Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Don’t EVEN THINK ABOUT Immamentizing the Eschaton!!!!

Michael Federici has this essay, The 100 Years vs. The 100 Days Standard, up at FPR. In it, Michael mentions two interesting concepts, gnostic impatience (gi), seeking to immamentize the eschaton, or bring about heaven on earth, and metastatic faith (mf), seeking to change reality through faith. In comments, RJ Snell refers to Voegelin, apparently referring to the content of the essay itself. Interesting stuff.

The essay itself primarily deals with the title; the idea that the first 100 days is important is an example of both gi and mf. Michael argues that 100 years is a better determinant than 100 days. I agree. The problem, as I see it, is that very few of us have 100 years to work on things. Michaels first big conjecture is, "…the use of a one-hundred years standard might indicate a movement toward a new realism in American politics that marks the end of big government and the romantic humanitarianism that is its animating force." Wow! Romantic humanitarianism! It takes a little extra credit reading to understand that the phrase is a reference to Empire, as well as to Rousseau and the Noble Savage – the idea that mankind can be improved. I kind of agree with Michael - we're not likely to see any improvement in mankind, probably ever. Nor should we.

Perhaps the most grand observation in the essay is this, "Evil, imperfection, and injustice are not tolerated to any degree." Implication being two-fold; that toleration of the bad trifecta is itself a good, and that seeking to minimize the trifecta is bad. Perhaps my dyspeptic view of this statement lies in the choice of the word "tolerance", when what Michael may mean is the expectation that the trifecta can be eliminated is too ingrained into our modern culture. I don't know that I agree with him, but I certainly can better understand his point, were his "tolerance" to be defined as I suggest.

Michael goes on to argue for FPR's most dearly held belief, that if we just went back to "community" as the basis of culture, all would be better. I think that might be another example of gi and mf. :)

The essay is somewhat confusing in its presentation. OTOH, this is the net, not a scholarly journal, so some slack is permitted.

If I have one observation to make, it is this – if we had all FPR's grandest ideas AND a magic pony, we could immamentize the eschaton!!!! The point being, how do we obtain the benefits of big gov while simultaneously abandoning it? That is the magic pony, the mf and gi in the FPR mythos. Not to mention another kind of romantic humanitarianism.


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