Tuesday, 13 November 2007

False dawns

Eighteen years ago, the Berlin Wall came down. Twenty-eight years ago, Mrs Thatcher became the first woman prime minister. Ten years ago, New Labour swept the discredited Tories out of power.

All euphoric moments for many. All false dawns. Whatever the 'end of history' theorists and apocalyptic believers may say, history has no happy endings. It just keeps rumbling - and every now and then exploding - along.

11 comments:

Emmett said...

THE "Ogre Wook & The Lewd Maidens" panto out in rural Eagle Lake was twenty-five years ago, a full two years AFTER the Old Reagen "miracle...."

anticant said...

That must have been REALLY euphoric! It should be revived every quarter-century; on this occasion, as "Ogre Wook and the Lewd Matrons", and in 2032 as"Ogre Wook and the Lewd Grannies".

Kindly get back to the Burrow at once!

Richard W. Symonds said...

Nelson Mandela was not a "false dawn" - neither was Martin Luther King...

Emmett said...

YEAH? Well, a couple of them "maidens" said Wook WAS a false alarm AND a foul ball!

Yankee Doodle said...

There was one dawn that was really bright, Anticant -- but you don't see it.

Good post, my friend!

Emmett said...

AS To what the religious life can mean to the good, I shall be recording to-morrow a discussion with three School Sisters of Notre Dame, here in old Mankato -- and, I intend to draw out these three ladies on what the sacerdotal life indeed positively does offer to that young woman of to-day who not-unreasonably may smell a rat, or several, frisking about some of the more-cheesy claims of this noisy & non-moral, post-modern, saecularism. This opus in local history-making is to be broadcast at ten AM CST (1600 GMT) on the radio, here, ON THE FIRST MONDAY IN DECEMBER, and live-streamed on-line, at kmsu.org. Accordingly, I am inviting you lot to give it a listen. Not least because no doubt there are little black bambinos in Africa who know more about Jesus than some of us languid & urbane, jaded, aesthetes, lounging on benefit & supervision, here....

anticant said...

I have no doubt, Emmett, that the religious life can offer much that is good to those so inclined. I have known many holy men and women - some of them monks and nuns - and have spent some time as the guest of a contemplative order. I just don't believe that the doctrines of their faith are 'true' in any realistic sense, or that any supernaturalisms are.

That is a quite distinct matter from the virtues of spirituality, and there is great wisdom to be found in the writings of the Christian mystics, the Sufis, and also in Buddhism.

Perhaps these remarks will clarify my position on religion for Yankee Doodle, who believes that Christianity is 'true' in a sense that I don't. My disbelief does not lead me to denigrate the historic contribution of religion to our Western culture, but I do deplore its use as snake oil to delude the masses by those who seek to control others.

Yankee Doodle said...

Religion isn't the only thing that gets used to control the masses.

And, your defense of secularism belies your failure to see it as a religion -- which, of course, it is. So is science. We don't think of them that way, but that's exactly what they are.

Jose said...

Secularism? Seculars also have spiritualism, as Anticant so often has said.

I sometimes wonder whether secularism is not one of the things that get used to control the masses.

Antagonism is also created as a way to control, either religious or secular.

anticant said...

You're indulging in semantic quibbling here, YD. It all depends on what you mean by 'religion', as Richard's guru Joad would say. By 'religion', I take the generally accepted meaning to be an organised belief-system claiming to reveal 'truth' through its priests or clerics. In this sense, Judaism, Christianity and Islam are religions. Secularism is not. Secularism is not atheism: there are religious secularists. Secularism is the political doctrine that religion should remain a personal and private matter, and not be accorded special privileges in civil society.

Anonymous said...

The end of history? The end of ideology?
Was the beginning of religion.
Capital thinking I say.