Apparently Rob Bell has come under the eternal condemnation of the you-know-whos for his recent statements in this new book which seem to point towards an evolving universalism in his thought. Now, I don’t really know the details, and I don’t plan on joining the discussion anytime soon. However, it is at times like these that I prefer, rather than point to Romans 5 or 1 Corinthians 15 or 2 Peter 3 or 1 Timothy 2 or John 12, to reference this as a sole, unilateral retort (just replace “homosexuality” with “exclusivism”):
If you’ve been following the news lately, then you’d be familiar with the recent protests in Wisconsin over goobernor Scott Walker’s (former teen idol and member of the Walker Brothers – wouldn’t it be just too perfect?) efforts to pass a bill effectively ending state public employees from collective bargaining efforts. In addition to the exciting nature of the protests themselves (students and teachers walking out of class together in solidarity seems a more unlikely pairing than Israeli-Palestinian in my mind), some of the public reactions to the protests have been telling – foremost of which includes Paul Ryan’s (of the “forenames only coalition” alongside Ron and Rand Paul, or FOCers) association of the Wisconsin situation with that of Cairo!
On the more positive front, everyone’s favorite bore-inducing linguist Noam Chomsky was on Democracy Now the other day keeping us all in a state of perpetual narcoleptic stasis. And foremost of all, Lenin’s Tomb has a really exceptional post (with plenty more links!) outlining some of the structural similarities between the ME uprisings and the beginnings of the Wisconsin phenomenon. Ultimately, as TPM hints at, this looks a lot more like a premeditated plan of accumulation by dispossession: enacting, either actively or passively, legislation that puts the state at a budget shortfall in order to justify massive cuts and the dissipation of worker’s rights as a moral act of “shared sacrifice.” Of course, the upper class still got their tax cuts.
Here is a very interesting essay by Jeremy Hight about the future (and past) of AR and some speculative ideas about how it might be used in the future to ‘augment’ the homogeneity of the digi-city.
I’m only very newly discovering this field of research, but I think there is immense potential for political engagement within the AR field. I don’t have many formulated thoughts right now, but will hopefully be thinking about this more in the near future and beyond.
Since we at SSA consider ourselves at least on the margins to be a philosophy blog, and since we’re centrally located in the community of those who enjoin themselves to think critically about the social function of religion, I though it necessary to direct the reader to recent commentary on the Egyptian revolution by contemporary philosophers. Here is Zizek on the Arab revolutionary spirit, and here is Badiou on riots and revolution, and just last week Peter Hallward commented on the return of the concept of “the will of the people” here. Lastly, the aforementioned Zizek was on Al-Jazeera with Tariq Ramadan yesterday in rare “all fired up” form. I found his brief comments (or “ravings”, if you will) to be a full endorsement of the generic secular. As Z himself put it: “they’re showing us how to do it.”