The Second section, Vision, begins with an appropriately title chapter called “people without vision perish” (p.31). She is trying to develop a vision and a sense of need for vision. Vision, she says, is “action oriented” and not just a heady conceptual exercise (p.32). It is a vision that sees future change and works toward it. Essential to this type of vision is memory. To “name the beast” in our situation we cannot avoid looking back (p.x from the introduction). Soelle spends some time discussing the socio-political situation in Ancient Rome and
Soelle spends some time in this section discussing an important concept—Bonum Cummune, the “common well-being of all people in the community, which exists for all and to which all have a right, without regard to performance” (p.41). We cannot forget, in forming a vision, that we have responsibility to our neighbor—neighbor cannot be neglected. The sort of soteriology of our visions must be communal. If we forget this dimension, out soteriological vision will suffer indifference which comes along with individualistic mentality.
Soelle is convinced that out of memory, shame and pride, vision will be achieved; a vision that says, “never again.” We will look back and say, “how could they have done that?” and thus we will resist doing the same. Soelle suggests, “The experiences of history become the brilliant weapon displays of beautiful tactical aircraft and nuclear plants juxtaposed with photos of
Soelle identifies the beast, the problem, primarily as western capitalism. She spends significant amount of time critiquing capitalism. She suggests that capitalism is the wrong vision. Capitalism does not take scarcity into account, and thus lies when it promises all a chance, nor does it have any sense of beauty beyond commercialism (p.59). For her, the right vision is socialism, in some form. Not the oppressive communism of “state socialism” (p.61), but the type of socialism that solves specific problems through the sacrifice of the rich (see the example of
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