One of the sharpest social critics of 19th century European industrial capitalism was…Charles Dickens. Those who have read Karl Marx’s writings see the world that he is attacking; those who have read Oliver Twist, Great Expectations, Bleak House, or A Christmas Carol will see that same world. However, we find the world described by Dickens, because it is novelized, less abrupt and perhaps more understandable. Continue reading “For on his brow I see that written which is Doom”
September 14, 2001 – Three days after terrorists hijacked two commercial airplanes and flew them into the World Trade Center Towers, felling them and killing nearly 3,000 people, the President of the United States made a visit to “Ground Zero.” He took a bullhorn in his hands and, as workers chanted, “U.S.A.! U.S.A.!” said, “I can hear you. The rest of the world hears you. And the rest of the world will soon know what we’re really made of. In the face of this tragedy, there is an almost unimaginable desire for revenge. However, our founding principles cannot allow it.” Continue reading “What Might Have Been”
This op-ed in the New York Times has me worried. I am worried because I know a lot of people who are so convinced that government is the cause of all the problems in their lives, they tread into the ground that the editorialist describes. I am worried because, to a degree, I share some economic views, some social views, and even some political concerns with the “nuts” the editorialist writes about.
This was originally posted by the author at The Idealist.
Leo Tolstoy is perhaps the ultimate example of the late-in-life nihilist-turned-idealist. He is best known for his mid-life fiction, most notably War and Peace and Anna Karenina. He was early on somewhat of a determinist and nihilist but late in life began a study of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John and came away a determined Christian, with significant misgivings regarding the Russian orthodox church specifically and organized religion and government generally. He wrote his thoughts in two books that were significantly suppressed by the Russian Church and the Czarist government.
My favorite singer/songwriter is Bruce Springsteen. His lyrics capture feelings and ideas and tell stories of regular human beings better than anyone I’ve heard (and I’ll argue ’til blue in the face on this point). One of my absolute favorites is the following entitled “Devils and Dust“.
Originally published as The Sentinel newsletter by The Cause of Liberty
Our modern world is infatuated with the ends we have in our sight, the goals we want to accomplish, and the changes we want to see. Most people have the same needs and desires: liberty, happiness, security, prosperity, and peace. Why do we consistently find ourselves so far from where we want to be? The problem is two-fold: 1) we mistakenly believe that if we focus on the end we will attain it; and 2) we are using means that are inconsistent with those ends.
I read The Essential Gandhi by Louis Fischer a few months ago. But until a 10-day work trip to Africa and the Middle East, I didn’t have time to write down all the passages I had underlined. They are many. I had a hard time delineating his ideas into categories because they are so (not to be cliché) transcendent.
This book and the ideas of this man have greatly changed my personal point of view. He was a significant force in the thinking of the 20th Century. But, like Christ and many other great teachers, many of his ideas are ignored or ridiculed simply because they are too darn hard for us “modern” people to implement. We justify this to ourselves by calling them quaint and outdated, but really we’re just too lazy to act on them.
Below are some of my favorite quotes (believe me; I could have made it longer). Continue reading “Book Review: The Essential Gandhi by Louis Fischer”
Here follows the weekly (as promised) lyrics/poem from the Fearless Path, this time from early LDS poet and songwriter, Eliza R. Snow, from one of my favorite hymns:
Truth reflects upon our senses;
Gospel light reveals to some.
If there still should be offenses,
Woe to them by whom they come!
Judge not, that ye be not judged,
Was the counsel Jesus gave;
Measure given, large or grudged,
Just the same you must receive.
Blessed Savior, thou wilt guide us,
Till we reach that blissful shore
Where the angels wait to join us
In thy praise forevermore.
Jesus said, “Be meek and lowly,”
For ’tis high to be a judge;
If I would be pure and holy,
I must love without a grudge.
It requires a constant labor
All his precepts to obey.
If I truly love my neighbor,
I am in the narrow way.
Once I said unto another,
“In thine eye there is a mote;
If thou art a friend, a brother,
Hold, and let me pull it out.”
But I could not see it fairly,
For my sight was very dim.
When I came to search more clearly,
In mine eye there was a beam.
If I love my brother dearer,
And his mote I would erase,
Then the light should shine the clearer,
For the eye’s a tender place.
Others I have oft reproved
For an object like a mote;
Now I wish this beam removed;
Oh, that tears would wash it out!
Charity and love are healing;
These will give the clearest sight;
When I saw my brother’s failing,
I was not exactly right.
Now I’ll take no further trouble;
Jesus’ love is all my theme;
Little motes are but a bubble
When I think upon the beam.
Only through the pure love that Christ demonstrated, taught, and can give to us are we able to judge rightly. It is the only thing that heals, the only thing that changes. “Charity never faileth.” To judge without that “charity” is to judge unrighteously and hypocritically, injuring others and ourselves. The fearless path is to withhold condemning judgment of others, recognizing that the only method to change others is to change ourselves.