Optimism of the Will

How to be positive in these perilous times? Humankind and the planet are facing enormous dangers. We can indulge in magical thinking and hope for miracles or we can ground ourselves in reality, understand the depth of the crises we face and then act to change things. It won’t be easy. There are huge obstacles and difficulties. Our task going forward is to find kindred spirits, organize and work to create a decent future. We may be inspired by the adage, Pessimism of the intellect, Optimism of the will. It was made famous by the great 20th century Italian Marxist thinker and writer Antonio Gramsci. A dedicated anti-fascist Gramsci languished for 11 years in Mussolini’s jails where his health deteriorated. He died in 1937. Today, there is a revival of interest in Gramsci and his work.

On our December 22nd show our speaker will be Noam Chomsky, who by any measure, has led a most extraordinary life. In one index he is ranked as the eighth most cited person in history, right up there with Aristotle, Shakespeare, Marx, Plato and Freud.

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