This mode of reason — which Horkheimer called “objective reason” — expresses the logos of the world and retains its integrity and validity apart from the interplay of human volition and interests. In addition to subverting the integrity of the human community, capitalism has tainted the classical notion of “living well” by fostering an irrational dread of material scarcity. By establishing quantitative criteria for the “good life,” it has dissolved the ethical implications of “limit.” This ethical lacuna raises a specifically technical problematic for our time. Yet at the political level of social life, a democratic confederal structure of five woodland Indian tribes obviously differs decisively from a centralized, despotic structure of mountain Indian chiefdoms.

Since 2020, anti-trans youth legislation claiming to protect children popped up more frequently in state legislatures, entering the more mainstream lexicon in 2021. During the first three months of 2022, lawmakers filed about 240 anti-LGBTQ+ laws—most of which targeted trans people. At least 19 states in 2016 considered bathroom bills, legislation that would force every person to use the gendered restroom matching the gender listed on their birth certificate. North Carolina passed this legislation, igniting conversations across the country and empowering lawmakers to draft similar bills in other states.

Hence with the Hebrews, religion exhibits a growing tendency to abstract, to classify, and to systematize. For all its obvious contradictions, the Hebrew Bible is a remarkably coherent account of humanity’s evolution into society. Even in the Hebrews’ devaluation of natural phenomena we have a break with mythopoeic thought as such, a rupture with phenomena as fantasy, a willingness to deal with life on realistic and historical terms. Social history, as the will of God, replaces natural history as the cosmogony of spirits, demons, and divine beings.

But, for the ancients, there is really no difference between the artisan who sells his own products and the workman who hires out his services. The peasant is so much closer to the ideal of self-sufficiency (autarkeia) which was the essential basis for man’s freedom in the ancient world. Needless to say, in the classical age, in both Greece and Rome, this ideal of self-sufficiency had long since given way to a system of organized trade. However, the archaic mentality endured, and this explains not only the scorn felt for the artisan, labouring in his smithy, or beneath the scorching sun on building sites, but also the scarcely veiled disdain felt for merchants or for the rich entrepreneurs who live off the labour of their slaves. Because that which is implicit comes into existence, it certainly passes into change, yet it remains one and the same, for the whole process is dominated by it.

If you feel like something is missing in your life, don’t try to fill it with a partner. Be happy with who you are and don’t feel like you need a partner in order to be successful or happy. If you and your significant other are all about sharing everything, sometimes this could mean giving up your individual tastes, wants and needs in the process. It’s okay to want to save your money for something else or avoid taking on credit card debt in the process of getting married.

You’re Used To Always Being Focused On A Partner

Let me begin my exploration of technics and the contrasting images that shape its form and destiny by examining the ideologies that exist around labor — that most human of all technical categories. Short of sexuality, no subject has been more intractable to a reasonably unprejudiced analysis and more encrusted by highly embattled ideologies. Labor, perhaps even more than any single human activity, underpins contemporary relationships among people on every level of experience — whether in terms of the rewards it brings, the privileges it confers, the discipline it demands, the repressions it produces, or the social conflicts it generates. To critically examine these encrustations in their most sophisticated ideological form (notably, Marx’s remarkable analysis of labor) is perhaps the most authentic point of departure for approaching the subject. But to sharply polarize earlier visions of freedom around categories such as consumerist or productivist, hedonistic or ascetic, and naturalistic or antinaturalistic is grossly artificial and one-sided. Insofar as they aspired to freedom, the sects and movements that commonly are grouped in these categories were opposed to hierarchy as they understood it in their day (particularly in its exaggerated ecclesiastical form) and intuitively favored a dispensation of the means of life based on the equality of unequals.

Rome, particularly toward the end of its republican era, was apparently destabilized by a series of slave and gladiatorial revolts, among which Spartakus’s historic rebellion (73 B.C.) was apparently the most far-reaching and dramatic. This army of slaves and gladiators, later joined by impoverished free people, engaged in a series of major looting expeditions that swept over the Campania and southern Italy until it was crushed by Crassus and Pompey. The imagery of a recurring history, largely cyclic in character, often replaced Christianity’s eschatological vision of the Last Days, with its populist reward of a Land of Cokaygne or at least an earthly Jerusalem. The republican ideal that permeated the Great French Revolution was always haunted by a Caesarist shadow, a republican Bonapartism, that its own contemporary historians justified as a stabilizing factor in Europe’s march toward freedom, specifically toward freedom of trade.

Terms like “large,” “small,” or “intermediate,” and “hard,” “soft,” or “mellow” are simply externals — the attributes of phenomena or things rather than their essentials. They may help us determine their dimensions and weights, but they do not explain the immanent qualities of technics, particularly as they relate to society. They whisper, hum, sing, or quietly chant; they nurse and nurture the material by gently rocking and undulating their bodies, by stroking it as though it were a child. The imagery of the mother with a nursing child is perhaps more evocative of the true process of early crafthood than is the smith striking the glowing iron between hammer and anvil. Even later, at the village level, food cultivators were buoyed by choral songs and festivities, however arduous may have been their labor in sowing and harvesting grain.

Everything must either be or not be, whether in the present or in the future, but it is not always possible to distinguish and state determinately which of these alternatives must necessarily come about. But innovation there surely was — not in the instruments of production but in the instruments of administration. In terms of its far-reaching bureaucracy, legal system, military forces, mobilization of labor, and centralization of power, the Roman Empire at its peak was the heir, if not the equal, of the authoritarian apparatus of preceding empires.

Marriage and Cohabitation in the U.S.

His Politics undertakes a severe critique of the ideal polis as such, including Plato’s and those proposed by his predecessors. Reason must exorcise its own myths, notably Plato’s attempt at ideality and its proclivity to remove itself from the practical problems of social administration and reconstruction. Presiding over this remote world was the figure and symbolism of the Mother Goddess, a fertility principle so old in time that its stone remains have even been found in Paleolithic caves and encampments. Hunter-gatherers, early horticulturists, advanced agriculturists, and the priests of “high civilizations” have imparted utterly contradictory traits to her — some deliciously benign, others darkly demonic. But it is more than fair to assume that in the early Neolithic, the priests had not yet sculpted the cruel, Kali-like image into her figure. Apparently, like Demeter, she was more of a feminine principle, latent with loving and mourning, not the mere fertility symbol — the magic thing that endeared her to hunter-gatherers.

Drama Casting & News

Utopian dialogue in all its existentiality must infuse the abstractions of social theory. My concern is not with utopistic “blueprints” (which can rigidify thinking as surely as more recent governmental “plans”) but with the dialogue itself as a public event. But this commitment of individuality to domination, so compellingly forged by “civilization,” is certainly not the sole form of individual creativity. The Renaissance, as Kenneth Clark noted, did not develop a very substantial body of philosophical literature, comparable, say, to that of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, because it expressed its philosophy in art. For all its understatement of Renaissance thought, this passing observation is arresting.

Until Marxian socialism acquired the status of official dogma in nearly half the world, Christianity was to play a predominant role in the spiritual and intellectual life of western society. No doctrine could kindle more fervent hopes among the oppressed, only to dash them to the ground when the clerical and civil powers periodically combined to repress subversive sects and radical popular movements. Contradictions within Christian religious precepts were to provide the grindstone for sharpening the knives of social criticism, which, in turn, gave rise to new ideas for social reconstruction. Despite its patently conflicting messages, Christianity offered the principles, examples, social metaphors, ethical norms, and above all a spiritual emphasis on the virtuous life that were to foster an unprecedented zealotry in periods of social rebellion. Its ethical impact on medieval movements for change contrasts sharply with economistic and materialistic explanations of human behavior. Such a tremendous movement as Anabaptism — a movement that enlisted nobles and learned sectarians as well as poor townspeople and peasants in support of apostolic communism and love — could not have emerged without anchoring its varied ideals in Christian ethical imperatives.

To understand the legacy of freedom as it was lived, not only thought, we must immerse our ideas in the rich flux of reality and sort out their authenticity in the earthy experiences of the oppressed. But Marx was stating a fact about parties in general that, after the French Revolution, had already ceased to be a novelty. The modern State could more properly be called a “party-state” than a “nation-state.” Organized from the top downward with a bureaucratic infrastructure fleshed out by a membership, the Party possesses an institutional flexibility that is much greater than that of the official State. Structurally, its repertory of forms ranges from the loosely constructed republic to highly totalitarian regimes. As a source of institutional innovation, the Party can be sculpted and molded to produce organizational, authoritarian forms with an ease that any State official would envy. And once in power, the Party can make these forms part of the political machinery itself.

But these tasks, while they lighten the burdens of the young, do not make the old indispensable to the community. And in a world that is often harsh and insecure, a world ruled by natural necessity, the old are the most dispensable members of the community. Under conditions where food may be in short supply and the life of the community occasionally endangered, they are the first to be disposed of.