Albert J. Nock On Mass Man

“The mass-man is one who has neither the force of intellect to apprehend the principles issuing in what we know as the humane life, nor the force of character to adhere to those principles steadily and strictly as laws of conduct; and because such people make up the great and overwhelming majority of mankind, they are called collectively the masses.”

—  Albert J. Nock

[I had this down before as Alfred J., sorry…

For patient readers of this blog, no, I do not have dyslexia or ADD, as you might think from the strange ways I mangle names.  I’m simply a recovering word-associationist. From years of writing poetry and playing music, I’m far more aural than visual. I posted something from Four Quartets a while back, and I think “Alfred J. Prufrock”  was playing somewhere in the back of my mind]

At least, that’s my excuse.

Frank Lloyd Wright: Education Today Provides Conditioning…

This is a brief excerpt from a live interview with legendary architect Frank Lloyd Wright (June 18, 1957), when he was ninety. The audio isn’t very clear, so I’ve provided a transcript. The words are pungent and speak succinctly to the task of weaning people from dependence on the state:

“Education has been unrealistic.
Education has not seen the nature of the thing we needed as a people.
Education has not provided enlightenment. It’s provided conditioning
By way of books, by way of what has been, by way of the past,
By the habituation of the human species to date.
And it hasn’t taken the views of the men who are capable of looking beyond
and seeing what the nature of the thing was.
What is the nature of this thing we’re in.
Now that’s the grace(?) of seeing in, not seeing at.
And all education today is a seeing at.”

Aldous Huxley On How “Scientific Dictatorships” Induce Compliance

Aldous Huxley, novelist and social critic, gave a talk at the University of Berkeley  on the dictatorship he saw in the future of the United States, a “scientific” dictatorship, he termed it. In it, control would be maintained by narcotizing the population with conveniences, entertainment, consumerism, and drugs. Ultimately, compliance would become pleasurable..

‘Today we are faced, I think, with the approach of what may be called the ultimate revolution, the final revolution, where man can act directly on the mind-body of his fellows.”

(Huxley, The Ultimate Revolution, University of Berkeley, March 20, 1962)

Mark Twain: the War Prayer

Mark Twain’s satirical “War Prayer”:

“O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle – be Thou near them! With them – in spirit – we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe. O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with hurricanes of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with their little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it – for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.”

Mercedes Sosa Sings Solo Le Pido A Dios

Argentine singer Haydee Mercedes Sosa (July 9, 1935 – October 4, 2009) was dubbed “the voice of the voiceless ones” for her socially conscious music. She became popular through out Latin America as a leading exponent of nueva cancion , a type of song that combined Latin American folk music, rock rhythms, and highly politicized lyrics, and was often associated with left-wing politics. Many nuevo cancion artists went into exile in the 1970s and 1980s, when right wing military dictatorships came to power in their countries. Sosa herself went into exile in Spain.

Solo le pido a Dios

Solo le pido a Dios
I only beg God
Que el dolor no me sea indiferente
To let me not be indifferent to pain
Que la reseca muerte no me encuentre
May death never find me indifferent
Vacio y solo sin haber echo lo suficiente
Empty and alone without having done enough
Solo le pido a Dios
I only beg God
Que lo injusto no me sea indiferente
To let me not be indifferent to injustice
Que no me abofeteen la otra mejia
So I don’t turn the other cheek
Despues que una garra me arane esta frente
When a claw has already scratched my face

Chorus:

Solo le pido a Dios
I only beg God
Que la guerra no me sea indiferente
To let me not be indifferent to war
Es un monstro grande y pisa fuerte
It is the great monster that tramples
Toda la pobre inocencia de la gente
The poor innocence of the people
Es un monstro grande y pisa fuerte
Toda la pobre inocencia de la gente

Solo le pido a Dios
I only beg God
Que el engano no me sea indiferente
To let me not be indifferent to deceit
Si un traidor puede mas que unos quantos
If one traitor is stronger than the rest of us
Que esos quantos no lo olviden facilmente
May the rest of us not forget too easily
Solo le pido a Dios
I only beg God
Que el futuro no me sea indiferente
To let me not be indifferent to the future
Deshauciado esta el que tiene que marchar
Helpless are those who are forced to leave
A vivir una cultura diferente
And live in a foreign land..