Corridors and Fields

It sounds a bit like an empty statement: I like concert halls as much as plenary parliamentary meeting halls, lecture theatres and rooms for seminars and intensive debates.

It fills with so much substance by the sentence Alvin Ailey contended:

I want that everybody understands that dance is not about wind-up-dolls. I am interested in ensemble-dance and human personality – that is the most important. Whet makes it really interesting is when a dancer can reveal something of him- or herself by the dance.

You can turn it as you like, never loosing, though always specifically gaining meaning:

Life is a dance – dance is living – political and learning stages are dance floors – all those theories and political strategies and studies make only sense if they reflect such dialectic that makes the apparent main actors to mere servants, keys opening gates to spaces, more than unlocking doors to corridors – allowing inner beauty to unfold … –

– … so strange, remembering dancing with the European Commissioner and heads of the “DG V”, many years back?

– … so strange remembering dancing with the young cygan woman, many years back? What went wrong that we dance less and less instead of more, and instead of all of us dancing together?

– … so strange, remembering the para from the German Ideology,, that is dealing with [overcoming] the division of labour?

STRAIGHTFORWARDNESS ….

straightforwardness – it could well mean not to follow the straight line …

Taking the words from Keynes’ General Theory we have to see:

The classical theorists resemble Euclidean geometers in a non-Euclidean world who, discovering that in experience straight lines apparently parallel often meet, rebuke the lines for not keeping straight—as the only remedy for the unfortunate collisions which are occurring. Yet, in truth, there is no remedy except to throw over the axiom of parallels and to work out a non-Euclidean geometry. Something similar is required to-day in economics.

And even beyond geometry and economics, the seemingly simple solutions, bringing us forward ling the straight lines, may be fatal, especially while standing next to the abyss.

… trapped …

Not avoiding the hazard actually means being trapped, condemned to the worst of all things: eternal life …. – is that what Hesse meant in his novel Steppenwolf?

“Gentlemen, there stands before you Harry Haller, accused and found guilty of the willful misuse of our Magic Theater. Haller has not alone insulted the majesty of art in that he confounded our beautiful picture gallery with so-called reality and stabbed to death the reflection of a girl with the reflection of a knife; he has in addition displayed the intention of using our theater as a mechanism of suicide and shown himself devoid of humor. Wherefore we condemn Haller to eternal life and we suspend for twelve hours his permit to enter our theater. The penalty also of being laughed out of court may not be remitted. Gentlemen, all together, one-two-three!”

On the word “three” all who were present broke into one simultaneous peal of laughter, a laughter in full chorus, a frightful laughter of the other world that is scarcely to be borne by the ears of men.

Post-Easter Message

This should not be forgotten, now, when returning from the mysteries of metaphysical celebrations.

At first sight, this mode of thinking seems to us very luminous, because it is that of so-called sound commonsense. Only sound commonsense, respectable fellow that he is, in the homely realm of his own four walls, has very wonderful adventures directly he ventures out into the wide world of research. And the metaphysical mode of thought, justifiable and necessary as it is in a number of domains whose extent varies according to the nature of the particular object of investigation, sooner or later reaches a limit, beyond which it becomes one-sided, restricted, abstract, lost in insoluble contradictions. In the contemplation of individual things, it forgets the connection between them; in the contemplation of their existence, it forgets the beginning and end of that existence; of their repose, it forgets their motion. It cannot see the woods for the trees.

From: Frederick Engels, 1880: Socialism: Utopian and Scientific.

… no waiting anymore …

finally the short holidays are over, back to the students and the seminars, the really exciting side of teaching … so no waiting anymore, not even for Godot

Vien dietro a me, e lascia dir le genti:
sta come torre ferma, che non crolla
già mai la cima per soffiar di venti …
Dante Alighieri:
and there on the Purgatorio, Canto V

Karl Marx on Margaret Thatcher?

Well, it is of course not so, but reading The Capital again, I got stuck when I came to the footnote 2 on page 605:[1]

Bentham is a purely English phenomenon. Not even excepting our philosopher, Christian Wolff, in no time and in no country has the most homespun commonplace ever strutted about in so self-satisfied a way. The principle of utility was no discovery of Bentham. He simply reproduced in his dull way what Helvétius and other Frenchmen had said with esprit in the 18th century. To know what is useful for a dog, one must study dog-nature. This nature itself is not to be deduced from the principle of utility. Applying this to man, he that would criticise all human acts, movements, relations, etc., by the principle of utility, must first deal with human nature in general, and then with human nature as modified in each historical epoch. Bentham makes short work of it. With the driest naïveté he takes the modern shopkeeper, especially the English shop- keeper, as the normal man. Whatever is useful to this queer normal man, and to his world, is absolutely useful. This yard-measure, then, he applies to past, present, and future. The Christian religion, e. g., is “useful”, “because it forbids in the name of religion the same faults that the penal code condemns in the name of the law”. Artistic criticism is “harmful”, because it disturbs worthy people in their enjoyment of Martin Tupper, etc. With such rubbish has the brave fellow, with his motto, “nulla dies sine linea”, piled up mountains of books. Had I the courage of my friend, Heinrich Heine, I should call Mr. Jeremy a genius in the way of bourgeois stupidity.

The difference between Bentham and Thatcher was that she did not pile up mountains of books but made, by applying the same way of thinking, a country relatively rich, its people relatively poor and the thinking absolutely un-societalist = lacking any consideration of solidarity. Indeed,

there is no such thing as society

– after the country had been reduced on individuals and at most family and neighbourhood, the plan is now Europeanised: BREXIT was and is an expression of exactly the same thought.

[1]            Marx & Engels. Collected Works. Volume 35; Lawrence & Wishart, electronic books; 2010