Sunday, February 24, 2008

A new acquaintance

Here's the blog of a guy I met last night. I think I've stumbled across it before, in reading about the philosopher Slavoj Zizek. Anyway, the current post makes a good point about the temptation for Christians who are concerned about social justice to put their hope in a candidate instead of working for justice in their own communities. (Perhaps this is especially tempting for young evangelicals who are relative newcomers to social justice activism.)

One of the things I find frustrating about the presidential race is listening to all the promises the candidates make, all the problems that they pledge to solve. Call me crazy, but I'd rather the president focused on fewer problems rather than more. I'm developing a prejudice for local solutions over national ones. The flow of power and responsibility seems to always be in the direction of larger and more remote entities. If you're a libertarian/conservative, the evil entities in question are governmental; if you're Green/liberal, they're multinational corporations. I lack the data to judge which side is right, but in either scenario, the responsibility/ability to solve problems is shifting out and away from the communities that have the most awareness of the problem, the most motivation to solve it, and the flexibility to fine tune the solution.

2 comments:

Special K said...

I agree that problems are best solved locally, but you've gotta know that the president (or any high-powered elected official) can make or not make laws that severely hinder progress from being made. They can also enable community activists to do their jobs better and more easily, so I think we should all be hoping (and voting) for a quality candidate and holding him/her accountable.

Goatcabin said...

The Catholics follow (or claim to follow) the principal of subsidiarity--that is, no problem that can be solved by a smaller body should be solved by a larger one.