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This is a personal project by @dellsystem. I built this to help me retain information from the books I'm reading. Currently can only be used by a single user (myself), but I plan to extend it to support multiple users eventually.

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201

Failed Prophecies, Glorious Hopes

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notes

on the value of reading the New Testament and the Communist Manifesto (even though both were essentially failed prophecies, they still offer us guidance and hope)

M. Rorty, R. (2000). Failed Prophecies, Glorious Hopes. In M. Rorty, R. Philosophy and Social Hope. Penguin, pp. 201-209

203

We should raise our children to find it intolerable that we who sit behind desks and punch keyboards are paid ten times as much as people who get their hands dirty cleaning our toilets, and a hundred times as much as those who fabricate our keyboards in the Third World. We should ensure that they worry about the fact that the countries which industrialized first have a hundred times the wealth of those which have not yet industrialized. Our children need to learn, early on, to see the inequalities between their own fortunes and those of other children as neither the Will of God nor the necessary price for economic efficiency, but as an evitable tragedy.

They should start thinking, as early as possible, about how the world might be changed so as to ensure that no one goes hungry while others have a surfeit. The children need to read Christ's message of human fraternity alongside Marx and Engel's account of how industrial capitalism and free markets - indispensable as they have turned out to be - make it very difficult to institute that fraternity. They need to see their lives as given meaning by efforts towards the realization of the moral potential inherent in our ability to communicate our needs and our hopes to one another. They should learn stories both about Christian congregations meeting in the catacombs and about workers' rallies in city squares. For both have played equally important roles in the long process of actualizing this potentiality.

—p.203 by Richard M. Rorty 1 year, 3 months ago

We should raise our children to find it intolerable that we who sit behind desks and punch keyboards are paid ten times as much as people who get their hands dirty cleaning our toilets, and a hundred times as much as those who fabricate our keyboards in the Third World. We should ensure that they worry about the fact that the countries which industrialized first have a hundred times the wealth of those which have not yet industrialized. Our children need to learn, early on, to see the inequalities between their own fortunes and those of other children as neither the Will of God nor the necessary price for economic efficiency, but as an evitable tragedy.

They should start thinking, as early as possible, about how the world might be changed so as to ensure that no one goes hungry while others have a surfeit. The children need to read Christ's message of human fraternity alongside Marx and Engel's account of how industrial capitalism and free markets - indispensable as they have turned out to be - make it very difficult to institute that fraternity. They need to see their lives as given meaning by efforts towards the realization of the moral potential inherent in our ability to communicate our needs and our hopes to one another. They should learn stories both about Christian congregations meeting in the catacombs and about workers' rallies in city squares. For both have played equally important roles in the long process of actualizing this potentiality.

—p.203 by Richard M. Rorty 1 year, 3 months ago
204

The inspirational value of the New Testament and the Communist Manifesto is not diminished by the fact that many millions of people were enslaved, tortured or starved to death by sincere, morally earnest people who recited passages from one or the other text in order to justifY their deeds. Memories of the dungeons of the Inquisition and the interrogation rooms of the KGB, of the ruthless greed and arrogance of the Christian clergy and of the Communist nomenklatura, should indeed make us reluctant to hand over power to people who claim to know what God, or History, wants. But there is a difference between knowledge and hope. Hope often takes the form of false prediction, as it did in both documents. But hope for social justice is nevertheless the only basis for a worthwhile human life.

—p.204 by Richard M. Rorty 1 year, 3 months ago

The inspirational value of the New Testament and the Communist Manifesto is not diminished by the fact that many millions of people were enslaved, tortured or starved to death by sincere, morally earnest people who recited passages from one or the other text in order to justifY their deeds. Memories of the dungeons of the Inquisition and the interrogation rooms of the KGB, of the ruthless greed and arrogance of the Christian clergy and of the Communist nomenklatura, should indeed make us reluctant to hand over power to people who claim to know what God, or History, wants. But there is a difference between knowledge and hope. Hope often takes the form of false prediction, as it did in both documents. But hope for social justice is nevertheless the only basis for a worthwhile human life.

—p.204 by Richard M. Rorty 1 year, 3 months ago

(noun) the use of more words than those necessary to denote mere sense (as in the man he said); redundancy

205

Christian Socialism' is pleonastic: nowadays you cannot hope for the fraternity which the Gospels preach without hoping that democratic governments will redistribute money and opportunity in a way that the market never will.

finally remembered the meaning of this word

—p.205 by Richard M. Rorty
notable
1 year, 3 months ago

Christian Socialism' is pleonastic: nowadays you cannot hope for the fraternity which the Gospels preach without hoping that democratic governments will redistribute money and opportunity in a way that the market never will.

finally remembered the meaning of this word

—p.205 by Richard M. Rorty
notable
1 year, 3 months ago
207

The words of the Gospels and of the Manifesto may have provided equal quantities of courage and inspiration. But there are many respects in which the Manifesto is a better book to give to the young than the New Testament. For the latter document is morally flawed by its otherworldliness, by its suggestion that we can separate the question of our individual relation to God - our individual chance for salvation - from our participation in cooperative efforts to end needless suffering. Many passages in the Gospels have suggested to slave owners that they can keep right on lashing their slaves, and to rich people that they can keep right on starving the poor. For they are going to Heaven anyway, their sins having been forgiven as a result of having accepted Christ as Lord.

—p.207 by Richard M. Rorty 1 year, 3 months ago

The words of the Gospels and of the Manifesto may have provided equal quantities of courage and inspiration. But there are many respects in which the Manifesto is a better book to give to the young than the New Testament. For the latter document is morally flawed by its otherworldliness, by its suggestion that we can separate the question of our individual relation to God - our individual chance for salvation - from our participation in cooperative efforts to end needless suffering. Many passages in the Gospels have suggested to slave owners that they can keep right on lashing their slaves, and to rich people that they can keep right on starving the poor. For they are going to Heaven anyway, their sins having been forgiven as a result of having accepted Christ as Lord.

—p.207 by Richard M. Rorty 1 year, 3 months ago