[D-G] sorcellerie capitaliste, democracy in Vth BC in Athens.

NZ pretzelworld at gmail.com
Tue Oct 25 19:04:57 PDT 2005

I imagine what you are suggesting about ancient greece would make a
fantastic episode of Dr. Who. The writers for that tv show were
sometimes excellent and quite thoughtful (I believe Douglas Adams
wrote several of the Tom Baker episodes) Dr.Who is one of those shows.
Anyway, about your idea about going back in time and recreating the
governmental dice games of ancient greece... to me it sounds kinda
like Mao's idea of rotating jobs... sometimes refered to as
"kibbutzism"... one day the mushroom hunter becomes the train
conductor, the train conductor becomes the football coach, the coach
becomes the airplane stewart, and the stewart becomes the lead singer
for led zepplin... sounds like fun. It looks like one of the concepts
that is central to both your idea and that of kibbutzim is the concept
of the "whole person" and the "whole society"... that should function.
Were citizens of this society conscious of their role (identity) in
the absolute then such a system could exist outside of a Dr.Who
Many people have thought of the "whole person" quiet seriously...
Bismark, Steiner, Nietziche, Mao, Moholy-Nagy, etc... but what
happened to those people's ideas? Bismark used it to empower the
Kaiser (who kicked him out), Steiner created a religious school (thank
God), Nietz. was channeled through the National Socialists (Ouch), Mao
created a society which today is resting on the success of its DVD
market (more about China's E-DVD later... ). And then there is
bauhaus' Moholy-Nagy. I happen to have his 1938 encylopedic "The New
Vision" (co-edited by Gropius)  right here next to me, I was just
reading it, let me quote the intro and some random bits:

Sectors of human development:
A human being is developed only by crystallization of the sum total of
his own experiences. Our present sysem of education contradicts this
axiom by stressing preponderantly single fields of application.
Instead of extending our milieu, as the primitive man was forced to
do, combining as he did in one person, hunter, craftsman, builder,
physician, etc., we concern ourselved with one definite occupation
leaving other faculties unused.

[diagram. showing concetric circles of the individual being
trans-sected by various occupations]

Tradition and the voice of authority intimidate man today. He no
longer dares to venture into certain fields of experience.
He becomes a man of one calling; he no longer has first-had experience
elsewhere. In constant struggle with his instints, he is overpowered
by outside knowledge. His self-assurance is lost. He no longer dares
to be his own physician, not even his own eye. The specialists-like
members of a powerful secret society - obscure the road to all-sided
individual experiences, the possibility for which exists in his normal
functions, and the need for which arises from the center of his being.
A "calling" means today something quite different from following one's
own bent, quite different from solidarity with the aims and
requirements of a community. One's personal life goes along outside
the "calling," which is often a matter of compulsion and is regarded
with aversion.
The future needs the whole man
[...] A specialized education becomes meaningful only if a man of
integration is developed along the lins of his biological functions,
so he will achieve a natural balance of his intellectual and emotional
power instead of on those of an outmoded educational aim of learning
unrelated details.
All educational systems are the results of economic structerure. In
the frenzied march of the industrial revolution, the indusrialists set
up specialized schools to produce quickly the badly-needed
specialists. [...] Our modern system of production is imposed labor,
mostly a mad pursui, without plan in its social aspects; its motive is
merely to squeeze out profits to their limit, in most cases a complete
reversal of its original purpose. [...] The chase after rewards in
money and power influences the whole from of life today, even to the
basic feelings of the individual. He thinks only of outward security,
instead of concerning himself with his inner satisfaction. [!]
[end quote]

I'll stop with that, but goes on for another 200 pages, with various
chapters devoted to their incredible view of their pre-WW2 world, the
pictures and layout are of course great, McLuhan-esque even. I am
fascinated by the way they imagine the inner and outer nature of man,
I think I disagree but I'm not sure. It kinda makes me wonder whatever
happend to this great wealth of information, but then I realized that
its here right beside me and all over, Bauhaus was a major success and
the history of its appropriation speaks volumes about the philosophies
behind it. (But why did it loose tempo? Perhaps it was marginalized.)
Even the very idea of bringing such a consciouss to the realm of
material construction seems bizarre to me and I say this as building
contractor. People say I have an easy job, it is, but I don't treat it
llike I'm taking some kind of "fantastic voyage" through life... cuz I
know that basically, I stand at the butthole of society, and its my
job to pile up the shit in an orderly manner and then collect rent.
There is one particular part of my job that I doubt many people are
aware of and I think it tells a lot about the way we are all asked to
look at this crap pile. That is the concept of "nominal" and "actual"
sizes of lumber. this is the best link i could find explaining it: (I
will have to find a better one)

"Why are 2"x4" planks really 1.5"x3.5" inches?"

With over 17 years in the business I know that the difference between
the nominal and the actual has grown over the years. The growth is
always positive, never decreasive, and it basically reflects an
absolute measurement of timber supplies. (you sir must pay the
difference) So the crap-pile has two-faces, one of them is basically
created out of thin air, a false "unknown" that informs the yardstick
of those bankers who've invested in the timber industry as well as in
reality (renting). So this economy, similar to one that allows for
Brockman's "3rd Generation" to flurish, is based on the profits that
are gleened from the specialization of professional experience... like
Moholy-Nagy was talking about..... so the survival of the differend
becomes a priority for that side of the economy. Absolution, in the
Bismarkean sense, is no more than a tool for economic control.
Now that I am sufficently off-subject I should end, allthough I am
tempted to get into Bismark...

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