Carroll is on the verge of an important point,
because there is huge tension in US culture
between the polis and the individual. The gun lobby
is a fine example of the individual against the polis.
The various miltitias, and the anarchists of Montana
where part of my background is, are another example.
When I visit my cousin in Lewiston, Idaho, all I
get is how he would like to shoot every sheriff he sees.
Lots of idiotes kicking around.

None-the-less I don't think the solution
lies in becoming a centaur with the torso
on backwards looking at where we've
been, instead of where we're going. The
Athenians didn't live at the speed of light
except perhaps in their cave allegories.


Vishvesh Obla wrote:

>I wouldn't be surprised if you rated Orwell or Ibsen’s
>'thought' higher than Chesterton’s and hence even
>higher than Eliot !
>I am reminded of a verse by swinburne (quoted from
>memory) : 
>'...what is, we do not see, and what is not, we always
>Fiddle, we call it diddle, and Diddle, dee ...'
>I am pretty sure Eliot would never have meant that one
>shouldn’t have political ideas or anything of that
>sort.  It is indeed difficult for someone who isn’t
>able to grasp what a ‘great mind’ means to look at the
>*propositional* content of a passage as that quote on
>Henry James.  And I am sure Carroll would find Yeats
>much worse than an ‘idiote’, even a barbarian, if he
>reads a passage as : 
>‘The playboy (of the western world) shocked a good 
>people, because it was a self-improving,
>self-educating audience, and 
>means a perverted and commonplace audience.  If you
>set out to educate 
>yourself, you are compelled to have an ideal, a model
>of what you would 
>and if you are not a man of genius, your model will be
>commonplace and 
>prevent the natural impulses of the mind, its natural
>hope, admiration, always half unconscious, almost
>--- Carrol Cox <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>>Vishvesh Obla wrote:
>>>'we corrupt our feelings with ideas; we produce
>>the public, 
>>>the political, the emotional the political, 
>>>evading sensation and thought.... Mr. Chesterton's
>>>swarms with ideas; I see no evidence that it
>>Aristotle (following spontaneous Greek assumptions)
>>defined the human
>>person as a _politike_, one who lives in cities or,
>>more precisely, one
>>who takes part in the public (shared) life of the
>>the Polis. One who did
>>not share in that public life was a private person
>>or _idiotes_, one who
>>was not fully human, was "not all there" as it were.
>>We become fully
>>human through our participation in that public life.
>>Even some 2000
>>years later, Jefferson speculating idly in a letter
>>to John Adams on
>>what 'heaven' should be like, proposed an endless
>>Continental Congress:
>>i.e., for Jefferson as for Aristotle, one became
>>wholly human, one
>>exercised one's human faculties, through the public
>>process of
>>persuading and being persuaded. (See for interesting
>>discussion of all
>>of this Hannah Arendt's _The Human Condition_ and
>>_On Revolution_.)
>>James Madison in Federalist No. 10 offers a
>>fascinating and complex
>>simile or ratio. As air is to fire so freedom is to
>>'faction,' and just
>>as we would not eliminate air (which is necessary
>>for animal life) in
>>order to control the destructive forces of fire, so
>>we must not
>>eliminate freedom (which is necessary to political
>>life) to control the
>>rages of faction. That is, political life is not
>>merely (or at all) a
>>_means_ to an end, it is an end in itself. Why?
>>Because outside
>>politics, we cannot be fully human. (I'm not a
>>particular admirer of
>>Chesterton, but in this respect at least his thought
>>was definitely
>>superior to the thought of Eliot.)
>>(Of course the Athenians would not have regarded
>>mere passive voting, or
>>campaigning, for this or that candidate real
>>politics. But that is
>>another story.)
>>To go back to Athens. In _Antigone_ there is a
>>really fascinating
>>exchange between Creon and his son Haemon, which
>>climaxes in Haemon's
>>declaration that "It is no city where one man
>>rules." (Quoted from
>>memory, the Grene translation I believe.) Haemon
>>doesn't say, "It's a
>>_bad_ city or a _corrupt_ city where one man rules;
>>he says that it is
>>no city at _all_ where one man rules. Why? Because
>>in a tyranny there is
>>no public life, no glorious participation in the
>>public life, but _that_
>>is what cities are for: to provide a public space in
>>which the citizens
>>can exercise their crucial human quality of
>>persuading and being
>>persuaded. A _polis_ that does not provide for this,
>>then, is no _polis_
>>at all. 
>>Eliot's "avoiding sensation and thought" is simply
>>bizarre, one more
>>implication that "real humanity" is not for the
>>great unwashed, but only
>>for "sensitive" souls like TSE.
>Start your day with Yahoo! - make it your home page 

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