Saturday, July 11, 2009

What are you to answer?

Do you remember this line? It's from one of the most disturbing passages from 'Brave New World', by Aldous Huxley.

A worker from the fertilizing room (where humans are made in the novel's world), when confronted by her little kid (who she was not supposed to have had 'viviparously') about things such as 'how helicopters work?'... It illustrates social alienation, which is the whole point of the book. It's about the superorganism idealized and implemented by a tecnocratic elite to whom 'Community, Identity, Stability', the World State Motto, is the supreme good.

Many interpratations have been written by far mor knowledgeable people than me... I won't pretend to have some new breakthrough. All I want it to comment about my reading of this great book.

In spite of our great achievements as a species, we seem to live a great paradox... Progress is built on contradictions, which build up until a crisis becomes inevitable. Revolution happens and tensions are dispersed, the structure is rearanged...

Why is this? I think it has to do with our short life span, if compared with the longer time spans society takes to change. Another factor might be that we tend to get a little too confortable with privileges. When stability permits, we build up economies based on work and trade in various forms, which sustain our lives and fufill our needs for food, useful objects, artwork and social interaction. In this process, hierarchies seem to be inevitable. So, when people are given the opportunity to lead the way and to direct efforts, they use it in order to obtain privileges... Oligarchies take place, as usual. As time goes by and the situation changes, power equilibria becomes more and more unstable, and if opportunities present itself, those in the bottom of the social pyramids seize it and, as Marx puts it, having not to lose they take up arms and the rest is history.

Not that I like Karl, I don't.

It all boils down to the theme of my late post. Knowledge and domination. Society and alienation. Stability and change.

The fall of religion and the rise of science, as the knwoledge authorities, came with the promise of rationality, stability... and once again we fooled ourselves into accepting that the new elite was somehow better than the old one, more wise, more benevolent. So we have let them rationalize everything: Production, war, trade, education. Revolutions, crisis, were a thing of the past, right?

Two great world wars, one cold war, thousands of nuclear warheads and a couple of financial crisis later, I think we know the answer.

This is not a crisis of the capitalistic system. It is not a crisis of western domination. It is not a crises of USA supremacy. Its history repeting itself. We just chose to forget, to turn a blind why to the past, and refuse to learn. We actually prefer to be lured into the easy solution of giving sovereignty to somebody else, to forego making decisions. And

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