Saturday, 23 January 2010

Misc

I





Came across this guy's website. A Fundamendalist Protestant Latino liberation theologian. Counter-intuitive as it may seem, could Fundamentalist Protestantism come to bring 'left wing' ideas to the mainstream?

The number of Latino Protestants is often overlooked. Furthermore, whilst the Vatican routinely says 'nice things' about the poor and capitalist exploitation, their practical actions have been very strongly opposed to economically progressive movements and decisively acted against liberation theology. Maybe Protestantism, with no central authority, will come to be the Christian force guiding these exploited people?

Personally, as a Christian I feel at home with the left on many issues (caring for the poor, anti-war, anti-death-penalty, anti-censorship, anti-plutocrat) yet I feel these are contained within Christianity rather than using Christianity as a facet.

Still, might be one to watch.

II

I began with Mr De La Torre frankly because I wanted a pic on top and he is more photogenic than Item no.2: Christopher Hitchens.

He's got a new interview out with Michael Totten. If you don't mind adding to Totten's web counter, you can find an interesting irony of the modern world perfectly illustrated. The more you mess up and make idiotic predictions about how bombing people will make them happy, the more likely you are to receive ridiculously OTT compliments.

You know that you've fallen low if you're an ignorant hack with no academic qualifications concerning Iran and you're asked what you'd say if the President asked what you would advise him to do about the country.

You're too muddled to realise how low you've fallen if you reply without irony.

And only Michael Totten will listen with respect if your reply is to be more aggressive towards a country in a different continent.

III

In my earlier post, I quoted from a Graun article which quoted an upcoming speech by David Cameron, the gist of which was that a horrific event involving two young thugs torturing children was entirely the fault of New Labour's few progressive policies. When I looked again, the quotes had been removed. Oddly enough, whilst CIF is dominated by right-wing trolls, in this case almost all of the comments were attacking Cameron. Is Te Graun covering up for Cameron? Did they (unintentionally?) do some market research to test if the Brits are stupid enough to be taken in by something so crass as blaming torture on income support?


IV

Our media is pretty quiet about erstwhile darling of the West, Victor Yushenko being pulped by 'pro-Russian', 'anti-Western' Yanukovitch.

Will the Ukrainians become the new Russians? The 50 million odd citizens seem to be voting for who they want, rather than for who a few plutocrats in the West want. Which as we know is undemocratic.

V

Twice this week, bums have been the top news story on yahoo. First this tabogonist's suit ripped, secondly Venus Williams was playing without knickers. So it's awful when dictatorships repress the truth: they should be like the West which is more interested in backsides than what our politicians are up to. At least tyrants often organise proper bread and circuses, because they know that otherwise they may find themselves hanging from lamp-posts. In an accountable democracy, the powers that be know that won't happen.

And, I don't want to sound like Peter Hitchens here, but isn't it possible that maybe some people might rather not see such things (as in 99.9999% of humanity in MS Williams' case)?

VI
Given that all my hard disk spaces are filling up, I'm planning to put lots of pics on the internet. Will keep you all informed. I've updated 'Gregor's photos' (my other blogger blog) to include a video I took of a snowstorm.

7 comments:

  1. 'Caring for the poor, anti-war, anti-death-penalty, anti-censorship, anti-plutocrat' all this can be achieved by the right. And I mean traditional conservative right, not the neo-liberal pseudo-right. I still think Christianity provides the best framework for this. And Christianity is something the often counter-culture left rejects.

    The left in its Marxist sense does not have moral grounds. I think some of the best socialist projects were done by men of the cloth. You mentioned the liberation theology, the Mondragon corporation is also interesting. As much as I like capitalism I still find some magic about socialism from bellow.

    I wanted to write a post about this for some time...

    I would not say Yanukovych is anti-Western, but he certainly is not anti-Russian.

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  2. Thanks for your comment and the information about the Mondragon corporation.

    I don't know about the 'traditionalist right' as a force in the West. The American Conservative is one of the best written magazines, and one that criticised neo-con/neo-liberal foreign policy far more intelligently and with more principle than most stuffy 'liberal left' publications in the Anglosphere.

    However, in voting terms, they never make much impact. Still, they've done a lot of good work in American discourse.

    As for Marxism, I've read very little of Marx. But the irony as I see it is that our ultra-liberal ideas come from America, not the USSR. I think the Soviets would have laughed at a ridiculous idea like 'affirmative action'. When the Marxists did have some power in the Labour Party, they had a fairly bullish nationalisation policy. Very different from New Labour's obsession with privatisation and social liberalism.

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  3. I was aware that Protestantism is booming in Latin America, particulary in Brazil, but I have never really looked into it.

    I had always assumed that it was similar to North American tele-evangelism but if they are picking up the baton from the dead hands of the Catholic Liberation Theologists then all power to them.

    Yes, news from Ukraine has been very thin on the ground.

    PS: As an historian with an interest in the Byzantine Empire, I was wondering if you had read 'The Ruin of the Roman Empire' by James J. O'Donnell.

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  4. Can't say if De Lat Torre is on his own or part of a wider movement. If it was a wider movement then the media probably wouldn't play it up.

    Of course, the evangelical movement in Latin America is largely cynical fund-raising, but who knows how the Bible will be interpreted by these people?

    Haven't read that book. Is it good?

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  5. I liked the book but whether or not it is good is a hard question.

    It looks at the last days of the Western Empire through the eyes of Theodoric the Great, Justinian and Pope Gregory.

    The main argument is that the Ostrogoth kingdom was the last great flourish of Roman culture and it was snuffed out by Justinian and Belisarus, whose policies led to the irreversible division of western and eastern Christianity. Justinian's religious policies also led to a breach between Byzantium and Syria / Egypt, therefore helping to pave the way for Islam's rapid takeover.

    For a non-specialist armchair historian it makes for a good read but i've no idea what an expert would make of it.

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  6. Sounds interesting, though I'm fairly sceptical of 'macro-theories' like that.

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  7. Quite. As someone who knows the basic chronology and names but little else, the depictions of Ostrogothic Italy, Justinian's Byzantium and the rest were fascinating.

    The macro-theory which somehow links it all to the modern day 'clash of civilisations' didn't convince me.

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