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A PROGRAM OF HOPE November 30, 2010

Posted by wmmbb in Humankind/Planet Earth.

I suppose that the focus on election outcomes is inherently a short term project. And “whatever it takes” is the corollary.

Machiavelli’s contribution to Western political theory was to observe the single-minded pursuit of power in Renaissance Florence, and conclude that politics without principle was the essence of pragmatism. Is hope always a sale without substance?

At Truthdig, Chris Hedges suggests given the time and the prospects of permanent war and climate change and other potentially catastrophic disasters we ought to reinvest in hope. Could it be that there is a hope that is embodied in action and truth, and not merely a rhetorical device that serves a purpose and then ceases to have relevance, or indeed importance?

Chris Hedges writes several things about hope, including this paragraph:

Hope has a cost. Hope is not comfortable or easy. Hope requires personal risk. Hope does not come with the right attitude. Hope is not about peace of mind. Hope is an action. Hope is doing something. The more futile, the more useless, the more irrelevant and incomprehensible an act of rebellion is, the vaster and the more potent hope becomes. Hope never makes sense. Hope is weak, unorganized and absurd. Hope, which is always nonviolent, exposes in its powerlessness the lies, fraud and coercion employed by the state. Hope does not believe in force. Hope knows that an injustice visited on our neighbor is an injustice visited on us all. Hope posits that people are drawn to the good by the good. This is the secret of hope’s power and it is why it can never finally be defeated. Hope demands for others what we demand for ourselves. Hope does not separate us from them. Hope sees in our enemy our own face.

One suspect that converting a critical mass to this depiction of hope will not be easy, if not impossible. Perhaps it is on its own not enough. There was as I seem to have heard a trilogy: faith, hope and love (which was for some reason translated in the King James as “charity”). There you have it: Jesus Christ versus Niccolo Machiavelli.



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