JR Test Site News for 01-16-2018

Jay-Z, Lady Gaga and Why A Zen Capitalist Started ‘The Enlightened Wealth Revolution’

Working for a free and prosperous world

The Jews owe an enormous debt to free enterprise and competitive capitalism. Two propositions can be readily demonstrated: first, the Jews owe an enormous debt to free enterprise and competitive capitalism; second, for at least the past century the Jews have been consistently opposed to capitalism and have done much on an ideological level to undermine it. Jews prospered in it for that reason and also because they had a comparative advantage arising from the Church’s views on usury, the dispersion of Jews throughout the world, and their usefulness to ruling monarchs precisely because of the isolation of the Jews from the rest of the community. Compare the experience of the Jews in banking, that I have referred to, with their experience in retail trade, which has been almost a prototype of the textbook image of perfect competition and free entry. How can we reconcile my two propositions? Why is it that despite the historical record of the benefits of competitive capitalism to the Jews, despite the intellectual explanation of this phenomenon that is implicit or explicit in all liberal literature from at least Adam Smith on, the Jews have been disproportionately anti-cap- italist? Lawrence Fuchs, in a highly superficial analysis of The Political Behavior of American Jews, argues that the anticapitalism of the Jews is a direct reflection of values derived from the Jewish religion and culture. Wrote Sombart, “Throughout the centuries, the Jews championed the cause of individual liberty in economic activity against the dominating view of the time. The individual was not to be hampered by regulations of any sort. I think that the Jewish religion has the same leading ideas as capitalism …. The whole religious system is in reality nothing but a contract between Jehovah and his chosen people …. God promises something and gives something, and the righteous must give Him something in return. Indeed, there was no community of interest between God and man which could not be expressed in these terms-that man performs some duty enjoined by the Torah and receives from God a quid pro quo.” A more balanced judgment than either Fuchs’ or Sombart’s with which I am in full accord is rendered by Nathan Glazer, who writes, “It is hard to see direct links with Jewish tradition in these attitudes;… One thing is sure: it is an enormous oversimplification to say Jews in Eastern Europe became socialists and anarchists because the Hebrew prophets had denounced injustice twenty-five hundred years ago…. The Jewish religious tradition probably does dispose Jews, in some subtle way, toward liberalism and radicalism, but it is not easy to see in present-day Jewish social attitudes the heritage of the Jewish religion.” A second simple explanation is that the Jewish anti-capitalist mentality simply reflects the general tendency for intellectuals to be anti-capitalist plus the disproportionate representation of Jews among intellectuals. Competitive capitalism has permitted Jews to flourish economically and culturally because it has prevented anti-Semites from imposing their values on others, and from discriminating against Jews at other people’s expense. Cohn’s argument goes far to explain the important role that Jewish intellectuals played in the Marxist and socialist movement, the almost universal acceptance of “Democratic socialism” by the European Jews in the Zionist movement, particularly those who emigrated to Palestine, and the socialist sentiment among the German Jewish immigrants to the United States of the mid-nineteenth century and the much larger flood of East European Jews at the turn of the century. To justify itself by more than the reference to the alleged role of the Jews in Christ’s crucifixion, anti-Semitism produced a stereotype of a Jew as primarily interested in money, as a merchant or moneylender who put commercial interests ahead of human values, who was money-grasping, cunning, selfish and greedy, who would “Jew” you down and insist on his pound of flesh. As Jews left their closed ghettoes and shtetls and came into contact with the rest of the world, they inevitably came to accept and share the values of that world, the values that looked down on the “Merely” commercial, that regarded money-lenders with contempt. Can this record not be interpreted as an attempt, no doubt wholly subconscious, to demonstrate to the world that the commonly accepted stereotype of the Jews is false? I conclude then that the chief explanations for the anti-capitalist mentality of the Jews are the special circumstances of nineteenth-century Europe which linked pro-market parties with established religions and so drove Jews to the Left, and the subconscious attempts by Jews to demonstrate to themselves and the world the fallacy of the anti-Semitic stereotype.

Keywords: [“Jew”,”Jewish”,”Capitalism”]
Source: https://fee.org/articles/capitalism-and-the-jews

Capitalism & Racism

The very concept of “Race,” and the ideology and practice of racism are relatively modern. The whole concept of “Races” within the human species is not based on physical reality, but is rather a purely ideological construction. Over the past 50 years biologists have come to the conclusion that there is no scientific means of categorizing human beings by “Race.” What are taken as distinct “Races” are in reality arbitrary divisions of humanity on the basis of skin color and other secondary physical features. “85 percent turns out to be between individuals within the same local population, tribe, or nation; a further 8 percent is between tribes or nations within a major ‘race’; and the remaining 7 percent is between major ‘races.’ That means that the genetic variation between one Spaniard and another, or between one Masai and another, is 85 percent of all human genetic variation….” -Stephen Rose et al. The absence of any scientific basis for distinguishing one “Race” from another makes the whole concept meaningless. As Richard Fraser, a veteran American Trotskyist, pointed out in “The Negro Struggle and the Proletarian Revolution,” a document written in the 1950s and recently republished, race remains “a reality in spite of the fact that science reveals that it does not exist.” Fraser wrote that: “The concept of race has now been overthrown in biological science. But race as the keystone of exploitation remains. Race is a social relation and has only a social reality.” The influence, clarity and sophistication of these “Reasons” increased over the next several centuries, until by the 19th century, “Race” was widely seen as the key determinant of human history. ‘Scientific’ Racism in the 1800s…. By the end of the 19th century, the proposition, “Biology determines destiny” was scientific orthodoxy, and prominent scientists such as Louis Agassiz, Samuel Morton, Robert Knox, Herbert Spencer and Ernst Haeckel were busy devising hierarchies of the races in which the “European,” or often more specifically “Anglo-Saxon”, were placed at the top, with the other “Inferior” races ranked beneath them. Agassiz, a Harvard professor who was America’s foremost zoologist of the 19th century, claimed that “The brain of the negro is that of the imperfect brain of a seven months infant in the womb of the white.” A whole range of quack sciences such as phrenology and craniometry arose to measure and quantify the differences among individuals as well as races. “The race called Hottentots [are] a simple, feeble race of men, living in little groups, almost in families, tending their fat-tailed sheep and dreaming away their lives. Of a dirty yellow colour, they slightly resemble the Chinese, but are clearly of a different blood. The face is set on like a baboon’s; cranium small but good; jaws very large; feet and hands small; eyes linear in form and of great power; forms generally handsome; hideous when old and never pretty; lazier than an Irishwoman, which is saying much; and of a blood different and totally distinct from all the rest of the world.” -Robert Knox. The Races of Man: A Philosophical Enquiry into the Influence of Race over the Destinies of Nations. While there was a definite ordering of “Races” among whites, in general the “Fairer races” were destined to conquer and supersede the “Darker races”: “Before the go-ahead Dutchmen it was easy to see that this puny, pygmy, miserable race must retire….” To Knox and his contemporaries it was axiomatic that race was a determining force in history. “According to the anthropologist McGrigor Allan in 1869, ‘The type of the female skull approaches in many respects that of the infant, and still more that of the lower races.”‘ As an example of the pervasiveness of such attitudes the authors of Not In Our Genes quote Charles Darwin, the greatest scientist of the 19th century, as remarking: “Some at least of those mental traits in which women may excel are traits characteristic of the lower races.” Liberals, who dismiss such absurdities as evidence of the scientific backwardness of that age, and comfort themselves with the thought that such vicious ignorance has been transcended, fail to see how, at every stage, science is conditioned by the prejudices of the existing social order. Today mainstream science tends to reject race as anything other than a social construct. The Japanese capitalists are no better with their depiction of North American workers as lazy and indigent, and their tendency to attribute the decline of U.S. capitalism to race mixing.

Keywords: [“Race”,”racism”,”work”]
Source: http://www.bolshevik.org/1917/no12/no12capitalismandracism.html

JR Test Site News for 01-16-2018

The French Revolution: Crash Course World History #29

Critical Thinking and Class Analysis: Historical Materialism and Social Theory

Because capitalist social relations are qualitatively different from other historical forms of social organization – as different from all other forms of class society as class society is from non-class society – they mark a terminal point to the development of class exploitation. Far from being understood as an integral element of historical materialist social theory, the qualitative difference between capitalist and pre-capitalist class relationships stressed by Marx is not even incorporated into most approaches to class analysis. Ironically Marxists on the whole have probably paid less attention to the nature of Marx’s historical materialism than have non-Marxist social theorists, and very few of either have recognized in its fundamentally critical character his most original contribution to social theory. Very few have given serious consideration to the central importance of a truly historical conception of social development – one not rooted anachronistically in the presuppositions of contemporary social life – to Marx’s critical theoretical project. These theoretical elements have been incorporated both at the level of concrete social categories and in the central paradigm of what is taken to constitute Marxist historical social theory. This allegedly historical theory is inherently unable to depict the social forms and relationships of capitalist society as anything other than natural and inevitable products of social evolution, based on seemingly timeless principles drawn from capitalist social experience in the first place. The method of historical materialism is grounded in critical confrontation with social thought that takes for granted the world as it is. 8 Liberal social thought emerged to give novel articulation and intellectual systematization to these new capitalist relationships, and at the same time constructed a new conception of history as progress to conform with them.9 In the context of this new form of social structure, and the new forms of social theory based upon it, the foundation of Marx’s social theory must be recognized to lie not merely in a critique of the legitimation of contemporary capitalist social relations by liberal social theory, but in a more basic critique of the ways in which modern social thought adopts from liberalism a conception of the economy and of social progress through processes of economic development. Since the political economy of Smith’s later Wealth of Nations, liberal social theory has inclined strongly away from the original historical concept of progress as a process of qualitative social transformation. The German Ideology contains a great deal that is insightful on the relationship of consciousness to social existence, and The Communist Manifesto not only remains a stirring polemic, but it contains a famous, key formulation of precisely the sort of analysis that is central to historical materialism: “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.”67 Rather than being the story of economic progress, history is a record of the oppressive alienation of labour for the majority, over many centuries, and of their struggles against it. To the extent that Marxists fail to recognize the ways in which the critique of liberal social thought provides a foundation for historical materialism, they are doomed to conceive of a Marxism that combines the critical rejection of political economy’s view of capitalism, with an account of how and why capitalism came about that is drawn directly from the liberal conceptual framework which underlies political economy. 74 Rather, different specific historical conditions have created different possibilities for structured processes of social development, which must always take form through the interaction of people who are shaped by history and society, but who make history and society in turn.75 It was indeed precisely in the claim that the social development of capitalism was not necessary, natural, and universal – even within the confines of the history of Western Europe – but peculiar and historically specific to England, that Robert Brenner helped lay the foundation for recovering the historical materialism of Marx’s thought in opposition to the economic determinism of Marxist theory. It is our claim that only in England was the underlying system of social reproduction itself fundamentally transformed into a market system: first in agriculture, dissolving the normative structures of social reproduction in traditional peasant communities; and then in industry, through the extension of new social relationships, and through the effects of productivity increases in agriculture and the social dislocation of the rural population. Finally, historical materialist class analysis has something to say about the very question of the origins of modern social theory. On Weber’s commitment to marginal utility theory as a basic principle of social analysis, see his essay “Marginal Utility Theory and the ‘Fundamental Law of Psychophysics’,” Social Science Quarterly 56, 21-36.

Keywords: [“social”,”society”,”historical”]
Source: http://sdonline.org/61/critical-thinking-and-class-analysis-historical…

Weber, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft, T¨ ubingen 1922, 633-4 Andrew J. PerrinSociology 250 Max Weber: Modernity and the Role of Ideas October 1, 2013 12 / 47 Marx and Weber Andrew J. PerrinSociology 250 Max Weber: Modernity and the Role of Ideas October 1, 2013 13 / 47 Freeman and slave, patrician and plebeian, lord and serf, guild-master and journeyman, in a word, oppressor and oppressed, stood in constant opposition to one another, carried on an uninterrupted, now hidden, now open fight, a fight that each time ended, either in a revolutionary re-constitution of society at large, or in the common ruin of the contending classes. Rew J. PerrinSociology 250 Max Weber: Modernity and the Role of Ideas October 1, 2013 14 / 47 Setting Up the Great Clash the Bourgeoisie… has simplified the class antagonisms: Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two classes directly facing each other: Bourgeoisie and Proletariat. Rew J. PerrinSociology 250 Max Weber: Modernity and the Role of Ideas October 1, 2013 17 / 47 … a religious man is said to make himself ready for the reception of the all-important grasp of the meaning of the world and of his own existence. Rew J. PerrinSociology 250 Max Weber: Modernity and the Role of Ideas October 1, 2013 20 / 47 very frequently the ‘world images’ that have been created by ‘ideas’ have, like switchmen, determined the tracks along which action has been pushed by the dynamic of interest. Rew J. PerrinSociology 250 Max Weber: Modernity and the Role of Ideas October 1, 2013 24 / 47 labour produces for the rich wonderful things-but for the worker it produces privation. Rew J. PerrinSociology 250 Max Weber: Modernity and the Role of Ideas October 1, 2013 25 / 47 The worker therefore only feels himself outside his work, and in his work feels outside himself. Rew J. PerrinSociology 250 Max Weber: Modernity and the Role of Ideas October 1, 2013 29 / 47 A class must be formed which has radical chains… which has a universal character because its sufferings are universal…. This… is the proletariat. Rew J. PerrinSociology 250 Max Weber: Modernity and the Role of Ideas October 1, 2013 30 / 47 the direction in which the individual worker is likely to pursue his interests may vary widely…. In any case, a class does not in itself constitute a community. Rew J. PerrinSociology 250 Max Weber: Modernity and the Role of Ideas October 1, 2013 31 / 47 the worker sinks to the level of a commodity and becomes indeed the most wretched of commodities;… finally the distinction between capitalist and land-rentier… disappears and the whole of society must fall apart into two classes-the property-owners and the propertyless workers. Rew J. PerrinSociology 250 Max Weber: Modernity and the Role of Ideas October 1, 2013 33 / 47 … the market and its processes ‘knows no personal distinctions’: ‘functional’ interests dominate it. Rew J. PerrinSociology 250 Max Weber: Modernity and the Role of Ideas October 1, 2013 35 / 47 The management of the office follows general rules, which are more or less stable, more or less exhaustive, and which can be learned…. The authority to order certain matters by decree… only to regulate the matter abstractly. Rew J. PerrinSociology 250 Max Weber: Modernity and the Role of Ideas October 1, 2013 36 / 47 “Economically conditioned” power is not, of course, identical with “Power” as such. Rew J. PerrinSociology 250 Max Weber: Modernity and the Role of Ideas October 1, 2013 37 / 47 The class situation and other circumstances remaining the same, the direction in which the individual worker is likely to pursue his interests may vary widely…. The emergence of an association or even of mere social action from a common class situation is by no means a universal phenomenon. Rew J. PerrinSociology 250 Max Weber: Modernity and the Role of Ideas October 1, 2013 39 / 47 The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas. Rew J. PerrinSociology 250 Max Weber: Modernity and the Role of Ideas October 1, 2013 40 / 47 A developed sense of responsibility is absolutely indispensable…. it is necessary to have a frame of mind that emancipates the worker… from a constant question: …. how is the accustomed wage nonetheless to be maintained? This frame of mind, if it manages to uproot the worker from this concern, motivates labor as if labor were an absolute end in itself, or a “Calling.” The Protestant Ethic Andrew J. PerrinSociology 250 Max Weber: Modernity and the Role of Ideas October 1, 2013 41 / 47 The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.

Keywords: [“Ideas”,”Weber”,”PerrinSociology”]
Source: http://perrin.socsci.unc.edu/stuff/marxweber-slides.pdf

JR Test Site News for 01-16-2018

Slavoj Žižek. The Buddhist Ethic and the Spirit of Global Capitalism. 2012

ENLIGHTENMENT, THE The Enlightenment was an intellectual movement that originated in the 17th and 18th centuries in Europe and America giving birth to the vision of an “Age of reason” not only for Western civilization, but for humanity as a whole. Definitions The most famous definition of Enlightenment is that of German philosopher Immanuel Kant: “Enlightenment is man’s emergence from his self-imposed immaturity. Immaturity is the inability to use one’s understanding without guidance from another. This immaturity is self-imposed when its cause lies not in lack of reason, but in lack of resolve and courage to use it without guidance from another. Sapere Aude! ‘Have courage to use your own understanding!’- that is the motto of enlightenment”. As the interweaving ideology underlying all these aspects which together constituted modernity as we know it, the Enlightenment stays until today at the center of the modern Western mindset and of the knowledge societies produced by it. Their understanding of “Enlightenment” often goes back to the dawn of human history and is thus in many ways older than the Enlightenment propagated by the West. Taken as a whole, the term Enlightenment comprises three meanings historically closely connected with each other: the – mainly Western – utopia of a open, participatory and free society, driven by technology and a rational, secular and tolerant mindset, a stage of development of Western civilization, a specific state of mind of individuals or groups. In the epoch of globalization, there is a tendency that the different-but in many regards complementary-notions of Western and non-Western Enlightenment that during the imperialistic phases of Western expansion were often in conflict are becoming increasingly interweaved into each other in the framework of cross-civilizational economic, political and social processes. Proto-spiritual origins of the enlightened mindset It has been often overseen though that such attempts have a long history mainly in the West, based on the proto-spiritual origins of Western Enlightenment itself, which were subsequently removed in the process of its unfolding, and on the always existing criticisms directed against the sometimes one-sided application of secularization and modernization. Since the 1980s, the discussion about how to move the ideas of Enlightenment forward into the age of globalization has ignited a vivid debate between modernists and postmodernists if Enlightenment is an unfinished project that can be further developed and adapted to globalization by working on a meta-cultural ethics of discourse and communicability, as well as on the idea of world citizenship; or if its adaption requires overcoming most of its basic features by “Deconstructing” its foundations and moving towards an “Aesthetics of the Self” oriented rather towards basic traits of the Greek civilization than to modernity or towards an alleged “Other” of the implicit Eurocentrism and Logocentrism of Enlightenment that has still to be defined. Is there an African Enlightenment? Or is there a specific Latin American Enlightenment, tied to liberation theology? Additionally, scholars like Wei Zhang have posed the question, “Can China answer Kant’s question of what is Enlightenment?” Since this question is closely connected with democracy and liberty, human rights, personal freedom and pluralism, it becomes a core issue of democratization and government in theory and practice also for new superpowers like China and India. As U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton announced in a Foreign Affairs contribution of November-December 2010, the future of Enlightenment as a basic form of thought of political freedom and democracy may evolve towards “Leading through civilian power”-that means towards making Enlightenment “From below,” i.e., through contextual politics of cultural psychology and worldview supremacy-the new political and democratic power strategy of the West by the means of the arising global civil society. Accordingly, there is a new rise of Enlightenment as a secular, rational, protospiritual and pluralistic endeavor, conceived as the main alternative to the global “Turn of religion” as a metaphysical, nonrational, confessional, hierarchical and monistic worldview. Enlightenment today is conceived less ideologically and more pragmatically by civil society liberatory movements, for example in the form of liberation technologies like mobile phones, democratically conceived computer-ownership or unconditioned Internet-access for everybody that empower individuals across the world by granting them access to global networks, the respective knowledge and thus to qualification. Currently, attempts are made to mitigate the impact of competing modernities on globalization through the renewal of the concept of Enlightenment as a lead term allegedly pointing towards a new world ethos or global ethics. In the framework of globalized migration processes, there is for example a vivid discussion if the notion of tolerance should be replaced by the notion of hospitality in order to overcome its implicit contradiction of devaluating the one that is being tolerated, typical for the inner contradictions of Western Enlightenment between aspiration and reality. To which extent the American and European civilizations may continue to function as worldwide homogenizators towards such a global enlightenment by proposing an enlightened lifestyle as role model of a good life is disputed.

Keywords: [“ENLIGHTENMENT”,”global”,”Western”]
Source: http://fsi.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/Enlightenment.pdf

JR Test Site News for 01-15-2018

Gregg Kennard speaks pt. 1…conversation between the “haves” & “have nots””

Habermas, the Public Sphere, and Democracy: A Critical Intervention

His study The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere was published in 1962 and contrasted various forms of an active, participatory bourgeois public sphere in the heroic era of liberal democracy with the more privatized forms of spectator politics in a bureaucratic industrial society in which the media and elites controlled the public sphere. The two major themes of the book include analysis of the historical genesis of the bourgeois public sphere, followed by an account of the structural change of the public sphere in the contemporary era with the rise of state capitalism, the culture industries, and the increasingly powerful positions of economic corporations and big business in public life. After delineating the idea of the bourgeois public sphere, public opinion, and publicity, Habermas analyzes the social structures, political functions, and concept and ideology of the public sphere, before depicting the social-structural transformation of the public sphere, changes in its public functions, and shifts in the concept of public opinion in the concluding three chapters. The public sphere consisted of organs of information and political debate such as newspapers and journals, as well as institutions of political discussion such as parliaments, political clubs, literary salons, public assemblies, pubs and coffee houses, meeting halls, and other public spaces where socio-political discussion took place. What Habermas called the “Bourgeois public sphere” consisted of social spaces where individuals gathered to discuss their common public affairs and to organize against arbitrary and oppressive forms of social and public power. While in the bourgeois public sphere, public opinion, on Habermas’s analysis, was formed by political debate and consensus, in the debased public sphere of welfare state capitalism, public opinion is administered by political, economic, and media elites which manage public opinion as part of systems management and social control. Habermas describes a transition from the liberal public sphere which originated in the Enlightenment and the American and French Revolution to a media-dominated public sphere in the current era of what he calls “Welfare state capitalism and mass democracy.” This historical transformation is grounded, as noted, in Horkheimer and Adorno’s analysis of the culture industry, in which giant corporations have taken over the public sphere and transformed it from a sphere of rational debate into one of manipulative consumption and passivity. In Habermas’s words: “Inasmuch as the mass media today strip away the literary husks from the kind of bourgeois self-interpretation and utilize them as marketable forms for the public services provided in a culture of consumers, the original meaning is reversed. Habermas offered tentative proposals to revitalize the public sphere by setting”in motion a critical process of public communication through the very organizations that mediatize it”. A visit to the Hull House in Chicago reveals the astonishing interventions into the public sphere of Jane Adams and her colleagues in developing forms and norms of public housing, health, education, welfare, rights and reforms in the legal and penal system, and public arts. Although Habermas concludes Transformations with extensive quotes from Mills’ Power Elite on the metamorphosis of the public into a mass in the contemporary media/consumer society, I have not been able to find in the vast literature on Habermas’s concept of the public sphere discussion of the significance of Mills’ work for Habermas’s analysis of the structural transformation of the public sphere. Obviously, Habermas is an exemplary public intellectual, intervening in the public sphere in many crucial issues of the past decades, writing tirelessly on contemporary political events, criticizing what he sees as dangerous contemporary forms of conservativism and irrationalism, and in general fighting the good fight and constructing himself as a major public intellectual of the day, as well as world-class philosopher and social theorist. Since writing is his medium of choice and print media is his privileged site of intervention, I would imagine that Habermas downplays broadcasting and other communication media, the Internet and new spheres of public debate, and various alternative public spheres in part because he does not participate in these media and arenas himself and partly because, as I am suggesting, the categorical distinctions in his theory denigrate these domains in contrast to the realms of communicative action and the lifeworld. The difference between a state-controlled public broadcasting system contrasted to a more commercial model has, of course, itself collapsed in the era of globalization where commercially-based cable television has marginalized public broadcasting in most countries and where in a competitive media environment even public broadcasting corporations import popular, mostly American, entertainment, and are geared more toward ratings than political indoctrination, or enlightenment. These developments, connected primarily with multimedia and computer technologies, require a reformulation and expansion of the concept of the public sphere – as well as our notions of the critical or committed intellectual and notion of the public intellectual. My argument has been that radio, television, and other electronic modes of communication were creating new public spheres of debate, discussion, and information; hence, activists and intellectuals who wanted to engage the public, to be where the people were at, and who thus wanted to intervene in the public affairs of their society should make use of these technologies and develop communication politics and new media projects.

Keywords: [“Public”,”Sphere”,”media”]
Source: http://pages.gseis.ucla.edu/faculty/kellner/papers/habermas.htm

JR Test Site News for 01-15-2018

Thomas Sowell – From Marxism to Capitalism

Age Of Enlightenment

The resounding call to reason which has been the battle cry of the Enlightenment is by now no more than a reverberating call to identify with the privileged reason of modernity – that of the market. REASON AND RELIGION through a genealogical study of the historico-material and theoretical terrains that have lent currency to such a discursive oppositionality while paying attention to the concrete strategies of its deployment as well as consequences to the possibility of truly. Throughout the semester, the course will show how the diverse pursuits, reflections and theoretical engagements of modern and contemporary political theorists are underpinned by a struggle to define the boundary of the religious and the non-religious with the aim of securing and guarding the freedom promised by the modern conceptualization of reason. At the heart of the course is a sustained and systematic effort as well as invitation to approach religion – that is, to consciously nurture and performatively cultivate a disciplinary form of subjectivity capable of making such an approach – and then to be possessed by religion – that, is to think about the present, about oneself and one’s relations as a subject of and constituted by religion. It entails asking first – who is making this approach? How has the one approaching religion been constituted as a subject and how has this subject come to know one’s subjectivity as such via one’s position in relation to religion? The course will argue that the constitution of contemporary political subjectivity along the discourses of consumerism andcoloniality has adversely influenced the ability of the modern subject to approach religion – that is, to consider the rationality and reasonableness of a religious approach to living in the world and with others. Central to these discourses is the reproduction of the ideology of secularism and its attendant constitution of religion as a moralizing rationality thus legitimizing religion’s occlusion from the world of public life while at the same time politicizing it to serve purposes other than theologically and ecclesiologically authorized ones. Thus, the critical motif of approaching religion via one’s engagement with the world and with others is viewed in this course as a liturgical celebration – a simultaneous affirmation of commonality and difference, a productive agonism that resists solipsism and atomism, a communion with the world that is truly revolutionary. Here, to be possessed by religion does not entail the abandonment of the self but in fact demands a heightened and deliberate awareness of the self’s encounters that allows the self to come into being rather than to declare its finality, that is a rejection of an apocalyptic conception of the self and the world and its place through acts and gestures of receptivity to the eschatological moment of reason, the triumph of an enlightened form of thinking that is able to appreciate the public, stabilizing and grounded positionality of each other rather than the invisible, arbitrary and irrationality of hierarchies brought about by a false sense of rationality – a longing, a desire to long. A student conference entitled, “Moving from the Critique of Religion towards Religion as Critique” will be held two weeks before the semester’s scheduled final examinations during which students will be presenting their work to a public audience. NOVEMBER 8, 10, 15 and 17 Why is the Enlightenment’s concept of reason and appeal to the use of reason selfdefeating and incapable of animating, building and sustaining communal existence? How did the Enlightenment distort the meaning of reason and how has it shaped our contemporary political vocabulary? How did truth become publicly inaccessible in the way the Enlightenment understood it? To what extent can invocations and appeal to truth still make sense, and in fact, necessary in order to acknowledge and endorse the reality of human differences? Why is the use of religious reason not grounded on moral imperatives but guided by tradition? Why is violence the result of a form of reason that is no longer bound with tradition? Why did the logic of property and the language of the economy become the prevailing constructs of Enlightenment rationality? Why can these constructs not fulfill the tasks of reason and as such only serve to betray reason? Why are the human capacities to desire and to reason not incompatible? What ways of understanding each would render them in opposition or contradiction? How did the historical-material conditions of the industrial capitalist age pervert the human capacity to desire? Why did capitalism emerge, how does it operate and how did it change the way religion was understood? Why is capitalism inherently exploitative? How does it conceal its exploitative tendencies? Why and how can religion not become complicit in the concealment, reproduction and legitimation of the exploitative nature of capitalism? How is capitalism involved in preventing critics of the consequences of capitalist accumulation from realizing the capacity of religion to pose a serious challenge to the capitalist system? Why is a class approach to the study of society compatible with a religious form of subjectivity? Ellen Meiksins-Wood. “Hunger,”Something in a Dream,” “God of Hope,” Thing-ForUs” in The Frankfurt School on Religion ed. Why would the delegitimization and suppression of the authority of religion over its subjects lead to the rise of totalitarianism? Why is religion’s insistence on the uniqueness of the human person a powerful antidote against totalitarian terror and ideology? How does religion provide a guard against escaping the pluralistic and deeply conflictual realm of worldly existence? Why do appeals to and invocations of the law today share in the logic of totalitarianism? Why is a formal account of state power inadequate in understanding the manner through which the interests of capitalism are reproduced and legitimized? Why should revolutionaries pay attention to the production of knowledge and why is the production as well as deployment of knowledge linked with the historico-material constitution of the dominant social order? Why and how can the disciplinary regimes and technologies of religion be conceptualized and utilized in the critique of capitalist modernity? Why and how can the body become a political strategy for resisting the normalizing gaze of capitalist modernity?

Keywords: [“RELIGION”,”reason”,”how”]
Source: https://www.scribd.com/document/71290176/Syllabus

JR Test Site News for 01-15-2018

Jesse Ribot: land and capitalism


“I’ll say nothing against him. At one time the whites in the United States called him a racialist, and extremist, and a Communist. Then the Black Muslims came along and the whites thanked the Lord for Martin Luther King.”. “The goal has always been the same, with the approaches to it as different as mine and Dr. Martin Luther King’s non-violent marching, that dramatizes the brutality and the evil of the white man against defenseless blacks. And in the racial climate of this country today, it is anybody’s guess which of the”extremes” in approach to the black man’s problems might personally meet a fatal catastrophe first – “non-violent” Dr. King, or so-called “violent” me. “If violence is wrong in America, violence is wrong abroad. If it is wrong to be violent defending black women and black children and black babies and black men, then it is wrong for America to draft us, and make us violent abroad in defense of her. And if it is right for America to draft us, and teach us how to be violent in defense of her, then it is right for you and me to do whatever is necessary to defend our own people right here in this country.” “I’ve never seen a sincere white man, not when it comes to helping black people. Usually things like this are done by white people to benefit themselves. The white man’s primary interest is not to elevate the thinking of black people, or to waken black people, or white people either. The white man is interested in the black man only to the extent that the black man is of use to him. The white man’s interest is to make money, to exploit.” “I can’t turn around without hearing about some ‘civil rights advance’! White people seem to think the black man ought to be shouting ‘hallelujah’! Four hundred years the white man has had his foot-long knife in the black man’s back – and now the white man starts to wiggle the knife out, maybe six inches! The black man’s supposed to be grateful? Why, if the white man jerked the knife out, it’s still going to leave a scar!”. “When you go to a church and you see the pastor of that church with a philosophy and a program that’s designed to bring black people together and elevate black people, join that church! If you see where the NAACP is preaching and practising that which is designed to make black nationalism materialize, join the NAACP. Join any kind of organization-civic, religious, fraternal, political or otherwise-that’s based on lifting… the black man up and making him master of his own community.” “There can be no black-white unity until there is first some black unity…. We cannot think of uniting with others, until after we have first united among ourselves. We cannot think of being acceptable to others until we have first proven acceptable to ourselves.” “The white man knows what a revolution is. He knows that the Black Revolution is worldwide in scope and in nature. The Black Revolution is sweeping Asia, is sweeping Africa, is rearing its head in Latin America. The Cuban Revolution – that’s a revolution. They overturned the system. Revolution is in Asia, revolution is in Africa, and the white man is screaming because he sees revolution in Latin America. How do you think he’ll react to you when you learn what a real revolution is?”. “I’m not going to sit at your table and watch you eat, with nothing on my plate, and call myself a diner. Sitting at the table doesn’t make you a diner, unless you eat some of what’s on that plate. Being here in America doesn’t make you an American…. No I’m not an American, I’m one of the 22 million black people who are the victims of Americanism. One of the 22 million black people who are the victims of democracy, nothing but disguised hypocrisy…. I’m speaking as a victim of this American system. And I see America through the eyes of a victim. I don’t see any American dream; I see an American nightmare.” “One of the things that made the Black Muslim movement grow was its emphasis upon things African. This was the secret to the growth of the Black Muslim movement. African blood, African origin, African culture, African ties. And you’d be surprised – we discovered that deep within the subconscious of the black man in this country, he is still more African than he is American.” “We, the Black masses, don’t want these leaders who seek our support coming to us representing a certain political party. They must come to us today as Black Leaders representing the welfare of Black people. We won’t follow any leader today who comes on the basis of political party. Both parties are controlled by the same people who have abused our rights, and who have deceived us with false promises every time an election rolls around.” “I may say that I don’t think it should ever be put upon a black man, I don’t think the burden to defend any position should ever be put upon the black man, because it is the white man collectively who has shown that he is hostile toward integration and toward intermarriage and toward those other strides toward oneness. So as a black man, and especially as a black American, any stand that I formerly took, I don’t think that I have to defend it because it’s still a reaction to the society, and it’s a reaction that was produced by the society; and I think that it is the society that produced this that should be attacked, not the reaction that develops among the people who are the victims of that negative society.” “Before the Black Muslim movement came along, the NAACP was looked upon as radical; they were getting ready to investigate it. And then along came the Muslim movement and frightened the white man so hard that he began to say, ‘Thank God for old Uncle Roy, and Uncle Whitney, and Uncle A. Philip….'”. “In my recent travels into African countries and others, I was impressed by the importance of having a working unity among all peoples, black as well as white.” “For the freedom of my 22 million black brothers and sisters here in America, I do believe that I have fought the best that I know how, and the best that I could, with the shortcomings that I have had…I know that societies often have killed people who have helped to change those societies. And if I can die having brought any light, having exposed any meaningful truth that will help destroy the racist cancer that is malignant in the body of America then, all of the credit is due to Allah. Only the mistakes have been mine.”

Keywords: [“black”,”man”,”people”]
Source: http://www.malcolm-x.org/quotes.htm