Monthly Archives: December 2011
"Strange as it may appear, obscurantist religious fundamentalism seems to express the Zeitgeist. An American nun-turned-historian, Karen Armstrong, has written an interesting book following the three fundamentalist movements in the Muslim world, in the US and in Israel. It shows a clear pattern: all these divergent movements – Muslim, Christian and Jewish - have passed through almost identical and simultaneous stages."
"I suspect we have already witnessed the worst of the globalization cultural bulldozer. What is happening everywhere is the hybridization of culture, such that local traditions, practices, and vernaculars are folding in elements of global culture--not really a culture at all, just an economic expansion program--and creating unique human customs that will continue to evolve. This is precisely what humans have always done with culture, especially in times and places with lots of mobility. My main wish for these 'bottom-up' hybrids is that they include elements of the best in Western culture, especially the discourses of philosophical justification for human rights and social justice. The West has exported lots of awful things, but there are some good things too!"
"Will a magnifying glass, even a round one, provide you with what could have been provided by a group of friends and neighbors working together? Maybe we're trying to focus on the tiny details so much that we're missing the bigger picture."
"The required Federal Minimum wage keeps the average American family of four living in poverty. According to the Working Poor Families Project study, as of in December 2010 Nearly one in every three American families is classified as the working poor, that is 45 million people including 22 million children. These are the people who can barely make it from month to month, they are two income providers and blue collar workers. The wages and hours are decreasing and the monthly bills keep going up."
"About one in five Iraqis wants a democracy and believes a democracy “will work” in their country. Another two in five say that they would like a democracy but they don’t “believe it will work.” At the same time, one in five “do not want a democracy” because they believe “it won’t work” in Iraq. Depending on how you add up these responses, it can either be said that six in ten Iraqis want their country to be a democracy, or six in ten Iraqis don’t believe that democracy will work in Iraq. This is the definition of being conflicted."