Many authors today have often contrasted the power-to do things for people with power-over other people. Indeed, there is deep contrast between the use of our power in service of others and the use of our power to gain status for our selves or as a means of oppressing others for our own benefit and sense of worth.
Nevertheless, power-over is not in itself evil. Parents have power-over their children. This benefits the children, if such power is well used. Our political leaders (however they are selected) are granted power-over a wide scope of citizen life. Such political power can also be used in service of the citizenry, and such power can be misused very badly.
Power is an important factor in all social actions. As Paul Tillich spelled out in one of his most creative books, there is no Justice without Power and there is no Justice building Power or empowered Justice without Love (Tillich, Paul; Love, Power, and Justice).
Continue reading Power
Your vision of the world is your world,
until you find a better vision of the world.
In the four years preceding 2011, five unknown visionaries, Ben Ball, Marsha Buck, Ken Kreutziger, Alan Richard, and myself, wrote a book entitled “The Road from Empire to Eco-Democracy.” This book named ten positive trends toward a viable and promising future for humanity on planet Earth. Trumpism manifests the opposite of all ten of these trends. If there were a Trumpite book on such topics, it might be titled “The Retreat from Eco-Democracy to Anthropocentric Empire.”
I am going to name those ten trends examined in The Road and give names to Trumpism’s ten retreats that are reversing those positive trends.
Continue reading The Road and the Retreat
One of the lessons I have learned from the Old Testament prophets is how poetry is more powerful than prose to uncover the depth of our social ills. So I have attempted to write poems on social topics. I have called these “teaching poems,” for I do not pretend to specialize in the art form of poetry. Here is a poem on a topic that still characterizes the current news media.
I Love Politics
Ronald Reagan was wrong
to make “regulation” a curse word
and create disdain for government,
politics, and politicians.
I say, let us love politics
and piss on the private sector.
Let us make business obey the rules.
and let us create better rules—
stricter rules—and enforce them
Continue reading The Cry for Equity
People from many political backgrounds are expressing opposition to “rewarding” Hispanic workers who have broken U.S. immigration laws with anything that smells like “amnesty.” Their assumption is that this lawbreaking should be punished not overlooked. But lost from view in this perspective is the fact that we are talking about a set of very inappropriate laws. And the breakers of these laws are not only South-of-the-border workers, but those who hire them. All sorts of firms are glad to have these industrious workers dedicated to a better life for their families and willing to go the second mile to get it. Many families, including prominent politicians, hire “illegal” Hispanics to clean their houses and stay with their children. The lawbreaking, if that is what we must call it, is pandemic. And it has been going on for so long that these so-called laws are engulfed within a vast need to start over with a whole new set of laws. Continue reading Repenting for Some Bad Laws
The following is one of the most ridiculous ploys ever uttered in political speech: “Our military personnel who died in Iraq have died in vain if we do not stay and win.” If it is true that this war should never have been launched, then indeed, let us face it, these men and women have died in vain. And if this is so, it is not their fault; it is the fault of all those who have promoted this war, whether in or out of military service. Continue reading Dying in Vain – A Political Rant