Nov 17, 2003

Doing a rethink
I’m doing a rethink of politics, and want to find some plot on the political landscape that can allow me to follow my philosophy-induced manifesto for politics:

1. There is no final solution.

2. Deny the apocalypse and the utopia.

3. Watch for what is displaced, subsumed and ignored.

4. Politics cannot be the center.

5. Do not dehumanize the other side.

6. Critique broadly and answer specifically.

My cynicism - every election cycle has the kick of Y2K - all the lights are on and all that chatter is just giving me a headache - has been misunderstood by some as either disliking Bush specifically or forgetting surrendering politics. This is incorrect: 1) I consider my claim to be against politics as modern politics, not just GOP ones; 2) I started poking at a rethink since the beginning of Iraq, not because Iraq was central to my disillusionment but because it makes it clear I can’t just totally avoid the stuff.

For a while I was describing myself as “a confused proto-fascist or something” and then the other day I told someone I was a “theocratic monarcho-socialist.” This mostly means I’ve fallen off the political spectrum and haven’t found anyway back into the political debate.

I fleshed out some of my concerns and ideals in “Without Heirs: The struggle for a definition and the final failure of the New York Intellectuals,” an as-yet-unpublished article for Gideon Strauss I wrote this summer.

I have a large paper to write over Thanksgiving on Foucault on ethical-political action. I think I’ll tie it into Christian millennial ideas, and my leaning towards an amillennialism, and the type of process the new urbanists want to take in criticizing and answering. I’m hoping this will further move me back into the political world.