snnoonan snnoonan at SPAMmsn.com
Tue Dec 26 21:29:31 MST 2000

Lou writes:
"The "utopia" theme is ubiquitous now in certain left circles, including the
Socialist Register which devoted an entire issue to it. In my opinion,
utopian hopes and "inspiration" are less necessary than cold, calculating
strategies to move the class struggle forward."

The Appendix to David Harvey's *Spaces of Hope* is a utopian musing. It is a
little too warm and fuzzy for my tastes. Harvey has his people of the future
devote too much time and energy to "spirit-talk" something akin to what I
get from Gary and others when they invoke the progressive elements of
"spiritualism." The thing is, even in the U.S. religion and or spiritualism
is in long-term decline.  Secularism will continue to grow in future and
between the sciences, the arts, dialectics and pharmacology the socialist
future won't have much space for spiritualism.  As far as collective
identity is concerned, there is no reason why profane and secular practices
can't be developed to provide people with meaning and a sense of social
cohesion. If anything, those practices can be much more efficacious than the
bifurcations of sect.

I agree with Lou's comment that practical class struggle is more pressing
than utopian musings but would add that in additition to this "cold-stream"
developing a new and renewed infrastructure "warm-stream" for socialist
cultural production where the articulation of socialist hopes and wishes can
be linked with an entire constellation of economic and political
organizations.We need a cultural front in order not only to build and
reinforce the class struggle but also to give people something meaningful
they can use to supercede their attachments to repressive superstitions.  If
we had unions and a party where people came to socialize(even for it's
own-sake) participate in the arts (popular and high), participate in
athletics etc. alongside politics and class struggle, we'd not only be
better off, it would be a good blow against religious hucksterism as well.
Aside from the fiction of an afterlife there isn't anything that religion
and spirituality offers that a socialist culture can't do better.

Sean Noonan
snnoonan at email.msn.com

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