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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Sunday, February 10, 2013

I could, in a Platonic sense—in the proper sense of the word, deriving from Plato—I could concede, or even concur, that that might be true. What I could not accept is that Ratzinger could know and not me. That he had the right to interpret it. Who is this Herr Ratzinger? By what right does he arbitrate it? Do these people want power in this world or the next? It’s always this world. That’s how religion strikes me as absolutely material, nothing to do with the spiritual or after-existence. They want power now and they’re very wise to. When else would you want to have power?

2 comments:

profacero said...

Western paradigm in general does seem to be about who controls meaning. In Christianity and also in Freud, the subject does not know their meaning, only the expert interpreter does -- in this case, Ratzinger.

Here is a key passage from the text to which you link: "If your conscience tells you one thing, and the Holy Father through the authority of the Magisterium has determined something else, then it is not your conscience against the hierarchy; there is actually, beneath what you think is your conscience, your real conscience which must, because you’re made by God, understand already, that you’re wrong."

This is a descripción clave of how subjectivity and authority work in Judeo-Christendom and I suppose Islam although I do not know. The model gets modernized and secularized but does not really change.

One would have to then refine this flash of insight by going back to Descartes, Foucault, theories of the modern and postmodern subject, and so on but my sudden, unrefined thought is that the whole thing is not "modern" but CHRISTIAN and that people do not realize it because they are so used to the Western (Christian paradigm) that they imagine no outside to this.

Thomas said...

Who is this Herr Ratzinger?
He's the bloody Pope is who!