Feeding on some Love from Cornel West.


Can’t resist sharing this straight off Waving or Drowning, from an NPR interview with Cornel West on Monday …

COX: Let’s begin with this, Cornel, if we might. You talk a lot about the lack of love. You say there is a lack of available love in black America. What do you mean by that?

Prof. WEST: Well, I think it’s true in the society as a whole. We have a market-driven society so obsessed with buying and selling and obsessed with power and pleasure and property, it doesn’t leave a whole lot of time for non-market values and non-market activity so that love and trust and justice, concern for the poor, that’s being pushed to the margins, and you can see it.

You can see it in terms of the obsession on Wall Street with not just profits but greed, more profit, more profit. You see it in our television culture that’s obsessed with superficial spectacle. You see it even in our educational systems, where the market model becomes central. It’s a matter of just gaining a skill or gaining access to a job to live in some vanilla suburb, as opposed to becoming a critical citizen concerned with public interest and common good.

It’s a spiritual malnutrition tied to a moral constipation, where people have a sense of what’s right and what’s good. It’s just stuck, and they can’t get it out because there’s too much greed. There’s too much obsession with reputation and addiction to narrow conceptions of success.

And when I talk about love, I’m talking about something that’s great, though, brother. I’m talking about something that will sustain you. It’s like an Aretha Franklin song, brother, or a Coltrane solo or Beethoven symphony, something that grabs you to the gut and gives you a sense of what it is to be human.

That’s what we’re more and more lacking, and it’s very sad. It’s a sign of a decline of an empire, my brother.

(via More Words on Love – Waving or Drowning?)

  • shannon

    I adore him. My best friend and I saw him in an airport years ago and followed him around like teenagers at a rock concert! I used to see him out and around Cambridge sometimes as well.

    He once said something that I have taken almost as my mantra: “I’m a prisoner of hope, though; I’ll die a prisoner of hope. Never believe misery and despair have the last word.”

    • http://www.idelette.com idelette

      Shannon, I think I would have groupied him too! Love that picture in my head.

  • rob

    …”spiritual malnutrition tied to a moral constipation…

    too much obsession with reputation…”

    Great stuff!

    • http://www.idelette.com idelette

      I know! Those are some of my faves too.