Justice. Kindness. Sanity.
Toward these ends
strategic & efficient
Only individuals can
change the rule of injustice
& the prevalence of madness.
And, obviously, individuals
change the rule of injustice
& the prevalence of madness.
Until someone does something, anyway.
That changes the odds.
I can’t do what needs doing alone. But just as Adam Smith described how a developing economy works—each doing his or her part without knowing what others are doing, the parts meshing as a whole—so, likewise, I can at least hope, & I will hope, that a transformation occurs—& do my part.
“My country is the world, and my religion is to do good.”
“…[W]e must clear our minds of the optimistic determinism which regards man as a special pet of nature and the pessimistic determinism which would reduce him to a mere spectator of his destiny. The trained and conscious mind must come to be regarded as a definite factor in man’s environment, capable of occupying there a larger and larger area.”
Whose enterprise & efficiency benefit the innocent & righteous more than the cost to them?—& whose take from them more than they gain?
Stem cells’ capacity to differentiate into not just one sort of cell type.
Energy required to create a system, plus the energy necessary to displace enough volume & pressure, so that what’s created has somewhere to exist.
Impulse to fulfill potential.
“…[M]any people enjoy idleness and affluence through the mere accident of inheriting land or capital. Many others, through their activities in industry or finance, enjoy an income which is certainly very far in excess of anything to which their social utility entitles them. On the other hand, it often happens that inventors and discoverers, whose work has the very greatest social utility, are robbed of their reward either by capitalists or by the failure of the public to appreciate their work until too late. The better paid work is only open to those who have been able to afford an expensive training, and these men are selected in the main not by merit but by luck. The wage-earner is not paid for his willingness to work, but only for his utility to the employer. Consequently, he may be plunged into destitution by causes over which he has no control. Such destitution is a constant fear, and when it occurs it produces undeserved suffering, and often deterioration in the social value of the sufferer.”
Development of various parts together, rather than one part being highly developed while others are undeveloped, or atrophy.
by Walt Whitman
Have you learn’d lessons only of those who admir’d you,
and were tender with you, and stood aside for you?
Have you not learn’d great lessons from those
who reject you, and brace themselves against you?
or who treat you with contempt,
or dispute the passage with you?
“…how to accept the fact that nothing is sheltered from fate, how never to admire might, or hate the enemy, or to despise sufferers.
“The enlightened goodwill of men acting in an individual capacity is the only possible principle of social progress….
“…define…the objective conditions that would permit of a social organization absolutely free from oppression; then seek out by what means and to what extent the conditions actually given can be transformed so as to bring them nearer to this ideal….
“Only on this condition could political action become something analogous to a form of work, instead of being, as has been the case hitherto, a game or a branch of magic.”
Dis-integration of the mind (& behavior).
Then—hopefully with more awareness & understanding—re-integration of the mind (& behavior).
Hard to care for oneself during the process, which probably must occur more often than one time before the Hayflick Limit (cells have divided til they can’t divide & replace worn-out cells any more, &—if we’ve dodged bullets til then—we die).
Especially when the unenlightened feel empowered to intervene whenever anyone behaves abnormally—as tho normal behavior were righteous or wise.
Re-integrate -> integrity.
When the Viking gang, Normans (Northmen), that had established itself in what came to be known as Normandy, on the French coast—led by William the Bastard, thereafter known as William the Conqueror—invaded & conquered the Angles, Saxons, Jutes, & Danes of England—they imposed the French language & their laws & expectations.
These “norms” became what was required of anyone who would be part of the elite, the ruling class, please & thank you & tax & fee collection, the people whose contract terms you agree to, or you don’t do business, the people who tell you what’s the news & what’s history.
(Anglo-Saxon + French became English.)
Of course, if you can get your hands on enough money or weapons & soldiers, you get to modify the norms—you’re William the Conqueror, again.
The equivalent is apparent in non-English-speaking nations, too.
Some people, without great fortunes or military might, try to subvert—that’s the word—the norms, whether consciously or unconsciously, strategically or haphazardly, shrewdly or clumsily, realizing what they’re doing, or just, instinctively, struggling to survive & take some pleasure in living.
Rebels suffer, then die—but everyone dies—& everyone suffers (often secretly).
What do you live for? What do you suffer for? What is success?
Satyagraha—firmness for truth, non-violent action—was the means Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi employed to overthrow British rule of India.
Martin Luther King & many others employed it to overthrow official racial discrimination in the USA. I played a small, brief role.
Satyagraha—non-violent action—is not pacifism. It’s an activity, it’s pro-active. If an enemy will kill or enslave you, you have a right, & would be stupid or cowardly not to kill him, her, or them first, if you can.
Gandhi sought out ways to break unjust laws, at no expense to anyone but himself & whoever joined him.
You can apply this to unjust & insane conventions, too, which block any true progress, & enable tyranny’s expansion & consolidation.
But carefully, judiciously, not just showing off, maybe part of some brief fad. This is real politics, with real consequences. People are frightened, or fiercely defending their privileged status. You can expect to have to absorb some punishment.
People on television, the stage, or in films often act out unconventional behavior. But then they take off their make-up & melt into the crowd, or retreat to their lairs, or get on their tour buses & leave town. For you, there is no leaving.
Choose carefully, make it count, it’s war.
Technological progress benefits everyone who can take advantage of it.
Some of the benefit, tho, must be subtracted for those whose ill-willed or insensitive rulers (whether geopolitical or corporate rulers, or more local & informal) use the new technologies to rule even more oppressively.
And it is the rulers who can most afford to adopt & make use of new technologies.
Technological progress by itself is only technically progress.
As I recall, Buckminster Fuller once defined wealth as the resources to provide for yourself & your activities, into the future. If I’m poor, it’s not for lack of trying to get paid. I want all the money I can get to provide for myself & to work without having to satisfy those who would otherwise fund the work, if they okayed what they imagined I was going to do & say.
“The macro- and mircro-reaches of the physical universe, whose energies may be neither created nor lost, have been so successfully tapped by the scientists that the approximately unlimited energies of a universe capable of realistically unlimited wealth, now need only their social comprehension and orderly social initiatives for turning of the valves of unlimited wealth for all humanity.
“It is precisely the educated social comprehension and self-disciplined orderliness of coordinated initiative which are lacking…only the profound inertia of ignorance which now withholds the practical realization of successful physical survival of all humanity, all at higher standards of living than have as yet been conceived by man.
“…Selecting of the intellectually strong men for specialization must of necessity leave a weaker intellectual residue upon which would fall the task of coordinating the everyday affairs of man. The swiftly multiplying inventory of special capability potentials by the specialists would be harvestable only to the lesser limit of discernment and comprehension.”
George Washington led his weary revolutionary troops to Valley Forge. They avoided battle for years, til they were capable (with the help of the imperial French navy, after years of disappointed hopes) of defeating their imperial British foe—rather than impatiently engage in battles they couldn’t win, & get beaten once & for all.
Of course, you could fail the opposite way, too. You could postpone & postpone—then die, without having the effects you hope for & intend.
There’s a lot of that going around.
And those living so find it difficult to believe you are doing anything else, or resent your attempting to do more than they are doing, & be recognized for doing so, &, so, withhold support that you may need, or that you may find it difficult to operate without.
Introducing what he called Mental Warfare, which—if one would avoid Corporeal Warfare, i.e., violence—one must engage in, or be part of the prevailing oppression, William Blake etched into a metal plate, then printed from it:
“Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!”
When I was young, I was particularly struck by Tolstoy’s idea, that art could be infectious for good, rather than just a set of pleasant distractions.
Groceries, Art, Politics, Deeds
When I go to the grocery store, I find most items for sale despicable—unwholesome, little nutrition, lots of additives whose effects are suspect, or even known to be harmful. But I keep going to the grocery store, seeking out those few items that I can afford, that will nourish me in the ways I must be nourished, or collapse.
I don’t love literature or art. I love the literature & art that I love. I’m not even neutral about the rest—it prolongs suffering & buttresses hypocrisy & dissimulation. It’s bad food.
This distinction goes for every sort of articulation—politics, too, for instance—especially politics. And commercial advertisement. And all sorts of reporting & explaining—for example, explanations of scientific consensus or apparent breakthrus—& history—& every sort of deed, or refraining from action.
No particular adversity is greater that the adverse circumstances that greeted my arrival among humanity, that greet anyone’s arrival who can find no consolation for tyranny, consequent suffering, pervasive pretense, & persecution of truth-telling.
I hope you find the 100 so-called poems (1 – 99r’) of real, tho peculiar use.
I ask that, if you copy & use any of the so-called poems on another site, or in print, you do so without changing them, & that you include my name. If you direct people to this site, too, that would be nice.
As it occurs to me how to do it, I will make the collection more coherent, organized, integrated, dynamic, robust, resilient, powerful—a kind of organism for your occasional, advantageous enjoyment & exploitation—without suppressing notice of the uncertainty, frustration, fear, indignation, ignorance, & missteps out of which it is emerging.
This web-site was previously called “Eat Some, Plant Some” & “100 So-Called Poems.”
Please email encouragement or constructive suggestions to:
echaet (at) gmail (dot) com
If you can, will, & please, send $1 cash, once, or occasionally to:
1803 County Road ZZ
De Pere, Wisconsin 54115-9629
Or, if you are willing & able, send $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, or multiples thereof, once, or occasionally.
Personal checks for dollars would also be welcome.
If you send foreign currency, consider that I will have to pay to convert it to U.S. dollars, before I can buy food or heat, or use the money to further deploy what I’m enabled to produce. So send 25% or 33% extra, please.
I will not reveal your generosity, if you tell me not to mention what you’ve done, unless & until you die with a good reputation.
One sponsor, Doris Lessing, the wonderful Nobel Prize-winning British novelist, sent me $450, total, in U.S. & Canadian dollars, in several installments, from 1988, when she first became aware of what I was & am doing, til she died in 2013. That’s what I’m talking about.
This plea is for a limited time only—that is, while I’m still functional.