[Now, this might be justified to some extent by the argument that the whole point of “communism” is to imagine a society in which the current constraints of a capitalist political economy no longer apply; but this isn’t much of an alibi, when you consider that so many of the talks were, indeed, about how to get there from here — Terry Eagleton’s talk filled with literary allusions was really the only one that was actually about imagining communism as a state of being, rather than just as the negation of what we have today (and his talk precisely showed, in a symptomatic way, the limitations of trying to imagine such a utopian situation — I must confess that his literariness made me cringe a bit, as it reminded m all too much of the atmosphere of graduate school in English at Yale in the 1970s (it isn’t that I don’t like Shakespeare; I do; but I don’t really find helpful an approach which acts as if movies and TV and the Internet didn’t exist; one can talk about Shakespeare just as one talks about Spinoza — but in either case it should be from our actual present situation). Communism at Birkbeck
from The Pinocchio Theory by Steven Shaviro]
[In America, unlike virtually every other country that has existed, we don’t presume to define personal fulfillment in absolute or universal terms, as some template every citizen must adopt. Instead, our approach is humility: people can define their happiness, which includes, but is hardly limited to, economic success, and then pursue that happiness in any way they like, as long as no harm comes to others in the process, nor anarchy ensues . . . .
A society of people doing just that — enacting liberty as both a state of mind and concrete operating principle — is, we hold, a better society than one that does not. Thus individual liberty is important because it strengthens individuals, and thus strengthens the other levels of government: families, communities, cities, counties, states, and the entire country as an economic and moral entity. Individual liberty is, in fact, the primary form of government in America: the individual taking care of his or her own business — in fact, governing his or her rights and responsibilities. Why is individual liberty important?
from The Daily Goose by Matthew]
[The Loose Morality of Accountability in Banking
from Adam Smith's Lost Legacy by Gavin Kennedy
A correspondent drew my attention some time ago to a statement in Moral Sentiments, which was withdrawn from edition 2, but is reproduced in edition 6 as an editor’s footnote on p 111 (Oxford University Press edition): ‘A moral being is an accountable being. An accountable being, as the word expresses, is a being that must give an account of its actions to some other, and that consequently must regulate them accordingly to the good liking of this other. Man is accountable to God, and his fellow creatures. But tho' he is, no doubt, pricipally accountable to God, in the order of time, he must necessarily conceive himself as accountable to his fellow creatures before he can form any idea of the Deity, or the rules by which that Divine Being will judge of his conduct.’ (TMS III.1.3. footnote , p 111)]
[In this far-reaching conception embodied in Sri Aurobindo’s yogic-spiritual philosophy what is envisaged is the working of transcendental powers in the earth-consciousness, the earth-existence, the earth-life, in the sky and the air and the fire and the water and in the earth-stuff itself, not only in its countless material forms but also in its precious soul and in its open and progressive and spacious spirit. Earth is the “significant centre” of the universe from the point of view a divine manifestation, as if created to focus all effort on one point. So, not by abandoning it, which is harshly suicidal, but by living in its creative essence and psyche can the true meaning of life, of the becoming itself be realised. We must fully recognise that there is something wonderful here, very meaningful also, that
Earth has beatitudes warmer than heaven’s that are bare and undying,
Marvels of Time on the crest of the moments to infinity flying. Towards the Intermediate Race—Evolution: A Metaphysical Discussion
by RY Deshpande on Wed 18 Mar 2009 05:09 AM IST Permanent Link Cosmos
Narad’s Arrival at Madra by RY Deshpande]
"That there is something wonderful here" in "our actual present situation" is the key to meaningful negotiation with the future. [TNM]