Sunday, November 4, 2018

Noam Chomsky

Nea, wholly uninterested in any notions of work or productive labor.

I'm reading Noam Chomsky right now; the great linguist and political thinker. His 1971 debate with Michel Foucault was an event produced and televised by the Dutch as part of a series which aimed to bring opposing philosophers together on television (imagine?).

It is uncanny to read this debate now; almost 40 years later and note the similarities. Read the following as it relates to ideas about the nature of work in capitalism, the oppression of creativity and rethinking the concept of 'the proletariat'...


"I've never seen a child who didn't want to build something out of blocks, or learn something new, or try the next task. And the only reason why adults aren't like that is, I suppose, that they have been sent to school and other oppressive institutions which have driven that out of them.
Now if that is the case, then the proletariat, or whatever you want to call it, can really be universal, that is, it can be all those human beings who are impelled by what I believe to be the fundamental human need to be yourself, which means to be creative, to be exploratory, to be inquisitive, to do useful things...

It is not true in our given society that all people are doing useful, productive work, or self-satisfying work - obviously that's very far from true -- or that, if they were to do the kind of work they're doing under conditions of freedom, it would thereby become productive and satisfying.

Rather there are a very large number of people who are involved in other kinds of work. For example, the people who are involved in the management of exploitation, or the people who are involved in the creation of artificial consumption, or the people who are involved in the creation of mechanisms of destruction and oppression, or the people who are simply not given any place in a stagnating industrial economy. Lot of people are excluded from the possibility of productive labor..."

I want to transcribe it all for you here, but instead I'm going to organize a reading group and continue to think about how to use Worlds End to create more fulfilling, creative work for people. Many of you have sent me emails and notes about your own experiences in business or specifically the wedding industry. This is exactly what I wanted to happen -- which is to say direct dialog with people I can know personally and have direct relationship with instead of pouring my energy into the gigantic sea of social media. So - thank you. Hopefully you'll consider coming to my reading group, which I think must be here at Worlds End so that we can feed you.


Shelley said...

Have you watched the debate on Youtube?

Jes said...

I'll sign up! Add to the list The Moth Snowstorm by Michael McCarthy (which I'm currently reading).

A stand out quote: "In a famous preface to one of his short novels, Joseph Conrad pointed out that the enterprise of the scientist or the intellectual may have more immediate impact, but that of the artist is more enduring because it goes far deeper; the statement of fact, however powerful, does not take hold like the image does. I believe that in defending the natural world, the time had come to offer up the images." He goes on say how the book is his defence, a discussion and story of his love of nature. When I read this quote, I thought of you guys at Saipua.

Thank you for sharing you words and images and the journey to make Worlds End something more. I am a fellow flower farmer in Ontario that continues to appreciate your insights, humour, truthfulness, and the beauty you create.

Looking forward to seeing things unfold.


Diggin' it said...

I would love to come, but I am in TX. I love Noam Chomsky. I'm also a flower farmer and designer. I love your blog an read it on my kindle when I am too tired to read The Power Of Now by Ekhart Tolls. I'm in a book club with 4 friends and have tried to assign political science, but we can't seem to follow through. Keep on keeping on.'

Unknown said...

I'm in! But hopefully you'll find a way to include those of us not in the NE kingdom.

Unknown said...

Where do I sign up for this!?
I would also add to the list The power of Restreint by Pierre Rabhi

As always , your words resonate so much
Thank you so much for all that



Amanda Robson said...

I'll come whenever I'm in the area. Once a year in the Summer usually. I live on Maui. In the meantime, I thank the stars for your sharing here.

With love,

Anonymous said...

Another great book - The Art of Possibility by Benjamin Zander. Somehow it is always in the business
section of the bookstore, but it’s really a book you can’t label. All about rule breaking and reimagining.
Easy read and endlessly inspirational