Monday, June 23, 2008

Three from Daniel Larison
  • Post-post-materialism, or Orthodoxy. Reminds me of how, after we listened to Frank Senn one afternoon, Paul Goings said one could market Catholicism as post-post-modern. Like Joshua Snyder and Rod Dreher, Larison is paying attention to ‘the convergence of hippie and traditionalist values’ and, an Orthodox like Dreher, sees that church as ‘crunchy’.
    There is to some extent a cultural overlap between hippies, greens and American converts to Orthodoxy that is a very small phenomenon in American society, but I think it is representative of a more general trend within socially conservative Christian churches in the rising cohort of 18-29-year-olds.
    A lot of people have been saying that about green evangelicals.
    Ultimately, it seems to me that a “revival of hippie values” will not create an enduring post-materialism, because a diffuse “hippie” culture on its own has no stable spiritual foundation, and because there is no particular rationale for the ascetic discipline that such post-materialism requires.
    The same reason the first hippy culture didn’t work.

    As has been mentioned, nor inherently does conservatism!

    Bring back a holistic vision:
    One of the arguments of Keselopoulos’ work is that St. Symeon’s ascetic, spiritual life is the path to understanding the right relationship between man and nature. “The oppressive and tyrannical control which man feels from material goods is due to the effort he makes, whether consciously or unconsciously, to make them autonomous from their Creator.”
  • Larison’s latest assessment of Obama. It not only explains his scary pro-Israel speech after snagging the nomination but his lying about supporting Nafta and his reauthorising the Patriot Act. Not only is he not standing on good first principles (more important than rightly opposing the Iraq war) but essentially he’s a coward (the bad side of the super-agreeability his fans understandably like):
    ... a pattern of avoiding confrontation and seeking consensus in the worst way imaginable in which consensus-building means surrendering to whichever interest group or faction in Congress has the most clout.
  • On the feel-good politics of charging this administration with war crimes. Larison’s realistic.

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