Philosopher, writer and editor Martha Nussbaum explored the role of anger in movements led by Martin Luther King Jr., Ghandi, and Nelson Mandela in a lecture titled “Anger and Revolutionary Justice” on Wednesday as part of the 10th Christian Culture Lecture at Saint Mary’s.Nussbaum began the lecture by reflecting on an ancient Greek story in which Athena persuades the Furies in a city to re-orient themselves and adopt attitudes of benevolence, thus liberating the city with justice because of the transition, she said.“Political justice does not put a cage around resentment, it must ultimately transform it from something barely human, excessively bloodthirsty, to something human,” she said. ” … Anger with all its ugliness is a very popular emotion. Many people think it is impossible to carry out justice without anger.”Nussbaum said many people believe anger is a necessary component in supporting one’s beliefs and defending self-worth and often involves the idea of ‘payback,’ or retribution.“The most popular issue in the sphere of criminal justice today is retribution, that is, the view that the law must punish transgressions in a manner that embodies the spirit of justified anger,” Nussbaum said. “ … Anger is at the heart of revolutionary transformation.“We think about payback all the time,” Nussbaum said. “It is very common to think that the proportionality between crime and punishment somehow makes good. Only it doesn’t.”Nussbaum described three paths to deal with anger: the path of status, which is self-focused, the payback path, which results in the offender suffering, or the better, more rational spirit of looking forward and ‘do what makes sense’ option.This third rational option requires a stage known as the “transition stage” and is the stage used by the three leaders in the transition from anger to passionate hope, she said.One must take courage and learn from the legacies of three noble, successful freedom movements conducted in the spirit of non-anger — those of Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. and Nelson Mandela, Nussbaum said.“Now there is indeed anger in King’s [I Have a Dream] speech, at least at first … but King gets busy reshaping it to work and thought for how could it [anger] be made good,” Nussbaum said.Nussbaum said a strategy of transition anger is necessary, which she defined as a movement from anger with all its defects into a forward constructive form and work.“Anger towards opponents is to be transformed into a mental attitude that carefully separates the deed from the doer. … After all, the ultimate goal, as King says, is to create the world where all can live together,” Nussbaum said.Mandela also embraced this method, Nussbaum said.“Payback was natural and easy, Mandela took the difficult course. … A generous spirit was far more useful for the nation,” Nussbaum said. “Mandala asked, ‘How shall I produce cooperation and friendship?’ It is this remarkable capacity for generosity that was Mandela’s genius.“It’s a difficult goal, but it’s that goal that I’m recommending for both individuals and institutions. Anger is a prominent threat. … I hesitate to end with a slogan that will portray my age, but it really is time to ‘Give Peace a Chance.’”Tags: Christian Culture Lecture, martha nussbaum
For Wisconsin women’s hockey, a final test remains in the regular season.Heading to face WCHA foe Bemidji State, the No. 6 Badgers (19-9-2, 15-9-2 WCHA) will be facing the opponent who spoiled their season home opener and inaugural game at LaBahn arena back on Oct. 19. The Beavers (6-22-2, 5-20-1 WCHA) shut out UW in game one of the series 1-0, and went on to tie the Badgers in game two.But what has transpired since this early season meeting is an opposite tale.Wisconsin went on to win its next five games, and since has boasted a 17-6 record. Early season struggles scoring were highlighted in the earlier matchup but have since ceased to exist.Last weekend Wisconsin swept Minnesota-Duluth (14-13-3, 13-12-1 WCHA) – a team that had shut UW in the weekend prior to the Beavers success in Madison – and recorded six goals on the weekend.While Wisconsin has been on an uphill climb, the Beavers have yet to see such success. The team has struggled to find consistency, finding itself with a loss in every series since its journey to Wisconsin’s capitol. Adding to the team’s hardship has been a schedule consisting of three successive ranked teams to close out regular season play – first against then No. 9 North Dakota (22-10-0, 17-9-1 WCHA), most recently at No. 1 Minnesota (32-0-0, 26-0-0 WCHA), and now Wisconsin.What bodes well for the Beavers is what transpired last weekend against Minnesota. After a punishing 8-0 loss in game one, Bemidji State nearly gave Minnesota its first loss, or tie for that matter, taking the game to overtime, but falling 3-2 on a Gopher power play goal.Despite being outshot 44-14 in the game, Bemidji State showed both its ability to capitalize on opportunities, and fend off offensive dominance by the nation’s best team.At stake for both teams this weekend is the change to move up in WCHA rankings, earning a better seed in the conference tournament beginning the following weekend. Third-place Wisconsin secured home ice for the first round, and could find itself the number two seed with wins this weekend and a loss, or two, by No. 8 North Dakota – who currently holds a two-point advantage over UW.For Bemidji State, playoffs on the road is a given, but a combination of success against the Badgers and losses by St. Cloud State (9-20-3, 5-19-2 WCHA) would move them out of last place and more importantly keep them from traveling to face undefeated Minnesota.Also up for grabs is momentum, something any team wants to have driving them into post-season play.Continued offensive dominance will be key for Wisconsin – which outshot the Bulldogs last weekend 79-50 – if it hopes to come away victorious. The Badgers are 7-0-2 in games this season where they have put 40 or more shots on net. History is on the side of Wisconsin, who holds a dominating 49-4-3 all-time record over Bemidji State.But with the performance by the Beavers against Minnesota, it will be no easy victory for the Badgers.A win this weekend would also put head coach Mark Johnson at 300 career wins at Wisconsin. Game one is set for Friday night at 7 p.m. and game two will begin Saturday at 4 p.m., both being played at Bemidji’s Stanford Center.