Saturday, November 29, 2008

Philosopher Leiter Examines Rhetoric and Actions of Obama

In Leiter Reports: A Philosophy Blog, philosopher Brian Leiter gives a four part analysis which examines the rhetoric and actions of Barack Obama. (Change We Can Believe In? in 4 parts).

Certainly, Obama will be no different from any other politician in the sense that not all of his beautific oratory or rhetorical speeches can or will lead to actualization or dramatic and unprecedented change. However, given the extreme economic crisis at home, and the cultural wars of the homeland - whose root and offspring form the nexus of many global conflicts - and competing ideologies which are coming to a boil here and abroad, I would wager that change will come; inevitably and of necessity. And Obma will be the helmsman of these global transitions.

Ortegay Y Gasset, in his "The Revolt of the Masses" (1930), knew well the saeculum of history, and that the trajectory of the generations ensures dramatic change in each century. In many ways, I found his book - which I read and re-read throughout my 20s and 30s - to be a precursor of Howe and Strauss' famous, "The Fourth Turning".

No matter what opinion one holds of Barack Obama, two things remain unchanged: 1. He won the Presidency. 2. He did so at a time when the generational constellations are shifting, globally. As Jesus of Nazareth told his followers, we can take a lesson from the seasons and the weather. When summer winds down, we know the autumn is upon us. When the sky darkens, we know it will rain. Jesus asked his listerners to consider this: "You know therefore how to read well the appearance of the clouds and the skies; how is it, then, that you cannot discern the signs of these times?".

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