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Wednesday August 23rd 2017

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Who Should We Vote For?

By Peter Molenaar

For the fun of it, I’d like readers to take a Wikipedia adventure. Start with the 17th century philosopher named Baruch Spinoza. Follow the links. A history of philosophy and theology will be revealed. For entertainment, this course almost competes with post season baseball. Trust me.

As it happened, owing to his contemplative prescience, our good Spinoza found matter and mind to be of one and the same substance. He was then a ‘monist’ as opposed to a mind-body ‘dualist’. In his view, God and nature are pantheistically synonymous.

However, in my view: 1.) ‘Matter’ is all that exists independent of and outside of consciousness 2.) Matter is primary, i.e., consciousness is a product of the evolution of matter 3.) Matter is ‘dialectical’, i.e., matter exists in motion as a unity of opposing forces. 4.) The content of consciousness is a more or less “approximate reflection” of objective reality. Oh my, well okay. What I really like about Spinoza is his ‘determinism’, i.e., his understanding that all phenomena emerge in the multi-faceted context of a never ending sequence of cause and effect. After all, Jesus once uttered: “Forgive them Father, for they know not what they do.”

Or on the other hand, if the ‘free will’ believers are correct, I am walking on some very thin ice here. Or as fate might have it, if my baptism within the Calvinist tradition holds up, I am predestined to enter heaven as one of the elite.

So who should we vote for?

With regard to the Ninth Ward city council election, that race appears to be between Alondra Cano (DFL) and Ty Moore (Socialist Alternative). My first vote will be for Alondra .

Why? Because the ordering of political principles must reflect objective reality – as opposed to the agitated “revolutionary” consciousness of this or that individual. Alondra is altogether competent to advance the interests of her people in the present context. The revolution is a ways off yet.

Moreover, not so long ago, I was a passionate advocate for peace and friendship with the Soviet Union. Whereas, the Trotskyists, many years ago having thrown in the towel on the question of “building socialism in a single country, were of a different mind (Ty Moore is a Troyskyist). So it seems, Ty and his followers are “fallen angels” of sorts. All things considered, he must then be ranked as my second choice vote.

Now, back to Spinoza (how fun is this?). Karl Marx had this to say (approximately)… You philosophers have merely interpreted the world, however, the point is to change it.

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