Rant on Classics and Politics || SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE and a THEOSOPHIST

In a return to a state of political apathy I read A Rant on Classics and Politics from a classicist.

Chi K’ang Tzu asked Confucius about government. The Master replied, “If you desire what is good, the people will be good. The character of a ruler is like wind and that of the people is like grass. In whatever direction the wind blows, the grass will bend.”

ANALECTS 12.19

Regarding THEOSOPHY, we often discuss POLITICS, therefore include the influence of the Theosophical Movement of the nineteenth-century. There are individuals, who for odd reasons dislike this, preferring to as I rashly mock, “navel-gaze.” Perhaps, they have egos, and do not like to be mocked. The THEOSOPHICAL MOVEMENT was more a Mazzinian-esque march, than merely concentrated purely in subjective mysticism and escapism, or else it would have been no movement! Is this not true? Read “HE WHO WOULD LIFT-UP HIGH THE BANNER OF MYSTICISM.”

Similarly, a classicist gives their rant against those using CLASSICAL STUDIES to support their racial views and ideology, just as we have dealt with the issue of Theosophy versus Fascism, and National Socialism, which has to be done. Despite the numerous times this subject has been dealt with by other theosophists, it has never gone in-depth honestly about the three philosophies, to contrast and discuss every relation there may be; and in this, we share a struggle with the classicist, accused of their liberal sensibilities, or whatever else the charge may be. It is often the classicists, that inspires me out of political apathy, by learning more about the past, and referencing back to it for guidance.

In my swing from apathy for political affairs to interested and involved, I realized how much Republicans and Democrats really hated each other. People desired to be tribal, and desired to fight, and tear each other to pieces…

In my swing from apathy for political affairs to interested and involved, I realized how much Republicans and Democrats really hated each other. People desired to be tribal, and desired to fight, and tear each other to pieces. However, now, I am much more focused on the HISTORICAL. The classicist simply finds material, that applies to any age, as a lesson to aid us with wisdom. Similarly, my hopes in political discussion is to deal with historical issues and relate them to the present. There was a brief time, I considered anonymous profiles of pseudo-classics’ lovers who were Alt-Right to think similarly to me, then quickly realized what their real deal was, and found myself soon in arguments. Classics at the Intersection: White Supremacy and Classics Scholarship on Race and Ethnicity dealt with this.

I argue, to blind ourselves and hold the idea that there is no political or ideological view in the material of the Theosophists, as well as with ancient Greek and Roman thinkers, even we have written of, is to delight in ignorance and forsake our duties to humanity and scholarship, dangerously so.

“There is an erroneous and pernicious view that material from Greece and Rome is somehow of political or ideological content. This is a political and ideological view itself.

We welcome followers of all backgrounds, but we will not be cowed from expressing, implying, or amplifying viewpoints that come from the modern world.

The past is not an ideological blank slate innocent of political ramifications in the present. Our current identities are always being written and rewritten in dialogue with the past.”

SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE, ANTIQUITY FOR EVERYONE: HOW CLASSICS IS MISAPPROPRIATED FOR EVIL ENDS

The rant should apply to both classicists and theosophists:

“In our time, Classics is being threatened by a familiar (but resurgent) enemy: a set of dangerous reactionaries who want to read their own disturbing ideology into the Classics as a form of cultural appropriation; it is thought that Classical precedent confers legitimacy upon their thinking. For that reason, we ought to carefully examine and attempt to understand the nature of this type of cultural appropriation…”

IBID

Neither Cowards nor Nobodies: A Rant on Classics and Politics

SENTENTIAE ANTIQUAE (@sentantiq)

“Lately a large percentage of this account’s followers espouse beliefs—or at least retweet ideas—that align with alt-right or extremely conservative viewpoints. At several points over the last year, some followers have complained about the political content of this account

There is an erroneous and pernicious view that material from Greece and Rome is somehow of political or ideological content. This is a political and ideological view itself.

We welcome followers of all backgrounds, but we will not be cowed from expressing, implying, or amplifying viewpoints that come from the modern world.

The past is not an ideological blank slate innocent of political ramifications in the present. Our current identities are always being written and rewritten in dialogue with the past.

This dialogue necessarily entails re-appropriation and re-interpretation of the past. The very act of excerpting a quotation and transferring it from one context to another is a reappropriation.

This account is run by human beings who exist in the world and time and have political viewpoints about the world and its ‘progress’ based on our own education and experience.

These human beings are also educators who believe that the past is misused to justify and perpetuate harmful ideas about the past in order to shape the present.

This account’s purpose is (1) to educate and entertain, (2) to offer real quotations with original text and information for context, and (3) to perform outreach to show how Classics still pertains to the modern world.

But it is also (4) to combat insidious use of Classical texts and (5) to act as a force of good in the world.

We do not idealize Greece and Rome. We study the past as a means to better understand our origins, our mistakes, the course and patterns of history, and what it means to be a human being. We do not want to replicate the past…”

NEITHER COWARDS NOR NOBODIES: A RANT ON CLASSICS AND POLITICS

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