SL10335: Mormonism and Radical Politics

”The Relevance of Tolstoyans for Contemporary Latter-day Saints.” Tolstoyans adhered to Russian literary genius Leo Tolstoy’s philosophy of truth and brotherly love based on complete non-violence, vegetarianism, communal living, and a code of ethics that included abstaining from alcohol, tobacco, and foul language. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Tolstoyans are similar in that both groups have histories of oppression, resilience, and a love for peace, music, and community. “The Mormon Mother and Subsistence Eco-feminism” For many women, the tension between Mormonism and feminism feels like a battle between a paycheck and a family: feminists tell us to take our place as equals with men while Mormon leaders instruct us to be wives and mothers, contending that ‘career women’ lead unfulfilling lives, repress their ability to nurture and overlook meaningful relationships. I believe Mormonism’s emphasis on traditional women’s roles is useful in a radical critique of patriarchy. A true focus on maternal nurturing demands rejection of exploitative capitalism, warfare, environmental destruction, and obedience to male, high-status leaders. “Kinship Structures.” The tradition of universal kinship in Mormon thought constitutes a powerful and relatively untapped form of transnational Alternative Civil Society that can resist state efforts to separate us by ethnicity, class, or nationality. This is not automatic: it requires a re-shaping and an elaboration (a “magnification”) of Mormon doctrines of genealogy, universal divine descent, and fundamental human equality. Though genealogy might suggest an exclusivity of family ties, understanding it in the context of Mormon doctrines of universal siblinghood provides a useful and flexible toolbox of concepts for egalitarian revolution. “Plotino Constantino Rhodakanaty and the beginnings of Mexican Mormonism.” Little is known about Dr. Plotino Constantino Rhodakanaty’s early years and virtually nothing of his life after 14 May 1886 when he vanished. However, his influence in the Mexican socialist and anarchist tradition and his influence in bringing the restored gospel of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Mexico are of great interest to many. This paper discusses Rhodakanaty’s marriage and his son, Nefi, as well as his relationship with Meltion Gonzalez Trejo, John Taylor, and L. A. Bertand in Paris, France, and what might have happened to Rhodakanaty after 1886.