25 August 2007

The Grinder

3: Coarse
The deepest determinant of contemporary social psychology is not mass unbelief but mass production. Industrialism has decisively undermined the republican ideals of independence, self-sufficiency, and proprietorship -- the "modest competence" postulated by early democratic theorists as the basis of civic virtue and civil equality. It is the practice of demanding skills, rather than fragmented and routinized drudgery, that disciplines us and makes mutual respect and sympathy possible. Work that provides scope for the exercise of virtues and talents; a physical, social, and political environment commensurate in scale with our authentic, non-manufactured needs and appetites; and a much greater degree of equality, with fewer status distinctions, and those resting on inner qualities rather than money -- these are the requirements of psychic health at present. The alternative is infantilism and authoritarianism, compensated -- at least until the earth's ecology breaks down -- by frantic consumption.
~ George Scialabba, "The Curse of Modernity"

2: Medium
Jenny Holzer's Truisms (1977--):
and here

1: Fine
Do you want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act. Action will delineate and define you. You will find out from your actions. But you must act as an "I," as an individual, because you can be certain only of your own needs, inclinations, passions, necessities. Only this kind of action is direct and is a genuine extricating of yourself from chaos, self-creation. As for the rest: isn't it mere recitation, execution of a preordained plan, rubbish, kitsch?
~ Witold Gombrowicz


Steven LaRose said...

The words,
"You are what you do"
have been haunting me.

Helquin said...

As a former social worker, I was trained to regard one's actions as a more reliable indicator than one's intentions, beliefs, feelings, job titles, status symbols, etc. ... But it can be a tricky business, recognizing "what I do." :-/

btw, thanks for pointing me to PollDaddy. See? -- You are a cyberspace traffic director! I also saw in someone else's blog comments that you are an imp. :-))