Tag Archives: politics

(The Bund) The Ebbs and Flows of a Jewish Radical Party (Joshua Meyers)

Here they are meeting in Warsaw in 1927. The Bund is a subject of intense nostalgia across much of the anti-Zionist Jewish left today, but who knows what about it? Among full-time Yiddishists, as much as you see their own … Continue reading

Posted in uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

(Coronavirus) A Little Historical Primer on Modern Plagues (Paul Slack)

For general readers and students, “Responses to Plague in Early Modern Europe: The Implications of Public Health” is an old article here by Paul Slack, author of Plague: A Very Short Introduction. I’m linking it here . The article came … Continue reading

Posted in uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

(Secular Common Sense) Bankers & Trump (Coronavirus)

I know a lot of you are down on capitalism, but this little note here that even the bankers don’t seem to like Trump very much is very funny, but also to the point.  About the idea of a big … Continue reading

Posted in uncategorized | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Religion is Not Essential (Coronavirus)

Whose labor is essential? Whose labor is not essential? That’s the question. In modernization/secularization theory a lot of ink gets spilled about the public sphere in relation to the religious sphere. There’s the notion contested this way and that way … Continue reading

Posted in uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

(Andrew Cuomo) Liberal Political Theology (Coronavirus)

Like the one today (April 13), I’ve been watching a lot of these daily press conferences with Gov. Cuomo of New York in response to the Cornonavirus pandemic. Personally, I find them unvarnished and reassuring. Listening for religion and religion … Continue reading

Posted in uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Plague Discipline & Dance of Death (Foucault)

Throwing up my hands, re-reading after many years the famous chapter on Panopticism in Foucault’s classic study Discipline and Punish, first published in France in 1975. Readers today, responding to the Coronavirus, have already noted that plague quarantines and other … Continue reading

Posted in uncategorized | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Biden & FDR & Walter Lippmann

Watching some progressives [fill in verb of your choice] online about Biden while others, for instance here, are kvelling at the same time about Cuomo. This little bit here at Politico about political resilience and adaptability with reference to Walter … Continue reading

Posted in uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

(Spinoza Says) Enlightenment Now (Shut the Synagogues) (Coronavirus)

[[Dutch Portuguese Rabbi Nathan Lopes Cardozo arguing for the lifting of the ban on Baruch Spinoza, December 6, 2015. (Cnaan Liphshiz/JTA)]] About Enlightenment, post-secularism, and anti-liberal twaddle. Watching in real time and with some pleasure as the unfolding relationship between … Continue reading

Posted in uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

The Unsearchable Human Heart Of Government (Shabbat 11a)

In line with the Book of Proverbs and the vast scope of responsibility, the rabbis about government and the political heart were Weberian in their practical realism and bleak view of things. Michael Satlow posted on FB this beautiful gemara, … Continue reading

Posted in uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

(The Social Good) Principles of Rabbinic Political Theory

In the middle of an election year, I’m trying to sketch out a “Jewish political theory” based on rabbinic sources. It is neither radical-messianic-revolutionary (i.e. committed to radical ends, the radical end of things) nor liberal (i.e. predicated on the … Continue reading

Posted in uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment