Thursday, January 01, 2009

A new year, a new beginning

I began 2009 by getting up, making some coffee and sitting down to reread JFK and the Unspeakable by James W. Douglass. I was struck once again by this prophetic passage from the contemplative monk Thomas Merton, written January 1962:

I have little confidence in Kennedy, I think he cannot measure up to the magnitude of his task, and lacks creative imagination and the deeper kind of sensitivity that is needed. To much the Time and Life mentality, than which I can imagine nothing further, in reality, from, say, Lincoln. What is needed is really not shrewdness or craft, but what the politicians don't have: depth, humanity and a certain totality of self-forgetfulness and compasion, not just for individuals but for man as a whole: a deeper kind of dedication. Maybe Kennedy will break through into that some day by miracle. But such people are before long marked out for assassination.


Blogger A.M. said...

Your blog is wonderful. One of my favorites. Thank you.

4:26 AM  
Blogger Robin Ramsay said...

Douglass' book on JFK is really good and important. It shows in great detail the exent to which by 1963 JFK had been radicalised by the Cuban missile crisis and had become determined to try to end the Cold War with the USSR. This put him on a collision course with the entire military-industrial-intelligence complex which had been making so much money and generating good careers (not to mention a sense of moral purpose) since 1948.

5:04 AM  

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