Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Actions at Law

A place is regulated, by such regular actions,
A fight of not such extraordinary actions;
A war is regulated, with these actions of inaction
Of this whole number, I know? It is, as I know.

The action, of which prohibits everything;
And the next one the same, and so forth;
But from the poverty, the weapons; after all the weapons, the conquest;
Like chaos, the transaction, after a reshuffle, more transactions;
A mania of loss, more rules after the current variant of the law;
Them thieves!—therefore, a said reasonable man:
If arrested from participation with people, roughly,
If exceptional people arrested, worriedly, such behaviour,
If arrested, finally, I preach with people, to whom it will bring well-feeling,
Improvement; if arrested, the imposition on people.

Men, of those that that are known of the style of life done,
Without the thoughts, the effect without the execution,
The taste without the consumption;
In that they find the small, of great modesty;
Who respected his enemies, facing the simple fact?
Before time, one whom decides small problems,
Before they come to a larger extent.

The fact, in this world is meant more,
Could be faced, when it was simple,
The main difficulty in the world was resolutions,
When it was small, of great modesty.

The simple fact does not find a great problem,
Is the universal process of reasonable beings,
If you say yes too much, too quickly,
You cannot say that you have,
To make the things that are exalted too easily
To be able, they who you give, to find hardily,
So that it makes it to think it:
If the problem is faced, it cannot worry.

Tao De Jing, by Lao Tzu

Below are two extracts, both the same, yet quite different. They are translations from Tao De Jing, by Lao Tzu, written (very) approximately 500B.C.

When people lost sight of the way to live
Came codes of love and honesty,
Learning came, charity came,
Hypocrisy took charge;
When differences weakened family ties
Came benevolent fathers and dutiful sons;
And when lands were disrupted and misgoverned
Came ministers commended as loyal.

Rid of formalized wisdom and learning
People would be a hundredfold happier,
Rid of conventionalized duty and honor
People would find their families dear,
Rid of legalized profiteering
People would have no thieves to fear.
These methods of life have failed, all three,
Here is the way, it seems to me:
Set people free,
As deep in their hearts they would like to be,
From private greeds
And wanton needs.

Leave off fine learning! End the nuisance
Of saying yes to this and perhaps to that,
Distinctions with how little difference!
Categorical this, categorical that,
What slightest use are they!
If one man leads, another must follow,
How silly that is and how false!
Yet conventional men lead an easy life
With all their days feast days,
A constant spring visit to the Tall Tower,
While I am a simpleton, a do-nothing,
Not big enough yet to raise a hand,
Not grown enough to smile,
A homeless, worthless waif.
Men of the world have a surplus of goods,
While I am left out, owning nothing.
What a booby I must be
Not to know my way round,
What a fool!
The average man is so crisp and so confident
That I ought to be miserable
Going on and on like the sea,
Drifting nowhere.
All these people are making their mark in the world,
While I, pig-headed, awkward,
Different from the rest,
Am only a glorious infant still nursing at the breast.

18. Hypocrisy
When the Way is forgotten
Duty and justice appear;
Then knowledge and wisdom are born
Along with hypocrisy.

When harmonious relationships dissolve
Then respect and devotion arise;
When a nation falls to chaos
Then loyalty and patriotism are born.

19. Simplify
If we could abolish knowledge and wisdom
Then people would profit a hundredfold;
If we could abolish duty and justice
Then harmonious relationships would form;
If we could abolish artifice and profit
Then waste and theft would disappear.

Yet such remedies treat only symptoms
And so they are inadequate.

People need personal remedies:
Reveal your naked self and embrace your original nature;
Bind your self-interest and control your ambition;
Forget your habits and simplify your affairs.

20. Wandering
What is the difference between assent and denial?
What is the difference between beautiful and ugly?
What is the difference between fearsome and afraid?

The people are merry as if at a magnificent party
Or playing in the park at springtime,
But I am tranquil and wandering,
Like a newborn before it learns to smile,
Alone, with no true home.

The people have enough and to spare,
Where I have nothing,
And my heart is foolish,
Muddled and cloudy.

The people are bright and certain,
Where I am dim and confused;
The people are clever and wise,
Where I am dull and ignorant;
Aimless as a wave drifting over the sea,
Attached to nothing.

The people are busy with purpose,
Where I am impractical and rough;
I do not share the peoples' cares
But I am fed at nature's breast.


The pure supposition comes within me and is in a world of a considered imagination; volatile; of pure luxury; it plays; internally considers its vision, the one that begins with a rotation; travelling in a world of its own creation, which we see how to bring about, the explanation; abstention, if the views of paradise do simply abound; visible, and to return with a certain greediness; visible; the way, with which there are demands, does not leave the world, which you modify, end to end; when demanding, anything, nothing; where there is no length here, where I can make the grade; here it lives; alive in the pure supposition, those liberations, if you did not possess greediness; abstention, at any length is real, where I can, with the pure supposition, make the grade; its alive here, those liberations, if freedom is to be real.

Emphatic ‘Me’

Beginning with the defunct demise; shades, of that which foreshadows, have played an influence on the disembodied state, like an emollient. I yearn, for a duration, the weak person of the bleak glen, to come here, for total mercy; almost if it had not been for the tolerance, of men of camaraderie.

I would lief have believed it; I will believe it soon, in the end, that I have been used, that you were, until some certain degree, the slave of circumstance, of which are independent of human’s will to do unto him. I express hope, so that I, in detail, do end with a donation, the small oases of the desert, destiny, sought with determination in that savage zone, of error, the result we would watch ignite.

Of me, they had never made the effort, at least, it was contained, and, in the end, it went. Are not those the closures of resources, which had to go away, nevertheless, with the temptation? Could not have the existence in hereafter; life degrades, and men have surely never befallen there before. Of the paper currency, never, and the leaves that will never take their place, therefore, ...living really in a dream? And the amount no more, I do not keep it, a victim of the repugnance; and the secret savage of all the civilised imageries.

The work is caused to come, of that one is guaranteed, an easily remarkable person, the constantly supposition-rich character; ecchymosed; and, in my childhood, in my periods of anteriority, initially, was indicated the group of lineaments completely, that will be inherited, and will have been inherited from.

From a more developed age, advancing strongly, to the era toward the finish, was more; for many reasons, edginess, seriously the cause of my real damage; with it, became me. I then developed, excited, fain to produce, poisoned with the wildest attitudes, and a victim to their accompanying unmanageable passions.

Weakened; I was attacked, equally ascribable to the connection of the weakness, of the circumstance; to be cleansed of, with the clean mind, too much do with my nurtures, nevertheless, in small inclinations, under the order of false control, of which there were differences between it and me. Weakness, in reference to others, was the invalid; when done, the efforts were of a certain way, and had subdivided completely within their area, and, naturally, grave the consequence was, the totality of mine, my prevalence.

Therefore, the rule changed, in my voice was the new law, one of brotherhood, in an age when small children had given commitment to not shirk, never flee, make their voices strong, I remained conferring with my cleansed mind, excluding my diagnosable identity, supervisor of my own internal thoughts.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool

Extract from Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool, by George Orwell, which was written with regard to a pamphlet Tolstoy published about the writing of Shakespeare, in particular in the play, King Lear:

The subject of Lear is renunciation, and it is only by being wilfully blind that one can fail to understand what Shakespeare is saying.

Lear renounces his throne but expects everyone to continue treating him as a king. He does not see that if he surrenders power, other people will take advantage of his weakness: also that those who flatter him the most grossly, i.e. Regan and Goneril, are exactly the ones who will turn against him. The moment he finds that he can no longer make people obey him as he did before, he falls into a rage which Tolstoy describes as ‘strange and unnatural’, but which in fact is perfectly in character. In his madness and despair, he passes through two moods which again are natural enough in his circumstances, though in one of them it is probable that he is being used partly as a mouthpiece for Shakespeare's own opinions. One is the mood of disgust in which Lear repents, as it were, for having been a king, and grasps for the first time the rottenness of formal justice and vulgar morality. The other is a mood of impotent fury in which he wreaks imaginary revenges upon those who have wronged him. ‘To have a thousand with red burning spits come hissing in upon ‘em!’, and:

It were a delicate stratagem to shoe
A troop of horse with felt; I'll put't in proof;
And when I have stol'n upon these sons-in-law,
Then kill, kill, kill, kill, kill, kill!

Only at the end does he realize, as a sane man, that power, revenge and victory are not worth while:

No, no, no, no! Come, let's away to prison...
..................... and we'll wear out
In a wali'd prison, packs and sects of great ones
That ebb and flow by th' moon.

But by the time he makes this discovery it is too late, for his death and Cordelia's are already decided on. That is the story, and, allowing for some clumsiness in the telling, it is a very good story.

But is it not also curiously similar to the history of Tolstoy himself? There is a general resemblance which one can hardly avoid seeing, because the most impressive event in Tolstoy's life, as in Lear's, was a huge and gratuitous act of renunciation. In his old age, he renounced his estate, his title and his copyrights, and made an attempt — a sincere attempt, though it was not successful — to escape from his privileged position and live the life of a peasant. But the deeper resemblance lies in the fact that Tolstoy, like Lear, acted on mistaken motives and failed to get the results he had hoped for. According to Tolstoy, the aim of every human being is happiness, and happiness can only be attained by doing the will of God. But doing the will of God means casting off all earthly pleasures and ambitions, and living only for others. Ultimately, therefore, Tolstoy renounced the world under the expectation that this would make him happier. But if there is one thing certain about his later years, it is that he was not happy. On the contrary he was driven almost to the edge of madness by the behaviour of the people about him, who persecuted him precisely because of his renunciation. Like Lear, Tolstoy was not humble and not a good judge of character. He was inclined at moments to revert to the attitudes of an aristocrat, in spite of his peasant's blouse, and he even had two children whom he had believed in and who ultimately turned against him — though, of course, in a less sensational manner than Regan and Goneril. His exaggerated revulsion from sexuality was also distinctly similar to Lear's. Tolstoy's remark that marriage is ‘slavery, satiety, repulsion’ and means putting up with the proximity of ‘ugliness, dirtiness, smell, sores’, is matched by Lear's well-known outburst:

But to the girdle do the gods inherit,
Beneath is all the fiends';
There's hell, there's darkness, there's the sulphurous pit,
Burning, scalding, stench, consumption, etc., etc.

And though Tolstoy could not foresee it when he wrote his essay on Shakespeare, even the ending of his life — the sudden unplanned flight across country, accompanied only by a faithful daughter, the death in a cottage in a strange village — seems to have in it a sort of phantom reminiscence of Lear.

Of course, one cannot assume that Tolstoy was aware of this resemblance, or would have admitted it if it had been pointed out to him. But his attitude towards the play must have been influenced by its theme. Renouncing power, giving away your lands, was a subject on which he had reason to feel deeply;

What Shall We Do?

Extract taken from Chapter XVI, What To Do, by Leo Tolstoy:

I belong to the class of those people, who, by diver’s tricks, take from the toiling masses the necessaries of life, and who have acquired for themselves these inexhaustible rubles, and who lead these unfortunates astray. I desire to aid people, and therefore it is clear that, first of all, I must cease to rob them as I am doing. But I, by the most complicated, and cunning, and evil practices, which have been heaped up for centuries, have acquired for myself the position of an owner of the inexhaustible ruble, that is to say, one in which, never working myself, I can make hundreds and thousands of people toil for me – which also I do; and I imagine that I pity people, and I wish to assist them. I sit on a man's neck, I weigh him down, and I demand that he shall carry me; and without descending from his shoulders I assure myself and others that I am very sorry for him, and that I desire to ameliorate his condition by all possible means, only not by getting off of him.

Surely this is simple enough. If I want to help the poor, that is, to make the poor no longer poor, I must not produce poor people. And I give, at my own selection, to poor men who have gone astray from the path of life, a ruble, or ten rubles, or a hundred; and I grasp hundreds from people who have not yet left the path, and thereby I render them poor also, and demoralize them to boot.

This is very simple; but it was horribly hard for me to understand this fully without compromises and reservations, which might serve to justify my position; but it sufficed for me to confess my guilt, and every thing which had before seemed to me strange and complicated, and lacking in cleanness, became perfectly comprehensible and simple. But the chief point was, that my way of life, arising from this interpretation, became simple, clear and pleasant, instead of perplexed, inexplicable and full of torture as before.

Who am I, that I should desire to help others? I desire to help people; and I, rising at twelve o'clock after a game of cards with four candles, weak, exhausted, demanding the aid of hundreds of people, - I go to the aid of whom? Of people who rise at five o'clock, who sleep on planks, who nourish themselves on bread and cabbage, who know how to plough, to reap, to wield the axe, to chop, to harness, to sew, - of people who in strength and endurance, and skill and abstemiousness, are a hundred times superior to me,--and I go to their succour! What except shame could I feel, when I entered into communion with these people? The very weakest of them, a drunkard, an inhabitant of the Rzhanoff house, the one whom they call "the idler," is a hundred-fold more industrious than I; (his balance, so to speak, that is to say, the relation of what he takes from people and that which they give him, stands on a thousand times better footing than my balance, if I take into consideration what I take from people and what I give to them.)

And these are the people to whose assistance I go. I go to help the poor. But who is the poor man? There is no one poorer than myself. I am a thoroughly enervated, good-for-nothing parasite, who can only exist under the most special conditions, who can only exist when thousands of people toil at the preservation of this life which is utterly useless to every one. And I, that plant-louse, which devours the foliage of trees, wish to help the tree in its growth and health, and I wish to heal it.

I have passed my whole life in this manner: I eat, I talk and I listen; I eat, I write or read, that is to say, I talk and listen again; I eat, I play, I eat, again I talk and listen, I eat, and again I go to bed; and so each day I can do nothing else, and I understand how to do nothing else. And in order that I may be able to do this, it is necessary that the porter, the peasant, the cook, male or female, the footman, the coachman, and the laundress, should toil from morning till night; I will not refer to the labours of the people which are necessary in order that coachman, cooks, male and female, footman, and the rest should have those implements and articles with which, and over which, they toil for my, sake; axes, tubs, brushes, household utensils, furniture, wax, blacking, kerosene, hay, wood, and beef. And all these people work hard all day long and every day, so that I may be able to talk and eat and sleep. And I, this cripple of a man, have imagined that I could help others, and those the very people who support me!

It is not remarkable that I could not help any one, and that I felt ashamed; but the remarkable point is that such an absurd idea could have occurred to me. The woman who served the sick old man, helped him; the mistress of the house, who cut a slice from the bread which she had won from the soil, helped the beggar; Semyon, who gave three kopeks which he had earned, helped the beggar, because those three kopeks actually represented his labour: but I served no one, I toiled for no one, and I was well aware that my money did not represent my labour.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Splattered Words.

First posted on Tuesday, January 13, 2009

It wasn't ever known when words became splattered.

Was it the panic-stricken, before their equanimity, or was it not believed that they even defined something?

Why searching? Perpetually. Is it that it may alter freedom? This so-called freedom. Does it exist? - does it not prepare thee?

In a sequence, them and I, each version a branch. They would have it that one goes or one remains? From appearances, it does not matter.

Off we go then, to the morning of freedom for them, then what?

And if the objective is backed by a decrescendo towards emptiness, then, why go? One is the whole of them, the sum of a decreasing ego. The outcomes can vary.

Demands and colloquies analyse them, with calm vacations of which you also partook.I would appreciate that, or any other world that arrives. They would not have to go, due to any part of you that would not be. And you are not satiating any part, it must be unique that they work, or that they have. Since then, the thoughts of that hour, well, they have gone, yet, the stature of them is appreciated. And is it not good? They must think of the ends when demanding, by the way, there is something similar. It is being that delays the amorous, therefore, for such a use.


Extract taken from Chapter XIII, The Slavery of Our Times, Leo Tolstoy

The cause of the miserable condition of the workers is slavery. The cause of slavery is legislation. Legislation rests on organized violence.

It follows that an improvement in the condition of the people is possible only through the abolition of organized violence.

"But organized violence is government, and how can we live without governments? Without governments there will be chaos, anarchy; all the achievements of civilization will perish, and people will revert to their primitive barbarism."

It is usual not only for those to whom the existing order is profitable, but even for those to whom it is evidently unprofitable, but who are so accustomed to it they cannot imagine life without governmental violence, to say we must not dare to touch the existing order of things. The destruction of government will, say they, produce the greatest misfortunes- riot, theft, and murder-till finally the worst men will again seize power and enslave all the good people. But not to mention the fact that all-that is, riots, thefts and murders, followed by the rule of the wicked and the enslavement of the good -all this is what has happened and is happening, the anticipation that the disturbance of the existing order will produce riots and disorder does not prove the present order to be good.

"Only touch the present order and the greatest evils will follow."

Only touch one brick of the thousand bricks piled into a narrow column several yards high and all the bricks will tumble down and smash! But the fact that any brick extracted or any push administered will destroy such a column and smash the bricks certainly does not prove it to be wise to keep the bricks in such an unnatural and inconvenient position. On the contrary, it shows that bricks should not be piled in such a column, but that they should be rearranged so that they may lie firmly, and so that they can be made use of without destroying the whole erection.

It is the same with the present state organizations. The state organization is extremely artificial and unstable, and the fact that the least push may destroy it not only does not prove that it is necessary, but, on the contrary, shows that, if once upon a time it was necessary it is now absolutely unnecessary, and is, therefore, harmful and dangerous.

It is harmful and dangerous because the effect of this organization on all the evil that exists in society is not to lessen and correct, but rather to strengthen and confirm that evil. It is strengthened and confirmed by being either justified and put in attractive forms or secreted.

All that well being of the people which we see in so-called well-governed states, ruled by violence, is but an appearance- a fiction. Everything that would disturb the external appearance of well-being-all the hungry people, the sick, the revoltingly vicious - are all hidden away where they cannot be seen. But the fact that we do not see them does not show that they do not exist; on the contrary, the more they are hidden the more there will be of them, and the more cruel towards them will those be who are the cause of their condition. It is true that every interruption, and yet more, every stoppage of governmental action - that is, of organized violence-disturb this external appearance of well-being in our life, but such disturbance does not produce disorder, but merely displays what was hidden, and makes possible its amendment.

Until now, say till almost the end of the nineteenth century, people thought and believed that they could not live without governments. But life flows onward, and the conditions of life and people's views change. And notwithstanding the efforts of governments to keep people in that childish condition in which an injured man feels as if it were better for him to have some one to complain to, people, especially the laboring people, both in Europe and in Russia, are more and more emerging from childhood and beginning to understand the true conditions of their life.

"You tell us but that for you we should be conquered by neighboring nations-by the Chinese or the Japanese-" men of the people now say, "but we read the papers, and know that no one is threatening to attack us, and that it is only you who govern us who, for some aims, unintelligible to us, exasperate each other, and then, under pretence of defending your own people, ruin us with taxes for the maintenance of the fleet, for armaments, or for strategical railways, which are only required to gratify your ambition and vanity; and then you arrange wars with one another, as you have now done against the peaceful Chinese. You say that you defend landed property for our advantage; but your defense has this effect-that all the land either has passed or is passing into the control of rich banking companies, which do not work, while we, the immense majority of the people, are being deprived of land and left in the power of those who do not labour. You with your laws of landed property do not defend landed property, but take it from those who work it. You say you secure to each man the produce of his labour, but you do just the reverse; all those who produce articles of value are, thanks to your pseudo-protection, placed in such a position that they not only never receive the value of their labour, but are all their lives long in complete subjection to and in the power of non-workers."

Thus do people, at the end of the century, begin to understand and to speak. And this awakening from the lethargy in which governments have kept them is going on in some rapidly increasing ratio. Within the last five or six years the public opinion of the common folk, not only in the towns, but in the villages, and not only in Europe, but also among us in Russia, has altered amazingly.

It is said that without governments we should not have those institutions, enlightening, educational and public, that are needful for all.

But why should we suppose this? Why think that non-official people could not arrange their life themselves as well as government people arrange it, not for themselves, but for others?

We see, on the contrary, that in the most diverse matters people in our times arrange their own lives incomparably better than those who govern them arrange for them. Without the least help from government, and often in spite of the interference of government, people organize all sorts of social undertakings- workmen's unions, co-operative societies, railway companies, artels, and syndicates. If collections for public works are needed, why should we suppose that free people could not without violence voluntarily collect the necessary means, and carry out all that is carried out by means of taxes, if only the undertakings in question are really useful for everybody? Why suppose that there cannot be tribunals without violence? Trial by people trusted by the disputants has always existed and will exist, and needs no violence. We are so depraved by long-continued slavery that we can hardly imagine administration without violence. And yet, again, that is not true: Russian communes migrating to distant regions, where our government leaves them alone, arrange their own taxation, administration, tribunals, and police, and always prosper until government violence interferes with their administration. And in the same way, there is no reason to suppose that people could not, by common consent, decide how the land is to be apportioned for use.

I have known people - Cossacks of the Oural - who have lived without acknowledging private property in land. And there was such prosperity and order in their commune as does not exist in society, where landed property is defended by violence. And I now know communes that live without acknowledging the right of individuals to private property.

Within my recollection the whole Russian peasantry did not accept the idea of landed property.

The defense of landed property by governmental violence not merely does not abolish the struggle for landed property, but, on the contrary, strengthens that struggle, and in many cases causes it.

Were it not for the defense of landed property, and its consequent rise in price, people would not be crowded into such narrow spaces, but would scatter over the free land, of which there is still so much in the world. But as it is, a continual struggle goes on for landed property; a struggle with the weapons government furnishes by means of its laws of landed property. And in this struggle it is not those who work on the land, but always those who take part in governmental violence, that have the advantage.

It is the same with reference to things produced by labour. Things really produced by a man's own labour, and that he needs, are always defended by custom, by public opinion, by feelings of justice and reciprocity, and they do not need to be protected by violence.

Tens of thousands of acres of forestlands belonging to one proprietor, while thousands of people close by have no fuel, need protection by violence. So, too, do factories and works where several generations of workmen have been defrauded, are still being defrauded. Yet more do hundreds of thousands of bushels of grain, belonging to one owner, who has held them back till a famine has come, to sell them at triple price. But no man, however depraved, except a rich man or a government official, would take from a countryman living by his own labour the harvest he has raised or the cow he has bred, and from which he gets milk for his children, or the sokha's, the scythes, and the spades he has made and uses. If even a man were found who did take from another articles the latter had made and required, such a man would rouse against himself such indignation from every one living in similar circumstances that he would hardly find his action profitable for himself. A man so unmoral as to do it under such circumstances would be sure to do it under the strictest system of property defense by violence. It is
generally said,

"Only attempt to abolish the rights of property in land and in the produce of labour, and no one will take the
trouble to work, lacking the assurance that he will not be deprived of what he has produced."

We should say just the opposite: the defense by violence of the rights of property immorally obtained, which is now customary, if it has not quite destroyed, has considerably weakened people's natural consciousness of justice in the matter of using articles-that is, the natural and innate right of property-without which humanity could not exist, and which has always existed and still exists among all men.

And, therefore, there is no reason to anticipate that people will not be able to arrange their lives without organized violence.

Of course, it may be said that horses and bulls must be guided by the violence of rational beings-men; but why must men be guided, not by some higher beings, but by people such as themselves? Why ought people to be subject to the violence of just those people who are in power at a given time? What proves that these people are wiser than those on whom they inflict violence?

The fact that they allow themselves to use violence toward human beings indicates that they are not only not more wise, but are less wise than those who submit to them. The examinations in China for the office of mandarin do not, we know, ensure that the wisest and best people should be placed in power.

And just as little is this ensured by inheritance, or the whole machinery of promotions in rank, or the elections in constitutional countries. On the contrary, power is always seized by those who are less conscientious and less moral.

It is said, "How can people live without governments - that is, without violence?" But it should, on the contrary, be asked, "How can people who are rational live, acknowledging that the vital bond of their social life is violence, and not reasonable agreement?"

One of two things-either people are rational or irrational beings. If they are irrational beings, then they are all irrational, and then everything among them is decided by violence; and there is no reason why certain people should and others should not have a right to use violence. And in that case governmental violence has no justification. But if men are rational beings, then their relations should be based on reason, and not on the violence of those who happen to have seized power; and, therefore, in that case, again, governmental violence has no justification.

Stargazing at Woolgatherers

First posted on Tuesday, January 13, 2009:
Another pressed curd product... neither blessed nor cursed adduct... preparing the muscle of thinking for its limbering up exercising whilst all else rests... rest assured best that the kine’s solid and aged opalescence be what motivates that course for which sweetness derives from the basis of the most savoury delectation... savouring each moment yet with all doubt and chance that it will be forgotten... awakening with the memory of some thing such a thing that cannot be true which hasn’t occurred yet which makes an utterance of reality cry true... what is seen is quickly forgotten and is seen not again then it is not believed any more... seeing is believing yet my eyelids were closed fully shut which can be only seeing the back of them with no light though nothing can be seen... darkness but free to run reckless abandon wherever I may dream of with no fear of colliding into a wall which may well happen depending on which type I had consumed... no need for hallucinogens with the existences which have compounded even my wildest dreams of which I cannot tell you since after all all was forgotten along with the most mundane ones... so the memory is left only of the reality which each darkness allows me to flee from only to be recaptured if it can be said of that which had never roamed outside of its laid down boundaries... constructed before my knowledge and limiting before my presence and yielding its own want from our covetous minds... can those things which I cannot bring to mind not now maybe never I dare say definitely have been stolen... I object not to much else and could be stripped of the memory of eating cheese most likely one of a blue variety in place of my pangs which cannot be imagined for me outside of the space created outside of those bounds... when I am limitless I am no longer flightless of course I admit it is no heaven but my mind is only cooked up of the stems around which it was reared and is preserved if we can say that there are any of them worth this effort today... I envy the sleep of others when it is the middle of the day here and on the downside or the beneath some such terminology which doesn’t suit for a cosmos which has no top or bottom left or right inside or outside edges or memories or hope or despair for there where I mean there here they are resting and dreaming and I not... now that its been mentioned it must be said that perhaps those people deserve what they get when they awaken and its my turn but what of the universe that never sleeps yet doesn’t it face its own reality.. far too unearthly a context yet without this intention what can I say I am envious to an extent for without dreams and a fancy to escape I would gladly accept the reckoning of the stars to be mine without the mind and the thoughts to continue speculating on such trivial and useless absurdity whilst I’m awake... is it any wonder?

Afar a bird

Text by Samuel Beckett:

Ruinstrewn land, he has trodden it all
night long, I gave up, hugging the hedges,
between road and ditch, on the scant grass,
little slow steps, no sound, stopping ever and
again, every ten steps say, little wary steps, to
catch his breath, then listen, ruinstrewn land, I
gave up before birth, it is not possible other-
wise, but birth there had to be, it was he, I was
inside, now he stops again, for the hundredth
time that night say, that gives the distance
one, it's the last, hunched over his stick, I'm
inside, it was he who wailed, he who saw the
light, I didn't wail, I didn't see the light, one on
top of the other the hands weigh on the stick,
the head weighs on the hands, he has caught
his breath, he can listen now, the trunk
horizontal, the legs asprawl, sagging at the
knees, same old coat, the stiffened tails stick
up behind, day dawns, he has only to raise his
eyes, open his eyes, raise his eyes, he merges
in the hedge, afar a bird, a moment past he
grasps and is fled, it was he had a life, I didn't
have a life, a life not worth having, because of
me, it's impossible I should have a mind and I
have one, someone divines me, divines us,
that's what he's come to, come to in the end, I
see him in my mind, there divining us, hands
and head a little heap, the hours pass, he is
still, he seeks a voice for me, it's impossible I
should have a voice and I have none, he'll find
one for me, ill beseeming me, it will meet the
need, his need, but no more of him, that
image, the little heap of hands and head, the
trunk horizontal, the jutting elbows, the eyes
closed and the face rigid listening, the eyes
hidden and the whole face hidden, that image
and no more, never changing, ruinstrewn land,
night recedes, he is fled, I'm inside, he'll do
himself to death, because of me, I'll live it with
him, I'll live his death, the end of his life and
then his death, step by step, in the present,
how he'll go about it, it's impossible I should
know, I'll know, step by step, it's he will die, I
won't die, there will be nothing of him left but
bones, I'll be inside, nothing but a little grit, I'll
be inside, it is not possible otherwise,
ruinstrewn land, he is fled through the hedge,
no more stopping now, he will never say I,
because of me, he won't speak to anyone, no
one will speak to him, he won't speak to
himself, there is nothing left in his head, I'll
feed it all it needs, all it needs to end, to say I
no more, to open its mouth no more, confu-
sion of memory and lament, of loved ones and
impossible youth, clutching the stick in the
middle he stumbles bowed over the fields, a
life of my own I tried, in vain, never any but
his, worth nothing, because of me, he said it
wasn't one, it was, still is, the same, I'm still
inside, the same, I'll put faces in his head,
names, places, churn them all up together, all
he needs to end, phantoms to flee, last phan-
toms to flee and to pursue, he'll confuse his
mother with whores, his father with a road-
man named Balfe, I'll feed him an old curdog,
a mangy old curdog, that he may love again, lose again,
ruinstrewn land, little panic steps.

The Lark and the Freedom Fighter

Written by Bobby Sands, MP, while on the blanket protest in the H-Blocks, Long Kesh, Northern Ireland. Protesting prisoners were not allowed books or writing materials, so this text was written on a square of toilet paper and smuggled out of the prison.

My grandfather once said that the imprisonment of the lark is a crime of the greatest cruelty because the lark is one of the greatest symbols of freedom and happiness. He often spoke of the spirit of the lark relating to a story of a man who incarcerated one of his loved friends in a small cage.

The lark, having suffered the loss of her liberty, no longer sung her little heart out, she no longer had anything to be happy about. The man who had committed the atrocity, as my grandfather called it, demanded that the lark should do as he wished: that was to sing her heart out, to comply to his wishes and change herself to suit his pleasure or benefit.

The lark refused, and the man became angry and violent. He began to pressurise the lark to sing, but inevitably he received no result. So, he took more drastic steps. He covered the cage with a black cloth, depriving the bird of sunlight. He starved it and left it to rot in a dirty cage, but the bird still refused to yield. The man murdered it.

As my grandfather rightly stated, the lark had spirit--the spirit of freedom and resistance. It longed to be free, and died before it would conform to the tyrant who tried to change it with torture and imprisonment. I feel I have something in common with that bird and her torture, imprisonment and final murder. She had a spirit which is not commonly found, even among us so-called superior beings, humans.

Take an ordinary prisoner. His main aim is to make his period of imprisonment as easy and as comfortable as possible. The ordinary prisoner will in no way jeopardise a single day of his remission. Some will even grovel, crawl and inform on other prisoners to safeguard themselves or to speed up their release. They will comply with the wishes of their captors, and unlike the lark, they will sing when told to and jump high when told to move.

Although the ordinary prisoner has lost his liberty he is not prepared to go to extremes to regain it, nor to protect his humanity. He settles for a short date of release. Eventually, if incarcerated long enough, he becomes institutionalised, becoming a type of machine, not thinking for himself, his captors dominating and controlling him. That was the intended fate of the lark in my grandfather's story; but the lark needed no changing, nor did it wish to change, and died making that point.

This brings me directly back to my own situation: I feel something in common with that poor bird. My position is in total contrast to that of an ordinary conforming prisoner: I too am a political prisoner, a freedom fighter. Like the lark, I too have fought for my freedom, not only in captivity, where I now languish, but also while on the outside, where my country is held captive. I have been captured and imprisoned, but, like the lark, I too have seen the outside of the wire cage.

I am now in H-Block, where I refuse to change to suit the people who oppress, torture and imprison me, and who wish to dehumanize me. Like the lark I need no changing. It is my political ideology and principles that my captors wish to change. They have suppressed my body and attacked my dignity. If I were an ordinary prisoner they would pay little, if any, attention to me, knowing that I would conform to their institutional whims.

I have lost over two years' remission. I care not. I have been stripped of my clothes and locked in a dirty, empty cell, where I have been starved, beaten, and tortured, and like the lark I fear I may eventually be murdered. But, dare I say it, similar to my little friend, I have the spirit of freedom that cannot be quenched by even the most horrendous treatment. Of course I can be murdered, but while I remain alive, I remain what I am, a political prisoner of war, and no one can change that.

Haven't we plenty of larks to prove that? Our history is heart-breakingly littered with them: the MacSwineys, the Gaughans, and the Staggs. Will there be more in H-Block?

I dare not conclude without finishing my grandfather's story. I once asked him whatever happened to the wicked man who imprisoned, tortured and murdered the lark?

'Son," he said, "one day he caught himself on one of his own traps, and no one would assist him to get free. His own people scorned him, and turned their backs on him. He grew weaker and weaker, and finally toppled over to die upon the land which he had marred with such blood. The birds came and extracted their revenge by picking his eyes out, and the larks sang like they never sang before.'

'Grandfather,' I said, 'could that man's name have been John Bull?'

John Bull, is a term used to refer to a man of English descent.

The Way of Parmenides

It is vital to say and to think, this which is;
Being is to being what it is, but nothing just is.
For thoughts and actions it is equal?
The thought and the thought, that one that is,
Direct them; for being independently finds the thoughts not of, but are,
Of the information related, to the one that is real.

This thing, governs whenever it is not is.
Therefore, take this; Is, it could not have had, it enters being
Because nothing comes from nothing.
Nor it in the past was aleatory, neither continuous it was,
From what time is each possibility, one;
So that which it is of the will observed inside it?
Of what method of this, it was released?

No other is one of it, about which the assets of the true characteristic
Of the calculations you finish to say it or to think it;
For it that it is does not say to one that it will say
Or is given credit to or for, this one is not.
And that this necessity that exerts pressure would know more,
So that is or makes soon is, if to begin everything?

Therefore it must in all that it is be.
And being is everything with being, where it must begin;
For still is here restitution not updated.
Which exists, the time-being, with a characteristic it only continues?
It is located and… Nor it is divisible,
Is the very similar one; still it gives immediately
Or the more novel in it is work, in a position that is berthed,

But everything is together complete, of that the nature that be must be
And this principal has possibilities that
It would, that it would be, that it would not be, that what it would be would come to be,
That is, this did not announce the calculations of components.
That which it is that comes to be and be thereafter,
Ending of being and its part, it comes to be
And its part was ending, being.

The fact that indicates being is stopped of the possibility of being, only probability,
Not feeling in being or that, does not exist to be stopped being.
They are ways of the duty to be, if to say or to have thoughts is
They can: they must exist.
The truth, nothingness cannot be indicated.
It is declared that being is in three ways: either and or, neither and nor, or and.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Episode of Hades

The following is an excerpt from the Episode of Hades, Ulysses, James Joyce. At this point the characters are nearing the end of the funeral procession past Dublin monuments, through her well-known streets, and are approaching the cemetery. I would be curious to hear anyone's opinion of how the characters address the death of their friend and their general mood, paying particular attention to their characters, as seen through their language:


Bom! Upset. A coffin bumped out on to the road. Burst open. Paddy Dignam shot out and rolling over stiff in the dust in a brown habit too large for him. Red face: grey now. Mouth fallen open. Asking what's up now. Quite right to close it. Looks horrid open. Then the insides decompose quickly. Much better to close up all the orifices. Yes, also. With wax. The sphincter loose. Seal up all.

-Dunphy's, Mr Power announced as the carriage turned right.

Dunphy's corner. Mourning coaches drawn up, drowning their grief. A pause by the wayside. Tiptop position for a pub. Expect we'll pull up here on the way back to drink his health. Pass round the consolation. Elixir of life.

But suppose now it did happen. Would he bleed if a nail say cut him in the knocking about? He would and he wouldn't, I suppose. Depends on where. The circulation stops. Still some might ooze out of an artery. It would be better to bury them in red: a dark red.

In silence they drove along Phibsborough road. An empty hearse trotted by, coming from the cemetery: looks relieved.

Crossguns bridge: the royal canal.

Water rushed roaring through the sluices. A man stood on his dropping barge, between clamps of turf. On the towpath by the lock a slacktethered horse. Aboard of the ...Bugabu....

Their eyes watched him. On the slow weedy waterway he had floated on his raft coastward over Ireland drawn by a haulage rope past beds of reeds, over slime, mudchoked bottles, carrion dogs. Athlone, Mullingar, Moyvalley, I could make a walking tour to see Milly by the canal. Or cycle down. Hire some old crock, safety. Wren had one the other day at the auction but a lady's. Developing waterways. James M'Cann's hobby to row me o'er the ferry. Cheaper transit. By easy stages. Houseboats. Camping out. Also hearses. To heaven by water. Perhaps I will without writing. Come as a surprise, Leixlip, Clonsilla. Dropping down lock by lock to Dublin. With turf from the midland bogs. Salute. He lifted his brown straw hat, saluting Paddy Dignam.

They drove on past Brian Boroimhe house. Near it now.

-I wonder how is our friend Fogarty getting on, Mr Power said.

-Better ask Tom Kernan, Mr Dedalus said.

-How is that? Martin Cunningham said. Left him weeping, I suppose?

-Though lost to sight, Mr Dedalus said, to memory dear.

The carriage steered left for Finglas road.

The stonecutter's yard on the right. Last lap. Crowded on the spit of land silent shapes appeared, white, sorrowful, holding out calm hands, knelt in grief, pointing. Fragments of shapes, hewn. In white silence: appealing. The best obtainable. Thos. H. Dennany, monumental builder and sculptor.


On the curbstone before Jimmy Geary, the sexton's, an old tramp sat, grumbling, emptying the dirt and stones out of his huge dustbrown yawning boot. After life's journey.

Gloomy gardens then went by: one by one: gloomy houses.

Mr Power pointed.

-That is where Childs was murdered, he said. The last house.

-So it is, Mr Dedalus said. A gruesome case. Seymour Bushe got him off. Murdered his brother. Or so they said.

-The crown had no evidence, Mr Power said.

-Only circumstantial, Martin Cunningham added. That's the maxim of the law. Better for ninetynine guilty to escape than for one innocent person to be wrongfully condemned.

They looked. Murderer's ground. It passed darkly. Shuttered, tenantless, unweeded garden. Whole place gone to hell. Wrongfully condemned. Murder. The murderer's image in the eye of the murdered. They love reading about it. Man's head found in a garden. Her clothing consisted of. How she met her death. Recent outrage. The weapon used. Murderer is still at large. Clues. A shoelace. The body to be exhumed. Murder will out.

Cramped in this carriage. She mightn't like me to come that way without letting her know. Must be careful about women. Catch them once with their pants down. Never forgive you after. Fifteen.

The high railings of Prospect rippled past their gaze. Dark poplars, rare white forms. Forms more frequent, white shapes thronged amid the trees, white forms and fragments streaming by mutely, sustaining vain gestures on the air.

The felly harshed against the curbstone: stopped. Martin Cunningham put out his arm and, wrenching back the handle, shoved the door open with his knee. He stepped out. Mr Power and Mr Dedalus followed.

Change that soap now. Mr Bloom's hand unbuttoned his hip pocket swiftly and transferred the paperstuck soap to his inner handkerchief pocket. He stepped out of the carriage, replacing the newspaper his other hand still held.

Paltry funeral: coach and three carriages. It's all the same. Pallbearers, gold reins, requiem mass, firing a volley. Pomp of death. Beyond the hind carriage a hawker stood by his barrow of cakes and fruit. Simnel cakes those are, stuck together: cakes for the dead. Dogbiscuits. Who ate them? Mourners coming out.

He followed his companions. Mr Kernan and Ned Lambert followed, Hynes walking after them. Corny Kelleher stood by the opened hearse and took out the two wreaths. He handed one to the boy.

Where is that child's funeral disappeared to?

A team of horses passed from Finglas with toiling plodding tread, dragging through the funereal silence a creaking waggon on which lay a granite block. The waggoner marching at their head saluted.

Coffin now. Got here before us, dead as he is. Horse looking round at it with his plume skeowways. Dull eye: collar tight on his neck, pressing on a bloodvessel or something. Do they know what they cart out here every day? Must be twenty or thirty funerals every day. Then Mount Jerome for the protestants. Funerals all over the world everywhere every minute. Shovelling them under by the cartload doublequick. Thousands every hour. Too many in the world.

Mourners came out through the gates: woman and a girl. Leanjawed harpy, hard woman at a bargain, her bonnet awry. Girl's face stained with dirt and tears, holding the woman's arm, looking up at her for a sign to cry. Fish's face, bloodless and livid.

The mutes shouldered the coffin and bore it in through the gates. So much dead weight. Felt heavier myself stepping out of that bath. First the stiff: then the friends of the stiff. Corny Kelleher and the boy followed with their wreaths. Who is that beside them? Ah, the brother-in-law.

All walked after.


Friday, January 16, 2009

The Beast of Property, 1884

Speech given by Johann Most, c. 1884:

" "Among the beasts of prey man is certainly the worst." This expression, very commonly made nowadays, is only relatively true. Not man as such, but man in connection with wealth is a beast of prey. The richer a man, the greater his greed for more. We may call such a monster the `beast of property." It now rules the world, making mankind miserable. and gains in cruelty and voracity with the progress of our so called `civilization " This monster we will in the following characterize and recommend to extermination.

Look about ye! In every so-called "civilized" country there are among every 100 men about 95 more or less destitute and about 5 money-bags.

It is unnecessary to trace all the sneaking ways by which they have gained their possessions. The fact that they own ALL, while the others exist, or rather vegetate merely, admits of no doubt, that these few have grown rich at the expense of the many.

Either by direct brute force, by cunning, or by fraud, this horde has from time to time seized the soil with all its wealth. The laws of inheritance and entail, and the changing of hands, have lent a "venerable color to this robbery, and consequently mystified and erased the character of such actions. For this reason the "beast of property" is not fully recognized, but is, on the contrary, worshipped with a holy awe.

And yet, all who do not belong to this class are its victims. Every off-spring of a non-possessor (poor man) finds every nook and corner the earth occupied at his entrance into the world. There is nothing which is "lordless." Without labor nothing is produced; and in order to labor, there are required not only ability and will, but also room to work, tools, raw materials and means of sustenance. The poor man must, therefore, by force of necessity, apply to those who possess these things in plenty. And, behold! the rich give him permission to continue his existence. But in return for this he must divest himself of his skill and power. These qualities henceforth his pretended "saviors" use for themselves. They place him under the yoke of labor --they force him to the utmost of his mental and physical abilities to produce new treasures, which however he is not entitled to own. Should he desire to deliberate for long before making so unequal a contract, his growling stomach will soon convince him that the poor man has no time that, for there are millions in the same position as himself and he will risk that, while deliberating, hundreds of others will apply --his chance is gone and he again will be at the mercy of the winds.

It is the lash of hunger which compels the poor man to submit. In order to live he MUST SELL. -"VOLUNTARILY" SELL --HIMSELF every day and hour to the "beast of property."

The bygone times, when the "ruling" classes, on their slave-hunting raids, threw their victims in chains and forced them to work, of which the rulers had all the benefit - the times when christian-germanic robbers stole entire countries, deprived the inhabitants of the soil, and pressed them to feudal service, were indeed terrible enough, but the climax of infamy has been reached by our present "law and order" system, for it defrauded more than nine-tenths of mankind of their means of existence, reduced them to dependence upon an insignificant minority, and condemned them to self-sacrifice. At the same time it has disguised this relation with all sorts of jugglery so that the thralls of today--the wage slaves -- but partially recognize their serfdom and outlawed position, they rather incline to ascribe it to the caprices of fortune.

To perpetuate this state of affairs is the only aim of the "prominent" classes. Though not always united among themselves -- one seeking to gain advantage over the other by tricks of trade, cunning in speculation and divers machinations of competition-yet in opposition to the proletariat they stand in one united hostile phalanx. Their political ideal is, therefore--in spite of all liberal phrases-a most powerful, centralized and brutal beadle government
If the poor man, who is momentarily unable to sell himself to an exploiter of labor, or is already flayed to complete helplessness by the "beast of property," has recourse to begging-then the glutted bourgeois terms it "vagrancy," and calls for police; he demands pillory and prison for the poor devil who refuses to starve between mountains of food.

Should the unemployed apply a little of the much vaunted self-help, that is, should he do in a small way, what the rich do daily with impunity on a grand scale, should he, in fact, steal, in order to live -- the bourgeoisie will heap burning coals of "moral indignation" upon his head, and, with an austere visage, hand him over relentlessly in charge of the state, that in its prisons he may be fleeced the more effectively, i.e., cheaper.

When the workers combine in order to obtain better wage, shorter hours of labor, or similar
advantages, the money-bags immediately decry it as "conspiracy," which must be prevented.

When the workers organize politically, it is denounced as resistance to the "divine" order of things, which must be nulified by laws of exception or discrimination.

Should the people finally contemplate rebellion, an unceasing howl of rage raised by the "gold tigers" will be heard throughout the world -- they pant for massacres and their thirst for blood is insatiable.

The life of the poor is valued as nothing by the rich. As the owner of vessels he places the lives of entire crews in jeopardy, when he is to fraudulently obtain high insurance for half decayed hulks. Bad ventilation, deep excavation, defective supports, etc., etc., annually bring death to thousands of miners, but this system of operation saves expenses, therefore augments the gains, and gives the mine owners no occasion to be sorry. Neither does the factory-pasha care how many of "his" laborers are torn and rent apart by machinery, poisoned by chemicals, or slowly suffocated by dirt and dust. Profit is the main thing.

Women are cheaper than men: for this reason the capitalistic vampires with insatiate rapacity seek their blood. Besides, female labor procures them cheap mistresses.

Child flesh is the cheapest: what wonder then that the cannibals of modern society continually feast upon juvenile victims? What care they that the poor little ones are thereby bodily crippled and mentally ruined for life-that thousands of them, miserable and worn out at a tender age, sink into their graves? Stocks rise; that suffices.

As the bourgeoisie, by means of its capital, completely monopolize all new inventions, every new machine, instead of shortening the hours of labor and enhancing the prosperity and happiness of ALL, causes on the contrary, dismissal from employment for some, reduction of wages for others, and an increased and intensified state of misery for the entire proletariat.

When increase of production is accompanied by an augmented pauperization of the masses, consumption must simultaneously decrease and stagnation and crises must ensue. A superabundance of actual wealth in the hands of the few must create hunger, typhus, and other epidemics among the many. The injustice-yea the idiocy-of this state of affairs is evident. The money-bags of course merely shrug their shoulders. This they will continue to do until a rope well tied over their shoulders will end all further shrugging.

The worker is not only fleeced in manifold ways as producer, but also as consumer. Numberless parasites seek to despoil him of his paltry income.

After products have passed through various exchanges and storage stages, and their prices have been raised by jobbers and brokers ' profits, by taxes and custom house duties, they finally reach the retailers, whose customers are almost exclusively the proletarians. The wholesalers "make" (that is, fraudulently obtain) perhaps 10 to 20 per cent profit by their transactions; the retailer is dissatisfied with less than 100 per cent. He makes use of all sorts of tricks for securing this result, especially the most shameless adulteration of food. In close relationship to these swindlers are the numberless poisoners and adulterators of beer, liquors, wine, etc., who render the streets in all our great cities, and industrial centers unsafe with their nefarious traffic. Then there are the tenement-lords, who ceaselesly seek means to embitter the existence of the poor. The condition of the rooms become [sic] steadily worse, the rents higher, and the contracts more galling. The workers are crowded together more and more into rear houses, attics and cellar-holes, full of vermin, and musty. Prison cells are frequently far healthier than these pest-holes.

When the worker is out of employment. he is again at the mercy of hordes of speculators in hunger, who are ready to pounce upon him order to complete his ruin. Pawnbrokers and others of similar ilk advance small sums at high interest on the last possessions of the poor. Their contracts are usually so arranged that they can hardly be kept; the pawned objects [are] forfeited and the poor wretch takes another downward step. The cut-throats, however, amass fortunes in a short time. The beggar is looked upon as quite a well-paying figure by certain sharks. Every copper which he has gathered in is unenviable way arouses the covetousness of the keeper of dirty holes and vile dens. Even thieves are subject to this capitalistic spoliation. They are the slaves of crafty concealers and "fences," who receive their stolen goods for a song. Yes even those unfortunate women, whom the present accursed system has driven to prostitution, are shamelessly plundered by keepers of brothels and houses of ill-fame.

This is the lot of the poor from the cradle to the grave. Whether he produces or consumes, whether he exists or merely vegetates, he is always surrounded of (sic) ravenous vampires who thirst for his last drop of blood. On the other hand, the rich man never stops his work of exploiting, though he may be utterly unable to assign a reason for his greed, He that has $1,000,000 would have $10,000,000; he that has $100,000,000 would have $1,000,000,000.

The greed for wealth is closely associated with the greed for power. Wealth is not only a generator of more wealth, it is also a political power. Under the present capitalistic system venality is an all-pervading vice. It is as a rule a mere matter of price which will buy over who may he of service either by speech or silence, by the pen or by the press, by acts of violence or any other means, to the "beast of property," which by its golden dictates is the absolute, almighty divinity.

In Europe and America there are several hundred thousand priests and ministers, specially provided for to poison the common sense of the masses. Numberless missionaries wander from house to house spreading senseless tracts, or commit other "spiritual" mischief. In the schools strenuous attempts are made to nullify what little good the training in reading, writing, and ciphering may bring with it. Idiotic maltreatment of "history" excites that blatant prejudice which divides people, prevents them from recognizing the fact, that their oppressors have so leagued together against them, and that all politics, past and present, has the only object in view, that of firmly establishing the power of the rulers, and thereby ensuing (slc) the exploitation of the poor by the rich.

The hawking trade in "loyalty and other intoxicants" is attended to by the inkslingers of the daily press, numerous literary perverters of history, by political heelers of the various predominating cliques, rings, combinations and organizations, by parliamentary windbags with seductive smiles, pledges on their lips and treason in their hearts, and hundreds of other politicians of all degrees and shades of villainy.

Whole squads of bushwhackers are specially employed in mystifying the social question. The professors of political economy for instance, play the part of lackeys to the bourgeoisie, extolling the golden calf as the true sun of life, and using falsehood and knavery so "scientificaly," that they make the tanning of workingmen's hides appear as a benefaction to mankind. Some of those charlatans recommend social reform, or in other words, processes, based on the maxim of washing without wetting; not to mention their celebrated recipes for economizing and educating.

While thus bamboozling the masses the capitalistic knights of plunder continue to perfect their mechanism of power. New offices are created. High positions in these are filled in Europe by the progeny of the former highwaymen (now a "nobleman") in America by the most crafty office hunters and the most wily thieves, who combine with their original purpose of authoritatively gagging the proletariat, the very pleasant business of till-tapping and forgery on a grand scale. They command armies of soldiers, gendarmes, policemen, spies, judges, prison-keepers, tax collectors, executors, etc., etc. The lower class of the beadledom are almost wholly recruited from the ranks of the non-possessors, and are only exceptionally [rarely] better paid. For all that, they display great zeal as spies, eaves-droppers, and poke-noses, as claws, and suckers of the state, which institution is evidently no
more nor less than the political organization of a horde of swindlers spoliators, who without the tyrannizing machinery could not exist for one day before the just wrath and condemnation of the oppressed people.

In most of the old countries this system has naturally reached its point of culmination in the outer form. The entire disciplinary apparatus of the state concentrates in a monarchic power. Its representatives "by the grace of God" are, in accordance, the very quintessence of villainy. In them all vice and crime common to the ruling classes is developed to a monstrous degree. Their most agreeable occupation is a wholly
murder ( war ) ; when they rob, and they do it often, they always rob entire countries and hundreds, even, thousands of millions. Incendiarism on a colossal scale serves to illuminate their atrocities. They adhere to the notion, that mankind exists for them to kick, cuff, and spit upon. At the best, they make it worth their while to select the most attractive women and girls from among their "subjects" to satiate their beastly lusts. The others have the right to "most obediently" die like dogs.

By direct blackmail these crowned murderers of Europe annually pocket $50,000,000. Militarism, their pet progeny, annually costs $1,000,000, not taking in consideration the loss of life and labor. An equal sum is paid as interest on $20,000,000,000 of state-debts, which scoundrels have incurred in a comparatively short time. Monarchism in Europe then cost annually $2,050,000 000 that is to say, more than 10,000,000 of workers, the supporters of 50,000,000 of people, earn as wages in the same time.

In America the place of the monarchs is filled by the monopolists. Should monopolism in the alleged "free" United States of America develop at the rate it has in the last quarter of a century, there will remain free from monopolization only daylight and air, Five hundred million acres of land in the United States, about six times the area of great Britain and Ireland, have been divided within a generation by the railroad companies and the great landlords of Europeo-aristocratic origin. Within a few decades Vanderbilt alone amassed $200,000,000; several dozen of his competitors in robbery bid fair to outdo him.

San Francisco was settled hardly thirty years ago, to-day it harbors eighty-five millionaires! All the wealth of this great republic, although established but a century, its mines, its coalfields, its oil wells, etc., etc. has been "taken" from the people and are the property of a handful of daring adventurers and cunning schemers.

The "sovereignty of the people" falls prostrate into the dust before the influence of these money kings, railroad magnates, coal barons and factory lords. These fellows carry the whole United States in their pockets, and that which is vaunted as untrammeled legislation and free legislation is a farce, a delusion and a snare.

If this be the condition of the green wood, what may we not expect of the decayed timber? If this young American republic, with its nearly boundless territory and its almost inexhaustible [sic] natural resources has been so fatally corrupted and ruined in such a short time by the capitalistic system-why be surprised at the results of long continued abuses of similar nature in servile, rotten Europe?

Indeed it seems as though this young American republic had for the present but one historical mission, of demonstrating beyond controversy to the people on this side of the Atlantic as to those on the other by the presentation of bare, tangible facts what an outrageous monster the "beast of property" really is, and that neither the condition of the soil, the vastness of domain, nor the political forms of society can ever alter the viciousness of this beast of prey; but to the contrary, it proves, that the less a necessity naturally exists for individual greed and rapacity, the more dangerous to, and obtrusive upon society it becomes. It is not voracious to satisfy its wants-it devours for the sake of devouring only!

Let those who labor to live understand, that this monster cannot tamed, nor be made harmless or useful to man; let them learn to know, that there is but one means of safety: unrelenting, pitiless, thorough, war of extermination! Gentle overtures are for naught; scorn and derision will be the result, if by petitions, elections, and like silly attempts the proletariat hopes to command the respect of its sworn enemies.

Some say, general education will bring about a change; but this advice is as a rule an idle phrase. Education of the people will only then be possible, when the obstructions thereto have been removed. And that will not take place until the entire present system has been destroyed.

But let it not be understood that nothing could or should be done by education. Far from it. Whoever has recognized the villainy of the present conditions, is in duty bound to raise his voice, in order to expose them, and thereby open the eyes of the people. Only avoid to reach this result by super-scientific reflections. Let us leave this to those well meaning scientists, who in this manner tear the mask of humanity from the
'better class" and disclose the hideous countenance of the beast of prey. The language of and to the proletariat must be clear and forcible.

Whoever thus uses speech will be accused of inciting disturbance by the governing rabble; he will be bitterly hated and persecuted. This shows that the only possible and practical enlightenment must be of an inciting nature. Then let us incite!

Let us show the people how it is swindled out of its labor force by country and city capitalists, how it is euchered out of its meagre wages by the store, house, and other lords; how priests of pulpit, press, and party seek to destroy its intellect; how a brutal police is ever ready to maltreat and tyrannize it, and with a soldiery to spill its blood. Patience at last must forsake it! The people will rebel and crush its foes!
The revolution of the proletariat-the war of the poor against the rich, is the only way from oppression to deliverance!

But, some interpose, revolutions can not be made! Certainly not, but they can be prepared for by directing the people's attention to the fact that such events are imminent [sic], and calling upon them to be ready for all emergencies.

Capitalistic development, of which many theorists assert that it must proceed to the total extinction of the middle class, (small bourgeoisie), before the conditions favorable to a social revolution are at hand, has reached such a point of perfection, that its farther progress is almost impossible. Universal production (in civilized countries ) can only be carried on, industrially as well as agriculturally, on a grand scale, when society is organized on a Communistic basis, and when (which will then be a truism) the reduction of the hours of labor keeps pace with the development of technical facilities, and augmented consumption with production.

This is easily comprehended. By wholesale production from 100 times more may be produced than the producers need in goods of equivalent value, and there lies the rub. Until lately, this surplus value has been but little noticed, because by far the greater portion of this so-called profit has been in turn capitalized, that is, used for new capitalistic enterprises, and because the industrially most advanced countries (the "beast of property" in those countries) export enormous quantities of merchandise. Now, however, the thing is beginning to weaken mightily. Industrialism has made great progress the world over, balancing exports and imports more and more, and for that reason new investments of capital becomes less profitable, and must,
under such circumstances, soon prove entirely unremunerative. Universal crises must ensue and will expose these glaring incongruities.

Everything therefore is ripe for Communism; it is only necessary to remove its interested inveterate enemies, the capitalists and their abettors. During these crises the people will become sufficiently prepared for the struggle. Everything will then depend on the presence of a well trained revolutionary nucleus at all points, which is fit and able to crystalize around itself the masses of the people, driven to rebellion by misery and want of work, and which can then apply the mighty forces so formed to the destruction of all existing hostile institutions.

Therefore organize and enlarge everywhere the Socialistic revolutionary party before it be too late! The victory of the people over its tyrants and vampires will then be certain.

Instead of here developing a "programme" it is, under present conditions, of far greater importance to sketch what the proletariat must probably do immediately after the victorious battle to maintain supremacy.

Most likely the following must be done: In every local community where the people have gained a victory, revolutionary committees will be constituted. These execute the decrees of the revolutionary army, which, reinforced by the armed workingmen, now rule like a new conqueror of the world.

The former ( present ) system will be abolished in the most
rapid and thorough manner, if its supports-the "beasts of property" and horde of adherents-are annihilated. The case standing thus: If the people do not crush them, they will crush the people, drown the revolution in the blood of the best, and rivet the chains of slavery more firmly than ever. Kill or be killed is the alternative. Therefore massacres of the people's enemies must be instituted. All free communities enter into an offensive and defensive alliance during the continuance of the combat. The revolutionary communes must incite rebellion in the adjacent districts. The war can not terminate until the enemy ( the "beast of property' has been pursued to its last lurking place and totally destroyed.

In order to proceed thoroughly in the economic sense, all lands and so-called real estate, with everything upon it, as well as all movable capital will be declared the property of the respective communes. Until he thorough harmonious reorganization of society can be effected, the proclamation of the following principles and measures might render satisfaction.

Every pending debt is liquidated. Objects of personal uses which were pawned or mortgaged will be returned free. No rents will be paid. District committees on habitation, which will sit in permanence, allot shelter to those who are homeless or who have inadequate or unhealthy quarters; after the great purification there will be no want for desirable homes.

Until everyone can obtain suitable employment, the Commune will guarantee to all the necessities of life. Committees on supplies wil regulate the distribution of confiscated goods. Should their be a lack of anything, which might be the case in respect to articles of food, these must be obtained by proper agents. Taking such things from neighboring
great estates by armed columns of foragers would be a most expeditious way of furnishing them.

The preparation of provisions will be done effectively by communal associations of workmen, organized for that purpose.

The immediate organization of the workers according to the different branches of trade, and of placing at their disposal the factories, machines, raw materials, etc., etc., for co-operative production, will form the basis of the new society.

The Commune will-at least for the present-be supposed to mediate and regulate consumption. It, therefore, enters into contracts with individual workers associations, makes periodical advances to them, which may consist in drafts upon the communal wares collected and stored, and thereby give the death stroke to the old monetary system.

Good schools, kindergartens, and other institutions for education must be founded without delay. The education of adults, which then will then be possible, must not be neglected or postponed. Truth and knowledge will be taught in all churches, where no priestly cant will be tolerated. All printing presses must be put in operation to produce books, papers and pamphlets of educational value by the million, to be distributed everywhere, particularly in regions not yet liberated from thralldom.

All law books, court and police records, registers of mortgages, deeds, bonds, and all so-called "valuable documents" must be burned. These indications only serve to show that the period of transition, which generally dismays those who otherwise energetically espouse a reorganization of society, because it appears difficult and arduous to them, need not be of such enervating nature.

And now let us take a look at the ideal of our aspirations.

Free society consists of autonomous, i.e., independent Communes. A network of federations, the result of freely made social contracts, and not of authoritative government or guardianship, surrounds them all. Common affairs are attended to in accordance with free deliberation and judgement by the interested Communes or associations. The people, without distinction of sex, meet frequently in parks or suitable halls, not indeed, to make laws or to bind their own hands, but in order to decide from case to case in all matters touching Public affairs, or for appointing individuals to execute their resolves, and hear their reports.

The exterior appearance of these Communes will be entirely different fom that of the present cities and villages. Narrow streets have vanished, tenement prisons are torn down, and spacious, well-fitted palaces surrounded by gardens and parks, erected in their places, giving accomodation to larger or smaller associations brought together by identicalinterests, increasing comforts to a degree which no individual or family arrangement could reach.

In the country the people will will be more concentrated. One agricultural commune with city conveniences will take the place of several villages. The uniting farms hitherto separated, the general application and constant improvement of agricultural implements and chemical fertilizers, the growing perfection of the means of communication and transportation, etc., have simplified this process of concentration. The former contrast between city and country disappears, and the principle of equality gains one of its most important triumphs.

Private property exists no more. All wealth belongs to the people or the communal leagues. Everybody, whether able to work or not can obtain from them such articles of necessity as he may desire. The sum total of necessities and comforts demanded, regulates the quantity of production.

The time of labor for the individual is limited to a few hours
a day, because all those able to work, regardless of sex, take part in production, because useless, injurious, or similar work will not be done, and because technical, chemical, and other auxiliary means of production are highly developed and universally applied. By far the greater part of the day can be spent in the enjoyment of life.

The highest gratification will be found in freely chosen intellectual employment. Some spend their leisure time in the service of their fellow-men, and are busy for the common weal. Others can be found in the libraries, where they apply themselves to literary pursuits, or to gathering the material for educational lectures, or simply for private studies. Others again hasten to the lyceums, open to all, and there hear science. Academies of painting, sculpture, music, etc., offer chances of education for such as follow the fine arts.

Friends of childhood, especially those of the female sex, center about the places of education, where, under the direction of the real mentors of youth, they aid in the rearing and culture of the growing generation.

Teaching will be done only in well ventilated, light rooms, and during fair weather in the open air. And in order to secure the equal development of mind and body, merry play, gymnastics, and work will alternate with the close application of the mind.

" Theaters and concert halls will offer free seats to all.

Forced or procured marriages are unknown; mankind has returned to the natural state and love rules unconstrained.

Vice and crime have disappeared with their original causes, private property and general misery.

Diseases to a great extent cease to appear because bad lodging, murderous workshops, impure food and drink, over-exertion, have become things unknown.

Man at last can enjoy life. The "BEAST OF PROPERTY" is no more!!!"

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Watership Down

The following is taken from the opening animation sequence of the film version of Watership Down, book version by Richard Adams, 1972:

"Long ago, the great Frith made the world. He made all the stars, and the Earth lived among the stars. He made all the animals and birds, and at first, he made them all the same. Now, among the animals in these days was El-Ahrairah, the prince of rabbits. He had many friends, and they all ate grass together. But after a time, the rabbits wandered everywhere, multiplying and eating as they went.

Then Frith said to El-Ahrairah, 'Prince Rabbit, if you cannot control your people, I shall find ways to control them.' But El-Ahrairah would not listen. He said to Frith, 'My people are the strongest in the world.'

This angered Frith, and he determined to get the better of El-Ahrairah. And so, he gave a present to every animal and bird, making each one different from the rest. When the fox came, and others, like the dog, and cat, hawk, and weasel, to each of them, Frith gave a fierce desire to hunt and kill the children of El-Ahrairah.

Your people cannot rule the world, for I will not have it so. All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and whenever they catch you, they will kill you. But first they must catch you, digger, listener, runner, prince with the swift warning. Be cunning and full of tricks and your people shall never be destroyed."

This is the video of the full introduction. Enjoy!

A false memory! Perhaps, a dream.

An expanse of vivid blue blanketing the sky above a quaint house tucked into the high hedges of its vast garden, sheltered by the rich foliage, a canopy of trees to the back of the house, expanding into a forest, and ushering in a cool breeze and soft rustlings of the leaves. Everything is tranquil, not a sound other than the pleasing whispers of nature in my ear; a picture perfect portrait of nature, relaxing in the mid-afternoon, enjoying its midday nap. The frame suddenly jerks from its wall hanging, and the blue surges off toward the horizon, replaced by a shroud of ominous grey, an assembly of menacing clouds. A sudden warning, then the heavens open up and a heavy rumble is heard in the distance, the rains start gushing down, colliding with the dry earth, a firm gust picks up carrying with it a rich fragrance, of the hot, dry earth becoming wet. Elm, oak and mahogany, drenched through, leaves dripping, green, and wafting away are the smells of berries. Majestically, a proud lark in the yard, with some rapid flaps, dries off its plumage and soars up into the canopy of trees, seeking its refuge and displaying its beauty. Another brief moment and the showers subdue, silence replaces the roar of the skies, and then comes the first twitter of the birds, slowly building towards a crescendo…the shimmering of the leaves and the lingering aroma...

Idle questions?

I don’t promise to offer any insights or to enrich your life, I’ll just raise some questions which I have myself, our answers all vary, I am not a teacher and will not dictate my thoughts upon you, make up your own minds. All questions are welcomed but so too can they become a punishment. I devour this custom of setting the questions and as a reader I am tired of hearing other’s answers. I doubt that this is what it the case for others, it has become so for me, with the more time that passes, in the beginning of any chain of events, worse still, it makes my mouth bitter, knowing that many logical and sensible things which have been said in a lifetime, anyone’s life, and that in the end these sentiments will vanish, and lose importance. The questions will still have to be asked and answered but what someone might have already said will be ignored. Does that mean that the chanting of kids in the playground is less important when you fail to go past a school, or even go to school yourself, I’m sure you all remember something of this time, or does it continue to exist without the memory, without the reminder of it daily, if ever, is it still there? Does it help not to think about these other situations, not so distant, but forgotten, does it serve as a tool for helping you communicate? Can we simply apply this to a natural law, a mere consequence of life, which had no conscience, had no birth, but just existed in the same way that the fish exist in the seas, evolving that way, outwith our control. And are we absent of worry or do we seek a reason that we breathe, why, is it to help control the biosphere, regulating oxygen levels in the air, like the trees, but we have just become too many and have tipped the balance, not helped by our culling of forests? Where are we going and for how long shall we go there? Are these all idle questions? I am certain they are, as you no doubt agree, but you will have your own, and you should think of them from time to time, because perhaps they are not without reason, because if I’m around when that last forest is standing and the scales have hit the ground on man’s side, I will embrace the forest, I will cry because all those men tipping the scale will never witness my beloved forest again. That is why there is this story, to remember the experience, to share it, to hold each of the words so that they may be protected and be enjoyed by others while they still exist.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Stargazing at Woolgatherers

Another pressed curd product... neither blessed nor cursed adduct... preparing the muscle of thinking for its limbering up exercising whilst all else rests... rest assured best that the kine’s solid and aged opalescence be what motivates that course for which sweetness derives from the basis of the most savoury delectation... savouring each moment yet with all doubt and chance that it will be forgotten... awakening with the memory of some thing such a thing that cannot be true which hasn’t occurred yet which makes an utterance of reality cry true... what is seen is quickly forgotten and is seen not again then it is not believed any more... seeing is believing yet my eyelids were closed fully shut which can be only seeing the back of them with no light though nothing can be seen... darkness but free to run reckless abandon wherever I may dream of with no fear of colliding into a wall which may well happen depending on which type I had consumed... no need for hallucinogens with the existences which have compounded even my wildest dreams of which I cannot tell you since after all all was forgotten along with the most mundane ones... so the memory is left only of the reality which each darkness allows me to flee from only to be recaptured if it can be said of that which had never roamed outside of its laid down boundaries... constructed before my knowledge and limiting before my presence and yielding its own want from our covetous minds... can those things which I cannot bring to mind not now maybe never I dare say definitely have been stolen... I object not to much else and could be stripped of the memory of eating cheese most likely one of a blue variety in place of my pangs which cannot be imagined for me outside of the space created outside of those bounds... when I am limitless I am no longer flightless of course I admit it is no heaven but my mind is only cooked up of the stems around which it was reared and is preserved if we can say that there are any of them worth this effort today... I envy the sleep of others when it is the middle of the day here and on the downside or the beneath some such terminology which doesn’t suit for a cosmos which has no top or bottom left or right inside or outside edges or memories or hope or despair for there where I mean there here they are resting and dreaming and I not... now that its been mentioned it must be said that perhaps those people deserve what they get when they awaken and its my turn but what of the universe that never sleeps yet doesn’t it face its own reality.. far too unearthly a context yet without this intention what can I say I am envious to an extent for without dreams and a fancy to escape I would gladly accept the reckoning of the stars to be mine without the mind and the thoughts to continue speculating on such trivial and useless absurdity whilst I’m awake... is it any wonder?

I Dwell In ...

His voice starts I’m still it goes and continues and keeps on going while me on the other side I’m struggling still not speaking but he is saying that he is striving but what of me don’t you think don’t you realise am I to blame really then why do I feel so spoilt why is my voice in my head and why do my hands not move not even the fingertips and you on the other hand not likewise on the contrary still banging on articulating my voice is silent and yours full and loud and proud to the brim what of my shame and for what you want to know why you keep asking me I can’t say anything but this is not the first time usually this is the case in any case the way it is how it is this is me the one to answer the questions and not to ask them it is not fair yes I hear you still going I do feel scathed can’t do anything now I do feel scattered can’t you see if everything you say is true then why can’t I even say this can’t you see this and that is the thing I have been aching all this time as I am now alone in my own mind with its own thoughts they cannot be expressed cannot be articulated that you have erudition and I have no cause for rendition I make no petition when everything I have done that it is for another you know sometimes that doesn’t help yourself sometimes it becomes too much and you want to escape for a while from it if you don’t feel free but only even just for a second even a minute would be better must I plead I must be pleading then how can you appreciate what it is that truly frees you or not I speak not of you but of me yet even now with this pain I am responsible I have caused it is not a story about me or of what is happening in my head you are still going on badgering some might call it does there have to be a why sometimes one might respond why not so why why not this time or any other why do I make myself feel this way and why don’t you of all people see this torment and end it for you still go on but I hear only my thoughts which have no real opinion while you can express what you feel still still continuing harping on what am I doing my thumb moved now does this reflect a real emotion for you am I turning tail on myself I see loving and caring in you but I feel like the hollow part of the hollow tree not the trunk the nothing not even with the bird nested inside sharing my space because that bird would be free but this hollow is a solid cavity that is overlaid there is no hole no entrance no exit no escape only submission and surrender only to try maybe in vain to one day have a voice and speak of the anguish the hollow has given me tell me where is the whole.