Joseph Chuman

Searching for the Common Good

In August 1981, Ronald Reagan carried out his threat and fired 11,000 air-traffic controllers who had gone on strike, demanding higher wages and a shorter workweek. This assault on a vital service early in his presidency set the tone that characterized the Reagan legacy. Not only did it augur the destruction of
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From Nationalism to Tyranny, and How We Must Respond

It’s a very important book. It may be the most important book I have read within memory, though it is only 126 short pages and can be finished in less than 40 minutes. Timothy Snyder’s On Tyranny: Twenty Lesson From the Twentieth Century, draws a line between the rise of Fascism and Communist totalitarianism in
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Reclaiming the Light Amid the Darkness

Donald Trump’s mind is like buckshot; concocted thoughts spew out impulsively in all directions. The problem is that he is president of the United States, commanding extraordinary power, and his verbal ejaculations hint at policy or are policy. Divining his intentions is akin to predicting the future by reading
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Truth in the Era of Trump

In the blink of an eye, Donald Trump has brushed aside all that we cherish: Sophistication, intelligence, nuance, the educated mind, science, logical consistency, the authority of evidence and facts, and at bottom, truth itself. These pillars of civilization, society and humane interaction have been swept to the
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Finding Hope, Despite Our Despair After the Election

By Dr. Joseph Chuman, leader of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County With the presidential election decided, I feel like I am in a science-fiction movie having just landed on a desolate, dark planet and bad things are going to happen. But I don’t know what they are. As a result, I am anxious, […]
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In Search of a Wider, Deeper, Richer Humanism

Today’s news is unsettling. Since September 2011, terrorism doesn’t seem so far away from us, even if it is taking place on the other side of the world. For those who are attuned to international events, the upheavals reported daily are captivating, and not in ways that put us at ease. Extremism is a defining […]
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Terrorism Very Close to Home, Sun Jan. 4

By Dr. Joseph Chuman, Leader of The Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County For our platform on Sunday, January 4th I am pleased to announce that Mike Kelly, longstanding columnist for The Record, will be our guest. I will be interviewing Mike on his new and widely acclaimed book, The Bus on Jaffa Road. The […]
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The Lives of Erich Fromm: Love’s Prophet

By Lawrence J. Friedman (Columbia University Press, 2013)   Reviewed by Joseph Chuman   Erich Fromm changed my life–in very big ways. Vogue authors abounded on college campuses in the 1960s. Names such Herman Hesse, Aldous Huxley, Alan Watts and Jack Kerouac were among those at the top of the list. For
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Three Moral Heroes Who Were Also Ethical Culturists

Platform address by Dr. Joseph Chuman, leader of the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County Dec. 4, 2011  In 2002, a 32-year-old Irish-born American journalist won the Pulitzer Prize for a monumental book documenting the history of genocide in the 20th Century. Samantha Power’s A Problem From Hell narrates in
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