Glimpsing the Light

10 Jan

My last blog [“January 6: A Year Later”] could be read as an anguished first draft for the obituary of democracy in the United States, and it without question looks at the national future through a glass darkly. I received some feedback that complained about the tone, the darkness of the forebodings, and the foreclosure of liberating surprises. Although my Enlightenment mind fails to find good reasons to paint the U.S. national and indeed the human future in brighter colors, my undernourished spiritual side has not given up, discovering feelings of hopefulness from radical uncertainty, grace, and ‘the politics of impossibility.’ 

I am not pretending that the impossible can happen, but only that what now seems impossible becomes possible with the passage of time and the creative impact of hidden forces of justice and change. From this vantage point I have grounds for hope, and if hope exists, then there exist a moral and spiritual imperative to engaged in struggles for a better national future for which outcomes are inherently unforeseeable, although if we are blessed and receptive, emancipatory glimpses can be foretasted and cherished. 

I find myself engaged in struggles to save American procedural (or electoral) democracy from the ravages that would be wrought by the onset of fascism. Beyond this rescue operation from the mobilized, violently disposed militant Trump base in full control of the Republican Party lies the more ambitious agenda to restore and extend the New Deal by creating social protection for everyone residing within American borders in relation to health, work, housing, education, food, clean air and water, natural habitat. A visionary commitment to the creation of a polity that combines substantiveand procedural democracy, and beyond that participates in a parallel movement for global democracy, a matter of planetary urgency. 

On the agenda of global democracy: giving priority to ecological responsibility, mobilizing against nuclearism and militarism, against racism, against predatory capitalism, and on behalf of a stronger United Nations, rights of self-determination for currently oppressed nations, on behalf of global problem-solving, against geopolitical impunity, for humane governance at all levels of social organization, on identity befitting citizen pilgrims seeking to construct a global community of shared values and visions, for human security, for love, wisdom, beauty,  compassion, and explorations of cosmic consciousness.

I add this picture capturing the reality of light in a dark sky as well representing this metaphysical moment in the evolution of the human species. It is a photo taken by my dear friend and collaborator, an exemplary citizen pilgrim, Hans von Sponeck on his daily morning meditative walk in the countryside of southern Germany. 

3 Responses to “Glimpsing the Light”

  1. Ray Joseph Cormier January 10, 2022 at 12:14 pm #

    Thank you Richard, for expressing the perplexity more people than ever before in our recent Times now feel. I certainly relate!

    For me reading “looking through a glass darkly and hope” is what Paul writes about in 1 Corinthians 13,
    For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.
    And now abides Faith, Hope, Love, these three; but the greatest of these is Love.

    On my Path in Life, there are Times I feel I’ve been afflicted with Cassandra’s Curse!

  2. Beau Oolayforos January 10, 2022 at 4:02 pm #

    Dear Professor Falk,

    Your commentary is of course wide-ranging, but as for Jan 6 alone, the hopeful signs for me are:
    1. the many conservatives who, genuinely cherishing our democratic traditions, are
    even more outraged by the Trumpians than are many liberal Democrats,

    2. the 2 Republicans on the Jan 6 committee, one of which is a Cheney,

    3. the growing number of malefactors who are now either in prison, weeping with
    repentance at the bar of justice, pleading the 5th, etc.

    Many Republicans seem to be salivating at the prospect of ‘taking’ the House in November. I look forward to their unprecedented drubbing at the polls.

    Unfortunately, none of this even scratches the surface of the necessary agenda you outline.

  3. Norm Swazo January 10, 2022 at 4:48 pm #

    I share the initial pessimism voiced about the current state of American democracy. For my own assessment see my paper: Swazo, Norman K., Trump’s Inducement of America’s Banality of Evil.
    PhilArchive copy v1: https://philarchive.org/archive/SWATIO-4v1

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