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Raising the floor: the difference between the pitiful and the tragic

 
 
Deckard
 
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 02:37 am
This bit of text moved me - in particular the last sentence.
Quote:
For Marx as for Hegel cultural progress consists in transferring problems to higher and more inclusive levels. But there are always problems. "History," he says "has no other way of answering old questions than by putting new ones." Under communism man ceases to suffer as an animal and suffers as human. He therewith moves from the plane of the pitiful to the plane of the tragic.
- Sidney Hook
- Towards an understanding of Karl Marx p. 175
Never mind so much whether communism is the answer or not. Marx and socialism is ever evolving like any honest science is ever evolving and building upon the past while at the same time correcting past misconceptions and wrong turns. What moves me is this idea of raising the floor - that human lives may still be tragic but they will no longer be pitiful. Consider that difference and try to focus on it for this thread. If you find it absolutely necessary then you can say how you think Marx was wrong about x and y but please try to say something in addition to that about this idea of raising the floor - about the difference between a pity and a tragedy.

Tragedy I had, before reading that sentence, classed as an aesthetic concept that evoked Aeschylus and Shakespeare but now I am thinking of it as a step up from the pitiful and so I am placing this thread in the Social Philosophy category rather than Aesthetics.

Tragedy as a philosophical/aesthetic/ethical concept is incredibly rich.

As Hook points out, the difference between the pitiful and the tragic is the difference between the animal and the human. It is the difference between the human degraded to the level of the animal and the human who failed and yet still is truly recognized by society as a human. It is the difference between a pitiful life that is wasted (for examples) making shoes for Americans and Europeans or starving to death in one of the all-too-many-forgotten corners of the world and a tragic life of someone who tries but fails (and fails miserably) to do something admirable with the life that has been given to them. This is the difference between those who are oppressed and those who fail. The former is recognized as nothing more than a beast of burden or a cog in a machine while the later is a human who, though a failure, is nevertheless a recognized human.

The prehistory of humanity will not come to an end until the floor is raised and we no longer have occasion to pity our fellow man. Utopia will still be "Nowhere"; there will still be occasions of the truly tragic but there will no longer be occasions of the truly pitiful. When the floor is raised from the level of the pitiful to the level of the tragic then and only then will the history of mankind truly begin.
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Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 05:56 am
@Deckard,
Communism is not the answer...Idealism is not the answer... When we build social forms like governments and economies, out of our moral forms like Justice, virtue, good, liberty and etc. we must always build for change... We must first make the form fit the needs of the first generation to live with it, and then make it amenable and changeable for the next generation...

It does not matter that we began with a good constitution...Every possible weakness and loophole of it was exploited by every new parasite who came along... We have fought one civil war to correct one failure of the thing, but the thing has never served the whole people... Forms as we know from the forms of our dwellings, and the forms of our clothing and fashion soon grow old and out of date...

If people do not understand forms, and do not understand that forms if not fixed and fixable will need to be replaced entirely, then they are but victims waiting for slaughter...It is not a mystery...Jefferson talks of forms in the Declaration of Independence, and correctly... People want stability, and they also need essential control over their affairs; so no economy, and no government should have a life lease on the people... Each generation should be forced to think as their revolutionary forebears, and take their affairs in hand...

Just as no one would live in a two hundred year old house or wear two hundred year old styles, no one should expect that a two hundred year old form of anything let alone government will work... The goals are worthy... The means to that end are faulty... So it is true with all forms created out of an ideal, such as communism... People need equality of wealth to make political equality possible... Where wealth is unequal democracy is impossible...
0 Replies
 
salima
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 09:37 am
@Deckard,
hello, deckard-
it is a poignant statement, definitely...

i read somewhere that the bhopal gas leak was a disaster, but bureaucracy made it a tragedy. was there any pity in there i wonder?

i guess that is one way to look at it-like the tea pickers in assam, the way they are working to their death by the rich plantation owners...but is it the point of view of the plantation owners that they are only animals and we pity the workers because of that, that they have been reduced to animals? or is it that the owners are in fact animals, even more to be pitied, because they have no humanity whatsoever. i see more dignity in the worker dying of consumption than the rich man who has in my opinion failed even more with the life he was given.

and one could use the word tragedy for someone (like a few people i have known) who faced one disaster after another, and somehow managed to survive and not become bitter, not even complain, never compromise their principles, never even give up hope, yet nothing good ever happens to them or for them right up until they are buried. in that sense, a tragedy is the sort of beauty that makes me cry-the salute to the human spirit that even though it has failed in its struggles and endeavors it has triumphed above its destiny.

there is no beauty in the first story at all, is there...i mean not in bhopal or is assam.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 10:11 am
@salima,
salima;161728 wrote:
hello, deckard-
it is a poignant statement, definitely...

i read somewhere that the bhopal gas leak was a disaster, but bureaucracy made it a tragedy. was there any pity in there i wonder?

i guess that is one way to look at it-like the tea pickers in assam, the way they are working to their death by the rich plantation owners...but is it the point of view of the plantation owners that they are only animals and we pity the workers because of that, that they have been reduced to animals? or is it that the owners are in fact animals, even more to be pitied, because they have no humanity whatsoever. i see more dignity in the worker dying of consumption than the rich man who has in my opinion failed even more with the life he was given.

and one could use the word tragedy for someone (like a few people i have known) who faced one disaster after another, and somehow managed to survive and not become bitter, not even complain, never compromise their principles, never even give up hope, yet nothing good ever happens to them or for them right up until they are buried. in that sense, a tragedy is the sort of beauty that makes me cry-the salute to the human spirit that even though it has failed in its struggles and endeavors it has triumphed above its destiny.

there is no beauty in the first story at all, is there...i mean not in bhopal or is assam.


Tragedy is the most obscene word in common use today because it excuses so much crime... When an Israeli missle takes out an apartment building, killing scores of women and children, it is called a tragedy...In tragedies it is the guilty who suffer and forgiving the guilty we are healed...Now the word is used to dismise the pain and suffering of hundreds, or thousands...Now the guilty use the word to forgive themselves... Is that what the Jews would call the Holocaust: A tragedy...Everybody ought to look long an hard at that word and those who use it...
0 Replies
 
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 12:33 pm
@salima,
salima;161728 wrote:
hello, deckard-
it is a poignant statement, definitely...

i read somewhere that the bhopal gas leak was a disaster, but bureaucracy made it a tragedy. was there any pity in there i wonder?

i guess that is one way to look at it-like the tea pickers in assam, the way they are working to their death by the rich plantation owners...but is it the point of view of the plantation owners that they are only animals and we pity the workers because of that, that they have been reduced to animals? or is it that the owners are in fact animals, even more to be pitied, because they have no humanity whatsoever. i see more dignity in the worker dying of consumption than the rich man who has in my opinion failed even more with the life he was given.

and one could use the word tragedy for someone (like a few people i have known) who faced one disaster after another, and somehow managed to survive and not become bitter, not even complain, never compromise their principles, never even give up hope, yet nothing good ever happens to them or for them right up until they are buried. in that sense, a tragedy is the sort of beauty that makes me cry-the salute to the human spirit that even though it has failed in its struggles and endeavors it has triumphed above its destiny.

there is no beauty in the first story at all, is there...i mean not in bhopal or is assam.


"tragedy" is a tricky word. I think people, including myself, use it in a sloppy way. I think you put your finger on the difference between tragedy and pity when you brought up dignity. Yes I think that the world's poorer are not without dignity and often have more dignity than the world's richer. There are many ways to lose touch with ones humanity. Raising the floor means raising the floor for the pitiful suffering of the rich as well as pitiful suffering of the poor. I think Marxists generally agree that this is the case. The capitalist system undermines the dignity of the capitalist as well as the prole. Being on top doesn't make you dignified. Many of the richer live in a fantasy world and must constantly lie to themselves and their children to maintain that fantasy; that's no way for a human to live.
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 03:23 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;161614 wrote:

Tragedy as a philosophical/aesthetic/ethical concept is incredibly rich.

As Hook points out, the difference between the pitiful and the tragic is the difference between the animal and the human. It is the difference between the human degraded to the level of the animal and the human who failed and yet still is truly recognized by society as a human. It is the difference between a pitiful life that is wasted (for examples) making shoes for Americans and Europeans or starving to death in one of the all-too-many-forgotten corners of the world and a tragic life of someone who tries but fails (and fails miserably) to do something admirable with the life that has been given to them. This is the difference between those who are oppressed and those who fail. The former is recognized as nothing more than a beast of burden or a cog in a machine while the later is a human who, though a failure, is nevertheless a recognized human.


I think this is a great issue. I feel that tragedy is only possible when the being considered is grand, sacred, sublime, etc.

If we kill an ant, it's not a tragedy, as the ant can be considered as merely a cell in the species Ant, which is the "true" ant. But if we move up to humans, the individual differences become significant. One human is not like another. And even if we support legal equality of opportunity, it seems difficult to regard all humans as equally beautiful, significant, divine, etc.

Perhaps a victim is pitiful rather than tragic to the degree that they have no "spiritual" fingerprint. No hubris, no leap of faith, no transcendence.

It may be that we all have a certain amount of transcendence. And one can argue that merely being able to love is more important than all the courage, imagination, and ingenuity in the world. But one could also argue that such a inclusive view is nice but hypocritical. What is living religion if not the pursuit of "higher" things? Can we sincerely dodge hierarchy?

If a Ramanujan or a Keats dies young, we are bound to wonder what the species as a whole missed out on.

I am also reminded of Nietzsche's first book. The transcendend aspect of tragedy is that it hints at the infinite fertility of "Nature." Crunch all you want, we'll make more. Even the highest types are replaceable in the long run. The source is undiminished. The "mothers" (Goethe) are intact.

---------- Post added 05-08-2010 at 04:33 PM ----------

Fido;161647 wrote:
. People need equality of wealth to make political equality possible... Where wealth is unequal democracy is impossible...

Generally, I agree. But some difference is wealth seems impossible to do without, as humans simply are not wired the same. It does seem that radical inequality in regards to wealth does tend to erode democracy. What bothers me is the omnipresent shadow of demagoguery. For me, whether or not the "people" rule is secondary to the values a society is structured around. This might sound sci-fi humorous, but I wouldn't complain if some superior species from outspace dropped in and instituted, by means of their superior technology/culture, a better organization. Already, humans have the technology to feed, clothe, shelter, medically treat everyone...(or don't we?)...And if we don't, how difficult could it be? THe problem does seem to be social organization. But what a complex problem this is! So many are satisfied with a steady paycheck and a television...they leave all the difficult issues to a minority of "intellectuals" and politicians....is this not the root problem? That only a minority bothers to think ?
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 08:33 pm
@Reconstructo,
Reconstructo;161844 wrote:
I think this is a great issue. I feel that tragedy is only possible when the being considered is grand, sacred, sublime, etc.

If we kill an ant, it's not a tragedy, as the ant can be considered as merely a cell in the species Ant, which is the "true" ant. But if we move up to humans, the individual differences become significant. One human is not like another. And even if we support legal equality of opportunity, it seems difficult to regard all humans as equally beautiful, significant, divine, etc.

Perhaps a victim is pitiful rather than tragic to the degree that they have no "spiritual" fingerprint. No hubris, no leap of faith, no transcendence.

It may be that we all have a certain amount of transcendence. And one can argue that merely being able to love is more important than all the courage, imagination, and ingenuity in the world. But one could also argue that such a inclusive view is nice but hypocritical. What is living religion if not the pursuit of "higher" things? Can we sincerely dodge hierarchy?


The idea that only some special soulful people are capable of experiencing tragedy I think is just rather stupid. Perhaps some peoples tragedies are more heroic and sublime than other peoples tragedies..sure you can have your hierarchy. I don't understand what you are getting at with the dodging hierarchy bit.

Do you think you need to preserve the pitiful in order to preserve the tragic? Is that what is at the root of your comment about hierarchy? That would be crazy.


In any case, I am more concerned with eliminating the pitiful than I am with preserving the tragic.
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 08:35 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;161931 wrote:
The idea that only some special soulful people are capable of experiencing tragedy I think is just rather stupid.


It all hinges on the meaning of the word "tragedy." I can't help thinking of Oedipus. Of course I don't want other humans to suffer. I would never say that only the "special" people are capable of real suffering. I just object to the diffusion of the word tragedy by anchorpersons. The word has been stretched until all it means is "bad thing." It's a tragedy that we are out of milk. But this tends to happen to words. Which is why some little group will always invent new jargon, so as to "purify the language of the tribe."

---------- Post added 05-08-2010 at 09:45 PM ----------

Deckard;161931 wrote:

Do you think you need to preserve the pitiful in order to preserve the tragic? Is that what is at the root of your comment about hierarchy? That would be crazy.

I think you are misunderstanding me. For me, it was more about the definition of terms than some evil arrogant shrugging off the holocaust, for instance, or of slave labor. Injustice outrages me. I hate that humans suffer in one place so someone with a fortune on the other side of the globe can make another dime or two.

I was simply looking at the difference between the pitiful and the tragic. Have you ever pitied someone you could not respect? Someone who kept f-ing up and would not learn? How many millions live in squalor, relatively ignorant? It's ugly, and inspires pity, but is it "tragic"? I don't think it's an easy yes or no, but if all "tragic" means is "bad," we might as well scrap one of the two words.

Have you ever seen the movie Heat? The one by M. Mann. Well, De Niro 's character has gotten away with the loot and the woman, and is driving to his getaway plane. But he hungers for revenge, and suddenly turns the truck around. And this decision costs him his life. For me, this is tragic. He brought doom on himself. He wasn't just struck by lightning. His own wrath did him in.

By the way. I wasn't trying to accuse you of dodging hierarchy. Perhaps you know that. I do think the hierarchy issue is difficult. Scylla and Charybdis. If we make no distinctions, then we have no values, no culture, no direction in which to progress. But if we make our distinctions too rigid, they might strangle us, etc. And if someone were to say that hierarchy is an inferior position, they would of course be constructing a hierarchy. I don't see any way around it. It seems that radical skepticism and the denial of value are both doomed enterprises. I'm not associating you with either, of course. Perhaps I was letting current thoughts seep out in a vague way with that earlier post, and came across as unsympathetic. Well, I am quite sympathetic. Sorry if I sounded like Hitler. Smile

---------- Post added 05-08-2010 at 09:46 PM ----------

Deckard;161931 wrote:
In any case, I am more concerned with eliminating the pitiful than I am with preserving the tragic.


I feel you. Screw suffering.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 09:56 pm
@Reconstructo,
I agree with the bit about being careful

I don't know much about what Marx himself thought about the concept of tragedy or if he thought about it much at all. It was less en vogue as a philosophical. There is of course the famous quote from the 18th Brumaier.

"Hegel remarks somewhere that all great world-historic facts and personages appear, so to speak twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as a farce."

The tragedy is regrettable but the farce is both regrettable and laughable and probably pitiful in this context. I'm probably making more of these fragments than should be made of them.

There is also the litterary genre called the "bourgeois tragedy" and I can't be sure I understand what that is really. The main characters aren't royalty but rather capitalists and land barons I suppose.

What would a proletarian tragedy be like? What sort of plot would it have when compared to the bourgeois tragedy? or the Elizabethean? or the Greek? It's actually a very interesting question. I keep trying to devise a plot but I can't seem to bring this hypothetical genre into focus. I'm getting flashes of 1984 and the Grapes of Wrath or something in between the two.
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 10:03 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;161931 wrote:
The idea that only some special soulful people are capable of experiencing tragedy I think is just rather stupid. Perhaps some peoples tragedies are more heroic and sublime than other peoples tragedies..sure you can have your hierarchy. I don't understand what you are getting at with the dodging hierarchy bit.

Do you think you need to preserve the pitiful in order to preserve the tragic? Is that what is at the root of your comment about hierarchy? That would be crazy.


In any case, I am more concerned with eliminating the pitiful than I am with preserving the tragic.


According to Aristotle, the essence of tragedy is fear combined with pity. Fear of its happening to us, and pity for the one to whom it is happening. The contemplation of tragedy institutes a catharsis.

Catharsis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 10:37 pm
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;161967 wrote:
According to Aristotle, the essence of tragedy is fear combined with pity. Fear of its happening to us, and pity for the one to whom it is happening. The contemplation of tragedy institutes a catharsis.

Catharsis - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia



I think there are two ways to approach the aesthetics of tragedy: as the audience or as the actor. Aristotle is in the audience. Nietzsche is on the stage.
Reconstructo
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 11:00 pm
@Deckard,
Deckard;161965 wrote:

What would a proletarian tragedy be like? What sort of plot would it have when compared to the bourgeois tragedy? or the Elizabethean? or the Greek? It's actually a very interesting question. I keep trying to devise a plot but I can't seem to bring this hypothetical genre into focus. I'm getting flashes of 1984 and the Grapes of Wrath or something in between the two.


Perhaps the proletarian tragedy would be the factory hand to tried to start a union and wakes up dead. This would add the hero element. For me, this is the leap from the pitiful to the tragic. The camera, or the writer, could focus on the rule rather than the exception, the obedient slave, but this might simply be painful. We would have a documentary on our hands. If we add the salt of rebellion, struggle, etc., I think we get some tragedy. I have also found this sort of issue fascinating. It seems that great art is inseparable from religion in the looser sense of transcendent value. This also ties into Kojeve, as the master is one who sacrifices his biological being for recognition, for an ideal. The slave is one who refuses to risk his life, and instead comes up with Skepticism, Stoicism, Christianity, to ameliorate this indignity. Of course the slave has a point. What good is recognition if one is too dead to enjoy it? Perhaps it's better to live and dream of freedom.... As you may know already, the master-slave dichotomy is synthesized by the universal homogeneous state, a classless democracy, etc. But Kojeve was a Marxist, it seems, and he also talks about men becoming the slaves of their economic pseudo-selves, the slaves of their own capital. They sacrifice/defer "biological"/sensual pleasure for the abstract/spiritual pleasure of having lots o money.

This is how a Nero comes to power. The ruling class is abstract and monetary, no longer warlike enough to resist such tyranny. Spengler also stressed that Rome could not be understood without the concept of high finance, etc. I can hardly claim mastery, as far as history goes. There's too much information out there. Not enough time.

---------- Post added 05-09-2010 at 12:04 AM ----------

Deckard;161982 wrote:
I think there are two ways to approach the aesthetics of tragedy: as the audience or as the actor. Aristotle is in the audience. Nietzsche is on the stage.


I think Nietzsche is righter about tragedy than Aristotle, but that may be because Nietzsche is a fellow Faustian. I think it's worth comparing Shakespeare with Sophocles. Shakespeare shows the transformation of characters to a greater degree. In Sophocles, we may get a reversal from Creon, for instance, but Shakespeare offers us a transformation like King Lear's. An utter and terrible transformation. A tragedy of character as much as of event.

I also think that to concentrate only on fear and pity is to miss a crucial element. From what I've read, Greek tragedy evolved from religious ritual. Tragedy involved the "Gods."

I can see why you would put Nietzsche on the stage. But I think he was also a good audience.
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Sat 8 May, 2010 11:22 pm
@Reconstructo,
I disagree with Aristotle's catharsis theory. The theater is not a vomitorium. I think people went to see tragedies because they wanted to see a full representation of the human condition, they wanted to see the whole truth...well almost the whole truth - pity is a word that is at least as tricky as tragedy. The truly pitiful would never make it on stage...no one wants to see it. Perhaps that is the difference between tragedy and pity: we can stand the first but not the second. At least that seems to close to the way that Hook is using the words. Pity is compassion that we can't stand; we even begin to resent the object of pity in self defense against the intolerable feelings that it gives rise to.
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 12:27 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;161809 wrote:
"tragedy" is a tricky word. I think people, including myself, use it in a sloppy way. I think you put your finger on the difference between tragedy and pity when you brought up dignity. Yes I think that the world's poorer are not without dignity and often have more dignity than the world's richer. There are many ways to lose touch with ones humanity. Raising the floor means raising the floor for the pitiful suffering of the rich as well as pitiful suffering of the poor. I think Marxists generally agree that this is the case. The capitalist system undermines the dignity of the capitalist as well as the prole. Being on top doesn't make you dignified. Many of the richer live in a fantasy world and must constantly lie to themselves and their children to maintain that fantasy; that's no way for a human to live.

Agreed... The slave and slave master are both slaves...The capitalist and worker are both slaves, and together or alone neither has a chance of approaching freedom as an ideal...The progress of one impedes the common progress of both, because all the gains of the one are undermined by their very success at the ruin of the other... We all have to go into the future together, and everyone wants to get there first; and shut the door behind them...
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 12:31 am
@Fido,
Fido;162040 wrote:
Agreed... The slave and slave master are both slaves...The capitalist and worker are both slaves, and together or alone neither has a chance of approaching freedom as an ideal...The progress of one impedes the common progress of both, because all the gains of the one are undermined by their very success at the ruin of the other... We all have to go into the future together, and everyone wants to get there first; and shut the door behind them...

The overthrow of the capitalist is also the liberation of the capitalist?
kennethamy
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 12:35 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;161982 wrote:
I think there are two ways to approach the aesthetics of tragedy: as the audience or as the actor. Aristotle is in the audience. Nietzsche is on the stage.


Why? What difference does it make to the concept of tragedy whether you are a participant or a spectator? Do you think it makes a difference in comedy too?
Deckard
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 12:57 am
@kennethamy,
kennethamy;162044 wrote:
Why? What difference does it make to the concept of tragedy whether you are a participant or a spectator? Do you think it makes a difference in comedy too?


Sure, it is the difference between watching something and doing something. It is the difference between understanding something from the outside (objectively) and understanding it from the inside (subjectively). Are we talking about theoria vs. praxis here? Poesis is perhaps the realm of the author of the play? The concept contains all three?
0 Replies
 
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 06:52 am
@Deckard,
Deckard;162041 wrote:
The overthrow of the capitalist is also the liberation of the capitalist?

If we cannot shed this tendency to prey upon each other we are doomed...

The exploitation of the environment and of humanity are a set, and where one occurs the other is certain to be found... All we need to ask is: Does capital, the possession of it, and the general support of it by society result in a better individual... For every Bill Gates, what ever one can say about his business practices, if he may be said to be good for his philanthropy- spawns and encourages thousands who are simply out for themselves willing to cut any number of throats on earth for a ten percent profit... The richer the rich the poorer the poor and the more slavish and dependent become the poor who cannot rely on civil government or law to deliver them justice, so they need mercy...

I don't care if there is capitalism...I don't care if there is organized religion.. I think that if the people cannot demand that every generation begin fresh, and that wealth and political power be returned to the commonwealth and that even the structure of government be reformed as needed if needed, then again, we are doomed...

Hereditary wealth like hereditary political power does not result in a better government nor a better society... Where wealth is hereditary, so is poverty, so that whole classes grow up in it knowing of nothing else... Does the society have the right to demand that individuals and organizations serve a positive public purpose... Yes; and I do not believe that will stop anyone from being innovative, inventive or wanting to be rich... Rather than society pulling the cart for such people, they should be made to pull society's cart... Their energy ought to be used to improve the condition of all, and all honors should be given to them with the understanding that not a bit of it will go to their own children, but that their children with inherit a healthy society...

---------- Post added 05-09-2010 at 09:16 AM ----------

kennethamy;162044 wrote:
Why? What difference does it make to the concept of tragedy whether you are a participant or a spectator? Do you think it makes a difference in comedy too?

Tragedy is meant to be seen and not obscene...When people are a witness to tragedy, such as we have it in the original sense, we see people acting under a curse compounded by their own hubris which is a trait we share with them, and when they are struct down and face punishment we are to see ourselves in them, and through a simple indentification, sympathy, we are then made better, healthier, and more humane...

In the grossest sort of comedy, an evil one is presented to us in the worst possible light... We are made to hate that one, and made to witness his crimes, and when he is punished with a punishment richly deserved, and often presented from many angles, then we should have the feeling as with all comedy that we are united, justified, and purefied of evil... What is more likely, is that the witness of such tragedy -turned away from us, is handed the focus of his rage on a platter and finds he is left with his rage and removed from his focus...He knows it is not real, but his rage has been drawn out of the depths where it should be hidden, and into his consciousness where it cannot be expunged, purged, so he is left less than a man, less than human, with no one to turn his rage upon but himself...

It may seem strange that to present human suffering from the point of view of the punished should invite mercy, and so make people better, while to present the same suffering from the point of view of the injured society makes people worse... But it is a reminder that we are human, all connected, and that society often shares in the guilt of the damned, and that punishment is never just, and justice is fleeting and so should be tempered with mercy always...

We all suffer injustice at the hands of society... The certain knowledge of ones place, and of the whole situation is what is needed to make injustice endurable... As long as we can say: this one is evil, or that one is evil, and exclude them; we will never get to an understanding of our own contribution to their becoming evil, which may be significant... Injustice like justice is learned....
reasoning logic
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 02:40 pm
@Fido,
Fido;162126 wrote:
If we cannot shed this tendency to prey upon each other we are doomed...

The exploitation of the environment and of humanity are a set, and where one occurs the other is certain to be found... All we need to ask is: Does capital, the possession of it, and the general support of it by society result in a better individual... For every Bill Gates, what ever one can say about his business practices, if he may be said to be good for his philanthropy- spawns and encourages thousands who are simply out for themselves willing to cut any number of throats on earth for a ten percent profit... The richer the rich the poorer the poor and the more slavish and dependent become the poor who cannot rely on civil government or law to deliver them justice, so they need mercy...

I don't care if there is capitalism...I don't care if there is organized religion.. I think that if the people cannot demand that every generation begin fresh, and that wealth and political power be returned to the commonwealth and that even the structure of government be reformed as needed if needed, then again, we are doomed...

Hereditary wealth like hereditary political power does not result in a better government nor a better society... Where wealth is hereditary, so is poverty, so that whole classes grow up in it knowing of nothing else... Does the society have the right to demand that individuals and organizations serve a positive public purpose... Yes; and I do not believe that will stop anyone from being innovative, inventive or wanting to be rich... Rather than society pulling the cart for such people, they should be made to pull society's cart... Their energy ought to be used to improve the condition of all, and all honors should be given to them with the understanding that not a bit of it will go to their own children, but that their children with inherit a healthy society...

---------- Post added 05-09-2010 at 09:16 AM ----------


Tragedy is meant to be seen and not obscene...When people are a witness to tragedy, such as we have it in the original sense, we see people acting under a curse compounded by their own hubris which is a trait we share with them, and when they are struct down and face punishment we are to see ourselves in them, and through a simple indentification, sympathy, we are then made better, healthier, and more humane...

In the grossest sort of comedy, an evil one is presented to us in the worst possible light... We are made to hate that one, and made to witness his crimes, and when he is punished with a punishment richly deserved, and often presented from many angles, then we should have the feeling as with all comedy that we are united, justified, and purefied of evil... What is more likely, is that the witness of such tragedy -turned away from us, is handed the focus of his rage on a platter and finds he is left with his rage and removed from his focus...He knows it is not real, but his rage has been drawn out of the depths where it should be hidden, and into his consciousness where it cannot be expunged, purged, so he is left less than a man, less than human, with no one to turn his rage upon but himself...

It may seem strange that to present human suffering from the point of view of the punished should invite mercy, and so make people better, while to present the same suffering from the point of view of the injured society makes people worse... But it is a reminder that we are human, all connected, and that society often shares in the guilt of the damned, and that punishment is never just, and justice is fleeting and so should be tempered with mercy always...

We all suffer injustice at the hands of society... The certain knowledge of ones place, and of the whole situation is what is needed to make injustice endurable... As long as we can say: this one is evil, or that one is evil, and exclude them; we will never get to an understanding of our own contribution to their becoming evil, which may be significant... Injustice like justice is learned....


I find it interesting that you mentioned Bill Gates. I heard a radio interview with his father on npr and he seems to share some of your plilosophy but probably not all.

I had to click on the windows link at the site in order for me to hear it, and then my windows media player opened.:detective: Bill Gates Sr. on Estate Taxes : NPR
Fido
 
  1  
Reply Sun 9 May, 2010 07:37 pm
@reasoning logic,
reasoning logic;162193 wrote:
I find it interesting that you mentioned Bill Gates. I heard a radio interview with his father on npr and he seems to share some of your plilosophy but probably not all.

I had to click on the windows link at the site in order for me to hear it, and then my windows media player opened.:detective: Bill Gates Sr. on Estate Taxes : NPR

I don't have a philosophy... It is easy to see why gentile society survived everywhere with a few simple rules, and everybody's sass when modern societies with complex rules and only a few having any say do not work...Civilizations are not the high point of people or societies but the last step before ultimate destruction...They are a society wide Kavorkian...
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