Print

Print



On 5/14/2012 7:03 AM, Tom Gray wrote:

<It was the experience of the devastation of WW2 and the fact that great 
power war was now futile as a matter of policy that provided 
he impetus for <the open trading global economy that we have today. 
Domination and exploitation by war are no longer possible so we must 
learn to live together so <that we can trade and be secure and affluent. 
The morality follows from this.

     Which seems to be a way of saying that "The morality" that "follows 
from this" is not morality.

<Discussions of the antisemitism prevalent in Eliot's time and our 
virtue because of the lack of it in our's should take this into account.

    Which amounts to a pretty dim view of both times; our "virtue" then 
is not really virtue.

    I'm not criticizing, but I do wonder if this is satisfactory as 
explanation, i.e. are the essential elements all represented.

    Ken A






>
> ------------------------------------------------------------------------
> *From:* Peter Montgomery <[log in to unmask]>
> *To:* [log in to unmask]
> *Sent:* Monday, May 14, 2012 12:46:45 AM
> *Subject:* Re: Eliot as a man of his time
>
> 
> The discovery that anti-semitism, however much a barely meant social 
> posture,
> could in fact lead to the unspeakable results of the holocaust must 
> have had a persuasive effect.
> Peter
>
>     ----- Original Message -----
>     *From:* Tom Gray <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>     *To:* [log in to unmask] <mailto:[log in to unmask]>
>     *Sent:* Sunday, May 13, 2012 1:07 PM
>     *Subject:* Eliot as a man of his time
>
>     In reference to the anti-Semitism found in Eliot's writing, I have
>     been doing some reading to satisfy a personal question about how
>     Germany transformed itself from the NAZI state of WW2 to the open
>     democracy of today. the history of the denazification period is
>     very revealing about the genteel anti-Semitism that was prevalent
>     at the time. There was an almost schizophrenic attitude. In the
>     same person, there could be an idealism that demanded the
>     eradication of the NAZIs but this could be a coupled with a
>     sympathy for the educated NAZIs that they were dealing with and
>     the accused NAZIs that they were dealing with and the accusation
>     of what one British official called 'the dregs of the eastern
>     ghettos'. Within one person there could be an idealistic need to
>     eradicate NAZI hate coupled with an aversion to the Jewish
>     culture. Eliot was a man of his time.
>      
>     The remarkable thing about all of this is that the NAZI Germany of
>     WW2 transformed itself into the open democracy of today in which,
>     as one example, anti-Semitic attitudes are socially unacceptable.
>     Similarly in my home country Canada, anti-Semitism was openly
>     practiced in that period. How has society transformed itself in
>     such a short period of time. From my reading on the history of the
>     denazification effort, I gather that economic superiority of the
>     open society make sit better suited to fulfilling the basic human
>     needs of security and affluence then a closed authoritarian one.
>     In my reading about the denazification period, I have seen a
>     quotation for the 'The Threepenny Opera' by Berthold Brecht which
>     reads "Erst kommt du Fressen, dann commt die Moral" or "First
>     comes the eating and then the morality". The experience of the
>     Weimar Republic conformed a preference in the German public for an
>     authoritarian leader who could get things done and thereby fulfill
>     their basic needs for security and affluence. The experience of
>     the devastation of WW2 and the futility of great power war in an
>     era of nuclear weapons similarly fuels the desire for the open
>     society and its associated moral beliefs.
>     So the question about Eliot's anti-Semtism appears to me not to be
>     a question about Eliot but a question about the nature of
>     humanity. What is the real basis for the ideals that we espouse.
>     Remember Rwanda happed in the 1990s with Bosnia just before. Sudan
>     happened just a little while later. Cambodia happened in the 1970s.
>
>
>