Taking notes 56: On hope and hype: reflections on a New Year’s tradition

by Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi
How, I ask myself, can declaring my hopes to others make a dent in a world oblivious to our dreams? How can we expect the mere change of a date to alter the conditions under which we live? Continue reading Taking notes 56: On hope and hype: reflections on a New Year’s tradition

ISIS and the instrumental rationality of its Apocalypse

by Sanjay Perera
This Ragnarök finale that ISIS is hung up on is in effect exemplary in its utilitarian approach of the ends justifies the means thinking that underlies the rationality of its Apocalypse. Continue reading ISIS and the instrumental rationality of its Apocalypse

Taking notes 51: Dark waters: Katrina and the politics of disposability

by Henry A. Giroux Hurricane Katrina does more than evoke a critical understanding of institutional racism and the politics of racial disposability[1]; it also elicits new and more dangerous justifications for racist policies. For instance, the neoliberal shill Malcolm Gladwell … Continue reading Taking notes 51: Dark waters: Katrina and the politics of disposability

Taking notes 33: Budgets, values and visions

by Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi The release of the Congressional Progressive Caucus budget recently brings up once again the familiar maxim that a budget is, or should be, a moral document. I believe, however, that this statement, although true, does not convey adequately the most salient significance of a budget. I would contend that budgets not only shed light on our schemes of moral values, but also, at a still more fundamental level, bring to manifestation our guiding visions, our deepest views about the meaning of human life and the type of society we should strive to create. Moral values frame … Continue reading Taking notes 33: Budgets, values and visions

Taking notes 9: The end of the beginning

by Daniel Pinchbeck At last, we have reached the end of the classic Mayan Long Count calendar, the 5,125-year cycle that ended on December 21st of last year. The mainstream media has, predictably, used the occasion to ridicule the straw man they irresponsibly helped to set up: That this was a doomsday threshold, as silly as Y2K. At the same time, the worst and best predictions of alternative theorists ranging from Graham Hancock to Paul LaViolette to Jose Arguelles, Terence McKenna, John Major Jenkins, David Wilcock, and Carl Johan Calleman have failed to materialize. Apparently, a galactic superwave is not … Continue reading Taking notes 9: The end of the beginning

The spiritual crisis of capitalist civilization

by Jeff Noonan Human beings are integrally natural and social creatures, dependent upon natural life-support systems for their physical existence and socio-cultural life-development systems for the nurturing and realization of their emotional, cognitive, and practical-creative capacities.  Societies whose developmental dynamics become alienated from their natural conditions of existence face inevitable doom.  Oblivious to the ways in which their reproductive dynamics undermining the physical foundations of social life, they collapse the very basis upon which their institutions and value systems depend.  Let us say that any society which unsustainably converts scarce natural resources into tokens of social power (as, for example, … Continue reading The spiritual crisis of capitalist civilization