Tag Archives | Ideology

Pope Francis Issues Strong Warning Against the Christian Right

The pope states the obvious, but will it make a lasting difference?

via PolicyMic

Pope Francis has made yet another enemy today with his new statement on faith and ideology. During Wednesday’s mass, the Pope took serious issue with Christians who turn their religion into an ideology. He explained that Christianity becomes ideology when there is a lack of prayer. The Pope said that the “Christian ideology” is a sickness within the Church. He claims ideology makes people “hostile and arrogant,” frightens followers, and scares people away from the Church.

Undoubtedly, such words will anger many conservative Americans who are already feeling shunned by the Pope’s statements last month on contraception and abortion. Many fundamental Christians in America equate Christianity to their political ideology.

Political candidates often form their platforms based on their faith’s perspective on social issues such as abortion, gay marriage, and sex. Look no further than the race for governor in Virginia, where two Republican candidates are running faith-based campaigns.

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Veiled Threats and the Danger of Ideology

Via orwellwasright:

The controversy over the wearing of the niqab, hijab and burka in Western nations is picking up once again. For many Westerners, the wearing of the veil is a mark of a repressive medieval religion – the recent case in the UK where a Muslim school forced its female teachers to wear the hijab and the subsequent condemnation by officials at the National Union of Teachers is indicative of the backlash Muslim traditions face. Al-Madinah School in Derby is also accused of practicing discrimination between male and female pupils, forcing girls to sit at the back of the class – hardly a ringing endorsement for modern Islam’s commitment to contemporary values on gender equality.

Another recent controversy emerged over the issue of Muslim wearing the veil while giving evidence in court, and similar issues were raised about whether or not Muslims working for the National Health Service should cover their faces when treating patients.… Read the rest

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Mind Viruses, Post-Modernism and the Rise of the Neo-Shaman: Everyone is Sick in the Head

Memetic exorcism?

Ideology_IconAlthough now we tend to associate the word “meme” with image macros, the original intent was to conceptualize why certain ideas – religious, political, moral – spread more quickly than others.

Some personal ideas regarding this is that contagion is dependent upon simplifying complex concepts in as few words as possible, invoking tried and true cultural archetypes, and using charismatic people as initial meme vectors.

Now, we’re all infected with these mind viruses to some extent or the other, but some of them are more destructive than others and not all of us are aware of them. When you’re aware of mind viruses they can be used constructively. For example, “Follow the Golden Rule” or “Save the environment.” In addition, toxic memes can be used as well to inoculate against full infection, much like one can be immunized against the flu by using “dead” viruses. Awareness and consent – and subsequent moderation –  is critical in this process.… Read the rest

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Barack Obama is the True Conservative

Picture: Joshua Debner (CC)

Michael Tracey writes at Counterpunch:

Listen to the right-wing these days, and you’re bound to hear ad nauseum about Barack Obama’s allegedly ‘radical socialist’ agenda.

Box office record-smashing documentary “2016: Obama’s America” argues that the president endeavors to actualize the “anti-capitalist, anti-Christian, and anti-American” ambitions of his late father by destroying our country from within. (Because Obama, of course, hates America).

Echoing this sentiment, Mitt Romney has declared that Obama harbors “a vision of government that is entirely foreign to anything this nation has ever known.”

But wait just one second there, Mitt. As Joe Biden might put it, this is all a bunch of malarkey. Nothing about Barack Obama’s tenure in office thus far indicates that he is a stealth Marxist, wussy peacenik, Muslim Brotherhood booster, or any of the other countless caricatures dreamt up by unhinged internet commenters.

Newsflash: He has basically managed the executive branch as a conservative.

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The History Of Neoliberalism — And How To Undo It

neoVia New Left Project, London School of Economics professor Jason Hickel on the 1980s rise of neoliberalism — the belief system that defines our reality:

I often find that my students take today’s dominant economic ideology – namely, neoliberalism – for granted as natural and inevitable. This is not entirely surprising given that most of them were born in the early 1990s, for neoliberalism is all that they have known. In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher had to convince people that there was “no alternative” to neoliberalism. Today, this assumption comes ready-made; it’s in the water, part of the common-sense furniture of everyday life.

If an economist living in the 1950s had seriously proposed any of the ideas and policies in today’s standard neoliberal toolkit, they would have been laughed right off the stage. As Susan George has put it, “That the market should be allowed to make major social and political decisions; that the State should voluntarily reduce its role in the economy, or that corporations should be given total freedom – such ideas were utterly foreign to the spirit of the time.”

The neoliberal model was made – intentionally – by specific people.

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Socialism More Popular Than Capitalism Among Millennials

full_1325738615socialismHere’s what the kids are into: sexting, Bieber, and dialectical Marxism. Good writes:

According to a new study conducted by the Pew Research Center, 49 percent of [people] age 18 to 29 view socialism in a favorable light, compared to 43 percent who view it unfavorably. What’s more, they like the sound of “socialism” slightly better than capitalism—46 percent have positive views of capitalism, and 47 percent have negative views. This is dramatically different from the country’s population overall: 60 percent say they have a negative view of socialism, versus just 31 percent who say they have a positive view. Young people are the only age group whose support for socialism outweighs that of capitalism.

It’s telling that the number of socialism-friendly young people is on the rise from just 20 months ago, when 43 percent of Millennials favored the word. Between now and then, Occupy Wall Street has swept the country and the headlines, and there are more unemployed teens and 20-somethings than ever.

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In U.S., Muslims And Atheists Most Opposed To Violence

lotfi_morteza20110713105003873Is violence targeting civilians ever justified in the name of a worthy cause? U.S. Christians say yes, atheists and Muslims say no. Raw Story writes:

New data from polling firm Gallup shows that out of all the religious groups in the U.S., Muslims are most likely to reject violence, followed by the non-religious atheists and agnostics.

Through interviews with 2,482 Americans, Gallup found that 78 percent of Muslims believe violence which kills civilians is never justified, whereas just 38 percent of Protestant Christians and 39 percent of Catholics agreed with that sentiment. Fifty-six percent of atheists answered similarly.

The survey was designed to measure religious and non-religious attitudes toward violence 10 years after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Perhaps most tellingly, 92 percent of Muslims surveyed said they did not believe any Muslim in their community had sympathy toward al Qaeda terrorists.

When Gallup put the question a bit more pointedly, asking if it would be justified for “an individual person or a small group of persons to target and kill civilians,” the responses were a bit more uniform.

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Corporations Versus Individuals: The End of the Left/Right Paradigm

Nolan chart. Source: Camilo Sanchez (CC)

Nolan chart. Source: Camilo Sanchez (CC)

Looks like the New World Order isn’t going to be a global Big Socialist Government (unless, perhaps, you count corporate socialism). Barry Ritholtz wrote in September of last year:

Every generation or so, a major secular shift takes place that shakes up the existing paradigm. It happens in industry, finance, literature, sports, manufacturing, technology, entertainment, travel, communication, etc.

I would like to discuss the paradigm shift that is occurring in politics.

For a long time, American politics has been defined by a Left/Right dynamic. It was Liberals versus Conservatives on a variety of issues. Pro-Life versus Pro-Choice, Tax Cuts vs. More Spending, Pro-War vs Peaceniks, Environmental Protections vs. Economic Growth, Pro-Union vs. Union-Free, Gay Marriage vs. Family Values, School Choice vs. Public Schools, Regulation vs. Free Markets.

The new dynamic, however, has moved past the old Left Right paradigm. We now live in an era defined by increasing Corporate influence and authority over the individual.

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Financial Reform Bill Highlights the Need for Real Reform

Mark Trumbull writes in the Christian Science Monitor:

The US House of Representatives on Friday passed a bill aimed at preventing a repeat of the financial crisis that shook the global economy in the fall of 2008. The sweeping measure would transform the regulatory landscape for banks and other financial firms.

Although it drew immediate praise from the Obama administration and consumer groups, some financial experts warn that the economy will remain exposed to the risk of bubbles, busts, and firms that are “too big to fail.”

WallStreetPlunderIt’s what this bill cannot do that should be of concern to all Americans:

Economists are wary of saying that even a well-designed bill will prevent financial crises, which have occurred periodically before and after the modern era of central banking.

Simon Johnson, a finance expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, recently praised Obama for pushing the idea of a new consumer protection agency for financial products. But, in recent testimony to the Congressional Oversight Panel on bank bailouts, he said Washington policymakers aren’t doing enough to rein in the economic and political power of large financial firms.

“The power of the financial sector [is based] on an ideology according to which the interests of big finance and the [supposed] interests of the American people are naturally aligned,” he said. “This ideology is increasingly … dangerous to the economy.”

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