If Odin paid for wisdom with the loss of one eye, we have paid for our powers of control with the loss of both eyes.
If such limited surpluses were equitably divided among the multitudes who produce them, a social condition would emerge in whichwant is made general,as Marx observed,and with want the struggle for necessities and all the old shit would necessarily be reproduced.
[W]hat tantalizing issues does social ecology raise for our time and our future?…Can we hope tomanagethe natural environment by a drastic decentralization of agriculture, which will make it possible to cultivate land as though it were a garden balanced by diversified fauna and flora? Will these changes require the decentralization of our cities into moderate-sized communities, creating a new balance between town and country?…What institutions will be required to create a new public sphere, what social relations to foster a new ecological sensibility, what forms of work to render human practice playful and creative, what sizes and populations of communities to scale life to human dimensions controllable by all?
But the story of this betrayal does not end with these institutional and subjective changes. It reaches further into the core of the psyche by internalizing hierarchy and domination as eternal traits of human nature…Only then can the rules be brought into full complicity with their oppression and exploitation, forging within themselves the State that commands more by the power of theinner voiceof repentance than the power of mobilized physical violence.
Hierarchy, class, and ultimately the State penetrate the very integument of the human psyche and establish within it unreflective internal powers of coercion and constraint. In this respect they achieve asanitizingauthority that no institution or ideology can hope to command. By using guilt and self-blame, the inner State can control behaviour long before fear of the coercive powers of the State have to be invoked. Self-blame, in effect, becomes self—fear—the introjection of social coercion in the form of insecurity, anxiety and guilt.
Canons of efficiency become a political morality in themselves, thereby replacing the still unarticulated notion of informal, presumably inefficient forms of freedom. Even more than Yahweh, the State is a jealous god.
The State acquires stability, form, and identiy only when personal loyalties are transmuted into depersonalized institutions, power becomes centralized and professionalized, custom gives way to law, and governance absorbs administration. But the decisive shift from society to the State occurs with the most supreme political act of all: the delegation of power.
The shopping mall with its extravagant areas delivered over to parked motor vehicles, its sparcity of sales personnel, its cooingmuzak,its dazzling array of shelved goods, it’s elaborate surveillance system, its lack of all warmth and human intercourse, its cruelly deceptive packaging, and its long check-out counters which indifferently and impersonally record the exchange process—all speak to the denaturing of consociation at levels of life that deeply affront every human sensibility and the sacredness of the very goods that are meant to support life itself.
Personality as such has become congruent with the various documents, licenses, and records that define one’s place in the world. More sacred than such documents as passports, which are the archaic tokens of citizenship, a motor vehicle license literally validates one’s identity, and a credit card becomes the worldwide coinage of exchange.
Apparently, these dynastic quarrels, assassinations, and usurpation were not of special concern to themasses,who lived an unchronicled inner life in their obscure communities.
Archilochus and his wandering band of companions are the earliest record we have of that long line ofmasterless menwho surface repeatedly during periods of social decomposition and unrest—men, and later women, who have no roots in any community or tradition, who colonize the world’s future rather than its past. Their characters are literally structured to defy custom, to satirize and shatter established mores, to play the game of life by their own rules…Society must henceforth always warily step aside when they appear on the horizon and silently pray that they will pass by unnoticed by its restive commoners—or else it must simply destroy them.
By contrast, the Party was simply a mirror-image of the nation-state, and it’s fortunes were completely tied to the State’s development. The Party was meant to be very large, often embracing sizable masses of people who were knitted together bureaucratically in depersonalized, centralized orgas. When the Party was notin power, it was the disinherited twin of the State apparatus, often replicating it in every detail. When the Party wasin power,it became the State itself.