Quotes & Sayings

We, and creation itself, actualize the possibilities of the God who sustains the world, towards becoming in the world in a fuller, more deeper way. - R.E. Slater

There is urgency in coming to see the world as a web of interrelated processes of which we are integral parts, so that all of our choices and actions have [consequential effects upon] the world around us. - Process Metaphysician Alfred North Whitehead

Kurt Gödel's Incompleteness Theorem says (i) all closed systems are unprovable within themselves and, that (ii) all open systems are rightly understood as incomplete. - R.E. Slater

The most true thing about you is what God has said to you in Christ, "You are My Beloved." - Tripp Fuller

The God among us is the God who refuses to be God without us, so great is God's Love. - Tripp Fuller

According to some Christian outlooks we were made for another world. Perhaps, rather, we were made for this world to recreate, reclaim, redeem, and renew unto God's future aspiration by the power of His Spirit. - R.E. Slater

Our eschatological ethos is to love. To stand with those who are oppressed. To stand against those who are oppressing. It is that simple. Love is our only calling and Christian Hope. - R.E. Slater

Secularization theory has been massively falsified. We don't live in an age of secularity. We live in an age of explosive, pervasive religiosity... an age of religious pluralism. - Peter L. Berger

Exploring the edge of life and faith in a post-everything world. - Todd Littleton

I don't need another reason to believe, your love is all around for me to see. – Anon

Thou art our need; and in giving us more of thyself thou givest us all. - Khalil Gibran, Prayer XXIII

Be careful what you pretend to be. You become what you pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

Religious beliefs, far from being primary, are often shaped and adjusted by our social goals. - Jim Forest

We become who we are by what we believe and can justify. - R.E. Slater

People, even more than things, need to be restored, renewed, revived, reclaimed, and redeemed; never throw out anyone. – Anon

Certainly, God's love has made fools of us all. - R.E. Slater

An apocalyptic Christian faith doesn't wait for Jesus to come, but for Jesus to become in our midst. - R.E. Slater

Christian belief in God begins with the cross and resurrection of Jesus, not with rational apologetics. - Eberhard Jüngel, Jürgen Moltmann

Our knowledge of God is through the 'I-Thou' encounter, not in finding God at the end of a syllogism or argument. There is a grave danger in any Christian treatment of God as an object. The God of Jesus Christ and Scripture is irreducibly subject and never made as an object, a force, a power, or a principle that can be manipulated. - Emil Brunner

“Ehyeh Asher Ehyeh” means "I will be that who I have yet to become." - God (Ex 3.14) or, conversely, “I AM who I AM Becoming.”

Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. - Thomas Merton

The church is God's world-changing social experiment of bringing unlikes and differents to the Eucharist/Communion table to share life with one another as a new kind of family. When this happens, we show to the world what love, justice, peace, reconciliation, and life together is designed by God to be. The church is God's show-and-tell for the world to see how God wants us to live as a blended, global, polypluralistic family united with one will, by one Lord, and baptized by one Spirit. – Anon

The cross that is planted at the heart of the history of the world cannot be uprooted. - Jacques Ellul

The Unity in whose loving presence the universe unfolds is inside each person as a call to welcome the stranger, protect animals and the earth, respect the dignity of each person, think new thoughts, and help bring about ecological civilizations. - John Cobb & Farhan A. Shah

If you board the wrong train it is of no use running along the corridors of the train in the other direction. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

God's justice is restorative rather than punitive; His discipline is merciful rather than punishing; His power is made perfect in weakness; and His grace is sufficient for all. – Anon

Our little [biblical] systems have their day; they have their day and cease to be. They are but broken lights of Thee, and Thou, O God art more than they. - Alfred Lord Tennyson

We can’t control God; God is uncontrollable. God can’t control us; God’s love is uncontrolling! - Thomas Jay Oord

Life in perspective but always in process... as we are relational beings in process to one another, so life events are in process in relation to each event... as God is to Self, is to world, is to us... like Father, like sons and daughters, like events... life in process yet always in perspective. - R.E. Slater

To promote societal transition to sustainable ways of living and a global society founded on a shared ethical framework which includes respect and care for the community of life, ecological integrity, universal human rights, respect for diversity, economic justice, democracy, and a culture of peace. - The Earth Charter Mission Statement

Christian humanism is the belief that human freedom, individual conscience, and unencumbered rational inquiry are compatible with the practice of Christianity or even intrinsic in its doctrine. It represents a philosophical union of Christian faith and classical humanist principles. - Scott Postma

It is never wise to have a self-appointed religious institution determine a nation's moral code. The opportunities for moral compromise and failure are high; the moral codes and creeds assuredly racist, discriminatory, or subjectively and religiously defined; and the pronouncement of inhumanitarian political objectives quite predictable. - R.E. Slater

God's love must both center and define the Christian faith and all religious or human faiths seeking human and ecological balance in worlds of subtraction, harm, tragedy, and evil. - R.E. Slater

In Whitehead’s process ontology, we can think of the experiential ground of reality as an eternal pulse whereby what is objectively public in one moment becomes subjectively prehended in the next, and whereby the subject that emerges from its feelings then perishes into public expression as an object (or “superject”) aiming for novelty. There is a rhythm of Being between object and subject, not an ontological division. This rhythm powers the creative growth of the universe from one occasion of experience to the next. This is the Whiteheadian mantra: “The many become one and are increased by one.” - Matthew Segall

Without Love there is no Truth. And True Truth is always Loving. There is no dichotomy between these terms but only seamless integration. This is the premier centering focus of a Processual Theology of Love. - R.E. Slater


Note: Generally I do not respond to commentary. I may read the comments but wish to reserve my time to write (or write from the comments I read). Instead, I'd like to see our community help one another and in the helping encourage and exhort each of us towards Christian love in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. - re slater

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

CosmoEcological Civlizations - PostCapitalistic Economies & Politics, Part 1c

CosmoEcological Civlizations - PostCapitalistic
Economies & Politics, Part 1c

by R.E. Slater
September 5, 2020

I hope to cover the basics of political/economic ideologies simply using relevant videos and standard Wikipedia articles to help frame out a futuristic look at where a Christian-based political economic might go. Generally I will use the idea of an ecological society for this near-term futuristic vision. I find it attainable, and if done right, reflective of human and environmental justice and equality. This then would also lead us into a some kind of mutually beneficial post-capitalistic paradigm again, reflective of Christian teachings related to God's Love, Jesus' practices and teachings, and the new kingdom ethic summarized on the Sermon on the Mount  in Matthew 5 (see NASB text here)

[The] Sermon on the Mount [is] a biblical collection of religious teachings and ethical sayings of Jesus of Nazareth, as found in Matthew, chapters 5–7. The sermon was addressed to disciples and a large crowd of listeners to guide them in a life of discipline based on a new law of love, even to enemies, as opposed to the old law of retribution. In the Sermon on the Mount are found many of the most familiar Christian homilies and sayings, including the Beatitudes and the Lord’s Prayer (qq.v.). - Encyc Britannica

Part 1 will cover the basics of political economies. Initially I thought to ex-clude "libertarianism" for the simple reason that complex governments are here to stay and will require complex governmental solutions for poly-plural multi-ethnic societies. Libertarianism proposes small governments with less footprint which I find impractical, if not pure fantasy. However, locality (and meta-localities) will drive ecological societies and for this reason, along with the fact that libertarianism is a popular ideology I will lead off with it first after a general introductory video.

Part 2 will cover the basics of cultural philosophies such as modernism et al and where these cultural movements might be taking us. Having spent a large amount of time earlier this year speaking to the fundamentals of the universe using process philosophy the principles therewith will be used to help guide us toward a process-based futurism.

And finally, in Part 3, I will attempt to describe what future ecological civilizations may look like under a whole new kind of political-economic schema.

Soooo, here we go....

Topics to be Covered

Part 1
  • Libertarianism
  • (Classic, Enlightenment) Liberalism
  • (Americanized) Modern Liberalism
  • Social Liberalism
  • Neo-Conservatism
  • Conservatism
  • Neo-Liberalism
  • Summary 1 - Post-Capitalist Protestant View
  • Summary 2 - Post-Capitalist Catholic View
Part 2
  • Modernism
  • Postmodernism
  • Post-Postmodernism
  • Hypermodernism
  • Transmodernism
  • Metamodernism
Part 3
  • Post-Capitalism Economies
  • CcosmoEcological Civilizations

* * * * * * * * *

Post-Capitalist Catholic View


Posted on April 30, 2020 by tradistae in Easy Encyclicals, Easy Essays

In the Catechism of the Catholic Church, the Magisterium restates the Church’s condemnation of capitalism

She has likewise refused to accept, in the practice of “capitalism,” individualism and the absolute primacy of the law of the marketplace over human labor… regulating [the economy] solely by the law of the marketplace fails social justice, for “there are many human needs which cannot be satisfied by the market.” (CCC 2425)

This teaching is discussed at length in Saint Pope John Paul II’s Encyclical Laborem Exercens. The Pope warns against “a one-sidedly materialistic civilization”, stating that “in every social situation of this type, there is a confusion or even a reversal of the order laid down from the beginning by the words of the Book of Genesis: man is treated as an instrument of production” (§ 7, ⁋ 3). In reality, “work is ‘for man’ and not man ‘for work’” (§ 6, ⁋ 5).

He goes on to define what he means by the fundamental error of “capitalism”

Precisely this reversal of order, whatever the programme or name under which it occurs, should rightly be called “capitalism”—in the sense more fully explained below. Everybody knows that capitalism has a definite historical meaning as a system…  But in the light of the analysis of the fundamental reality of the whole economic process—first and foremost of the production structure that work is—it should be recognized that the error of early capitalism can be repeated wherever man is in a way treated on the same level as the whole complex of the material means of production, as an instrument and not in accordance with the true dignity of his work—that is to say, where he is not treated as subject and maker, and for this very reason as the true purpose of the whole process of production. (§ 7, ⁋ 3)

Later, he considers the history of the conflict “in which labour was separated from capital and set up in opposition to it” and states:

It was this practical error that struck a blow first and foremost against human labour, against the working man, and caused the ethically just social reaction [the labor movement] already spoken of above. The same error, which is now part of history, and which was connected with the period of primitive capitalism and liberalism, can nevertheless be repeated… if people’s thinking starts from the same theoretical or practical premises. (§ 13, ⁋ 5)

The Pope affirms that the Church’s teaching “differs from the programme of capitalism practised by liberalism and by the political systems inspired by it” because of how She understands the “right to ownership or property”: 

Christian tradition has never upheld this right as absolute and untouchable. On the contrary, it has always understood this right within the broader context of the right common to all to use the goods of the whole of creation: the right to private property is subordinated to the right to common use, to the fact that goods are meant for everyone. (§ 14, ⁋ 2)

He concludes that “from this point of view the position of ‘rigid’ capitalism continues to remain unacceptable, namely the position that defends the exclusive right to private ownership of the means of production as an untouchable ‘dogma’ of economic life.” (§ 14, ⁋ 6)

* * * * * * * * *

Pope John Paul II Criticized Both Capitalism and Marxism
 Before and During His Pontificate

Houston Catholic Worker, Vol. XXVI, No. 2, Mar.-Apr. 2007.

by Mark and Louise Zwick
April 1, 2007

"Christian social doctrinethe goods of this world are originally meant for all."

In the accompanying article, (“How an Unknown Text Could Throw Light on John Paul II’s Views on Economics”) Jonathan Luxmoore points out that in the years before Karol Wojtyla became Pope he was not an uncritical advocate of laissez-faire capitalism and that Catholic neoconservatives who have depicted him in this way have been mistaken. Luxmoore did not point out that the funding for the “seminars” on capitalism and Catholic thought taught by neoconservatives at the Lublin university in Poland came from foundations whose money came from oil companies and whose purpose is the furtherance of capitalism (e.g., the Earhart Foundation).

We would like to add that a reading of his writings during his pontificate reveal the same concerns about the many poor under a capitalistic system that he expressed in that early book, Catholic Social Ethics.

In the encyclical Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, the pontiff stated:

“The Church’s social doctrine adopts a critical attitude towards both liberal capitalism and Marxist collectivism.”

John Paul II’s opposition to aspects of Marxism and his role in bringing it down are well known. Less well known are his criticisms of capitalism in Sollicitudo and a number of other writings, of the “ all-consuming desire for profit and the thirst for power at any price with the intention of imposing one’s will upon others, which are opposed to the will of God and the good of neighbor.”

In Sollicitudo John Paul II speaks of economic systems which incorporate “structures of sin” that work against the common good.

These structures of sin, he said, are not vague, nameless entities for which no one is responsible. Rather, they “are rooted in personal sin, and thus always linked to the concrete acts of individuals who introduce these structures, consolidate them and make them difficult to remove. And thus they grow stronger, spread, and become the source of other sins, and so influence people’s behavior.”

John Paul II criticized the economic systems that lacked solidarity, lacked the biblical and Catholic vision of the “option or love of preference for the poor,” a phrase coined by Latin American theologians and later refined, which eventually became a key concept of the social teaching of the Church. The phrase appears also in John Paul II’s Centes-imus Annus, Pastores Gregis, Tertio Millennio Adveniente and Ecclesia in America .

The preferential option for the poor is, the Pope said in Sollicitudo , a “special form of primacy in the exercise of Christian charity, to which the whole tradition of the church bears witness. It affects the life of each Christian inasmuch as he or she seeks to imitate the life of Christ, but it applies equally to our social responsibilities and hence to our manner of living, and to the logical decisions to be made concerning the ownership and use of goods .” (42)

The Pope went so far as to compare an economics which emphasized only self-interest to the story of the rich man and the beggar Lazarus in the Gospel:

“Today, given the worldwide dimension which the social question has assumed, this love of preference for the poor, and the decisions which it inspires in us, cannot but embrace the immense multitudes of the hungry, the needy, the homeless, those without medical care and, above all, those without hope of a better future. It is impossible not to take account of the existence of these realities. To ignore them would mean becoming like the “rich man” who pretended not to know the beggar Lazarus lying at his gate (cf. Lk 16:19-31).

In the encyclical Sollicitudo , published twenty years ago, the Pope already pointed out that the way in which international trade between rich countries and poor countries was implemented left the poor ones at such a disadvantage as to be destructive to their economy and whole way of life. He pointed out the injustices of the world monetary and financial system and the debt situation of the poor countries.

In 1987 he already described the reality that was the maquiladora system, or outsourcing in the search for paying the lowest salaries possible, as having all the potential for great injustices. In Laborem Exercens the pontiff had declared that “work, as a human issue, is at the very center of the “social question” (3).

Clearly the search for the lowest possible wages around the world where companies do not pay taxes to help the local economy and organizing workers is not only discouraged, but violently opposed, does not meet his criteria for a just situation for workers. (Casa Juan Diego has received workers for many years who left their countries because they could not support their families on the wages paid by “outsourcing.”)

The Pope asked for a change.

He asked for an economics built on solidarity with everyone around the world, extending a famous saying of Pope Pius XII into the world of solidarity:

“The motto of the pontificate of my esteemed predecessor Pius XII was Opus iustitiae pax, peace as the fruit of justice. Today one could say, with the same exactness and the same power of biblical inspiration (cf. Is 32:17; Jas 3:18): Opus solidaritatis pax , peace as the fruit of solidarity.”

Pope John Paul II used the same words in Sollicitudo and various other speeches and writings that Peter Maurin so often quoted, from the earliest tradition of the Church regarding private property: "The universal destination of goods means that private property is for everybody, not just for those who use it to make their fortune."

“It is necessary to state once more the characteristic principle of Christian social doctrine: the goods of this world are originally meant for all. The right to private property is valid and necessary, but it does not nullify the value of this principle. Private property, in fact, is under a “social mortgage,” which means that it has an intrinsically social function, based upon and justified precisely by the principle of the universal destination of goods .” (42)

The “social mortgage” the Pope spoke of, as Peter Maurin often said, means that whatever property you have is held in trust for the common good.

These teachings of John Paul II undermine those who encourage cutthroat businesses practices that hurt “the Lord’s poor,” (so often couched in a revision of Adam Smith’s language) to be ameliorated by philanthropy in one’s later life—especially philanthropy that only encourages others to do the same.

In Sollicitudo as in his other writings John Paul II placed these questions in a faith and theological perspective which cannot be viewed as an endorsement of an economics which seeks profit and power above all else: That perspective is the theology of communion.

“One’s neighbor must be loved, even if an enemy, with the same love with which the Lord loves him or her; and for that person’s sake one must be ready for sacrifice, even the ulti-mate one: to lay down one’s life for the brethren (cf. 1 Jn 3: 16).

“One’s neighbor is then not only a human being with his or her own rights and a fundamental equality with everyone else, but becomes the living image of God the Father, redeemed by the blood of Jesus Christ and placed under the permanent action of the Holy Spirit.”

“Beyond human and natural bonds, already so close and strong, there is discerned in the light of faith a new model of the unity of the human race, which must ultimately inspire our solidarity. This supreme model of unity, which is a reflection of the intimate life of God, one God in three persons, is what we Christians mean by the word ‘communion.'”

- Houston Catholic Worker, Vol. XXVI, No. 2, Mar.-Apr. 2007.