Journal (p. 93).  

We do need a new worldview to transcend and replace neoliberal capitalism, which has reached the end of its dominance. If we don't, we might indeed face the literal end of mankind, not just a metaphorical paradigm shift.
I also appreciate the emphasis on developing human potential as a measure of collective enlightenment, not just external measures like GDP or material possessions. And that technology in itself is not the savior. But in this need to emphasize development of internal consciousness I'm leery of its 'esoteric,' mystical framing as if said consciousness is from a divine source. Aurobindo is given as an example where the "divine super-mind descends" to meet humanities rising evolutionary development (94-95).

As discussed in my and Michel's paper (p. 85), this is still a holdover of metaphysical thinking. Yes, we can still posit a virtual domain but it is no longer framed in these metaphysical world-systems, to use their term. Now they do acknowledge that there are other ways to frame this such as how we have done. But they're more interested in these esoteric ways where people "awaken en masse" through a metaphysical, miraculous agency (95) via the likes of Aurobindo or Teilhard. And they call that post postmodern. It sounds more a carryover from pre- and modern metaphysics to me.

Granted we need a massive shift in consciousness to effect a world system change, but it will come from us enacting it, not waiting on deus ex machina. Or worse, some avatar and guru proclaiming they have received the message from God or the future and is willing to impart it to us all for a low, low price and/or our obedience and loyalty. This shift will come from us collaborating and participating in its enaction without need of skyhooks or enlightened ones.

If we don't learn the lessons of history

We are doomed to repeat them. It's why we once again need the sort of progressive movement FDR initiated. Obviously it can't be exactly the same, given the difference in time and circumstances. But the basic program of progressive populism is the way to defeat the rise once again of the ugly, festering plague known as neoliberalism.

Senator Warren: "The next step is single payer."

She's right, of course and as usual. We can't just oppose wealthcare. And we can't go back to Obamacare, since that was a Repugnantan idea to begin with. Warren says we have to stand up and fight for a progressive agenda, one with which the majority of Americans support. And that includes fighting for single-payer healthcare as the best way to proceed on the issue. It must be a key component to any progressive platform in the coming elections. And if Dimocrats won't play ball, then vote them out in primaries.

Colbert returns from Russia

And fills us in on his trip. Tramp has consistently denied any Russian meddling in our election until it came out that Obama knew about it.

Joseph & Huwer

Very creative and well executed performance last night. They're going through to the academy.

Jesse Graff going back to city finals on ANW

Wonder Woman does it again and completes enough of the course to go back to the city finals. However she just couldn't make it through the Rolling Thunder.

Koine Iwasaki on SYTYCD

Excellent performance last night. The musicality, choreography, emotional content, technique all came together for this talented artist moving on to the Academy.

Senator Warren on the CBO wealthcare report

She breaks it down simply, concisely and accurately what the bill is all about. If this is your vision for America then you must be either rich or brainwashed beyond repair.

David Brooks on wealthcare

He discusses how intellectual conservatives have a positive vision of America and have plans on how to implement it. But the Repugnantan Party has long since abandoned such visions and its only goal is power and money. A Brook's excerpt follows. See the article for much more.

"Because Republicans have no national vision, they seem largely uninterested in the actual effects their legislation would have on the country at large. This Senate bill would be completely unworkable because anybody with half a brain would get insurance only when they got sick.

"Worse, this bill takes all of the devastating trends afflicting the middle and working classes — all the instability, all the struggle and pain — and it makes them worse. As the C.B.O. indicated, the Senate plan would throw 22 million people off the insurance rolls. It would send them to private insurance plans that they could not afford to buy. Under the Senate bill, deductibles for poor families would be more than half of their annual income. The plans are so incompetently and cruelly designed that as the C.B.O. put it, 'few low-income people would purchase any plan.' This is not a conservative vision of American society. It’s a vision rendered cruel by its obliviousness."

Stigmatize those who truly deserve it