AZspot

blue bits. red rocks.
☼   ☼      ☼   ☼
☼   ☼      ☼   ☼

The US economy currently produces roughly $200,000 for every family of four - even with high unemployment, even in stagnation. Viewed differently, this is the equivalent of roughly $100,000 for every family of four - and roughly a twenty hour work week. Technically speaking we have no economic problem; we have a political problem in managing the most powerful economy in the world. A restructured system could move rapidly toward a reduced work week, along with redistributive measures to alter the current radically unequal distributions of income and wealth. Alternatively, individuals might work longer hours, but take the equivalent amount of free time in several-month breaks, during which they could study, learn new skills, take up creative arts, or just vacation. These are not technical problems; they are political problems a serious next system could undertake to resolve if the structures of power that now block solutions were altered. Gar Alperovitz

☼   ☼      ☼   ☼
☼   ☼      ☼   ☼

This new mode of authoritarianism mimics a form of terrorism because it abstracts economics from ethics and social costs, makes a mockery of democracy, works to dismantle the welfare state, thrives on violence, undermines any public sphere not governed by market values and transforms people into commodities. American society’s rigid emphasis on unfettered individualism, competitiveness and flexibility displaces compassion, sharing and a concern for the welfare of others. In doing so, it dissolves crucial social bonds, weakens public trust and undermines the profound nature of social responsibility and its ensuing concern for others. In removing individuals from broader social obligations, it not only tears up social solidarities, it also promotes a kind of individual and collective psychosis that is pathological in its disdain for public goods, community, social provisions and public values. As Hannah Arendt argued, we live in a time of absolute meaninglessness, which is the foundation of absolute evil, all of which produces a monstrous form of politics. Of course, this monstrous politics is revealed not only in savage social policies and attacks on the poor, public servants, women and young people, but also in the inability of American society to react to the suffering of others. Put differently, the United States has dethroned any viable notion of politics committed to the promise of a sustainable democracy. We have given up on the notion of the common good, social justice and equality that has been replaced by the crude discourses of commerce and militarization. Henry A. Giroux

☼   ☼      ☼   ☼
☼   ☼      ☼   ☼
☼   ☼      ☼   ☼

When I think of the spiritual strength we cultivate with God and others through prayer, I think of the image of the mighty sequoia tree. One might think that the roots of this giant tree reach deep into the ground to anchor it. But in reality the roots of this tree are relatively shallow. It is said that this tree gathers the strength it needs to soar high above other trees by stretching its roots far and wide. Sometimes the roots spread out to encompass an entire acre. Along the way, the roots of one sequoia find the roots of another. These roots wrap around each other, connecting one tree to the next. And the next. And the next, until the entire forest of sequoias joins together in an interwoven system of support buried beneath the surface. When strong winds blow and storms seek to topple them, it is the strength of these interconnected roots that holds the trees upright. The Spirituality of Nonviolence

☼   ☼      ☼   ☼

These are the roots of the lie. Here it is—plain and simple: Black people are not fully human. In most crass terms—they are animals. Lisa Sharon Harper

☼   ☼      ☼   ☼
☼   ☼      ☼   ☼

Both historical and contemporary research suggests that Thoreau was wrong; the government that governs least does not govern best, whether the criterion is promoting the general welfare or promoting individual liberty. This does not mean that the converse is true, that maximal government is best. There appears to be a reasonable balancing point. We Americans seem to be below that reasonable point, and libertarianism threatens to drive us further down. Of course, Rand’s John Galt wouldn’t give a damn. Libertarianism Is Very Strange

☼   ☼      ☼   ☼

I keep coming back to what seems to me to be the most inhumane thing of all, the inhumane thing that happened before the rage began to rise, and before the backlash began to build, and before the cameras and television lights, and before the tear gas and the stun grenades and the chants and the prayers. I keep coming back to the one image that was there before the international event began, before it became a television show and a symbol in flames and something beyond what it was in the first place. I keep coming back to one simple moment, one ghastly fact. One image, from which all the other images have flowed. They left the body in the street. Charles P. Pierce

☼   ☼      ☼   ☼

Today the world is on the brink of ruin because the Church refuses to be the Church, because we Christians have been deceiving ourselves and the non-Christian world about the truth of Christ. There is no way to follow Christ, to love as Christ loved, and simultaneously to kill other people. It is a lie to say that the spirit that moves the trigger of a flamethrower is the Holy Spirit. It is a lie to say that learning to kill is learning to be Christ-like. It is a lie to say that learning to drive a bayonet into the heart of another is motivated from having put on the mind of Christ. Militarized Christianity is a lie. It is radically out of conformity with the teaching, life, and spirit of Jesus. The Chaplain who Blessed the Hiroshima Bombers, Repents

☼   ☼      ☼   ☼
☼   ☼      ☼   ☼

A GNT creation ©2007–2014