Being and Politics
Is life about “being?” Do humans search for “being” (or the beautiful, or the good)? Do humans search for “being” via politics, and thus may be described as “political animals?” Does this help explain the intensity of politics in that humans equate their politics with their very being, as expressions of their “being”? Being “un-American” is about the worst thing an American can be charged with.
Alternative search for being is by way of “Jerusalem.” Hence, “Athens” v. Jerusalem. Is “Athens” superior because it recognizes the legitimacy of “Jerusalem’s” search for being, whereas “Jerusalem” denies the legitimacy of “Athens” search and the conflict with it? Some in Jerusalem’s camp recognize the legitimacy of that conflict, Maimonides, Alfarabi. Zionism does not, being a political expression of being. It is as inadequate or dangerous as any other political expression of being.
The Americans offered the Vietnamese peace, prosperity, freedom, and democracy but did so at the expense of their being Vietnamese. But as Vietnamese history illustrates, being Vietnamese, for example, by resisting Chinese invasions, trumps peace and even prosperity. In other words, if the price of peace, prosperity, freedom, and democracy is to give up one’s being, then that price is too high – even in Kansas. And some Muslims say the same thing to Americans. But Americans don’t hear this because they are unaware that life is about being [by the way, that’s a philosophical problem, ala’ Ms. Cherry]. Moreover, if this is so, then the Enlightenment project is doomed one way or another because it denies that life is about being [which brings us To Where the Wasteland Ends and the single vision].