Saturday, December 05, 2009

« Parlez comme un énarque ! »

« Mesdames, Messieurs, le particularisme dû à notre histoire unique doit nous amener au choix réellement impératif d'un processus allant vers plus d'égalité. Par ailleurs, c'est en toute connaissance de cause que je peux affirmer aujourd'hui que la conjoncture actuelle a pour conséquence obligatoire l'urgente nécessité d'un projet porteur de véritables espoirs, notamment pour les plus démunis. Mesdames, Messieurs, l'aspiration plus que légitime de chacun au progrès social doit prendre en compte les préoccupations de la population de base dans l'élaboration d'un processus allant vers plus d'égalité. Et ce n'est certainement pas vous, mes chers compatriotes, qui me contredirez si je vous dis que la situation d'exclusion que certains d'entre vous connaissent entraîne une mission somme toute des plus exaltantes pour moi : l'élaboration d'un plan correspondant véritablement aux exigences légitimes de chacun. Je reste fondamentalement persuadé que la conjoncture actuelle oblige à la prise en compte encore plus effective d'un processus allant vers plus d'égalité. »

-Générateur de langue de bois

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The plan

  • Stop going to bars
  • Quit smoking
  • Make friends not in a bar
  • Practice guitar for ~1 hour per day
  • Learn ArcGIS
  • Get off antidepressants
  • Always be in the middle of reading a book
  • Get the mats out of Danger Kitty’s fur
  • Tuesday, November 10, 2009

    Social principles of Christianity

    "The social principles of Christianity have now had eighteen hundred years to be developed, and need no further development by Prussian Consistorial Counsellors. The social principles of Christianity justified the slavery of antiquity, glorifies the serfdom of the Middle Ages and are capable, in case of need, of defending the oppression of the proletariat, with somewhat doleful grimaces. The social principles of Christianity preach the necessity of a ruling and an oppressed class, and for the latter all they have to offer is the pious wish that the former may be charitable. The social principles of Christianity place the Consistorial Counsellor’s compensation for all infamies in heaven, and thereby justify the continuation of these infamies on earth. The social principles of Christianity declare all the vile acts of the oppressors against the oppressed to be either a just punishment for original sin and other sins, or trials which the Lord, in his infinite wisdom, ordains for the redeemed. The social principles of Christianity preach cowardice, self-contempt, abasement, submissiveness and humbleness, in short, all the qualities of the rabble, and the proletariat, which will not permit itself to be treated as rabble, needs its courage, its self-confidence, its pride and its sense of independence even more than its bread. The social principles of Christianity are sneaking and hypocritical, and the proletariat is revolutionary. So much for the social principles of Christianity."
    - Karl Marx, The Communist Manifesto

    Monday, November 02, 2009

    Dear Matthew

    Love, Danica

    Thursday, October 08, 2009

    Saturday, August 15, 2009

    Structural 'sin' 2

    Structural sin

    Here's the opening to Oscar Wilde's "The Soul of Man under Socialism". I didn't care for much of the rest of it, for reasons I don't quite have the energy to get into at 7:38 AM, maybe later, but this is really right:

    The chief advantage that would result from the establishment of Socialism is, undoubtedly, the fact that Socialism would relieve us from that sordid necessity of living for others which, in the present condition of things, presses so hardly upon almost everybody. In fact, scarcely anyone at all escapes.

    Now and then, in the course of the century, a great man of science, like Darwin; a great poet, like Keats; a fine critical spirit, like M. Renan; a supreme artist, like Flaubert, has been able to isolate himself, to keep himself out of reach of the clamorous claims of others, to stand 'under the shelter of the wall,' as Plato puts it, and so to realise the perfection of what was in him, to his own incomparable gain, and to the incomparable and lasting gain of the whole world. These, however, are exceptions. The majority of people spoil their lives by an unhealthy and exaggerated altruism - are forced, indeed, so to spoil them. They find themselves surrounded by hideous poverty, by hideous ugliness, by hideous starvation. It is inevitable that they should be strongly moved by all this. The emotions of man are stirred more quickly than man's intelligence; and, as I pointed out some time ago in an article on the function of criticism, it is much more easy to have sympathy with suffering than it is to have sympathy with thought. Accordingly, with admirable, though misdirected intentions, they very seriously and very sentimentally set themselves to the task of remedying the evils that they see. But their remedies do not cure the disease: they merely prolong it. Indeed, their remedies are part of the disease.

    They try to solve the problem of poverty, for instance, by keeping the poor alive; or, in the case of a very advanced school, by amusing the poor.

    But this is not a solution: it is an aggravation of the difficulty. The proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible. And the altruistic virtues have really prevented the carrying out of this aim. Just as the worst slave-owners were those who were kind to their slaves, and so prevented the horror of the system being realised by those who suffered from it, and understood by those who contemplated it, so, in the present state of things in England, the people who do most harm are the people who try to do most good; and at last we have had the spectacle of men who have really studied the problem and know the life - educated men who live in the East End - coming forward and imploring the community to restrain its altruistic impulses of charity, benevolence, and the like. They do so on the ground that such charity degrades and demoralises. They are perfectly right. Charity creates a multitude of sins.