Pericles’ Funeral Oration and State Worship: Thucydidean Realism (3)

At the beginning of the Peloponnesian War, Athenian leader Pericles took the helm as first general and leader. His first two speeches exhort the Athenians to stay strong in war and praise Athens in the context of a funeral for the first to die. In his funeral speech, Pericles almost forgets the dead soldiers in his love panegyric to Athenian glory. The implications are discussed from the point of view of the general problem of state worship. … More Pericles’ Funeral Oration and State Worship: Thucydidean Realism (3)

The Realist View of Ukraine/Russia: John Mearsheimer on the “Thucydides View”

earlier series on John Maynard Keynes’s view of the aftermath of WWI and the failure of the Treaty of Versailles to create a lasting peace, the remarks of political scientist John Mearsheimer give a perspective on the Russia/Ukraine conflict that you won’t hear on the news. … More The Realist View of Ukraine/Russia: John Mearsheimer on the “Thucydides View”

The Realist View of Ukraine/Russia: John Mearsheimer on the “Thucydides View”

Resonating with my earlier series on John Maynard Keynes’s view of the aftermath of WWI and the failure of the Treaty of Versailles to create a lasting peace, the remarks of political scientist John Mearsheimer give a perspective on the Russia/Ukraine conflict that you won’t hear on the news. … More The Realist View of Ukraine/Russia: John Mearsheimer on the “Thucydides View”

Divine Imagination & Futuring (Brueggemann: Out of Babylon 4)

Chapter 4 of Walter Brueggemann’s Out of Babylon discusses the power of poetic imagination to create the conditions for change. Multiple views of God’s position relative to humans, and the human response to God are entertained in poetic language. Brueggemann emphasizes the latter as a strength that shows a way beyond the sectarian infighting that characterizes most religious sects and keeps those within them from being able to act positively to create a better future. The idea of a mutable God is discussed–a God who is able to change his mood and mind in response to changes in relationship to his human fold. In dealing with this kind of God, having a fertile imagination about the future is particularly important, as it fosters hope and cancels despair that tends to occur as people bow down to imperial economics and politics. … More Divine Imagination & Futuring (Brueggemann: Out of Babylon 4)

Against the Ideology of Certainty Besetting US Christians (Out of Babylon 3)

God’s will with the will of the nation and resolve morality into the aims of national power, or to choose the “local tradition” of adherence to God’s priorities even when they clash with the priorities and values of empire. The latter involves first recognizing that there is a necessary and unresolvable conflict between any national will and Judeo-Christian morality. Brueggemann asks, will the Christian church be a national church or will it be governed only by God? … More Against the Ideology of Certainty Besetting US Christians (Out of Babylon 3)

Migrants and Underemployment in Context: What’s Really Going On? (Precariat 5-Audio)

In this video, I discuss Ch. 4 of Guy Standing’s The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, which is on migration. Many in developed countries with large numbers of migrant laborers blame these laborers for taking jobs and reducing their economic prospects. Looking deeper, though, we see that they are there because globalized economic interests want the ultimate flexible and vulnerable labor pool and governments make sure they get them. Many leaders and parties talk about wanting their citizens to have good jobs but their actions and the results of their policies say otherwise. Ultimately no one wins in the current system, certainly not illegal migrants living in serfdom to survive. To get to the heart of the problem, we have to look at who/what benefits from large numbers of legal and illegal migrants. … More Migrants and Underemployment in Context: What’s Really Going On? (Precariat 5-Audio)

Migrants and Underemployment in Context: What’s Really Going On? (Precariat 5-video)

In this video, I discuss Ch. 4 of Guy Standing’s The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class, which is on migration. Many in developed countries with large numbers of migrant laborers blame these laborers for taking jobs and reducing their economic prospects. Looking deeper, though, we see that they are there because globalized economic interests want the ultimate flexible and vulnerable labor pool and governments make sure they get them. Many leaders and parties talk about wanting their citizens to have good jobs but their actions and the results of their policies say otherwise. Ultimately no one wins in the current system, certainly not illegal migrants living in serfdom to survive. To get to the heart of the problem, we have to look at who/what benefits from large numbers of legal and illegal migrants. … More Migrants and Underemployment in Context: What’s Really Going On? (Precariat 5-video)

What led to this? A Longer View (ft. Jacques Ellul, Sheldon Wolin, Wendy Brown) Audio

In the wake of the events of the past week, most notably Trump supporters storming the Capitol Building in Washington DC on January 6, 2021, I encourage viewers to take a bit of a step back and to consider the bigger picture. If we cannot attempt to see that bigger picture using a longer view we will be doomed to repeat our mistakes. Can we look past the outrage felt by so many to ask the question “What led us to this point?” If we can, we will take the first step towards fixing the problem, rather than either making it worse or simply putting a bandaid on it. In this reading of a section of Chapter 6 of my book Ideological Possession and the Rise of the New Right, I build on the thoughts of Jacques Ellul, Sheldon Wolin, and Wendy Brown. … More What led to this? A Longer View (ft. Jacques Ellul, Sheldon Wolin, Wendy Brown) Audio

What led to this? A Longer View (ft. Jacques Ellul, Sheldon Wolin, Wendy Brown) Video

In the wake of the events of the past week, most notably Trump supporters storming the Capitol Building in Washington DC on January 6, 2021, I encourage viewers to take a bit of a step back and to consider the bigger picture. If we cannot attempt to see that bigger picture using a longer view we will be doomed to repeat our mistakes. Can we look past the outrage felt by so many to ask the question “What led us to this point?” If we can, we will take the first step towards fixing the problem, rather than either making it worse or simply putting a bandaid on it. In this reading of a section of Chapter 6 of my book Ideological Possession and the Rise of the New Right, I build on the thoughts of Jacques Ellul, Sheldon Wolin, and Wendy Brown. … More What led to this? A Longer View (ft. Jacques Ellul, Sheldon Wolin, Wendy Brown) Video

What’s Wrong–Election Crisis 2020 (Premier tomorrow at 1 pm CT)

Weaving insights from Eugene McCarraher (The Enchantments of Mammon), my interview with Chris Cutrone, and another authors I’ve covered over the last couple of years, along with my understanding of the history of political thought and rudimentary economics, I try to take the long view of the current impasse between “conservatives” and “liberals” in the US which has led to yet another very close and deeply divided presidential election, made worse by escalating resentments, tensions and paranoia. Why are we here? What’s wrong? The answer is way deeper than even “the democrats don’t get it” (although they don’t). … More What’s Wrong–Election Crisis 2020 (Premier tomorrow at 1 pm CT)