Tuesday, December 28, 2010

‘Pessimism of the Intellect, Optimism of the Will.’

‘Pessimism of the Intellect, Optimism of the Will.’ was of course Gramsci's great motto.

Whilst many people disagree with Gramsci, the motto is pretty good.

Accept nothing at face value, doubt all that we are told, and question everything, not in the spirit of cynicism but of scepticism.

Optimism of the will is based instead on historical realities, on the fact that the application of human ingenuity and struggle is what has brought us from the caves to something that may some day approach civilisation,

We need to reassert an optimism of the will if our pessimism of the intellect is to ask the right questions and hope to come up with some better answers.

IMO: All fair, general stuff, but do we really have time ? Mick Hume writes "Some of my old friends on the left wasted a lot of time and intellectual energy this year protesting against a visit to Britain by the pope. But I really could not care if some still have faith in the powers of the pope. What concerns me far more is that so few, including the left, appear still to have faith in the power of humanity." I think that a flimsy humanism/secularism, such as that of Dawkins and the like, almost falls into the same category as some rather obscure "universal religion" like that of pope Benedict and if anything I believe it may be even more of an abomination. Politics, at the end of the day, is the art of the possible. We look at the recently disclosed 800 Radia tapes and the 140 available Radia audios and ask "Do we really have time to attend to this matter, and where does Jegath Gasper Raj fit into all this ? Also Raj is apparently some sort of crony of Manmohan Singh. One may muse on the devastating effect of the Goan Inquisition on the splintering of the Thomas Christian church, the Roman splitting of the Thomas faith and perhaps surmise that fragments of that sort of problem remain clearly with us today. Indeed recently I found an old Thomas Cross found in my home and I was minded of alleged tales of Belfast taxi drivers and the saying "I  know you are a Hindu but are you a Catholic Hindu or a Protestant Hindu".  Some say that true Christianity is actually the Christianity of the great 'Thomas the Doubter' who allegedly even doubted the return of Jesus Christ after the crucifixion - and in the story, far from being rebuked by Christ was even given a fair and honest answer to his doubts. (That being said, I have to say I prefer Ganpathy ).  At the same time, the secularists could be said to be posing a greater threat than the religious, doubters or not.

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