Sunday, July 14, 2013

Beyond Freedom and Dignity

Money becomes insane, and people with it. 
At night the place is almost dark, economizing light. Economy, economy, economy - that too becomes an insanity. Luckily the government keeps bread fairly cheap. 
But at night you feel strange things stirring in the darkness, strange feelings stirring out of this still-unconquered Black Forest. You stiffen your backbone and you listen to the night. There is a sense of danger. It is not the people. They don't seem dangerous. Out of the very air comes a sense of danger, a queer, bristling feeling of uncanny danger. 
Something has happened. Something has happened which has not yet eventuated. The old spell of the old world has broken, and the old, bristling, savage spirit has set in. The war did not break the old peace-and-production hope of the world, though it gave it a severe wrench. Yet the old peace-and-production hope still governs, at least the consciousness. Even in Germany it has not quite gone. 
But it feels as if, virtually, it were gone. The last two years have done it. The hope in peace-and-production is broken. The old flow, the old adherence is ruptured. And a still older flow has set in. Back, back to the savage polarity of Tartary, and away from the polarity of civilized Christian Europe. This, it seems to me, has already happened. And it is a happening of far more profound import than any actual event. It is the father of the next phase of events. 
And the feeling never relaxes. As you travel up the Rhine valley, still the same latent sense of danger, of silence, of suspension. Not that the people are actually planning or plotting or preparing. I don't believe it for a minute. But something has happened to the human soul, beyond all help. The human soul recoiling now from unison, and making itself strong elsewhere. 
DH Lawrence

When I was a callow youth, I read Skinner's books and dreamed moon-eyed into a bright future.

Now I am an old man and I just shake my head.

I think that maybe Skinner was right about a lot of things, but a lot of the wrong type of people got hold of his idea and used them to create the monstrosity that passes for our culture.

We have been pressing at the bar created for us by our government and corporations for forty years now.  The theories and predictions of Skinner are proven by looking at the society around us, created by flickering images of a Hollywood-scripted Utopia in our living rooms as a stimulus and free things handed out by the government as a reward.

Lawrence traveled through Germany in 1924.  Hitler was nothing then.  In a sense, Hitler was never anything, just an opportunist who rode the will of a people who had become something more primitive.  

Again from the letter:

Heidelberg full of people. Students the same, youths with rucksacks the same, boys and maidens in gangs come down from the hills. The same, and not the same. These queer gangs of young Socialists, youths and girls, with their non-materialistic professions, their half-mystic assertions, they strike one as strange. Something primitive, like loose, roving gangs of broken, scattered tribes, so they affect one. And the swarms of people somehow produce an impression of silence, of secrecy, of stealth. It is as if everything and everybody recoiled away from the old unison, as barbarians lurking in a wood recoil out of sight. The old habits remain. But the bulk of the people have no money. And the whole stream of feeling is reversed 
And it all looks as if the years were wheeling swiftly backwards, no more onwards. Like a spring that is broken, and whirls swiftly back, so time seems to be whirling with mysterious swiftness to a sort of death. Whirlingto the ghost of the Middle Ages of Germany, then to the Roman days, then to the days of the silent forest and the dangerous, lurking barbarians. 
Something about the Germanic races is unalterable. White-skinned, elemental, and dangerous. Our civilization has come from the fusion of the dark-eyes with the blue. The meeting and mixing and mingling of the two races has been the joy of our ages. And the Celt has been there, alien, but necessary as some chemical re-agent to the fusion. So the civilization of Europe rose up. So these cathedrals and these thoughts. 
But now the Celt is the disintegrating agent. And the Latin and southern races are falling out of association with the northern races, the northern Germanic impulse is recoiling towards Tartary, the destructive vortex of Tartary.It is fate; nobody now can alter it. It is a fate. The very blood changes. Within the last three years, the very constituency of the blood has changed, in European veins. But particularly in Germanic veins.
Walk out in the streets of your city.  The feeling is there.  Oh, there will be folk who will scoff at you, who will decry your senses as paranoia, but something has changed in our world.  

Something newer is stirring here.  The seeds of something have been laid by the last forty years of human experimentation.  The mores and cultural brakes have been disabled by the wealthy to better transfer the wealth of the country to their redoubts.  The die has been cast, we are waiting for the change.

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