[Springboard] 21st Century Contradicitons

Jack Gilles icabombay at igc.org
Wed Nov 7 09:44:23 EST 2007


You are right, at least I think so.  When I did my contradictional  
analysis I started with the Vision statement we made in 72 (?) of all  
the Goods.... all the Decisions.... and all the Gifts of  
Humanness...... It is important to remember that we saw these as  
indicative statements.  That is, they are not what should or could  
be, but what is.  My thought is that this reality is now becoming  
aware to a vast number of people, although they wouldn't probably  
articulate it like we did.  People are becoming deeply aware that we  
are all in this together and therefore we have to figure out how to  
make the vision we stated a reality in some way.  When an awareness  
becomes apparent that is being blocked by the present structures,  
mindsets, etc., then the emergence of the contradictions becomes  
possible to identify.   As I said, I listed 9, three each for each of  
the three vision components.  I'll share those later this week.   
Thanks for jumping in there.  I like what you have stated.  Let's  
hear from some more.


On Nov 7, 2007, at 7:45 PM, R Williams wrote:

> Jack,
> I believe there need to be two backdrops as context for a  
> conversation about 21st century contradictions.  The first is the  
> vision which we embraced with "All the earth belongs to all the  
> people;" all the goods (eco), all the decisions (pol) and all the  
> gifts (cult).  It seems to me any analysis of contradictions has to  
> be over against that vision.  I believe that vision has basically  
> not changed except that it needs to be expanded to include all  
> creation.
> Second, contradictions must be considered in light of the imbalance  
> in the social process, which is still today what it was 30 years  
> ago--the dominance of the economic, the subservience of the  
> political (to the economic, example, Greenspan's statement that  
> Iraq is and was always about oil), and the collapse of the  
> cultural.  Not only has the cultural collapsed, but it has been co- 
> opted by the economic.  By this I mean that the economic rather  
> than the cultural has become the meaning-giving pole of the social  
> process, and the political has helped by imposing reduced values.
> Now to Niebuhr.  His three contradictions were a reflection of the  
> social process whether he knew it or not--"racialism" (cultural),  
> "nationalism" (political), and economic imperialism.  Reflecting on  
> this, I believe we should identify and focus on only three  
> inclusive "master" or major contradictions, one on each pole of the  
> social process.  As others respond to your query and offer their  
> reading of the contradictions for our time, I expect that each  
> stated contradiction can probably fit under one or another of the  
> SP poles, if indeed the Social Process is as inclusive as we think  
> it is.
> This will be interesting because there is so much overlap and inter- 
> connectivity.  A couple of examples.  Racism has been revealed to  
> be a contributing and related cause of poverty,
> especially since Hurricane Katrina.  Catholic Charities USA has  
> written a position paper entitled "Racism and Poverty: Overlapping  
> Threats to the Common Good."  Also, I think racism has to be  
> expanded to include a kind of "species-ism" meaning discrimination  
> against the non-human.  A second example--is religious  
> fundamentalism a cultural or political contradiction?  I think I  
> would put it under political.  Islamic extremists in the Middle  
> East and far right evangelical Christians in the US have become  
> political movements.  Rather than trying to "transform" the  
> political, they are trying co-opt and "become" the political.
> The primary contradiction under the economic continues to be what  
> it was 30 years ago--the growing gap between those who have much  
> and those who have little, and we must expand this to go beyond  
> just humans.  However, now the emphasis is more on natural  
> resources, particularly water, land and air.  This can be seen not  
> only globally but also in every locale.  In the developed world it  
> is often spoken of as the disappearing middle class.
> So with fear and trembling, at this moment here are my three.   
> Under the economic, Disparate Resource Distribution which has led  
> to economic impoverishment; under the political, Elitist Political  
> Exclusiveness which has led to political powerlessness; and under  
> the cultural, Discredited Cultural Heritage, which has led to  
> cultural disenfranchisement.
> I hope a lot of people jump in on this so you have plenty of grist  
> at Junaluska.  Thanks to Roxana for being one of the first.
> G&P,
> Randy
> ----- Original Message ----
> From: Jack Gilles <icabombay at igc.org>
> To: Springboard Dialogue <springboard at wedgeblade.net>
> Sent: Tuesday, November 6, 2007 2:23:59 PM
> Subject: [Springboard] 21st Century Contradicitons
> Dear All,
> I have followed the dialogue on the OE list serve regarding the
> updating of the HRN call for social pioneers in the three areas he
> felt at that time where critical for the sensitive and responsive
> ones to respond to.  Since we are referring to the Guild as that
> part of society that is sensitive and responsive to bringing forth a
> new earth/new society/new humanness I think it is important that we
> discern what the critical areas of contradiction are for our time.  I
> have been working on this for a couple of weeks and have developed
> what for me are the contradictions that the Guilds (and the Order)
> need to be addressing.  I won't share them just yet, but would invite
> everyone to think what would be your list.  Next week sometime I'll
> share my list and rationale.
> There are many, many areas of concern and issues facing the world
> today.  So to try and discern the critical ones I applied the
> following test.  I asked "What societal contradictions, if not
> addressed in the next 10-15 years will put the global society into a
> tipping point of danger?"  That is, although there are many issues
> facing India today, I discovered a set that seemed to apply here as
> well as in the developed world.  Common contradictions that are
> affecting us all and will "sink the ship" if we don't mobilize the
> sensitive and responsive to creatively respond.  I found brooding on
> the imbalances of the Social Process as well as the Pressure Points
> we discerned 30+ years ago to be helpful in my discernment for today.
> Maybe by the time of the Junaluska event we will begin to see a
> consensus of what these are and then we could perhaps do some writing
> on them at the gathering as well as use them as a screen for what we
> might be doing with the Guilds.
> I look forward to hearing what you feel the Order needs to address.
> G&P,
> Jack
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