Thursday, June 22, 2006
So, why then say a "liberal" summary, why talk about any redemption? It just seems to me that our human awareness is not constrained at all, our eyes reach so easily beyond these prison walls - if powerlessness is an inherent part of our condition, so is hope. We are balanced, maybe imperfectly, but still balanced: and that is the human condition - no bondage, no prison without songs of redemption, songs of freedom echoing over the walls. Maybe one day the balance will tip and the walls will crumble - or the songs will falter and stop - but until that transformation, hope will be our eternal companion.
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Time has transfigured them into
Untruth. The stone fidelity
They hardly meant has come to be
Their final blazon, and to prove
Our almost-instinct almost true:
What will survive of us is love.
He could have put it otherwise but being Larkin, he did not. My own instinct here is surely also controversial, surely concrete achievements, works of art, technical innovations, political reforms are more valuable than mere love? Bolstered I guess by my anti-materialist pietist upbringing I argue differently: actions and material achievements are nothing if they cannot be interpreted as love, the most concrete thing we can leave behind are feelings, persons touched, uplifted. All lifes are ephemeral, passing, all actions, achievements will be forgotten, all legacies spent and dispersed: but to pass unloved, unmourned is the only meaningful failure, the only undeniable evidence of a life spent in miserly frigidity.
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Naturally, "bad" is quite a relative term in this context: we are not talking about the US slum schools here where mere physical survival is basically the most that can be achieved - never mind any reading and mathematical skills. Nevertheless we are gradually evolving towards this general direction of dismantling the level playing field and making the social competition more unfair and closed. This is due to the absurd situation where catastrophic failure and inefficiency are seen as success as dictated by the primitive classical economic thought (that's "libertarianism" for you). It should be very elementary for any even moderately intelligent person to understand that without a level educational playing field the different economic classes will ossify and your parents' inherited wealth and not your own intellectual talent will determine your success in the society. Competition will lessen and the society will get more closed and less efficient with increasing social conflicts. So, if your parents are very rich, the dream society definitely is the USA - but should you be born in a poor family and want to get ahead based on your personal abilities, pray very hard that your parents are living in Scandinavia.