Sunday, January 20, 2008

Fear Factor & the Failure of a Cultural Revolution

Dear Dong Ping

2 Environ Mentalities, say: for the sake of

There’s a difference (on the one hand) between an
Environ Mentalilty of contentious argument—axes
to grind, injustices to mend, social and political injustices
to rectify: power struggling for control within a
revolutionary movement where the more things change
the more things they stay the same, as I believe your
book shows.

Politics. State (& Church—when the 2 do not sustain
their separation) mode. Revolution is a turning of the wheel.
What was below is now on top. It’s not the same kind of
movement as evolution.

Oh, Evolve! A bumper sticker on one of the cars parked
in front of the library I enjoy every time I drive home.
Oh! Evolve.

And then on the other hand an Environ Mentality of
argo- argument which could be called “edification”
(not the same as “education” but compatible ) where a
sustainable back & forth builds up a common “shining”
(argos—as in Jason and the Argonauts sailing the 7 sees
for Golden Fleece—the mythical cybernautical quest).

School Mode (as differentiated from Church & State)
He says She says He says She says He says She sasy &
how else do the points of view get put in play?

In the 19th c. there were a mess of Intentional Communities
(as opposed to cities, citizens, and citizenship) and the ones
that lasted the longest (sustained their sustain abilities
sustainably) had 2 shared characteristics.

1) a clearly defined and shared purpose: one, anyone, could
express, know, and identify. Maybe it was making furniture,
maybe some kind of self-sufficient farming…or good booze.

2) a clearly defined system of Mutual Criticism: the capacity
to assess (yes!) themselves and each other in the terms of
the clearly defined purpose.

You can see how the 2 go together like carriage and horse.
With no clear purpose—how can there be any decent assessment
and mutual criticism? (It sounds like I’m betraying something
here— but maybe we can keep it in play long enough to see how
it all works out together in the long run: Purpose & Criticism.)

A 3rd necessity, I would guess: a sense of ownership among
the players, workers. If I sense my job and security is
always on the line, I’m basically gonna be a good soljer
and brown-gnoser.

SO: Don Ping: your original governing thesis is still unresolved:
how does a system cultivate & grow its notions of social justice
on the one hand and economic production and necessity on the
other hand, without one over taking the other & all we got is the
sound of one hand?

That’s the basic issue, problem, conundrum, Gordian knot,
double bind, true? Maybe the terms need tweaking. How to
promote both the values of creativity (“making”) on the one hand
and on the other: and the values of consuming (“give & taking”)—
how to to privilege invention as well as inventory. Etc. Always:
my terms and images need improving—and improvisation, too.
Or what’s a college for?

Assess THAT!

But under all the flim-flam and talk: it has to do with fear--
what manages fear or transforms it into (I would say)
work--as opposed to not creative?

The Play’s The Thing! (To please a King. Freedom. You
got a problem with that? Some one is certain to, and should.
That's how it all gets started again & again & again: sustainable
converse-action: thesis just begging for anti-thesis.
(Yes, BUT...) & so it goes and goes.

xxxooo, Sam

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