1. So I’m in Baltimore as a discussion leader on a conference on utopias—if anyone knows what’s really going on Aeschylus’ PROMETHEUS BOUND you need to let me now by 930 in the morning. It is true that all utopias that are real projects for reform are about “blind hope,” what Prometheus gave to man. Because he also gave man fire and the arts and sciences and such, he actually enhanced our factual awareness that each of us is ephemeral. But we also either aren’t obsessed with that fact or are somewhat unridiculously undaunted by it. We have this vague sense that we can make ourselves free like the power-God Zeus. But even Zeus is bound by necessity, which we forget, of course, when we imagine, like Marxists or transhumanists, that we can turn the realm of necessity into the realm of freedom. To be governed by blind hope, of course, is not really to be a free and responsible person or a Socratic etc. But some Socratic might say that the Christians are also governed by blind hope—in faith in things unseen. And the Christian God is a lot like Prometheus—a God who is animated by love of and pity for man and is willing to suffer for us to be healed or delivered from the misery of our mortality. A Prometheus fan might even say that Jesus didn’t really know what suffering is. He suffered quite temporarily as a mortal man. Prometheus’ sentence, so to speak, is immortal suffering. He reminds us, of course, that to be delivered from our mortality would not necessarily to be delivered from our suffering. But the difference between Christian and techno-utopian hope: The Christians have the reasonable view that they can’t possibly save themselves. When they combine that awareness with atheism, they become existentialists or governed by the thought that there’s no escape but death from the miserable absurdity of who we are as ephemeral specks caught between two abysses. Well, it was therapeutic for ME to think that through a bit.

2. Why the young aren’t as conservative as they should be? In addition to everything Pete mentioned, let’s tell the truth and admit that the conservative media is worse than it used to be. And then there’s the discrediting of “neocon” foreign policy and the whole American empire, American exceptionalism thing. Why? We lost and so lots of money and a significant number of lives were lost for what’s perceived as no good reason. Finally: The issue of gay rights and same-sex marriage—which is a disaster for the Republicans among the young.

3. The young are conservative when it comes to entitlements and all that. But also fatalistic—not trusting either party on that front.

Articles by Peter Lawler

Loading...

Show 0 comments