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Does man make the times or does Time make the man?

 
 
fresco
 
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Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2003 01:34 pm
Hi Letty !

Piagetian second order cyberneticists (such as myself Smile ho! ho!) would argue that events and their observers are mutually interdependent. It is convenient however to consider "an actor" as causing "events" as this is slightly more credible than to use an anthropomorphic argument about "a nation" having "motives". Thus in the current crisis (or "dance" as Von Foerster might put it) it is convenient to ascribe causation to the cast Bush, Blair, Chirac etc rather than to their respective nations, despite the fact that some of the UN choreography is clearly at the level of "nationhood". We rarely consider at the time that "the dance" could be self propelled with the participants having no "real choice" but to submit.
(Read e.g. Gurdjieff...men are machines in a state of waking sleep. They think they have control but everything "happens").

Of course with "hindsight" and an alternative purpose in mind such simplistic polarity with which we now view the "Iraq Saga" will become modified to suit the then modus vivendi. The "actors" will have their political obituaries written according to fashion. (Who for example remembers that Winston Churchill used poison gas on the Kurds decades before Saddam ?) The future observer will be locked into his own dance du jour just as we are today.
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oldandknew
 
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Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2003 02:29 pm
You've only got to fart in NYC at high noon and you can smell it in London 12 hours later.
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Letty
 
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Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2003 02:34 pm
Wow, John. You really summed it up, I think. " to the last syllable of recorded time....". It seems to me, that Henry Ford said something like history is bunk...maybe he was in tune with your observations, or you with his. Smile

Hey, fresco,

Would you mind repeating that while I assimilate and accommodate? Laughing
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oldandknew
 
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Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2003 02:46 pm
Henry's fave. color was black, same as me. So we have good vibes.
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JoanneDorel
 
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Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2003 04:15 pm
It would seem to me that men's ideas and times are changing so fast we they are making each other these days.
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nelsonn
 
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Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2003 05:41 pm
Dubya would have been remembered as one of our most foolish and ignorant presidents, but it took 9/11 to show how fanatical and dangerous he is.
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fresco
 
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Reply Tue 18 Mar, 2003 06:45 pm
There once was a Frenchman call Jacques
Whose laisser faire schedules were slack.
But George's were tighter
As wrong-putter-righter.
And armies like "Forward !" not "Back !".
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plainoldme
 
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Reply Wed 19 Mar, 2003 06:54 pm
Studying history shows how deep the roots of fascism are.
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larry richette
 
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Reply Wed 19 Mar, 2003 11:06 pm
It could be argued that America, right now, is in a Fascist or proto-fascist condition. Certainly Bush and Ashcroft are gutting civil liberties whiler Bush pursues a policy of preemptive war that is unprecedented in American history, all under the guise of "fighting terrorism." This war that started tonight has me very sad and very depressed about what kind of country the US seems to have become.
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Letty
 
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Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2003 09:36 am
Ok, let's extrapolate a little. It's quite evident that the American people are mixed in their feelings about last night's strike. Many experts claim that the Saddam whom we saw after the attack, was indeed a double. Should that be the case, and should we accept the idea that this war is a continuation of 9/11, how do you all stand on the original rhetorical question and what will happen in the coming days?

(fresco, loved your limerick Smile )
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larry richette
 
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Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2003 11:29 am
I reject the idea that this war is a continuation of 9/11 because I have seen no evidence linking Hussein to Bin Laden, and in fact our own CIA stated that there IS none. This war is part of a neo-colonialist strategy cooked up by the pro-Israel, often Jewish neo-conservatives inside the Bush Administration who want the US to be a much more agrressive militaristic imperial power around the world. If they "win" in Iraq, they will act elsewhere. They are using the War on Terror as a fig leaf for their imperialist ambitions.
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Letty
 
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Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2003 01:19 pm
You are very passionate about your beliefs, Larry, and that I do not reject; however, this thread was not intended to be a political hypothesis in and of itself, but one in which we may examine all the variables, politics, of course, being one.

"All things being considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia." Razz
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larry richette
 
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Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2003 02:19 pm
Letty, you yourself raised the issue of this war being a continuation of 9/11. If you didn't want discussion on that point you shouldn't have asked for it!
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Letty
 
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Reply Thu 20 Mar, 2003 02:52 pm
Larry, I believe that I said SHOULD that be the case--an if/then type thing.
So, basically, what you are saying is that man makes the time.
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larry richette
 
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Reply Fri 21 Mar, 2003 11:31 am
No, I am not saying that the man makes the time. I think it is more complicated than that. I think that the combination of a leader with the circumstances needed to bring out his leadership qualities produces history. Without the Civil War, Lincoln would have been a mediocre leader. Without the Depression, FDR would have made no impression. Churchill was a political failure until WWII began. Circumstances in the end control even the strongest leaders. So, to that extent, I woud say the times make the men. Lincoln himself confessed, "I have been guided by events rather than guiding them."
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Piffka
 
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Reply Fri 21 Mar, 2003 12:08 pm
I think people tend to be reactive, so I guess that means I think the Times make the Man, at least now. Larry's examples seem to show that, as well.

Frolic brought up Gurdjieff, who might be said to have tried to be a Man to make the Times, but G. also thought that the Times have changed in the modern era, so maybe earlier it was another way?

I'd say I go for the the procession of times described by the I Ching and its succession of yin/yang influences. (Grab a solid line and run with it!)
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Letty
 
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Reply Fri 21 Mar, 2003 12:27 pm
Ok, Larry and Piffka,
I think that we're all in agreement, then. Time, circumstances give rise to a man who is a visionary and who has the ability to recognize the opportunity. In many cases, the time has been right, but the man has been wrong.

And to give Kuvasz his just due, Eleanor Roosevelt was probably the driving force behind FDR.

This has been a good discussion, and I feel priviledged to have been a part of it.
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Piffka
 
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Reply Fri 21 Mar, 2003 12:38 pm
Yes, it has... thanks to you, Letty. Sadly, sometimes the man HAS been very wrong.

The only thing I've chafed at a little (but not mentioned) is the sexism of the saying since the Times May also Make the Woman, so I'm really glad you returned to Eleanor. I think she was wonderful and seemed to give the best of herself so freely. I admire her very much.
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fresco
 
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Reply Fri 21 Mar, 2003 01:42 pm
Piffka

I think you refer to my G reference. As I understand it, G thought war was when machines (=ordinary men) went "mad" under the influence of cosmic forces similar to the Hindu "gunas" (..perhaps rajas). He makes no personal claim to be able to change the situation, only perhaps "himself" by "wakening from sleep". He also said such evolution was not possible for all -that "knowledge"/transcendence was cosmologically limited in quantity! " Higher Man" was for G. independent of normal (trivial) events which were subject to the "law of accident".

Such spiritual elitism is common to many movements, but G is interesting in that he attracted many celebrities to his door including Catherine Mansfield the novelist.
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larry richette
 
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Reply Fri 21 Mar, 2003 09:46 pm
A good example of a man NOT rising to the challenge of his times is the current President. Recession? Cut taxes for the rich. Terrorism? Abridge the bill of Rights. 9/11? Invade Afghanistan, invade Iraq, invade God knows where next. He is a pygmy when the times cry out for a giant. Let's hope his tenure is brief.
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