The main mission of this site is to investigate several areas of political and civic interest. I would like to look specifically how our faith as people affects our citizenship. I beluieve there is always room from positive expressions of mutual interest. Ideas will be posted, and anyone who wishes can respond to me by e-mail. I will look into more democratic formats, but to begin with I would ask anyone to comment to me via e-mail, and I will post those responses.
I still have to work this out, but so far I agree with Huntington's "Clash of Civilizations"
I think people always clash around the" me and thee." I fought with my brother, until someone came up against one of us, then we stuck together. Growing up in the Southern US, I learned about the Confederates and the Yankees. This defined a lot of Americans until World War I came along and suddenly guys from Georgia and New Hampshire were side by side in the trenches. I love fried okra when I was growing up, but in California the best okra was in restaurants my grandmother would never have let me go into if they had been in Georgia. The cultures of the civilazations Huntington talks about are different enough that it is easy to focus on the differences. This makes it pretty hard to find our common ground and overcome the divides.
There is a pretty good book by Ernesto Laclau and Chantal Mouffe talking about what they call "Hegemony." We hear that the US is the "current World Hegemon" on the political talk shows, which sort of means we are the biggest kid on the block. L&M's book explains a bit about why hegemony is and how it works. It isn't just being the strongest force in the world, but how that force is put together from a lot of different people from Georgia, New Hampshire, California, African Americans and European Americans. It means that we have grouped together because of our individual political ideas. we compromised and made aliances until these aliances are the biggest most powerful aggregation of individuals in the world. That is what it means to be the dominant hegemon.
If you look into the book by Laclau and Mouffe, you will notice pretty quickly it was written with a Marxist/ socialist perspective. If you saw Huntington's book and thought I was a right-winger, and are surprised that I pulled this communist stuff out of the hat, then you're getting what I really believe is important. How can we understand what is going on in the world. There are smart, good people with very different world views. I saw this while I was in the US Marine Corp, and I saw it at UC Berkeley. This mixing and contesting is exactly what Democracy is meant to be about - "E pluribus unam" From many, one.
This is my method, use the tools, share the ideas from wherever they come from. One more point, from a guy I think is generally misunderstood, from my understanding of him, Nietzsche. ONe thing I get from Nietzsche is a process of being creative. One of the key challenges with being creative is developing a resentment of ideas and statements from others. It is fine to "destroy " a weaker theory or statement, but do it without meanness. No ad hominens - don't call someone stupid or bad because of what they create. See the strength in the creation and show the weakness in the creation, if you can. Say "yes" to life, rather than resent those who are trying.