Whatever hardships there have been in my life I still live in a very privileged position. Fear is not knowing where your next meal is coming from. Fear is seeing a child get hurt. Fear is watching someone you love waste away. Fear is knowing you are going to die yourself. But there's no fear in what I do. I write books.
I believe in clear-cut positions. I think that the most arrogant position is this apparent, multidisciplinary modesty of "what I am saying now is not unconditional, it is just a hypothesis," and so on. It really is a most arrogant position. I think that the only way to be honest and expose yourself to criticism is to state clearly and dogmatically where you are. You must take the risk and have a position.
According to our social pyramid, all men who feel displaced racially, culturally, and/or because of economic hardships will turn on those whom they feel they can order and humiliate, usually women, children, and animals--just as they have been ordered and humiliated by those privileged few who are in power. However, this definition does not explain why there are privileged men who behave this way toward women.
Jesus' whole life and mission involve accepting powerlessness and revealing in this powerlessness the limitlessness of God's love. Here we see what compassion means. It is not a bending toward the underprivileged from a privileged position; it is not a reaching out from on high to those who are less fortunate below; it is not a gesture of sympathy or pity for those who fail to make it in the upward pull. On the contrary, compassion means going directly to those people and places where suffering is most acute and building a home there.
I'm a privileged person, I feel privileged because of who I am. I write books, I write novels, I write essays and I teach and I go from university to university. I'm one of the old, but I still go around, but I only see those who are not like that, I don't see the junk youth. I only meet students, and even those who are not formally at the university, if they come to listen to me, they come to read me, it means they are not junk students.
Erasmus dramatizes a well-established political position: that of the fool who claims license to criticize all and sundry without reprisal, since his madness defines him as not fully a person and therefore not a political being with political desires and ambitions. The Praise of Folly, therefore sketches the possibility of a position for the critic of the scene of political rivalry, a position not simply impartial between the rivals but also, by self-definition, off the stage of rivalry altogether.
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