About Me

I was overcome by Jurgen Moltmann’s idea that hope sets us apart from all creation in that we can go beyond everything present and past in the power of the coming, the power of the promise (cf. “Theology of Hope”)

Born in 1946 in Chicago, Illinois, I attended Northwestern University and graduated from the University of Wisconsin. After completing one year at Rutgers School of Law, I moved from Newark to San Francisco and worked as a desk clerk in a small hotel in Berkeley from 1980 to 1999. In 1999 I moved to Portland, Oregon and have been an active contributor to www.portland.indymedia.org.

Baptized in St. Marks Lutheran Church in San Francisco, I am a Jewish Christian who finds prophetic liberation Christianity as the completion not denial of Judaism. I think of myself as a Kierkegaardian and Bonhoefferian enamored of the wonders of contemplation. Life is full of super nova explosions where stars remain invisible until they find their partner star. Life is full of play, exuberance, and mystery and the future could be full of community centers, free Internet books and soft power.

Dear Matriots

Dear Matriots, seekers for an alternative economics and an alternative spirituality,

In Kaspar Hauser by Jacob Wassermann, a town was afflicted by drought, the wells were dry and people became angry and violent until a little boy played so beautifully on his flute that water rose in the wells again. Kaspar Hauser is a cultural symbol of our refractory and resistant nature, our questioning and yearning for authenticity., our utopian and future-oriented restlessness. “The Mystery of Kaspar Hauser” by Werner Herzog is available as a foreign film/DVD from www.modernrock.com. My other fictional model is Oscar from Gunter Grass’ “The Tin Drum.’ As a protest against the Nazi enslavement and genocide, Oscar refuses to grow up and lives out his life in resistance and solidarity.

The German philosopher Jurgen Habermas said that instrumental rationality threatens to colonize all life, relationships and dialogue. Professors lament that they are often only asked whether the question will be on the test and whether it will put money in our pockets.

The future must be open and dynamic, welcoming and dynamic, self-critical and intercultural. The future must be anticipated and protected in the present, not extrapolated from the present (cf. Jurgen Moltmann, Theology of Hope). The Zapatista vision of one world where many worlds fit and where everyone has a place could free us from fatalism, cynicism and one-dimensionality, the bitter fruits of vulgar materialism (cf. Ernst Bloch) and the self-healing market.

A Chinese friend Yu Xia designed a web site for me that offers 300 translated articles on anti-militarism, economic ethics, political theory, the Jewish-Christian dialogue and liberation theology, http://www.freewebs.com/mbtranslations.

Jesus calls us to the creation of a new language and a new mathematics, to be salt, leaven and light. In Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s perspective, one act of obedience can be more valuable than a hundred sermons. Costly grace to Bonhoeffer and the eternal moment or kairos moment for Kierkegaard is crucial in following the God who as eternal everlasting love calls us to sacrifice, renunciation and abandonment of material cares. Faith is personal but not private and is more interruption than custom. In the words of Soren Kierkegaard, faith is a leap across seventy thousand fathoms of water.

Here are links to articles and translations that can give us new hope and enthusiasm as we seek alternative economics and alternative spirituality.

Community Centers: Learning from O Canada!
The Cart in the Speculative Mud
The Economic Consequences of Mr. Bush
The Welfare State in the Market Trap
Egoism versus Pluralism: The Crucifix Decision
The Cure is the Sickness: Toward the Post-Washington Consensus
45 Articles to Celebrate the De-Selection

I look forward to your comments. The fire of youth will never be put out. Don’t let them break your spirit. We are only called to plant the seed, to be truth-tellers and story-tellers, to redefine and expand work, to revive our welcoming tradition and decry the tradition of fear. In a world where understanding is a fusion of horizons, prejudice can be a stepping stone to the event of understanding (cf. Hans Georg Gadamer, Truth and Method). May we discover the wonder of parallel worlds and the different stages and phases of life. The race is not to the swiftest but to the simple, modest and merciful, to become as children, open, affirming and enthralled.

Marc Batko
Portland, Oregon

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