We Are The Makers Of Our World ; Let Us Remake It !

Archive for December, 2012

Politics, Spiritualism and the Ideal State

“Political thought, ever since the days of Plato, has theorized about the Ideal State, – a political organization of society in which the relations between man and man would be governed by justice.

Throughout the Antiquity and the Middle ages, political thought was dominated by abstract notion which served either the harmless purpose of building utopias or the sinister design of hiding the concrete realities of life. Plato was not quite the utopian that he has been made out by many uncritical historians of political philosophy. Nevertheless, his doctrine of the ideal state rested on a postulate which still holds good. For him, justice was not a vague conception. His definition of the notion of justice, which confounded thought throughout ages, was bitterly criticized by his opponents, particularly the sophists. But Plato did give a definition of the notion of justice, which set a concrete ideal for politics. Justice is good life; to establish good life, therefore, is the purpose of politics. In other words, an ideal state is that which established good life.
This clear purpose of politics could be confused so long as life was divided in to two compartments – spiritual and temporal. What appeared to be bad for the temporal life, for life on this earth, was not the criterion of good life. There was a life after – the spiritual life. The goodness of that life could not be measured by the standards of the life on this earth. Bad life on this earth could after all be the condition for a good life after. In other words, the hope of a good life after, justified a miserable life on this earth.

Political thought was developed in this direction by astute theologians in Europe as well as in India. Thomas Acquinas was a landmark in the history of political thought. He was a European by accident of birth. The political philosophy of the ancients, which started not from Plato’s idealism, but from the dictum of the Sophist Protagoras, that man is the measure of everything, was completely overwhelmed by theological sophistries which subordinated human relations to the metaphysical laws of a teleological moral order of the Universe.”

M.N. Roy,
Book:
Problem of Freedom,
1945.
(Collection of articles written by him for the weekly journal,
Independent India.)

The Radical Humanist Program

“Fascism today, under varying euphemistic concealment, stands as the consolidation of all the barriers to social progress. Its psychological foundations are fear, unreason, groove-habit and surrender to group homogeneity, which are all expressions of the moral and intellectual inertia of the common man. Its political expression is the totalitarian state in which all power is concentrated in the hands of a few representatives of the social vested interests, and in which all possibility of individual freedom is purposively eliminated. Its economy is that of monopoly production or sheer destruction, and delimitation of consumption through control of wages – in short, an economy of contraction. In it technology is employed to the purpose of war and mass – conditioning. All creative endeavour is under ban.
The method and program of social revolution today must be based on a reassertion of the basic principles of social progress. The method falls into two parts. The first is that of social renaissance, which can only come through determined and widespread endeavour to educate the people in the principles of freedom and rational co-operative living. Large-scale creative propaganda to counteract the goose step method of the fascists is thus of supreme importance. Simultaneously with it, there is the necessity of organizing the people into effective democratic bodies, on the one hand to resist the institutional units of Fascism at every step and, on the other, to build up the socio-political foundation of the post – revolutionary order. Social revolution today requires, in rapidly increasing number, men of the new Renaissance and a rapidly expanding system of people’s committees, and an organic co-ordination of both. The process of automatic structural groupings (e.g. the formation of class bodies) shall have to be integrated in the democratic institution of the people’s committees.
The program of revolution (which means the draft plan of the new society) shall have similarly to be based on the principles of freedom, reason and social harmony. Negatively, this will mean elimination of every form of monopoly and vested interest in the regulation of social life. The new economy will be based on production for use and distribution with reference to human, and not merely effective, demand. Its political organization will be based on the direct participation of the entire adult population in the running of institutional life, and not on mere delegation of power. Its surplus will be canalized to consumption through free universal utility services. Its culture will be based on universal irradiation of knowledge, and on minimum control and maximum scope and incentive to scientific and creative activity. The new society, being based on reason and science, will necessarily be planned. But it will be planning with the freedom of the individual as its main purpose. The new society will be democratic, politically, economically, as well as culturally. Consequently, it will be democracy that can defend itself.”

Sibnarayan Ray

pp. 63 – 64, essay:“Radicalism as a Philosophy of Revolution in our Times”
Book: Ripeness is All- Reflections of A Radical Humanist
Renaissance Publishers Private limited
15 Bankim Chatterjee street
Calcutta 700 073

Link

IHEU report highlights discrimination against atheists New global…

IHEU report highlights discrimination against atheists:

New global report on discrimination against the nonreligious-
You can Download ‘Freedom of Thought 2012’ in the attachment in .pdf format below: 

http://www.iheu.org/files/IHEU%20Freedom%20of%20Thought%202012_1.pdf

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