Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Cultural Milieu converge in Religion and Culture through the Homo Politicus

VI. The Cultural Milieu converge in Religion and Culture through the Homo Politicus:

A. Politics: Confluence for Religion and Culture through Power and Control:
     A transcendent and historico-temporal legitimacy are empirically verifiable in the fossil remains of the Upper Paleolithic period, as demonstrated in the human creations of that same period. Intrinsic to the social consciousness of human development is the emergence of the social behavior of the homo politicus that emerges from religion and culture. The influence of religious and cultural consciousness lends itself to the politics of being human: “Human experience finds expression through the meaning-systems of culture and religion.”[i] Out of the convergence of religion and culture ensues human politics. Consequentially, the human animal seeks a position of power and control in the social arena that emerges. The mechanism of self-validation, control, order, pattern, system and process become the essential trademark of the social construct:
Without this mechanism, religion and culture lose their way, fail to focus, cease to provide a view of the present and a hope for the future.  Without the management of power, without control, without the mechanism for dominance, manipulation, and cooperation, survival is not possible, nurturance falls by the wayside.[ii]

Since this is the natural evolution emerging from the development of human social consciousness and behavior, it is necessary to appeal to Dr. John H. Morgan’s definition of politics as the foundation for making sense of such a social construct:
Politics is a complex of behaviors and ideologies consisting of rituals and myths which appeal to a confluence of transcendent and historico-temporal legitimacy embodying a worldview and ethos addressing the verities of life and existence conveying a dynamic level of psycho-social reality which is self-validating to the individual and community.[iii]

     The political milieu that entails religion and culture fosters enactment of leadership in the human community. In order for social life to function, it is necessary to have members of the human community emerge as its leaders. The role of leadership serves to implement the various aspects of the political milieu, such as a right to control, to govern, and to interpret, in order to procure the historical survival of an intentional community.[iv]
Dr. Morgan’s “seven components” help explain his definition of politics:

1.                  “A complex of behaviors and ideologies.”
2.                  “Consisting of rituals and myths.”
3.                  “…appeals to the confluence of a transcendent and historico-temporal legitimacy.”
4.                  “Embodying a worldview and ethos.”
5.                  “Addressing the verities of life and existence.”
6.                  “Conveying a dynamic level of psycho/social reality.”
7.                  “…which is self-validating to the individual and community.”
(taken from: John H. Morgan, In the Beginning, 85-89).[v]
      The emergence of politics in the human community is indicative of the conscious awareness of the need of leadership. It necessarily ensues from the ground of control and power, whether or not this control and power is exercised humanely. An individual or individuals that assume such a role of leadership as a means of exercising authority over the community fosters a certain “persona of leadership, the conveyance of dominant ability and skill, the determination of control by one or a few over two or more members of a community are evidence of politics…there is the implied notion that it is all approved in the relationship to the necessity of survival.”[vi]
     Politics, religion, and culture are mutually inclusive of an assortment of ideologies and behaviors that are rooted in man’s search for meaning in the historical setting, and become expressed through myths and rituals as a means of concretizing the sacred.[vii] The passing on of stories/myths, and the ritual drama that reenacts the story once again speaks to the substantive quality of the human compositum, rendering authenticity to the experience of the belief/value system of an intentional community – herein rests the confluence of the transcendent and historico-temporal legitimacy.
     A worldview and ethos is necessary for any intentional community, without which the community is directionless. Clifford Geertz poignantly states: “The drive to make sense out of experience, to give it form and order, is evidently as real and as pressing as the more familiar biological needs.”[viii] An intentional community demonstrates politics by its very nature and function, ensuing from religion and culture, and in so doing has served the “verities of life” in all civilizations since the Paleolithic period of the human animal, thus establishing leadership in the political arena as a means of survival:
Politics makes the survival possible. Survival is ultimately the driving force of all social life and religion (as an interpretational mechanism) and culture (as an historically expressive mechanism) converge and coagulate within the community seeking out and validating the exercise of authority over itself.[ix]

[i]Morgan, Being Human, 112.

[ii]Morgan, “In the Beginning…” 84.


[iv]Ibid. 85.

[v]Ibid. 85-89.

[vi]Ibid. 86.

[vii]Radin, Paul, Primitive Man as Philosopher.

[viii]Geertz, 23.

[ix]Morgan, 89.

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