There is something new afoot among the young men being who are today being drawn to the priesthood and religious life, and thus to the Dominican Order. I have noticed it over the past few years, but it seems more pronounced or at least more evident to me in the people born in the mid- to late 80s and early 90s. My sense is that these 20- and 30-somethings have been radicalized by their experience before entering the Order in a way that we were not. I am not certain how they would articulate their experience for themselves. It is as if they had gone to the edge of an abyss and pulled back from it. Whereas we tended to experience modernity (and then post-modernity) as a kind of adventure that never or rarely touched the core of our faith, these 20- to 30- somethings have experienced the moral relativism and eclectic religiosity of the ambient culture-and possibly of their own personal experience- and recognized it as a chaotic but radical alternative to Christianity with which no compromise is possible.
WP: The term Third World arose during the Cold War to define countries that remained non-aligned with either capitalism and NATO (First World), or communism and the Soviet Union (Second World).
This definition provided a way of broadly categorizing the nations of the Earth into three groups based on social, political, and economic divisions.
French demographer, anthropologist and historian Alfred Sauvy. . . coined the term (in 1952) to refer]to countries that were unaligned with either the Communist Soviet bloc or the Capitalist NATO bloc during the Cold War.
His usage was a reference to the Third Estate, the commoners of France who, before and during the French Revolution, opposed priests and nobles, who composed the First Estate and Second Estate, respectively. Sauvy wrote, "Like the third estate, the Third World is nothing, and wants to be something." He conveyed the concept of political non-alignment with either the capitalist or communist bloc.
To support this reallocation, Copeland breaks away from a First World/Third World interpretation to one which he characterizes as ACTE – the advancing, contingent, tertiary, and excluded worlds.
The A world is made up of the advanced nations, along with the economically advantaged elite in less-developed countries. The ‘‘contingent’’ world includes the emerging developed states. ‘‘Tertiary ’’-world countries are mainly the dependent, underdeveloped ‘‘Third World,’’ with the addition of the ‘‘the uninsured poor in the United States (such as those who suﬀered in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.)’’ and pockets of poverty in other states.
The ‘‘excluded ’’ world comprises those groups largely isolated from development, mostly in sub-Saharan states, Amazonia and Central Asia. This interpretation of the world sets up the role development can play increasing security in both the A and CTE worlds by reducing the currently widening economic gaps between these worlds. Copeland argues that ‘‘we must make a substantial eﬀort to identify the critical points at which A-world knowledge, C-world skills, and T- and E-world needs intersect’’ (Fisher, Journal of American Studies, 2010.)
[Aside: People no longer talk about it so much, but one of the great missed opportunities of 911, was that the Bush Admin. and the GOP, instead of truly marshaling the amazing energy and sense of unified purpose the country felt seemed instead to need to disperse and dilute that energy, as if it was something they didn't want to really become a groundswell and a healthy expression of a nation, a society, progressing to another place, evolving, moving forward, getting over the old divisions and into a new vision of what the nation could be in it's trajectory and by extension the world. It's perfectly captured by Dubya's exhortation mere days after the attacks that what people should do was Go shopping.
That was the moment a leader, a party, with vision, not cynicism towards and instinctual distrust and dislike of many of it's people it does not identify with (one that is pronounced at all times from the Tea Party; the idiot shock troops for inchoate feelings and manipulations they either don't have the capability of, or the willingness, to understand), would've been able to mold into a great moment of a beginning for something huge and good in this nation.
It could've been a new frontier. What would Obama have been able to do with that? With that unity and sense common purpose? It's overwhelmingly really. Waste of that proportion (personal or national) just leads to despair and jadedness and damage.
This is where the nation, is now, still. In this holding pattern of squandered spirit. Languishing. Rotting.
I will forever despise the Right, then and especially now in it's even more loathesome incarnation flirting with a pathological nationalism based on hot air and American Exceptionalism (Fascism). And it has to be remembered and spoken about, not revised and sentimentalized, in any way.
That squandering was more criminal than maybe any other thing from the Dubya Aughts and it's most sickening noisome by-product.
The by-product of fear, incompetence, greed, absolute power looking to institutionalize it's power "for a generation" that would manufacture it's own "reality" and could ignore the "reality-based community." (Paraphrasing there, and I don't think I need to tell most who spoke that way, but it was Karl Rove). And thankfully their gross incompetence and over-reach did them in.
That squandering of energy and the attitude that informed it is the central root thing that informed all the other Dubya/GOP criminality that followed 911: Phony WMD's, Iraq, failure in apprehending OBL, Gitmo, Waterboarding, rampant crony corporatism and it's attendant near economic catastrophe of a great recession only held at bay by a massive shift of wealth from citizens to corporations (banks) via TARP, a debt crisis and even up to where we are now in this present static languishing in a vacuum of shameless revisionism and blamegaming. It's the rot eating up the nation, and destroying this youth in many ways. /Aside (I think that aside is probably the central point now actually, but bear with me.)]
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