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Signs of Hope – A continuing series August 15, 2019

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Uncategorized.

Gewerkschaftler suggested this recently:

I suggest this blog should have a regular (weekly) slot where people can post happenings at the personal or political level that gives them hope that we’re perhaps not going to hell in a handbasket as quickly as we thought. Or as the phlegmatic Germans put it “hope dies last”.

Any contributions this week?


1. CL - August 15, 2019

‘The remarkably rapid collapse of religion in advanced democracies.
more than half of United Kingdom adults now have no church identity…
One in four members of the public stated, ‘I do not believe in God,’ compared with one in ten in 1998.”..
Similar findings are reported across western Europe, Scandinavia, Canada, Australia, Japan, New Zealand and the like….
America traditionally was an exception, a faith stronghold, but the United States is joining the secular tsunami. A recent Gallup poll found that church membership fell twenty percent in the past two decades. One-fourth of American adults now say their faith is “none” – and the ratio is one-third among those under thirty.’


tafkaGW - August 15, 2019

Unfortunately a quasi-religious belief in the efficiency of markets, the moral duty of self-marketing, the supremacy of the individual and the whole complex of the neo-liberal soul remains stubbornly prevalent.

Is this really an improvement?


CL - August 15, 2019

There is a quasi-religious aspect to market fundamentalism.
Beware the true believer!
Still,the decline in religious superstition and theocracy should be welcomed.


CL - August 15, 2019


tafkaGW - August 16, 2019

I think a good case can be made that without the universalism and equality before god posited (but very often not practiced) by Christianity and Islam then liberalism and socialism would not have been born.

Secondly the socially progressive elements of religion are often allies, whereas the fundamentalist are enemies. So it’s less about the religion than the political face of it.

So playing along with militant atheists (most of them upper middle class neo-liberals) has it’s dangers.

I write as an atheist myself.


tafkaGW - August 16, 2019

And, from an antifa perspective, the use of Islam by the fascist and fascist-leaning parties to construct a convenient scapegoat group is to be resisted.

Some on the murderous racist right use a ‘Christian identity’ ideology to justify their systematic violence (AfD), some use a kind of militant atheism and secularism (Le Pen).


CL - August 17, 2019

“When the Catholic church was in its prime in Ireland thousands of priests trained at Holy Cross college in central Dublin, the city’s major seminary for more than a century. 
Now the historic building and its extensive adjoining lands are being sold off in a €95m property deal, as the weakened church cashes in on a rising real estate market….
Church bodies have long ranked among Ireland’s largest and most sophisticated real estate owners, with extensive holdings throughout the state. …
Property market figures say a further reason why church bodies are selling property is to fund donations to a state redress scheme for former residents of religious-run institutions who suffered abuse. The costs of the child abuse inquiry and redress were estimated at €1.5bn in 2017 by Ireland’s comptroller and auditor general, the public spending watchdog. ”

“On February 10, 1946, a gravely ill McCarthy was refused medical attention while in labour twice by nuns working in both Listowel and Tralee hospitals.
Both hospitals refused to treat a pregnant woman out of wedlock….
RTÉ’s compelling Documentary On One: In Shame, Love, In Shame relays how the young Kerry mother died from certified eclampsia.
It also follows Breda, McCarthy’s child – who was born with an intellectual disability, believed to have been caused by her mother’s difficult labour process – was placed in a Magdalene Laundry by a priest at the age of 18.”


CL - August 18, 2019

“After the United States entered World War I and the Russian Revolution exploded, the Vatican felt threatened by forces eager to reorganize the European international order and cast the Church out of the public sphere. In response, the papacy partnered with fascist and right-wing states as part of a broader crusade that made use of international law and cultural diplomacy to protect European countries from both liberal and socialist taint.”


2. ta - August 15, 2019

Very happy to say that my trades union has called on its members to support Fridays4Future, despite some members working in sunset fossil-fuel dependent industries. 🙂

IG-Metal might be a harder nut to crack. 😦

Liked by 1 person

tafkaGW - August 15, 2019

And the German teachers’ union GEW has also come out in support of the global climate strike on the 20th of September.


3. roddy - August 15, 2019

Of any “signs of hope”,I think peoples choice of whether to practice religion or not should’nt come into it.I can think of some great socialists and leaders of liberation movements who were not athiests and some right wing Tories who were.

Liked by 1 person

oliverbohs - August 15, 2019

Yeh I can acknowledge it’s a lot to do with where the power’s at. I felt growing up it was to a great degree in the South with the Church. Were I in the North instead my perception wd be different. I know who wd have been running the roost then. And how my outlook wd have been different. As long as religion is something a man or woman can choose for themselves I have no quarrel

Liked by 1 person

tafkaGW - August 16, 2019

Right there Roddy. Depends on the position people of religion take vis-a-vis those in power.


4. Lamentreat - August 15, 2019

None of this as cut and dried as the headline implies but it’s a hopeful story:


5. benmadigan - August 15, 2019

cracks developing between the Loyalist marching bands and the ABOD? Can we envisage in the future the OO marching in silence, no venues for the bands to appear and no OO money to support Loyalist bands?


6. tafkaGW - August 16, 2019

When the next acute phase of the ongoing crisis of heavily financialised capitalism occurs, the green left will be in a much better position to hegemonise the solution space (and I claim my jargon prize for this week!) than we were in 2007/2008, if we play our cards right politically and communicatively. Capitalism is fresh out of ideas and lacks any form of effective leadership.

An excellent initiative here from Open Democracy:

… we are launching a new series, ‘Preparing for the next crisis’, which is inviting contributors to debate and discuss the contours of a response that not only ameliorates the harmful effects of a recession, but which also lays the foundations for a new political-economic paradigm.

We are not simply looking for a shopping list of ideas, however. We are also inviting contributors to grapple with strategic questions relating to how to turn the necessary ideas into reality.

This includes identifying the ‘critical paths’ that need to be followed to open up space for radical change before, during and after a crisis; appraising the power dynamics of implementing bold policies and displacing entrenched vested interests; debating any key tensions or disagreements; and highlighting any research or policy development work that needs to be undertaken to fill any intellectual or implementational gaps.

And MacFarlane notes:

In a remarkable editorial this week, the Financial Times – long a supporter of free market orthodoxy – declared that “markets do not allocate capital to the most productive places”, and called on countries to “drop concerns around state planning” to enable a “transition to a worker-led economy”.


7. roddy - August 16, 2019

I recently attended mass in my local church where at one point ,a humble and quiet spoken priest said. to”pray for those experiencing hardship and persecution in other countries and give those who choose to come here a warm welcome”.I would find it very hard to label this man “right wing”.

Liked by 2 people

Daniel Rayner O'Connor - August 17, 2019

Agreed, Roddy. However, I would make a caveat (Well, a number of them). Firstly, the bottom line is the question: not what is said, but what is done. No Doubt, your Parish Priest would pass this test, but for many, talk is cheap. Secondly, whatever about individuals, the institutions they serve (and are expected to obey) have survived by brown tonguing the powers that be in order, as they see it, to ensure their survival to save as many souls as possible from eternal damnation. This applies to the catholic Church, the C.of I., the Mosque, the Synagogue, back to the High Priests of pagan times. ‘Pie in the Sky when you Die’ tends to be a diversion from bettering society in any religion. Again, to cite the progressive sanctity of any one person as evidence to clear an institution of millions reminds me of a certain Eoin Harris argument for abandoning what he thought was marxism by citing the political differences between the O’Hanlon sisters, the republican Siobhan and the Castle Catholic Eilis as evidence that environment could not mould personality. Finally, it is no secret that Michael Nugent of Atheism Ireland is as firm a defender of the present economic order as he is an opponent of religion; this just might be a contradictory position.


8. roddy - August 17, 2019

Nugent came to mind when I made my original point.


Daniel Rayner O'Connor - August 18, 2019

Charles Bradlaugh was another of the kind, but he was nineteenth century. He was certainly unrepresentative of his class, and despite the time gap I think Nugent is not much more mainstream.


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