by David Eide .

Here again in this wonderful and painful place. Life, in our experience, was never meant to glide and preen in ease.

When we have glided and preened in ease we have effortlessly slammed into an iron wall with sardonic faces waggling their tongues at us.

I knew that once I got on the path "to success" that I would not be able to get off of it.

Had this been a "class bound" culture I would have stayed up in this class. But this culture is a fluid, egalitarian affair and I was taught that and lived it as profoundly as I could. It was a difficult pull through the classes. One is damned if they do, damned if they don't. The thing with economic determinism is that the writer has no place. And if the writer has any intelligence he realizes that (a) this is potentially the freest, most liberated time in history and (b) human beings still tie themselves up in knots over class, religion and such things.

This determinism moves through everything and everyone. It is so profound people don't even know what has taken them. And as an intelligent writer I had to conclude that the determinism was a new form of theology that would assuredly block new worlds, new concepts and so on. That is true, perhaps, among those who are trapped by that determinism but it's not really "true."

Berkeley proved to me that there are places one can go to escape the psychological determinism of the economy.

That's all passed unfortunately.

I would not want to go back to former days.

Of course, most human beings are not sociologists.

Many sociologists do not appear to be human beings.

If a world is produced that "destroys" literature it is only a few moments away from destroying itself.

At some point I realized that literature was not the center of cultural "entertainment" as in the old days. And that was when artists composed for the powerful and educated elites since they were the only one's with money and time. At first I was quite angry about it. It turned me against the mass democracy since the cultural "entertainment" was now made for the democratic marketplace that was dominated by the illiterates and inexperienced. That turned me against the democratic marketplace and threw me into a lot of turmoil. I went back and tried to connect with as many excellent things that had been produced in the past as I could. It was, for the most part, a delightful path to take. And, as I've mentioned, I was alert to the development of the possibility of a new publishing system and I knew that something new like that would start off with open and generous windows.

And it is quite apparent to me that I tried to connect on the Internet in ways I never had off line.

And I wrote a good deal about democracy to clarify my feelings about the sort of alienation I had felt.

And frankly I have absorbed as many models from the past I am capable of absorbing.

Here is the polarity I've been working between. When young I had a very hellish belief. An experience of the impossibility of having any sort of democratic spirit in a world of these dimensions. A world of increasing complexity, anonymous power, "corporatist value" would crush democracy out, make it as relevant as democracy would have been in Nineveh back in the good old Assyrian days.

So democracy became a mere sentimentality used to keep the people at bay. It was not a positive value at all because the people were stunned by what had grown up around them. And they took their shots at science, technology, and capital but with very little success. The "Republic" had separated from the democracy and had learned fabricated responses to the people but were, in essence, a new ruling nobility and would start to transmit power through itself.

And democracy was not simply the vote, it was the ability of the free citizens to know their society inside out. And this was simply an impossibility so that the citizen got rather superstitious or dumbed down or something that prevented the full capacity of the democratic citizen to know in a significant way. So, no vision, no dream, no aspiration. So, sensasence and death to the civilization.

The other side of that polarity said, "What would democracy start to look like in Nineveh?"

Would it be local? Would it be a confederation of men and women who worked in the underground of Nineveh?

And if a free, liberal democratic citizen were possible, what would he or she look like? What would be the perfect citizen in the philosophical sense? Where would be the source of his or her morale, esp. in the face of the inhuman world?

This is one "myth" that I took on and is worth revisiting.

The adventure into space as against the total annihilation by nukes was another.

What is the literary expression of this?

The extraordinary lack of vision, dream and aspiration in big liberal democracies was another concern.

Contemplation of science, technology, and capitalism can bring things up to a place where most of the people connect.

Or is that simply a background to a more profound connection?

* * * * * * * *


Back to Essay Page

Back to

© 2016 David Eide. All rights reserved.