The Politics of Compassion and Transformation

The Politics of Compassion and Transformation

The Politics of Compassion and Transformation

The Politics of Compassion and Transformation


In our time, we require a religion, ethics, and politics adequate to confront the global crises we face. In our scientific era of progress, we might expect to look with confidence to the scientific disciplines of political science, sociology, and economics to solve the problems of our civilization. We might also look to the older disciplines of religion and ethics to determine our values and to tell us what we ought to do. But the sad truth is that the dominant paradigms, methods, and conclusions of the social sciences and humanities are inadequate to this task. We need a new politics of compassion and transformation. "


And he told this parable: "A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came seeking fruit on it and found none. And he said to the vinedresser, "Lo, these three years I have come seeking fruit on this fig tree, and I find none. Cut it down; why should it use up the ground?"

And he answered him, "Let it alone, sir, this year also, till I dig about it and put on manure. And if it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down."

Jesus of Nazareth Luke 13: 6-9

To my fellow humans who will face the coming time of troubles, greetings. I have chosen to address those in my own time who can understand me and those who will come after us and will know the results of our struggles all too well. Now we see only dimly the darkly lit present and nearly inevitable future. In William Butler Yeats's phrase, "the blood dimmed tide is loosed." Our civilization, nearly twenty-five centuries in the making, slides into decadence and decline. Rather than creating a more glorious civilization, we fall deeper into a dark age from which the birth of a better society remains, as yet, only a hope.

Echoing Yeats, we have the dark sensation that an ominous Second Coming is at hand. That Brave New World will be peopled not by angels and saints but by the "rough beast" and demons of the Book of Revelation. Like many seers and common citizens, I share a nightmarish premonition of our potential future.

I fear "limited" nuclear wars in the 1990s, which will have devastating effects upon the earth. In my nightmare, Jerusalem is conventionally bombed from the air by Arabs. Israelis respond with a single nuclear bomb destroying the capital of the Arab nation that attacked them. Although the Arabs are forced to sue for peace, terrorist groups, with the help of Arab governments, build nuclear devices which they plant strategically throughout Israel, and a few years after the original war they detonate these bombs, destroying both Israel and much of the life in Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and North America.

The first bomb would pollute the Mediterranean Sea with radioactivity, extend the desert in North Africa because of climate changes, and directly kill . . .

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