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Friday, January 28, 2022
Thursday, January 27, 2022
Wednesday, January 26, 2022
It's coming, as sure as sunrise, just ask Amos
Of course the irony of this situation is that they don't hesitate to hand out multimillion dollar bonuses and raises to the people at the top—usually white males.
Take those bonuses and that ridiculous salary and divide it among the people who actually do the work. Read James 5 and all of Amos—especially Amos 5:24—and then act accordingly.
Every employee should receive the same benefit package that the CEO does; every American should receive the same healthcare package that a Congress person does. Until that time, any claims at equality are just theater.
Tuesday, January 25, 2022
Are you a loser?
And we see millions of people—again, disproportionately poor and of color—confronted by (increasingly militarized) police forces and ﬂung into (increasingly privatized) prisons. Given historical and structural racism, poor people of color start the neoliberal race with the least advantage and so are likely to fall behind fastest and furthest. To cope with the armies of the most dramatically dispossessed, neoliberalism has developed a “criminal industrial complex.” The War on Drugs, for example, has been waged especially vigorously against poor people of color. Initiated by President Richard Nixon, the War on Drugs was rooted in the soil of racism. H. R. Haldeman, onetime assistant to Nixon,commented that the president “emphasized that you have to face the fact that the whole problem really is the blacks. The key is to devise a system that recognizes this while appearing not to.”(Duggan, Twilight of Equality?, 18)— Naming Neoliberalism: Exposing the Spirit of Our Age, 49–50
Friday, January 21, 2022
Call it what it is!
More darkly yet, when entrepreneurialism becomes the essence (such as it is) of the self and is always in the service of selling itself, we come perilously close to something that may most honestly—and realistically—be called prostitution. What, after all, is prostitution except the successful presentation of an attractive body for sale? And what is the entrepreneurial self if not body and soul totally enlisted in an unending hustle, the next sale?— Naming Neoliberalism: Exposing the Spirit of Our Age, 47
Thursday, January 20, 2022
The real cause
Wednesday, January 19, 2022
This is not something to be proud of!
Tuesday, January 18, 2022
Really? How can you justify this?
Let's call it what it is: Sinful greed. Let's put that into a bit more perspective: The CEO of McDonalds makes as much in an hour as the line worker makes in a year—provided they are given 40 hours/week, which may or may not be the case. And the CEO has a full benefits package of retirement, insurance, and all the other perks. The line worker? Right! Fat chance.
James, the brother of Jesus has a word for them:
"Pay attention, you wealthy people! Weep and moan over the miseries coming upon you. Your riches have rotted. Moths have destroyed your clothes. Your gold and silver have rusted, and their rust will be evidence against you. It will eat your flesh like fire. Consider the treasure you have hoarded in the last days. Listen! Hear the cries of the wages of your field hands. These are the wages you stole from those who harvested your fields. The cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of heavenly forces. You have lived a self-satisfying life on this earth, a life of luxury. You have stuffed your hearts in preparation for the day of slaughter. (James 5:1–5 CEB)</idle musing>
Monday, January 17, 2022
No longer social
Friday, January 14, 2022
The wrong half
Thursday, January 13, 2022
The erosion of the common good
And if ever there was a pernicious lie, that is it. Unrestrained greed will lift up the most unscrupulous and they will exploit the poor and weak to get whatever they can. Only unwillingly and under pressure will they grudgingly offer a sop to the worker and the poor. There's a reason that scripture warns against the desire for riches and wealth—it is deadly to the soul. In the words of 1 John, "Children, flee from idolatry!" And the idol in the US is wealth and the attendant power that goes with it.
Wednesday, January 12, 2022
Not so innocent!
Tuesday, January 11, 2022
Monday, January 10, 2022
What is real?
Here's the first one, just before the title page of the book, to give you a taste of it:
We mean to suggest that the conflict between the neoliberal market and the Trinitarian God is over what reality is at ‘the fundamental level. If reality is inconstant, inscrutable, with no discernible connection to justice (other than.market rules), then a neoliberal order of class warfare, diminished substan- tial freedom, de-democratization, theaters of cruelty, accel- erated environmental destruction, slum proliferation, mass incarceration, and mass deportation, at the very least, makes some sense. However, if reality is fundamentally love, mercy, and steadfast kindness, the crises of neoliberalism to which we have just pointed make no sense, and should be decried as false and, indeed, evil.—Matthew T. Eggemeier and Peter Joseph Fritz, Send Lazarus, quoted in Naming Neoliberalism: Exposing the Spirit of Our Age, by Rodney Clapp
Wednesday, January 05, 2022
Dying with grace
Well, that's the final snippet from this book, and a very appropriate one, too. It's been a long journey through the book from the time I picked it up at a thrift store until today, in fact about eleven months! I hope the few of you who stuck around for it enjoyed it. I highly recommend the book, and basically anything Heschel wrote. I find him a stimulating discussion partner.
I'm not sure what I'll be reading next. Or even if I'll keep posting to the blog with any kind of regularity. I'm planning on continuing the copyediting posts, but beyond that, I don't know. So much of what I'm reading right now doesn't lend itself to small snippets—without the context they make no sense. We'll see. Blogging has changed dramatically since I started in October, 2005, and now over 6000 posts later, I'm not sure if it's worth continuing. My readership has consistently shrunk over the last 5 years, which is understandable, as I'm rarely, if ever, posting anything other than small quotations from books on obscure topics : )
Tuesday, January 04, 2022
Point of view
A nice reminder at the beginning of a new year!