Monday, February 21, 2005

CORNEL WEST: OPTIMISM VS HOPE. Here's more Cornel West from an essay in The Impossible Will Take a Little While: A Citizen's Guide to Hope in a Time of Fear , an anthology edited by Paul Rogat Loeb. Again, thanks for the Daily Dig and links, Bruderhof.

"Hope is not the same as optimism. Optimism adopts the role of the spectator who surveys the evidence in order to infer that things are going to get better. Yet we know that the evidence does not look good. The dominant tendencies of our day are unregulated global capitalism, racial balkanization, social breakdown, and individual depression. Hope enacts the stance of the participant who actively struggles against the evidence in order to change the deadly tides of wealth inequalities, group xenophobia, and personal despair. Only a new wave of vision, courage, and hope can keep us sane and preserve the decency and dignity requisite to revitalize our organizational energy for the work to be done. To live is to wrestle with despair yet never to allow despair to have the last word."

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