[\] Isn't political relevance a little tricky? Would political relevance to a conservative Republican mean the same thing that it does to a liberal Democrat? Doesn't social relevance, if we're talking about values, have the same problems? [\]
Yes. Very tricky. And yes, many divergent interpretations and agendas. Always a plurality of competing values and world views. Thankfully!
It would be a loss if aikido could magically and miraculously make all this disappear, to unify human thought into a single monolithic dogma. Naturally I would oppose this.
However, I think it should be productive to ask if aikido training has anything to offer how we approach such differences. If, in the United States, Republicans and Democrats, or liberals and conservatives everywhere, could dialogue in aikido's particular brand of constructive adversity? Can we get fundamentalists and secularists to work together on worthy charitable causes?
The world and its many paths can get there without what we explicitly call "aikido." But if aikido does not actively and self-consciously participate in this social process -- not so much to take sides, but to bring factions together to make something larger and more coherent -- then I can't for the life of me see it as something to brag about.
Thank you for the article reference by the way, and your work as translator. These are the things that enrich us, individually as well as socially.