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41919Re: [existlist] The Personal and the Political

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  • eupraxis@aol.com
    Aug 8, 2007
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      Because Bush has trashed the Constitution, given the government to private corporations, and the "opposition" party has allowed all of it to happen with hardly a whimper; because the same interests have bankrupted the US, and have put the US in the death grip of China; because the South has reared its stupid Christian head again, with Bush and Co., and has decided that their charge of the light brigade dream of an Apocalypse is nigh; and .... well, how's that for an answer.


      -----Original Message-----
      From: jimstuart46 <jjimstuart@...>
      To: existlist@yahoogroups.com
      Sent: Wed, 8 Aug 2007 2:21 pm
      Subject: [existlist] The Personal and the Political

      I find it strange that all you Americans should agree that, in Mary

      Jo's words, "we're headed for very bleak times." I wonder why this

      deep pessimism has suddenly overtaken you all.

      It seems to me that the "corporate cartel" has always had the upper

      hand – at least since the industrial revolution in the nineteenth

      century. But despite the cartel's ability to hoodwink the masses –

      "the herd" to use Nietzsche's expression – there has always been a

      healthy resistance from those who manage to see through the half-

      truths and lies of the cartel. The spirit of the free and caring

      individual – as captured in the posts by Trinidad and Mary Jo –

      continues to survive.

      I would go further and say that it is only with an element of strife

      and resistance that the human spirit flourishes. Without any

      conflict or struggle the individual becomes lazy and complacent.

      Cultural and intellectual diversity is necessary for human

      flourishing. The free spirit is grateful to the corporate cartel for

      giving him something to test his mettle against – and also something

      to laugh at.

      I think this spirit of doom and gloom is local to America. In

      Northern Europe community and solidarity are alive and kicking. Two

      million people marched in London in 2003 against the Iraq war –

      before the war started. Tony Blair has left office a broken man.

      Many of us have a renewed optimism that the new Prime Minister

      Gordon Brown will improve things – partly because Tony Blair hated

      him so much.

      Finally, it seems that this forum, in general, is more passionate

      about the political than about the personal. But I would have

      thought that the primary passion for the existentialist is with the

      personal. For the existentialist, the radically free individual is

      hardly touched in her thought and action by the political. Agreed

      the individual cannot flourish if she lives in a war zone, or she is

      a slave, or she does not have enough to eat. But these restrictions

      on human freedom are unlikely to apply to individuals who have

      sufficient spare time to participate in internet forums.

      The political gives us a reason to act, not an excuse to give up.


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      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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