Democracy, and Innovation

The Presbyterians love deliberative bodies.

This was brought home to me once again yesterday, because it was annual congregational meeting day, and also because I have been reading The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity, in which one of the central concerns is why we think the unfreedom of various authoritarian arrangements is an inevitable feature of “complex societies” and the adoption of agriculture and so on. The authors of that book work hard and convincingly to demonstrate that our ideas about all that are myths, in the sense of being “tales of changeless truths,” that are not only unsupported but actually contradicted by empirical evidence. Loads of it, in fact.

We wouldn’t describe those deliberative bodies as “autonomous,” exactly, because we have theology that reminds us that we are responsible to God, that Christ is the Head of the Church, and that our deliberations are meant to be about discernment, so that we can follow the leading of the Holy Spirit more nearly. Nevertheless, what that looks like in practice is a bunch of people getting together in a meeting room – which in the case of a congregational meeting is the sanctuary – and moving things and seconding them and occasionally discussing them where discussion seems called for and then voting on them one way or the other.

Democracy, in fact. Because we have the idea that human freedom matters. Indeed, that it is one of those good and perfect gifts that cometh from above, from the Author of Light.

This year, the congregational meeting got an assist from new technology: something called “Meeting Owl” (they have a website, of course), which allowed us to make the meeting hybrid, on Zoom (they have a website, too, as if you didn’t know that already), so everyone who wanted to participate could actually see and hear everyone else, unlike the congregational meting we tried to have hybridly last year where no one could hear anyone. [Well … there are minutes, though; we HAD a quorum.]

Another example of deliberative bodies being able to make changes, not just prevent them.

Innovation, in fact. We Presbyterians don’t think of ourselves as loving novelty. But innovation is more like the same old story than we might think.

I am about to do a new thing;
    now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
    and rivers in the desert.

Isaiah 43:19

red line embellished

Image: “AMARYLLIS” by Dorian Wallender from Lake Havasu City, Arizona, USA, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

2 responses to “Democracy, and Innovation”

  1. “The Dawn of Everything” is biased disingenuous account of human history ( ) that spreads fake hope (the authors of “The Dawn” claim human history has not “progressed” in stages, or linearly, and must not end in inequality and hierarchy as with our current system… so there’s hope for us now that it could get different/better again). As a result of this fake hope porn it has been widely praised. It conveniently serves the profoundly sick industrialized world of fakes and criminals. The book’s dishonest fake grandiose title shows already that this work is a FOR-PROFIT, instead a FOR-TRUTH, endeavor geared at the (ignorant gullible) masses.

    Fact is human history has “progressed” by and large in linear stages, especially since the dawn of agriculture ( ). This “progress” has been fundamentally destructive and is driven and dominated by “The 2 Married Pink Elephants In The Historical Room” ( ) which the fake hope-giving authors of “The Dawn” entirely ignore naturally (no one can write a legitimate human history without understanding the nature of humans). And these two married pink elephants are the reason why we’ve been “stuck” in a destructive hierarchy and unequal class system (the “stuck” question is the major question in “The Dawn” its authors never answer, predictably), and will be far into the foreseeable future.

    A good example that one of the authors, Graeber, has no real idea what world we’ve been living in and about the nature of humans is his last brief article on Covid where his ignorance shines bright already at the title of his article, “After the Pandemic, We Can’t Go Back to Sleep.” Apparently he doesn’t know that most people WANT to be asleep, and that they’ve been wanting that for thousands of years (and that’s not the only ignorant notion in the title). Yet he (and his partner) is the sort of person who thinks he can teach you something authentically truthful about human history and whom you should be trusting along those terms. Ridiculous!

    “The Dawn” is just another fantasy, or ideology, cloaked in a hue of cherry-picked “science,” served lucratively to the gullible ignorant underclasses who crave myths and fairy tales.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: