Counter Culture Quotes

We've searched our database for all the quotes and captions related to Counter Culture. Here they are! All 200 of them:

The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.
Alan W. Watts (The Culture of Counter-Culture: Edited Transcripts (Love of Wisdom))
Though the details differ across the world, no known culture lacks some version of the time-consuming, wealth consuming, hostility provoking rituals, the anti-factual, counter-productive fantasies of religion.
Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion)
Seeds have the power to preserve species, to enhance cultural as well as genetic diversity, to counter economic monopoly and to check the advance of conformity on all its many fronts.
Michael Pollan (Second Nature: A Gardener's Education)
Having a dissenting opinion on movies, music, or clothes, or owning clever or obscure possessions, is the way middle-class people fight one another for status...Hipsters, then, are the direct result of this cycle of indie, authentic, obscure, ironic, clever consummerism...It is ironic in the sense the very act of trying to run counter to the culture is what creates the next wave of culture people will in turn attempt to counter.
David McRaney (You Are Not So Smart)
The people who invented the twenty-first century were pot-smoking, sandal-wearing hippies from the West Coast like Steve, because they saw differently,” he said. "The hierarchical systems of the East Coast, England, Germany, and Japan do not encourage this different thinking. The sixties produced an anarchic mind-set that is great for imagining a world not yet in existence.
Walter Isaacson (Steve Jobs)
Superhero movies and comic books teach a lesson that runs directly counter to the culture-of-violence idea: guns are for bad guys too cowardly to fight like men.
Stephen King (Guns)
In a team setting, leadership is shared by a community of people, which counters the tendency for pastors to form congregations in their own images.
Adam S. McHugh (Introverts in the Church: Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture)
...there is still a need for those of us nestled deep within the Christian bubble to look beyond the status quo and critically assess the degree to which we are really living biblically.
Francis Chan (Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit)
We are the culture. All those people that are doing those dumb TV things and promoting hate…that’s the ‘counter’culture.
Ken Kesey (Vintage Tomorrows: A Historian and a Futurist Journey Through Steampunk Into the Future of Technology)
It is impossible to be a follower of Christ while denying, disregarding, discrediting, and disbelieving the words of Christ.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
People who see themselves as “good” are much more likely to do “evil” things. This is because believing you are the “good guy” allows you to define your actions as good because you are the one doing them. This is why many successful cultures frame humans as intrinsically wretched. It can seem harsh to raise a child to believe deeply in their own wretchedness, but doing so helps them remember to always second-guess themselves by remembering their lesser, selfishly motivated instincts. Instincts that run counter to your morality and values have every bit as much access to your intelligence as “the better angels” of your consciousness and will use your own knowledge and wit to justify their whims. You can’t outreason your worst impulses without stacking the deck in your favor. Coming from a culture that anticipates bad impulses and steels you against them can do that. That said, cultures will no doubt develop different, less harsh mechanisms for achieving the same outcome.
Simone Collins (The Pragmatist’s Guide to Crafting Religion: A playbook for sculpting cultures that overcome demographic collapse & facilitate long-term human flourishing (The Pragmatist's Guide))
Here is a statistic that does matter: Three quarters of Americans believe the Bible teaches that “God helps those who help themselves.” That is, three out of four Americans believe that this uber-American idea, a notion at the core of our current individualist politics and culture, which was in fact uttered by Ben Franklin, actually appears in Holy Scripture. The thing is, not only is Franklin's wisdom not biblical; it's counter-biblical. Few ideas could be further from the gospel message, with its radical summons to love of neighbor. On this essential matter, most Americans—most American Christians—are simply wrong, as if 75 percent of American scientists believed that Newton proved gravity causes apples to fly up.
Bill McKibben
A nation forgetting its own laughter is in a sad state of affairs
Sherry Marie Gallagher (Boulder Blues: A Tale of the Colorado Counterculture)
Then one of them asked why Japanese kids try to ape American kids? The clothes, the rap music, the skateboards, the hair. I wanted to say that it's not America they're aping, it's the Japan of their parents that they're rejecting. And since there's no home-grown counter culture, they just take hold of the nearest one to hand, which happens to be American. But it's not American culture exploiting us. It's us exploiting it.
David Mitchell (Ghostwritten)
Liberation as an intellectual mission, born in the resistance and opposition to the confinements and ravages of imperialism, has now shifted from the settled, established, and domesticated dynamics of culture to its unhoused, decentred, and exilic energies, energies whose incarnation today is the migrant, and whose conciousness is that of the intellectual and artist in exile, the political figure between domains, between forms, between homes, and between languages. From this perspective then all things are indeed counter, original, spare, strange. From this perspective also, one can see 'the complete consort dancing together' contrapuntally.
Edward W. Said (Culture and Imperialism)
We encourage you: Take off the training wheels. Focus on true mental toughness. Focus on commitments and controllables, you can’t control the results anyway. Love people. Serve people. Provide value. Burn your goals. Fall in love with the process of becoming great.
Joshua Medcalf (Burn Your Goals: The Counter Cultural Approach to Achieving Your Greatest Potential)
...if the Democrats suggested a plan to burn down the Capitol building, the Republicans would counter with a plan to do it over the course of three years.
Douglas Wilson (Black & Tan: A Collection of Essays and Excursions on Slavery, Culture War, and Scripture in America)
It's a bit counter-intuitive to think about the future in terms of the past. But...I've learned an important trick: to develop foresight, you need to practice hindsight. Technologies, cultures, and climates may change, but our basic human needs and desires - to survive, to care for our families, and to lead happy, purposeful lives - remain the same.
Jane McGonigal (Reality is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World)
He (Orwell) always made an impression of the passing traveler who meets one on the station, points out that one is waiting for the wrong train, and vanishes
V.S. Pritchett
Even choosing to do nothing is still making a choice.
Joshua Medcalf (Burn Your Goals: The Counter Cultural Approach to Achieving your Greatest Potential)
Contrition means finding the courage to let your heart break over sin. Willfully letting your heart break and then offering the pieces to God is a radically counter cultural idea in our society.
Ellen F. Davis (Getting Involved with God: Rediscovering the Old Testament)
most people are accusing God, asking, “How can you punish sinners? How can you let good people go to hell?” But the question the Bible asks is exactly the opposite: “God, how can you be just and still let guilty sinners into heaven?” And the only answer to that question is Jesus Christ.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
Good magic opens the mysteries to all; bad magic seeks simply to mystify.
Theodore Roszak (The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition)
Surely there is nothing so ungracious, nor nothing so cruel, but men will hold therewith, if it be once approved by custom.
Erasmus (Against War)
And what if Christ’s call in our lives is not to comfort in our culture? What if Christ in us actually compels us to counter our culture?
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
You must make a counter-culture decision to focus on becoming more like Jesus. Otherwise, other forces like peers, parents, coworkers, and culture will try to mold you into their image.
Rick Warren (The Purpose Driven Life: What on Earth Am I Here for?)
What if the main issue in our culture today is not poverty or sex trafficking, homosexuality or abortion? What if the main issue is God? And what might happen if we made him our focus instead?
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
The cultural situation in America today (and indeed in all Western societies) is determined by the cultural earthquake of the nineteen-sixties, the consequences of which are very much in evidence. What began as a counter-culture only some thirty years ago has achieved dominance in elite culture and, from the bastions of the latter (in the educational system, the media, the higher reaches of the law, and key positions within government bureaucracy), has penetrated both popular culture and the corporate world. It is characterized by an amalgam of both sentiments and beliefs that cannot be easily catalogued, though terms like 'progressive,' 'emancipators or 'liberationist' serve to describe it. Intellectually, this new culture is legitimated by a number of loosely connected ideologies— leftover Marxism, feminism and other sexual identity doctrines, racial and ethnic separatism, various brands of therapeutic gospels and of environmentalism. An underlying theme is antagonism toward Western culture in general and American culture in particular. A prevailing spirit is one of intolerance and a grim orthodoxy, precisely caught in the phrase "political correctness.
Peter L. Berger
according to who they are, not what they do. • My value comes from who I am, not what I do. • Pursue excellence no matter what. • Sometimes you have to say F your feelings and choose to be excellent.
Joshua Medcalf (Burn Your Goals: The Counter Cultural Approach to Achieving Your Greatest Potential)
Warrior cultures (and warrior leaders) enlist shame, not only as a counter to fear but as a goad to honor. The warrior advancing into battle (or simply resolving to keep up the fight) is more afraid of disgrace in the eyes of his brothers than he is of the spears and lances of the enemy.
Steven Pressfield (The Warrior Ethos)
How about this, I would counter: try not commenting on your own looks—on the size of your thighs or the tightness of your jeans. At least not in front of your daughter. Girls receive enough messages every day reducing them to their appearance without women they love delivering them, too.
Peggy Orenstein (Cinderella Ate My Daughter: Dispatches from the Frontlines of the New Girlie-Girl Culture)
Are you really saying there's only one way to God?' people immediately ask. Yet even as we ask the question, we reveal the problem. If there were 1,000 ways to God, we would want 1,001. The issue is not how many ways lead to God; the issue is our autonomy before God. We want to make our own way. This is the essence of sin in the first place — trusting our way more than God's way.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
This is an argument I made in a podcast episode titled "Three Myths Christian Women Believe". The first myth was that you are enough. My counter was this: you're not enough, you'll never be enough, and that's okay, because God is.
Allie Beth Stuckey (You're Not Enough (and That's Ok): Escaping the Toxic Culture of Self-Love)
Reaction against the machine-culture. - The machine, itself a product of the highest intellectual energies, sets in motion in those who server it almost nothing but the lower, non-intellectual energies. It thereby releases a vast quantity of energy in general that would otherwise lie dormant, it is true; but it provides no instigation to enhancement, to improvement, to becoming an artist. It makes men active and uniform - but in the long run this engenders a counter-effect, a despairing boredom of soul, which teaches to long for idleness in all it varieties.
Friedrich Nietzsche (Human, All Too Human: A Book for Free Spirits)
At the tattoo parlor, my friend worked with needle and ink applying a design to the skin on his client's back, as the three of us sat discussing our spiritual desires and ambivalence about religion. In the midst of our conversation, the man under the needle turned and said, 'Jesus is cool, it's just that they have f***ed with Jesus. I mean, Christianity was at its best when it was secret and hidden and you could die for it.' This profound, if crass, statement recognizes that the power of the gospel lay in its ability to be a counter-cultural and revolutionary force - not only a story to believe, but a distinctive way of life. The man's comment prompted me to consider the questions: Am I in some measure complicit in the domestication of Jesus?
Mark Scandrette (Soul Graffiti: Making a Life in the Way of Jesus)
For the greatest way to achieve social and cultural transformation is not by focusing on social and cultural transformation, but by giving our lives to gospel proclamation—to telling others the good news of all God has done in Christ and calling them to follow him.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
In a culture that places great emphasis on leisure, luxury, financial gain, self-improvement, and material possessions, it will be increasingly countercultural for Christians to work diligently, live simply, give sacrificially, help constructively, and invest eternally.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
We must reject the lie of materialism. Your STUFF, does not dictate Your STATURE.
Jayce O'Neal
Jesus has not given us a commission to consider; he has given us a command to obey.
David Platt (Because We Are Called to Counter Culture: In a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Persecution, Abortion, Orphans, and Pornography (Counter Culture Booklets))
What you have now then is the marketing of racialized identities as tools for consumption. And certain racialized bodies and images are associated with hipness, coolness, edginess. So all kinds of youth all over the world are appropriating that style as a way of, sort of, countering authority, stating their rebelliousness, and wanting to be seen as significant.
Amalia Mesa-Bains (Homegrown: Engaged Cultural Criticism)
We don’t have to ask what the will of God is; he has made it clear. He wants his people to provide for the poor, to value the unborn, to care for orphans and widows, to rescue people from slavery, to defend marriage, to war against sexual immorality in all its forms in every area of our lives, to love our neighbors as ourselves regardless of their ethnicity, to practice faith regardless of the risk, and to proclaim the gospel to all nations. Of these things we are sure.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
We’re all familiar with the Hippie dress code. Long hair, beards, psychedelic colours, sandals, lots of beads, and the women could often be seen wearing long, flowery granny dresses. So much so in fact that it became a uniform. Hippies rebelled so much against inflexible dress codes that eventually they created their own rigid styles. Hippies mutinied so much against conformity that over the course of time they were forced to play the game and comply with what everyone else was wearing. The counter-culture became a counter-counter-culture. Everyone was the same
Karl Wiggins (Wrong Planet - Searching for your Tribe)
Stop waiting for your moment and keep training for your moment so that when the opportunity of your dreams comes, you won’t flinch, you won’t fret, but you’ll step up and trust your training.
Joshua Medcalf (Burn Your Goals: The Counter Cultural Approach to Achieving Your Greatest Potential)
Some upstarts always try to get closer to the source of creation by ascending to the source's level. The story of Icarus is of course a parable about the folly of such an effort. Get too close to the sun and your hubris will get you burned. Yet in the eyes of twenty-first-century capitalist culture, which worships at the twin altars of the individual and technology, Icarus had initiative. And his melted wings do not represent some deep character flaw; he just needed better beta testers.
Marcus Wohlsen (Biopunk: Kitchen-Counter Scientists Hack the Software of Life)
The profound psychological benefits of play are integral to healthy cultures, communities, and individuals, including a direct relationship to work productivity. Engage in some unstructured outdoor physical exertion each day to counter the negative effects of a sedentary, technological existence.
Mark Sisson (The Primal Blueprint: Reprogram your genes for effortless weight loss, vibrant health, and boundless energy (Primal Blueprint Series))
What is government? Government is the boot. The boot steps here and there, careful to avoid a blade of grass, to nurture it, coddle it, water it. The boot spots a snail heading toward its grass - slowly, surely. The boot smashes down on the snail and twists and laughs at its squelching noises, its last grasp for breath. The boot seeks a new snail - heading slowly toward the blade, sometimes simply minding its own business entirely - and smashes it too, like the first. The boot goes on and on - smashing, twisting, smashing, twisting - until finally it tires too of the blade of grass. The boot stops for only a moment and twists itself back down toward these carcasses lying about its yard. 'How sad,' it says to itself, 'that some otherworldly spirit, possessing me, could do this!' It goes to take a step, lets down onto the ground, and feels a dead snail. It instantly picks itself up, feeling proud - not that it will not stomp the snails in the future, but that it at least is starting to feel remorse for their deaths. It smashes the shells and bodies of hundreds of thousands of millions of snails, only to understand its weakness as originating from someplace else entirely; and then it has the audacity to smash even more.
Alan W. Watts (The Culture of Counter-Culture: Edited Transcripts (Love of Wisdom))
At the moment, the threat of the far right is understood by the American public and actively countered by government, academia, media, and civil society. No comparable resolve or mass organization exists to counter the far left. Why? One explanation is the cultural dominance of the left. The political homogeneity in popular culture, academe, and urban centers of influence (e.g., New York, Washington, DC, Los Angeles, etc.) has produced a populace with severe blind spots.
Andy Ngo (Unmasked: Inside Antifa's Radical Plan to Destroy Democracy)
So-called “same-sex marriage” is now recognized as a legitimate entity in the eyes of our government. Such a designation by a government, however, does not change the definition God has established. The only true marriage in God’s eyes remains the exclusive, permanent union of a man and a woman, even as our Supreme Court and state legislatures deliberately defy this reality.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
When in doubt, assume that people will act according to their current irrational urges, ignoring information that runs counter to their beliefs, trading long-term for short-term benefits and most of all, being influenced by the culture they identify with.
Seth Godin (This is Marketing: You Can't Be Seen Until You Learn To See)
I wish they'd conduct a national poll to find out who feels out of place and who doesn't. Just to get the numbers, you know? To get a feel for how many of us there are. Sometimes at work I get the feeling that it's got to be right up against 100%. I’ll head out to the register to help out during the lunch rush and the new cashier will look so confused and lost, and then I’ll look at the customers she’s supposed to be helping, and they’ll look lost, too, and then when I sneak a glance toward the tables there’ll be all these people staring at their food or at each other with blank looks in their eyes. And I’ll think: Is this just me? Is everybody else actually fine, and I’m just trying to imagine that they’re like me? But I don’t think so. I’ve thought about this a lot, and I’m pretty sure that some ridiculous percentage of the population is walking around feeling like aliens. I think teenagers feel that all the time...
John Darnielle
To have a man whose name is on the label showing such interest, commitment, and determination for the best is a wonderful thing. This is someone who will throw money at quality, who believes in being the best. Never knock it. Would you prefer to have a bean counter in corporate headquarters, someone who never comes near the brewery, making decisions solely on the basis of the bottom line and profit margins?
Charles W. Bamforth (Beer Is Proof God Loves Us: The Craft, Culture, and Ethos of Brewing)
In a world where everything revolves around yourself—protect yourself, promote yourself, comfort yourself, and take care of yourself—Jesus says, “Crucify yourself. Put aside all self-preservation in order to live for God’s glorification, no matter what that means for you in the culture around you.
David Platt (Because We Are Called to Counter Culture: In a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Persecution, Abortion, Orphans, and Pornography (Counter Culture Booklets))
Olujime was a pit fighter, an accountant, a magical warrior, and an ostrich whisperer. Somehow I was not surprised. “Is he going with you?” I asked. Thalia laughed. “No. Just helping us get ready. Seems like a good guy, but I don’t think he’s Hunter material. He’s not even, uh…a Greek-Roman type, is he? I mean, he’s not a legacy of you guys, the Olympians.” “No,” I agreed. “He is from a different tradition and parentage entirely.” Thalia’s short spiky hair rippled in the wind, as if reacting to her uneasiness. “You mean from other gods.” “Of course. He mentioned the Yoruba, though I admit I know very little about their ways.” “How is that possible? Other pantheons of gods, side by side?” I shrugged. I was often surprised by mortals’ limited imaginations, as if the world was an either/or proposition. Sometimes humans seemed as stuck in their thinking as they were in their meat-sack bodies. Not, mind you, that gods were much better. “How could it not be possible?” I countered. “In ancient times, this was common sense. Each country, sometimes each city, had its own pantheon of gods. We Olympians have always been used to living in close proximity to, ah…the competition.” “So you’re the sun god,” Thalia said. “But some other deity from some other culture is also the sun god?” “Exactly. Different manifestations of the same truth.” “I don’t get it.” I spread my hands. “Honestly, Thalia Grace, I don’t know how to explain it any better. But surely you’ve been a demigod long enough to
Rick Riordan (The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2))
As an epiphany of God, Jesus discloses that at the center of everything is a reality that is in love with us and wills our well-being, both as individuals and as individuals within society. As an image of God, Jesus challenges the most widespread image of reality in both the ancient and modern world, countering conventional wisdom’s understanding of God as one with demands that must be met by the anxious self in search of its own security. In its place is an image of God as the compassionate one who invites people into a relationship which is the source of transformation of human life in both its individual and social aspects.
Marcus J. Borg (Jesus: A New Vision: Spirit, Culture, and the Life of Discipleship)
An even more pointed example of the the power of the silence tabu in libraries occurred in Duluth in 1981. The police were pursuing a fugitive from justice who ran into the public library. Uniformed police surrounded the building, and the library director was notified that only unobtrusive plainclothesmen were entering the building. Their instructions: “When you find him, overpower him. Quietly.” It was done, and only a few people in the crowded building saw a handcuffed man being ushered past the checkout counter. “See,” one librarian remarked quietly to an amazed person, “that’s what happens when you don’t pay your book fines.
Ray B. Browne (Forbidden Fruits: Taboos and Tabooism in Culture)
I think life is a lot different for alternative kids nowadays. Texting and the internet mean that being a Goth or something means you're part of a big social scene, it's an inclusive thing. Back then, we all just went our different ways in the afterglow,wishing each other all the best with the next ten years of bullying.
Frankie Boyle (My Shit Life So Far)
Zeena Schreck is a Berlin-based interdisciplinary artist, author, musician/composer, tantric teacher, mystic, animal rights activist, and counter-culture icon known by her mononymous artist name, ZEENA. Her work stems from her experience within the esoteric, shamanistic and magical traditions of which she's practiced, taught and been initiated. She is a practicing Tibetan Buddhist yogini, teaches at the Buddhistische Gesellschaft Berlin and is the spiritual leader of the Sethian Liberation Movement (SLM).
Zeena Schreck
Change the prevailing mode of consciousness and you change the world.
Theodore Roszak (The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition)
Because all things begin with God and ultimately exist for God, nothing in all creation is irrelevant to him.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
Let’s not merely contemplate the Word of God in the world around us; let’s do what it says (see James 1:22-25).
David Platt (Because We Are Called to Counter Culture: In a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Persecution, Abortion, Orphans, and Pornography (Counter Culture Booklets))
God wants to get you where He wants you to go more than you want to get where He wants you to go.
Joshua Medcalf (Burn Your Goals: The Counter Cultural Approach to Achieving Your Greatest Potential)
But on the other hand,” he countered, “you will soon be leaving time behind you altogether. So why should the transitory customs of one local culture affect the decision so much?
Stephenie Meyer (The Twilight Saga Complete Collection (Twilight, #1-4, Bree Tanner))
The building of a good society is not primarily a social, but a psychic task.
Theodore Roszak (The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition)
The real meaning of revolution is not a change in management … but a change in man.
Theodore Roszak (The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition)
Someone should have the right to choose Mexican or Chinese food for dinner, or where to live, or what kind of car to drive. Of course we are pro-choice on these and thousands of other things. But we aren’t pro-choice about rape. And we aren’t pro-choice about burglary. We aren’t pro-choice about kidnapping children. So why should we be pro-choice about killing them?
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
I still think of myself as someone who is interested in the experience of beauty, but I would never describe myself (except to you, in this email) as 'interested in beauty', because people would assume that I meant I was interested in cosmetics. This I guess is the dominant meaning of the word 'beauty’ in our culture now. And it seems telling that this meaning of the word 'beauty' signifies something so profoundly ugly – plastic counters in expensive department stores, discount pharmacies, artificial perfumes, eyelash extensions, jars of 'product'.
Sally Rooney (Beautiful World, Where Are You)
The essence of what the Bible calls sin is the exaltation of self. God has designed us to put him first in our lives, others next, and ourselves last. Yet sin reverses that order: we put ourselves first, others next (many times in an attempt to use them for ourselves), and God somewhere (if anywhere) in the distant background. We turn from worshiping God to worshiping self.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
Cannabis sativa and its derivatives are strictly prohibited in Turkey, and the natural correlative of this proscription is that alcohol, far from being frowned upon as it is in other Moslem lands, is freely drunk; being a government monopoly it can be bought at any cigarette counter. This fact is no mere detail; it is of primary social importance, since the psychological effects of the two substances are diametrically opposed to each other. Alcohol blurs the personality by loosening inhibitions. The drinker feels, temporarily at least, a sense of participation. Kif abolishes no inhibitions; on the contrary it reinforces them, pushes the individual further back into the recesses of his own isolated personality, pledging him to contemplation and inaction. It is to be expected that there should be a close relationsip between the culture of a given society and the means used by its members to achieve release and euphoria. For Judaism and Christianity the means has always been alcohol; for Islam it has been hashish. The first is dynamic in its effects, the other static. If a nation wishes, however mistakenly, to Westernize itself, first let it give up hashish. The rest will follow, more or less as a manner of course. Conversely, in a Western country, if a whole segment of the population desires, for reasons of protest (as has happened in the United States), to isolate itself in a radical fashion from the society around it, the quickest and surest way is for it to replace alcohol by cannabis.
Paul Bowles (Their Heads are Green and Their Hands are Blue: Scenes from the Non-Christian World)
Moreover, in removing race and racism from the discussion altogether, we’re paving the way for us as one race to call racism what it actually is: sin borne in a heart of pride and prejudice.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
The author indicts "our culture's rush toward efficiency, speed, quantification, and distraction" and counters with the value of "the time and attention required to find the best words and images and then hold them together in ways that illuminate. This, she diagnoses, "is now wildly countercultural. It is inefficient. Its value is not readily quantifiable. Its utility is intangible.
Cherie Harder
What about those of us who just don’t fit in, who feel as if we were born on the Wrong Planet, or in the wrong time period? Where did we come from? Is this a whole counter-culture that’s new to the planet, moving us forward? Have we finally reached the Age of Aquarius? Is it now! Is the moon in the seventh house? Has Jupiter finally aligned with Mars? And are we right now getting ready to see mystic crystal revelation where love will steer the stars? Afraid not. There have always been people who see the world differently from everyone else. And there always will be. If you’re one of the ‘chosen ones’ then you come from a long line of Gypsies, tramps and thieves, of rebels and revolutionaries, of pagans, infidels and sceptics. This is your heritage, and you have much to be proud of
Karl Wiggins (Wrong Planet - Searching for your Tribe)
The worst thing we can do for the needy is neglect them. The second worst thing we can do is subsidize them, helping people get through a day while ignoring how we can help people get through their lives.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
The message was wrong, I knew that now, but maybe the tactics were right. Perhaps we could use the methods of the Islamist groups to create a counter-Islamist movement, to do da’wah for the democratic culture?
Maajid Nawaz (Radical: My Journey out of Islamist Extremism)
Culture is a vulture but there's also vulture culture and cultured vultures and cultured yougurt (cherry, peach, pear, pineapple, grape, vanilla, plain, cherry vanilla, pineapple orage, cranberry, orange, mandarin orange, coffee, apricot, raspberry, blueberry, boysenberry, prune). And speaking of vulture culture there's counter-culture and under-the-counter culture, too. But whether you call it kulchur with a k and a ch and without the e it's still the same thing and you can't disguise it with pretty frills and a gallon of dog sweat. It still has two syllables and TWO-SYLLABLE WORDS SUCK so you can just forgetit, man. It's no fun at all and even fun wouldn't be fun if it was called funjure or funion or funching. But somehow fucking is still loads of fun even though there's that extra 3-letter cluster of vowels and consonants. Proof positive that there are exceptions everywhere you look. But don't look too hard, you might get eyestrain.
Richard Meltzer (Gulcher: Post-Rock Cultural Pluralism in America 1649-1993)
Through Jimi Hendrix's music you can almost see the assassinations of President John F. Kennedy and of Martin Luther King Junior, the beginnings of the Berlin Wall, Yuri Gagarin in space, Fidel Castro and Cuba, the debut of Spiderman, Martin Luther King Junior’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, Ford Mustang cars, anti-Vietnam protests, Mary Quant designing the mini-skirt, Indira Gandhi becoming the Prime Minister of India, four black students sitting down at a whites-only lunch counter in Greensboro North Carolina, President Johnson pushing the Civil Rights Act, flower children growing their hair long and practicing free love, USA-funded IRA blowing up innocent civilians on the streets and in the pubs of Great Britain, Napalm bombs being dropped on the lush and carpeted fields of Vietnam, a youth-driven cultural revolution in Swinging London, police using tear gas and billy-clubs to break up protests in Chicago, Mods and Rockers battling on Brighton Beach, Native Americans given the right to vote in their own country, the United Kingdom abolishing the death penalty, and the charismatic Argentinean Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara. It’s all in Jimi’s absurd and delirious guitar riffs.
Karl Wiggins (Wrong Planet - Searching for your Tribe)
Before the counter-culture revolutionary Li Lian was executed in 1971 for criticising the Cultural Revolution, pour policemen pushed her face against the window of a truck, lifted her shirt and cut out her kidneys with a surgical knife,’ Mau Sen said, his face stony and white. ‘I think that removing the organs of convicts while they are still alive is too much. It completely contravenes medical ethics.’ ‘This is a dissection class, not a political meeting,’ Sun Chunlin said.
Ma Jian (Beijing Coma)
Why biblical texts? Because biblical texts have the power to release what Brueggemann calls a “counter-imagination,” a way of seeing the world that is an alternative to the consumerist, militaristic, death-obsessed imagination of the culture.
Thomas G. Long (The Witness of Preaching)
Unfortunately, I predict we will see a lot more of this type of behavior (and worse) as our culture progresses beyond Anglo domination. Many white people are beginning to feel like their world is being taken from them, and it causes fear and outbursts of violence like this. Except nothing is actually being taken away, it's just now being shared. It's what is referred to as privilege. Before, we (white people) could assume everything catered to us by default. Everything spoke our language. Everyone (that mattered) looked like us. Everything reflected our beliefs (well, the religious majority, anyways). Now, that is not the case. We are actually having to share space with others. What we are seeing with acts of aggression at restaurants like this is a sort of only-child selfishness taken to the extreme. We've been privileged for a long time now, and we don't like to share. There are many privilege axes beyond white. There is christian privilege, straight (heterosexual) privilege, and male privilege. If you are angered by the acceptance of things counter to how you live, but do no actual harm, then you are probably a victim of privilege. [In response to women wearing hijabs being attacked at restaurants, November 2015]
Michael Brewer
The prime strategy of the technocracy “is to level life down to a standard of so-called living that technical expertise can cope with—and then, on that false and exclusive basis, to claim an intimidating omnicompetence over us by its monopoly of the experts.
Theodore Roszak (The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition)
I recently read in the Wall Street Journal an article by Jonathan Sacks, Britain’s chief rabbi. Among other things, he writes: … ‘There are large parts of [the world] where religion is a thing of the past and there is no counter-voice to the culture of buy it, spend it, wear it, flaunt it, because you’re worth it. The message is that morality is passé, conscience is for wimps, and the single overriding command is ‘Thou shalt not be found out.’ My brothers and sisters, this—unfortunately—describes much of the world around us. Do we wring our hands in despair and wonder how we’ll ever survive in such a world? No. Indeed, we have in our lives the gospel of Jesus Christ, and we know that morality is not passé, that our conscience is there to guide us, and that we are responsible for our actions.
Thomas S. Monson
To be counter to the culture, you are by definition willfully and actively ignoring the culture, i.e., reality. And when you ignore reality for too long, you begin to feel immune to, or above, the gravitational pull that binds everyone else. You are courting disaster.
Rob Lowe (Stories I Only Tell My Friends)
On popular issues like poverty and slavery, where Christians are likely to be applauded for our social action, we are quick to stand up and speak out. Yet on controversial issues like homosexuality and abortion, where Christians are likely to be criticized for our involvement, we are content to sit down and stay quiet. It’s as if we’ve decided to pick and choose which social issues we’ll contest and which we’ll concede. And our picking and choosing normally revolves around what is most comfortable—and least costly—for us in our culture.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
We are dealing, then, with an absurdity that is not a quirk or an accident, but is fundamental to our character as people. The split between what we think and what we do is profound. It is not just possible, it is altogether to be expected, that our society would produce conservationists who invest in strip-mining companies, just as it must inevitably produce asthmatic executives whose industries pollute the air and vice-presidents of pesticide corporations whose children are dying of cancer. And these people will tell you that this is the way the "real world" works. The will pride themselves on their sacrifices for "our standard of living." They will call themselves "practical men" and "hardheaded realists." And they will have their justifications in abundance from intellectuals, college professors, clergymen, politicians. The viciousness of a mentality that can look complacently upon disease as "part of the cost" would be obvious to any child. But this is the "realism" of millions of modern adults. There is no use pretending that the contradiction between what we think or say and what we do is a limited phenomenon. There is no group of the extra-intelligent or extra-concerned or extra-virtuous that is exempt. I cannot think of any American whom I know or have heard of, who is not contributing in some way to destruction. The reason is simple: to live undestructively in an economy that is overwhelmingly destructive would require of any one of us, or of any small group of us, a great deal more work than we have yet been able to do. How could we divorce ourselves completely and yet responsibly from the technologies and powers that are destroying our planet? The answer is not yet thinkable, and it will not be thinkable for some time -- even though there are now groups and families and persons everywhere in the country who have begun the labor of thinking it. And so we are by no means divided, or readily divisible, into environmental saints and sinners. But there are legitimate distinctions that need to be made. These are distinctions of degree and of consciousness. Some people are less destructive than others, and some are more conscious of their destructiveness than others. For some, their involvement in pollution, soil depletion, strip-mining, deforestation, industrial and commercial waste is simply a "practical" compromise, a necessary "reality," the price of modern comfort and convenience. For others, this list of involvements is an agenda for thought and work that will produce remedies. People who thus set their lives against destruction have necessarily confronted in themselves the absurdity that they have recognized in their society. They have first observed the tendency of modern organizations to perform in opposition to their stated purposes. They have seen governments that exploit and oppress the people they are sworn to serve and protect, medical procedures that produce ill health, schools that preserve ignorance, methods of transportation that, as Ivan Illich says, have 'created more distances than they... bridge.' And they have seen that these public absurdities are, and can be, no more than the aggregate result of private absurdities; the corruption of community has its source in the corruption of character. This realization has become the typical moral crisis of our time. Once our personal connection to what is wrong becomes clear, then we have to choose: we can go on as before, recognizing our dishonesty and living with it the best we can, or we can begin the effort to change the way we think and live.
Wendell Berry (The Unsettling of America: Culture and Agriculture)
অবন্তিকা বানুর জন্য প্রেমের কবিতা অবন্তিকা বানু, রাষ্ট্রের দিকে তোলা তর্জনী থেকে যে স্ফূলিঙ্গ ছড়িয়ে দিলি তুই দেখেছিস, বোরখা থেকে বেরিয়ে এসেছেন বুড়ি আর তরুণীরা মাথায় হিজাবঘোমটা অবন্তিকাবানু প্রান্তকে টেনে এনে মেইনস্ট্রিমে মিলিয়ে-মিশিয়ে দিলি এই বদল একদিনের নয় এমনকি শুধুই বদল নয় তোর ওই তর্জনী তোলা ভেতরে-ভেতরে ভয়ংকর ওলোটপালোট করে দিলি তোর দেখাদেখি হিজাবঘোমটা ফেলে হাজার তরুণী রাষ্ট্রের দিকে ওঠাচ্ছে তর্জনী হয়তো তুই শুধু ছবি হয়ে থেকে যাবি কৌম-আয়নায় কিন্তু ওই তর্জনী তোলা ভুলবে না কেউ সশস্ত্র পুরুষদের তোর ধমকানি এবং হুঁশিয়ারি আমার আশিতম জন্মদিনে সবচেয়ে দামি উপহার
Malay Roychoudhury (প্রিয় পচিশ - কবিতার বই)
counter-cultural.  We’re so used to having more than enough that many of us have never truly learned what it is to trust God to provide what we need.  Yet sometimes God will lead us to this place to teach us to trust Him, to rely on His provision and to experience the wonder of His love.
Jennifer Carter (Women of Courage: 31 Daily Devotional Bible Readings - The Remarkable Untold Stories, Challenges & Triumphs Of Thirty-One Ordinary, Yet Extraordinary, Bible Women)
We have welcomed fundamentalist preachers into our cities and stood idly by as thousands of disaffected young people have been radicalized by their rantings. Worse, we have made almost not attempt to counter the proselytizing of the Medina Muslims. If we continue this policy of nonintervention in the culture war, we will never extricate ourselves from the actual battlefield. For we cannot fight an ideology solely with air strikes and drones or even boots on the ground. We need to fight it with ideas – with better ideas, with positive ideas. We need to fight it with an alternative vision.
Ayaan Hirsi Ali (Heretic: Why Islam Needs a Reformation Now)
Illness in this society, physical or mental, they are not abnormalities. They are normal responses to an abnormal culture. This culture is abnormal when it comes to real human needs. And.. it is in the nature of the system to be abnormal, because if we had a society geared to meet human needs.. would we be destroying the Earth through climate change? Would we be putting extra burden on certain minority people? Would we be selling people a lot of goods that they don't need, and, in fact, are harmful for them? Would there be mass industries based on manufacturing, designing and mass-marketing toxic food to people? So we do all that for the sake of profit. That's insanity. It is not insanity from the point of view of profit, but it is insanity from the point of view of human need. And so, in so many ways this culture denies and even runs against counter to human needs. When you mentioned trauma.. given how important trauma is in human life and what an impact it has.. why have we ignored it for so long? Because that denial of reality is built in into this system. It keeps the system alive. So it is not a mistake, it is a design issue. Not that anybody consciously designed it, but that's just how the system survives. Now.. the average medical student to THIS DAY (I say the average.. there are exceptions) still doesn't get a single lecture on trauma in 4 years of medical school. They should have a whole course on it, Because I can tell you that trauma is related to addiction, all kinds of mental illness and most physical health conditions as well. And there is a whole lot of science behind that, but they don't study that science. Now that reflects this society's denial of trauma, the medical system simply reflects the needs of the larger society, I should say, the dominant needs of the larger society.
Gabor Maté
It’s as if Jesus is saying to him, “Give what you have to the poor; I’ll give you something better.” In the end, Jesus is not calling this man away from treasure; he’s calling him to treasure. When we understand the passage in this way, we begin to realize that materialism is not just sinful; it’s stupid.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
So if we’re still supposed to care what people think of us, but we’re also incapable of caring about everyone equally, what’s the solution? The answer is fairly easy, but it gets glossed over or passed by all too often - we’re supposed to care what the right people think of us. This is another mindset shift and one that can often be very difficult to make, especially because it runs so counter to a global culture in which we are constantly being bombarded with anti-tribal messaging. One method I’ve personally implemented to get my mind right on this concept is a basic one - a person has to earn the right for his opinion to matter to me.
Tanner Guzy (The Appearance of Power: How Masculinity is Expressed Through Aesthetics)
Large-scale enthusiasm for folk music began in 1958 when the Kingston Trio recorded a song, “Tom Dooley,” that sold two million records. This opened the way for less slickly commercial performers. Some, like Pete Seeger, who had been singing since the depression, were veteran performers. Others, like Joan Baez, were newcomers. It was conventional for folk songs to tell a story. Hence the idiom had always lent itself to propaganda. Seeger possessed an enormous repertoire of message songs that had gotten him blacklisted by the mass media years before. Joan Baez cared more for the message than the music, and after a few years devoted herself mainly to peace work.
William L. O'Neill (Dawning of the Counter-culture: The 1960s)
When you put all these truths in the gospel together, you realize that the most offensive and countercultural claim in Christianity is not what Christians believe about homosexuality or abortion, marriage or religious liberty. Instead, the most offensive claim in Christianity is that God is the Creator, Owner, and Judge of every person on the planet.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
His voice grew more remote. She wondered if he was calling from his condominium, where he’d lost his best friend, or from Avalon, where he’d lost himself. “I like you, Billie. You’re a nice person. Good company. But tonight was a mistake.” She flung an arm over her eyes and swallowed the lump of tears that had lodged in her throat. “Oh? Which part? The part where you introduced me to your family and exposed yourself as coming from a perfectly average, wholesome background? Or the part where you touched me and turned me inside-out while swaying in a hammock in the rich, beautiful woods—one of the most searing sexual experiences of my life? Which part do you regret, Adrian?” “All of it. I can’t have those things with you. You know what I am.” “Yes, Adrian, I know what you are. A gentle man. A likable one. Smart. Cultured. Sexy. I know what you are.” “But the other part—” “What about the other part? You hide behind the other part.” She yanked the pillow out from beneath her head and winged it across the bedroom, furious suddenly. “Did you call to tell me I’m not going to see you anymore? Because if that’s the case, hurry up and say it. Then hang up and go back to work, and don’t worry one bit about me. I’ve been on my own a long time, and I’m tougher than you think. I won’t cling to any man who’d rather be a-a—” She stumbled, bit back the ugly words rushing to her lips. “A what?” he countered softly. “A whore? A gigolo? Go ahead and say it, Billie. If you’re going to waste your time caring about me, then you’d better get used to the idea, because I can’t change. I won’t. Not for you or anyone.” She bit back a sound of pure derision. “How about for you? Think you could walk the straight and narrow for yourself?” He didn’t reply. He didn’t have to. Billie already knew the answer. “You’re afraid.” She sat up among the sheets as cold realization washed through her. “Afraid to live without women clambering to pay top dollar for you. All that money…it’s a measure of your value, right? It’s your self-esteem. What would happen if you were paid in love instead of cash? Would the world end? My God, Adrian. You’re running scared.” The half-whispered accusation seemed to permeate his impassivity. “I was fine before you.” His voice came low and furious. Finally, finally. True emotion. “Damn it, Billie. I want my life back.” “Then hang up and don’t call me again, because I’m not going to pay you for sex, Adrian. What I offer is a worthless currency in your world.
Shelby Reed (The Fifth Favor)
This is the part they don’t tell you about in the movies. Or in On the Road. This is not rock ’n’ roll. You are not William Burroughs, and it doesn’t make a damn bit of difference if Kurt Cobain was slumped over in an alleyway in Seattle the day Bleach came out. There is no junkie chic. This is not Soho and you are not Sid Vicious. You are not a drugstore cowboy and you are not spotting trains. You are not a part of anything—no underground sect, no counter-culture movement, no music scene, nothing. You have just been released from jail and are walking down Mission Street, alternating between taking a hit off a cigarette and puking, looking for coins on the ground so you can catch a bus as you shit yourself.
Joe Clifford (Junkie Love)
We need a young generation and others who will be willing to stand in loving confrontation, but real confrontation, in contrast to the mentality of constant accommodation with the current forms of the world spirit as they surround us today, and in contrast to the way in which so much of evangelicalism has developed the automatic mentality to accommodate at each successive point.[14]
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
Morals, including especially, our institutions of property, freedom and justice, are not a creation of man’s reason but a distinct second endowment conferred on him by cultural evolution - runs counter to the main intellectual outlook of the twentieth century. The influence of rationalism has indeed been so profound and pervasive that, in general, the more intelligent an educated person is, the more likely he or she now is not only to be a rationalist, but also to hold socialist views (regardless of whether he or she is sufficiently doctrinal to attach to his or her views any label, including ‘socialist’). The higher we climb up the ladder of intelligence, the more we talk with intellectuals, the more likely we are to encounter socialist convictions. Rationalists tend to be intelligent and intellectual; and intelligent intellectuals tend to be socialist. One’s initial surprise at finding that intelligent people tend to be socialist diminishes when one realises that, of course, intelligent people will tend to overvalue intelligence, and to suppose that we must owe all the advantages and opportunities that our civilisation offers to deliberate design rather than to following traditional rules, and likewise to suppose that we can, by exercising our reason, eliminate any remaining undesired features by still more intelligence reflection, and still more appropriate design and ’rational coordination’ of our undertakings. This leads one to be favorably disposed to the central economic planning and control that lie at the heart of socialism… And since they have been taught that constructivism and scientism are what science and the use of reason are all about, they find it hard to believe that there can exist any useful knowledge that did not originate in deliberate experimentation, or to accept the validity of any tradition apart from their own tradition of reason. Thus [they say]: ‘Tradition is almost by definition reprehensible, something to be mocked and deplored’.
Friedrich A. Hayek (The Fatal Conceit: The Errors of Socialism (Volume 1) (The Collected Works of F. A. Hayek))
Bob Dylan was different. Where most folk singers were either clean-cut or homey looking, Dylan had wild long hair. He resembled a poor white dropout of questionable morals. His songs were hard-driving, powerful, intense. It was hard to be neutral about them. “The Times They Are a-Changing” was perhaps the first song to exploit the generation gap. Dylan’s life was as controversial as his ideology.
William L. O'Neill (Dawning of the Counter-culture: The 1960s)
baptismal promises counter such a configuration: love and its obligations traverse the boundaries of “private residences” and “nuclear families” because they initiate us into a household that is bigger than what is under the roof of our house. The promises in baptism indicate a very different theology of the family, which recognizes that “families work well when we do not expect them to give us all we need.
James K.A. Smith (Desiring the Kingdom (Cultural Liturgies): Worship, Worldview, and Cultural Formation)
Antigay activists have historically maintained that same-sex sexuality is a lifestyle choice that should be discouraged, deemed illegitimate, and even punished by the culture at large. In other words, if lesbian/gay/bisexual people to not have to be gay but are simply choosing a path of decadence and deviance, then the government should have no obligation to protect their civil rights or honor their relationships; to the contrary, the state should actively condemn same-sex sexuality and deny it legal and social recognition in order to discourage others from following that path. Not surprisingly, advocates for gay/lesbian/bisexual rights see things differently. They counter that sexual orientation is not a matter of choice but an inborn trait that is much beyond an individual's control as skin or eye color. Accordingly, since gay/lesbian/bisexual individuals cannot choose to be heterosexual, it is unethical to discriminate against them and to deny legal recognition to same-sex relationships. (...) Perhaps instead of arguing that gay/lesbian/bisexual individuals deserve civil rights because they are powerless to change their behavior, we should affirm the fundamental rights of all people to determine their own emotional and sexual lives.
L. B. Diamond (Sexual Fluidity: Understanding Women's Love and Desire)
The earliest storytellers were magi, seers, bards, griots, shamans. They were, it would seem, as old as time, and as terrifying to gaze upon as the mysteries with which they wrestled. They wrestled with mysteries and transformed them into myths which coded the world and helped the community to live through one more darkness, with eyes wide open and hearts set alight. "I can see them now, the old masters. I can see them standing on the other side of the flames, speaking in the voices of lions, or thunder, or monsters, or heroes, heroines, or the earth, or fire itself -- for they had to contain all voices within them, had to be all things and nothing. They had to have the ability to become lightning, to become a future homeland, to be the dreaded guide to the fabled land where the community will settle and fructify. They had to be able to fight in advance all the demons they would encounter, and summon up all the courage needed on the way, to prophesy about all the requisite qualities that would ensure their arrival at the dreamt-of land. "The old masters had to be able to tell stories that would make sleep possible on those inhuman nights, stories that would counter terror with enchantment, or with a greater terror. I can see them, beyond the flames, telling of a hero's battle with a fabulous beast -- the beast that is in the hero." "The storyteller's art changed through the ages. From battling dread in word and incantations before their people did in reality, they became the repositories of the people's wisdom and follies. Often, conscripted by kings, they became the memory of a people's origins, and carried with them the long line of ancestries and lineages. Most important of all, they were the living libraries, the keepers of legends and lore. They knew the causes and mutations of things, the herbs, trees, plants, cures for diseases, causes for wars, causes of victory, the ways in which victory often precipitates defeat, or defeat victory, the lineages of gods, the rites humans have to perform to the gods. They knew of follies and restitutions, were advocates of new and old ways of being, were custodians of culture, recorders of change." "These old storytellers were the true magicians. They were humanity's truest friends and most reliable guides. Their role was both simple and demanding. They had to go down deep into the seeds of time, into the dreams of their people, into the unconscious, into the uncharted fears, and bring shapes and moods back up into the light. They had to battle with monsters before they told us about them. They had to see clearly." "They risked their sanity and their consciousness in the service of dreaming better futures. They risked madness, or being unmoored in the wild realms of the interspaces, or being devoured by the unexpected demons of the communal imagination." "And I think that now, in our age, in the mid-ocean of our days, with certainties collapsing around us, and with no beliefs by which to steer our way through the dark descending nights ahead -- I think that now we need those fictional old bards and fearless storytellers, those seers. We need their magic, their courage, their love, and their fire more than ever before. It is precisely in a fractured, broken age that we need mystery and a reawoken sense of wonder. We need them to be whole again.
Ben Okri (A Way of Being Free)
The freedom of living loved extends into every aspect of parenting because I can release my death-grip of control. It enables me to extend to my tinies the gifts of freedom (age appropriate, of course) and grace, second chances and then more grace. It means that I don't really care what people think of them or me, I can look only to God, living counter to our culture in every way of truth, love, faith, mercy and justice.
Sarah Bessey (My Practices of Mothering: the things I actually do to enjoy mothering tinies)
It is more important to look holistically at the root of why anyone would want to avoid work so badly that they’d game the system and leave the workforce altogether. When work is fulfilling, dignifying, respects our skills and nourishes our talents and souls, it becomes a pleasure not a burden; something we would look for not run away from. [From “On the Great Resignation” published on CounterPunch on February 24, 2023]
Louis Yako
Once there were three tribes. The Optimists, whose patron saints were Drake and Sagan, believed in a universe crawling with gentle intelligence—spiritual brethren vaster and more enlightened than we, a great galactic siblinghood into whose ranks we would someday ascend. Surely, said the Optimists, space travel implies enlightenment, for it requires the control of great destructive energies. Any race which can't rise above its own brutal instincts will wipe itself out long before it learns to bridge the interstellar gulf. Across from the Optimists sat the Pessimists, who genuflected before graven images of Saint Fermi and a host of lesser lightweights. The Pessimists envisioned a lonely universe full of dead rocks and prokaryotic slime. The odds are just too low, they insisted. Too many rogues, too much radiation, too much eccentricity in too many orbits. It is a surpassing miracle that even one Earth exists; to hope for many is to abandon reason and embrace religious mania. After all, the universe is fourteen billion years old: if the galaxy were alive with intelligence, wouldn't it be here by now? Equidistant to the other two tribes sat the Historians. They didn't have too many thoughts on the probable prevalence of intelligent, spacefaring extraterrestrials— but if there are any, they said, they're not just going to be smart. They're going to be mean. It might seem almost too obvious a conclusion. What is Human history, if not an ongoing succession of greater technologies grinding lesser ones beneath their boots? But the subject wasn't merely Human history, or the unfair advantage that tools gave to any given side; the oppressed snatch up advanced weaponry as readily as the oppressor, given half a chance. No, the real issue was how those tools got there in the first place. The real issue was what tools are for. To the Historians, tools existed for only one reason: to force the universe into unnatural shapes. They treated nature as an enemy, they were by definition a rebellion against the way things were. Technology is a stunted thing in benign environments, it never thrived in any culture gripped by belief in natural harmony. Why invent fusion reactors if your climate is comfortable, if your food is abundant? Why build fortresses if you have no enemies? Why force change upon a world which poses no threat? Human civilization had a lot of branches, not so long ago. Even into the twenty-first century, a few isolated tribes had barely developed stone tools. Some settled down with agriculture. Others weren't content until they had ended nature itself, still others until they'd built cities in space. We all rested eventually, though. Each new technology trampled lesser ones, climbed to some complacent asymptote, and stopped—until my own mother packed herself away like a larva in honeycomb, softened by machinery, robbed of incentive by her own contentment. But history never said that everyone had to stop where we did. It only suggested that those who had stopped no longer struggled for existence. There could be other, more hellish worlds where the best Human technology would crumble, where the environment was still the enemy, where the only survivors were those who fought back with sharper tools and stronger empires. The threats contained in those environments would not be simple ones. Harsh weather and natural disasters either kill you or they don't, and once conquered—or adapted to— they lose their relevance. No, the only environmental factors that continued to matter were those that fought back, that countered new strategies with newer ones, that forced their enemies to scale ever-greater heights just to stay alive. Ultimately, the only enemy that mattered was an intelligent one. And if the best toys do end up in the hands of those who've never forgotten that life itself is an act of war against intelligent opponents, what does that say about a race whose machines travel between the stars?
Peter Watts (Blindsight (Firefall, #1))
An initial counter to a radical scepticism is that magic does not derive from strange whims or deliberate irrationality. Much effort has gone into the construction of a mechanistic universe in Western thought, in which planets or atoms are moved by forces, and living things are characterized by biochemical reactions or sometimes the firing of neurons. Equal effort in other cultures has gone into denying differences between the animate and the inanimate, the living and non-living, the human and non-human.
Chris Gosden (Magic: A History: From Alchemy to Witchcraft, from the Ice Age to the Present)
What if the main issue in our culture today is not poverty or sex trafficking, homosexuality or abortion? What if the main issue is God? And what might happen if we made him our focus instead? In a world marked by sex slavery and sexual immorality, the abandonment of children and the murder of children, racism and persecution, the needs of the poor and the neglect of the widow, how would we act if we fixed our gaze on the holiness, love, goodness, truth, justice, authority, and mercy of God revealed in the gospel?
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
To counter our intense cultural conditioning, we must possess a sense of curious engagement to venture into the unconscious. Even though it's a part of us, it exists as terra incognita or, perhaps more appropriately, psyche incognita—we simply have drawn a sketchy map of the psyche and marked a large segment in frightful red letters, “Mind Unknown.” We will never develop a truer conceptualization of the subconscious and unconscious if we only dance around it or consider it from the safe distance of the waking world.
Robert Waggoner (The Lucid Dreaming Pack: Gateway to the Inner Self)
She sometimes talked about how liking girls is political and revolutionary and counter-cultural, all these names and terms that I didn’t even know that I was supposed to know, and a bunch of other things I didn’t really understand and I’m not sure that she did then, either—though she’d never have let on. I hadn’t ever really thought about any of that stuff. I just liked girls because I couldn’t help not to. I’d certainly never considered that someday my feelings might grant me access to a community of like-minded women.
Emily M. Danforth
But here in my hometown, history was like a fine dust that settled out on everything. There was nothing to counter it. The culture had been hardened by a religion suspect of joy, yet fascinated by sin. Its moral acceptance of slavery eroded compassion. And gentility became a necessary pretense to cover the resentment created long ago when the North’s industrial prestige trumped the agrarian South. It was not an easy place to feel lighthearted or triumphant. Nor was it an easy place to remember the beauty of wonder and awe.
Christina Carson (Where It Began: Book One: Accidents of Birth Trilogy)
In hindsight, it's seen as inevitable that the two Germany's would reunite. But none of the people who had laid the groundwork for the fall-those who had started the tremors and endured the security forces' brutality-envisioned a unified Germany. Those people had sacrificed their places in society for the chance to form a new one, something different and distinct, an independent East Germany built form scratch. The hadn't looked to the West for inspiration before, and none of them looked to the West for salvation now that the border was open.
Tim Mohr (Burning Down the Haus: Punk Rock, Revolution, and the Fall of the Berlin Wall)
Based upon these “true words of God,” we need not worry about whether marriage is going to make it. Ultimately, we do not look to any court or government to define marriage. God has already done that, and his definition cannot be eradicated by a vote of legislators or the opinions of Supreme Court justices. The Supreme Judge of creation has already defined this term once and for all. Marriage does not morph across cultures the same way that football does, for marriage is a term that transcends culture, representing timeless truth about who God is and how God loves.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
Not only do Judaism in general and Yiddish in particular place an unusual emphasis on complaint, but Yiddish also allows considerable scope for complaining about the complaining of others, more often than not to the others who are doing the complaining. While answering one complaint with another is usually considered a little excessive in English, Yiddish tends to take a homeopathic approach to kvetching: like cures like and kvetch cures kvetch. The best response to a complaint is another complaint, an antiseptic counter-kvetch that makes further whining impossible for anybody but you.
Michael Wex (Born to Kvetch: Yiddish Language and Culture in All of Its Moods (P.S.))
Walking into a bookshop is a depressing thing. It’s not the pretentious twats, browsing books as part of their desirable lifestyle. It’s not the scrubby members of staff serving at the counter: the pseudo-hippies and fucking misfits. It’s not the stink of coffee wafting out from somewhere in the building, a concession to the cult of the coffee bean. No, it’s the books. I could ignore the other shit, decide that maybe it didn’t matter too much, that when consumerism meets culture, the result is always going to attract wankers and everything that goes with them. But the books, no, they’re what make your stomach sink and that feeling of dark syrup on the brain descend. Look around you, look at the shelves upon shelves of books – for years, the vessels of all knowledge. We’re part of the new world now, but books persist. Cheap biographies, pulp fiction; glossy covers hiding inadequate sentiments. Walk in and you’re surrounded by this shit – to every side a reminder that we don’t want stimulation anymore, we want sedation. Fight your way through the celebrity memoirs, pornographic cook books, and cheap thrills that satisfy most and you get to the second wave of vomit-inducing product: offerings for the inspired and arty. Matte poetry books, classics, the finest culture can provide packaged and wedged into trendy coverings, kidding you that you’re buying a fashion accessory, not a book. But hey, if you can stomach a trip further into the shop, you hit on the meatier stuff – history, science, economics – provided they can stick ‘pop.’ in front of it, they’ll stock it. Pop. psychology, pop. art, pop. life. It’s the new world – we don’t want serious anymore, we want nuggets of almost-useful information. Books are the past, they’re on the out. Information is digital now; bookshops, they’re somewhere between gallery and museum.
Matthew Selwyn (****: The Anatomy of Melancholy)
Walter Mignolo terms and articulates _critical cosmopolitanism, juxtaposing it with globalization, which is a process of "the homogeneity of the planet from above––economically, politically and culturally." Although _globalization from below_ is to counter _globalization from above_ from the experience and perspective of those who suffer from the consequences of _globalization from above_, cosmopolitanism differs, according to Mignolo, form these two types of globalization. Mignolo defines globalization as 'a set of designs to manage the world,' and cosmopolitanism as 'a set of projects toward planetary conviviality
Namsoon Kang (Cosmopolitan Theology: Reconstituting Planetary Hospitality, Neighbor-Love, and Solidarity in an Uneven World)
How can we use our sports fanaticism as a countercultural witness? I suppose we have to look at sports culture and act counter to that. Sports culture says rival fans are enemies. It says that we hate each other, and if Satan and his minions were playing our rival in an exhibition, we’d show up at the game carrying a pitchfork. That’s why I think the most countercultural thing we can do is partner with our rivals to bring glory to God. Join forces and feed the hungry, heal the sick, and comfort those in despair. And when someone asks why these hated rivals have joined forces, we can say because we love God more than we love our team, and we hate sin more than we hate our rival.
Chad Gibbs (Love Thy Rival: What Sports' Greatest Rivalries Teach Us About Loving Our Enemies)
Our inner lives must be lent a structure and our best thoughts reinforced to counter the continuous pull of distraction and disintegration. Religions have been wise enough to establish elaborate calendars and schedules. How free secular society leaves us by contrast. Secular life is not, of course, unacquainted with calendars and schedules. We know them well in relation to work, and accept the virtues of reminders of lunch meetings, cash-flow projections and tax deadlines. But it expects that we will spontaneously find our way to the ideas that matter to us and gives us weekends off for consumption and recreation. It privileges discovery, presenting us with an incessant stream of new information – and therefore it prompts us to forget everything. We are enticed to go to the cinema to see a newly released film, which ends up moving us to an exquisite pitch of sensitivity, sorrow and excitement. We leave the theatre vowing to reconsider our entire existence in light of the values shown on screen, and to purge ourselves of our decadence and haste. And yet by the following evening, after a day of meetings and aggravations, our cinematic experience is well on its way towards obliteration. We honour the power of culture but rarely admit with what scandalous ease we forget its individual monuments. We somehow feel, however, that it would be a violation of our spontaneity to be presented with rotas for rereading Walt Whitman.
Alain de Botton (Religion for Atheists: A Non-Believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion)
Questioning this most dearly held core of the Dutch sense of self not only is felt as a direct attack, it also means that the nonbeliever, the antiracist killjoy, is putting himself or herself above “us,” which in itself again runs deeply counter to another strand in the Dutch sense of self: “gelijke monnikken, gelijke kappen” (literally, equal monks, equal cowls), which invokes the deep egalitarian strand in Dutch self-representation. Critical self-reflection, moreover and ironically, is a scarce commodity in a culture that delights in imagining itself as “nothing,” “just normal” (Ramdas 1998), without specific characteristics, much less infused with deep racializations. The point of not knowing, racial ignorance, and innocence has long passed.
Gloria Wekker (White Innocence: Paradoxes of Colonialism and Race)
The coin suggests the cultural density of human history, and how little of that richness was recorded before much of it was wiped out, how judgments about who is the primitive and who the real barbarian forestalled further inquiry into the complexity of human cultural life. The coin reminds me that the urge to condemn the conquistadores and other miscreants in world history, the witless and avaricious mobs who followed the leads of the Genghis Khans, the Pizarros, and the Trujillos, might be countered today by refusing to define as evil any other culture, or even the wayward in our own. If we don’t, we risk ending up in a wasteland of uninformed dogmatists, the same shortsighted, narrow-minded belligerents who rise up in every era of human history.
Barry Lopez (Horizon)
When a communicable disease threatens a population, you immunize certain vectors first—usually babies and old people, as they are most susceptible to infection. Then nurses and doctors, teachers and bus drivers, as they are most likely to spread a contagion through wide social interaction, even if they do not succumb to the disease themselves. The same type of strategy could help you change culture. To make a population more resilient to extremism, for example, you would first identify which people are susceptible to weaponized messaging, determine the traits that make them vulnerable to the contagion narrative, and then target them with an inoculating counter-narrative in an effort to change their behaviour. In theory, of course, the same strategy could be used in reverse to foster extremism.
Christopher Wylie (Mindf*ck: Cambridge Analytica and the Plot to Break America)
• Anything that happens to me today is in my best interest, it’s an opportunity to learn and grow. • Do the best you can with what you have where you are. • Excellent body language can trump emotional feelings. • Trust your gut. • If I abide in Him and His words abide in me, I can ask anything of the Father and He will provide it. • What CAN you do? • Talk to yourself instead of listening to yourself. • October is coming. • God is not surprised. God is sovereign. • Value listening more than being listened to. • Sometimes things are less about you and more about other people. • I know that You, God, can do all things and that no plan of yours can be thwarted. • The only thing that matters today is who I become and the influence I have on other people. • Everyone was created in God’s image. Treat them
Joshua Medcalf (Burn Your Goals: The Counter Cultural Approach to Achieving Your Greatest Potential)
As Churchill predicted, the full might and fury of the Nazis were turned on Britain. The dreaded massive bombing of the Luftwaffe, which had terrorized other nations into surrender, failed to break the British. Hitler was stopped for the first time. Britain, though lacking the military forces to launch a major counter-attack, nevertheless stalled the Nazi timetable of conquest, thus buying time, not only for itself but also for an almost completely disarmed United States to begin preparing itself militarily for the ordeal ahead. Many nations, forces, and events contributed to the final victory over Germany and Japan. But what made it all possible was that Britain withstood the fire and blast of war and refused to surrender, even when the situation looked hopeless. It was indeed their finest hour. Freedom survives in the world today because of it.
Thomas Sowell (Conquests and Cultures: An International History)
The Age of Affluence represents a daring experiment on the part of elites in maintaining their dominance not by starving and bludgeoning their opposition into submission, but by seducing it into compliance. […] totalitarianism is perfected because its techniques become progressively more subliminal. The distinctive feature of the regime of experts lies in the fact that, while possessing ample power to coerce, it prefers to charm conformity from us […] The prime strategy of the technocracy is to level life down to a standard of so-called living that technical expertise can cope with–and then, on that false and exclusive basis, to claim an intimidating omnicompetence over us by its monopoly of the experts. The business of investing and flourishing treacherous parodies of freedom, joy, and fulfillment becomes an indispensable form of social control under the technocracy.
Theodore Roszak (The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition)
We must be careful across the church not to minimize the magnitude of what it means to follow Christ..we must make sure not to preach a gospel that merely imagines Christ as the means to a casual, conservative, comfortable Christian spin on the American dream..The gospel is a call for every one of us to die-- to die to sin and to die to self-- and to live with unshakable trust in Christ, choosing to follow his Word even when it brings us into clear confrontation with our the church we have an obvious tendency to isolate certain segments of sinners who struggle with a particular sort of sexual temptation..but they are just like us, and we are just like them..we have all gone astray..when we recognize that an everlasting heaven and an eternal hell are hanging in the balance, we realize it is not possible to believe the gospel and to stay silent on issues of sexual sin.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Poverty, Same-Sex Marriage, Racism, Sex Slavery, Immigration, Abortion, Persecution, Orphans and Pornography)
Moreover, seeing ourselves as a majority led at times to both a theological downgrade and a counter-productive public stance. The application of the promises to Israel to the United States of America, for example, caused many to miss, as we will see in the next chapter, the meaning of the kingdom of God, and thus to bypass Jesus Christ himself. The idea of America as a Christian nation is able to get “Amens” in the churches only as long as the churches believe America is, at least in some ways, with us and not against us. But what happens when the cultural climate starts to shift in obvious ways? If the church believes the United States is a sort of new Israel, then we become frantic when we see ourselves “losing America.” We then start to speak in gloomy terms of America as, at best, Babylon, a place of hopeless exile, or, at worst, Gomorrah, slouching toward the judgment of God.
Russell D. Moore (Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel)
Now, by all accounts, you have the perfect life: you have the high-earning husband, the rosy-cheeked children, and the Buick in the driveway. But something isn’t right. Household tasks don’t seem to hold your attention; you snarl at your children instead of blanketing them with smiles. You fret about how little you resemble those glossy women in the magazines, the ones who clean counters and bake cakes and radiate delight. (Looking at those ads, a housewife and freelance writer named Betty Friedan “thought there was something wrong with me because I didn’t have an orgasm waxing the kitchen floor.”) Everything and everyone confirm that it’s just as you suspected: the problem is you. You’re oversexed, you’re undersexed, you’re overeducated, you’re unintelligent. You need to have your head shrunk; you need to take more sleeping pills. You ought to become a better cook—all those fancy new kitchen appliances!—and in the meantime be content and grateful with what you have. The cultural pressure of the 1950s was so intense that some women, in order to survive, killed off the parts of themselves that couldn’t conform.
Maggie Doherty (The Equivalents: A Story of Art, Female Friendship, and Liberation in the 1960s)
It is my contention that the popular misuse of “do not judge” reveals just how far the discipline of sound biblical study has slipped in recent years. More than that, it sheds light on the state of our culture, a culture that seeks to avoid accountability and responsibility for personal actions. This current trend and mentality runs counter to the teachings of Scripture. For the collective teaching of the Bible insists that those who are created in the image of God are morally responsible to God and to one another. So to use “do not judge” as a means of dismissing oneself from moral responsibility would be to interpret it in a way that pits it against the rest of Scripture. We should remember that “all Scripture is God-breathed,” or inspired by the Holy Spirit, and as such it is without error and never contradicts itself (because God never contradicts himself). Therefore, it is always wise to interpret a given passage of Scripture by comparing it with the principles and teachings found elsewhere in Scripture. This provides a healthy check and balance and helps us avoid misinterpretations, logical inconsistencies, and inappropriate applications.
Eric J. Bargerhuff (The Most Misused Verses in the Bible: Surprising Ways God's Word Is Misunderstood)
Cannabis, the sensation that had reignited in America and helped bring hemp’s recreational usage back to prominence in a quiet, steady British counter-culture, had helped dispel much of the prejudice, entitlement and arrogance that had eluded the careful eye of Simon’s mother, undermining her care during the once-restlessly energetic yet gentle soul’s dedicated mothering of the studious boy. It took root in his thoughts and expectations. Bravado and projection replaced genuine yet understated confidence; much of that which had been endearing in him ceased to be seen, to his mother’s despondency. A bachelor of the arts, the blissfully apathetic raconteur left university, having renounced his faith and openly claiming to feel no connection, either socially or intellectually with the student life and further study. Personal failures and parental despair combined to sober the-21yr old frustrated essayist and tentative poet. Cannabis, ironically sought following the conclusion of his stimulant-fuelled student years, had finally levelled him out, and provided the introspection needed to dispel the lesser demons of his nature. Reefer Madness, such insanity – freely distributed for the mass-consumer audience of the west! Curiosity pushed the wealthy young man’s interest in the plant to an isolated purchase, and thence to regular use. Wracked by introspection, the young man struggled through several months of instability and self-doubt before readjusting his focus to chase goals. Once humorous, Reefer Madness no longer amused him, and he dedicated an entire afternoon to writing an ultimately unpublished critique of the film, that descended into an impassioned defence of the plant. He began to watch with keen interest, as the critically-panned debacle of sheer slapstick silliness successfully struck terror into the hearts of a large section of non-marijuana smoking people in the west. The dichotomy of his own understanding and perception only increased the profound sense of gratitude Simon felt for the directional change in which his life was heading. It helped him escape from earlier attachments to the advantage of his upbringing, and destroyed the arrogance that, he realised with shock, had served to cloud years of his judgement. Thus, positive energy led to forward momentum; the mental readjustment silenced doubts, which in turn brought peace, and hope.
Daniel S. Fletcher (Jackboot Britain)
First, as I showed in Chapter 5, the term “cultural Marxism” refers to a particular Marxist theory and strategy inaugurated by Antonio Gramsci – working to establish “cultural hegemony” in order to effect socialist revolution. Second, the substitution of special identity groups advocated for by social justice activists for the working class championed by Marxists does not lead to an identical or nearly identical politics. With the working class as a lever, Marxism proposes to overcome its nemesis – the capitalist class, which maintains the class system, including a class-based system of production and resource allocation. Social justice, on the other hand, aims at little more than debunking particular identity groups from atop a putative social hierarchy, knocking them from their supposed positions of totemic privilege, and replacing them with members of supposedly subordinated groups. Third, in Chapter 5, I told why Marxism and postmodernism can’t be equated. I’ll restate it here. While postmodern theory is anti-capitalist, it not only rejects capitalism but also other “totalizing” systems, or “meta-narratives,” including even the major system proposed to counter capitalism – Marxism itself.
Michael Rectenwald (Springtime for Snowflakes: Social Justice and Its Postmodern Parentage)
Jesus walked a path of "suffering servanthood." We Christians say glibly that we are "saved by the death and resurrection of Jesus" but seem to understand this as some kind of heavenly transaction on his part, instead of an earthly transformation on his and our part. We need to deeply trust and allow both our own dyings and our own certain resurrections, just as Jesus did! This is the full pattern of transformation. If we trust both, we are indestructible. That is how Jesus "saves" us from meaninglessness, cynicism, hatred, and violence--which is indeed death. God is Light, yet this full light is hidden in darkness so only the sincere seeker finds it. It seems we all must go into darkness to see the light, which is counter-intuitive for the ego. Our age and culture resists this language of "descent." We made Christianity, instead, into a religion of "ascent," where Jesus became a self-help guru instead of a profound wisdom-guide who really transformed our mind and heart. Reason, medicine, wealth, technology, and speed (all good in themselves) have allowed us to avoid the quite normal and ordinary "path of the fall" as the way to transform the separate and superior self into a much larger identity that we call God.
Richard Rohr
As I became older, I was given many masks to wear. I could be a laborer laying railroad tracks across the continent, with long hair in a queue to be pulled by pranksters; a gardener trimming the shrubs while secretly planting a bomb; a saboteur before the day of infamy at Pearl Harbor, signaling the Imperial Fleet; a kamikaze pilot donning his headband somberly, screaming 'Banzai' on my way to my death; a peasant with a broad-brimmed straw hat in a rice paddy on the other side of the world, stooped over to toil in the water; an obedient servant in the parlor, a houseboy too dignified for my own good; a washerman in the basement laundry, removing stains using an ancient secret; a tyrant intent on imposing my despotism on the democratic world, opposed by the free and the brave; a party cadre alongside many others, all of us clad in coordinated Mao jackets; a sniper camouflaged in the trees of the jungle, training my gunsights on G.I. Joe; a child running with a body burning from napalm, captured in an unforgettable photo; an enemy shot in the head or slaughtered by the villageful; one of the grooms in a mass wedding of couples, having met my mate the day before through our cult leader; an orphan in the last airlift out of a collapsed capital, ready to be adopted into the good life; a black belt martial artist breaking cinderblocks with his head, in an advertisement for Ginsu brand knives with the slogan 'but wait--there's more' as the commercial segued to show another free gift; a chef serving up dog stew, a trick on the unsuspecting diner; a bad driver swerving into the next lane, exactly as could be expected; a horny exchange student here for a year, eager to date the blonde cheerleader; a tourist visiting, clicking away with his camera, posing my family in front of the monuments and statues; a ping pong champion, wearing white tube socks pulled up too high and batting the ball with a wicked spin; a violin prodigy impressing the audience at Carnegie Hall, before taking a polite bow; a teen computer scientist, ready to make millions on an initial public offering before the company stock crashes; a gangster in sunglasses and a tight suit, embroiled in a turf war with the Sicilian mob; an urban greengrocer selling lunch by the pound, rudely returning change over the counter to the black patrons; a businessman with a briefcase of cash bribing a congressman, a corrupting influence on the electoral process; a salaryman on my way to work, crammed into the commuter train and loyal to the company; a shady doctor, trained in a foreign tradition with anatomical diagrams of the human body mapping the flow of life energy through a multitude of colored points; a calculus graduate student with thick glasses and a bad haircut, serving as a teaching assistant with an incomprehensible accent, scribbling on the chalkboard; an automobile enthusiast who customizes an imported car with a supercharged engine and Japanese decals in the rear window, cruising the boulevard looking for a drag race; a illegal alien crowded into the cargo hold of a smuggler's ship, defying death only to crowd into a New York City tenement and work as a slave in a sweatshop. My mother and my girl cousins were Madame Butterfly from the mail order bride catalog, dying in their service to the masculinity of the West, and the dragon lady in a kimono, taking vengeance for her sisters. They became the television newscaster, look-alikes with their flawlessly permed hair. Through these indelible images, I grew up. But when I looked in the mirror, I could not believe my own reflection because it was not like what I saw around me. Over the years, the world opened up. It has become a dizzying kaleidoscope of cultural fragments, arranged and rearranged without plan or order.
Frank H. Wu (Yellow)
You’re called to come out of the crowd. You’re called to be counter-culture. You’re not called to live in this world, be of this world-you’re called to come out. News flash-the crowd is stupid. The crowd has no identity at all. We just do what everyone else is doing. “ “When you decide, you divide the enemy and his tactics, and his distractions towards your life. The moment you actually conqueror the urge, you get stronger and the urges get weaker. But it will never happen, until you determine “I am not like the crowd, I’m coming out of the crowd. I’m apart of the minority. Ruth is determined to choose right over easy. You want to know what the right thing is? The right thing is God’s word, and it’s not just about knowing it, it’s about applying it to your life!” “Choose right over easy.” “See, when you come out of the crowd, and when you say, and when you say with the crowd, it’s all crowded here, and when you say I’m going to be apart of the minority, but let my commitments stand. Hey Naomi, you don’t know me, I made a commitment, and my commitment matters. You can tell me I’m relieved of my responsibility, but my vow is my vow. And I’m not going to be swayed, just because the circumstances have changed.” “Stay on the path, because you don’t know what lies ahead of you. Because you’re not God. All He asks you and I is to put one foot in front of another. To keep on moving. Keep on going. Commit to God’s way, and watch God make a way, when there seems to be no way. “ “Being single is awesome! When you’re single, everything in your house, you own all of it. All the money in your bank account, belongs to you.” :) “I think one of the hardest things, that people don’t talk about is that you get to decorate your house exactly how you want to do it.” “The older I get, the more I realize that people are borderline obsessed with what’s next…but if you’re not careful you’ll get so obsessed with what’s next, you won’t care about what is now. It doesn’t take a lot of use to realize, that if you’re graduating from high school, everyone’s going-“where you going to college?” If you’re in college, everyone’s like “where are you going to work?” You work for a little while as a single person, and it’s like “when are you going to get married.” You get married, and everyone’s like, “when are you going to have kids?” You have a kid, and everyone’s like, “when are you going to have more kids.” “Singleness is not a stop sign. It’s not a period, it’s not a comma. Your life doesn’t begin when you get married. A boy-friend or a girl-friend doesn’t make your life start happening. Life is happening. The question is, “are you happening?” You don’t have to live boring or be bored to be single. A life filled with Jesus is full of adventure. It’s filled with spontaneity, it’s full of ups and downs. And it’s time for you to get on mission. Let me just be loud and clear and frank with it-Jesus is a better partner than any spouse could ever dream of being.” “The truth is, sometimes sitting on the path can be just as detrimental as getting off the path. You’re called to move forward, you’re called to grow, you’re called to become.” “Be the minority, because the majority is overrated.” -Rich Wilkerson Jr., Single and Secure
Rich Wilkerson Jr.
While the overall systems of heterosexism and ableism are still with us, they have adapted in limited ways. These adaptations are held up as reassurance to those who fought long and hard for a particular change that equality has now been achieved. These milestones—such as the recognition of same-sex marriage, the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title 9, the election of Barack Obama—are, of course, significant and worthy of celebration. But systems of oppression are deeply rooted and not overcome with the simple passage of legislation. Advances are also tenuous, as we can see in recent challenges to the rights of LGBTQI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer or questioning, and intersex) people. Systems of oppression are not completely inflexible. But they are far less flexible than popular ideology would acknowledge, and the collective impact of the inequitable distribution of resources continues across history. COLOR-BLIND RACISM What is termed color-blind racism is an example of racism’s ability to adapt to cultural changes.3 According to this ideology, if we pretend not to notice race, then there can be no racism. The idea is based on a line from the famous “I Have a Dream” speech given by Dr. Martin Luther King in 1963 during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. At the time of King’s speech, it was much more socially acceptable for white people to admit to their racial prejudices and belief in white racial superiority. But many white people had never witnessed the kind of violence to which blacks were subjected. Because the struggle for civil rights was televised, whites across the nation watched in horror as black men, women, and children were attacked by police dogs and fire hoses during peaceful protests and beaten and dragged away from lunch counters.
Robin DiAngelo (White Fragility: Why It's So Hard for White People to Talk About Racism)
The second decade of the 21st century has seen the rise of a counter-Enlightenment movement called populism, more accurately, authoritarian populism.24 Populism calls for the direct sovereignty of a country’s “people” (usually an ethnic group, sometimes a class), embodied in a strong leader who directly channels their authentic virtue and experience. Authoritarian populism can be seen as a pushback of elements of human nature—tribalism, authoritarianism, demonization, zero-sum thinking—against the Enlightenment institutions that were designed to circumvent them. By focusing on the tribe rather than the individual, it has no place for the protection of minority rights or the promotion of human welfare worldwide. By failing to acknowledge that hard-won knowledge is the key to societal improvement, it denigrates “elites” and “experts” and downplays the marketplace of ideas, including freedom of speech, diversity of opinion, and the fact-checking of self-serving claims. By valorizing a strong leader, populism overlooks the limitations in human nature, and disdains the rule-governed institutions and constitutional checks that constrain the power of flawed human actors. Populism comes in left-wing and right-wing varieties, which share a folk theory of economics as zero-sum competition: between economic classes in the case of the left, between nations or ethnic groups in the case of the right. Problems are seen not as challenges that are inevitable in an indifferent universe but as the malevolent designs of insidious elites, minorities, or foreigners. As for progress, forget about it: populism looks backward to an age in which the nation was ethnically homogeneous, orthodox cultural and religious values prevailed, and economies were powered by farming and manufacturing, which produced tangible goods for local consumption and for export.
Steven Pinker (Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress)
To be honest? I'd thought myself above them. What a nasty little counter-culture snob I was. There they were, doing their fucking best, trying to have a life, trying to bring up their children decently, struggling to make the payments on the little house, wondering where their youth had gone, where love had gone, what was to become of them and all I could do was be a snotty, judgmental cow. But it was no good. I couldn't be like them. I'd seen too much, done too much that was outside anything they knew. I wasn't better than them, but I was different. We had no point of contact other than work. Even then, they disapproved of my attitude, my ways of dealing with the clients. Many's the time I'd ground my teeth as Andrea or Fran had taken the piss out of some hapless, useless, illiterate get they were assigned to; being funny at the expense of their stupidity, their complete inability to deal with straight society. Sure, I knew it was partly a defence mechanism; they did it because it was laugh or scream, and we were always told it wasn't good to let the clients get too close. But all too often - not always, but enough times to make me seethe with irritation - there was an ingrained, self-serving elitism in there too. Who'd see it better than me? They sealed themselves up in their white-collar world like chrysalides and waited for some kind of reward for being good girls and boys, for playing the game, being a bit of a cut above the messy rest - a reward that didn't exist, would never come and that they would only realise was a lie when it was far too late. Now I would be one of the Others, the clients, the ones who stood outside in the cold and, shivering, looked in at the lighted windows of reason and middle-class respectability. I would be another colossal fuck-up, another dinner party story. But my sin was all the greater because I'd wilfully defected from the right side to the hopelessly, eternally wrong side. I was not only a screw-up, I was a traitor.
Joolz Denby (Wild Thing)
This and Rothbard’s own life-long cultural conservatism notwithstanding, however, from its beginnings in the late 1960s and the founding of a libertarian party in 1971, the libertarian movement had great appeal to many of the counter-cultural left that had then grown up in the U.S. in opposition to the war in Vietnam. Did not the illegitimacy of the state and the non-aggression axiom imply that everyone was at liberty to choose his very own non-aggressive lifestyle, no matter what it was? Much of Rothbard’s later writings, with their increased emphasis on cultural matters, were designed to correct this development and to explain the error in the idea of a leftist multi-counter-cultural libertarianism, of libertarianism as a variant of libertinism. It was false—empirically as well as normatively—that libertarianism could or should be combined with egalitarian multiculturalism. Both were in fact sociologically incompatible, and libertarianism could and should be combined exclusively with traditional Western bourgeois culture; that is, the old-fashioned ideal of a family-based and hierarchically structured society of voluntarily acknowledged rank orders of social authority. Empirically, Rothbard did not tire to explain, the left-libertarians failed to recognize that the restoration of private-property rights and laissez-faire economics implied a sharp and drastic increase in social “discrimination.” Private property means the right to exclude. The modern social-democratic welfare state has increasingly stripped private-property owners of their right to exclude. In distinct contrast, a libertarian society where the right to exclude was fully restored to owners of private property would be profoundly unegalitarian. To be sure, private property also implies the owner’s right to include and to open and facilitate access to one’s property, and every private-property owner also faces an economic incentive of including (rather than excluding) so long as he expects this to increase the value of his property.
We ought to recognize the darkness of the culture of death when it shows up in our own voices. I am startled when I hear those who claim the name of Christ, and who loudly profess to be pro-life, speaking of immigrants with disdain as “those people” who are “draining our health care and welfare resources.” Can we not see the same dehumanizing strategies at work in the abortion-rights activism that speaks of the “product of conception” and the angry nativism that calls the child of an immigrant mother an “anchor baby”? At root, this is a failure to see who we are. We are united to a Christ who was himself a sojourner, fleeing political oppression (Matt. 2:13–23), and our ancestors in Israel were themselves a migrant people (Exod. 1:1–14; 1 Chron. 16:19; Acts. 7:6). Moreover, our God sees the plight of the fatherless and the blood of the innocent, but he also tells us that because he loves the sojourner and cares for him so should we, “for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt” (Deut. 10:18–19). We might disagree on the basis of prudence about what specific policies should be in place to balance border security with compassion for the immigrants among us, but a pro-life people have no option to respond with loathing or disgust at persons made in the image of God. We might or might not be natural-born Americans, but we are, all of us, immigrants to the kingdom of God (Eph. 2:12–14). Whatever our disagreements on immigration as policy, we must not disagree on whether immigrants are persons. No matter how important the United States of America is, there will come a day when the United States will no longer exist. But the sons and daughters of God will be revealed. Some of them are undocumented farm-workers and elementary-school janitors now. They will be kings and queens then. They are our brothers and sisters forever. We need to stand up against bigotry and harassment and exploitation, even when such could be politically profitable to those who stand with us on other issues. The image of God cannot be bartered away, at the abortion clinic counter or anywhere else.
Russell D. Moore (Onward: Engaging the Culture without Losing the Gospel)
According to one recent study [...] the [climate change] denial-espousing think tanks and other advocacy groups making up what sociologist Robert Brulle calls the “climate change counter-movement” are collectively pulling in more than $ 900 million per year for their work on a variety of right-wing causes, most of it in the form of “dark money”— funds from conservative foundations that cannot be fully traced. This points to the limits of theories like cultural cognition that focus exclusively on individual psychology. The deniers are doing more than protecting their personal worldviews - they are protecting powerful political and economic interests that have gained tremendously from the way Heartland and others have clouded the climate debate. The ties between the deniers and those interests are well known and well documented. Heartland has received more than $ 1 million from ExxonMobil together with foundations linked to the Koch brothers and the late conservative funder Richard Mellon Scaife. Just how much money the think tank receives from companies, foundations, and individuals linked to the fossil fuel industry remains unclear because Heartland does not publish the names of its donors, claiming the information would distract from the “merits of our positions.” Indeed, leaked internal documents revealed that one of Heartland’s largest donors is anonymous - a shadowy individual who has given more than $ 8.6 million specifically to support the think tank’s attacks on climate science. Meanwhile, scientists who present at Heartland climate conferences are almost all so steeped in fossil fuel dollars that you can practically smell the fumes. To cite just two examples, the Cato Institute’s Patrick Michaels, who gave the 2011 conference keynote, once told CNN that 40 percent of his consulting company’s income comes from oil companies (Cato itself has received funding from ExxonMobil and Koch family foundations). A Greenpeace investigation into another conference speaker, astrophysicist Willie Soon, found that between 2002 and 2010, 100 percent of his new research grants had come from fossil fuel interests.
Naomi Klein (This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. The Climate)
There is also a still deeper reason for which a growth in the tensions in the human universe - and indeed not despite, but during the simultaneous spreading of universal-ethical principles - can be presumed. The ethically-normatively charged word "human" functioned linguistically as an honorific adjective so long a one demarcated it against other adjectives which seemed to indicate the merely historically determined, abolishable and to be abolished distinctions between humans; in the language of ethical universalism "human" always meant something nobler and higher than words like Jew or Greek, Christian or heathen, black or white, communist or liberal. If all particular counter concepts in respect of the universalism "human" cease to apply, the word "human" will no longer constitute an adjective, that is, it will no longer point to a higher quality, but it will be converted into a noun for the description of a certain animal species. Humans will all be called "humans" just as lions lions and mice - mice without further national or ideological differentiation. It may sound paradoxical and yet it is so, that man differentiated himself from all the other animal species exactly because he was not merely man free of all other attributes (i.e. without any other predicate or complement). Not only did culture come into being through the overcoming of bare humanness and the gradual attainment of historically determined attributes, but also altercations and the struggles between humans gained, thanks to the presence and the effect exactly of these attributes, emotional and ideological dimensions which went far beyond the what is merely animal. That is why it is not excluded that the reduction of man to his mere humanness will inaugurate and will accompany an epoch in which humans will have to fight against one another for goods which are absolutely necessary for the naked survival of the animal species "man" - in the worst case for air and water. In accordance with a well-known paradox of historical action, the imposition of universal ethics will then bring about effects entirely different to the originally intended effects.
Παναγιώτης Κονδύλης
For Kaminer, argument and persuasion could no longer be operative when belief and subjective experience became the baseline proofs that underwrote public and private assertions. No speaker or writer was under any obligation to answer his or her critics because argument and testimony were fatefully blurred. When reasoned impiety was slowly being banished from public dialogue, political responsibility would inevitably wane. In the warm bath of generalized piety and radical plurality, everyone could assert a point of view, an opinion, and different beliefs, but no one was under any obligation to defend them. Whereas cultural studies scholars saw themselves contesting dominant forms of discourse and hegemonic forms of thinking, Kaminer saw them participating in a popular embrace of an irrational Counter-Enlightenment. Like Andrew Ross, Kaminer cited Franz Mesmer as an important eighteenth-century pioneer of twentieth-century alternative healing techniques. Mesmer’s personal charisma and his powers of psychic healing and invocation of “animal magnetism” entranced the European courts of the late eighteenth century. Mesmer performed miracle cures and attracted a devoted, wealthy following. Despite scandals that plagued his European career, the American middle class was eager to embrace his hybrid of folk practices and scientific-sounding proofs. Mesmerism projected an alternative mystical cosmology based upon magnets and invisible flows of energy. Mesmer, who was said to control the invisible magnetic flow of forces that operated upon human and animal bodies, built upon a network of wealthy patrons who were devoted to the powers of a charismatic leader, Mesmer himself. Mesmer’s manipulation of magnets and hands-on healing evoked for the French court the ancient arts of folk healing while it had recourse to ostensibly modern scientific proofs. Historian of the French eighteenth century Robert Darnton insisted that mesmerism could not be dismissed as mere quackery or charlatanism but represented a transitional worldview, one that bridged the Enlightenment and the particular forms of nineteenth-century Romanticism that followed.
Catherine Liu (American Idyll: Academic Antielitism as Cultural Critique)
Alienation is inevitable when our inner sense of value becomes status-driven, hinging on externally imposed standards of competitive achievement and acquisition, and a highly conditional acceptance — I should say "acceptability" — in others' eyes. With the erosion of the middle class in recent decades, people who judged themselves in terms of wordly success have sustained a perceived loss of worth. The promise of the middle-class dream has largely evaporated, to the distress and deep anger of many. But even people perched atop the economic pyramid can experience a devaluation of self, for the simple reason that materialistic values run counter to the need for meaning, for purpose beyond self-serving endeavors. There are no moral fingers to wag here. Objectively, it is the case that centering on the self's evanescent desires to the exclusion of communal needs results in a diminished connection to our deepest selves, which is to say the parts of us that generate and sustain true well-being. Whatever "wins" our personality can rack up, whatever momentary sense of security we gain through our various identities, however much we burnish our image or self-image with material gains — these are a flimsy replacement for the rewards (and challenges) of being alive to one's humanity. An investor dabbling daily in millions told Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charles Duhigg, "I feel like I'm wasting my life. When I die, is anyone going to care that I earned an extra percentage point on my return? My work feels totally meaningless." That loss of meaning, Duhigg says, afflicts "even professionals given to lofty self-images, like those in medicine and law." Why would this be? the author wondered. The answer: "Oppresive hours, political infighting, increased competition sparked by globalization, an 'always-on culture' bred by the internet — but also something that's hard for these professionals to put their finger on, an underlying sense that their work isn't worth the grueling effort they're putting into it." It's simple economics, really: artificial inflation (of self-concept, of identity, of material ambition) is bound to lead to a downturn or even a crash when the bubble inevitable burts.
Gabor Maté (The Myth of Normal: Trauma, Illness, and Healing in a Toxic Culture)
There is no question that the Deep South seceded and fought the civil war to defend slavery. And its leaders made no secret of this motive. Slavery they argued Ad nauseam was the foundation for a virtuous biblically sanctioned social system superior to that of the free states. When 19th century deep southerners spoke of defending their “traditions”, “heritage”, and way of life they proudly identified the enslavement of others as the center piece of all three. Indeed, many of their leaders even argued that all lower class people should be enslaved regardless of race for their own good. In response to Yankee and midland abolitionist the Deep South’s leaders developed an elaborate defense for human bondage. James Henry Hammond, former governor of South Carolina, published a seminal book arguing that enslaved laborers where happier, fitter and better looked after than their free counter parts in Brittan and the North, who were ruthlessly exploited by industrial capitalists. Free societies were therefore unstable as there was always a danger that the exploited would rise up creating a fearful crisis in republican institutions. Salves by contrast were kept in their place by violent means and denied the right to vote, resist or testify, ensuring the foundation of every well designed and durable republic. Enslavement of the white working class would be in his words a most glorious act of emancipation. Jefferson’s notion all men are created equal, he wrote, was ridiculously absurd. In the deep southern tradition, Hammond’s republic was modeled on those of ancient Greece and Rome. Featuring rights and democracy for the elite, slavery and submission for inferiors. It was sanctioned by the Christian god whose son never denounced the practice in his documented teachings. It was a perfect aristocratic republic, one that should be a model for the world. George Fitzhugh endorsed and expanded upon Hammond’s argument to enslave all poor people. Aristocrats, he explained, were really the nations Magna Carta because they owned so much and had the affection which all men feel for what belongs to them. Which naturally lead them to protect and provide for wives, children and slaves. Fitzhugh, whose books were enormously popular declared he was quite as intent on abolishing free society as you northerners are on abolishing slavery.
Colin Woodard (American Nations: A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America)
Paul was an educated Roman citizen. He would have been familiar with contemporary rhetorical practices that corrected faulty understanding by quoting the faulty understanding and then refuting it. Paul does this in 1 Corinthians 6 and 7 with his quotations “all things are lawful for me,” “food is meant for the stomach and the stomach for food,” and “it is well for a man not to touch a woman.”47 In these instances, Paul is quoting the faulty views of the Gentile world, such as “all things are lawful for me.” Paul then “strongly modifies” them.48 Paul would have been familiar with the contemporary views about women, including Livy’s, that women should be silent in public and gain information from their husbands at home. Isn’t it possible, as Peppiatt has argued, that Paul is doing the same thing in 1 Corinthians 11 and 14 that he does in 1 Corinthians 6 and 7?49 Refuting bad practices by quoting those bad practices and then correcting them? As Peppiatt writes, “The prohibitions placed on women in the letter to the Corinthians are examples of how the Corinthians were treating women, in line with their own cultural expectations and values, against Paul’s teachings.”50 What if Paul was so concerned that Christians in Corinth were imposing their own cultural restrictions on women that he called them on it? He quoted the bad practice, which Corinthian men were trying to drag from the Roman world into their Christian world, and then he countered it. The Revised Standard Version (RSV) lends support to the idea that this is what Paul was doing. Paul first lays out the cultural restrictions: “As in all the churches of the saints, the women should keep silence in the churches. For they are not permitted to speak, but should be subordinate, as even the law says. If there is anything they desire to know, let them ask their husbands at home. For it is shameful for a woman to speak in church” (1 Corinthians 14:33–35). And then Paul intervenes: “What! Did the word of God originate with you, or are you the only ones it has reached? If anyone thinks that he is a prophet, or spiritual, he should acknowledge that what I am writing to you is a command of the Lord. If anyone does not recognize this, he is not recognized. So, my brethren, earnestly desire to prophesy, and do not forbid speaking in tongues; but all things should be done decently and in order” (vv. 36–40).
Beth Allison Barr (The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth)
advance US global interests. This memo, from policy aide Brian Hook to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, explicitly reminds Tillerson to make sure to treat allies and adversaries differently when it comes to expressing human rights concerns.1 As Hook explains to Tillerson: In the case of US allies such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the Philippines, the Administration is fully justified in emphasizing good relations for a variety of important reasons, including counter-terrorism, and in honestly facing up to the difficult tradeoffs with regard to human rights. It is not as though human rights practices will be improved if anti-American radicals take power in those countries. Moreover, this would be a severe blow to our vital interests. We saw what a disaster Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood turned out to be in power. After eight years of Obama, the US is right to bolster US allies rather than badger or abandon them. One useful guideline for a realistic and successful foreign policy is that allies should be treated differently—and better—than adversaries. Otherwise, we end up with more adversaries, and fewer allies. The classic dilemma of balancing ideals and interests is with regard to America’s allies. In relation to our competitors, there is far less of a dilemma. We do not look to bolster America’s adversaries overseas; we look to pressure, compete with, and outmaneuver them. For this reason, we should consider human rights as an important issue in regard to US relations with China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran. And this is not only because of moral concern for practices inside those countries. It is also because pressing those regimes on human rights is one way to impose costs, apply counter-pressure, and regain the initiative from them strategically. Meanwhile, Hook criticizes the foreign policy of Jimmy Carter which he sees as an outlier amongst US presidents in the postwar era: President Carter upended Cold War policies by criticizing and even undermining governments, especially in cases such as Nicaragua and Iran. The results were unfortunate for American interests, as for the citizens of those countries. Carter’s badgering of American allies unintentionally strengthened anti-American radicals in both Iran and Nicaragua. As Jeanne Kirkpatrick wrote in 1979 criticizing Carter’s foreign policy, “Hurried efforts to force complex and unfamiliar political practices on societies lacking the requisite political culture, tradition, and social structures not only fail to produce the desired outcomes; if they are undertaken at a time when the traditional regime is under attack, they actually facilitate the job of the insurgents.
Dan Kovalik (The Plot to Attack Iran: How the CIA and the Deep State Have Conspired to Vilify Iran)
Well, let me just end with one last point to do with your question. One of the issues which has devastated a substantial portion of the left in recent years, and caused enormous triumphalism elsewhere, is the alleged fact that there's been this great battle between socialism and capitalism in the twentieth century, and in the end capitalism won and socialism lost―and the reason we know that socialism lost is because the Soviet Union disintegrated. So you have big cover stories in The Nation about "The End of Socialism," and you have socialists who all their lives considered themselves anti-Stalinist saying, "Yes, it's true, socialism has lost because Russia failed." I mean, even to raise questions about this is something you're not supposed to do in our culture, but let's try it. Suppose you ask a simple question: namely, why do people like the editors at The Nation say that "socialism" failed, why don't they say that "democracy" failed?―and the proof that "democracy" failed is, look what happened to Eastern Europe. After all, those countries also called themselves "democratic"―in fact, they called themselves "People's Democracies," real advanced forms of democracy. So why don't we conclude that "democracy" failed, not just that "socialism" failed? Well, I haven't seen any articles anywhere saying, "Look, democracy failed, let's forget about democracy." And it's obvious why: the fact that they called themselves democratic doesn't mean that they were democratic. Pretty obvious, right? Okay, then in what sense did socialism fail? I mean, it's true that the Soviet Union and its satellites in Eastern Europe called themselves "socialist" ―but they also called themselves "democratic." Were they socialist? Well, you can argue about what socialism is, but there are some ideas that are sort of at the core of it, like workers' control over production, elimination of wage labor, things like that. Did those countries have any of those things? They weren't even a thought there. Again, in the pre-Bolshevik part of the Russian Revolution, there were socialist initiatives―but they were crushed instantly after the Bolsheviks took power, like within months. In fact, just as the moves towards democracy in Russia were instantly destroyed, the moves towards socialism were equally instantly destroyed. The Bolshevik takeover was a coup―and that was perfectly well understood at the time, in fact. So if you look in the mainstream of the Marxist movement, Lenin's takeover was regarded as counter-revolutionary; if you look at independent leftists like Bertrand Russell, it was instantly obvious to them; to the libertarian left, it was a truism. But that truism has been driven out of people's heads over the years, as part of a whole prolonged effort to discredit the very idea of socialism by associating it with Soviet totalitarianism. And obviously that effort has been extremely successful―that's why people can tell themselves that socialism failed when they look at what happened to the Soviet Union, and not even see the slightest thing odd about it. And that's been a very valuable propaganda triumph for elites in the West―because it's made it very easy to undercut moves towards real changes in the social system here by saying, "Well, that's socialism―and look what it leads to." Okay, hopefully with the fall of the Soviet Union we can at least begin to get past that barrier, and start recovering an understanding of what socialism could really stand for.
Noam Chomsky (Understanding Power: The Indispensable Chomsky)
Another dangerous neoliberal word circulating everywhere that is worth zooming in on is the word ‘resilience’. On the surface, I think many people won’t object to the idea that it is good and beneficial for us to be resilient to withstand the difficulties and challenges of life. As a person who lived through the atrocities of wars and sanctions in Iraq, I’ve learnt that life is not about being happy or sad, not about laughing or crying, leaving or staying. Life is about endurance. Since most feelings, moods, and states of being are fleeting, endurance, for me, is the common denominator that helps me go through the darkest and most beautiful moments of life knowing that they are fleeing. In that sense, I believe it is good for us to master the art of resilience and endurance. Yet, how should we think about the meaning of ‘resilience’ when used by ruling classes that push for wars and occupations, and that contribute to producing millions of deaths and refugees to profit from plundering the planet? What does it mean when these same warmongers fund humanitarian organizations asking them to go to war-torn countries to teach people the value of ‘resilience’? What happens to the meaning of ‘resilience’ when they create frighteningly precarious economic structures, uncertain employment, and lay off people without accountability? All this while also asking us to be ‘resilient’… As such, we must not let the word ‘resilience’ circulate or get planted in the heads of our youth uncritically. Instead, we should raise questions about what it really means. Does it mean the same thing for a poor young man or woman from Ghana, Ecuador, Afghanistan vs a privileged member from the upper management of a U.S. corporation? Resilience towards what? What is the root of the challenges for which we are expected to be resilient? Does our resilience solve the cause or the root of the problem or does it maintain the status quo while we wait for the next disaster? Are individuals always to blame if their resilience doesn’t yield any results, or should we equally examine the social contract and the entire structure in which individuals live that might be designed in such a way that one’s resilience may not prevail no matter how much perseverance and sacrifice one demonstrates? There is no doubt that resilience, according to its neoliberal corporate meaning, is used in a way that places the sole responsibility of failure on the shoulders of individuals rather than equally holding accountable the structure in which these individuals exist, and the precarious circumstances that require work and commitment way beyond individual capabilities and resources. I find it more effective not to simply aspire to be resilient, but to distinguish between situations in which individual resilience can do, and those for which the depth, awareness, and work of an entire community or society is needed for any real and sustainable change to occur. But none of this can happen if we don’t first agree upon what each of us mean when we say ‘resilience,’ and if we have different definitions of what it means, then we should ask: how shall we merge and reconcile our definitions of the word so that we complement not undermine what we do individually and collectively as people. Resilience should not become a synonym for surrender. It is great to be resilient when facing a flood or an earthquake, but that is not the same when having to endure wars and economic crises caused by the ruling class and warmongers. [From “On the Great Resignation” published on CounterPunch on February 24, 2023]
Louis Yako
In the 1990s legal scholar and public policy advocate Wendy Kaminer published a brace of books engaged with the New Age cultures of recovery and self-help. She represented an Old Left perspective on new superstition, and although she was of the same generation as the cultural studies scholars, she did exactly what Andrew Ross warned academics and elites against. She criticized the middlebrow, therapeutic culture of self-help for undermining critical thinking in popular discourse. She encouraged the debunking of superstition, deplored public professions of piety. Her books were polemical and public interventions that were addressed to the maligned liberal and more or less thoughtful reader who took an interest in the issues of the day. In some ways, her writing was a popularization of some of psychoanalytic theory scholar, sociologist, and cultural critic Philip Rieff’s and Richard Hofstadter’s critiques of a therapeutic culture of anti-intellectualism.77 She speculated that the decline of secular values in the political sphere was linked to the rise of a culture of recovery and self-help that had come out of the popularization of New Age, countercultural beliefs and practices. In both I’m Dysfunctional, You’re Dysfunctional: The Recovery Movement and Other Self-Help Fashions and Sleeping with Extra-Terrestrials: The Rise of Irrationalism and the Perils of Piety, Kaminer publicly denounced the decline of secular culture and the rise of a therapeutic culture of testimony and self-victimization that brooked no dissent while demanding unprecedented leaps of faith from its adherents.78 Kaminer’s work combined a belief in Habermasian rational communication with an uncompromising skepticism about the ubiquity of piety that for her was shared by both conservatives and liberals. For Kaminer, argument and persuasion could no longer be operative when belief and subjective experience became the baseline proofs that underwrote public and private assertions. No speaker or writer was under any obligation to answer his or her critics because argument and testimony were fatefully blurred. When reasoned impiety was slowly being banished from public dialogue, political responsibility would inevitably wane. In the warm bath of generalized piety and radical plurality, everyone could assert a point of view, an opinion, and different beliefs, but no one was under any obligation to defend them. Whereas cultural studies scholars saw themselves contesting dominant forms of discourse and hegemonic forms of thinking, Kaminer saw them participating in a popular embrace of an irrational Counter-Enlightenment. Like Andrew Ross, Kaminer cited Franz Mesmer as an important eighteenth-century pioneer of twentieth-century alternative healing techniques. Mesmer’s personal charisma and his powers of psychic healing and invocation of “animal magnetism” entranced the European courts of the late eighteenth century. Mesmer performed miracle cures and attracted a devoted, wealthy following. Despite scandals that plagued his European career, the American middle class was eager to embrace his hybrid of folk practices and scientific-sounding proofs. Mesmerism projected an alternative mystical cosmology based upon magnets and invisible flows of energy. Mesmer, who was said to control the invisible magnetic flow of forces that operated upon human and animal bodies, built upon a network of wealthy patrons who were devoted to the powers of a charismatic leader, Mesmer himself. Mesmer’s manipulation of magnets and hands-on healing evoked for the French court the ancient arts of folk healing while it had recourse to ostensibly modern scientific proofs. Historian of the French eighteenth century Robert Darnton insisted that mesmerism could not be dismissed as mere quackery or charlatanism but represented a transitional worldview, one that bridged the Enlightenment and the particular forms of nineteenth-century Romanticism that followed.
Catherine Liu (American Idyll: Academic Antielitism as Cultural Critique)
Although we’re told (and want to believe), “You are not your job,” the messages from employers, colleagues and the media counter that well-intentioned adage with “You are exactly what you do, how well you do it and what you earn.
Brené Brown (I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame)
Beneath the surface, the progressive sixties hid all manner of unpleasantness: sexism, reaction, racism and factionalism. It wasn't surprising, really. The idea that drugs, sex and music could transform the world was always a pretty naive dream. As the counter-culture's effect on the mainstream grew, it's own values and aesthetics decayed. The political setbacks of the coming years grabbed the headlines while the dilution of ideals happened more quietly, but nonetheless vividly for those who noticed.
Joe Boyd (White Bicycles: Making Music in the 1960s)
Germans, perhaps because of the sheer scale of their immigration as well as the complex idea of German nationalism, were particularly focused on maintaining their Germanness in the New World. They did this by cultivating the German language and culture. Even in the early phases of immigration, German immigrants imagined they were threatened by Americanization, or that Americanness was in opposition to Germanness. To counter this danger and preserve their own identity, they pursued the creation of German enclaves, at the core of which were German-speaking schools. It was therefore no surprise that the American government classified the German immigrants and their communities as particularly resistant to assimilation.
Andrei S. Markovits (Uncouth Nation: Why Europe Dislikes America (The Public Square Book 5))
This attitude — that the inner guru is enough — is often adopted by those whose intellectual orientation is slightly nihilistic or who are from very controlling, high- achieving families and resent the idea of yet another powerful person breathing down their necks. Then there are others who like to be led. Even when it comes to mundane issues, they don’t trust their own judgment or inner voice. They can barely go to the grocery store without being full of doubt. They also tend to be a little bit lazy, asking the guru for advice on every little thing that pops into their heads. These types of people have to learn to trust themselves and rely less on the outer guru. They might find that the more they trust the inner and secret gurus, the more they rely on and love the outer guru. Ultimately, the question of whether the inner guru is enough for you is irrelevant if your spiritual aim is to attain enlightenment. But there is an easy way to find the answer. If you can overcome any and all external circumstances, then maybe you don’t need the outer guru, because by then all appearance and experience arise as the guru anyway. On the other hand, if a practitioner is not able to control circumstances and situations, then all kinds of mind training are necessary. Therefore, one needs to be led, to be poked, to be spoon-fed. To find out whether or not you are controlled by circumstances and situations, there are myriad things you can do, such as skip lunch. If you are a man, wear a bra and walk around in public. If you are a woman, go to a fancy party in your bedroom slippers. If you are married, see if you can tolerate someone pinching your spouse’s bottom. See if you are swayed by praise, criticism, being ignored, or being showered with attention. If you get agitated, embarrassed, or infuriated, then more than likely you are still under the spell of the conditions of habit and culture. You are still a victim of causes and conditions. When a loved one dies or the life you are trying to build collapses, it’s likely that your understanding of the inner and secret gurus will not ease the pain. Nor will your understanding of “form is emptiness and emptiness is form” provide solace. In this case, you need to insert a new cause to counter these conditions. Because your understanding of the inner and secret gurus is only intellectual, you cannot call upon them. This is where the outer, physical, reachable guru is necessary. As long as you dwell in a realm where externally existing friends and lovers are necessary, as long as you are bothered by externally existing obstacles like passions and moral judgments, you need a guru. Basically, as long as you have a dualistic mind, don’t kid yourself by thinking that an inner guru is enough. When you reach a point where you can actually communicate with your inner guru, you will have little or no more dualism. You will no longer be repelled by or attracted to an outer guru. Therefore, the outer guru is necessary until you at least have the gist of the inner and secret gurus. When you realize the inner and secret gurus, you won’t even be able to find the outer guru anymore.
Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche
Although we're told (and want to believe), "You are not your job," the messages from employers, colleagues and the media counter that well-intentioned adage with "You are exactly what you do, how well you do it and what you earn.
Brené Brown (I Thought It Was Just Me: Women Reclaiming Power and Courage in a Culture of Shame)
What if Paul was so concerned that Christians in Corinth were imposing their own cultural restrictions on women that he called them on it? He quoted the bad practice, which Corinthian men were trying to drag from the Roman world into their Christian world, and then he countered it.
Beth Allison Barr (The Making of Biblical Womanhood: How the Subjugation of Women Became Gospel Truth)
By their very nature, returnees seek a reconnection to a past life, a former identity marked more often than not by a single language or a single cultural frame of reference. We go back to what we know, including our native tongues. This process of reclaiming a homogenous existence runs counter to multi-culturalism on a societal level and hybridity on an individual level. Aren't we supposed to be complex, hybrid creatures containing multitudes? What about the concept of multiple belongings promoted by such internationally successful authors as Elif Shafak and Zadie Smith? On paper, where it mostly lives, this concept sounds ideal. "Multiple belongings are nurtured by cultural encounters but they are not only the preserve of people who travel", writes Shafak. "It is an attitude, a way of thinking, rather than the number of stamps on your passport. It is about thinking of yourself, and your fellow human beings, in more fluid terms than solid categories". I wouldn't go as far as to suggest that returns imply a repudiation of a complex view of identity or of globalization - it's globalization that has allowed the many people you'll meet in this book, me included, to come and go, to cross borders and cultures - but they force us to think of movement in multi-directional ways. Some returnees find that the life they thoughts they would have back home is a fantasy, so they make their way back to the host country. Homeland returns remain unpredictable, in part because despite their historical contexts, they don't have the clear road maps and narratives that outward migrations enjoy.
Kamal Al-Solaylee (Return: Why We Go Back to Where We Come From)
There are slivers of moments, empty and quiet, "soft snow descending upon cedars", where I feel light and free. Where my depth of seeing allows the carrying of contradiction, allows the insanity that defines the irrational, the counter-cultural, the chaos. I have slivers of moments where I am fully aware of what I once knew long ago but have forgotten; that we are not who we think we are. All is divine. All is One. This is the deepest level of my experiential truth. And at the same time, we are many, and it is all so beautiful.
Søren Sørenson (Mystical Mushroom Musings)
Yet biologists feel that animals are no strangers to aesthetic expression. The New Guinean bowerbird's nest decorations are as good an example as any. The thatched nests can be so large and well-constructed that they once were mistaken for the huts of timid people, who never showed up. The nests often have a doorway with carefully arranged colorful objects, such as berries, flowers, or iridescent beetle wings. The male who built the bower keeps flying in new ornaments, shifting everything around with a critical eye, fussing over the arrangement, moving back to look at the whole from a distant anglelike a human painter with his painting-and then continuing the rearrangement. He is very sensitive to the fading of his flowers, replacing them with fresh ones as soon as necessary. Young males build crude "practice" bowers, tearing them down, then starting over again, until the construction holds up as it should. They also frequently visit the completed bowers of adult males in the neighborhood and see how the ornaments are laid out. There are ample learning opportunities here, and it has been noted that bower decorations differ in color and arrangement from region to region, which suggests culturally transmitted styles. Is this art? One could counter that it isn't: howerbird males are genetically programmed to engage in this activity just to attract females. Yet, while it is true that females select mates on nest quality and their equivalent of a stamp collection, the argument is not nearly as good as it sounds. To contrast these birds with our species requires that one demonstrates that human art does not rest on an inborn aesthetic sense and is produced purely for its own sake, not to impress anyone else. Both are unlikely. In fact, Geoffrey Miller argues in a recent book that impressing others, especially members of the opposite sex, may be the whole point of human art! What if our artistic impulse is ancient, antedating modern humanity, and perhaps even our species? What if it rests on a delight in self-created visual effects and a penchant for certain color combinations, shapes, and visual equilibriums that we share with other animals? Would admission in any of these areas diminish the significance of and pleasure derived from human art? Isn't it possible that our basic distinctions in art, our musical scales, and our preference for symmetrical compositions, go deeper than culture, and relate to basic features of our perceptual systems?
Frans de Waal (The Ape and the Sushi Master: Reflections of a Primatologist)
However, in giving up the idea of transcendence, Foucault also gives up the hope of ever uncovering the roots of power. This is why Joan Copjec sees Foucault’s refusal of transcendence as the fundamental stumbling block within his thought. Foucault aims at conceiving how power arises, but his studies consistently stop short of arriving at this. Copjec claims, “despite the fact that [Foucault] realizes the necessity of conceiving the mode of a regime of power’s institution, he cannot avail himself of the means of doing so and thus, by default, ends up limiting that regime to the relations that obtain within it.” This limitation stems from his refusal of any notion of transcendence, “his disallowance of any reference to a principle or a subject that ‘transcends’ the regime of power he analyzes.” Without the moment of transcendence, one cannot grasp the regime of power in its incipience, and hence Foucault necessarily posits the regime of power as always already existing, which makes any attempt to counter it fundamentally impossible. The result of this rejection of transcendence is Foucault’s historicism—a mode of analysis that eschews the search for truth in favor of uncovering the presuppositions of regimes of truth, in favor of “pointing out on what kinds of assumptions, what kinds of familiar, unchallenged, unconsidered modes of thought the practices that we accept rest.” This type of uncovering of historical presuppositions is one of Foucault’s chief legacies today, and it indicates the extent to which any idea of transcendence has become an anathema. In the wake of Foucault, contemporary cultural criticism has largely taken up this contextualizing mode. Today, the predominant response to any articulation of truth claims is a demand for the historicization of these claims: one must reveal the cultural context out of which they emerge. This has become the fundamental operation of contemporary cultural studies. In The Ticklish Subject, Slavoj Zizek describes this intellectual situation: “the basic feature of cultural studies is that they are no longer able or ready to confront religious, scientific or philosophical works in terms of their own inherent Truth, but reduce them to a product of historical circumstances, to an object of anthropologico-psychoanalytic interpretation.” This reduction of every truth claim to the circumstances of its enunciation represents the ultimate rejection of transcendence: nothing escapes the immanence of history itself. According to this prevailing historicism, no truth claim ever touches the Real; instead, the very pretension to truth is itself imaginary. The popularity of this kind of historicism today indicates the extent to which transcendence has become theoretically untenable. It also highlights the link between contemporary theory and the command to enjoy: the operations of both work to reduce what appears as transcendence to conditions of immanence.
Todd McGowan (The End of Dissatisfaction: Jacques Lacan and the Emerging Society of Enjoyment (Psychoanalysis and Culture))
Ccru defines Cybernetic Culture immanently, as the mode of propagation characterizing flat productive collectivities. Such flatness – whose intensive Quanta are Ccrunits or Barkers – involves: 1) coincidence of product-process 2) counter-chronic arrival (from machinic virtuality) 3) absolute impersonality, ahistoricity, and extraterritoriality
CCRU (Ccru: Writings 1997-2003)
Identification with one particular function at once produces a tension of opposites. The more compulsive the one-sidedness, and the more untamed the libido which streams off to one side, the more daemonic it becomes. When a man is carried away by his uncontrolled, undomesticated libido, he speaks of daemonic possession or of magical influences. In this sense manas and vac are indeed mighty demons, since they work mightily upon men. All things that produced powerful effects were once regarded as gods or demons. Thus, among the Gnostics, the mind was personified as the serpent-like Nous, and speech as Logos. Vac bears the same relation to Prajapati as Logos to God. The sort of demons that introversion and extraversion may become is a daily experience for us psychotherapists. We see in our patients and can feel in ourselves with what irresistible force the libido streams inwards or outwards, with what unshakable tenacity an introverted or extraverted attitude can take root. The description of manas and vac as “mighty monsters of Brahman” is in complete accord with the psychological fact that at the instant of its appearance the libido divides into two streams, which as a rule alternate periodically but at times may appear simultaneously in the form of a conflict, as an outward stream opposing an inward stream. The daemonic quality of the two movements lies in their ungovernable nature and overwhelming power. This quality, however, makes itself felt only when the instinct of the primitive is already so stunted as to prevent a natural and purposive counter-movement to one-sidedness, and culture not sufficiently advanced for man to tame his libido to the point where he can follow its introverting or extraverting movement of his own free will and intention.
C.G. Jung (Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Volume 6: Psychological Types (The Collected Works of C. G. Jung Book 16))
According to this view the present state of our warring capacities would not be a state of culture, but only a stage on the way. Opinions will, of course, be divided about this, for by culture one man will understand a state of collective culture, while another will regard this state merely as civilization8 and will expect of culture the sterner demands of individual development. Schiller is, however, mistaken when he allies himself exclusively with the second standpoint and contrasts our collective culture unfavourably with that of the individual Greek, since he overlooks the defectiveness of the civilization of that time, which makes the unlimited validity of that culture very questionable. Hence no culture is ever really complete, for it always swings towards one side or the other. Sometimes the cultural ideal is extraverted, and the chief value then lies with the object and man’s relation to it: sometimes it is introverted, and the chief value lies with subject and his relation to the idea. In the former case, culture takes on a collective character, in the latter an individual one. It is therefore easy to understand how under the influence of Christianity, whose principle is Christian love (and by counter-association, also its counterpart, the violation of individuality), a collective culture came about in which the individual is liable to be swallowed up because individual values are depreciated on principle. Hence there arose in the age of the German classicists that extraordinary yearning for the ancient world which for them was a symbol of individual culture, and on that account was for the most part very much overvalued and often grossly idealized. Not a few attempts were even made to imitate or recapture the spirit of Greece, attempts which nowadays appear to us somewhat silly, but must none the less be appreciated as forerunners of an individual culture.
C.G. Jung (Collected Works of C. G. Jung, Volume 6: Psychological Types (The Collected Works of C. G. Jung Book 16))
antifascism is a responsive ideology—a way to counter the rise of fascist movements. It is an ethos—and a set of tactics—that are more complex and deeply rooted than media portrayals would have you believe.
Talia Lavin (Culture Warlords: My Journey Into the Dark Web of White Supremacy)
I am prone to prefer people who are like me-- in color, culture, heritage and history..the creation of man and woman in the image of God with equal dignity before God..this means that no human being is more or less human that another..for in the process of discussing our diversity in terms of different "races," we are undercutting our unity in the human race..instead of being strictly tied to biology, ethnicity is much more fluid, factoring in social, cultural, lingual, historical, and even religious characteristics..The pages of the Bible and human history are thus filled with an evil affinity for ethnic animosity..God promises to bless these ethnic Israelites, but the purpose of his blessing extends far beyond them..[it is] his desire for all nations to behold his greatness and experience his grace..When Jesus comes to the earth in the New Testament, we are quickly introduced to him as an immigrant..he nevertheless reaches beyond national boundaries at critical moments to love, serve, teach, heal, and save Canaanites and Samaritans, Greeks and Romans..he came as Savior and Lord over all..Though Gentiles were finally accepted into the church, they felt at best like second-class Christians..the Bible doesn't deny the obvious ethnic, cultural, and historical differences that distinguish us from one another..diversifies humanity according to clans and lands as a creative reflection of his grace and glory in distinct groups of people. In highlighting the beauty of such diversity, the gospel thus counters the mistaken cultural illusion that the path to unity is paved by minimizing what makes us unique. Instead, the gospel compels us to celebrate our ethnic distinctions, value our cultural differences, and acknowledge our historical diversity..(In reference to Galations 3:28) some people might misconstrue this say that our differences don't matter. But they do..It is not my aim here to stereotype migrant workers..It is also not my aim to oversimplify either the plight of immigrants in our country or the predicament of how to provide for them..Consequently, followers of Christ must see immigrants not as problems to be solved but as people to be loved. The gospel compels us in our culture to decry any and all forms of oppression, exploitation, bigotry, or harassment of immigrants..[we] will stand as one redeemed race to give glory to the Father who calls us not sojourners or exiles, but sons and daughters.
David Platt (A Compassionate Call to Counter Culture in a World of Abortion (Counter Culture Booklets))
Computer models have demonstrated that once 25% of a group adhere to a counter-cultural viewpoint, such as ethnocentrism currently is, and become ‘activists’ in fervently advocating it, these activists gradually tip the opinion of the entire group towards their own (Centola et al., 2018). At this critical mass, they can disrupt the transmission of and faith in the majority view to such an extent that more and more people begin to change sides, tipping the opinion of the majority to that of the minority
Edward Dutton (The Silent Rape Epidemic: How the Finns Were Groomed to Love Their Abusers)
All of her was laid bare now - I saw her. She was just a little old woman, raised in a country without education or any of the basic things she had given my mother and my mother's siblings, someone who'd been told as a young girl that women were put on this earth to give birth and rear children and not be a burden in any way but live as servants lived, productively, without fatigue or requirements of their own yet had been resourceful and clever enough to come up through the feminist movement that Mao had devised to get women out of the house and into fields and factories, someone who had been given more power than any of the women in her lineage, who alluded to all the people she "saved" but never mentioned the people she turned in during the Cultural Revolution, someone whose hearing loss fed right into her fears of becoming useless, becoming someone others no longer bothered to address, and to counter those fears, she had to adopt a confidence that was embarrassing to witness, she had to maintain an opinion of herself so excessively high that it bordered on delusional.
Jenny Zhang (Sour Heart)
With this much background, the reader should now be able to grasp that the "extravagant metaphors" in love poets like Vidal, Sordello, Chaucer, Shakespeare, Donne, etc., are often not a matter of flattering the lady but serious statements of a philosophy which runs directly counter to the basic assumptions of our anal-patriarchal culture. Specifically, the repeated, perfectly clear identifications of the poet's mistress with a goddess are part of the mental set, or ritual, connected with this cult. Tibetan teachers train disciples of Tantra to think of the female partner as being literally, not metaphorically, the goddess Shakti, divine partner of Shiva. The Sufis, working within the monotheistic patriarchy of Islam, could not emulate this, but made her an angel communicating between Allah and man. The witch covens made her the great mother goddess. Aleister Crowley's secret teachings, in our own century, instructed his pupils to envision her as the Egyptian star-goddess, Nuit.
Robert Anton Wilson (Coincidance: A Head Test)
When the moment arrives, only those who have been training and expecting the day to arrive will be ready to seize the opportunity. And truthfully those people tend to create and attract many of those opportunities to them BECAUSE they’ve been training to their max rather than waiting for their moment.
Joshua Medcalf (Burn Your Goals: The Counter Cultural Approach to Achieving Your Greatest Potential)
a syllabus is established over time. . . . it represents cultural, social, pedagogic choices which aim at more or less stable consensus. . . . the syllabus is instinct not only with aesthetic but also with political and political-economic motives and valuations. There is a politics in the marketing of the 'classical' as there is a counter-politics in the bartering of the subversive and the anarchic. A canon, on the contrary, is a profoundly personal construct. . . . A canon is the guarded catalogue of that in speech, music and art which houses inside us, which is irrevocably familiar to our homecomings.
George Steiner (Real Presences)
Here’s a culture war strategy conservative Christians should get behind: have more children and disciple them like crazy. Strongly consider having more children than you think you can handle. You don’t have to be a fertility maximalist to recognize that children are always lauded as a blessing in the Bible… [I]n the not-too-distant future, the only couples replacing themselves in America will be religious couples. Although there are many good reasons to have a baby, at the end of the day, as Jonathan Last maintains, “there’s only one good reason to go through the trouble a second time: Because you believe, in some sense, that God wants you to.” The basic reason countries stop having children is because they’ve come to see offspring as a liability rather than a source of hope. As Christians, we know better. Do you want to rebel against the status quo? Do you want people to ask you for a reason for the hope that is in you (1 Peter 3:15)? Tote your brood of children through Target. There is almost nothing more counter-cultural than having more children. And once we have those children, there is almost nothing more important than catechizing them in the faith, developing their moral framework, and preparing them to be deeply compassionate lovers of God and lovers of people and relentlessly biblical lovers of truth... I understand that many couples will be unable to have all the children they want to have. We have to allow for God to work in mysterious ways that we would not have planned. And yet, in so far as we are able, let us welcome new life... Presidents and Supreme Court justices will come and go. A child’s soul will last forever. The future belongs to the fecund. It’s time for happy warriors who seek to “renew the city” and “win the culture war” by investing in their local church, focusing on the family, and bringing the kingdom to bear on the world, one baby at a time.
Kevin DeYoung
A society like the Italian, the very disorder of which renders the action of the State useless and ridiculous, is not without its charm and helps us to grasp this political truth: the principal task of the State today is to justify its own existence. To do so, it has to annihilate society's capacity to survive by itself. Surreptitiously undermining all forms of spontaneous regulation, deregulating, desocializing, breaking down the traditional mechanisms of bodies and antibodies, in order to substitute its artificial mechanisms - such is the strategy of a State locked in a subtle struggle with society - exactly like medicine, which lives off the destruction of natural defences and their replacement by artificial ones. In Rome, Niccolini manages to counter the obsessive fear of terrorism with a cultural revival. To the Romans who no longer dare go out in the evenings he offers festivals, performances, poetry galas. He brings culture down into the street. He combats the terrorist festival with the cultural, advertising festival. He will be criticized for wasteful expenditure, but the only way to fight terrorism is not to create 'solid' institutions, but to put upon the stage a culture that is as sacrificial, eccentric, and ephemeral as the terrorist acts themselves. One festival against the other. If terrorism is a sort of murderous advertising campaign which keeps our imagination on tenterhooks, it can be countered only by a piece of even more effective advertising.
Jean Baudrillard (Cool Memories)
Christians are to help shape contemporary culture—particularly in a setting in which I fear the posthuman message will prove attractive, if not seductive—then they must offer an alternative and compelling vision; a counter theological discourse so to speak”?
Thomas Horn (Forbidden Gates: How Genetics, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Synthetic Biology, Nanotechnology, and Human Enhancement Herald The Dawn Of TechnoDimensional Spiritual Warfare)
Neither Ginsberg nor Burroughs achieved the level of fame that Kerouac did in the late 1950s and early 1960s. This is partly because, of the three, Kerouac was the least counter-cultural, the least anti-American in sentiment and purpose. To the contrary, he had a deep love of America as land, as place — On The Road is basically a prose love poem to America — which naturally translated itself into conservative political leanings, albeit of a nonconventional sort. (He famously watched the McCarthy hearings while getting high on marijuana and cheering for McCarthy.)
Semmelweis (Jack Kerouac and the Decline of the West)
The COVID Reset The Great Reset focuses on five main progressive stages. The first is to remove and replace the dollar as the common global currency. The second strategy will be to initiate a cashless form of trade, used for both the selling and purchasing of products and services. This cashless system will eventually be a cyber or cryptocurrency. The cryptocurrency would be one that the reset system chooses or creates, under the approval of the Global Monetary Fund and World Banks. The third step is to diminish the influence and social impact of the traditional Christian religions, both Protestantism and Catholicism, by enforcing rules of punishment for intolerance. Messages no longer permitted are any that teach same-sex marriage is wrong, abortion should be overturned, or any that counter the culture. In some states, laws are being presented to make it illegal for a minister to counsel anyone in the gay lifestyle, establishing that it is “impossible” to change. The progressives pick and choose their moral beliefs. Some go as far as wanting to legalize prostitution, lower the age a teen can consent to sex, and legalize illegal drugs. The fourth phase of this reset is to limit or control travel both domestically and internationally, using tracking chips, facial recognition, and other forms of A.I. technology. We have witnessed this with some airlines and nations, as they limit travel to anyone who has not taken the COVID vaccine. At this time, there are discussions that include everyone who travels across any state or national borders, or to and from a foreign nation, to have a special health chip implanted on their body, or have proof of being vaccinated by being a green passport carrier. It’s amazing how the Passport is green, just as politicians speak of a Green New Deal. The fifth phase is to form a New Order where borders are removed, but all movement is controlled by tracking devices using special Passports or a special, personal identity chip.
Perry Stone (America's Apocalyptic Reset: Unmasking the Radical's Blueprints to Silence Christians, Patriots, and Conservatives)
Hills, Helen. Invisible City: Architecture of Devotion in Seventeenth-Century Neapolitan Convents. Oxford University Press. Hollingsworth, Mary. The Cardinal’s Hat. Profile Books. Horne, P. “Reformation and Counter-Reformation at Ferrara” (essay). Italian Studies, 1958. Hufton, Olwen H, editor. Women in Religious Life. European University Institute. Kendrick, Robert. Celestial Sirens: Nuns and Their Music in Early Modern Milan. Clarendon Press. Laven, Mary. Virgins of Venice. Viking Press. Le Goff, Jacques. The Medieval Imagination. University of Chicago Press. Lowe, Kate. Nuns’ Chronicles and Convent Culture in Renaissance and Counter-Reformation Italy. Cambridge University Press. Maclean, Ian. The Renaissance Notion of Woman. Cambridge University Press.
Sarah Dunant (Sacred Hearts)
paying attention to context and encouraging people to actively engage with risk.
Carsten Busch (The First Rule of Safety Culture: A Counter-C-Word Manifesto)
The Vietnam studies ran counter to many of our cultural beliefs about bad habits because it challenged the conventional association of unhealthy behavior as a moral weakness. If you’re overweight, a smoker, or an addict, you’ve been told your entire life that it is because you lack self-control—maybe even that you’re a bad person. The idea that a little bit of discipline would solve all our problems is deeply embedded in our culture. Recent research, however, shows something different. When scientists analyze people who appear to have tremendous self-control, it turns out those individuals aren’t all that different from those who are struggling. Instead, “disciplined” people are better at structuring their lives in a way that does not require heroic willpower and self-control. In other words, they spend less time in tempting situations. The people with the best self-control are typically the ones who need to use it the least. It’s easier to practice self-restraint when you don’t have to use it very often. So, yes, perseverance, grit, and willpower are essential to success, but the way to improve these qualities is not by wishing you were a more disciplined person, but by creating a more disciplined environment.
James Clear (Atomic Habits: An Easy & Proven Way to Build Good Habits & Break Bad Ones)
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn wrote, definitively and profoundly, about the horrors of the twentieth century, the tens of millions who were stripped of employment, family, identity and life. In his Gulag Archipelago, in the second part of the second volume, he discussed the Nuremberg trials, which he considered the most significant event of the twentieth century. The conclusion of those trials? There are some actions that are so intrinsically terrible that they run counter to the proper nature of human Being. This is true essentially, cross-culturally—across time and place. These are evil actions. No excuses are available for engaging in them. To dehumanize a fellow being, to reduce him or her to the status of a parasite, to torture and to slaughter with no consideration of individual innocence or guilt, to make an art form of pain—that is wrong.
Jordan B. Peterson (12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos)
Africans began life in the Americas as subjects profoundly shaped by their Atlantic experience, and the communities they created in the Americas were organized around solutions to the specific problems they faced. The cultures they produced do not reflect the simple transfer and continuation of Africa in the Americas but rather reflect the elaboration of specific cultural content and its transformation to meet the particular needs of slave life in the Atlantic system: their need to reassert some kind of healthy relationship to ancestors; to manage death; to produce social networks, communities, and relations of kinship; to address the imbalance of power between black and white; to stake a claim to their bodies to counter the plantation economy’s claim to ownership. In this sense, the cultural practices of diasporic Africa could have meaning only outside Africa. Shared Atlantic experience and memory served as a touchstone for new cultural practices that emerged in the New World diaspora. Only through the capacity and willingness to invent and experiment—to grow and change the cultural tools carried in memory and create new ones to meet the demands of this new world—could Africans hope to remain recognizable to themselves as human beings in a system that held so much of their humanity in callous and calculated disregard. African immigrants retained that foothold in ways determined by the varied circumstances of their slavery: the immigrant slave might adapt a remembered ritual practice to new applications in American slavery or explore and perhaps ultimately adopt an entirely novel practice. The means were extraordinarily diverse because of the great variety of settings and conditions in which the colonial economies of the Americas enslaved human beings. The continuity Africans needed was not the static, ossifying connection of conformity of practice—doing things in the present as they had been done in the past, even when the context of past cultural forms no longer corresponded to the needs and circumstances of the present. Rather, the connection Africans needed was a narrative continuity between past and present—an epistemological means of connecting the dots between there and here, then and now, to craft a coherent story out of incoherent experience.
Stephanie E. Smallwood (Saltwater Slavery: A Middle Passage from Africa to American Diaspora)
The goal of this booklet (and my larger book Counter Culture) is not information about the gospel and social issues; it is application of the gospel to social issues. I want to explore abortion and other issues not with a self-righteous complacency that makes us content to wring our hands in pious concern, but with a self-sacrificing commitment to be whoever God calls us to be, go wherever God tells us to go, give whatever God compels us to give, and serve whomever God leads us to serve.
David Platt
Some will say that these problems are complex, and one person, family, or church can't really make much of a difference. In many respects, this is true, and each of these issues is extremely complicated. But don't underestimate what God will do in and through one person, one family, or one church for the spread of his gospel and the sake of his glory in our culture. So do these things with the unshakeable conviction that God has put you in this culture at this time for a reason. He has called you to himself, he has saved you by his Son, he has filled you with his Spirit, he has captured you with his love, and he is compelling you by his Word to counter our culture by proclaiming his Kingdom, not worried about what it will cost you because you are confident that God himself is your great reward.
David Platt
There was something so powerful in her words that every statement countering it sounded pathetically redundant. All he wanted was to curl up in her arms, but not the carnal appetite of the last encounter, but as a child cradled in the loving lap of his mother, desperate and dumb before the long separation forced upon them.
Arnon Levy (The Mindful Brain: Your life-journey of meeting a brain and culture founded psychology, and discovering the mindpower in positive psychology and flow.)
Whether the individuals are members of the Eisenhower Generation or the Baby Boomers, The Villages produces a culture of individual and collective youthfulness, but one paradoxically without youth. Youthfulness in these terms is not only produced through communal activities but also through the repair, development, and enhancement of the individual body itself. The programming of the strip hospital complex supports what might be termed as 'cyborgian' ambitions of the residents with respect to a broad range of treatments and products, from the biochemical and the biomechanical, to the bio-cosmetic and the psychochemical. Blechman's documentation of the 'Don Juan' of the villages, Mr. Midnight, resonates with this notion of posthuman subjecthood: 'I have to pick up my Viagra,' he says, and soon returns with a brown package. 'It's not that I need it, mind you. It's an enhancement, like whipped cream and nuts on a sundae. If it's a special night, I might take 100 milligrams.' Other 'enhancements' include the over-the-counter canned oxygen product Big Ox Power Oxygen reportedly used by residents to speed hangover recovery. These forms of experimental subjectivity and collectivity produce unforeseen effects: Doctors said sexually transmitted diseases among senior citizens are running rampant at a popular Central Florida retirement community, according to a Local 6 News report. A gynaecologist at The Villages community near Orlando, Fla., said she treats more cases of herpes and the human papilloma virus in the retirement community than she did in the city of Miami. According to the news report, local doctors attributed this predicament to the ready availability of Viagra within the community, a lack of sexual education, and the non-risk of pregnancy within the age group. It will be suggested here, however, that the broader spatiotemporal construction of The Villages, including golf carts and golf cart infrastructure, downtown public settings, and happy hours, further contribute to the social milieu that promotes enhanced intimacy as well as sexual activity.
Deane Simpson (Young-Old: Urban Utopias of an Aging Society)
The cross has never been compatible to any culture. Its preaching has always established a counter-culture. Jesus Christ is timeless. He is not the product of any human culture and thus has never been enmeshed in any one culture. He both transforms and transcends culture.
J.T. Pugh (The Wisdom and the Power of the Cross: 2020 Edition)
I believe the desire to create is in us all, the desire to leave our mark on the world and bring something into it that would not exist if we did not exist, to have a little piece of reality that we created, and to leave it as something that might live on and matter beyond us. In regards to artistic creations to make something that might matter is to create something that is honest and unique, something that is at least slightly different from anything anyone else has ever done, to say something that no one else would ever quite say in a way that no one else could ever quite say it, to tie the creation around the artist’s personal thoughts and sense of life. In order to do this, an artist must be willing to face him or herself with complete candor. They must be willing to face any personal demons that they would otherwise prefer to pretend don’t exist, to travel into the depths of their mind, and to retrieve a part of themselves that is potentially scary or sad, something that might be convoluted or hard to explain, something that is perhaps counter to cultural norms and is vulnerable or strange and then in spite of all of this they must still share it. In this act, the artist risks something we all dread: rejection, worse yet rejection on a very deep and personal level and this is often where a problem with self-doubt can arise in the creative process caused by the fear of rejection.
Robert Pantano
The totalitarian regimes of the 20th century give us the starkest examples of such insanity. Stalin persecuted genetics researchers in the 1930s and ostentatiously praised the scientist Trofim Lysenko when he claimed that genetics was a “bourgeois perversion” and geneticists were “saboteurs”. The resulting crop failures killed millions. For an encore, Stalin ordered the killing of the statistician in charge of the 1937 census, Olimpiy Kvitkin. Kvitkin’s crime was that his census revealed a fall in population as a result of that famine. Telling that truth could not be forgiven. In May, the great crop scientist Yuan Longping died at the age of 90. He led the research effort to develop the hybrid rice crops that now feed billions of people. Yet in 1966, he too came very close to being killed as a counter-revolutionary during China’s cultural revolution. In western democracies we do things differently. Governments do not execute scientists; they sideline them. Late last year, Undark magazine interviewed eight former US government scientists who had left their posts in frustration or protest at the obstacles placed in their way under the presidency of Donald Trump. Then there are the random acts of hostility on the street and the death threats on social media. I have seen Twitter posts demanding that certain statisticians be silenced or hunted down and destroyed, sometimes for doing no more than publishing graphs of Covid-19 cases and hospitalisations. Even when this remains at the level of ugly intimidation, it is horrible to hear about and must be far worse to experience. It is not something we should expect a civil servant, a vaccine researcher or a journalist to have to endure. And it would be complacent to believe that the threats are always empty.
Tim Harford
The outcome of colonialism has been a controlling or blocking of interconnectivity and interdependence in related arenas: the environment (where rivers are dammed, channeled, or drained and natural geographies replaced by grids), in societies (where communities are divided in a pseudologic of superiority/inferiority), in economies (where resources like trees, coal, or oil are extracted as rapidly and brutally as possible without regard for surrounding destruction and pollution), and thought (where knowledge is organized under the rubrics of specialization, expertise, and compartmentalization, affected by racism and Eurocentrism). Colonialism, globalization, and development planning are ways of thinking as well as ways of life, and we need to find their alternatives, islands where other ways of life are explored through the resurgence of interconnectivity at local levels, creating dialogue among diverse points of view and projects of counter-development and liberation. When we take the idea of colonialism out of its location in history texts as a period of conquest located in the past, and begin to think of it as a metaphor for a way to live in the environment, certain general patterns appear. Before colonialism, there were environments of interpenetrating local biodiversities with cyclic retreats and advances, in which human groups integrated and competed; after colonialism, there was a large-scale monoculture, control of land and resources by distant privileged elites who exploit and fragment local communities while polluting and destroying ecosystems. Before colonialism, there were many diverse cultural worlds, each its own center of meaning-making and language arts, with Europe at the periphery. After colonialism, cultures were ranked on a kind of "great chain of being" according to European notions of culture and development, with Europe at the center. As a corollary, individual subjectivities were ranked as to how completely they could think through decontextualized universals in European languages. One way to think about liberation psychologies is as an evolving and multiple set of projects of decolonization.
Mary Watkins (Toward Psychologies of Liberation)
Is it not possible that conscious effort, forcefulness, and opposing action with the apparent natural world are all in fact natural parts of the natural world? In the context of Taoism, could working against the Dao merely be the Dao working against the Dao for the sake of its perpetuation? Perhaps a further step in the logical path of Taoism, and philosophies like it, involves an even greater surrender that doesn’t even permit one to choose or consider if they are surrendering or not. Rather, one is born into surrender. If in Taoism, the relationship of all things is a cooperative, unified whole, even when things appear in conflict, is not human and nature always in cooperation, even when they seem to oppose each other? If darkness creates light, silence creates sound, beauty creates ugliness, good creates bad, does not forcefulness create non-forcefulness? Does not man create nature? Does not consciousness create unconsciousness? Human is part and parcel of nature, and so, how could human act in any other way? How would manmade material or action ever not be natural? Of course, this is just one counter idea that stems from just one interpretation of an elusive mysterious Taoist idea. And to step back on it a little, there is no question that our conscious observations and logic do often fool us, and we are, in many cases, clearly deviating from what’s best when we force or strive for what we think is. Clearly, there are better ways for things to go, plenty of which would go better if we never got involved. Perhaps the only remaining questions are: when should we and when shouldn’t we? And how does one find out without screwing the whole thing up? Perhaps these questions miss the point. Perhaps the point ignores these questions. Of course, like all ideals of philosophy or religion, Taoism’s concepts are likely just that: ideals, ideals that are not without some level of contradiction or general incompleteness on their own. But regardless of this and the potential limits of its applicability, the concepts suggested by Taoism are nonetheless filled with rich insights that provide worthy useful counterweights to the more common, brutish way of mind and culture. The thinking that things must always be a different way, or must go one’s own way for it to be the right way, that there must always be some better ideal around the corner that isn’t or couldn’t be in this moment, right now; that one needs to seek and strive for what they already have and know.
Robert Pantano
In the new millennium, there is All Lives Matter and the more absurd Blue Lives Matter, anti-black counter-slogans that nonetheless cannot escape the rhetorical world black people made. Indeed, as scholars P. Khalil Saucier and Tryon P. Woods have observed, “The meme has become a political Rorschach producing a cornucopia of identitarian hashtags . . . that, at the end of the day, effortlessly obscures or subsumes blackness’s grammar of suffering.
Lauren Michele Jackson (White Negroes: When Cornrows Were in Vogue ... and Other Thoughts on Cultural Appropriation)
Certainly since the counter-culture hippie movement in the 1970s, anti-materialism has been commonplace among witches and magicians. It is a noble tactic and one that works if you do it whole-heartedly. The problem is that most people don’t do it whole-heartedly. If you’re going to do it, you really need to do it. There are only two ways this has been a successful approach: become a monk or nun, or become a homeless wanderer. Anything short of this is just kidding yourself. Thinking that merely working at a coffeeshop or not wearing a suit is a non-materialistic lifestyle is just the worst of both worlds. If we cannot serve money, and we cannot avoid money, that really leaves only one option: to master it.
I say you are reading to slow. You need to read at least 93.5 mph. According to United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Around 2.2 million new titles are published worldwide each year. If a book is in average 250 pages. Or 3 cm. That is 66 km of books every year. Or just 180 meters of books every day. If you can spend 4h/day to read you just need to read 45 meters of books an hour or 1500 bph (Books Per Hour). You are probably reading at 0.025-0.1 books per hour. But if you practice, you might have a chance? If each book contains 250 pages. And each page is on average 20 cm tall. And you can spend 4h on average each day reading. That means you have to read text at a speed of 187.5 km/h to keep up. However that is probably a bit too fast, since there is usually some white space on each page of a book so lets round it down to 150km/h. According to Stephen Hawking “if you stacked the new books being published next to each other, at the present rate of production you would have to move at ninety miles an hour just to keep up with the end of the line.” 90mph equals 144.841 km/h. I say, Stephen Hawking was a bit too generous. I calculated the reading speed needed on my own and came to the same approximately the same conclusion as Hawking. Yes I know. Great minds think a like, but since I think my calculation was a bit better. It must mean I'm a bit smarter than him, right? Not that I would want to flatter myself, just a little bit smarter is enough. Now I just need to study physics so I can solve how we may travel back in time to keep up reading all the books or make an alternative world with less authors so we can keep up reading. If you like me, think this situation is unacceptable. You too may sign my petition to forbid anyone from writing more than one book of 250 pages in their entire life for the next 2000-10.000 years. So we can catch up with reading all those books. You will have to excuse me but I tried to set my goal of reading 2.3 million books next year here on goodreads. But it only allowed to set the counter to 99 thousand so unfortunately it will have to wait until they fix this. I suspect the limit is there by intent. Since if everyone read all the books published each year and a few millions more, goodreads would not be needed. Their business model is based on you not reading 150kmbookpages/h. I have contacted customer support, unfortunately they did not take my suggestion seriously, if you could please help me and also email them then hopefully they will come to their senses and fix this once they see there is a demand. (Don't do this, it's just a joke.) In the meantime I will just go back to reading 10-20 books a year.
myself and Stephen Hawking?
The growing dependency of culture on scientific knowledge has not suppressed the counter-movement of a pervasive disillusionment with mechanistic explanations of the totality of the cosmos and human life within it. Of itself the critique of science does not, however, signal a revival of religion. On the contrary, to the extent that today’s esoterica and search for new forms of spiritual experience confine themselves to the shadows of science, they promote a greater alienation of religion from the everyday world and strengthen the ‘normal,’ scientific-technological way of valuing the things of life.
Polly Young-Eisendrath (Awakening and Insight: Zen Buddhism and Psychotherapy)
All Protestants are Crypto-Papists,’ wrote the Russian theologian Alexis Khomiakov to an English friend in the year 1846. ‘ . . . To use the concise language of algebra, all the West knows but one datum a; whether it be preceded by the positive sign +, as with the Romanists, or with the negative − as with the Protestants, the a remains the same. Now a passage to Orthodoxy seems indeed like an apostasy from the past, from its science, creed, and life. It is rushing into a new and unknown world.’ Khomiakov, when he spoke of the datum a, had in mind the fact that western Christians, whether Free Churchmen, Anglicans, or Roman Catholics, have a common background in the past. All alike (although they may not always care to admit it) have been profoundly influenced by the same events: by the Papal centralization and the Scholasticism of the Middle Ages, by the Renaissance, by the Reformation and Counter-Reformation, and by the Enlightenment. But behind members of the Orthodox Church — Greeks, Russians, and the rest — there lies a very different background. They have known no Middle Ages (in the western sense) and have undergone no Reformations or Counter-Reformations; they have only been affected in an oblique way by the cultural and religious upheaval which transformed western Europe in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Christians in the west, both Roman and Reformed, generally start by asking the same questions, although they may disagree about the answers. In Orthodoxy, however, it is not merely the answers that are different — the questions themselves are not the same as in the west. (p.1–2)
Timothy Ware (The Orthodox Church)
Such is our intelligence, that intelligence that lives on the illusion of an exponential growth of our stock. Whereas the most probable hypothesis is that the human race merely has at its disposal, today, as it had yesterday, a general fund, a limited stock that redistributes itself across the generations, but is always of equal quantity. In intelligence, we might be said to be infinitely superior, but in thought we are probably exactly the equal of preceding and future generations. There is no privilege of one period over another, nor any absolute progress - there, at least, no inequalities. At species level, democracy rules. This hypothesis excludes any triumphant evolutionism and also spares us all the apocalyptic views on the loss of the 'symbolic capital' of the species (these are the two standpoints of humanism: triumphant or depressed). For if the original stock of souls, natural intelligence or thought at humanity's disposal is limited, it is also indestructible. There will be as much genius, originality and invention in future periods as in our own, but not more - neither more nor less than in former ages. This runs counter to two perspectives that are corollaries of each other: positive illuminism - the euphoria of Artificial Intelligence - and regressive nihilism - moral and cultural depression.
Jean Baudrillard (The Intelligence of Evil or the Lucidity Pact (Talking Images))
[The counterculture] looks to me like all we have to hold against the final consolidation of a technocratic totalitarianism in which we shall find ourselves ingeniously adapted to an existence wholly estranged from everything that has ever made the life of man an interesting adventure. “If the resistance of the counter culture fails, I think there will be nothing in store for us but what anti-utopians like Huxley and Orwell have forecast–though I have no doubt that these dismal despotisms will be far more stable and effective than their prophets have foreseen. For they will be equipped with techniques of inner-manipulation as unobtrusively fine as gossamer. Above all, the capacity of our emerging technocratic paradise to denature the imagination by appropriating to itself the whole meaning of Reason, Reality, Progress, and Knowledge will render it impossible for men to give any name to their bothersomely unfulfilled potentialities but that of madness. And for such madness, humanitarian therapies will be generously provided. […] “The question therefore arises: ‘If the technocracy in its grand procession through history is indeed pursuing to the satisfaction of so many such universally ratified values as The Quest for Truth, The Conquest of Nature, The Abundant Society, The Creative Leisure, The Well-Adjusted Life, why not settle back and enjoy the trip?’ “The answer is, I guess, that I find myself unable to see anything at the end of the road we are following with such self-assured momentum but Samuel Beckett’s two sad tramps forever waiting under that wilted tree for their lives to begin. Except that I think the tree isn’t even going to be real, but a plastic counterfeit. In fact, even the tramps may turn out to be automatons . . . though of course there will be great, programmed grins on their faces.
Theodore Roszak (The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition)
The youthful disaffiliation of our time strikes beyond ideology to the level of consciousness, seeking to transform our deepest sense of the self, the other, and the environment.
Theodore Roszak (The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition)
So subtle and so well rationalized have the arts of technocratic domination become in our advanced industrial societies that even those in the state and/or corporate structure who dominate our lives must find it impossible to conceive of themselves as the agents of totalitarian control. Rather, they easily see themselves as the conscientious managers of a munificent social system.
Theodore Roszak (The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition)
In order, then, to root out those distortive assumptions [which enable technocractic control], nothing less is required than the subversion of the scientific world view, with its entrenched commitment to an egocentric and cerebral mode of consciousness [what Roszak calls the “myth of objective consciousness”]. In its place, there must be a new culture in which the non-intellective capacities of the personality–those capacities that take fire from visionary splendor and the experience of human communion–become the arbiters of the good, the true, and the beautiful.
Theodore Roszak (The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition)
Nothing we come upon in the world can any longer speak to us in its own rights … [They] have been deprived of the voice with which they once declared their mystery to men.
Theodore Roszak (The Making of a Counter Culture: Reflections on the Technocratic Society and Its Youthful Opposition)
Finding grace is an individual process that changes the social. It is about seeing each other in the world and seeing one's own place in the world anew. In that way grace can counter the lies, refusals, and aggressions that drive us toward segregation. We live in serious times, in which we need to be roused to the inequity in our neighborhoods, our schools, our metro areas, our justice system, our culture. Ending resegregation is about understanding the ways we allow ourselves to stop seeing the humanity of others. It is about learning again to look, and never stopping.
Jeff Chang (We Gon' Be Alright: Notes on Race and Resegregation)
The hostility and venomous response the topic of sexual trauma and rape in the military brings up, especially with men from my Era, is revealing. This opposition speaks to their guilt and toward the truth that stays hidden.
Diane Chamberlain (Conduct Unbecoming: Rape, Torture, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from Military Commanders)
In 1997, executives at Disney came to us with a request: Could we make Toy Story 2 as a direct-to-video release—that is, not release it in theaters? At the time, Disney’s suggestion made a lot of sense. In its history, the studio had only released one animated sequel in theaters, 1990’s The Rescuers Down Under, and it had been a flop. In the years since, the direct-to-video market had become extremely lucrative, so when Disney proposed Toy Story 2 for video release only—a niche product with a lower artistic bar—we said yes. While we questioned the quality of most sequels made for the video market, we thought that we could do better. Right away, we realized that we’d made a terrible mistake. Everything about the project ran counter to what we believed in. We didn’t know how to aim low. We had nothing against the direct-to-video model, in theory; Disney was doing it and making heaps of money. We just couldn’t figure out how to go about it without sacrificing quality. What’s more, it soon became clear that scaling back our expectations to make a direct-to-video product was having a negative impact on our internal culture, in that it created an A-team (A Bug’s Life) and a B-team (Toy Story 2). The crew assigned to work on Toy Story 2 was not interested in producing B-level work, and more than a few came into my office to say so.
Ed Catmull (Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration)
Counter-culture celebrates the supposedly natural life of primitive peoples. Its members wear beads, headbands, body paint, and colorful tattered clothing; they yearn to be a tribe. They seem to believe that tribal peoples are nonmaterialistic, spontaneous, and reverently in touch with occult sources of enchantment...
Marvin Harris (Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches: The Riddles of Culture)
I want to open up a counter-culture club. It’ll be anti-established in 2012.
Jarod Kintz (At even one penny, this book would be overpriced. In fact, free is too expensive, because you'd still waste time by reading it.)
she had made a conscious and counter-cultural choice to embrace silence and not fill it with noise
C.J.S. Hayward (Firestorm 2034: The Axe is Laid at the Root of the Tree (Chamber of Horrors Book 3))