unhinged 'reinhold niebuhr wrote that those who defy the forces of injustice and repression are possessed by 'a sublime madness' in the soul 'which disregards immediate appearances and emphasizes profound and ultimate unities,' niebuhr noted that 'nothing but madness will do battle with malignant power and 'spiritual wickedness in high places.' ' this sublime madness, as niebuhr understood, is dangerous, but it is vital. without it, 'truth is obscured.' and niebuhr also knew that traditional liberalism is a useless force in moments of extremity. liberalism, niebuhr wrote in the new republic, 'lacks the spirt of enthusiasm, not to say, fanaticism, which is so necessary to move the world out of its beaten tracks. [it] is too intellectual and too little emotional to be an efficient force in history.' ' - chris hedges 171217
unhinged 'chants, work songs, spirituals, the blues, poetry, dance, and art converged under slavery to nourish and sustain the imagination. 'for the art - the blues, the spirituals, the jazz, the dance - was what we had in place of freedom,' ralph ellison wrote. it was sublime madness that permitted african americans such as harriet tubman, frederick douglass, and fannie lou hamer to resist during slavery and jim crow. it was sublime madness that sustained the defiance of sitting bull and black elk as their land was seized, their people were slaughtered, and their cultures and means of existence were decimated. the oppressed - for they know their fate - would be the first to admit that, on a rational level, it is absurd to think that it is only through the imagination that they survive - but they also know that it is true. it was sublime madness that allowed the survivors in the nazi death camps to hold on to the sacred. jewish inmates in auschwitz reportedly put god on trial for the holocaust. they condemned god to death. a rabbi stood after the guilty verdict to lead the evening prayers.' - chris hedges 171217
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