Can We Talk About Patriarchy?

Since I inadvertently brought up patriarchy, it’s probably a good time to explain my general approach—again. I’ve been rethinking it due to the new developments in this conversation—for example our inclusion of Pope Francis—or maybe I should say his inclusion of us—and my support of a candidate in this presidential election. In the case of the election, I’ve wanted to avoid confusing my opinions with Senator Sanders’s platform. In the case of the Catholic Church I’ve become aware that there are many among us who don’t understand its relevance to the American conversation. I’ve made many futile attempts to answer their objections and I’ve finally had to admit defeat. Instead I’ll explain why I think Americans are fortunate to be invited into the church’s conversation.

I’ve already mentioned the biography of Albert Gleizes. After much study and thought I’ve come to the conclusion that without the presence of the French Church and especially its priests, this story wouldn’t have been so rich and meaningful. Of course the same can be said of the artists and writers.

The priests didn’t lead this conversation—they were a natural part of it because of their closeness to their communities and their interest in the art and culture of those communities. They listened, they invited the artists to teach in a church setting, and they commissioned work. Since reading about this process, the entire French conversation has had a hallowed place in my imagination. Sadly, that world is gone now. It died in World War II. Many people fear that the pre-war confidence in a restoration of order died with the old world. But fortunately, the Church didn’t get the memo, so it continued the conversation.

“In the immediate aftermath of the Second World War there was a widespread desire within the Roman Catholic Church for a change in the way in which the Church was presented to the world—a desire for greater openness and ‘relevance’ to the conditions of modern life. Its most radical expression in France was the ‘worker-priest movement—the movement of priests who, acutely aware of the divorce of working-class life from the Church, became workers, as indistinguishable as possible from their fellow workers, often actively engaged in the political struggles of the class led by the Communist Party.

“In art, the post-war period was characterized by a willingness to use well-known, sometimes controversial, artists, giving them considerable freedom, regardless of their own religious beliefs. The two names most prominently associated with this tendency were Fathers Marie-Alain Courturier and Pie Raymond Régamey, both Dominicans. They were to be behind the church at Assy, in the Haute Savoie, built between 1948 and 1950, with work by Léger, Lurçat, Matisse, Chagall, Bazaine and (especially controversial) a crucifix by Germaine Richier. They were also responsible for Matisse’s chapel—realized for the Dominicans—at Vence (1948-51), and for Le Corbusier’s church at Ronchamp (1955) and his Dominican priory at La Tourette (1960).” ((Debuyst: Le Renouveau de l’art sacré, as cited by Gleizes’s biographer, Peter Brooke))

Previously I mentioned the theological disagreements that arose from Gleize’s adherence to Rene Guenon. However, it’s important to also mention that these disagreements didn’t end the interaction of Gleizes and the Church. Today, many people associate theology with the Inquisition. I’ve read their articles online.  While the the Inquisition was indefensible, some of the worst events in our history have been a result of getting the theology wrong, so I would argue that it’s a force that must be reckoned with. Whatever hope we have of building a new and better world, it will have to be built with an awareness of the relevance of theology, for better or for worse.

I can argue this another way. When I wrote about our [intlink id=”1359″ type=”post”]Ayn Rand[/intlink] episode, I argued against her tendency to define her philosophical machinations as morality. I think it’s shocking that we were being fed the doctrines of Ayn Rand by financial institutions that have no concern for us.   Today there are many people slinging a new and improved world view and hoping to get followers. My point here is that none of our current ideas can be taken for granted simply on the claim of rationality or secularization. And if not for our cultural history I would have had no basis for my argument against Rand.

On a negative note, one concern I have is that the Catholic church takes on a different character depending on its setting and circumstances. I imagine the interwar period in France was a humble time for the Church, and I don’t know if the American Church shares any of the same characteristics, or if it ever did. Thanks to the U.S. bishops, our conversation with the Church has already had a some rude shocks. First we learned that the bishops believe it’s okay to risk the lives of mothers who trust Catholic hospitals to care for them. Second, there was a recent headline about a meeting between the U.S. Bishops and the Mormon Church to discuss shared concerns. Neither of these things increases my confidence in the bishops.

Hermes in India convinced me that the Devil presides over the medical system. Therefore, I can’t take this news about hospital policies lightly.

In addition, I know for a fact that Mormonism is a shoddy pretense of religion that provides wealth and power to a select few. Of course this shouldn’t be surprising since some of its leaders have ties to the Illuminati.

So in case you haven’t lost interest in this article, here’s my suggestion for an approach to the discussion of patriarchy. My objection to patriarchy is its economics, which I call ‘trickle-up economics’. I think greed was the original motivation for the denigration of women and that as long as large amounts of unattached wealth exist in the world, as opposed to being owned by communities (and passed down through mothers), there will be an endless struggle for control of it. I’m sorry to say, Plato’s philosopher-king isn’t coming—just an endless stream of shady characters in expensive shoes. This is the aspect of patriarchy that has to end.

But is a rejection of Plato the same thing as a rejection of the church’s theology, which depends on Greek thought? Not necessarily. Not unless economic inequality is more of a central tenet of our culture that I realize.  I think you have to look at the whole theological process rather than a single set of ideas from twenty-five hundred years ago.

I apologize again for how jumbled this is.  I’ve been trying to talk about this for quite a while and I’m out of patience with it.  Hopefully it makes sense.

Nevada Convention Democracy’s Swan Song

When I brought up a previous post, [intlink id=”985″ type=”post”]The American Diamond in the Rough[/intlink], I wasn’t trying to reintroduce the subject of patriarchy. I was focused on campaign strategy. I was looking for a non-confrontational way to respond to the criticism of my objections to the diverting of Sanders’s supporters to Jill Stein. Because the problem with this approach seemed so obvious to me, the personal, confrontational nature of the criticism led me to believe that the problem was more than a simple difference in strategy.

The critics acted as if this was a question of whether third parties have a place in American politics. (I’ll ignore for now their doubts about the voters’ ability to choose.) For me, this wasn’t a question about third parties. I was objecting to the assumption that Jill Stein is the same as Bernie Sanders, and that a vote for Jill Stein is a vote for Bernie. Since they are not the same as people or as politicians, this makes no sense as a strategy. Bloggers who claim to be Sanders supporters should be telling people to write in Sanders, not to write in someone else. In fact, they should be telling Jill Stein’s supporters to vote for Sanders. Considering Bernie Sanders’s success so far, it’s more likely that this would lead to his nomination and therefore to the success of the progressive agenda.

As I write a certain blogger is scolding Senator Sanders again on YouTube for not solving the shocking behavior of the Democratic Party at the Nevada Democratic convention. Unfortunately, I believe she’s laboring under a misunderstanding of what’s really happening here. Does she really believe there’s a simple remedy available to Sanders after party officials revealed themselves to be thugs and called out law enforcement to enforce their thuggery? If so, I’m sorry to be the one to tell her this, but instead of railing against Sanders we should be mourning the end of our democracy because that’s what we’re witnessing here.

Those who talk about how common sense will prevail and go on about how this must be the end of the evil party, are also mistaken. We’re seeing the fruits of the decades since World War II with numerous treacherous men at the helm of this country.

On the other hand, if those who are still waiting to vote in their state primaries are too discouraged to vote as a result of what I’ve just said, that would be a mistake. The only other choice we have at this point is to hand it over now rather than in July, and I’d advise against that. Even though I have less confidence now than I’ve ever had before in the FBI’s coming to our rescue, I say let’s finish this. There will be plenty of time to talk about what we’ve learned at the end.


Apologies to the Green Party

I realize that I got off on the wrong foot on the last post. I blame the fact that I approached the subject backwards. When I saw that first Chris Hedges interview with Ralph Nader, I didn’t get the part where Hedges was supporting the Green Party. I thought he was promoting Clinton. Obviously if you support a third party candidate, you’re going to support him or her in a presidential election. And I agree with Hedges that something has to be done about the Democratic Party.

It would be nice if the Green Party people could be more clear about their agenda. It’s true that those on YouTube were trying to be supportive of Sanders for the most part but I guess I haven’t been watching them long enough to notice the Green Party affiliation. I regret getting this wrong, and hope to hear more about the Green party agenda.

2016 and the Curious Case of the Third Party Left

I’ve been enjoying the political commentary on YouTube since I discovered it a few weeks ago, but I’m sorry to have to report a disturbing pattern. Previously I questioned the wisdom of Sanders supporters pushing voters to a third party candidate.  I was talking about a YouTube blogger that I haven’t mentioned on this blog, but I wasn’t aware that he had so much company. Normally I wouldn’t consider this a problem—everyone is entitle to an opinion.  However I think it’s a curious strategy for Bernie Sanders supporters.

Since then I’ve realized that this has been going on since the beginning of this campaign. I first saw it in the person of Chris Hedges, senior fellow at The Nation Institute, but I didn’t know how to fit it together.  Hedges often interviews Ralph Nader, and they both spend time shaking their heads over Bernie Sanders’ campaign. At first I thought he must favor Clinton. Now I know there’s another rationale, although it will probably end up helping Clinton anyway.

Hedges thinks that working within the Democratic Party is validating a corrupt party. He prefers third party candidates–the Green Party in particular. However in practice this means running campaigns that have no hope of success and believing that this will eventually topple the establishment. Never mind that the Green Party has been around for decades and still hasn’t managed to do what Sanders has done in one year.

While Hedges has a right to his opinion, I think pushing this agenda in the middle of a presidential election is either reckless or calculated. I would opt for calculated since Hedges can’t possibly be unaware of its effect on an election.  He’s seen it in action.

Ralph Nader participated in three presidential campaigns, two of them as a Green party nominee. His most recent effort was the 2000 presidential election, in which he won 2.74% of the popular vote. Some people claim he acted as a spoiler in that election, inadvertently helping to elect George W. Bush. (The Nader-ites deny this.) And there are hints that Nader holds a grudge against Bernie Sanders because Sanders tried to keep him from running.

The Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund supports the Nation Magazine, among other publications and programs. Chris Hedges and The Nation Magazine are ardent supporters of Occupy Wall Street.  Occupy Wall Street has been taking credit for Bernie Sanders’ campaign but the connection doesn’t really fit.  Not only is the chronology wrong, Occupy gravitates toward the civil disobedience route like Chris Hedges, as opposed to the electoral route.

These people tend to blame the electorate for the mess this country is in, which in my opinion is a very serious charge that shouldn’t be ignored. The majority of Americans are trying to elect Bernie Sanders, the only candidate who promotes social and economic justice, so on that basis alone their accusation is hard to defend. But the most confusing part is how they seem to go back and forth between a strict party ideology and a tear-down-the-party ideology.  Or rather, they want to replace one party with another party on the one hand, and ignore the electoral process in favor of civil disobedience on the other hand.

This has never been about the Party for me. It’s been about taking advantage of the opportunity that Bernie Sanders represents. In my view he’s the right guy in the right place at the right time to address the threats we face. However Hedges and associates put party structure and political theory first.  They want a candidate who fits their ideology–not a real person like Sanders, who has been holding on to his principles while working within the system as he found it. They’re all theory.

Think about it this way. If Clinton’s and Sanders’ policies were exactly the same except that Sanders chose to run his campaign without corporate financing, I’d consider him the superior candidate on that basis alone. Campaign finance is a key issue and affects everything else.  Sanders was the only candidate willing to run without corporate help.

Or…if Clinton’s and Sanders’ policies were exactly the same except for the fact that Clinton chose to hide her actions as Secretary of State from the American people, I would vote for Bernie Sanders on that basis alone. That kind of secrecy while serving in such an important office is a red flag for democrats everywhere.

Ideological purity during an election takes on a different meaning than it would have had in the absence of an election.  And it raises serious questions about motive. Nothing Hedges says can qualify as neutral in this election because there’s an elephant in the room–the candidates who stand to benefit from his criticism of Bernie Sanders.

My List of Pet Peeves and Strange Behaviors in the 2016 Election

  1.  People who criticize Bernie Sanders because he’s not radical enough.
  2.   People who give Occupy Wall Street credit for creating Bernie Sanders. These are often the same people who think Sanders is not radical enough.
  3. People who play the role of America’s honorary lefty, usually at the behest of the people mentioned above. Their job is to come out on cue and criticize any candidates who threaten the establishment.
  4. People who tell Sanders’ voters that in the event Sanders is not the nominee, they should write in Sanders’ or Jill Stein. This is not a strategy unless your goal is to take votes away from Sanders. By the way, how did Jill Stein manage to attach herself to Sanders’ campaign? Talk about a free-rider!
  5. People who claim to be on our side, and then react to strategy suggestions like they’re personal attacks.
  6. People whose personal pride is more important to them than the conversation.
  7. People who openly call the electorate ‘ignorant’, which is not even close to the spirit of this conversation as I understand it.
  8. People who publicly blame our candidate for widespread election fraud, potentially causing doubt among his supporters, which makes no sense considering the process for addressing election fraud is defined by statute in each state, meaning that avenues for recourse are constrained by these statutes. The case of New York should illustrate how blaming a candidate is nonsense. All we really need to know here is that a candidate can’t initiate a re-canvas in New York, except in village elections. However, I’ll also mention the two law suits and the audit that have been initiated in new York, and which are going forward as they should, without Sanders’ input.

Have a safe and uncluttered primary day everyone.