Dennis Grauel ‣ Rag
Wurundjeri Country

Rag is born out of the need for a no-bullshit grotesque that’s accessible/free and open source. Rag samples ideas from Arial and earlier Monotype cuts, but is unconstrained from the internal consistency expected of the neo-grotesk genre. Each style has some quirks, as weights were drawn separately – at different times and in different moods! The family structure is modeled after Arial’s – a robust and logical set of styles that can be applied across a range of circumstances.

Current Version: 0.60
Started: December 2021
Last Update: February 2022

This typeface is free and open source.

Github Repository ↗
Regular
abandoned railway explored on railbike (DIY)
Take that with a grain of salt.
Coastal areas and Lagoons
This was the end of a policy that had been effective since 1931
The People’s Bank of Milan was the first, started by Signor Luzzati, in 1866.
who?
antitheistic bent
dictum
Debt: The First 5,000 Years (David Graeber)
splelling beee
The Atmosphere of Mistrust
punktlichkeit
Communal land ownership
Magazine Launch
$56.10 (40% off sale)
Warning – to avoid danger of suffocation, keep this bag away from babies and children.
Ricinus Cmmunis (Castor Oil), Isopropyl myristate, Hydrogenated Castor Oil, Polyamide-8 (Pine Resin), Flavour, Silica, Cannabis Sativa Seed oil, Stevia Rebaudiana Leaf/Stem Powder, Tocopherol
injection mold
RIP
Unit
P.O.BOX 852
Barber
tonal tendencies
Neutrino
Italic
Internet archives and socialism
Image Quantisation/Dithering
white elephant
Anti-school and self-learning
mindlessness as self care
Last Deployed on: Sep 12, 2022 1:46:26 PM
A steady state amplitude remains constant during time, thus is represented by a scalar.
wandering, lost in thought
does-not-equal
Wettin-Löbejün
A4 Document Wallet
Tatum, Travis (2005). “Reflections on Black Marxism”. Race & Class. 47 (2): 71–76.
Muscle relaxant
Positron
1312
LITHIUM ION BATTERY
All Cats Are Beautiful
What Is Crime?
Communal land ownership
RP 3100AW
Bog
Henceforth, debasement became a moral issue.
Constitution Amendment (No. 9) Act 1980-1981
diaspora
Bold
Wednesday Morning 3am
Beans and 2 veg
BCC’d
less than a nanosecond of jitter can reduce the effective bit resolution of a converter with a Nyquist frequency of 22 kHz to 14 bits.
tonal tendencies
Glossary of Terms
grey marle drapes
The NonCommercial (“NC”) element is found in three of the six CC licenses: BY-NC, BY-NC-SA, and BY-NC-ND.
The anti-global
bike paths
PUR bookbinding glue
Elder
Emma Goldman, 1906, ‘The Child and its Enemies’
Endgrain
501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation
freezing, icy, frigid.
(29-across)
aluminium pressure die cast
A book this size is unusual nowadays. It was certainly not my initial plan.
Muscle relaxant
Becoming class-conscious
2019
Rose
Gut
Bold Italic
Replace the cap after use. Carry your pen upright.
does-not-equal
Housing is a human right
A4 Document Wallet
Ewan
Coastal areas and Lagoons
Provisional Baptism
that’s vaguely plausible
Post Office Use only: Scan barcode, no payment required.
invincible
Take that with a grain of salt.
antitheistic bent
What Is Crime?
ACAB
RP 3100AW
omniglot
Ibid.
W.E.B. Du Bois (1868–1963)
Kinetic Publishing
maddening
Unit
Tatum, Travis (2005). “Reflections on Black Marxism”. Race & Class. 47 (2): 71–76.
Oddity
Becoming class-conscious
Black
Subsurface scattering
76mm
Potato & Leek
Times Competition Cryptic
Interest must also be avoided because it is pure capitalism
PUR bookbinding glue
freezing, icy, frigid.
$56.10 (40% off sale)
You are free to choose your own pathology provider.
Take that with a grain of salt.
Housing is a human right
The NonCommercial (“NC”) element is found in three of the six CC licenses: BY-NC, BY-NC-SA, and BY-NC-ND.
Oddity
The Whole Exegesis Looks Wrong
Sari
mansplained
glamorous
Fry
This was the end of a policy that had been effective since 1931
Accidents happen!
Last Deployed on: Sep 12, 2022 1:46:26 PM
90gsm yellow envelope – C5
Unit
2 Quid
Narrow Black
oat milk
Enduring boundlessness
Henceforth, debasement became a moral issue.
(pregnant pause)
Replace the cap after use. Carry your pen upright.
The anti-global
truculence
Funk
vermillion
501(c)(3) not-for-profit corporation
DELIVERY INSTRUCTIONS
ACAB
Fry
Coburg 3056
white elephant
The People’s Bank of Milan was the first, started by Signor Luzzati, in 1866.
energetic gardens
Face Cleanser
RP 3100AW
A book this size is unusual nowadays. It was certainly not my initial plan.
abandoned railway explored on railbike (DIY)
Ida
does-not-equal
Warning – to avoid danger of suffocation, keep this bag away from babies and children.
Regular 16px

In the temperate and tropical regions where it appears that hominids evolved into human beings, the principal food of the species was vegetable. Sixty-five to eighty percent of what human beings ate in those regions in Paleolithic, Neolithic, and prehistoric times was gathered; only in the extreme Arctic was meat the staple food. The mammoth hunters spectacularly occupy the cave wall and the mind, but what we actually did to stay alive and fat was gather seeds, roots, sprouts, shoots, leaves, nuts, berries, fruits, and grains, adding bugs and mollusks and netting or snaring birds, fish, rats, rabbits, and other tuskless small fry to up the protein. And we didn’t even work hard at it — much less hard than peasants slaving in somebody else’s field after agriculture was invented, much less hard than paid workers since civilization was invented. The average prehistoric person could make a nice living in about a fifteen-hour work week.

Fifteen hours a week for subsistence leaves a lot of time for other things. So much time that maybe the restless ones who didn’t have a baby around to enliven their life, or skill in making or cooking or singing, or very interesting thoughts to think, decided to slope off and hunt mammoths. The skillful hunters would come staggering back with a load of meat, a lot of ivory, and a story. It wasn’t the meat that made the difference. It was the story.

It is hard to tell a really gripping tale of how I wrestled a wild-oat seed from its husk, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then I scratched my gnat bites, and Ool said something funny, and we went to the creek and got a drink and watched newts for a while, and then I found another patch of oats.... No, it does not compare, it cannot compete with how I thrust my spear deep into the titanic hairy flank while Oob, impaled on one huge sweeping tusk, writhed screaming, and blood sprouted everywhere in crimson torrents, and Boob was crushed to jelly when the mammoth fell on him as I shot my unerring arrow straight through eye to brain.

That story not only has Action, it has a Hero. Heroes are powerful. Before you know it, the men and women in the wild-oat patch and their kids and the skills of makers and the thoughts of the thoughtful and the songs of the singers are all part of it, have all been pressed into service in the tale of the Hero. But it isn’t their story. It’s his.

When she was planning the book that ended up as Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf wrote a heading in her notebook, “Glossary”; she had thought of reinventing English according to her new plan, in order to tell a different story. One of the entries in this glossary is heroism, defined as “botulism.” And hero, in Woolf’s dictionary, is “bottle.” The hero as bottle, a stringent reevaluation. I now propose the bottle as hero.

Not just the bottle of gin or wine, but bottle in its older sense of container in general, a thing that holds something else.

If you haven’t got something to put it in, food will escape you — even something as uncombative and unresourceful as an oat. You put as many as you can into your stomach while they are handy, that being the primary container; but what about tomorrow morning when you wake up and it’s cold and raining and wouldn’t it be good to have just a few handfuls of oats to chew on and give little Oom to make her shut up, but how do you get more than one stomachful and one handful home? So you get up and go to the damned soggy oat patch in the rain, and wouldn’t it be a good thing if you had something to put Baby Oo Oo in so that you could pick the oats with both hands? A leaf a gourd shell a net a bag a sling a sack a bottle a pot a box a container. A holder. A recipient.

The first cultural device was probably a recipient.... Many theorizers feel that the earliest cultural inventions must have been a container to hold gathered products and some kind of sling or net carrier.

So says Elizabeth Fisher in Women’s Creation (McGraw-Hill, 1975). But no, this cannot be. Where is that wonderful, big, long, hard thing, a bone, I believe, that the Ape Man first bashed somebody in the movie and then, grunting with ecstasy at having achieved the first proper murder, flung up into the sky, and whirling there it became a space ship thrusting its way into the cosmos to fertilize it and produce at the end of the movie a lovely fetus, a boy of course, drifting around the Milky Way without (oddly enough) any womb, any matrix at all? I don’t know. I don’t even care. I’m not telling that story. We’ve heard it, we’ve all heard about all the sticks and spears and swords, the things to bash and poke and hit with, the long, hard things, but we have not heard about the thing to put things in, the container for the thing contained. That is a new story. That is news.

In the temperate and tropical regions where it appears that hominids evolved into human beings, the principal food of the species was vegetable. Sixty-five to eighty percent of what human beings ate in those regions in Paleolithic, Neolithic, and prehistoric times was gathered; only in the extreme Arctic was meat the staple food. The mammoth hunters spectacularly occupy the cave wall and the mind, but what we actually did to stay alive and fat was gather seeds, roots, sprouts, shoots, leaves, nuts, berries, fruits, and grains, adding bugs and mollusks and netting or snaring birds, fish, rats, rabbits, and other tuskless small fry to up the protein. And we didn’t even work hard at it — much less hard than peasants slaving in somebody else’s field after agriculture was invented, much less hard than paid workers since civilization was invented. The average prehistoric person could make a nice living in about a fifteen-hour work week.

Fifteen hours a week for subsistence leaves a lot of time for other things. So much time that maybe the restless ones who didn’t have a baby around to enliven their life, or skill in making or cooking or singing, or very interesting thoughts to think, decided to slope off and hunt mammoths. The skillful hunters would come staggering back with a load of meat, a lot of ivory, and a story. It wasn’t the meat that made the difference. It was the story.

It is hard to tell a really gripping tale of how I wrestled a wild-oat seed from its husk, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then I scratched my gnat bites, and Ool said something funny, and we went to the creek and got a drink and watched newts for a while, and then I found another patch of oats.... No, it does not compare, it cannot compete with how I thrust my spear deep into the titanic hairy flank while Oob, impaled on one huge sweeping tusk, writhed screaming, and blood sprouted everywhere in crimson torrents, and Boob was crushed to jelly when the mammoth fell on him as I shot my unerring arrow straight through eye to brain.

That story not only has Action, it has a Hero. Heroes are powerful. Before you know it, the men and women in the wild-oat patch and their kids and the skills of makers and the thoughts of the thoughtful and the songs of the singers are all part of it, have all been pressed into service in the tale of the Hero. But it isn’t their story. It’s his.

When she was planning the book that ended up as Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf wrote a heading in her notebook, “Glossary”; she had thought of reinventing English according to her new plan, in order to tell a different story. One of the entries in this glossary is heroism, defined as “botulism.” And hero, in Woolf’s dictionary, is “bottle.” The hero as bottle, a stringent reevaluation. I now propose the bottle as hero.

Not just the bottle of gin or wine, but bottle in its older sense of container in general, a thing that holds something else.

If you haven’t got something to put it in, food will escape you — even something as uncombative and unresourceful as an oat. You put as many as you can into your stomach while they are handy, that being the primary container; but what about tomorrow morning when you wake up and it’s cold and raining and wouldn’t it be good to have just a few handfuls of oats to chew on and give little Oom to make her shut up, but how do you get more than one stomachful and one handful home? So you get up and go to the damned soggy oat patch in the rain, and wouldn’t it be a good thing if you had something to put Baby Oo Oo in so that you could pick the oats with both hands? A leaf a gourd shell a net a bag a sling a sack a bottle a pot a box a container. A holder. A recipient.

The first cultural device was probably a recipient.... Many theorizers feel that the earliest cultural inventions must have been a container to hold gathered products and some kind of sling or net carrier.

So says Elizabeth Fisher in Women’s Creation (McGraw-Hill, 1975). But no, this cannot be. Where is that wonderful, big, long, hard thing, a bone, I believe, that the Ape Man first bashed somebody in the movie and then, grunting with ecstasy at having achieved the first proper murder, flung up into the sky, and whirling there it became a space ship thrusting its way into the cosmos to fertilize it and produce at the end of the movie a lovely fetus, a boy of course, drifting around the Milky Way without (oddly enough) any womb, any matrix at all? I don’t know. I don’t even care. I’m not telling that story. We’ve heard it, we’ve all heard about all the sticks and spears and swords, the things to bash and poke and hit with, the long, hard things, but we have not heard about the thing to put things in, the container for the thing contained. That is a new story. That is news.

In the temperate and tropical regions where it appears that hominids evolved into human beings, the principal food of the species was vegetable. Sixty-five to eighty percent of what human beings ate in those regions in Paleolithic, Neolithic, and prehistoric times was gathered; only in the extreme Arctic was meat the staple food. The mammoth hunters spectacularly occupy the cave wall and the mind, but what we actually did to stay alive and fat was gather seeds, roots, sprouts, shoots, leaves, nuts, berries, fruits, and grains, adding bugs and mollusks and netting or snaring birds, fish, rats, rabbits, and other tuskless small fry to up the protein. And we didn’t even work hard at it — much less hard than peasants slaving in somebody else’s field after agriculture was invented, much less hard than paid workers since civilization was invented. The average prehistoric person could make a nice living in about a fifteen-hour work week.

Fifteen hours a week for subsistence leaves a lot of time for other things. So much time that maybe the restless ones who didn’t have a baby around to enliven their life, or skill in making or cooking or singing, or very interesting thoughts to think, decided to slope off and hunt mammoths. The skillful hunters would come staggering back with a load of meat, a lot of ivory, and a story. It wasn’t the meat that made the difference. It was the story.

It is hard to tell a really gripping tale of how I wrestled a wild-oat seed from its husk, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then I scratched my gnat bites, and Ool said something funny, and we went to the creek and got a drink and watched newts for a while, and then I found another patch of oats.... No, it does not compare, it cannot compete with how I thrust my spear deep into the titanic hairy flank while Oob, impaled on one huge sweeping tusk, writhed screaming, and blood sprouted everywhere in crimson torrents, and Boob was crushed to jelly when the mammoth fell on him as I shot my unerring arrow straight through eye to brain.

That story not only has Action, it has a Hero. Heroes are powerful. Before you know it, the men and women in the wild-oat patch and their kids and the skills of makers and the thoughts of the thoughtful and the songs of the singers are all part of it, have all been pressed into service in the tale of the Hero. But it isn’t their story. It’s his.

When she was planning the book that ended up as Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf wrote a heading in her notebook, “Glossary”; she had thought of reinventing English according to her new plan, in order to tell a different story. One of the entries in this glossary is heroism, defined as “botulism.” And hero, in Woolf’s dictionary, is “bottle.” The hero as bottle, a stringent reevaluation. I now propose the bottle as hero.

Not just the bottle of gin or wine, but bottle in its older sense of container in general, a thing that holds something else.

If you haven’t got something to put it in, food will escape you — even something as uncombative and unresourceful as an oat. You put as many as you can into your stomach while they are handy, that being the primary container; but what about tomorrow morning when you wake up and it’s cold and raining and wouldn’t it be good to have just a few handfuls of oats to chew on and give little Oom to make her shut up, but how do you get more than one stomachful and one handful home? So you get up and go to the damned soggy oat patch in the rain, and wouldn’t it be a good thing if you had something to put Baby Oo Oo in so that you could pick the oats with both hands? A leaf a gourd shell a net a bag a sling a sack a bottle a pot a box a container. A holder. A recipient.

The first cultural device was probably a recipient.... Many theorizers feel that the earliest cultural inventions must have been a container to hold gathered products and some kind of sling or net carrier.

So says Elizabeth Fisher in Women’s Creation (McGraw-Hill, 1975). But no, this cannot be. Where is that wonderful, big, long, hard thing, a bone, I believe, that the Ape Man first bashed somebody in the movie and then, grunting with ecstasy at having achieved the first proper murder, flung up into the sky, and whirling there it became a space ship thrusting its way into the cosmos to fertilize it and produce at the end of the movie a lovely fetus, a boy of course, drifting around the Milky Way without (oddly enough) any womb, any matrix at all? I don’t know. I don’t even care. I’m not telling that story. We’ve heard it, we’ve all heard about all the sticks and spears and swords, the things to bash and poke and hit with, the long, hard things, but we have not heard about the thing to put things in, the container for the thing contained. That is a new story. That is news.

In the temperate and tropical regions where it appears that hominids evolved into human beings, the principal food of the species was vegetable. Sixty-five to eighty percent of what human beings ate in those regions in Paleolithic, Neolithic, and prehistoric times was gathered; only in the extreme Arctic was meat the staple food. The mammoth hunters spectacularly occupy the cave wall and the mind, but what we actually did to stay alive and fat was gather seeds, roots, sprouts, shoots, leaves, nuts, berries, fruits, and grains, adding bugs and mollusks and netting or snaring birds, fish, rats, rabbits, and other tuskless small fry to up the protein. And we didn’t even work hard at it — much less hard than peasants slaving in somebody else’s field after agriculture was invented, much less hard than paid workers since civilization was invented. The average prehistoric person could make a nice living in about a fifteen-hour work week.

Fifteen hours a week for subsistence leaves a lot of time for other things. So much time that maybe the restless ones who didn’t have a baby around to enliven their life, or skill in making or cooking or singing, or very interesting thoughts to think, decided to slope off and hunt mammoths. The skillful hunters would come staggering back with a load of meat, a lot of ivory, and a story. It wasn’t the meat that made the difference. It was the story.

It is hard to tell a really gripping tale of how I wrestled a wild-oat seed from its husk, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then I scratched my gnat bites, and Ool said something funny, and we went to the creek and got a drink and watched newts for a while, and then I found another patch of oats.... No, it does not compare, it cannot compete with how I thrust my spear deep into the titanic hairy flank while Oob, impaled on one huge sweeping tusk, writhed screaming, and blood sprouted everywhere in crimson torrents, and Boob was crushed to jelly when the mammoth fell on him as I shot my unerring arrow straight through eye to brain.

That story not only has Action, it has a Hero. Heroes are powerful. Before you know it, the men and women in the wild-oat patch and their kids and the skills of makers and the thoughts of the thoughtful and the songs of the singers are all part of it, have all been pressed into service in the tale of the Hero. But it isn’t their story. It’s his.

When she was planning the book that ended up as Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf wrote a heading in her notebook, “Glossary”; she had thought of reinventing English according to her new plan, in order to tell a different story. One of the entries in this glossary is heroism, defined as “botulism.” And hero, in Woolf’s dictionary, is “bottle.” The hero as bottle, a stringent reevaluation. I now propose the bottle as hero.

Not just the bottle of gin or wine, but bottle in its older sense of container in general, a thing that holds something else.

If you haven’t got something to put it in, food will escape you — even something as uncombative and unresourceful as an oat. You put as many as you can into your stomach while they are handy, that being the primary container; but what about tomorrow morning when you wake up and it’s cold and raining and wouldn’t it be good to have just a few handfuls of oats to chew on and give little Oom to make her shut up, but how do you get more than one stomachful and one handful home? So you get up and go to the damned soggy oat patch in the rain, and wouldn’t it be a good thing if you had something to put Baby Oo Oo in so that you could pick the oats with both hands? A leaf a gourd shell a net a bag a sling a sack a bottle a pot a box a container. A holder. A recipient.

The first cultural device was probably a recipient.... Many theorizers feel that the earliest cultural inventions must have been a container to hold gathered products and some kind of sling or net carrier.

So says Elizabeth Fisher in Women’s Creation (McGraw-Hill, 1975). But no, this cannot be. Where is that wonderful, big, long, hard thing, a bone, I believe, that the Ape Man first bashed somebody in the movie and then, grunting with ecstasy at having achieved the first proper murder, flung up into the sky, and whirling there it became a space ship thrusting its way into the cosmos to fertilize it and produce at the end of the movie a lovely fetus, a boy of course, drifting around the Milky Way without (oddly enough) any womb, any matrix at all? I don’t know. I don’t even care. I’m not telling that story. We’ve heard it, we’ve all heard about all the sticks and spears and swords, the things to bash and poke and hit with, the long, hard things, but we have not heard about the thing to put things in, the container for the thing contained. That is a new story. That is news.

In the temperate and tropical regions where it appears that hominids evolved into human beings, the principal food of the species was vegetable. Sixty-five to eighty percent of what human beings ate in those regions in Paleolithic, Neolithic, and prehistoric times was gathered; only in the extreme Arctic was meat the staple food. The mammoth hunters spectacularly occupy the cave wall and the mind, but what we actually did to stay alive and fat was gather seeds, roots, sprouts, shoots, leaves, nuts, berries, fruits, and grains, adding bugs and mollusks and netting or snaring birds, fish, rats, rabbits, and other tuskless small fry to up the protein. And we didn’t even work hard at it — much less hard than peasants slaving in somebody else’s field after agriculture was invented, much less hard than paid workers since civilization was invented. The average prehistoric person could make a nice living in about a fifteen-hour work week.

Fifteen hours a week for subsistence leaves a lot of time for other things. So much time that maybe the restless ones who didn’t have a baby around to enliven their life, or skill in making or cooking or singing, or very interesting thoughts to think, decided to slope off and hunt mammoths. The skillful hunters would come staggering back with a load of meat, a lot of ivory, and a story. It wasn’t the meat that made the difference. It was the story.

It is hard to tell a really gripping tale of how I wrestled a wild-oat seed from its husk, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then I scratched my gnat bites, and Ool said something funny, and we went to the creek and got a drink and watched newts for a while, and then I found another patch of oats.... No, it does not compare, it cannot compete with how I thrust my spear deep into the titanic hairy flank while Oob, impaled on one huge sweeping tusk, writhed screaming, and blood sprouted everywhere in crimson torrents, and Boob was crushed to jelly when the mammoth fell on him as I shot my unerring arrow straight through eye to brain.

That story not only has Action, it has a Hero. Heroes are powerful. Before you know it, the men and women in the wild-oat patch and their kids and the skills of makers and the thoughts of the thoughtful and the songs of the singers are all part of it, have all been pressed into service in the tale of the Hero. But it isn’t their story. It’s his.

When she was planning the book that ended up as Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf wrote a heading in her notebook, “Glossary”; she had thought of reinventing English according to her new plan, in order to tell a different story. One of the entries in this glossary is heroism, defined as “botulism.” And hero, in Woolf’s dictionary, is “bottle.” The hero as bottle, a stringent reevaluation. I now propose the bottle as hero.

Not just the bottle of gin or wine, but bottle in its older sense of container in general, a thing that holds something else.

If you haven’t got something to put it in, food will escape you — even something as uncombative and unresourceful as an oat. You put as many as you can into your stomach while they are handy, that being the primary container; but what about tomorrow morning when you wake up and it’s cold and raining and wouldn’t it be good to have just a few handfuls of oats to chew on and give little Oom to make her shut up, but how do you get more than one stomachful and one handful home? So you get up and go to the damned soggy oat patch in the rain, and wouldn’t it be a good thing if you had something to put Baby Oo Oo in so that you could pick the oats with both hands? A leaf a gourd shell a net a bag a sling a sack a bottle a pot a box a container. A holder. A recipient.

The first cultural device was probably a recipient.... Many theorizers feel that the earliest cultural inventions must have been a container to hold gathered products and some kind of sling or net carrier.

So says Elizabeth Fisher in Women’s Creation (McGraw-Hill, 1975). But no, this cannot be. Where is that wonderful, big, long, hard thing, a bone, I believe, that the Ape Man first bashed somebody in the movie and then, grunting with ecstasy at having achieved the first proper murder, flung up into the sky, and whirling there it became a space ship thrusting its way into the cosmos to fertilize it and produce at the end of the movie a lovely fetus, a boy of course, drifting around the Milky Way without (oddly enough) any womb, any matrix at all? I don’t know. I don’t even care. I’m not telling that story. We’ve heard it, we’ve all heard about all the sticks and spears and swords, the things to bash and poke and hit with, the long, hard things, but we have not heard about the thing to put things in, the container for the thing contained. That is a new story. That is news.

In the temperate and tropical regions where it appears that hominids evolved into human beings, the principal food of the species was vegetable. Sixty-five to eighty percent of what human beings ate in those regions in Paleolithic, Neolithic, and prehistoric times was gathered; only in the extreme Arctic was meat the staple food. The mammoth hunters spectacularly occupy the cave wall and the mind, but what we actually did to stay alive and fat was gather seeds, roots, sprouts, shoots, leaves, nuts, berries, fruits, and grains, adding bugs and mollusks and netting or snaring birds, fish, rats, rabbits, and other tuskless small fry to up the protein. And we didn’t even work hard at it — much less hard than peasants slaving in somebody else’s field after agriculture was invented, much less hard than paid workers since civilization was invented. The average prehistoric person could make a nice living in about a fifteen-hour work week.

Fifteen hours a week for subsistence leaves a lot of time for other things. So much time that maybe the restless ones who didn’t have a baby around to enliven their life, or skill in making or cooking or singing, or very interesting thoughts to think, decided to slope off and hunt mammoths. The skillful hunters would come staggering back with a load of meat, a lot of ivory, and a story. It wasn’t the meat that made the difference. It was the story.

It is hard to tell a really gripping tale of how I wrestled a wild-oat seed from its husk, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then I scratched my gnat bites, and Ool said something funny, and we went to the creek and got a drink and watched newts for a while, and then I found another patch of oats.... No, it does not compare, it cannot compete with how I thrust my spear deep into the titanic hairy flank while Oob, impaled on one huge sweeping tusk, writhed screaming, and blood sprouted everywhere in crimson torrents, and Boob was crushed to jelly when the mammoth fell on him as I shot my unerring arrow straight through eye to brain.

That story not only has Action, it has a Hero. Heroes are powerful. Before you know it, the men and women in the wild-oat patch and their kids and the skills of makers and the thoughts of the thoughtful and the songs of the singers are all part of it, have all been pressed into service in the tale of the Hero. But it isn’t their story. It’s his.

When she was planning the book that ended up as Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf wrote a heading in her notebook, “Glossary”; she had thought of reinventing English according to her new plan, in order to tell a different story. One of the entries in this glossary is heroism, defined as “botulism.” And hero, in Woolf’s dictionary, is “bottle.” The hero as bottle, a stringent reevaluation. I now propose the bottle as hero.

Not just the bottle of gin or wine, but bottle in its older sense of container in general, a thing that holds something else.

If you haven’t got something to put it in, food will escape you — even something as uncombative and unresourceful as an oat. You put as many as you can into your stomach while they are handy, that being the primary container; but what about tomorrow morning when you wake up and it’s cold and raining and wouldn’t it be good to have just a few handfuls of oats to chew on and give little Oom to make her shut up, but how do you get more than one stomachful and one handful home? So you get up and go to the damned soggy oat patch in the rain, and wouldn’t it be a good thing if you had something to put Baby Oo Oo in so that you could pick the oats with both hands? A leaf a gourd shell a net a bag a sling a sack a bottle a pot a box a container. A holder. A recipient.

The first cultural device was probably a recipient.... Many theorizers feel that the earliest cultural inventions must have been a container to hold gathered products and some kind of sling or net carrier.

So says Elizabeth Fisher in Women’s Creation (McGraw-Hill, 1975). But no, this cannot be. Where is that wonderful, big, long, hard thing, a bone, I believe, that the Ape Man first bashed somebody in the movie and then, grunting with ecstasy at having achieved the first proper murder, flung up into the sky, and whirling there it became a space ship thrusting its way into the cosmos to fertilize it and produce at the end of the movie a lovely fetus, a boy of course, drifting around the Milky Way without (oddly enough) any womb, any matrix at all? I don’t know. I don’t even care. I’m not telling that story. We’ve heard it, we’ve all heard about all the sticks and spears and swords, the things to bash and poke and hit with, the long, hard things, but we have not heard about the thing to put things in, the container for the thing contained. That is a new story. That is news.

In the temperate and tropical regions where it appears that hominids evolved into human beings, the principal food of the species was vegetable. Sixty-five to eighty percent of what human beings ate in those regions in Paleolithic, Neolithic, and prehistoric times was gathered; only in the extreme Arctic was meat the staple food. The mammoth hunters spectacularly occupy the cave wall and the mind, but what we actually did to stay alive and fat was gather seeds, roots, sprouts, shoots, leaves, nuts, berries, fruits, and grains, adding bugs and mollusks and netting or snaring birds, fish, rats, rabbits, and other tuskless small fry to up the protein. And we didn’t even work hard at it — much less hard than peasants slaving in somebody else’s field after agriculture was invented, much less hard than paid workers since civilization was invented. The average prehistoric person could make a nice living in about a fifteen-hour work week.

Fifteen hours a week for subsistence leaves a lot of time for other things. So much time that maybe the restless ones who didn’t have a baby around to enliven their life, or skill in making or cooking or singing, or very interesting thoughts to think, decided to slope off and hunt mammoths. The skillful hunters would come staggering back with a load of meat, a lot of ivory, and a story. It wasn’t the meat that made the difference. It was the story.

It is hard to tell a really gripping tale of how I wrestled a wild-oat seed from its husk, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then I scratched my gnat bites, and Ool said something funny, and we went to the creek and got a drink and watched newts for a while, and then I found another patch of oats.... No, it does not compare, it cannot compete with how I thrust my spear deep into the titanic hairy flank while Oob, impaled on one huge sweeping tusk, writhed screaming, and blood sprouted everywhere in crimson torrents, and Boob was crushed to jelly when the mammoth fell on him as I shot my unerring arrow straight through eye to brain.

That story not only has Action, it has a Hero. Heroes are powerful. Before you know it, the men and women in the wild-oat patch and their kids and the skills of makers and the thoughts of the thoughtful and the songs of the singers are all part of it, have all been pressed into service in the tale of the Hero. But it isn’t their story. It’s his.

When she was planning the book that ended up as Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf wrote a heading in her notebook, “Glossary”; she had thought of reinventing English according to her new plan, in order to tell a different story. One of the entries in this glossary is heroism, defined as “botulism.” And hero, in Woolf’s dictionary, is “bottle.” The hero as bottle, a stringent reevaluation. I now propose the bottle as hero.

Not just the bottle of gin or wine, but bottle in its older sense of container in general, a thing that holds something else.

If you haven’t got something to put it in, food will escape you — even something as uncombative and unresourceful as an oat. You put as many as you can into your stomach while they are handy, that being the primary container; but what about tomorrow morning when you wake up and it’s cold and raining and wouldn’t it be good to have just a few handfuls of oats to chew on and give little Oom to make her shut up, but how do you get more than one stomachful and one handful home? So you get up and go to the damned soggy oat patch in the rain, and wouldn’t it be a good thing if you had something to put Baby Oo Oo in so that you could pick the oats with both hands? A leaf a gourd shell a net a bag a sling a sack a bottle a pot a box a container. A holder. A recipient.

The first cultural device was probably a recipient.... Many theorizers feel that the earliest cultural inventions must have been a container to hold gathered products and some kind of sling or net carrier.

So says Elizabeth Fisher in Women’s Creation (McGraw-Hill, 1975). But no, this cannot be. Where is that wonderful, big, long, hard thing, a bone, I believe, that the Ape Man first bashed somebody in the movie and then, grunting with ecstasy at having achieved the first proper murder, flung up into the sky, and whirling there it became a space ship thrusting its way into the cosmos to fertilize it and produce at the end of the movie a lovely fetus, a boy of course, drifting around the Milky Way without (oddly enough) any womb, any matrix at all? I don’t know. I don’t even care. I’m not telling that story. We’ve heard it, we’ve all heard about all the sticks and spears and swords, the things to bash and poke and hit with, the long, hard things, but we have not heard about the thing to put things in, the container for the thing contained. That is a new story. That is news.

In the temperate and tropical regions where it appears that hominids evolved into human beings, the principal food of the species was vegetable. Sixty-five to eighty percent of what human beings ate in those regions in Paleolithic, Neolithic, and prehistoric times was gathered; only in the extreme Arctic was meat the staple food. The mammoth hunters spectacularly occupy the cave wall and the mind, but what we actually did to stay alive and fat was gather seeds, roots, sprouts, shoots, leaves, nuts, berries, fruits, and grains, adding bugs and mollusks and netting or snaring birds, fish, rats, rabbits, and other tuskless small fry to up the protein. And we didn’t even work hard at it — much less hard than peasants slaving in somebody else’s field after agriculture was invented, much less hard than paid workers since civilization was invented. The average prehistoric person could make a nice living in about a fifteen-hour work week.

Fifteen hours a week for subsistence leaves a lot of time for other things. So much time that maybe the restless ones who didn’t have a baby around to enliven their life, or skill in making or cooking or singing, or very interesting thoughts to think, decided to slope off and hunt mammoths. The skillful hunters would come staggering back with a load of meat, a lot of ivory, and a story. It wasn’t the meat that made the difference. It was the story.

It is hard to tell a really gripping tale of how I wrestled a wild-oat seed from its husk, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then I scratched my gnat bites, and Ool said something funny, and we went to the creek and got a drink and watched newts for a while, and then I found another patch of oats.... No, it does not compare, it cannot compete with how I thrust my spear deep into the titanic hairy flank while Oob, impaled on one huge sweeping tusk, writhed screaming, and blood sprouted everywhere in crimson torrents, and Boob was crushed to jelly when the mammoth fell on him as I shot my unerring arrow straight through eye to brain.

That story not only has Action, it has a Hero. Heroes are powerful. Before you know it, the men and women in the wild-oat patch and their kids and the skills of makers and the thoughts of the thoughtful and the songs of the singers are all part of it, have all been pressed into service in the tale of the Hero. But it isn’t their story. It’s his.

When she was planning the book that ended up as Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf wrote a heading in her notebook, “Glossary”; she had thought of reinventing English according to her new plan, in order to tell a different story. One of the entries in this glossary is heroism, defined as “botulism.” And hero, in Woolf’s dictionary, is “bottle.” The hero as bottle, a stringent reevaluation. I now propose the bottle as hero.

Not just the bottle of gin or wine, but bottle in its older sense of container in general, a thing that holds something else.

If you haven’t got something to put it in, food will escape you — even something as uncombative and unresourceful as an oat. You put as many as you can into your stomach while they are handy, that being the primary container; but what about tomorrow morning when you wake up and it’s cold and raining and wouldn’t it be good to have just a few handfuls of oats to chew on and give little Oom to make her shut up, but how do you get more than one stomachful and one handful home? So you get up and go to the damned soggy oat patch in the rain, and wouldn’t it be a good thing if you had something to put Baby Oo Oo in so that you could pick the oats with both hands? A leaf a gourd shell a net a bag a sling a sack a bottle a pot a box a container. A holder. A recipient.

The first cultural device was probably a recipient.... Many theorizers feel that the earliest cultural inventions must have been a container to hold gathered products and some kind of sling or net carrier.

So says Elizabeth Fisher in Women’s Creation (McGraw-Hill, 1975). But no, this cannot be. Where is that wonderful, big, long, hard thing, a bone, I believe, that the Ape Man first bashed somebody in the movie and then, grunting with ecstasy at having achieved the first proper murder, flung up into the sky, and whirling there it became a space ship thrusting its way into the cosmos to fertilize it and produce at the end of the movie a lovely fetus, a boy of course, drifting around the Milky Way without (oddly enough) any womb, any matrix at all? I don’t know. I don’t even care. I’m not telling that story. We’ve heard it, we’ve all heard about all the sticks and spears and swords, the things to bash and poke and hit with, the long, hard things, but we have not heard about the thing to put things in, the container for the thing contained. That is a new story. That is news.

In the temperate and tropical regions where it appears that hominids evolved into human beings, the principal food of the species was vegetable. Sixty-five to eighty percent of what human beings ate in those regions in Paleolithic, Neolithic, and prehistoric times was gathered; only in the extreme Arctic was meat the staple food. The mammoth hunters spectacularly occupy the cave wall and the mind, but what we actually did to stay alive and fat was gather seeds, roots, sprouts, shoots, leaves, nuts, berries, fruits, and grains, adding bugs and mollusks and netting or snaring birds, fish, rats, rabbits, and other tuskless small fry to up the protein. And we didn’t even work hard at it — much less hard than peasants slaving in somebody else’s field after agriculture was invented, much less hard than paid workers since civilization was invented. The average prehistoric person could make a nice living in about a fifteen-hour work week.

Fifteen hours a week for subsistence leaves a lot of time for other things. So much time that maybe the restless ones who didn’t have a baby around to enliven their life, or skill in making or cooking or singing, or very interesting thoughts to think, decided to slope off and hunt mammoths. The skillful hunters would come staggering back with a load of meat, a lot of ivory, and a story. It wasn’t the meat that made the difference. It was the story.

It is hard to tell a really gripping tale of how I wrestled a wild-oat seed from its husk, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then I scratched my gnat bites, and Ool said something funny, and we went to the creek and got a drink and watched newts for a while, and then I found another patch of oats.... No, it does not compare, it cannot compete with how I thrust my spear deep into the titanic hairy flank while Oob, impaled on one huge sweeping tusk, writhed screaming, and blood sprouted everywhere in crimson torrents, and Boob was crushed to jelly when the mammoth fell on him as I shot my unerring arrow straight through eye to brain.

That story not only has Action, it has a Hero. Heroes are powerful. Before you know it, the men and women in the wild-oat patch and their kids and the skills of makers and the thoughts of the thoughtful and the songs of the singers are all part of it, have all been pressed into service in the tale of the Hero. But it isn’t their story. It’s his.

When she was planning the book that ended up as Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf wrote a heading in her notebook, “Glossary”; she had thought of reinventing English according to her new plan, in order to tell a different story. One of the entries in this glossary is heroism, defined as “botulism.” And hero, in Woolf’s dictionary, is “bottle.” The hero as bottle, a stringent reevaluation. I now propose the bottle as hero.

Not just the bottle of gin or wine, but bottle in its older sense of container in general, a thing that holds something else.

If you haven’t got something to put it in, food will escape you — even something as uncombative and unresourceful as an oat. You put as many as you can into your stomach while they are handy, that being the primary container; but what about tomorrow morning when you wake up and it’s cold and raining and wouldn’t it be good to have just a few handfuls of oats to chew on and give little Oom to make her shut up, but how do you get more than one stomachful and one handful home? So you get up and go to the damned soggy oat patch in the rain, and wouldn’t it be a good thing if you had something to put Baby Oo Oo in so that you could pick the oats with both hands? A leaf a gourd shell a net a bag a sling a sack a bottle a pot a box a container. A holder. A recipient.

The first cultural device was probably a recipient.... Many theorizers feel that the earliest cultural inventions must have been a container to hold gathered products and some kind of sling or net carrier.

So says Elizabeth Fisher in Women’s Creation (McGraw-Hill, 1975). But no, this cannot be. Where is that wonderful, big, long, hard thing, a bone, I believe, that the Ape Man first bashed somebody in the movie and then, grunting with ecstasy at having achieved the first proper murder, flung up into the sky, and whirling there it became a space ship thrusting its way into the cosmos to fertilize it and produce at the end of the movie a lovely fetus, a boy of course, drifting around the Milky Way without (oddly enough) any womb, any matrix at all? I don’t know. I don’t even care. I’m not telling that story. We’ve heard it, we’ve all heard about all the sticks and spears and swords, the things to bash and poke and hit with, the long, hard things, but we have not heard about the thing to put things in, the container for the thing contained. That is a new story. That is news.

Italic 16px

No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn’t mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a ludic revolution. By “play” I mean also festivity, creativity, conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. There is more to play than child’s play, as worthy as that is. I call for a collective adventure in generalized joy and freely interdependent exuberance. Play isn’t passive. Doubtless we all need a lot more time for sheer sloth and slack than we ever enjoy now, regardless of income or occupation, but once recovered from employment-induced exhaustion nearly all of us want to act.

The ludic life is totally incompatible with existing reality. So much the worse for “reality,” the gravity hole that sucks the vitality from the little in life that still distinguishes it from mere survival. Curiously — or maybe not — all the old ideologies are conservative because they believe in work. Some of them, like Marxism and most brands of anarchism, believe in work all the more fiercely because they believe in so little else.

Liberals say we should end employment discrimination. I say we should end employment. Conservatives support right-to-work laws. Following Karl Marx’s wayward son-in-law Paul Lafargue I support the right to be lazy. Leftists favor full employment. Like the surrealists — except that I’m not kidding — I favor full unemployment. Trotskyists agitate for permanent revolution. I agitate for permanent revelry. But if all the ideologues (as they do) advocate work — and not only because they plan to make other people do theirs — they are strangely reluctant to say so. They will carry on endlessly about wages, hours, working conditions, exploitation, productivity, profitability. They’ll gladly talk about anything but work itself. These experts who offer to do our thinking for us rarely share their conclusions about work, for all its saliency in the lives of all of us. Among themselves they quibble over the details. Unions and management agree that we ought to sell the time of our lives in exchange for survival, although they haggle over the price. Marxists think we should be bossed by bureaucrats. Libertarians think we should be bossed by businessmen. Feminists don’t care which form bossing takes so long as the bosses are women. Clearly these ideology-mongers have serious differences over how to divvy up the spoils of power. Just as clearly, none of them have any objection to power as such and all of them want to keep us working.

You may be wondering if I’m joking or serious. I’m joking and serious. To be ludic is not to be ludicrous. Play doesn’t have to be frivolous, although frivolity isn’t triviality; very often we ought to take frivolity seriously. I’d like life to be a game — but a game with high stakes. I want to play for keeps.

The alternative to work isn’t just idleness. To be ludic is not to be quaaludic. As much as I treasure the pleasure of torpor, it’s never more rewarding than when it punctuates other pleasures and pastimes. Nor am I promoting the managed time-disciplined safety-valve called “leisure;” far from it. Leisure is nonwork for the sake of work. Leisure is time spent recovering from work and in the frenzied but hopeless attempt to forget about work. Many people return from vacations so beat that they look forward to returning to work so they can rest up. The main difference between work and leisure is that at work at least you get paid for your alienation and enervation.

I am not playing definitional games with anybody. When I say I want to abolish work, I mean just what I say, but I want to say what I mean by defining my terms in non-idiosyncratic ways. My minimum definition of work is forced labor, that is, compulsory production. Both elements are essential. Work is production enforced by economic or political means, by the carrot or the stick. (The carrot is just the stick by other means.) But not all creation is work. Work is never done for its own sake, it’s done on account of some product or output that the worker (or, more often, somebody else) gets out of it. This is what work necessarily is. To define it is to despise it. But work is usually even worse than its definition decrees. The dynamic of domination intrinsic to work tends over time toward elaboration. In advanced work-riddled societies, including all industrial societies whether capitalist or “communist,” work invariably acquires other attributes which accentuate its obnoxiousness.

No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn’t mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a ludic revolution. By “play” I mean also festivity, creativity, conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. There is more to play than child’s play, as worthy as that is. I call for a collective adventure in generalized joy and freely interdependent exuberance. Play isn’t passive. Doubtless we all need a lot more time for sheer sloth and slack than we ever enjoy now, regardless of income or occupation, but once recovered from employment-induced exhaustion nearly all of us want to act.

The ludic life is totally incompatible with existing reality. So much the worse for “reality,” the gravity hole that sucks the vitality from the little in life that still distinguishes it from mere survival. Curiously — or maybe not — all the old ideologies are conservative because they believe in work. Some of them, like Marxism and most brands of anarchism, believe in work all the more fiercely because they believe in so little else.

Liberals say we should end employment discrimination. I say we should end employment. Conservatives support right-to-work laws. Following Karl Marx’s wayward son-in-law Paul Lafargue I support the right to be lazy. Leftists favor full employment. Like the surrealists — except that I’m not kidding — I favor full unemployment. Trotskyists agitate for permanent revolution. I agitate for permanent revelry. But if all the ideologues (as they do) advocate work — and not only because they plan to make other people do theirs — they are strangely reluctant to say so. They will carry on endlessly about wages, hours, working conditions, exploitation, productivity, profitability. They’ll gladly talk about anything but work itself. These experts who offer to do our thinking for us rarely share their conclusions about work, for all its saliency in the lives of all of us. Among themselves they quibble over the details. Unions and management agree that we ought to sell the time of our lives in exchange for survival, although they haggle over the price. Marxists think we should be bossed by bureaucrats. Libertarians think we should be bossed by businessmen. Feminists don’t care which form bossing takes so long as the bosses are women. Clearly these ideology-mongers have serious differences over how to divvy up the spoils of power. Just as clearly, none of them have any objection to power as such and all of them want to keep us working.

You may be wondering if I’m joking or serious. I’m joking and serious. To be ludic is not to be ludicrous. Play doesn’t have to be frivolous, although frivolity isn’t triviality; very often we ought to take frivolity seriously. I’d like life to be a game — but a game with high stakes. I want to play for keeps.

The alternative to work isn’t just idleness. To be ludic is not to be quaaludic. As much as I treasure the pleasure of torpor, it’s never more rewarding than when it punctuates other pleasures and pastimes. Nor am I promoting the managed time-disciplined safety-valve called “leisure;” far from it. Leisure is nonwork for the sake of work. Leisure is time spent recovering from work and in the frenzied but hopeless attempt to forget about work. Many people return from vacations so beat that they look forward to returning to work so they can rest up. The main difference between work and leisure is that at work at least you get paid for your alienation and enervation.

I am not playing definitional games with anybody. When I say I want to abolish work, I mean just what I say, but I want to say what I mean by defining my terms in non-idiosyncratic ways. My minimum definition of work is forced labor, that is, compulsory production. Both elements are essential. Work is production enforced by economic or political means, by the carrot or the stick. (The carrot is just the stick by other means.) But not all creation is work. Work is never done for its own sake, it’s done on account of some product or output that the worker (or, more often, somebody else) gets out of it. This is what work necessarily is. To define it is to despise it. But work is usually even worse than its definition decrees. The dynamic of domination intrinsic to work tends over time toward elaboration. In advanced work-riddled societies, including all industrial societies whether capitalist or “communist,” work invariably acquires other attributes which accentuate its obnoxiousness.

No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn’t mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a ludic revolution. By “play” I mean also festivity, creativity, conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. There is more to play than child’s play, as worthy as that is. I call for a collective adventure in generalized joy and freely interdependent exuberance. Play isn’t passive. Doubtless we all need a lot more time for sheer sloth and slack than we ever enjoy now, regardless of income or occupation, but once recovered from employment-induced exhaustion nearly all of us want to act.

The ludic life is totally incompatible with existing reality. So much the worse for “reality,” the gravity hole that sucks the vitality from the little in life that still distinguishes it from mere survival. Curiously — or maybe not — all the old ideologies are conservative because they believe in work. Some of them, like Marxism and most brands of anarchism, believe in work all the more fiercely because they believe in so little else.

Liberals say we should end employment discrimination. I say we should end employment. Conservatives support right-to-work laws. Following Karl Marx’s wayward son-in-law Paul Lafargue I support the right to be lazy. Leftists favor full employment. Like the surrealists — except that I’m not kidding — I favor full unemployment. Trotskyists agitate for permanent revolution. I agitate for permanent revelry. But if all the ideologues (as they do) advocate work — and not only because they plan to make other people do theirs — they are strangely reluctant to say so. They will carry on endlessly about wages, hours, working conditions, exploitation, productivity, profitability. They’ll gladly talk about anything but work itself. These experts who offer to do our thinking for us rarely share their conclusions about work, for all its saliency in the lives of all of us. Among themselves they quibble over the details. Unions and management agree that we ought to sell the time of our lives in exchange for survival, although they haggle over the price. Marxists think we should be bossed by bureaucrats. Libertarians think we should be bossed by businessmen. Feminists don’t care which form bossing takes so long as the bosses are women. Clearly these ideology-mongers have serious differences over how to divvy up the spoils of power. Just as clearly, none of them have any objection to power as such and all of them want to keep us working.

You may be wondering if I’m joking or serious. I’m joking and serious. To be ludic is not to be ludicrous. Play doesn’t have to be frivolous, although frivolity isn’t triviality; very often we ought to take frivolity seriously. I’d like life to be a game — but a game with high stakes. I want to play for keeps.

The alternative to work isn’t just idleness. To be ludic is not to be quaaludic. As much as I treasure the pleasure of torpor, it’s never more rewarding than when it punctuates other pleasures and pastimes. Nor am I promoting the managed time-disciplined safety-valve called “leisure;” far from it. Leisure is nonwork for the sake of work. Leisure is time spent recovering from work and in the frenzied but hopeless attempt to forget about work. Many people return from vacations so beat that they look forward to returning to work so they can rest up. The main difference between work and leisure is that at work at least you get paid for your alienation and enervation.

I am not playing definitional games with anybody. When I say I want to abolish work, I mean just what I say, but I want to say what I mean by defining my terms in non-idiosyncratic ways. My minimum definition of work is forced labor, that is, compulsory production. Both elements are essential. Work is production enforced by economic or political means, by the carrot or the stick. (The carrot is just the stick by other means.) But not all creation is work. Work is never done for its own sake, it’s done on account of some product or output that the worker (or, more often, somebody else) gets out of it. This is what work necessarily is. To define it is to despise it. But work is usually even worse than its definition decrees. The dynamic of domination intrinsic to work tends over time toward elaboration. In advanced work-riddled societies, including all industrial societies whether capitalist or “communist,” work invariably acquires other attributes which accentuate its obnoxiousness.

No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn’t mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a ludic revolution. By “play” I mean also festivity, creativity, conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. There is more to play than child’s play, as worthy as that is. I call for a collective adventure in generalized joy and freely interdependent exuberance. Play isn’t passive. Doubtless we all need a lot more time for sheer sloth and slack than we ever enjoy now, regardless of income or occupation, but once recovered from employment-induced exhaustion nearly all of us want to act.

The ludic life is totally incompatible with existing reality. So much the worse for “reality,” the gravity hole that sucks the vitality from the little in life that still distinguishes it from mere survival. Curiously — or maybe not — all the old ideologies are conservative because they believe in work. Some of them, like Marxism and most brands of anarchism, believe in work all the more fiercely because they believe in so little else.

Liberals say we should end employment discrimination. I say we should end employment. Conservatives support right-to-work laws. Following Karl Marx’s wayward son-in-law Paul Lafargue I support the right to be lazy. Leftists favor full employment. Like the surrealists — except that I’m not kidding — I favor full unemployment. Trotskyists agitate for permanent revolution. I agitate for permanent revelry. But if all the ideologues (as they do) advocate work — and not only because they plan to make other people do theirs — they are strangely reluctant to say so. They will carry on endlessly about wages, hours, working conditions, exploitation, productivity, profitability. They’ll gladly talk about anything but work itself. These experts who offer to do our thinking for us rarely share their conclusions about work, for all its saliency in the lives of all of us. Among themselves they quibble over the details. Unions and management agree that we ought to sell the time of our lives in exchange for survival, although they haggle over the price. Marxists think we should be bossed by bureaucrats. Libertarians think we should be bossed by businessmen. Feminists don’t care which form bossing takes so long as the bosses are women. Clearly these ideology-mongers have serious differences over how to divvy up the spoils of power. Just as clearly, none of them have any objection to power as such and all of them want to keep us working.

You may be wondering if I’m joking or serious. I’m joking and serious. To be ludic is not to be ludicrous. Play doesn’t have to be frivolous, although frivolity isn’t triviality; very often we ought to take frivolity seriously. I’d like life to be a game — but a game with high stakes. I want to play for keeps.

The alternative to work isn’t just idleness. To be ludic is not to be quaaludic. As much as I treasure the pleasure of torpor, it’s never more rewarding than when it punctuates other pleasures and pastimes. Nor am I promoting the managed time-disciplined safety-valve called “leisure;” far from it. Leisure is nonwork for the sake of work. Leisure is time spent recovering from work and in the frenzied but hopeless attempt to forget about work. Many people return from vacations so beat that they look forward to returning to work so they can rest up. The main difference between work and leisure is that at work at least you get paid for your alienation and enervation.

I am not playing definitional games with anybody. When I say I want to abolish work, I mean just what I say, but I want to say what I mean by defining my terms in non-idiosyncratic ways. My minimum definition of work is forced labor, that is, compulsory production. Both elements are essential. Work is production enforced by economic or political means, by the carrot or the stick. (The carrot is just the stick by other means.) But not all creation is work. Work is never done for its own sake, it’s done on account of some product or output that the worker (or, more often, somebody else) gets out of it. This is what work necessarily is. To define it is to despise it. But work is usually even worse than its definition decrees. The dynamic of domination intrinsic to work tends over time toward elaboration. In advanced work-riddled societies, including all industrial societies whether capitalist or “communist,” work invariably acquires other attributes which accentuate its obnoxiousness.

No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn’t mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a ludic revolution. By “play” I mean also festivity, creativity, conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. There is more to play than child’s play, as worthy as that is. I call for a collective adventure in generalized joy and freely interdependent exuberance. Play isn’t passive. Doubtless we all need a lot more time for sheer sloth and slack than we ever enjoy now, regardless of income or occupation, but once recovered from employment-induced exhaustion nearly all of us want to act.

The ludic life is totally incompatible with existing reality. So much the worse for “reality,” the gravity hole that sucks the vitality from the little in life that still distinguishes it from mere survival. Curiously — or maybe not — all the old ideologies are conservative because they believe in work. Some of them, like Marxism and most brands of anarchism, believe in work all the more fiercely because they believe in so little else.

Liberals say we should end employment discrimination. I say we should end employment. Conservatives support right-to-work laws. Following Karl Marx’s wayward son-in-law Paul Lafargue I support the right to be lazy. Leftists favor full employment. Like the surrealists — except that I’m not kidding — I favor full unemployment. Trotskyists agitate for permanent revolution. I agitate for permanent revelry. But if all the ideologues (as they do) advocate work — and not only because they plan to make other people do theirs — they are strangely reluctant to say so. They will carry on endlessly about wages, hours, working conditions, exploitation, productivity, profitability. They’ll gladly talk about anything but work itself. These experts who offer to do our thinking for us rarely share their conclusions about work, for all its saliency in the lives of all of us. Among themselves they quibble over the details. Unions and management agree that we ought to sell the time of our lives in exchange for survival, although they haggle over the price. Marxists think we should be bossed by bureaucrats. Libertarians think we should be bossed by businessmen. Feminists don’t care which form bossing takes so long as the bosses are women. Clearly these ideology-mongers have serious differences over how to divvy up the spoils of power. Just as clearly, none of them have any objection to power as such and all of them want to keep us working.

You may be wondering if I’m joking or serious. I’m joking and serious. To be ludic is not to be ludicrous. Play doesn’t have to be frivolous, although frivolity isn’t triviality; very often we ought to take frivolity seriously. I’d like life to be a game — but a game with high stakes. I want to play for keeps.

The alternative to work isn’t just idleness. To be ludic is not to be quaaludic. As much as I treasure the pleasure of torpor, it’s never more rewarding than when it punctuates other pleasures and pastimes. Nor am I promoting the managed time-disciplined safety-valve called “leisure;” far from it. Leisure is nonwork for the sake of work. Leisure is time spent recovering from work and in the frenzied but hopeless attempt to forget about work. Many people return from vacations so beat that they look forward to returning to work so they can rest up. The main difference between work and leisure is that at work at least you get paid for your alienation and enervation.

I am not playing definitional games with anybody. When I say I want to abolish work, I mean just what I say, but I want to say what I mean by defining my terms in non-idiosyncratic ways. My minimum definition of work is forced labor, that is, compulsory production. Both elements are essential. Work is production enforced by economic or political means, by the carrot or the stick. (The carrot is just the stick by other means.) But not all creation is work. Work is never done for its own sake, it’s done on account of some product or output that the worker (or, more often, somebody else) gets out of it. This is what work necessarily is. To define it is to despise it. But work is usually even worse than its definition decrees. The dynamic of domination intrinsic to work tends over time toward elaboration. In advanced work-riddled societies, including all industrial societies whether capitalist or “communist,” work invariably acquires other attributes which accentuate its obnoxiousness.

No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn’t mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a ludic revolution. By “play” I mean also festivity, creativity, conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. There is more to play than child’s play, as worthy as that is. I call for a collective adventure in generalized joy and freely interdependent exuberance. Play isn’t passive. Doubtless we all need a lot more time for sheer sloth and slack than we ever enjoy now, regardless of income or occupation, but once recovered from employment-induced exhaustion nearly all of us want to act.

The ludic life is totally incompatible with existing reality. So much the worse for “reality,” the gravity hole that sucks the vitality from the little in life that still distinguishes it from mere survival. Curiously — or maybe not — all the old ideologies are conservative because they believe in work. Some of them, like Marxism and most brands of anarchism, believe in work all the more fiercely because they believe in so little else.

Liberals say we should end employment discrimination. I say we should end employment. Conservatives support right-to-work laws. Following Karl Marx’s wayward son-in-law Paul Lafargue I support the right to be lazy. Leftists favor full employment. Like the surrealists — except that I’m not kidding — I favor full unemployment. Trotskyists agitate for permanent revolution. I agitate for permanent revelry. But if all the ideologues (as they do) advocate work — and not only because they plan to make other people do theirs — they are strangely reluctant to say so. They will carry on endlessly about wages, hours, working conditions, exploitation, productivity, profitability. They’ll gladly talk about anything but work itself. These experts who offer to do our thinking for us rarely share their conclusions about work, for all its saliency in the lives of all of us. Among themselves they quibble over the details. Unions and management agree that we ought to sell the time of our lives in exchange for survival, although they haggle over the price. Marxists think we should be bossed by bureaucrats. Libertarians think we should be bossed by businessmen. Feminists don’t care which form bossing takes so long as the bosses are women. Clearly these ideology-mongers have serious differences over how to divvy up the spoils of power. Just as clearly, none of them have any objection to power as such and all of them want to keep us working.

You may be wondering if I’m joking or serious. I’m joking and serious. To be ludic is not to be ludicrous. Play doesn’t have to be frivolous, although frivolity isn’t triviality; very often we ought to take frivolity seriously. I’d like life to be a game — but a game with high stakes. I want to play for keeps.

The alternative to work isn’t just idleness. To be ludic is not to be quaaludic. As much as I treasure the pleasure of torpor, it’s never more rewarding than when it punctuates other pleasures and pastimes. Nor am I promoting the managed time-disciplined safety-valve called “leisure;” far from it. Leisure is nonwork for the sake of work. Leisure is time spent recovering from work and in the frenzied but hopeless attempt to forget about work. Many people return from vacations so beat that they look forward to returning to work so they can rest up. The main difference between work and leisure is that at work at least you get paid for your alienation and enervation.

I am not playing definitional games with anybody. When I say I want to abolish work, I mean just what I say, but I want to say what I mean by defining my terms in non-idiosyncratic ways. My minimum definition of work is forced labor, that is, compulsory production. Both elements are essential. Work is production enforced by economic or political means, by the carrot or the stick. (The carrot is just the stick by other means.) But not all creation is work. Work is never done for its own sake, it’s done on account of some product or output that the worker (or, more often, somebody else) gets out of it. This is what work necessarily is. To define it is to despise it. But work is usually even worse than its definition decrees. The dynamic of domination intrinsic to work tends over time toward elaboration. In advanced work-riddled societies, including all industrial societies whether capitalist or “communist,” work invariably acquires other attributes which accentuate its obnoxiousness.

No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn’t mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a ludic revolution. By “play” I mean also festivity, creativity, conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. There is more to play than child’s play, as worthy as that is. I call for a collective adventure in generalized joy and freely interdependent exuberance. Play isn’t passive. Doubtless we all need a lot more time for sheer sloth and slack than we ever enjoy now, regardless of income or occupation, but once recovered from employment-induced exhaustion nearly all of us want to act.

The ludic life is totally incompatible with existing reality. So much the worse for “reality,” the gravity hole that sucks the vitality from the little in life that still distinguishes it from mere survival. Curiously — or maybe not — all the old ideologies are conservative because they believe in work. Some of them, like Marxism and most brands of anarchism, believe in work all the more fiercely because they believe in so little else.

Liberals say we should end employment discrimination. I say we should end employment. Conservatives support right-to-work laws. Following Karl Marx’s wayward son-in-law Paul Lafargue I support the right to be lazy. Leftists favor full employment. Like the surrealists — except that I’m not kidding — I favor full unemployment. Trotskyists agitate for permanent revolution. I agitate for permanent revelry. But if all the ideologues (as they do) advocate work — and not only because they plan to make other people do theirs — they are strangely reluctant to say so. They will carry on endlessly about wages, hours, working conditions, exploitation, productivity, profitability. They’ll gladly talk about anything but work itself. These experts who offer to do our thinking for us rarely share their conclusions about work, for all its saliency in the lives of all of us. Among themselves they quibble over the details. Unions and management agree that we ought to sell the time of our lives in exchange for survival, although they haggle over the price. Marxists think we should be bossed by bureaucrats. Libertarians think we should be bossed by businessmen. Feminists don’t care which form bossing takes so long as the bosses are women. Clearly these ideology-mongers have serious differences over how to divvy up the spoils of power. Just as clearly, none of them have any objection to power as such and all of them want to keep us working.

You may be wondering if I’m joking or serious. I’m joking and serious. To be ludic is not to be ludicrous. Play doesn’t have to be frivolous, although frivolity isn’t triviality; very often we ought to take frivolity seriously. I’d like life to be a game — but a game with high stakes. I want to play for keeps.

The alternative to work isn’t just idleness. To be ludic is not to be quaaludic. As much as I treasure the pleasure of torpor, it’s never more rewarding than when it punctuates other pleasures and pastimes. Nor am I promoting the managed time-disciplined safety-valve called “leisure;” far from it. Leisure is nonwork for the sake of work. Leisure is time spent recovering from work and in the frenzied but hopeless attempt to forget about work. Many people return from vacations so beat that they look forward to returning to work so they can rest up. The main difference between work and leisure is that at work at least you get paid for your alienation and enervation.

I am not playing definitional games with anybody. When I say I want to abolish work, I mean just what I say, but I want to say what I mean by defining my terms in non-idiosyncratic ways. My minimum definition of work is forced labor, that is, compulsory production. Both elements are essential. Work is production enforced by economic or political means, by the carrot or the stick. (The carrot is just the stick by other means.) But not all creation is work. Work is never done for its own sake, it’s done on account of some product or output that the worker (or, more often, somebody else) gets out of it. This is what work necessarily is. To define it is to despise it. But work is usually even worse than its definition decrees. The dynamic of domination intrinsic to work tends over time toward elaboration. In advanced work-riddled societies, including all industrial societies whether capitalist or “communist,” work invariably acquires other attributes which accentuate its obnoxiousness.

No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn’t mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a ludic revolution. By “play” I mean also festivity, creativity, conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. There is more to play than child’s play, as worthy as that is. I call for a collective adventure in generalized joy and freely interdependent exuberance. Play isn’t passive. Doubtless we all need a lot more time for sheer sloth and slack than we ever enjoy now, regardless of income or occupation, but once recovered from employment-induced exhaustion nearly all of us want to act.

The ludic life is totally incompatible with existing reality. So much the worse for “reality,” the gravity hole that sucks the vitality from the little in life that still distinguishes it from mere survival. Curiously — or maybe not — all the old ideologies are conservative because they believe in work. Some of them, like Marxism and most brands of anarchism, believe in work all the more fiercely because they believe in so little else.

Liberals say we should end employment discrimination. I say we should end employment. Conservatives support right-to-work laws. Following Karl Marx’s wayward son-in-law Paul Lafargue I support the right to be lazy. Leftists favor full employment. Like the surrealists — except that I’m not kidding — I favor full unemployment. Trotskyists agitate for permanent revolution. I agitate for permanent revelry. But if all the ideologues (as they do) advocate work — and not only because they plan to make other people do theirs — they are strangely reluctant to say so. They will carry on endlessly about wages, hours, working conditions, exploitation, productivity, profitability. They’ll gladly talk about anything but work itself. These experts who offer to do our thinking for us rarely share their conclusions about work, for all its saliency in the lives of all of us. Among themselves they quibble over the details. Unions and management agree that we ought to sell the time of our lives in exchange for survival, although they haggle over the price. Marxists think we should be bossed by bureaucrats. Libertarians think we should be bossed by businessmen. Feminists don’t care which form bossing takes so long as the bosses are women. Clearly these ideology-mongers have serious differences over how to divvy up the spoils of power. Just as clearly, none of them have any objection to power as such and all of them want to keep us working.

You may be wondering if I’m joking or serious. I’m joking and serious. To be ludic is not to be ludicrous. Play doesn’t have to be frivolous, although frivolity isn’t triviality; very often we ought to take frivolity seriously. I’d like life to be a game — but a game with high stakes. I want to play for keeps.

The alternative to work isn’t just idleness. To be ludic is not to be quaaludic. As much as I treasure the pleasure of torpor, it’s never more rewarding than when it punctuates other pleasures and pastimes. Nor am I promoting the managed time-disciplined safety-valve called “leisure;” far from it. Leisure is nonwork for the sake of work. Leisure is time spent recovering from work and in the frenzied but hopeless attempt to forget about work. Many people return from vacations so beat that they look forward to returning to work so they can rest up. The main difference between work and leisure is that at work at least you get paid for your alienation and enervation.

I am not playing definitional games with anybody. When I say I want to abolish work, I mean just what I say, but I want to say what I mean by defining my terms in non-idiosyncratic ways. My minimum definition of work is forced labor, that is, compulsory production. Both elements are essential. Work is production enforced by economic or political means, by the carrot or the stick. (The carrot is just the stick by other means.) But not all creation is work. Work is never done for its own sake, it’s done on account of some product or output that the worker (or, more often, somebody else) gets out of it. This is what work necessarily is. To define it is to despise it. But work is usually even worse than its definition decrees. The dynamic of domination intrinsic to work tends over time toward elaboration. In advanced work-riddled societies, including all industrial societies whether capitalist or “communist,” work invariably acquires other attributes which accentuate its obnoxiousness.

No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn’t mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a ludic revolution. By “play” I mean also festivity, creativity, conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. There is more to play than child’s play, as worthy as that is. I call for a collective adventure in generalized joy and freely interdependent exuberance. Play isn’t passive. Doubtless we all need a lot more time for sheer sloth and slack than we ever enjoy now, regardless of income or occupation, but once recovered from employment-induced exhaustion nearly all of us want to act.

The ludic life is totally incompatible with existing reality. So much the worse for “reality,” the gravity hole that sucks the vitality from the little in life that still distinguishes it from mere survival. Curiously — or maybe not — all the old ideologies are conservative because they believe in work. Some of them, like Marxism and most brands of anarchism, believe in work all the more fiercely because they believe in so little else.

Liberals say we should end employment discrimination. I say we should end employment. Conservatives support right-to-work laws. Following Karl Marx’s wayward son-in-law Paul Lafargue I support the right to be lazy. Leftists favor full employment. Like the surrealists — except that I’m not kidding — I favor full unemployment. Trotskyists agitate for permanent revolution. I agitate for permanent revelry. But if all the ideologues (as they do) advocate work — and not only because they plan to make other people do theirs — they are strangely reluctant to say so. They will carry on endlessly about wages, hours, working conditions, exploitation, productivity, profitability. They’ll gladly talk about anything but work itself. These experts who offer to do our thinking for us rarely share their conclusions about work, for all its saliency in the lives of all of us. Among themselves they quibble over the details. Unions and management agree that we ought to sell the time of our lives in exchange for survival, although they haggle over the price. Marxists think we should be bossed by bureaucrats. Libertarians think we should be bossed by businessmen. Feminists don’t care which form bossing takes so long as the bosses are women. Clearly these ideology-mongers have serious differences over how to divvy up the spoils of power. Just as clearly, none of them have any objection to power as such and all of them want to keep us working.

You may be wondering if I’m joking or serious. I’m joking and serious. To be ludic is not to be ludicrous. Play doesn’t have to be frivolous, although frivolity isn’t triviality; very often we ought to take frivolity seriously. I’d like life to be a game — but a game with high stakes. I want to play for keeps.

The alternative to work isn’t just idleness. To be ludic is not to be quaaludic. As much as I treasure the pleasure of torpor, it’s never more rewarding than when it punctuates other pleasures and pastimes. Nor am I promoting the managed time-disciplined safety-valve called “leisure;” far from it. Leisure is nonwork for the sake of work. Leisure is time spent recovering from work and in the frenzied but hopeless attempt to forget about work. Many people return from vacations so beat that they look forward to returning to work so they can rest up. The main difference between work and leisure is that at work at least you get paid for your alienation and enervation.

I am not playing definitional games with anybody. When I say I want to abolish work, I mean just what I say, but I want to say what I mean by defining my terms in non-idiosyncratic ways. My minimum definition of work is forced labor, that is, compulsory production. Both elements are essential. Work is production enforced by economic or political means, by the carrot or the stick. (The carrot is just the stick by other means.) But not all creation is work. Work is never done for its own sake, it’s done on account of some product or output that the worker (or, more often, somebody else) gets out of it. This is what work necessarily is. To define it is to despise it. But work is usually even worse than its definition decrees. The dynamic of domination intrinsic to work tends over time toward elaboration. In advanced work-riddled societies, including all industrial societies whether capitalist or “communist,” work invariably acquires other attributes which accentuate its obnoxiousness.

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No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn’t mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a ludic revolution. By “play” I mean also festivity, creativity, conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. There is more to play than child’s play, as worthy as that is. I call for a collective adventure in generalized joy and freely interdependent exuberance. Play isn’t passive. Doubtless we all need a lot more time for sheer sloth and slack than we ever enjoy now, regardless of income or occupation, but once recovered from employment-induced exhaustion nearly all of us want to act.

The ludic life is totally incompatible with existing reality. So much the worse for “reality,” the gravity hole that sucks the vitality from the little in life that still distinguishes it from mere survival. Curiously — or maybe not — all the old ideologies are conservative because they believe in work. Some of them, like Marxism and most brands of anarchism, believe in work all the more fiercely because they believe in so little else.

Liberals say we should end employment discrimination. I say we should end employment. Conservatives support right-to-work laws. Following Karl Marx’s wayward son-in-law Paul Lafargue I support the right to be lazy. Leftists favor full employment. Like the surrealists — except that I’m not kidding — I favor full unemployment. Trotskyists agitate for permanent revolution. I agitate for permanent revelry. But if all the ideologues (as they do) advocate work — and not only because they plan to make other people do theirs — they are strangely reluctant to say so. They will carry on endlessly about wages, hours, working conditions, exploitation, productivity, profitability. They’ll gladly talk about anything but work itself. These experts who offer to do our thinking for us rarely share their conclusions about work, for all its saliency in the lives of all of us. Among themselves they quibble over the details. Unions and management agree that we ought to sell the time of our lives in exchange for survival, although they haggle over the price. Marxists think we should be bossed by bureaucrats. Libertarians think we should be bossed by businessmen. Feminists don’t care which form bossing takes so long as the bosses are women. Clearly these ideology-mongers have serious differences over how to divvy up the spoils of power. Just as clearly, none of them have any objection to power as such and all of them want to keep us working.

You may be wondering if I’m joking or serious. I’m joking and serious. To be ludic is not to be ludicrous. Play doesn’t have to be frivolous, although frivolity isn’t triviality; very often we ought to take frivolity seriously. I’d like life to be a game — but a game with high stakes. I want to play for keeps.

The alternative to work isn’t just idleness. To be ludic is not to be quaaludic. As much as I treasure the pleasure of torpor, it’s never more rewarding than when it punctuates other pleasures and pastimes. Nor am I promoting the managed time-disciplined safety-valve called “leisure;” far from it. Leisure is nonwork for the sake of work. Leisure is time spent recovering from work and in the frenzied but hopeless attempt to forget about work. Many people return from vacations so beat that they look forward to returning to work so they can rest up. The main difference between work and leisure is that at work at least you get paid for your alienation and enervation.

I am not playing definitional games with anybody. When I say I want to abolish work, I mean just what I say, but I want to say what I mean by defining my terms in non-idiosyncratic ways. My minimum definition of work is forced labor, that is, compulsory production. Both elements are essential. Work is production enforced by economic or political means, by the carrot or the stick. (The carrot is just the stick by other means.) But not all creation is work. Work is never done for its own sake, it’s done on account of some product or output that the worker (or, more often, somebody else) gets out of it. This is what work necessarily is. To define it is to despise it. But work is usually even worse than its definition decrees. The dynamic of domination intrinsic to work tends over time toward elaboration. In advanced work-riddled societies, including all industrial societies whether capitalist or “communist,” work invariably acquires other attributes which accentuate its obnoxiousness.

No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn’t mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a ludic revolution. By “play” I mean also festivity, creativity, conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. There is more to play than child’s play, as worthy as that is. I call for a collective adventure in generalized joy and freely interdependent exuberance. Play isn’t passive. Doubtless we all need a lot more time for sheer sloth and slack than we ever enjoy now, regardless of income or occupation, but once recovered from employment-induced exhaustion nearly all of us want to act.

The ludic life is totally incompatible with existing reality. So much the worse for “reality,” the gravity hole that sucks the vitality from the little in life that still distinguishes it from mere survival. Curiously — or maybe not — all the old ideologies are conservative because they believe in work. Some of them, like Marxism and most brands of anarchism, believe in work all the more fiercely because they believe in so little else.

Liberals say we should end employment discrimination. I say we should end employment. Conservatives support right-to-work laws. Following Karl Marx’s wayward son-in-law Paul Lafargue I support the right to be lazy. Leftists favor full employment. Like the surrealists — except that I’m not kidding — I favor full unemployment. Trotskyists agitate for permanent revolution. I agitate for permanent revelry. But if all the ideologues (as they do) advocate work — and not only because they plan to make other people do theirs — they are strangely reluctant to say so. They will carry on endlessly about wages, hours, working conditions, exploitation, productivity, profitability. They’ll gladly talk about anything but work itself. These experts who offer to do our thinking for us rarely share their conclusions about work, for all its saliency in the lives of all of us. Among themselves they quibble over the details. Unions and management agree that we ought to sell the time of our lives in exchange for survival, although they haggle over the price. Marxists think we should be bossed by bureaucrats. Libertarians think we should be bossed by businessmen. Feminists don’t care which form bossing takes so long as the bosses are women. Clearly these ideology-mongers have serious differences over how to divvy up the spoils of power. Just as clearly, none of them have any objection to power as such and all of them want to keep us working.

You may be wondering if I’m joking or serious. I’m joking and serious. To be ludic is not to be ludicrous. Play doesn’t have to be frivolous, although frivolity isn’t triviality; very often we ought to take frivolity seriously. I’d like life to be a game — but a game with high stakes. I want to play for keeps.

The alternative to work isn’t just idleness. To be ludic is not to be quaaludic. As much as I treasure the pleasure of torpor, it’s never more rewarding than when it punctuates other pleasures and pastimes. Nor am I promoting the managed time-disciplined safety-valve called “leisure;” far from it. Leisure is nonwork for the sake of work. Leisure is time spent recovering from work and in the frenzied but hopeless attempt to forget about work. Many people return from vacations so beat that they look forward to returning to work so they can rest up. The main difference between work and leisure is that at work at least you get paid for your alienation and enervation.

I am not playing definitional games with anybody. When I say I want to abolish work, I mean just what I say, but I want to say what I mean by defining my terms in non-idiosyncratic ways. My minimum definition of work is forced labor, that is, compulsory production. Both elements are essential. Work is production enforced by economic or political means, by the carrot or the stick. (The carrot is just the stick by other means.) But not all creation is work. Work is never done for its own sake, it’s done on account of some product or output that the worker (or, more often, somebody else) gets out of it. This is what work necessarily is. To define it is to despise it. But work is usually even worse than its definition decrees. The dynamic of domination intrinsic to work tends over time toward elaboration. In advanced work-riddled societies, including all industrial societies whether capitalist or “communist,” work invariably acquires other attributes which accentuate its obnoxiousness.

No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn’t mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a ludic revolution. By “play” I mean also festivity, creativity, conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. There is more to play than child’s play, as worthy as that is. I call for a collective adventure in generalized joy and freely interdependent exuberance. Play isn’t passive. Doubtless we all need a lot more time for sheer sloth and slack than we ever enjoy now, regardless of income or occupation, but once recovered from employment-induced exhaustion nearly all of us want to act.

The ludic life is totally incompatible with existing reality. So much the worse for “reality,” the gravity hole that sucks the vitality from the little in life that still distinguishes it from mere survival. Curiously — or maybe not — all the old ideologies are conservative because they believe in work. Some of them, like Marxism and most brands of anarchism, believe in work all the more fiercely because they believe in so little else.

Liberals say we should end employment discrimination. I say we should end employment. Conservatives support right-to-work laws. Following Karl Marx’s wayward son-in-law Paul Lafargue I support the right to be lazy. Leftists favor full employment. Like the surrealists — except that I’m not kidding — I favor full unemployment. Trotskyists agitate for permanent revolution. I agitate for permanent revelry. But if all the ideologues (as they do) advocate work — and not only because they plan to make other people do theirs — they are strangely reluctant to say so. They will carry on endlessly about wages, hours, working conditions, exploitation, productivity, profitability. They’ll gladly talk about anything but work itself. These experts who offer to do our thinking for us rarely share their conclusions about work, for all its saliency in the lives of all of us. Among themselves they quibble over the details. Unions and management agree that we ought to sell the time of our lives in exchange for survival, although they haggle over the price. Marxists think we should be bossed by bureaucrats. Libertarians think we should be bossed by businessmen. Feminists don’t care which form bossing takes so long as the bosses are women. Clearly these ideology-mongers have serious differences over how to divvy up the spoils of power. Just as clearly, none of them have any objection to power as such and all of them want to keep us working.

You may be wondering if I’m joking or serious. I’m joking and serious. To be ludic is not to be ludicrous. Play doesn’t have to be frivolous, although frivolity isn’t triviality; very often we ought to take frivolity seriously. I’d like life to be a game — but a game with high stakes. I want to play for keeps.

The alternative to work isn’t just idleness. To be ludic is not to be quaaludic. As much as I treasure the pleasure of torpor, it’s never more rewarding than when it punctuates other pleasures and pastimes. Nor am I promoting the managed time-disciplined safety-valve called “leisure;” far from it. Leisure is nonwork for the sake of work. Leisure is time spent recovering from work and in the frenzied but hopeless attempt to forget about work. Many people return from vacations so beat that they look forward to returning to work so they can rest up. The main difference between work and leisure is that at work at least you get paid for your alienation and enervation.

I am not playing definitional games with anybody. When I say I want to abolish work, I mean just what I say, but I want to say what I mean by defining my terms in non-idiosyncratic ways. My minimum definition of work is forced labor, that is, compulsory production. Both elements are essential. Work is production enforced by economic or political means, by the carrot or the stick. (The carrot is just the stick by other means.) But not all creation is work. Work is never done for its own sake, it’s done on account of some product or output that the worker (or, more often, somebody else) gets out of it. This is what work necessarily is. To define it is to despise it. But work is usually even worse than its definition decrees. The dynamic of domination intrinsic to work tends over time toward elaboration. In advanced work-riddled societies, including all industrial societies whether capitalist or “communist,” work invariably acquires other attributes which accentuate its obnoxiousness.

No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn’t mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a ludic revolution. By “play” I mean also festivity, creativity, conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. There is more to play than child’s play, as worthy as that is. I call for a collective adventure in generalized joy and freely interdependent exuberance. Play isn’t passive. Doubtless we all need a lot more time for sheer sloth and slack than we ever enjoy now, regardless of income or occupation, but once recovered from employment-induced exhaustion nearly all of us want to act.

The ludic life is totally incompatible with existing reality. So much the worse for “reality,” the gravity hole that sucks the vitality from the little in life that still distinguishes it from mere survival. Curiously — or maybe not — all the old ideologies are conservative because they believe in work. Some of them, like Marxism and most brands of anarchism, believe in work all the more fiercely because they believe in so little else.

Liberals say we should end employment discrimination. I say we should end employment. Conservatives support right-to-work laws. Following Karl Marx’s wayward son-in-law Paul Lafargue I support the right to be lazy. Leftists favor full employment. Like the surrealists — except that I’m not kidding — I favor full unemployment. Trotskyists agitate for permanent revolution. I agitate for permanent revelry. But if all the ideologues (as they do) advocate work — and not only because they plan to make other people do theirs — they are strangely reluctant to say so. They will carry on endlessly about wages, hours, working conditions, exploitation, productivity, profitability. They’ll gladly talk about anything but work itself. These experts who offer to do our thinking for us rarely share their conclusions about work, for all its saliency in the lives of all of us. Among themselves they quibble over the details. Unions and management agree that we ought to sell the time of our lives in exchange for survival, although they haggle over the price. Marxists think we should be bossed by bureaucrats. Libertarians think we should be bossed by businessmen. Feminists don’t care which form bossing takes so long as the bosses are women. Clearly these ideology-mongers have serious differences over how to divvy up the spoils of power. Just as clearly, none of them have any objection to power as such and all of them want to keep us working.

You may be wondering if I’m joking or serious. I’m joking and serious. To be ludic is not to be ludicrous. Play doesn’t have to be frivolous, although frivolity isn’t triviality; very often we ought to take frivolity seriously. I’d like life to be a game — but a game with high stakes. I want to play for keeps.

The alternative to work isn’t just idleness. To be ludic is not to be quaaludic. As much as I treasure the pleasure of torpor, it’s never more rewarding than when it punctuates other pleasures and pastimes. Nor am I promoting the managed time-disciplined safety-valve called “leisure;” far from it. Leisure is nonwork for the sake of work. Leisure is time spent recovering from work and in the frenzied but hopeless attempt to forget about work. Many people return from vacations so beat that they look forward to returning to work so they can rest up. The main difference between work and leisure is that at work at least you get paid for your alienation and enervation.

I am not playing definitional games with anybody. When I say I want to abolish work, I mean just what I say, but I want to say what I mean by defining my terms in non-idiosyncratic ways. My minimum definition of work is forced labor, that is, compulsory production. Both elements are essential. Work is production enforced by economic or political means, by the carrot or the stick. (The carrot is just the stick by other means.) But not all creation is work. Work is never done for its own sake, it’s done on account of some product or output that the worker (or, more often, somebody else) gets out of it. This is what work necessarily is. To define it is to despise it. But work is usually even worse than its definition decrees. The dynamic of domination intrinsic to work tends over time toward elaboration. In advanced work-riddled societies, including all industrial societies whether capitalist or “communist,” work invariably acquires other attributes which accentuate its obnoxiousness.

No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn’t mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a ludic revolution. By “play” I mean also festivity, creativity, conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. There is more to play than child’s play, as worthy as that is. I call for a collective adventure in generalized joy and freely interdependent exuberance. Play isn’t passive. Doubtless we all need a lot more time for sheer sloth and slack than we ever enjoy now, regardless of income or occupation, but once recovered from employment-induced exhaustion nearly all of us want to act.

The ludic life is totally incompatible with existing reality. So much the worse for “reality,” the gravity hole that sucks the vitality from the little in life that still distinguishes it from mere survival. Curiously — or maybe not — all the old ideologies are conservative because they believe in work. Some of them, like Marxism and most brands of anarchism, believe in work all the more fiercely because they believe in so little else.

Liberals say we should end employment discrimination. I say we should end employment. Conservatives support right-to-work laws. Following Karl Marx’s wayward son-in-law Paul Lafargue I support the right to be lazy. Leftists favor full employment. Like the surrealists — except that I’m not kidding — I favor full unemployment. Trotskyists agitate for permanent revolution. I agitate for permanent revelry. But if all the ideologues (as they do) advocate work — and not only because they plan to make other people do theirs — they are strangely reluctant to say so. They will carry on endlessly about wages, hours, working conditions, exploitation, productivity, profitability. They’ll gladly talk about anything but work itself. These experts who offer to do our thinking for us rarely share their conclusions about work, for all its saliency in the lives of all of us. Among themselves they quibble over the details. Unions and management agree that we ought to sell the time of our lives in exchange for survival, although they haggle over the price. Marxists think we should be bossed by bureaucrats. Libertarians think we should be bossed by businessmen. Feminists don’t care which form bossing takes so long as the bosses are women. Clearly these ideology-mongers have serious differences over how to divvy up the spoils of power. Just as clearly, none of them have any objection to power as such and all of them want to keep us working.

You may be wondering if I’m joking or serious. I’m joking and serious. To be ludic is not to be ludicrous. Play doesn’t have to be frivolous, although frivolity isn’t triviality; very often we ought to take frivolity seriously. I’d like life to be a game — but a game with high stakes. I want to play for keeps.

The alternative to work isn’t just idleness. To be ludic is not to be quaaludic. As much as I treasure the pleasure of torpor, it’s never more rewarding than when it punctuates other pleasures and pastimes. Nor am I promoting the managed time-disciplined safety-valve called “leisure;” far from it. Leisure is nonwork for the sake of work. Leisure is time spent recovering from work and in the frenzied but hopeless attempt to forget about work. Many people return from vacations so beat that they look forward to returning to work so they can rest up. The main difference between work and leisure is that at work at least you get paid for your alienation and enervation.

I am not playing definitional games with anybody. When I say I want to abolish work, I mean just what I say, but I want to say what I mean by defining my terms in non-idiosyncratic ways. My minimum definition of work is forced labor, that is, compulsory production. Both elements are essential. Work is production enforced by economic or political means, by the carrot or the stick. (The carrot is just the stick by other means.) But not all creation is work. Work is never done for its own sake, it’s done on account of some product or output that the worker (or, more often, somebody else) gets out of it. This is what work necessarily is. To define it is to despise it. But work is usually even worse than its definition decrees. The dynamic of domination intrinsic to work tends over time toward elaboration. In advanced work-riddled societies, including all industrial societies whether capitalist or “communist,” work invariably acquires other attributes which accentuate its obnoxiousness.

No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn’t mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a ludic revolution. By “play” I mean also festivity, creativity, conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. There is more to play than child’s play, as worthy as that is. I call for a collective adventure in generalized joy and freely interdependent exuberance. Play isn’t passive. Doubtless we all need a lot more time for sheer sloth and slack than we ever enjoy now, regardless of income or occupation, but once recovered from employment-induced exhaustion nearly all of us want to act.

The ludic life is totally incompatible with existing reality. So much the worse for “reality,” the gravity hole that sucks the vitality from the little in life that still distinguishes it from mere survival. Curiously — or maybe not — all the old ideologies are conservative because they believe in work. Some of them, like Marxism and most brands of anarchism, believe in work all the more fiercely because they believe in so little else.

Liberals say we should end employment discrimination. I say we should end employment. Conservatives support right-to-work laws. Following Karl Marx’s wayward son-in-law Paul Lafargue I support the right to be lazy. Leftists favor full employment. Like the surrealists — except that I’m not kidding — I favor full unemployment. Trotskyists agitate for permanent revolution. I agitate for permanent revelry. But if all the ideologues (as they do) advocate work — and not only because they plan to make other people do theirs — they are strangely reluctant to say so. They will carry on endlessly about wages, hours, working conditions, exploitation, productivity, profitability. They’ll gladly talk about anything but work itself. These experts who offer to do our thinking for us rarely share their conclusions about work, for all its saliency in the lives of all of us. Among themselves they quibble over the details. Unions and management agree that we ought to sell the time of our lives in exchange for survival, although they haggle over the price. Marxists think we should be bossed by bureaucrats. Libertarians think we should be bossed by businessmen. Feminists don’t care which form bossing takes so long as the bosses are women. Clearly these ideology-mongers have serious differences over how to divvy up the spoils of power. Just as clearly, none of them have any objection to power as such and all of them want to keep us working.

You may be wondering if I’m joking or serious. I’m joking and serious. To be ludic is not to be ludicrous. Play doesn’t have to be frivolous, although frivolity isn’t triviality; very often we ought to take frivolity seriously. I’d like life to be a game — but a game with high stakes. I want to play for keeps.

The alternative to work isn’t just idleness. To be ludic is not to be quaaludic. As much as I treasure the pleasure of torpor, it’s never more rewarding than when it punctuates other pleasures and pastimes. Nor am I promoting the managed time-disciplined safety-valve called “leisure;” far from it. Leisure is nonwork for the sake of work. Leisure is time spent recovering from work and in the frenzied but hopeless attempt to forget about work. Many people return from vacations so beat that they look forward to returning to work so they can rest up. The main difference between work and leisure is that at work at least you get paid for your alienation and enervation.

I am not playing definitional games with anybody. When I say I want to abolish work, I mean just what I say, but I want to say what I mean by defining my terms in non-idiosyncratic ways. My minimum definition of work is forced labor, that is, compulsory production. Both elements are essential. Work is production enforced by economic or political means, by the carrot or the stick. (The carrot is just the stick by other means.) But not all creation is work. Work is never done for its own sake, it’s done on account of some product or output that the worker (or, more often, somebody else) gets out of it. This is what work necessarily is. To define it is to despise it. But work is usually even worse than its definition decrees. The dynamic of domination intrinsic to work tends over time toward elaboration. In advanced work-riddled societies, including all industrial societies whether capitalist or “communist,” work invariably acquires other attributes which accentuate its obnoxiousness.

No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn’t mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a ludic revolution. By “play” I mean also festivity, creativity, conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. There is more to play than child’s play, as worthy as that is. I call for a collective adventure in generalized joy and freely interdependent exuberance. Play isn’t passive. Doubtless we all need a lot more time for sheer sloth and slack than we ever enjoy now, regardless of income or occupation, but once recovered from employment-induced exhaustion nearly all of us want to act.

The ludic life is totally incompatible with existing reality. So much the worse for “reality,” the gravity hole that sucks the vitality from the little in life that still distinguishes it from mere survival. Curiously — or maybe not — all the old ideologies are conservative because they believe in work. Some of them, like Marxism and most brands of anarchism, believe in work all the more fiercely because they believe in so little else.

Liberals say we should end employment discrimination. I say we should end employment. Conservatives support right-to-work laws. Following Karl Marx’s wayward son-in-law Paul Lafargue I support the right to be lazy. Leftists favor full employment. Like the surrealists — except that I’m not kidding — I favor full unemployment. Trotskyists agitate for permanent revolution. I agitate for permanent revelry. But if all the ideologues (as they do) advocate work — and not only because they plan to make other people do theirs — they are strangely reluctant to say so. They will carry on endlessly about wages, hours, working conditions, exploitation, productivity, profitability. They’ll gladly talk about anything but work itself. These experts who offer to do our thinking for us rarely share their conclusions about work, for all its saliency in the lives of all of us. Among themselves they quibble over the details. Unions and management agree that we ought to sell the time of our lives in exchange for survival, although they haggle over the price. Marxists think we should be bossed by bureaucrats. Libertarians think we should be bossed by businessmen. Feminists don’t care which form bossing takes so long as the bosses are women. Clearly these ideology-mongers have serious differences over how to divvy up the spoils of power. Just as clearly, none of them have any objection to power as such and all of them want to keep us working.

You may be wondering if I’m joking or serious. I’m joking and serious. To be ludic is not to be ludicrous. Play doesn’t have to be frivolous, although frivolity isn’t triviality; very often we ought to take frivolity seriously. I’d like life to be a game — but a game with high stakes. I want to play for keeps.

The alternative to work isn’t just idleness. To be ludic is not to be quaaludic. As much as I treasure the pleasure of torpor, it’s never more rewarding than when it punctuates other pleasures and pastimes. Nor am I promoting the managed time-disciplined safety-valve called “leisure;” far from it. Leisure is nonwork for the sake of work. Leisure is time spent recovering from work and in the frenzied but hopeless attempt to forget about work. Many people return from vacations so beat that they look forward to returning to work so they can rest up. The main difference between work and leisure is that at work at least you get paid for your alienation and enervation.

I am not playing definitional games with anybody. When I say I want to abolish work, I mean just what I say, but I want to say what I mean by defining my terms in non-idiosyncratic ways. My minimum definition of work is forced labor, that is, compulsory production. Both elements are essential. Work is production enforced by economic or political means, by the carrot or the stick. (The carrot is just the stick by other means.) But not all creation is work. Work is never done for its own sake, it’s done on account of some product or output that the worker (or, more often, somebody else) gets out of it. This is what work necessarily is. To define it is to despise it. But work is usually even worse than its definition decrees. The dynamic of domination intrinsic to work tends over time toward elaboration. In advanced work-riddled societies, including all industrial societies whether capitalist or “communist,” work invariably acquires other attributes which accentuate its obnoxiousness.

No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn’t mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a ludic revolution. By “play” I mean also festivity, creativity, conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. There is more to play than child’s play, as worthy as that is. I call for a collective adventure in generalized joy and freely interdependent exuberance. Play isn’t passive. Doubtless we all need a lot more time for sheer sloth and slack than we ever enjoy now, regardless of income or occupation, but once recovered from employment-induced exhaustion nearly all of us want to act.

The ludic life is totally incompatible with existing reality. So much the worse for “reality,” the gravity hole that sucks the vitality from the little in life that still distinguishes it from mere survival. Curiously — or maybe not — all the old ideologies are conservative because they believe in work. Some of them, like Marxism and most brands of anarchism, believe in work all the more fiercely because they believe in so little else.

Liberals say we should end employment discrimination. I say we should end employment. Conservatives support right-to-work laws. Following Karl Marx’s wayward son-in-law Paul Lafargue I support the right to be lazy. Leftists favor full employment. Like the surrealists — except that I’m not kidding — I favor full unemployment. Trotskyists agitate for permanent revolution. I agitate for permanent revelry. But if all the ideologues (as they do) advocate work — and not only because they plan to make other people do theirs — they are strangely reluctant to say so. They will carry on endlessly about wages, hours, working conditions, exploitation, productivity, profitability. They’ll gladly talk about anything but work itself. These experts who offer to do our thinking for us rarely share their conclusions about work, for all its saliency in the lives of all of us. Among themselves they quibble over the details. Unions and management agree that we ought to sell the time of our lives in exchange for survival, although they haggle over the price. Marxists think we should be bossed by bureaucrats. Libertarians think we should be bossed by businessmen. Feminists don’t care which form bossing takes so long as the bosses are women. Clearly these ideology-mongers have serious differences over how to divvy up the spoils of power. Just as clearly, none of them have any objection to power as such and all of them want to keep us working.

You may be wondering if I’m joking or serious. I’m joking and serious. To be ludic is not to be ludicrous. Play doesn’t have to be frivolous, although frivolity isn’t triviality; very often we ought to take frivolity seriously. I’d like life to be a game — but a game with high stakes. I want to play for keeps.

The alternative to work isn’t just idleness. To be ludic is not to be quaaludic. As much as I treasure the pleasure of torpor, it’s never more rewarding than when it punctuates other pleasures and pastimes. Nor am I promoting the managed time-disciplined safety-valve called “leisure;” far from it. Leisure is nonwork for the sake of work. Leisure is time spent recovering from work and in the frenzied but hopeless attempt to forget about work. Many people return from vacations so beat that they look forward to returning to work so they can rest up. The main difference between work and leisure is that at work at least you get paid for your alienation and enervation.

I am not playing definitional games with anybody. When I say I want to abolish work, I mean just what I say, but I want to say what I mean by defining my terms in non-idiosyncratic ways. My minimum definition of work is forced labor, that is, compulsory production. Both elements are essential. Work is production enforced by economic or political means, by the carrot or the stick. (The carrot is just the stick by other means.) But not all creation is work. Work is never done for its own sake, it’s done on account of some product or output that the worker (or, more often, somebody else) gets out of it. This is what work necessarily is. To define it is to despise it. But work is usually even worse than its definition decrees. The dynamic of domination intrinsic to work tends over time toward elaboration. In advanced work-riddled societies, including all industrial societies whether capitalist or “communist,” work invariably acquires other attributes which accentuate its obnoxiousness.

No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

That doesn’t mean we have to stop doing things. It does mean creating a new way of life based on play; in other words, a ludic revolution. By “play” I mean also festivity, creativity, conviviality, commensality, and maybe even art. There is more to play than child’s play, as worthy as that is. I call for a collective adventure in generalized joy and freely interdependent exuberance. Play isn’t passive. Doubtless we all need a lot more time for sheer sloth and slack than we ever enjoy now, regardless of income or occupation, but once recovered from employment-induced exhaustion nearly all of us want to act.

The ludic life is totally incompatible with existing reality. So much the worse for “reality,” the gravity hole that sucks the vitality from the little in life that still distinguishes it from mere survival. Curiously — or maybe not — all the old ideologies are conservative because they believe in work. Some of them, like Marxism and most brands of anarchism, believe in work all the more fiercely because they believe in so little else.

Liberals say we should end employment discrimination. I say we should end employment. Conservatives support right-to-work laws. Following Karl Marx’s wayward son-in-law Paul Lafargue I support the right to be lazy. Leftists favor full employment. Like the surrealists — except that I’m not kidding — I favor full unemployment. Trotskyists agitate for permanent revolution. I agitate for permanent revelry. But if all the ideologues (as they do) advocate work — and not only because they plan to make other people do theirs — they are strangely reluctant to say so. They will carry on endlessly about wages, hours, working conditions, exploitation, productivity, profitability. They’ll gladly talk about anything but work itself. These experts who offer to do our thinking for us rarely share their conclusions about work, for all its saliency in the lives of all of us. Among themselves they quibble over the details. Unions and management agree that we ought to sell the time of our lives in exchange for survival, although they haggle over the price. Marxists think we should be bossed by bureaucrats. Libertarians think we should be bossed by businessmen. Feminists don’t care which form bossing takes so long as the bosses are women. Clearly these ideology-mongers have serious differences over how to divvy up the spoils of power. Just as clearly, none of them have any objection to power as such and all of them want to keep us working.

You may be wondering if I’m joking or serious. I’m joking and serious. To be ludic is not to be ludicrous. Play doesn’t have to be frivolous, although frivolity isn’t triviality; very often we ought to take frivolity seriously. I’d like life to be a game — but a game with high stakes. I want to play for keeps.

The alternative to work isn’t just idleness. To be ludic is not to be quaaludic. As much as I treasure the pleasure of torpor, it’s never more rewarding than when it punctuates other pleasures and pastimes. Nor am I promoting the managed time-disciplined safety-valve called “leisure;” far from it. Leisure is nonwork for the sake of work. Leisure is time spent recovering from work and in the frenzied but hopeless attempt to forget about work. Many people return from vacations so beat that they look forward to returning to work so they can rest up. The main difference between work and leisure is that at work at least you get paid for your alienation and enervation.

I am not playing definitional games with anybody. When I say I want to abolish work, I mean just what I say, but I want to say what I mean by defining my terms in non-idiosyncratic ways. My minimum definition of work is forced labor, that is, compulsory production. Both elements are essential. Work is production enforced by economic or political means, by the carrot or the stick. (The carrot is just the stick by other means.) But not all creation is work. Work is never done for its own sake, it’s done on account of some product or output that the worker (or, more often, somebody else) gets out of it. This is what work necessarily is. To define it is to despise it. But work is usually even worse than its definition decrees. The dynamic of domination intrinsic to work tends over time toward elaboration. In advanced work-riddled societies, including all industrial societies whether capitalist or “communist,” work invariably acquires other attributes which accentuate its obnoxiousness.

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In the temperate and tropical regions where it appears that hominids evolved into human beings, the principal food of the species was vegetable. Sixty-five to eighty percent of what human beings ate in those regions in Paleolithic, Neolithic, and prehistoric times was gathered; only in the extreme Arctic was meat the staple food. The mammoth hunters spectacularly occupy the cave wall and the mind, but what we actually did to stay alive and fat was gather seeds, roots, sprouts, shoots, leaves, nuts, berries, fruits, and grains, adding bugs and mollusks and netting or snaring birds, fish, rats, rabbits, and other tuskless small fry to up the protein. And we didn’t even work hard at it — much less hard than peasants slaving in somebody else’s field after agriculture was invented, much less hard than paid workers since civilization was invented. The average prehistoric person could make a nice living in about a fifteen-hour work week.

Fifteen hours a week for subsistence leaves a lot of time for other things. So much time that maybe the restless ones who didn’t have a baby around to enliven their life, or skill in making or cooking or singing, or very interesting thoughts to think, decided to slope off and hunt mammoths. The skillful hunters would come staggering back with a load of meat, a lot of ivory, and a story. It wasn’t the meat that made the difference. It was the story.

It is hard to tell a really gripping tale of how I wrestled a wild-oat seed from its husk, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then I scratched my gnat bites, and Ool said something funny, and we went to the creek and got a drink and watched newts for a while, and then I found another patch of oats.... No, it does not compare, it cannot compete with how I thrust my spear deep into the titanic hairy flank while Oob, impaled on one huge sweeping tusk, writhed screaming, and blood sprouted everywhere in crimson torrents, and Boob was crushed to jelly when the mammoth fell on him as I shot my unerring arrow straight through eye to brain.

That story not only has Action, it has a Hero. Heroes are powerful. Before you know it, the men and women in the wild-oat patch and their kids and the skills of makers and the thoughts of the thoughtful and the songs of the singers are all part of it, have all been pressed into service in the tale of the Hero. But it isn’t their story. It’s his.

When she was planning the book that ended up as Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf wrote a heading in her notebook, “Glossary”; she had thought of reinventing English according to her new plan, in order to tell a different story. One of the entries in this glossary is heroism, defined as “botulism.” And hero, in Woolf’s dictionary, is “bottle.” The hero as bottle, a stringent reevaluation. I now propose the bottle as hero.

Not just the bottle of gin or wine, but bottle in its older sense of container in general, a thing that holds something else.

If you haven’t got something to put it in, food will escape you — even something as uncombative and unresourceful as an oat. You put as many as you can into your stomach while they are handy, that being the primary container; but what about tomorrow morning when you wake up and it’s cold and raining and wouldn’t it be good to have just a few handfuls of oats to chew on and give little Oom to make her shut up, but how do you get more than one stomachful and one handful home? So you get up and go to the damned soggy oat patch in the rain, and wouldn’t it be a good thing if you had something to put Baby Oo Oo in so that you could pick the oats with both hands? A leaf a gourd shell a net a bag a sling a sack a bottle a pot a box a container. A holder. A recipient.

The first cultural device was probably a recipient.... Many theorizers feel that the earliest cultural inventions must have been a container to hold gathered products and some kind of sling or net carrier.

So says Elizabeth Fisher in Women’s Creation (McGraw-Hill, 1975). But no, this cannot be. Where is that wonderful, big, long, hard thing, a bone, I believe, that the Ape Man first bashed somebody in the movie and then, grunting with ecstasy at having achieved the first proper murder, flung up into the sky, and whirling there it became a space ship thrusting its way into the cosmos to fertilize it and produce at the end of the movie a lovely fetus, a boy of course, drifting around the Milky Way without (oddly enough) any womb, any matrix at all? I don’t know. I don’t even care. I’m not telling that story. We’ve heard it, we’ve all heard about all the sticks and spears and swords, the things to bash and poke and hit with, the long, hard things, but we have not heard about the thing to put things in, the container for the thing contained. That is a new story. That is news.

In the temperate and tropical regions where it appears that hominids evolved into human beings, the principal food of the species was vegetable. Sixty-five to eighty percent of what human beings ate in those regions in Paleolithic, Neolithic, and prehistoric times was gathered; only in the extreme Arctic was meat the staple food. The mammoth hunters spectacularly occupy the cave wall and the mind, but what we actually did to stay alive and fat was gather seeds, roots, sprouts, shoots, leaves, nuts, berries, fruits, and grains, adding bugs and mollusks and netting or snaring birds, fish, rats, rabbits, and other tuskless small fry to up the protein. And we didn’t even work hard at it — much less hard than peasants slaving in somebody else’s field after agriculture was invented, much less hard than paid workers since civilization was invented. The average prehistoric person could make a nice living in about a fifteen-hour work week.

Fifteen hours a week for subsistence leaves a lot of time for other things. So much time that maybe the restless ones who didn’t have a baby around to enliven their life, or skill in making or cooking or singing, or very interesting thoughts to think, decided to slope off and hunt mammoths. The skillful hunters would come staggering back with a load of meat, a lot of ivory, and a story. It wasn’t the meat that made the difference. It was the story.

It is hard to tell a really gripping tale of how I wrestled a wild-oat seed from its husk, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then I scratched my gnat bites, and Ool said something funny, and we went to the creek and got a drink and watched newts for a while, and then I found another patch of oats.... No, it does not compare, it cannot compete with how I thrust my spear deep into the titanic hairy flank while Oob, impaled on one huge sweeping tusk, writhed screaming, and blood sprouted everywhere in crimson torrents, and Boob was crushed to jelly when the mammoth fell on him as I shot my unerring arrow straight through eye to brain.

That story not only has Action, it has a Hero. Heroes are powerful. Before you know it, the men and women in the wild-oat patch and their kids and the skills of makers and the thoughts of the thoughtful and the songs of the singers are all part of it, have all been pressed into service in the tale of the Hero. But it isn’t their story. It’s his.

When she was planning the book that ended up as Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf wrote a heading in her notebook, “Glossary”; she had thought of reinventing English according to her new plan, in order to tell a different story. One of the entries in this glossary is heroism, defined as “botulism.” And hero, in Woolf’s dictionary, is “bottle.” The hero as bottle, a stringent reevaluation. I now propose the bottle as hero.

Not just the bottle of gin or wine, but bottle in its older sense of container in general, a thing that holds something else.

If you haven’t got something to put it in, food will escape you — even something as uncombative and unresourceful as an oat. You put as many as you can into your stomach while they are handy, that being the primary container; but what about tomorrow morning when you wake up and it’s cold and raining and wouldn’t it be good to have just a few handfuls of oats to chew on and give little Oom to make her shut up, but how do you get more than one stomachful and one handful home? So you get up and go to the damned soggy oat patch in the rain, and wouldn’t it be a good thing if you had something to put Baby Oo Oo in so that you could pick the oats with both hands? A leaf a gourd shell a net a bag a sling a sack a bottle a pot a box a container. A holder. A recipient.

The first cultural device was probably a recipient.... Many theorizers feel that the earliest cultural inventions must have been a container to hold gathered products and some kind of sling or net carrier.

So says Elizabeth Fisher in Women’s Creation (McGraw-Hill, 1975). But no, this cannot be. Where is that wonderful, big, long, hard thing, a bone, I believe, that the Ape Man first bashed somebody in the movie and then, grunting with ecstasy at having achieved the first proper murder, flung up into the sky, and whirling there it became a space ship thrusting its way into the cosmos to fertilize it and produce at the end of the movie a lovely fetus, a boy of course, drifting around the Milky Way without (oddly enough) any womb, any matrix at all? I don’t know. I don’t even care. I’m not telling that story. We’ve heard it, we’ve all heard about all the sticks and spears and swords, the things to bash and poke and hit with, the long, hard things, but we have not heard about the thing to put things in, the container for the thing contained. That is a new story. That is news.

In the temperate and tropical regions where it appears that hominids evolved into human beings, the principal food of the species was vegetable. Sixty-five to eighty percent of what human beings ate in those regions in Paleolithic, Neolithic, and prehistoric times was gathered; only in the extreme Arctic was meat the staple food. The mammoth hunters spectacularly occupy the cave wall and the mind, but what we actually did to stay alive and fat was gather seeds, roots, sprouts, shoots, leaves, nuts, berries, fruits, and grains, adding bugs and mollusks and netting or snaring birds, fish, rats, rabbits, and other tuskless small fry to up the protein. And we didn’t even work hard at it — much less hard than peasants slaving in somebody else’s field after agriculture was invented, much less hard than paid workers since civilization was invented. The average prehistoric person could make a nice living in about a fifteen-hour work week.

Fifteen hours a week for subsistence leaves a lot of time for other things. So much time that maybe the restless ones who didn’t have a baby around to enliven their life, or skill in making or cooking or singing, or very interesting thoughts to think, decided to slope off and hunt mammoths. The skillful hunters would come staggering back with a load of meat, a lot of ivory, and a story. It wasn’t the meat that made the difference. It was the story.

It is hard to tell a really gripping tale of how I wrestled a wild-oat seed from its husk, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then I scratched my gnat bites, and Ool said something funny, and we went to the creek and got a drink and watched newts for a while, and then I found another patch of oats.... No, it does not compare, it cannot compete with how I thrust my spear deep into the titanic hairy flank while Oob, impaled on one huge sweeping tusk, writhed screaming, and blood sprouted everywhere in crimson torrents, and Boob was crushed to jelly when the mammoth fell on him as I shot my unerring arrow straight through eye to brain.

That story not only has Action, it has a Hero. Heroes are powerful. Before you know it, the men and women in the wild-oat patch and their kids and the skills of makers and the thoughts of the thoughtful and the songs of the singers are all part of it, have all been pressed into service in the tale of the Hero. But it isn’t their story. It’s his.

When she was planning the book that ended up as Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf wrote a heading in her notebook, “Glossary”; she had thought of reinventing English according to her new plan, in order to tell a different story. One of the entries in this glossary is heroism, defined as “botulism.” And hero, in Woolf’s dictionary, is “bottle.” The hero as bottle, a stringent reevaluation. I now propose the bottle as hero.

Not just the bottle of gin or wine, but bottle in its older sense of container in general, a thing that holds something else.

If you haven’t got something to put it in, food will escape you — even something as uncombative and unresourceful as an oat. You put as many as you can into your stomach while they are handy, that being the primary container; but what about tomorrow morning when you wake up and it’s cold and raining and wouldn’t it be good to have just a few handfuls of oats to chew on and give little Oom to make her shut up, but how do you get more than one stomachful and one handful home? So you get up and go to the damned soggy oat patch in the rain, and wouldn’t it be a good thing if you had something to put Baby Oo Oo in so that you could pick the oats with both hands? A leaf a gourd shell a net a bag a sling a sack a bottle a pot a box a container. A holder. A recipient.

The first cultural device was probably a recipient.... Many theorizers feel that the earliest cultural inventions must have been a container to hold gathered products and some kind of sling or net carrier.

So says Elizabeth Fisher in Women’s Creation (McGraw-Hill, 1975). But no, this cannot be. Where is that wonderful, big, long, hard thing, a bone, I believe, that the Ape Man first bashed somebody in the movie and then, grunting with ecstasy at having achieved the first proper murder, flung up into the sky, and whirling there it became a space ship thrusting its way into the cosmos to fertilize it and produce at the end of the movie a lovely fetus, a boy of course, drifting around the Milky Way without (oddly enough) any womb, any matrix at all? I don’t know. I don’t even care. I’m not telling that story. We’ve heard it, we’ve all heard about all the sticks and spears and swords, the things to bash and poke and hit with, the long, hard things, but we have not heard about the thing to put things in, the container for the thing contained. That is a new story. That is news.

In the temperate and tropical regions where it appears that hominids evolved into human beings, the principal food of the species was vegetable. Sixty-five to eighty percent of what human beings ate in those regions in Paleolithic, Neolithic, and prehistoric times was gathered; only in the extreme Arctic was meat the staple food. The mammoth hunters spectacularly occupy the cave wall and the mind, but what we actually did to stay alive and fat was gather seeds, roots, sprouts, shoots, leaves, nuts, berries, fruits, and grains, adding bugs and mollusks and netting or snaring birds, fish, rats, rabbits, and other tuskless small fry to up the protein. And we didn’t even work hard at it — much less hard than peasants slaving in somebody else’s field after agriculture was invented, much less hard than paid workers since civilization was invented. The average prehistoric person could make a nice living in about a fifteen-hour work week.

Fifteen hours a week for subsistence leaves a lot of time for other things. So much time that maybe the restless ones who didn’t have a baby around to enliven their life, or skill in making or cooking or singing, or very interesting thoughts to think, decided to slope off and hunt mammoths. The skillful hunters would come staggering back with a load of meat, a lot of ivory, and a story. It wasn’t the meat that made the difference. It was the story.

It is hard to tell a really gripping tale of how I wrestled a wild-oat seed from its husk, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then I scratched my gnat bites, and Ool said something funny, and we went to the creek and got a drink and watched newts for a while, and then I found another patch of oats.... No, it does not compare, it cannot compete with how I thrust my spear deep into the titanic hairy flank while Oob, impaled on one huge sweeping tusk, writhed screaming, and blood sprouted everywhere in crimson torrents, and Boob was crushed to jelly when the mammoth fell on him as I shot my unerring arrow straight through eye to brain.

That story not only has Action, it has a Hero. Heroes are powerful. Before you know it, the men and women in the wild-oat patch and their kids and the skills of makers and the thoughts of the thoughtful and the songs of the singers are all part of it, have all been pressed into service in the tale of the Hero. But it isn’t their story. It’s his.

When she was planning the book that ended up as Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf wrote a heading in her notebook, “Glossary”; she had thought of reinventing English according to her new plan, in order to tell a different story. One of the entries in this glossary is heroism, defined as “botulism.” And hero, in Woolf’s dictionary, is “bottle.” The hero as bottle, a stringent reevaluation. I now propose the bottle as hero.

Not just the bottle of gin or wine, but bottle in its older sense of container in general, a thing that holds something else.

If you haven’t got something to put it in, food will escape you — even something as uncombative and unresourceful as an oat. You put as many as you can into your stomach while they are handy, that being the primary container; but what about tomorrow morning when you wake up and it’s cold and raining and wouldn’t it be good to have just a few handfuls of oats to chew on and give little Oom to make her shut up, but how do you get more than one stomachful and one handful home? So you get up and go to the damned soggy oat patch in the rain, and wouldn’t it be a good thing if you had something to put Baby Oo Oo in so that you could pick the oats with both hands? A leaf a gourd shell a net a bag a sling a sack a bottle a pot a box a container. A holder. A recipient.

The first cultural device was probably a recipient.... Many theorizers feel that the earliest cultural inventions must have been a container to hold gathered products and some kind of sling or net carrier.

So says Elizabeth Fisher in Women’s Creation (McGraw-Hill, 1975). But no, this cannot be. Where is that wonderful, big, long, hard thing, a bone, I believe, that the Ape Man first bashed somebody in the movie and then, grunting with ecstasy at having achieved the first proper murder, flung up into the sky, and whirling there it became a space ship thrusting its way into the cosmos to fertilize it and produce at the end of the movie a lovely fetus, a boy of course, drifting around the Milky Way without (oddly enough) any womb, any matrix at all? I don’t know. I don’t even care. I’m not telling that story. We’ve heard it, we’ve all heard about all the sticks and spears and swords, the things to bash and poke and hit with, the long, hard things, but we have not heard about the thing to put things in, the container for the thing contained. That is a new story. That is news.

In the temperate and tropical regions where it appears that hominids evolved into human beings, the principal food of the species was vegetable. Sixty-five to eighty percent of what human beings ate in those regions in Paleolithic, Neolithic, and prehistoric times was gathered; only in the extreme Arctic was meat the staple food. The mammoth hunters spectacularly occupy the cave wall and the mind, but what we actually did to stay alive and fat was gather seeds, roots, sprouts, shoots, leaves, nuts, berries, fruits, and grains, adding bugs and mollusks and netting or snaring birds, fish, rats, rabbits, and other tuskless small fry to up the protein. And we didn’t even work hard at it — much less hard than peasants slaving in somebody else’s field after agriculture was invented, much less hard than paid workers since civilization was invented. The average prehistoric person could make a nice living in about a fifteen-hour work week.

Fifteen hours a week for subsistence leaves a lot of time for other things. So much time that maybe the restless ones who didn’t have a baby around to enliven their life, or skill in making or cooking or singing, or very interesting thoughts to think, decided to slope off and hunt mammoths. The skillful hunters would come staggering back with a load of meat, a lot of ivory, and a story. It wasn’t the meat that made the difference. It was the story.

It is hard to tell a really gripping tale of how I wrestled a wild-oat seed from its husk, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then I scratched my gnat bites, and Ool said something funny, and we went to the creek and got a drink and watched newts for a while, and then I found another patch of oats.... No, it does not compare, it cannot compete with how I thrust my spear deep into the titanic hairy flank while Oob, impaled on one huge sweeping tusk, writhed screaming, and blood sprouted everywhere in crimson torrents, and Boob was crushed to jelly when the mammoth fell on him as I shot my unerring arrow straight through eye to brain.

That story not only has Action, it has a Hero. Heroes are powerful. Before you know it, the men and women in the wild-oat patch and their kids and the skills of makers and the thoughts of the thoughtful and the songs of the singers are all part of it, have all been pressed into service in the tale of the Hero. But it isn’t their story. It’s his.

When she was planning the book that ended up as Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf wrote a heading in her notebook, “Glossary”; she had thought of reinventing English according to her new plan, in order to tell a different story. One of the entries in this glossary is heroism, defined as “botulism.” And hero, in Woolf’s dictionary, is “bottle.” The hero as bottle, a stringent reevaluation. I now propose the bottle as hero.

Not just the bottle of gin or wine, but bottle in its older sense of container in general, a thing that holds something else.

If you haven’t got something to put it in, food will escape you — even something as uncombative and unresourceful as an oat. You put as many as you can into your stomach while they are handy, that being the primary container; but what about tomorrow morning when you wake up and it’s cold and raining and wouldn’t it be good to have just a few handfuls of oats to chew on and give little Oom to make her shut up, but how do you get more than one stomachful and one handful home? So you get up and go to the damned soggy oat patch in the rain, and wouldn’t it be a good thing if you had something to put Baby Oo Oo in so that you could pick the oats with both hands? A leaf a gourd shell a net a bag a sling a sack a bottle a pot a box a container. A holder. A recipient.

The first cultural device was probably a recipient.... Many theorizers feel that the earliest cultural inventions must have been a container to hold gathered products and some kind of sling or net carrier.

So says Elizabeth Fisher in Women’s Creation (McGraw-Hill, 1975). But no, this cannot be. Where is that wonderful, big, long, hard thing, a bone, I believe, that the Ape Man first bashed somebody in the movie and then, grunting with ecstasy at having achieved the first proper murder, flung up into the sky, and whirling there it became a space ship thrusting its way into the cosmos to fertilize it and produce at the end of the movie a lovely fetus, a boy of course, drifting around the Milky Way without (oddly enough) any womb, any matrix at all? I don’t know. I don’t even care. I’m not telling that story. We’ve heard it, we’ve all heard about all the sticks and spears and swords, the things to bash and poke and hit with, the long, hard things, but we have not heard about the thing to put things in, the container for the thing contained. That is a new story. That is news.

In the temperate and tropical regions where it appears that hominids evolved into human beings, the principal food of the species was vegetable. Sixty-five to eighty percent of what human beings ate in those regions in Paleolithic, Neolithic, and prehistoric times was gathered; only in the extreme Arctic was meat the staple food. The mammoth hunters spectacularly occupy the cave wall and the mind, but what we actually did to stay alive and fat was gather seeds, roots, sprouts, shoots, leaves, nuts, berries, fruits, and grains, adding bugs and mollusks and netting or snaring birds, fish, rats, rabbits, and other tuskless small fry to up the protein. And we didn’t even work hard at it — much less hard than peasants slaving in somebody else’s field after agriculture was invented, much less hard than paid workers since civilization was invented. The average prehistoric person could make a nice living in about a fifteen-hour work week.

Fifteen hours a week for subsistence leaves a lot of time for other things. So much time that maybe the restless ones who didn’t have a baby around to enliven their life, or skill in making or cooking or singing, or very interesting thoughts to think, decided to slope off and hunt mammoths. The skillful hunters would come staggering back with a load of meat, a lot of ivory, and a story. It wasn’t the meat that made the difference. It was the story.

It is hard to tell a really gripping tale of how I wrestled a wild-oat seed from its husk, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then I scratched my gnat bites, and Ool said something funny, and we went to the creek and got a drink and watched newts for a while, and then I found another patch of oats.... No, it does not compare, it cannot compete with how I thrust my spear deep into the titanic hairy flank while Oob, impaled on one huge sweeping tusk, writhed screaming, and blood sprouted everywhere in crimson torrents, and Boob was crushed to jelly when the mammoth fell on him as I shot my unerring arrow straight through eye to brain.

That story not only has Action, it has a Hero. Heroes are powerful. Before you know it, the men and women in the wild-oat patch and their kids and the skills of makers and the thoughts of the thoughtful and the songs of the singers are all part of it, have all been pressed into service in the tale of the Hero. But it isn’t their story. It’s his.

When she was planning the book that ended up as Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf wrote a heading in her notebook, “Glossary”; she had thought of reinventing English according to her new plan, in order to tell a different story. One of the entries in this glossary is heroism, defined as “botulism.” And hero, in Woolf’s dictionary, is “bottle.” The hero as bottle, a stringent reevaluation. I now propose the bottle as hero.

Not just the bottle of gin or wine, but bottle in its older sense of container in general, a thing that holds something else.

If you haven’t got something to put it in, food will escape you — even something as uncombative and unresourceful as an oat. You put as many as you can into your stomach while they are handy, that being the primary container; but what about tomorrow morning when you wake up and it’s cold and raining and wouldn’t it be good to have just a few handfuls of oats to chew on and give little Oom to make her shut up, but how do you get more than one stomachful and one handful home? So you get up and go to the damned soggy oat patch in the rain, and wouldn’t it be a good thing if you had something to put Baby Oo Oo in so that you could pick the oats with both hands? A leaf a gourd shell a net a bag a sling a sack a bottle a pot a box a container. A holder. A recipient.

The first cultural device was probably a recipient.... Many theorizers feel that the earliest cultural inventions must have been a container to hold gathered products and some kind of sling or net carrier.

So says Elizabeth Fisher in Women’s Creation (McGraw-Hill, 1975). But no, this cannot be. Where is that wonderful, big, long, hard thing, a bone, I believe, that the Ape Man first bashed somebody in the movie and then, grunting with ecstasy at having achieved the first proper murder, flung up into the sky, and whirling there it became a space ship thrusting its way into the cosmos to fertilize it and produce at the end of the movie a lovely fetus, a boy of course, drifting around the Milky Way without (oddly enough) any womb, any matrix at all? I don’t know. I don’t even care. I’m not telling that story. We’ve heard it, we’ve all heard about all the sticks and spears and swords, the things to bash and poke and hit with, the long, hard things, but we have not heard about the thing to put things in, the container for the thing contained. That is a new story. That is news.

In the temperate and tropical regions where it appears that hominids evolved into human beings, the principal food of the species was vegetable. Sixty-five to eighty percent of what human beings ate in those regions in Paleolithic, Neolithic, and prehistoric times was gathered; only in the extreme Arctic was meat the staple food. The mammoth hunters spectacularly occupy the cave wall and the mind, but what we actually did to stay alive and fat was gather seeds, roots, sprouts, shoots, leaves, nuts, berries, fruits, and grains, adding bugs and mollusks and netting or snaring birds, fish, rats, rabbits, and other tuskless small fry to up the protein. And we didn’t even work hard at it — much less hard than peasants slaving in somebody else’s field after agriculture was invented, much less hard than paid workers since civilization was invented. The average prehistoric person could make a nice living in about a fifteen-hour work week.

Fifteen hours a week for subsistence leaves a lot of time for other things. So much time that maybe the restless ones who didn’t have a baby around to enliven their life, or skill in making or cooking or singing, or very interesting thoughts to think, decided to slope off and hunt mammoths. The skillful hunters would come staggering back with a load of meat, a lot of ivory, and a story. It wasn’t the meat that made the difference. It was the story.

It is hard to tell a really gripping tale of how I wrestled a wild-oat seed from its husk, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then I scratched my gnat bites, and Ool said something funny, and we went to the creek and got a drink and watched newts for a while, and then I found another patch of oats.... No, it does not compare, it cannot compete with how I thrust my spear deep into the titanic hairy flank while Oob, impaled on one huge sweeping tusk, writhed screaming, and blood sprouted everywhere in crimson torrents, and Boob was crushed to jelly when the mammoth fell on him as I shot my unerring arrow straight through eye to brain.

That story not only has Action, it has a Hero. Heroes are powerful. Before you know it, the men and women in the wild-oat patch and their kids and the skills of makers and the thoughts of the thoughtful and the songs of the singers are all part of it, have all been pressed into service in the tale of the Hero. But it isn’t their story. It’s his.

When she was planning the book that ended up as Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf wrote a heading in her notebook, “Glossary”; she had thought of reinventing English according to her new plan, in order to tell a different story. One of the entries in this glossary is heroism, defined as “botulism.” And hero, in Woolf’s dictionary, is “bottle.” The hero as bottle, a stringent reevaluation. I now propose the bottle as hero.

Not just the bottle of gin or wine, but bottle in its older sense of container in general, a thing that holds something else.

If you haven’t got something to put it in, food will escape you — even something as uncombative and unresourceful as an oat. You put as many as you can into your stomach while they are handy, that being the primary container; but what about tomorrow morning when you wake up and it’s cold and raining and wouldn’t it be good to have just a few handfuls of oats to chew on and give little Oom to make her shut up, but how do you get more than one stomachful and one handful home? So you get up and go to the damned soggy oat patch in the rain, and wouldn’t it be a good thing if you had something to put Baby Oo Oo in so that you could pick the oats with both hands? A leaf a gourd shell a net a bag a sling a sack a bottle a pot a box a container. A holder. A recipient.

The first cultural device was probably a recipient.... Many theorizers feel that the earliest cultural inventions must have been a container to hold gathered products and some kind of sling or net carrier.

So says Elizabeth Fisher in Women’s Creation (McGraw-Hill, 1975). But no, this cannot be. Where is that wonderful, big, long, hard thing, a bone, I believe, that the Ape Man first bashed somebody in the movie and then, grunting with ecstasy at having achieved the first proper murder, flung up into the sky, and whirling there it became a space ship thrusting its way into the cosmos to fertilize it and produce at the end of the movie a lovely fetus, a boy of course, drifting around the Milky Way without (oddly enough) any womb, any matrix at all? I don’t know. I don’t even care. I’m not telling that story. We’ve heard it, we’ve all heard about all the sticks and spears and swords, the things to bash and poke and hit with, the long, hard things, but we have not heard about the thing to put things in, the container for the thing contained. That is a new story. That is news.

In the temperate and tropical regions where it appears that hominids evolved into human beings, the principal food of the species was vegetable. Sixty-five to eighty percent of what human beings ate in those regions in Paleolithic, Neolithic, and prehistoric times was gathered; only in the extreme Arctic was meat the staple food. The mammoth hunters spectacularly occupy the cave wall and the mind, but what we actually did to stay alive and fat was gather seeds, roots, sprouts, shoots, leaves, nuts, berries, fruits, and grains, adding bugs and mollusks and netting or snaring birds, fish, rats, rabbits, and other tuskless small fry to up the protein. And we didn’t even work hard at it — much less hard than peasants slaving in somebody else’s field after agriculture was invented, much less hard than paid workers since civilization was invented. The average prehistoric person could make a nice living in about a fifteen-hour work week.

Fifteen hours a week for subsistence leaves a lot of time for other things. So much time that maybe the restless ones who didn’t have a baby around to enliven their life, or skill in making or cooking or singing, or very interesting thoughts to think, decided to slope off and hunt mammoths. The skillful hunters would come staggering back with a load of meat, a lot of ivory, and a story. It wasn’t the meat that made the difference. It was the story.

It is hard to tell a really gripping tale of how I wrestled a wild-oat seed from its husk, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then I scratched my gnat bites, and Ool said something funny, and we went to the creek and got a drink and watched newts for a while, and then I found another patch of oats.... No, it does not compare, it cannot compete with how I thrust my spear deep into the titanic hairy flank while Oob, impaled on one huge sweeping tusk, writhed screaming, and blood sprouted everywhere in crimson torrents, and Boob was crushed to jelly when the mammoth fell on him as I shot my unerring arrow straight through eye to brain.

That story not only has Action, it has a Hero. Heroes are powerful. Before you know it, the men and women in the wild-oat patch and their kids and the skills of makers and the thoughts of the thoughtful and the songs of the singers are all part of it, have all been pressed into service in the tale of the Hero. But it isn’t their story. It’s his.

When she was planning the book that ended up as Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf wrote a heading in her notebook, “Glossary”; she had thought of reinventing English according to her new plan, in order to tell a different story. One of the entries in this glossary is heroism, defined as “botulism.” And hero, in Woolf’s dictionary, is “bottle.” The hero as bottle, a stringent reevaluation. I now propose the bottle as hero.

Not just the bottle of gin or wine, but bottle in its older sense of container in general, a thing that holds something else.

If you haven’t got something to put it in, food will escape you — even something as uncombative and unresourceful as an oat. You put as many as you can into your stomach while they are handy, that being the primary container; but what about tomorrow morning when you wake up and it’s cold and raining and wouldn’t it be good to have just a few handfuls of oats to chew on and give little Oom to make her shut up, but how do you get more than one stomachful and one handful home? So you get up and go to the damned soggy oat patch in the rain, and wouldn’t it be a good thing if you had something to put Baby Oo Oo in so that you could pick the oats with both hands? A leaf a gourd shell a net a bag a sling a sack a bottle a pot a box a container. A holder. A recipient.

The first cultural device was probably a recipient.... Many theorizers feel that the earliest cultural inventions must have been a container to hold gathered products and some kind of sling or net carrier.

So says Elizabeth Fisher in Women’s Creation (McGraw-Hill, 1975). But no, this cannot be. Where is that wonderful, big, long, hard thing, a bone, I believe, that the Ape Man first bashed somebody in the movie and then, grunting with ecstasy at having achieved the first proper murder, flung up into the sky, and whirling there it became a space ship thrusting its way into the cosmos to fertilize it and produce at the end of the movie a lovely fetus, a boy of course, drifting around the Milky Way without (oddly enough) any womb, any matrix at all? I don’t know. I don’t even care. I’m not telling that story. We’ve heard it, we’ve all heard about all the sticks and spears and swords, the things to bash and poke and hit with, the long, hard things, but we have not heard about the thing to put things in, the container for the thing contained. That is a new story. That is news.

In the temperate and tropical regions where it appears that hominids evolved into human beings, the principal food of the species was vegetable. Sixty-five to eighty percent of what human beings ate in those regions in Paleolithic, Neolithic, and prehistoric times was gathered; only in the extreme Arctic was meat the staple food. The mammoth hunters spectacularly occupy the cave wall and the mind, but what we actually did to stay alive and fat was gather seeds, roots, sprouts, shoots, leaves, nuts, berries, fruits, and grains, adding bugs and mollusks and netting or snaring birds, fish, rats, rabbits, and other tuskless small fry to up the protein. And we didn’t even work hard at it — much less hard than peasants slaving in somebody else’s field after agriculture was invented, much less hard than paid workers since civilization was invented. The average prehistoric person could make a nice living in about a fifteen-hour work week.

Fifteen hours a week for subsistence leaves a lot of time for other things. So much time that maybe the restless ones who didn’t have a baby around to enliven their life, or skill in making or cooking or singing, or very interesting thoughts to think, decided to slope off and hunt mammoths. The skillful hunters would come staggering back with a load of meat, a lot of ivory, and a story. It wasn’t the meat that made the difference. It was the story.

It is hard to tell a really gripping tale of how I wrestled a wild-oat seed from its husk, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then another, and then I scratched my gnat bites, and Ool said something funny, and we went to the creek and got a drink and watched newts for a while, and then I found another patch of oats.... No, it does not compare, it cannot compete with how I thrust my spear deep into the titanic hairy flank while Oob, impaled on one huge sweeping tusk, writhed screaming, and blood sprouted everywhere in crimson torrents, and Boob was crushed to jelly when the mammoth fell on him as I shot my unerring arrow straight through eye to brain.

That story not only has Action, it has a Hero. Heroes are powerful. Before you know it, the men and women in the wild-oat patch and their kids and the skills of makers and the thoughts of the thoughtful and the songs of the singers are all part of it, have all been pressed into service in the tale of the Hero. But it isn’t their story. It’s his.

When she was planning the book that ended up as Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf wrote a heading in her notebook, “Glossary”; she had thought of reinventing English according to her new plan, in order to tell a different story. One of the entries in this glossary is heroism, defined as “botulism.” And hero, in Woolf’s dictionary, is “bottle.” The hero as bottle, a stringent reevaluation. I now propose the bottle as hero.

Not just the bottle of gin or wine, but bottle in its older sense of container in general, a thing that holds something else.

If you haven’t got something to put it in, food will escape you — even something as uncombative and unresourceful as an oat. You put as many as you can into your stomach while they are handy, that being the primary container; but what about tomorrow morning when you wake up and it’s cold and raining and wouldn’t it be good to have just a few handfuls of oats to chew on and give little Oom to make her shut up, but how do you get more than one stomachful and one handful home? So you get up and go to the damned soggy oat patch in the rain, and wouldn’t it be a good thing if you had something to put Baby Oo Oo in so that you could pick the oats with both hands? A leaf a gourd shell a net a bag a sling a sack a bottle a pot a box a container. A holder. A recipient.

The first cultural device was probably a recipient.... Many theorizers feel that the earliest cultural inventions must have been a container to hold gathered products and some kind of sling or net carrier.

So says Elizabeth Fisher in Women’s Creation (McGraw-Hill, 1975). But no, this cannot be. Where is that wonderful, big, long, hard thing, a bone, I believe, that the Ape Man first bashed somebody in the movie and then, grunting with ecstasy at having achieved the first proper murder, flung up into the sky, and whirling there it became a space ship thrusting its way into the cosmos to fertilize it and produce at the end of the movie a lovely fetus, a boy of course, drifting around the Milky Way without (oddly enough) any womb, any matrix at all? I don’t know. I don’t even care. I’m not telling that story. We’ve heard it, we’ve all heard about all the sticks and spears and swords, the things to bash and poke and hit with, the long, hard things, but we have not heard about the thing to put things in, the container for the thing contained. That is a new story. That is news.

Black 16px

The shift from hierarchical to class societies occurred on two levels: the material and the subjective. A clearly material shift was embodied in the emergence of the city, the State, an authoritarian technics, and a highly organized market economy. The subjective shifts found expression in the emergence of a repressive sensibility and body of values — in various ways of mentalizing the entire realm of experience along lines of command and obedience. Such mentalities could very well be called epistemologies of rule, to use a broad philosophical term. As much as any material development, these epistemologies of rule fostered the development of patriarchy and an egoistic morality in the rulers of society; in the ruled, they fostered a psychic apparatus rooted in guilt and renunciation. Just as aggression flexes our bodies for fight or flight, so class societies organize our psychic structures for command or obedience.

A repressive rationality, not to be confused with reason as such, rendered the social change from organic society to class society highly ambiguous in character. Reason has always identified human fulfillment with a consciousness of self, with logical clarity, and with salvation from humanity's complete absorption into the misty world of the mythopoeic. Even matters of faith and religion have been interpreted rationally — as highly systematic theologies rationally derived from a few fundamental beliefs. But this vast project of humanization — from organic to class society — occurred without a clear ethical basis for human fulfillment, one that had a definite rational content. Hence the emergence of class society was to be burdened from its outset by a paradox: how can reason, conceived as a tool or method for achieving ethical goals, be integrated with reason conceived as the inherent feature or meaning of these ethical goals?

Tragically, it was not left to reason alone, as the great thinkers of the Enlightenment so optimistically believed, to resolve this paradox. Crises have riddled class society from its inception. In the western world, at least, they have produced a legacy of domination so formidable that it threatens to push us into an abyss that may engulf social life itself. The result has been the emergence of a misplaced antirationalism so blistering and introverted in its hostility to mind that it has literally lost sight of the legacy of domination itself. In surrendering mind to intuition, rationality to mere impulse, coherence to eclecticism, and wholeness to a mystical "oneness," we may very well reinforce this legacy if only because we refuse to dispel it with the means of rational analyses.

In our reaction to Enlightenment thought, we must rescue reason without becoming "rationalistic," without reducing reason to mere technique. Rarely has society been so direly in need of a clear understanding of the way we mentalize rule and of the history of domination than today, when the very survival of humanity is at stake. In any case, it is only in the use of reason rather than in rationalizing about reason that mind reveals its promises and pitfalls. It would be better to use our rational faculties and reflect on them later than to lose them altogether to a dark heritage that may obliterate mind itself.

The material and subjective levels on which hierarchical societies crystallized into class societies are not sharply separable. Or to use the language of Victorian social thought, we cannot comfortably speak of one level as the "base" for the other; both, in fact, are inextricably intertwined. The city, which from the beginnings of history appears as the "effect" of basic changes from kinship to territorialism, is so crucially important as the arena for dissolving the blood oath that it can only be regarded as a "cause," however ancillary it seems to important changes in technics and ideology. In fact, urban life from its inception occupies such an ambiguous place in the commonsense logic of cause and effect that we would do well to use these concepts gingerly.

This much is clear: the blood oath which, more than any single factor, held together primordial values and institutions with a certain degree of integrity, could only be surmounted after the claims of blood ties could be replaced by those of civic ties. Only after the territorial system began to dissolve the kinship system or, at least, attenuate its nexus of responsibilities, could hallowed terms like brother and sister cease to be compelling natural realities.[20] Thereafter, "brotherhood" increasingly came to mean a commonality of material and political interests rather than those of kinship, and "sisters" were to become the means for establishing alliances — for uniting males into social fraternities based on military, political, and economic needs.

The social and cultural impact of these material and subjective factors, so clearly rooted in the development of the city and State, can hardly be overstated. Humanity was to cling to the primal blood oath with such tenacity that primordial social forms often remained intact even after they had been divested of their content. In many cases, the clans were not immediately destroyed; often they were retained and like the extended family persisted as mere shadows of the past. In fact, they were subtly reworked in certain societies into instrumentalities of the newly emerging State — first, in the service of early priestly corporations, later, in vestigial form, in the service of the military chieftains and kings.

Here; we sense the ideological activities of the early priesthood that had emerged from a reworking of shamanism. By freeing itself from the social vulnerabilities of the shaman, whose body constituted a mere vessel for spirits, the priestly corporation had acquired the role of a cosmic brokerage firm between humanity and its increasingly anthropomorphic deities — deities no longer to be confused with the nature spirits that peopled the environment of organic society. Theology began to gain ascendancy over divination. Seemingly rational accounts of the origins, workings, and destiny of the cosmos — laden with an epistemology of rule — tended to replace magic. By emphasizing the "guilt" of the human "wrong-doer" and the "displeasure" of the deities, the priestly corporation could acquire an immunity to failure that the shaman had always lacked. The technical failures of the shaman, which typically rendered his social status so insecure in primordial society, could be reinterpreted by the emerging priesthood as evidence of the moral failure of the community itself. Drought, diseases, floods, locust infestations, and defeats in warfare — to cite the Biblical afflictions of ancient humanity — were reinterpreted as the retribution of wrathful deities for communal wrong-doing, not merely as the dark work of malevolent spirits. Technical failure, in effect, was shifted from the priestly corporation to a fallen humanity that had to atone for its moral frailties. And only priestly supplications, visibly reinforced by generous sacrifices in the form of goods and services, could redeem humanity, temper the punitive actions of the deities, and restore the earlier harmony that existed between humanity and its gods. In time, sacrifice and supplication became a constant effort in which neither the community nor its priestly corporation could relent. When this effort was institutionalized to the extent that the episodic became chronic, it created the early theocracies that go hand-in-hand with early cities, whose foci were always the temple, its priestly quarters, its storehouses, craft shops, and the dwellings of its artisans and bureaucracies. Urban life began with an altar, not simply a marketplace, and probably with walls that were meant to define sacred space from the natural, not simply as defensive palisades.

The shift from hierarchical to class societies occurred on two levels: the material and the subjective. A clearly material shift was embodied in the emergence of the city, the State, an authoritarian technics, and a highly organized market economy. The subjective shifts found expression in the emergence of a repressive sensibility and body of values — in various ways of mentalizing the entire realm of experience along lines of command and obedience. Such mentalities could very well be called epistemologies of rule, to use a broad philosophical term. As much as any material development, these epistemologies of rule fostered the development of patriarchy and an egoistic morality in the rulers of society; in the ruled, they fostered a psychic apparatus rooted in guilt and renunciation. Just as aggression flexes our bodies for fight or flight, so class societies organize our psychic structures for command or obedience.

A repressive rationality, not to be confused with reason as such, rendered the social change from organic society to class society highly ambiguous in character. Reason has always identified human fulfillment with a consciousness of self, with logical clarity, and with salvation from humanity's complete absorption into the misty world of the mythopoeic. Even matters of faith and religion have been interpreted rationally — as highly systematic theologies rationally derived from a few fundamental beliefs. But this vast project of humanization — from organic to class society — occurred without a clear ethical basis for human fulfillment, one that had a definite rational content. Hence the emergence of class society was to be burdened from its outset by a paradox: how can reason, conceived as a tool or method for achieving ethical goals, be integrated with reason conceived as the inherent feature or meaning of these ethical goals?

Tragically, it was not left to reason alone, as the great thinkers of the Enlightenment so optimistically believed, to resolve this paradox. Crises have riddled class society from its inception. In the western world, at least, they have produced a legacy of domination so formidable that it threatens to push us into an abyss that may engulf social life itself. The result has been the emergence of a misplaced antirationalism so blistering and introverted in its hostility to mind that it has literally lost sight of the legacy of domination itself. In surrendering mind to intuition, rationality to mere impulse, coherence to eclecticism, and wholeness to a mystical "oneness," we may very well reinforce this legacy if only because we refuse to dispel it with the means of rational analyses.

In our reaction to Enlightenment thought, we must rescue reason without becoming "rationalistic," without reducing reason to mere technique. Rarely has society been so direly in need of a clear understanding of the way we mentalize rule and of the history of domination than today, when the very survival of humanity is at stake. In any case, it is only in the use of reason rather than in rationalizing about reason that mind reveals its promises and pitfalls. It would be better to use our rational faculties and reflect on them later than to lose them altogether to a dark heritage that may obliterate mind itself.

The material and subjective levels on which hierarchical societies crystallized into class societies are not sharply separable. Or to use the language of Victorian social thought, we cannot comfortably speak of one level as the "base" for the other; both, in fact, are inextricably intertwined. The city, which from the beginnings of history appears as the "effect" of basic changes from kinship to territorialism, is so crucially important as the arena for dissolving the blood oath that it can only be regarded as a "cause," however ancillary it seems to important changes in technics and ideology. In fact, urban life from its inception occupies such an ambiguous place in the commonsense logic of cause and effect that we would do well to use these concepts gingerly.

This much is clear: the blood oath which, more than any single factor, held together primordial values and institutions with a certain degree of integrity, could only be surmounted after the claims of blood ties could be replaced by those of civic ties. Only after the territorial system began to dissolve the kinship system or, at least, attenuate its nexus of responsibilities, could hallowed terms like brother and sister cease to be compelling natural realities.[20] Thereafter, "brotherhood" increasingly came to mean a commonality of material and political interests rather than those of kinship, and "sisters" were to become the means for establishing alliances — for uniting males into social fraternities based on military, political, and economic needs.

The social and cultural impact of these material and subjective factors, so clearly rooted in the development of the city and State, can hardly be overstated. Humanity was to cling to the primal blood oath with such tenacity that primordial social forms often remained intact even after they had been divested of their content. In many cases, the clans were not immediately destroyed; often they were retained and like the extended family persisted as mere shadows of the past. In fact, they were subtly reworked in certain societies into instrumentalities of the newly emerging State — first, in the service of early priestly corporations, later, in vestigial form, in the service of the military chieftains and kings.

Here; we sense the ideological activities of the early priesthood that had emerged from a reworking of shamanism. By freeing itself from the social vulnerabilities of the shaman, whose body constituted a mere vessel for spirits, the priestly corporation had acquired the role of a cosmic brokerage firm between humanity and its increasingly anthropomorphic deities — deities no longer to be confused with the nature spirits that peopled the environment of organic society. Theology began to gain ascendancy over divination. Seemingly rational accounts of the origins, workings, and destiny of the cosmos — laden with an epistemology of rule — tended to replace magic. By emphasizing the "guilt" of the human "wrong-doer" and the "displeasure" of the deities, the priestly corporation could acquire an immunity to failure that the shaman had always lacked. The technical failures of the shaman, which typically rendered his social status so insecure in primordial society, could be reinterpreted by the emerging priesthood as evidence of the moral failure of the community itself. Drought, diseases, floods, locust infestations, and defeats in warfare — to cite the Biblical afflictions of ancient humanity — were reinterpreted as the retribution of wrathful deities for communal wrong-doing, not merely as the dark work of malevolent spirits. Technical failure, in effect, was shifted from the priestly corporation to a fallen humanity that had to atone for its moral frailties. And only priestly supplications, visibly reinforced by generous sacrifices in the form of goods and services, could redeem humanity, temper the punitive actions of the deities, and restore the earlier harmony that existed between humanity and its gods. In time, sacrifice and supplication became a constant effort in which neither the community nor its priestly corporation could relent. When this effort was institutionalized to the extent that the episodic became chronic, it created the early theocracies that go hand-in-hand with early cities, whose foci were always the temple, its priestly quarters, its storehouses, craft shops, and the dwellings of its artisans and bureaucracies. Urban life began with an altar, not simply a marketplace, and probably with walls that were meant to define sacred space from the natural, not simply as defensive palisades.

The shift from hierarchical to class societies occurred on two levels: the material and the subjective. A clearly material shift was embodied in the emergence of the city, the State, an authoritarian technics, and a highly organized market economy. The subjective shifts found expression in the emergence of a repressive sensibility and body of values — in various ways of mentalizing the entire realm of experience along lines of command and obedience. Such mentalities could very well be called epistemologies of rule, to use a broad philosophical term. As much as any material development, these epistemologies of rule fostered the development of patriarchy and an egoistic morality in the rulers of society; in the ruled, they fostered a psychic apparatus rooted in guilt and renunciation. Just as aggression flexes our bodies for fight or flight, so class societies organize our psychic structures for command or obedience.

A repressive rationality, not to be confused with reason as such, rendered the social change from organic society to class society highly ambiguous in character. Reason has always identified human fulfillment with a consciousness of self, with logical clarity, and with salvation from humanity's complete absorption into the misty world of the mythopoeic. Even matters of faith and religion have been interpreted rationally — as highly systematic theologies rationally derived from a few fundamental beliefs. But this vast project of humanization — from organic to class society — occurred without a clear ethical basis for human fulfillment, one that had a definite rational content. Hence the emergence of class society was to be burdened from its outset by a paradox: how can reason, conceived as a tool or method for achieving ethical goals, be integrated with reason conceived as the inherent feature or meaning of these ethical goals?

Tragically, it was not left to reason alone, as the great thinkers of the Enlightenment so optimistically believed, to resolve this paradox. Crises have riddled class society from its inception. In the western world, at least, they have produced a legacy of domination so formidable that it threatens to push us into an abyss that may engulf social life itself. The result has been the emergence of a misplaced antirationalism so blistering and introverted in its hostility to mind that it has literally lost sight of the legacy of domination itself. In surrendering mind to intuition, rationality to mere impulse, coherence to eclecticism, and wholeness to a mystical "oneness," we may very well reinforce this legacy if only because we refuse to dispel it with the means of rational analyses.

In our reaction to Enlightenment thought, we must rescue reason without becoming "rationalistic," without reducing reason to mere technique. Rarely has society been so direly in need of a clear understanding of the way we mentalize rule and of the history of domination than today, when the very survival of humanity is at stake. In any case, it is only in the use of reason rather than in rationalizing about reason that mind reveals its promises and pitfalls. It would be better to use our rational faculties and reflect on them later than to lose them altogether to a dark heritage that may obliterate mind itself.

The material and subjective levels on which hierarchical societies crystallized into class societies are not sharply separable. Or to use the language of Victorian social thought, we cannot comfortably speak of one level as the "base" for the other; both, in fact, are inextricably intertwined. The city, which from the beginnings of history appears as the "effect" of basic changes from kinship to territorialism, is so crucially important as the arena for dissolving the blood oath that it can only be regarded as a "cause," however ancillary it seems to important changes in technics and ideology. In fact, urban life from its inception occupies such an ambiguous place in the commonsense logic of cause and effect that we would do well to use these concepts gingerly.

This much is clear: the blood oath which, more than any single factor, held together primordial values and institutions with a certain degree of integrity, could only be surmounted after the claims of blood ties could be replaced by those of civic ties. Only after the territorial system began to dissolve the kinship system or, at least, attenuate its nexus of responsibilities, could hallowed terms like brother and sister cease to be compelling natural realities.[20] Thereafter, "brotherhood" increasingly came to mean a commonality of material and political interests rather than those of kinship, and "sisters" were to become the means for establishing alliances — for uniting males into social fraternities based on military, political, and economic needs.

The social and cultural impact of these material and subjective factors, so clearly rooted in the development of the city and State, can hardly be overstated. Humanity was to cling to the primal blood oath with such tenacity that primordial social forms often remained intact even after they had been divested of their content. In many cases, the clans were not immediately destroyed; often they were retained and like the extended family persisted as mere shadows of the past. In fact, they were subtly reworked in certain societies into instrumentalities of the newly emerging State — first, in the service of early priestly corporations, later, in vestigial form, in the service of the military chieftains and kings.

Here; we sense the ideological activities of the early priesthood that had emerged from a reworking of shamanism. By freeing itself from the social vulnerabilities of the shaman, whose body constituted a mere vessel for spirits, the priestly corporation had acquired the role of a cosmic brokerage firm between humanity and its increasingly anthropomorphic deities — deities no longer to be confused with the nature spirits that peopled the environment of organic society. Theology began to gain ascendancy over divination. Seemingly rational accounts of the origins, workings, and destiny of the cosmos — laden with an epistemology of rule — tended to replace magic. By emphasizing the "guilt" of the human "wrong-doer" and the "displeasure" of the deities, the priestly corporation could acquire an immunity to failure that the shaman had always lacked. The technical failures of the shaman, which typically rendered his social status so insecure in primordial society, could be reinterpreted by the emerging priesthood as evidence of the moral failure of the community itself. Drought, diseases, floods, locust infestations, and defeats in warfare — to cite the Biblical afflictions of ancient humanity — were reinterpreted as the retribution of wrathful deities for communal wrong-doing, not merely as the dark work of malevolent spirits. Technical failure, in effect, was shifted from the priestly corporation to a fallen humanity that had to atone for its moral frailties. And only priestly supplications, visibly reinforced by generous sacrifices in the form of goods and services, could redeem humanity, temper the punitive actions of the deities, and restore the earlier harmony that existed between humanity and its gods. In time, sacrifice and supplication became a constant effort in which neither the community nor its priestly corporation could relent. When this effort was institutionalized to the extent that the episodic became chronic, it created the early theocracies that go hand-in-hand with early cities, whose foci were always the temple, its priestly quarters, its storehouses, craft shops, and the dwellings of its artisans and bureaucracies. Urban life began with an altar, not simply a marketplace, and probably with walls that were meant to define sacred space from the natural, not simply as defensive palisades.

The shift from hierarchical to class societies occurred on two levels: the material and the subjective. A clearly material shift was embodied in the emergence of the city, the State, an authoritarian technics, and a highly organized market economy. The subjective shifts found expression in the emergence of a repressive sensibility and body of values — in various ways of mentalizing the entire realm of experience along lines of command and obedience. Such mentalities could very well be called epistemologies of rule, to use a broad philosophical term. As much as any material development, these epistemologies of rule fostered the development of patriarchy and an egoistic morality in the rulers of society; in the ruled, they fostered a psychic apparatus rooted in guilt and renunciation. Just as aggression flexes our bodies for fight or flight, so class societies organize our psychic structures for command or obedience.

A repressive rationality, not to be confused with reason as such, rendered the social change from organic society to class society highly ambiguous in character. Reason has always identified human fulfillment with a consciousness of self, with logical clarity, and with salvation from humanity's complete absorption into the misty world of the mythopoeic. Even matters of faith and religion have been interpreted rationally — as highly systematic theologies rationally derived from a few fundamental beliefs. But this vast project of humanization — from organic to class society — occurred without a clear ethical basis for human fulfillment, one that had a definite rational content. Hence the emergence of class society was to be burdened from its outset by a paradox: how can reason, conceived as a tool or method for achieving ethical goals, be integrated with reason conceived as the inherent feature or meaning of these ethical goals?

Tragically, it was not left to reason alone, as the great thinkers of the Enlightenment so optimistically believed, to resolve this paradox. Crises have riddled class society from its inception. In the western world, at least, they have produced a legacy of domination so formidable that it threatens to push us into an abyss that may engulf social life itself. The result has been the emergence of a misplaced antirationalism so blistering and introverted in its hostility to mind that it has literally lost sight of the legacy of domination itself. In surrendering mind to intuition, rationality to mere impulse, coherence to eclecticism, and wholeness to a mystical "oneness," we may very well reinforce this legacy if only because we refuse to dispel it with the means of rational analyses.

In our reaction to Enlightenment thought, we must rescue reason without becoming "rationalistic," without reducing reason to mere technique. Rarely has society been so direly in need of a clear understanding of the way we mentalize rule and of the history of domination than today, when the very survival of humanity is at stake. In any case, it is only in the use of reason rather than in rationalizing about reason that mind reveals its promises and pitfalls. It would be better to use our rational faculties and reflect on them later than to lose them altogether to a dark heritage that may obliterate mind itself.

The material and subjective levels on which hierarchical societies crystallized into class societies are not sharply separable. Or to use the language of Victorian social thought, we cannot comfortably speak of one level as the "base" for the other; both, in fact, are inextricably intertwined. The city, which from the beginnings of history appears as the "effect" of basic changes from kinship to territorialism, is so crucially important as the arena for dissolving the blood oath that it can only be regarded as a "cause," however ancillary it seems to important changes in technics and ideology. In fact, urban life from its inception occupies such an ambiguous place in the commonsense logic of cause and effect that we would do well to use these concepts gingerly.

This much is clear: the blood oath which, more than any single factor, held together primordial values and institutions with a certain degree of integrity, could only be surmounted after the claims of blood ties could be replaced by those of civic ties. Only after the territorial system began to dissolve the kinship system or, at least, attenuate its nexus of responsibilities, could hallowed terms like brother and sister cease to be compelling natural realities.[20] Thereafter, "brotherhood" increasingly came to mean a commonality of material and political interests rather than those of kinship, and "sisters" were to become the means for establishing alliances — for uniting males into social fraternities based on military, political, and economic needs.

The social and cultural impact of these material and subjective factors, so clearly rooted in the development of the city and State, can hardly be overstated. Humanity was to cling to the primal blood oath with such tenacity that primordial social forms often remained intact even after they had been divested of their content. In many cases, the clans were not immediately destroyed; often they were retained and like the extended family persisted as mere shadows of the past. In fact, they were subtly reworked in certain societies into instrumentalities of the newly emerging State — first, in the service of early priestly corporations, later, in vestigial form, in the service of the military chieftains and kings.

Here; we sense the ideological activities of the early priesthood that had emerged from a reworking of shamanism. By freeing itself from the social vulnerabilities of the shaman, whose body constituted a mere vessel for spirits, the priestly corporation had acquired the role of a cosmic brokerage firm between humanity and its increasingly anthropomorphic deities — deities no longer to be confused with the nature spirits that peopled the environment of organic society. Theology began to gain ascendancy over divination. Seemingly rational accounts of the origins, workings, and destiny of the cosmos — laden with an epistemology of rule — tended to replace magic. By emphasizing the "guilt" of the human "wrong-doer" and the "displeasure" of the deities, the priestly corporation could acquire an immunity to failure that the shaman had always lacked. The technical failures of the shaman, which typically rendered his social status so insecure in primordial society, could be reinterpreted by the emerging priesthood as evidence of the moral failure of the community itself. Drought, diseases, floods, locust infestations, and defeats in warfare — to cite the Biblical afflictions of ancient humanity — were reinterpreted as the retribution of wrathful deities for communal wrong-doing, not merely as the dark work of malevolent spirits. Technical failure, in effect, was shifted from the priestly corporation to a fallen humanity that had to atone for its moral frailties. And only priestly supplications, visibly reinforced by generous sacrifices in the form of goods and services, could redeem humanity, temper the punitive actions of the deities, and restore the earlier harmony that existed between humanity and its gods. In time, sacrifice and supplication became a constant effort in which neither the community nor its priestly corporation could relent. When this effort was institutionalized to the extent that the episodic became chronic, it created the early theocracies that go hand-in-hand with early cities, whose foci were always the temple, its priestly quarters, its storehouses, craft shops, and the dwellings of its artisans and bureaucracies. Urban life began with an altar, not simply a marketplace, and probably with walls that were meant to define sacred space from the natural, not simply as defensive palisades.

The shift from hierarchical to class societies occurred on two levels: the material and the subjective. A clearly material shift was embodied in the emergence of the city, the State, an authoritarian technics, and a highly organized market economy. The subjective shifts found expression in the emergence of a repressive sensibility and body of values — in various ways of mentalizing the entire realm of experience along lines of command and obedience. Such mentalities could very well be called epistemologies of rule, to use a broad philosophical term. As much as any material development, these epistemologies of rule fostered the development of patriarchy and an egoistic morality in the rulers of society; in the ruled, they fostered a psychic apparatus rooted in guilt and renunciation. Just as aggression flexes our bodies for fight or flight, so class societies organize our psychic structures for command or obedience.

A repressive rationality, not to be confused with reason as such, rendered the social change from organic society to class society highly ambiguous in character. Reason has always identified human fulfillment with a consciousness of self, with logical clarity, and with salvation from humanity's complete absorption into the misty world of the mythopoeic. Even matters of faith and religion have been interpreted rationally — as highly systematic theologies rationally derived from a few fundamental beliefs. But this vast project of humanization — from organic to class society — occurred without a clear ethical basis for human fulfillment, one that had a definite rational content. Hence the emergence of class society was to be burdened from its outset by a paradox: how can reason, conceived as a tool or method for achieving ethical goals, be integrated with reason conceived as the inherent feature or meaning of these ethical goals?

Tragically, it was not left to reason alone, as the great thinkers of the Enlightenment so optimistically believed, to resolve this paradox. Crises have riddled class society from its inception. In the western world, at least, they have produced a legacy of domination so formidable that it threatens to push us into an abyss that may engulf social life itself. The result has been the emergence of a misplaced antirationalism so blistering and introverted in its hostility to mind that it has literally lost sight of the legacy of domination itself. In surrendering mind to intuition, rationality to mere impulse, coherence to eclecticism, and wholeness to a mystical "oneness," we may very well reinforce this legacy if only because we refuse to dispel it with the means of rational analyses.

In our reaction to Enlightenment thought, we must rescue reason without becoming "rationalistic," without reducing reason to mere technique. Rarely has society been so direly in need of a clear understanding of the way we mentalize rule and of the history of domination than today, when the very survival of humanity is at stake. In any case, it is only in the use of reason rather than in rationalizing about reason that mind reveals its promises and pitfalls. It would be better to use our rational faculties and reflect on them later than to lose them altogether to a dark heritage that may obliterate mind itself.

The material and subjective levels on which hierarchical societies crystallized into class societies are not sharply separable. Or to use the language of Victorian social thought, we cannot comfortably speak of one level as the "base" for the other; both, in fact, are inextricably intertwined. The city, which from the beginnings of history appears as the "effect" of basic changes from kinship to territorialism, is so crucially important as the arena for dissolving the blood oath that it can only be regarded as a "cause," however ancillary it seems to important changes in technics and ideology. In fact, urban life from its inception occupies such an ambiguous place in the commonsense logic of cause and effect that we would do well to use these concepts gingerly.

This much is clear: the blood oath which, more than any single factor, held together primordial values and institutions with a certain degree of integrity, could only be surmounted after the claims of blood ties could be replaced by those of civic ties. Only after the territorial system began to dissolve the kinship system or, at least, attenuate its nexus of responsibilities, could hallowed terms like brother and sister cease to be compelling natural realities.[20] Thereafter, "brotherhood" increasingly came to mean a commonality of material and political interests rather than those of kinship, and "sisters" were to become the means for establishing alliances — for uniting males into social fraternities based on military, political, and economic needs.

The social and cultural impact of these material and subjective factors, so clearly rooted in the development of the city and State, can hardly be overstated. Humanity was to cling to the primal blood oath with such tenacity that primordial social forms often remained intact even after they had been divested of their content. In many cases, the clans were not immediately destroyed; often they were retained and like the extended family persisted as mere shadows of the past. In fact, they were subtly reworked in certain societies into instrumentalities of the newly emerging State — first, in the service of early priestly corporations, later, in vestigial form, in the service of the military chieftains and kings.

Here; we sense the ideological activities of the early priesthood that had emerged from a reworking of shamanism. By freeing itself from the social vulnerabilities of the shaman, whose body constituted a mere vessel for spirits, the priestly corporation had acquired the role of a cosmic brokerage firm between humanity and its increasingly anthropomorphic deities — deities no longer to be confused with the nature spirits that peopled the environment of organic society. Theology began to gain ascendancy over divination. Seemingly rational accounts of the origins, workings, and destiny of the cosmos — laden with an epistemology of rule — tended to replace magic. By emphasizing the "guilt" of the human "wrong-doer" and the "displeasure" of the deities, the priestly corporation could acquire an immunity to failure that the shaman had always lacked. The technical failures of the shaman, which typically rendered his social status so insecure in primordial society, could be reinterpreted by the emerging priesthood as evidence of the moral failure of the community itself. Drought, diseases, floods, locust infestations, and defeats in warfare — to cite the Biblical afflictions of ancient humanity — were reinterpreted as the retribution of wrathful deities for communal wrong-doing, not merely as the dark work of malevolent spirits. Technical failure, in effect, was shifted from the priestly corporation to a fallen humanity that had to atone for its moral frailties. And only priestly supplications, visibly reinforced by generous sacrifices in the form of goods and services, could redeem humanity, temper the punitive actions of the deities, and restore the earlier harmony that existed between humanity and its gods. In time, sacrifice and supplication became a constant effort in which neither the community nor its priestly corporation could relent. When this effort was institutionalized to the extent that the episodic became chronic, it created the early theocracies that go hand-in-hand with early cities, whose foci were always the temple, its priestly quarters, its storehouses, craft shops, and the dwellings of its artisans and bureaucracies. Urban life began with an altar, not simply a marketplace, and probably with walls that were meant to define sacred space from the natural, not simply as defensive palisades.

The shift from hierarchical to class societies occurred on two levels: the material and the subjective. A clearly material shift was embodied in the emergence of the city, the State, an authoritarian technics, and a highly organized market economy. The subjective shifts found expression in the emergence of a repressive sensibility and body of values — in various ways of mentalizing the entire realm of experience along lines of command and obedience. Such mentalities could very well be called epistemologies of rule, to use a broad philosophical term. As much as any material development, these epistemologies of rule fostered the development of patriarchy and an egoistic morality in the rulers of society; in the ruled, they fostered a psychic apparatus rooted in guilt and renunciation. Just as aggression flexes our bodies for fight or flight, so class societies organize our psychic structures for command or obedience.

A repressive rationality, not to be confused with reason as such, rendered the social change from organic society to class society highly ambiguous in character. Reason has always identified human fulfillment with a consciousness of self, with logical clarity, and with salvation from humanity's complete absorption into the misty world of the mythopoeic. Even matters of faith and religion have been interpreted rationally — as highly systematic theologies rationally derived from a few fundamental beliefs. But this vast project of humanization — from organic to class society — occurred without a clear ethical basis for human fulfillment, one that had a definite rational content. Hence the emergence of class society was to be burdened from its outset by a paradox: how can reason, conceived as a tool or method for achieving ethical goals, be integrated with reason conceived as the inherent feature or meaning of these ethical goals?

Tragically, it was not left to reason alone, as the great thinkers of the Enlightenment so optimistically believed, to resolve this paradox. Crises have riddled class society from its inception. In the western world, at least, they have produced a legacy of domination so formidable that it threatens to push us into an abyss that may engulf social life itself. The result has been the emergence of a misplaced antirationalism so blistering and introverted in its hostility to mind that it has literally lost sight of the legacy of domination itself. In surrendering mind to intuition, rationality to mere impulse, coherence to eclecticism, and wholeness to a mystical "oneness," we may very well reinforce this legacy if only because we refuse to dispel it with the means of rational analyses.

In our reaction to Enlightenment thought, we must rescue reason without becoming "rationalistic," without reducing reason to mere technique. Rarely has society been so direly in need of a clear understanding of the way we mentalize rule and of the history of domination than today, when the very survival of humanity is at stake. In any case, it is only in the use of reason rather than in rationalizing about reason that mind reveals its promises and pitfalls. It would be better to use our rational faculties and reflect on them later than to lose them altogether to a dark heritage that may obliterate mind itself.

The material and subjective levels on which hierarchical societies crystallized into class societies are not sharply separable. Or to use the language of Victorian social thought, we cannot comfortably speak of one level as the "base" for the other; both, in fact, are inextricably intertwined. The city, which from the beginnings of history appears as the "effect" of basic changes from kinship to territorialism, is so crucially important as the arena for dissolving the blood oath that it can only be regarded as a "cause," however ancillary it seems to important changes in technics and ideology. In fact, urban life from its inception occupies such an ambiguous place in the commonsense logic of cause and effect that we would do well to use these concepts gingerly.

This much is clear: the blood oath which, more than any single factor, held together primordial values and institutions with a certain degree of integrity, could only be surmounted after the claims of blood ties could be replaced by those of civic ties. Only after the territorial system began to dissolve the kinship system or, at least, attenuate its nexus of responsibilities, could hallowed terms like brother and sister cease to be compelling natural realities.[20] Thereafter, "brotherhood" increasingly came to mean a commonality of material and political interests rather than those of kinship, and "sisters" were to become the means for establishing alliances — for uniting males into social fraternities based on military, political, and economic needs.

The social and cultural impact of these material and subjective factors, so clearly rooted in the development of the city and State, can hardly be overstated. Humanity was to cling to the primal blood oath with such tenacity that primordial social forms often remained intact even after they had been divested of their content. In many cases, the clans were not immediately destroyed; often they were retained and like the extended family persisted as mere shadows of the past. In fact, they were subtly reworked in certain societies into instrumentalities of the newly emerging State — first, in the service of early priestly corporations, later, in vestigial form, in the service of the military chieftains and kings.

Here; we sense the ideological activities of the early priesthood that had emerged from a reworking of shamanism. By freeing itself from the social vulnerabilities of the shaman, whose body constituted a mere vessel for spirits, the priestly corporation had acquired the role of a cosmic brokerage firm between humanity and its increasingly anthropomorphic deities — deities no longer to be confused with the nature spirits that peopled the environment of organic society. Theology began to gain ascendancy over divination. Seemingly rational accounts of the origins, workings, and destiny of the cosmos — laden with an epistemology of rule — tended to replace magic. By emphasizing the "guilt" of the human "wrong-doer" and the "displeasure" of the deities, the priestly corporation could acquire an immunity to failure that the shaman had always lacked. The technical failures of the shaman, which typically rendered his social status so insecure in primordial society, could be reinterpreted by the emerging priesthood as evidence of the moral failure of the community itself. Drought, diseases, floods, locust infestations, and defeats in warfare — to cite the Biblical afflictions of ancient humanity — were reinterpreted as the retribution of wrathful deities for communal wrong-doing, not merely as the dark work of malevolent spirits. Technical failure, in effect, was shifted from the priestly corporation to a fallen humanity that had to atone for its moral frailties. And only priestly supplications, visibly reinforced by generous sacrifices in the form of goods and services, could redeem humanity, temper the punitive actions of the deities, and restore the earlier harmony that existed between humanity and its gods. In time, sacrifice and supplication became a constant effort in which neither the community nor its priestly corporation could relent. When this effort was institutionalized to the extent that the episodic became chronic, it created the early theocracies that go hand-in-hand with early cities, whose foci were always the temple, its priestly quarters, its storehouses, craft shops, and the dwellings of its artisans and bureaucracies. Urban life began with an altar, not simply a marketplace, and probably with walls that were meant to define sacred space from the natural, not simply as defensive palisades.

The shift from hierarchical to class societies occurred on two levels: the material and the subjective. A clearly material shift was embodied in the emergence of the city, the State, an authoritarian technics, and a highly organized market economy. The subjective shifts found expression in the emergence of a repressive sensibility and body of values — in various ways of mentalizing the entire realm of experience along lines of command and obedience. Such mentalities could very well be called epistemologies of rule, to use a broad philosophical term. As much as any material development, these epistemologies of rule fostered the development of patriarchy and an egoistic morality in the rulers of society; in the ruled, they fostered a psychic apparatus rooted in guilt and renunciation. Just as aggression flexes our bodies for fight or flight, so class societies organize our psychic structures for command or obedience.

A repressive rationality, not to be confused with reason as such, rendered the social change from organic society to class society highly ambiguous in character. Reason has always identified human fulfillment with a consciousness of self, with logical clarity, and with salvation from humanity's complete absorption into the misty world of the mythopoeic. Even matters of faith and religion have been interpreted rationally — as highly systematic theologies rationally derived from a few fundamental beliefs. But this vast project of humanization — from organic to class society — occurred without a clear ethical basis for human fulfillment, one that had a definite rational content. Hence the emergence of class society was to be burdened from its outset by a paradox: how can reason, conceived as a tool or method for achieving ethical goals, be integrated with reason conceived as the inherent feature or meaning of these ethical goals?

Tragically, it was not left to reason alone, as the great thinkers of the Enlightenment so optimistically believed, to resolve this paradox. Crises have riddled class society from its inception. In the western world, at least, they have produced a legacy of domination so formidable that it threatens to push us into an abyss that may engulf social life itself. The result has been the emergence of a misplaced antirationalism so blistering and introverted in its hostility to mind that it has literally lost sight of the legacy of domination itself. In surrendering mind to intuition, rationality to mere impulse, coherence to eclecticism, and wholeness to a mystical "oneness," we may very well reinforce this legacy if only because we refuse to dispel it with the means of rational analyses.

In our reaction to Enlightenment thought, we must rescue reason without becoming "rationalistic," without reducing reason to mere technique. Rarely has society been so direly in need of a clear understanding of the way we mentalize rule and of the history of domination than today, when the very survival of humanity is at stake. In any case, it is only in the use of reason rather than in rationalizing about reason that mind reveals its promises and pitfalls. It would be better to use our rational faculties and reflect on them later than to lose them altogether to a dark heritage that may obliterate mind itself.

The material and subjective levels on which hierarchical societies crystallized into class societies are not sharply separable. Or to use the language of Victorian social thought, we cannot comfortably speak of one level as the "base" for the other; both, in fact, are inextricably intertwined. The city, which from the beginnings of history appears as the "effect" of basic changes from kinship to territorialism, is so crucially important as the arena for dissolving the blood oath that it can only be regarded as a "cause," however ancillary it seems to important changes in technics and ideology. In fact, urban life from its inception occupies such an ambiguous place in the commonsense logic of cause and effect that we would do well to use these concepts gingerly.

This much is clear: the blood oath which, more than any single factor, held together primordial values and institutions with a certain degree of integrity, could only be surmounted after the claims of blood ties could be replaced by those of civic ties. Only after the territorial system began to dissolve the kinship system or, at least, attenuate its nexus of responsibilities, could hallowed terms like brother and sister cease to be compelling natural realities.[20] Thereafter, "brotherhood" increasingly came to mean a commonality of material and political interests rather than those of kinship, and "sisters" were to become the means for establishing alliances — for uniting males into social fraternities based on military, political, and economic needs.

The social and cultural impact of these material and subjective factors, so clearly rooted in the development of the city and State, can hardly be overstated. Humanity was to cling to the primal blood oath with such tenacity that primordial social forms often remained intact even after they had been divested of their content. In many cases, the clans were not immediately destroyed; often they were retained and like the extended family persisted as mere shadows of the past. In fact, they were subtly reworked in certain societies into instrumentalities of the newly emerging State — first, in the service of early priestly corporations, later, in vestigial form, in the service of the military chieftains and kings.

Here; we sense the ideological activities of the early priesthood that had emerged from a reworking of shamanism. By freeing itself from the social vulnerabilities of the shaman, whose body constituted a mere vessel for spirits, the priestly corporation had acquired the role of a cosmic brokerage firm between humanity and its increasingly anthropomorphic deities — deities no longer to be confused with the nature spirits that peopled the environment of organic society. Theology began to gain ascendancy over divination. Seemingly rational accounts of the origins, workings, and destiny of the cosmos — laden with an epistemology of rule — tended to replace magic. By emphasizing the "guilt" of the human "wrong-doer" and the "displeasure" of the deities, the priestly corporation could acquire an immunity to failure that the shaman had always lacked. The technical failures of the shaman, which typically rendered his social status so insecure in primordial society, could be reinterpreted by the emerging priesthood as evidence of the moral failure of the community itself. Drought, diseases, floods, locust infestations, and defeats in warfare — to cite the Biblical afflictions of ancient humanity — were reinterpreted as the retribution of wrathful deities for communal wrong-doing, not merely as the dark work of malevolent spirits. Technical failure, in effect, was shifted from the priestly corporation to a fallen humanity that had to atone for its moral frailties. And only priestly supplications, visibly reinforced by generous sacrifices in the form of goods and services, could redeem humanity, temper the punitive actions of the deities, and restore the earlier harmony that existed between humanity and its gods. In time, sacrifice and supplication became a constant effort in which neither the community nor its priestly corporation could relent. When this effort was institutionalized to the extent that the episodic became chronic, it created the early theocracies that go hand-in-hand with early cities, whose foci were always the temple, its priestly quarters, its storehouses, craft shops, and the dwellings of its artisans and bureaucracies. Urban life began with an altar, not simply a marketplace, and probably with walls that were meant to define sacred space from the natural, not simply as defensive palisades.

The shift from hierarchical to class societies occurred on two levels: the material and the subjective. A clearly material shift was embodied in the emergence of the city, the State, an authoritarian technics, and a highly organized market economy. The subjective shifts found expression in the emergence of a repressive sensibility and body of values — in various ways of mentalizing the entire realm of experience along lines of command and obedience. Such mentalities could very well be called epistemologies of rule, to use a broad philosophical term. As much as any material development, these epistemologies of rule fostered the development of patriarchy and an egoistic morality in the rulers of society; in the ruled, they fostered a psychic apparatus rooted in guilt and renunciation. Just as aggression flexes our bodies for fight or flight, so class societies organize our psychic structures for command or obedience.

A repressive rationality, not to be confused with reason as such, rendered the social change from organic society to class society highly ambiguous in character. Reason has always identified human fulfillment with a consciousness of self, with logical clarity, and with salvation from humanity's complete absorption into the misty world of the mythopoeic. Even matters of faith and religion have been interpreted rationally — as highly systematic theologies rationally derived from a few fundamental beliefs. But this vast project of humanization — from organic to class society — occurred without a clear ethical basis for human fulfillment, one that had a definite rational content. Hence the emergence of class society was to be burdened from its outset by a paradox: how can reason, conceived as a tool or method for achieving ethical goals, be integrated with reason conceived as the inherent feature or meaning of these ethical goals?

Tragically, it was not left to reason alone, as the great thinkers of the Enlightenment so optimistically believed, to resolve this paradox. Crises have riddled class society from its inception. In the western world, at least, they have produced a legacy of domination so formidable that it threatens to push us into an abyss that may engulf social life itself. The result has been the emergence of a misplaced antirationalism so blistering and introverted in its hostility to mind that it has literally lost sight of the legacy of domination itself. In surrendering mind to intuition, rationality to mere impulse, coherence to eclecticism, and wholeness to a mystical "oneness," we may very well reinforce this legacy if only because we refuse to dispel it with the means of rational analyses.

In our reaction to Enlightenment thought, we must rescue reason without becoming "rationalistic," without reducing reason to mere technique. Rarely has society been so direly in need of a clear understanding of the way we mentalize rule and of the history of domination than today, when the very survival of humanity is at stake. In any case, it is only in the use of reason rather than in rationalizing about reason that mind reveals its promises and pitfalls. It would be better to use our rational faculties and reflect on them later than to lose them altogether to a dark heritage that may obliterate mind itself.

The material and subjective levels on which hierarchical societies crystallized into class societies are not sharply separable. Or to use the language of Victorian social thought, we cannot comfortably speak of one level as the "base" for the other; both, in fact, are inextricably intertwined. The city, which from the beginnings of history appears as the "effect" of basic changes from kinship to territorialism, is so crucially important as the arena for dissolving the blood oath that it can only be regarded as a "cause," however ancillary it seems to important changes in technics and ideology. In fact, urban life from its inception occupies such an ambiguous place in the commonsense logic of cause and effect that we would do well to use these concepts gingerly.

This much is clear: the blood oath which, more than any single factor, held together primordial values and institutions with a certain degree of integrity, could only be surmounted after the claims of blood ties could be replaced by those of civic ties. Only after the territorial system began to dissolve the kinship system or, at least, attenuate its nexus of responsibilities, could hallowed terms like brother and sister cease to be compelling natural realities.[20] Thereafter, "brotherhood" increasingly came to mean a commonality of material and political interests rather than those of kinship, and "sisters" were to become the means for establishing alliances — for uniting males into social fraternities based on military, political, and economic needs.

The social and cultural impact of these material and subjective factors, so clearly rooted in the development of the city and State, can hardly be overstated. Humanity was to cling to the primal blood oath with such tenacity that primordial social forms often remained intact even after they had been divested of their content. In many cases, the clans were not immediately destroyed; often they were retained and like the extended family persisted as mere shadows of the past. In fact, they were subtly reworked in certain societies into instrumentalities of the newly emerging State — first, in the service of early priestly corporations, later, in vestigial form, in the service of the military chieftains and kings.

Here; we sense the ideological activities of the early priesthood that had emerged from a reworking of shamanism. By freeing itself from the social vulnerabilities of the shaman, whose body constituted a mere vessel for spirits, the priestly corporation had acquired the role of a cosmic brokerage firm between humanity and its increasingly anthropomorphic deities — deities no longer to be confused with the nature spirits that peopled the environment of organic society. Theology began to gain ascendancy over divination. Seemingly rational accounts of the origins, workings, and destiny of the cosmos — laden with an epistemology of rule — tended to replace magic. By emphasizing the "guilt" of the human "wrong-doer" and the "displeasure" of the deities, the priestly corporation could acquire an immunity to failure that the shaman had always lacked. The technical failures of the shaman, which typically rendered his social status so insecure in primordial society, could be reinterpreted by the emerging priesthood as evidence of the moral failure of the community itself. Drought, diseases, floods, locust infestations, and defeats in warfare — to cite the Biblical afflictions of ancient humanity — were reinterpreted as the retribution of wrathful deities for communal wrong-doing, not merely as the dark work of malevolent spirits. Technical failure, in effect, was shifted from the priestly corporation to a fallen humanity that had to atone for its moral frailties. And only priestly supplications, visibly reinforced by generous sacrifices in the form of goods and services, could redeem humanity, temper the punitive actions of the deities, and restore the earlier harmony that existed between humanity and its gods. In time, sacrifice and supplication became a constant effort in which neither the community nor its priestly corporation could relent. When this effort was institutionalized to the extent that the episodic became chronic, it created the early theocracies that go hand-in-hand with early cities, whose foci were always the temple, its priestly quarters, its storehouses, craft shops, and the dwellings of its artisans and bureaucracies. Urban life began with an altar, not simply a marketplace, and probably with walls that were meant to define sacred space from the natural, not simply as defensive palisades.

The shift from hierarchical to class societies occurred on two levels: the material and the subjective. A clearly material shift was embodied in the emergence of the city, the State, an authoritarian technics, and a highly organized market economy. The subjective shifts found expression in the emergence of a repressive sensibility and body of values — in various ways of mentalizing the entire realm of experience along lines of command and obedience. Such mentalities could very well be called epistemologies of rule, to use a broad philosophical term. As much as any material development, these epistemologies of rule fostered the development of patriarchy and an egoistic morality in the rulers of society; in the ruled, they fostered a psychic apparatus rooted in guilt and renunciation. Just as aggression flexes our bodies for fight or flight, so class societies organize our psychic structures for command or obedience.

A repressive rationality, not to be confused with reason as such, rendered the social change from organic society to class society highly ambiguous in character. Reason has always identified human fulfillment with a consciousness of self, with logical clarity, and with salvation from humanity's complete absorption into the misty world of the mythopoeic. Even matters of faith and religion have been interpreted rationally — as highly systematic theologies rationally derived from a few fundamental beliefs. But this vast project of humanization — from organic to class society — occurred without a clear ethical basis for human fulfillment, one that had a definite rational content. Hence the emergence of class society was to be burdened from its outset by a paradox: how can reason, conceived as a tool or method for achieving ethical goals, be integrated with reason conceived as the inherent feature or meaning of these ethical goals?

Tragically, it was not left to reason alone, as the great thinkers of the Enlightenment so optimistically believed, to resolve this paradox. Crises have riddled class society from its inception. In the western world, at least, they have produced a legacy of domination so formidable that it threatens to push us into an abyss that may engulf social life itself. The result has been the emergence of a misplaced antirationalism so blistering and introverted in its hostility to mind that it has literally lost sight of the legacy of domination itself. In surrendering mind to intuition, rationality to mere impulse, coherence to eclecticism, and wholeness to a mystical "oneness," we may very well reinforce this legacy if only because we refuse to dispel it with the means of rational analyses.

In our reaction to Enlightenment thought, we must rescue reason without becoming "rationalistic," without reducing reason to mere technique. Rarely has society been so direly in need of a clear understanding of the way we mentalize rule and of the history of domination than today, when the very survival of humanity is at stake. In any case, it is only in the use of reason rather than in rationalizing about reason that mind reveals its promises and pitfalls. It would be better to use our rational faculties and reflect on them later than to lose them altogether to a dark heritage that may obliterate mind itself.

The material and subjective levels on which hierarchical societies crystallized into class societies are not sharply separable. Or to use the language of Victorian social thought, we cannot comfortably speak of one level as the "base" for the other; both, in fact, are inextricably intertwined. The city, which from the beginnings of history appears as the "effect" of basic changes from kinship to territorialism, is so crucially important as the arena for dissolving the blood oath that it can only be regarded as a "cause," however ancillary it seems to important changes in technics and ideology. In fact, urban life from its inception occupies such an ambiguous place in the commonsense logic of cause and effect that we would do well to use these concepts gingerly.

This much is clear: the blood oath which, more than any single factor, held together primordial values and institutions with a certain degree of integrity, could only be surmounted after the claims of blood ties could be replaced by those of civic ties. Only after the territorial system began to dissolve the kinship system or, at least, attenuate its nexus of responsibilities, could hallowed terms like brother and sister cease to be compelling natural realities.[20] Thereafter, "brotherhood" increasingly came to mean a commonality of material and political interests rather than those of kinship, and "sisters" were to become the means for establishing alliances — for uniting males into social fraternities based on military, political, and economic needs.

The social and cultural impact of these material and subjective factors, so clearly rooted in the development of the city and State, can hardly be overstated. Humanity was to cling to the primal blood oath with such tenacity that primordial social forms often remained intact even after they had been divested of their content. In many cases, the clans were not immediately destroyed; often they were retained and like the extended family persisted as mere shadows of the past. In fact, they were subtly reworked in certain societies into instrumentalities of the newly emerging State — first, in the service of early priestly corporations, later, in vestigial form, in the service of the military chieftains and kings.

Here; we sense the ideological activities of the early priesthood that had emerged from a reworking of shamanism. By freeing itself from the social vulnerabilities of the shaman, whose body constituted a mere vessel for spirits, the priestly corporation had acquired the role of a cosmic brokerage firm between humanity and its increasingly anthropomorphic deities — deities no longer to be confused with the nature spirits that peopled the environment of organic society. Theology began to gain ascendancy over divination. Seemingly rational accounts of the origins, workings, and destiny of the cosmos — laden with an epistemology of rule — tended to replace magic. By emphasizing the "guilt" of the human "wrong-doer" and the "displeasure" of the deities, the priestly corporation could acquire an immunity to failure that the shaman had always lacked. The technical failures of the shaman, which typically rendered his social status so insecure in primordial society, could be reinterpreted by the emerging priesthood as evidence of the moral failure of the community itself. Drought, diseases, floods, locust infestations, and defeats in warfare — to cite the Biblical afflictions of ancient humanity — were reinterpreted as the retribution of wrathful deities for communal wrong-doing, not merely as the dark work of malevolent spirits. Technical failure, in effect, was shifted from the priestly corporation to a fallen humanity that had to atone for its moral frailties. And only priestly supplications, visibly reinforced by generous sacrifices in the form of goods and services, could redeem humanity, temper the punitive actions of the deities, and restore the earlier harmony that existed between humanity and its gods. In time, sacrifice and supplication became a constant effort in which neither the community nor its priestly corporation could relent. When this effort was institutionalized to the extent that the episodic became chronic, it created the early theocracies that go hand-in-hand with early cities, whose foci were always the temple, its priestly quarters, its storehouses, craft shops, and the dwellings of its artisans and bureaucracies. Urban life began with an altar, not simply a marketplace, and probably with walls that were meant to define sacred space from the natural, not simply as defensive palisades.

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The shift from hierarchical to class societies occurred on two levels: the material and the subjective. A clearly material shift was embodied in the emergence of the city, the State, an authoritarian technics, and a highly organized market economy. The subjective shifts found expression in the emergence of a repressive sensibility and body of values — in various ways of mentalizing the entire realm of experience along lines of command and obedience. Such mentalities could very well be called epistemologies of rule, to use a broad philosophical term. As much as any material development, these epistemologies of rule fostered the development of patriarchy and an egoistic morality in the rulers of society; in the ruled, they fostered a psychic apparatus rooted in guilt and renunciation. Just as aggression flexes our bodies for fight or flight, so class societies organize our psychic structures for command or obedience.

A repressive rationality, not to be confused with reason as such, rendered the social change from organic society to class society highly ambiguous in character. Reason has always identified human fulfillment with a consciousness of self, with logical clarity, and with salvation from humanity's complete absorption into the misty world of the mythopoeic. Even matters of faith and religion have been interpreted rationally — as highly systematic theologies rationally derived from a few fundamental beliefs. But this vast project of humanization — from organic to class society — occurred without a clear ethical basis for human fulfillment, one that had a definite rational content. Hence the emergence of class society was to be burdened from its outset by a paradox: how can reason, conceived as a tool or method for achieving ethical goals, be integrated with reason conceived as the inherent feature or meaning of these ethical goals?

Tragically, it was not left to reason alone, as the great thinkers of the Enlightenment so optimistically believed, to resolve this paradox. Crises have riddled class society from its inception. In the western world, at least, they have produced a legacy of domination so formidable that it threatens to push us into an abyss that may engulf social life itself. The result has been the emergence of a misplaced antirationalism so blistering and introverted in its hostility to mind that it has literally lost sight of the legacy of domination itself. In surrendering mind to intuition, rationality to mere impulse, coherence to eclecticism, and wholeness to a mystical "oneness," we may very well reinforce this legacy if only because we refuse to dispel it with the means of rational analyses.

In our reaction to Enlightenment thought, we must rescue reason without becoming "rationalistic," without reducing reason to mere technique. Rarely has society been so direly in need of a clear understanding of the way we mentalize rule and of the history of domination than today, when the very survival of humanity is at stake. In any case, it is only in the use of reason rather than in rationalizing about reason that mind reveals its promises and pitfalls. It would be better to use our rational faculties and reflect on them later than to lose them altogether to a dark heritage that may obliterate mind itself.

The material and subjective levels on which hierarchical societies crystallized into class societies are not sharply separable. Or to use the language of Victorian social thought, we cannot comfortably speak of one level as the "base" for the other; both, in fact, are inextricably intertwined. The city, which from the beginnings of history appears as the "effect" of basic changes from kinship to territorialism, is so crucially important as the arena for dissolving the blood oath that it can only be regarded as a "cause," however ancillary it seems to important changes in technics and ideology. In fact, urban life from its inception occupies such an ambiguous place in the commonsense logic of cause and effect that we would do well to use these concepts gingerly.

This much is clear: the blood oath which, more than any single factor, held together primordial values and institutions with a certain degree of integrity, could only be surmounted after the claims of blood ties could be replaced by those of civic ties. Only after the territorial system began to dissolve the kinship system or, at least, attenuate its nexus of responsibilities, could hallowed terms like brother and sister cease to be compelling natural realities.[20] Thereafter, "brotherhood" increasingly came to mean a commonality of material and political interests rather than those of kinship, and "sisters" were to become the means for establishing alliances — for uniting males into social fraternities based on military, political, and economic needs.

The social and cultural impact of these material and subjective factors, so clearly rooted in the development of the city and State, can hardly be overstated. Humanity was to cling to the primal blood oath with such tenacity that primordial social forms often remained intact even after they had been divested of their content. In many cases, the clans were not immediately destroyed; often they were retained and like the extended family persisted as mere shadows of the past. In fact, they were subtly reworked in certain societies into instrumentalities of the newly emerging State — first, in the service of early priestly corporations, later, in vestigial form, in the service of the military chieftains and kings.

Here; we sense the ideological activities of the early priesthood that had emerged from a reworking of shamanism. By freeing itself from the social vulnerabilities of the shaman, whose body constituted a mere vessel for spirits, the priestly corporation had acquired the role of a cosmic brokerage firm between humanity and its increasingly anthropomorphic deities — deities no longer to be confused with the nature spirits that peopled the environment of organic society. Theology began to gain ascendancy over divination. Seemingly rational accounts of the origins, workings, and destiny of the cosmos — laden with an epistemology of rule — tended to replace magic. By emphasizing the "guilt" of the human "wrong-doer" and the "displeasure" of the deities, the priestly corporation could acquire an immunity to failure that the shaman had always lacked. The technical failures of the shaman, which typically rendered his social status so insecure in primordial society, could be reinterpreted by the emerging priesthood as evidence of the moral failure of the community itself. Drought, diseases, floods, locust infestations, and defeats in warfare — to cite the Biblical afflictions of ancient humanity — were reinterpreted as the retribution of wrathful deities for communal wrong-doing, not merely as the dark work of malevolent spirits. Technical failure, in effect, was shifted from the priestly corporation to a fallen humanity that had to atone for its moral frailties. And only priestly supplications, visibly reinforced by generous sacrifices in the form of goods and services, could redeem humanity, temper the punitive actions of the deities, and restore the earlier harmony that existed between humanity and its gods. In time, sacrifice and supplication became a constant effort in which neither the community nor its priestly corporation could relent. When this effort was institutionalized to the extent that the episodic became chronic, it created the early theocracies that go hand-in-hand with early cities, whose foci were always the temple, its priestly quarters, its storehouses, craft shops, and the dwellings of its artisans and bureaucracies. Urban life began with an altar, not simply a marketplace, and probably with walls that were meant to define sacred space from the natural, not simply as defensive palisades.

The shift from hierarchical to class societies occurred on two levels: the material and the subjective. A clearly material shift was embodied in the emergence of the city, the State, an authoritarian technics, and a highly organized market economy. The subjective shifts found expression in the emergence of a repressive sensibility and body of values — in various ways of mentalizing the entire realm of experience along lines of command and obedience. Such mentalities could very well be called epistemologies of rule, to use a broad philosophical term. As much as any material development, these epistemologies of rule fostered the development of patriarchy and an egoistic morality in the rulers of society; in the ruled, they fostered a psychic apparatus rooted in guilt and renunciation. Just as aggression flexes our bodies for fight or flight, so class societies organize our psychic structures for command or obedience.

A repressive rationality, not to be confused with reason as such, rendered the social change from organic society to class society highly ambiguous in character. Reason has always identified human fulfillment with a consciousness of self, with logical clarity, and with salvation from humanity's complete absorption into the misty world of the mythopoeic. Even matters of faith and religion have been interpreted rationally — as highly systematic theologies rationally derived from a few fundamental beliefs. But this vast project of humanization — from organic to class society — occurred without a clear ethical basis for human fulfillment, one that had a definite rational content. Hence the emergence of class society was to be burdened from its outset by a paradox: how can reason, conceived as a tool or method for achieving ethical goals, be integrated with reason conceived as the inherent feature or meaning of these ethical goals?

Tragically, it was not left to reason alone, as the great thinkers of the Enlightenment so optimistically believed, to resolve this paradox. Crises have riddled class society from its inception. In the western world, at least, they have produced a legacy of domination so formidable that it threatens to push us into an abyss that may engulf social life itself. The result has been the emergence of a misplaced antirationalism so blistering and introverted in its hostility to mind that it has literally lost sight of the legacy of domination itself. In surrendering mind to intuition, rationality to mere impulse, coherence to eclecticism, and wholeness to a mystical "oneness," we may very well reinforce this legacy if only because we refuse to dispel it with the means of rational analyses.

In our reaction to Enlightenment thought, we must rescue reason without becoming "rationalistic," without reducing reason to mere technique. Rarely has society been so direly in need of a clear understanding of the way we mentalize rule and of the history of domination than today, when the very survival of humanity is at stake. In any case, it is only in the use of reason rather than in rationalizing about reason that mind reveals its promises and pitfalls. It would be better to use our rational faculties and reflect on them later than to lose them altogether to a dark heritage that may obliterate mind itself.

The material and subjective levels on which hierarchical societies crystallized into class societies are not sharply separable. Or to use the language of Victorian social thought, we cannot comfortably speak of one level as the "base" for the other; both, in fact, are inextricably intertwined. The city, which from the beginnings of history appears as the "effect" of basic changes from kinship to territorialism, is so crucially important as the arena for dissolving the blood oath that it can only be regarded as a "cause," however ancillary it seems to important changes in technics and ideology. In fact, urban life from its inception occupies such an ambiguous place in the commonsense logic of cause and effect that we would do well to use these concepts gingerly.

This much is clear: the blood oath which, more than any single factor, held together primordial values and institutions with a certain degree of integrity, could only be surmounted after the claims of blood ties could be replaced by those of civic ties. Only after the territorial system began to dissolve the kinship system or, at least, attenuate its nexus of responsibilities, could hallowed terms like brother and sister cease to be compelling natural realities.[20] Thereafter, "brotherhood" increasingly came to mean a commonality of material and political interests rather than those of kinship, and "sisters" were to become the means for establishing alliances — for uniting males into social fraternities based on military, political, and economic needs.

The social and cultural impact of these material and subjective factors, so clearly rooted in the development of the city and State, can hardly be overstated. Humanity was to cling to the primal blood oath with such tenacity that primordial social forms often remained intact even after they had been divested of their content. In many cases, the clans were not immediately destroyed; often they were retained and like the extended family persisted as mere shadows of the past. In fact, they were subtly reworked in certain societies into instrumentalities of the newly emerging State — first, in the service of early priestly corporations, later, in vestigial form, in the service of the military chieftains and kings.

Here; we sense the ideological activities of the early priesthood that had emerged from a reworking of shamanism. By freeing itself from the social vulnerabilities of the shaman, whose body constituted a mere vessel for spirits, the priestly corporation had acquired the role of a cosmic brokerage firm between humanity and its increasingly anthropomorphic deities — deities no longer to be confused with the nature spirits that peopled the environment of organic society. Theology began to gain ascendancy over divination. Seemingly rational accounts of the origins, workings, and destiny of the cosmos — laden with an epistemology of rule — tended to replace magic. By emphasizing the "guilt" of the human "wrong-doer" and the "displeasure" of the deities, the priestly corporation could acquire an immunity to failure that the shaman had always lacked. The technical failures of the shaman, which typically rendered his social status so insecure in primordial society, could be reinterpreted by the emerging priesthood as evidence of the moral failure of the community itself. Drought, diseases, floods, locust infestations, and defeats in warfare — to cite the Biblical afflictions of ancient humanity — were reinterpreted as the retribution of wrathful deities for communal wrong-doing, not merely as the dark work of malevolent spirits. Technical failure, in effect, was shifted from the priestly corporation to a fallen humanity that had to atone for its moral frailties. And only priestly supplications, visibly reinforced by generous sacrifices in the form of goods and services, could redeem humanity, temper the punitive actions of the deities, and restore the earlier harmony that existed between humanity and its gods. In time, sacrifice and supplication became a constant effort in which neither the community nor its priestly corporation could relent. When this effort was institutionalized to the extent that the episodic became chronic, it created the early theocracies that go hand-in-hand with early cities, whose foci were always the temple, its priestly quarters, its storehouses, craft shops, and the dwellings of its artisans and bureaucracies. Urban life began with an altar, not simply a marketplace, and probably with walls that were meant to define sacred space from the natural, not simply as defensive palisades.

The shift from hierarchical to class societies occurred on two levels: the material and the subjective. A clearly material shift was embodied in the emergence of the city, the State, an authoritarian technics, and a highly organized market economy. The subjective shifts found expression in the emergence of a repressive sensibility and body of values — in various ways of mentalizing the entire realm of experience along lines of command and obedience. Such mentalities could very well be called epistemologies of rule, to use a broad philosophical term. As much as any material development, these epistemologies of rule fostered the development of patriarchy and an egoistic morality in the rulers of society; in the ruled, they fostered a psychic apparatus rooted in guilt and renunciation. Just as aggression flexes our bodies for fight or flight, so class societies organize our psychic structures for command or obedience.

A repressive rationality, not to be confused with reason as such, rendered the social change from organic society to class society highly ambiguous in character. Reason has always identified human fulfillment with a consciousness of self, with logical clarity, and with salvation from humanity's complete absorption into the misty world of the mythopoeic. Even matters of faith and religion have been interpreted rationally — as highly systematic theologies rationally derived from a few fundamental beliefs. But this vast project of humanization — from organic to class society — occurred without a clear ethical basis for human fulfillment, one that had a definite rational content. Hence the emergence of class society was to be burdened from its outset by a paradox: how can reason, conceived as a tool or method for achieving ethical goals, be integrated with reason conceived as the inherent feature or meaning of these ethical goals?

Tragically, it was not left to reason alone, as the great thinkers of the Enlightenment so optimistically believed, to resolve this paradox. Crises have riddled class society from its inception. In the western world, at least, they have produced a legacy of domination so formidable that it threatens to push us into an abyss that may engulf social life itself. The result has been the emergence of a misplaced antirationalism so blistering and introverted in its hostility to mind that it has literally lost sight of the legacy of domination itself. In surrendering mind to intuition, rationality to mere impulse, coherence to eclecticism, and wholeness to a mystical "oneness," we may very well reinforce this legacy if only because we refuse to dispel it with the means of rational analyses.

In our reaction to Enlightenment thought, we must rescue reason without becoming "rationalistic," without reducing reason to mere technique. Rarely has society been so direly in need of a clear understanding of the way we mentalize rule and of the history of domination than today, when the very survival of humanity is at stake. In any case, it is only in the use of reason rather than in rationalizing about reason that mind reveals its promises and pitfalls. It would be better to use our rational faculties and reflect on them later than to lose them altogether to a dark heritage that may obliterate mind itself.

The material and subjective levels on which hierarchical societies crystallized into class societies are not sharply separable. Or to use the language of Victorian social thought, we cannot comfortably speak of one level as the "base" for the other; both, in fact, are inextricably intertwined. The city, which from the beginnings of history appears as the "effect" of basic changes from kinship to territorialism, is so crucially important as the arena for dissolving the blood oath that it can only be regarded as a "cause," however ancillary it seems to important changes in technics and ideology. In fact, urban life from its inception occupies such an ambiguous place in the commonsense logic of cause and effect that we would do well to use these concepts gingerly.

This much is clear: the blood oath which, more than any single factor, held together primordial values and institutions with a certain degree of integrity, could only be surmounted after the claims of blood ties could be replaced by those of civic ties. Only after the territorial system began to dissolve the kinship system or, at least, attenuate its nexus of responsibilities, could hallowed terms like brother and sister cease to be compelling natural realities.[20] Thereafter, "brotherhood" increasingly came to mean a commonality of material and political interests rather than those of kinship, and "sisters" were to become the means for establishing alliances — for uniting males into social fraternities based on military, political, and economic needs.

The social and cultural impact of these material and subjective factors, so clearly rooted in the development of the city and State, can hardly be overstated. Humanity was to cling to the primal blood oath with such tenacity that primordial social forms often remained intact even after they had been divested of their content. In many cases, the clans were not immediately destroyed; often they were retained and like the extended family persisted as mere shadows of the past. In fact, they were subtly reworked in certain societies into instrumentalities of the newly emerging State — first, in the service of early priestly corporations, later, in vestigial form, in the service of the military chieftains and kings.

Here; we sense the ideological activities of the early priesthood that had emerged from a reworking of shamanism. By freeing itself from the social vulnerabilities of the shaman, whose body constituted a mere vessel for spirits, the priestly corporation had acquired the role of a cosmic brokerage firm between humanity and its increasingly anthropomorphic deities — deities no longer to be confused with the nature spirits that peopled the environment of organic society. Theology began to gain ascendancy over divination. Seemingly rational accounts of the origins, workings, and destiny of the cosmos — laden with an epistemology of rule — tended to replace magic. By emphasizing the "guilt" of the human "wrong-doer" and the "displeasure" of the deities, the priestly corporation could acquire an immunity to failure that the shaman had always lacked. The technical failures of the shaman, which typically rendered his social status so insecure in primordial society, could be reinterpreted by the emerging priesthood as evidence of the moral failure of the community itself. Drought, diseases, floods, locust infestations, and defeats in warfare — to cite the Biblical afflictions of ancient humanity — were reinterpreted as the retribution of wrathful deities for communal wrong-doing, not merely as the dark work of malevolent spirits. Technical failure, in effect, was shifted from the priestly corporation to a fallen humanity that had to atone for its moral frailties. And only priestly supplications, visibly reinforced by generous sacrifices in the form of goods and services, could redeem humanity, temper the punitive actions of the deities, and restore the earlier harmony that existed between humanity and its gods. In time, sacrifice and supplication became a constant effort in which neither the community nor its priestly corporation could relent. When this effort was institutionalized to the extent that the episodic became chronic, it created the early theocracies that go hand-in-hand with early cities, whose foci were always the temple, its priestly quarters, its storehouses, craft shops, and the dwellings of its artisans and bureaucracies. Urban life began with an altar, not simply a marketplace, and probably with walls that were meant to define sacred space from the natural, not simply as defensive palisades.

The shift from hierarchical to class societies occurred on two levels: the material and the subjective. A clearly material shift was embodied in the emergence of the city, the State, an authoritarian technics, and a highly organized market economy. The subjective shifts found expression in the emergence of a repressive sensibility and body of values — in various ways of mentalizing the entire realm of experience along lines of command and obedience. Such mentalities could very well be called epistemologies of rule, to use a broad philosophical term. As much as any material development, these epistemologies of rule fostered the development of patriarchy and an egoistic morality in the rulers of society; in the ruled, they fostered a psychic apparatus rooted in guilt and renunciation. Just as aggression flexes our bodies for fight or flight, so class societies organize our psychic structures for command or obedience.

A repressive rationality, not to be confused with reason as such, rendered the social change from organic society to class society highly ambiguous in character. Reason has always identified human fulfillment with a consciousness of self, with logical clarity, and with salvation from humanity's complete absorption into the misty world of the mythopoeic. Even matters of faith and religion have been interpreted rationally — as highly systematic theologies rationally derived from a few fundamental beliefs. But this vast project of humanization — from organic to class society — occurred without a clear ethical basis for human fulfillment, one that had a definite rational content. Hence the emergence of class society was to be burdened from its outset by a paradox: how can reason, conceived as a tool or method for achieving ethical goals, be integrated with reason conceived as the inherent feature or meaning of these ethical goals?

Tragically, it was not left to reason alone, as the great thinkers of the Enlightenment so optimistically believed, to resolve this paradox. Crises have riddled class society from its inception. In the western world, at least, they have produced a legacy of domination so formidable that it threatens to push us into an abyss that may engulf social life itself. The result has been the emergence of a misplaced antirationalism so blistering and introverted in its hostility to mind that it has literally lost sight of the legacy of domination itself. In surrendering mind to intuition, rationality to mere impulse, coherence to eclecticism, and wholeness to a mystical "oneness," we may very well reinforce this legacy if only because we refuse to dispel it with the means of rational analyses.

In our reaction to Enlightenment thought, we must rescue reason without becoming "rationalistic," without reducing reason to mere technique. Rarely has society been so direly in need of a clear understanding of the way we mentalize rule and of the history of domination than today, when the very survival of humanity is at stake. In any case, it is only in the use of reason rather than in rationalizing about reason that mind reveals its promises and pitfalls. It would be better to use our rational faculties and reflect on them later than to lose them altogether to a dark heritage that may obliterate mind itself.

The material and subjective levels on which hierarchical societies crystallized into class societies are not sharply separable. Or to use the language of Victorian social thought, we cannot comfortably speak of one level as the "base" for the other; both, in fact, are inextricably intertwined. The city, which from the beginnings of history appears as the "effect" of basic changes from kinship to territorialism, is so crucially important as the arena for dissolving the blood oath that it can only be regarded as a "cause," however ancillary it seems to important changes in technics and ideology. In fact, urban life from its inception occupies such an ambiguous place in the commonsense logic of cause and effect that we would do well to use these concepts gingerly.

This much is clear: the blood oath which, more than any single factor, held together primordial values and institutions with a certain degree of integrity, could only be surmounted after the claims of blood ties could be replaced by those of civic ties. Only after the territorial system began to dissolve the kinship system or, at least, attenuate its nexus of responsibilities, could hallowed terms like brother and sister cease to be compelling natural realities.[20] Thereafter, "brotherhood" increasingly came to mean a commonality of material and political interests rather than those of kinship, and "sisters" were to become the means for establishing alliances — for uniting males into social fraternities based on military, political, and economic needs.

The social and cultural impact of these material and subjective factors, so clearly rooted in the development of the city and State, can hardly be overstated. Humanity was to cling to the primal blood oath with such tenacity that primordial social forms often remained intact even after they had been divested of their content. In many cases, the clans were not immediately destroyed; often they were retained and like the extended family persisted as mere shadows of the past. In fact, they were subtly reworked in certain societies into instrumentalities of the newly emerging State — first, in the service of early priestly corporations, later, in vestigial form, in the service of the military chieftains and kings.

Here; we sense the ideological activities of the early priesthood that had emerged from a reworking of shamanism. By freeing itself from the social vulnerabilities of the shaman, whose body constituted a mere vessel for spirits, the priestly corporation had acquired the role of a cosmic brokerage firm between humanity and its increasingly anthropomorphic deities — deities no longer to be confused with the nature spirits that peopled the environment of organic society. Theology began to gain ascendancy over divination. Seemingly rational accounts of the origins, workings, and destiny of the cosmos — laden with an epistemology of rule — tended to replace magic. By emphasizing the "guilt" of the human "wrong-doer" and the "displeasure" of the deities, the priestly corporation could acquire an immunity to failure that the shaman had always lacked. The technical failures of the shaman, which typically rendered his social status so insecure in primordial society, could be reinterpreted by the emerging priesthood as evidence of the moral failure of the community itself. Drought, diseases, floods, locust infestations, and defeats in warfare — to cite the Biblical afflictions of ancient humanity — were reinterpreted as the retribution of wrathful deities for communal wrong-doing, not merely as the dark work of malevolent spirits. Technical failure, in effect, was shifted from the priestly corporation to a fallen humanity that had to atone for its moral frailties. And only priestly supplications, visibly reinforced by generous sacrifices in the form of goods and services, could redeem humanity, temper the punitive actions of the deities, and restore the earlier harmony that existed between humanity and its gods. In time, sacrifice and supplication became a constant effort in which neither the community nor its priestly corporation could relent. When this effort was institutionalized to the extent that the episodic became chronic, it created the early theocracies that go hand-in-hand with early cities, whose foci were always the temple, its priestly quarters, its storehouses, craft shops, and the dwellings of its artisans and bureaucracies. Urban life began with an altar, not simply a marketplace, and probably with walls that were meant to define sacred space from the natural, not simply as defensive palisades.

The shift from hierarchical to class societies occurred on two levels: the material and the subjective. A clearly material shift was embodied in the emergence of the city, the State, an authoritarian technics, and a highly organized market economy. The subjective shifts found expression in the emergence of a repressive sensibility and body of values — in various ways of mentalizing the entire realm of experience along lines of command and obedience. Such mentalities could very well be called epistemologies of rule, to use a broad philosophical term. As much as any material development, these epistemologies of rule fostered the development of patriarchy and an egoistic morality in the rulers of society; in the ruled, they fostered a psychic apparatus rooted in guilt and renunciation. Just as aggression flexes our bodies for fight or flight, so class societies organize our psychic structures for command or obedience.

A repressive rationality, not to be confused with reason as such, rendered the social change from organic society to class society highly ambiguous in character. Reason has always identified human fulfillment with a consciousness of self, with logical clarity, and with salvation from humanity's complete absorption into the misty world of the mythopoeic. Even matters of faith and religion have been interpreted rationally — as highly systematic theologies rationally derived from a few fundamental beliefs. But this vast project of humanization — from organic to class society — occurred without a clear ethical basis for human fulfillment, one that had a definite rational content. Hence the emergence of class society was to be burdened from its outset by a paradox: how can reason, conceived as a tool or method for achieving ethical goals, be integrated with reason conceived as the inherent feature or meaning of these ethical goals?

Tragically, it was not left to reason alone, as the great thinkers of the Enlightenment so optimistically believed, to resolve this paradox. Crises have riddled class society from its inception. In the western world, at least, they have produced a legacy of domination so formidable that it threatens to push us into an abyss that may engulf social life itself. The result has been the emergence of a misplaced antirationalism so blistering and introverted in its hostility to mind that it has literally lost sight of the legacy of domination itself. In surrendering mind to intuition, rationality to mere impulse, coherence to eclecticism, and wholeness to a mystical "oneness," we may very well reinforce this legacy if only because we refuse to dispel it with the means of rational analyses.

In our reaction to Enlightenment thought, we must rescue reason without becoming "rationalistic," without reducing reason to mere technique. Rarely has society been so direly in need of a clear understanding of the way we mentalize rule and of the history of domination than today, when the very survival of humanity is at stake. In any case, it is only in the use of reason rather than in rationalizing about reason that mind reveals its promises and pitfalls. It would be better to use our rational faculties and reflect on them later than to lose them altogether to a dark heritage that may obliterate mind itself.

The material and subjective levels on which hierarchical societies crystallized into class societies are not sharply separable. Or to use the language of Victorian social thought, we cannot comfortably speak of one level as the "base" for the other; both, in fact, are inextricably intertwined. The city, which from the beginnings of history appears as the "effect" of basic changes from kinship to territorialism, is so crucially important as the arena for dissolving the blood oath that it can only be regarded as a "cause," however ancillary it seems to important changes in technics and ideology. In fact, urban life from its inception occupies such an ambiguous place in the commonsense logic of cause and effect that we would do well to use these concepts gingerly.

This much is clear: the blood oath which, more than any single factor, held together primordial values and institutions with a certain degree of integrity, could only be surmounted after the claims of blood ties could be replaced by those of civic ties. Only after the territorial system began to dissolve the kinship system or, at least, attenuate its nexus of responsibilities, could hallowed terms like brother and sister cease to be compelling natural realities.[20] Thereafter, "brotherhood" increasingly came to mean a commonality of material and political interests rather than those of kinship, and "sisters" were to become the means for establishing alliances — for uniting males into social fraternities based on military, political, and economic needs.

The social and cultural impact of these material and subjective factors, so clearly rooted in the development of the city and State, can hardly be overstated. Humanity was to cling to the primal blood oath with such tenacity that primordial social forms often remained intact even after they had been divested of their content. In many cases, the clans were not immediately destroyed; often they were retained and like the extended family persisted as mere shadows of the past. In fact, they were subtly reworked in certain societies into instrumentalities of the newly emerging State — first, in the service of early priestly corporations, later, in vestigial form, in the service of the military chieftains and kings.

Here; we sense the ideological activities of the early priesthood that had emerged from a reworking of shamanism. By freeing itself from the social vulnerabilities of the shaman, whose body constituted a mere vessel for spirits, the priestly corporation had acquired the role of a cosmic brokerage firm between humanity and its increasingly anthropomorphic deities — deities no longer to be confused with the nature spirits that peopled the environment of organic society. Theology began to gain ascendancy over divination. Seemingly rational accounts of the origins, workings, and destiny of the cosmos — laden with an epistemology of rule — tended to replace magic. By emphasizing the "guilt" of the human "wrong-doer" and the "displeasure" of the deities, the priestly corporation could acquire an immunity to failure that the shaman had always lacked. The technical failures of the shaman, which typically rendered his social status so insecure in primordial society, could be reinterpreted by the emerging priesthood as evidence of the moral failure of the community itself. Drought, diseases, floods, locust infestations, and defeats in warfare — to cite the Biblical afflictions of ancient humanity — were reinterpreted as the retribution of wrathful deities for communal wrong-doing, not merely as the dark work of malevolent spirits. Technical failure, in effect, was shifted from the priestly corporation to a fallen humanity that had to atone for its moral frailties. And only priestly supplications, visibly reinforced by generous sacrifices in the form of goods and services, could redeem humanity, temper the punitive actions of the deities, and restore the earlier harmony that existed between humanity and its gods. In time, sacrifice and supplication became a constant effort in which neither the community nor its priestly corporation could relent. When this effort was institutionalized to the extent that the episodic became chronic, it created the early theocracies that go hand-in-hand with early cities, whose foci were always the temple, its priestly quarters, its storehouses, craft shops, and the dwellings of its artisans and bureaucracies. Urban life began with an altar, not simply a marketplace, and probably with walls that were meant to define sacred space from the natural, not simply as defensive palisades.

The shift from hierarchical to class societies occurred on two levels: the material and the subjective. A clearly material shift was embodied in the emergence of the city, the State, an authoritarian technics, and a highly organized market economy. The subjective shifts found expression in the emergence of a repressive sensibility and body of values — in various ways of mentalizing the entire realm of experience along lines of command and obedience. Such mentalities could very well be called epistemologies of rule, to use a broad philosophical term. As much as any material development, these epistemologies of rule fostered the development of patriarchy and an egoistic morality in the rulers of society; in the ruled, they fostered a psychic apparatus rooted in guilt and renunciation. Just as aggression flexes our bodies for fight or flight, so class societies organize our psychic structures for command or obedience.

A repressive rationality, not to be confused with reason as such, rendered the social change from organic society to class society highly ambiguous in character. Reason has always identified human fulfillment with a consciousness of self, with logical clarity, and with salvation from humanity's complete absorption into the misty world of the mythopoeic. Even matters of faith and religion have been interpreted rationally — as highly systematic theologies rationally derived from a few fundamental beliefs. But this vast project of humanization — from organic to class society — occurred without a clear ethical basis for human fulfillment, one that had a definite rational content. Hence the emergence of class society was to be burdened from its outset by a paradox: how can reason, conceived as a tool or method for achieving ethical goals, be integrated with reason conceived as the inherent feature or meaning of these ethical goals?

Tragically, it was not left to reason alone, as the great thinkers of the Enlightenment so optimistically believed, to resolve this paradox. Crises have riddled class society from its inception. In the western world, at least, they have produced a legacy of domination so formidable that it threatens to push us into an abyss that may engulf social life itself. The result has been the emergence of a misplaced antirationalism so blistering and introverted in its hostility to mind that it has literally lost sight of the legacy of domination itself. In surrendering mind to intuition, rationality to mere impulse, coherence to eclecticism, and wholeness to a mystical "oneness," we may very well reinforce this legacy if only because we refuse to dispel it with the means of rational analyses.

In our reaction to Enlightenment thought, we must rescue reason without becoming "rationalistic," without reducing reason to mere technique. Rarely has society been so direly in need of a clear understanding of the way we mentalize rule and of the history of domination than today, when the very survival of humanity is at stake. In any case, it is only in the use of reason rather than in rationalizing about reason that mind reveals its promises and pitfalls. It would be better to use our rational faculties and reflect on them later than to lose them altogether to a dark heritage that may obliterate mind itself.

The material and subjective levels on which hierarchical societies crystallized into class societies are not sharply separable. Or to use the language of Victorian social thought, we cannot comfortably speak of one level as the "base" for the other; both, in fact, are inextricably intertwined. The city, which from the beginnings of history appears as the "effect" of basic changes from kinship to territorialism, is so crucially important as the arena for dissolving the blood oath that it can only be regarded as a "cause," however ancillary it seems to important changes in technics and ideology. In fact, urban life from its inception occupies such an ambiguous place in the commonsense logic of cause and effect that we would do well to use these concepts gingerly.

This much is clear: the blood oath which, more than any single factor, held together primordial values and institutions with a certain degree of integrity, could only be surmounted after the claims of blood ties could be replaced by those of civic ties. Only after the territorial system began to dissolve the kinship system or, at least, attenuate its nexus of responsibilities, could hallowed terms like brother and sister cease to be compelling natural realities.[20] Thereafter, "brotherhood" increasingly came to mean a commonality of material and political interests rather than those of kinship, and "sisters" were to become the means for establishing alliances — for uniting males into social fraternities based on military, political, and economic needs.

The social and cultural impact of these material and subjective factors, so clearly rooted in the development of the city and State, can hardly be overstated. Humanity was to cling to the primal blood oath with such tenacity that primordial social forms often remained intact even after they had been divested of their content. In many cases, the clans were not immediately destroyed; often they were retained and like the extended family persisted as mere shadows of the past. In fact, they were subtly reworked in certain societies into instrumentalities of the newly emerging State — first, in the service of early priestly corporations, later, in vestigial form, in the service of the military chieftains and kings.

Here; we sense the ideological activities of the early priesthood that had emerged from a reworking of shamanism. By freeing itself from the social vulnerabilities of the shaman, whose body constituted a mere vessel for spirits, the priestly corporation had acquired the role of a cosmic brokerage firm between humanity and its increasingly anthropomorphic deities — deities no longer to be confused with the nature spirits that peopled the environment of organic society. Theology began to gain ascendancy over divination. Seemingly rational accounts of the origins, workings, and destiny of the cosmos — laden with an epistemology of rule — tended to replace magic. By emphasizing the "guilt" of the human "wrong-doer" and the "displeasure" of the deities, the priestly corporation could acquire an immunity to failure that the shaman had always lacked. The technical failures of the shaman, which typically rendered his social status so insecure in primordial society, could be reinterpreted by the emerging priesthood as evidence of the moral failure of the community itself. Drought, diseases, floods, locust infestations, and defeats in warfare — to cite the Biblical afflictions of ancient humanity — were reinterpreted as the retribution of wrathful deities for communal wrong-doing, not merely as the dark work of malevolent spirits. Technical failure, in effect, was shifted from the priestly corporation to a fallen humanity that had to atone for its moral frailties. And only priestly supplications, visibly reinforced by generous sacrifices in the form of goods and services, could redeem humanity, temper the punitive actions of the deities, and restore the earlier harmony that existed between humanity and its gods. In time, sacrifice and supplication became a constant effort in which neither the community nor its priestly corporation could relent. When this effort was institutionalized to the extent that the episodic became chronic, it created the early theocracies that go hand-in-hand with early cities, whose foci were always the temple, its priestly quarters, its storehouses, craft shops, and the dwellings of its artisans and bureaucracies. Urban life began with an altar, not simply a marketplace, and probably with walls that were meant to define sacred space from the natural, not simply as defensive palisades.

The shift from hierarchical to class societies occurred on two levels: the material and the subjective. A clearly material shift was embodied in the emergence of the city, the State, an authoritarian technics, and a highly organized market economy. The subjective shifts found expression in the emergence of a repressive sensibility and body of values — in various ways of mentalizing the entire realm of experience along lines of command and obedience. Such mentalities could very well be called epistemologies of rule, to use a broad philosophical term. As much as any material development, these epistemologies of rule fostered the development of patriarchy and an egoistic morality in the rulers of society; in the ruled, they fostered a psychic apparatus rooted in guilt and renunciation. Just as aggression flexes our bodies for fight or flight, so class societies organize our psychic structures for command or obedience.

A repressive rationality, not to be confused with reason as such, rendered the social change from organic society to class society highly ambiguous in character. Reason has always identified human fulfillment with a consciousness of self, with logical clarity, and with salvation from humanity's complete absorption into the misty world of the mythopoeic. Even matters of faith and religion have been interpreted rationally — as highly systematic theologies rationally derived from a few fundamental beliefs. But this vast project of humanization — from organic to class society — occurred without a clear ethical basis for human fulfillment, one that had a definite rational content. Hence the emergence of class society was to be burdened from its outset by a paradox: how can reason, conceived as a tool or method for achieving ethical goals, be integrated with reason conceived as the inherent feature or meaning of these ethical goals?

Tragically, it was not left to reason alone, as the great thinkers of the Enlightenment so optimistically believed, to resolve this paradox. Crises have riddled class society from its inception. In the western world, at least, they have produced a legacy of domination so formidable that it threatens to push us into an abyss that may engulf social life itself. The result has been the emergence of a misplaced antirationalism so blistering and introverted in its hostility to mind that it has literally lost sight of the legacy of domination itself. In surrendering mind to intuition, rationality to mere impulse, coherence to eclecticism, and wholeness to a mystical "oneness," we may very well reinforce this legacy if only because we refuse to dispel it with the means of rational analyses.

In our reaction to Enlightenment thought, we must rescue reason without becoming "rationalistic," without reducing reason to mere technique. Rarely has society been so direly in need of a clear understanding of the way we mentalize rule and of the history of domination than today, when the very survival of humanity is at stake. In any case, it is only in the use of reason rather than in rationalizing about reason that mind reveals its promises and pitfalls. It would be better to use our rational faculties and reflect on them later than to lose them altogether to a dark heritage that may obliterate mind itself.

The material and subjective levels on which hierarchical societies crystallized into class societies are not sharply separable. Or to use the language of Victorian social thought, we cannot comfortably speak of one level as the "base" for the other; both, in fact, are inextricably intertwined. The city, which from the beginnings of history appears as the "effect" of basic changes from kinship to territorialism, is so crucially important as the arena for dissolving the blood oath that it can only be regarded as a "cause," however ancillary it seems to important changes in technics and ideology. In fact, urban life from its inception occupies such an ambiguous place in the commonsense logic of cause and effect that we would do well to use these concepts gingerly.

This much is clear: the blood oath which, more than any single factor, held together primordial values and institutions with a certain degree of integrity, could only be surmounted after the claims of blood ties could be replaced by those of civic ties. Only after the territorial system began to dissolve the kinship system or, at least, attenuate its nexus of responsibilities, could hallowed terms like brother and sister cease to be compelling natural realities.[20] Thereafter, "brotherhood" increasingly came to mean a commonality of material and political interests rather than those of kinship, and "sisters" were to become the means for establishing alliances — for uniting males into social fraternities based on military, political, and economic needs.

The social and cultural impact of these material and subjective factors, so clearly rooted in the development of the city and State, can hardly be overstated. Humanity was to cling to the primal blood oath with such tenacity that primordial social forms often remained intact even after they had been divested of their content. In many cases, the clans were not immediately destroyed; often they were retained and like the extended family persisted as mere shadows of the past. In fact, they were subtly reworked in certain societies into instrumentalities of the newly emerging State — first, in the service of early priestly corporations, later, in vestigial form, in the service of the military chieftains and kings.

Here; we sense the ideological activities of the early priesthood that had emerged from a reworking of shamanism. By freeing itself from the social vulnerabilities of the shaman, whose body constituted a mere vessel for spirits, the priestly corporation had acquired the role of a cosmic brokerage firm between humanity and its increasingly anthropomorphic deities — deities no longer to be confused with the nature spirits that peopled the environment of organic society. Theology began to gain ascendancy over divination. Seemingly rational accounts of the origins, workings, and destiny of the cosmos — laden with an epistemology of rule — tended to replace magic. By emphasizing the "guilt" of the human "wrong-doer" and the "displeasure" of the deities, the priestly corporation could acquire an immunity to failure that the shaman had always lacked. The technical failures of the shaman, which typically rendered his social status so insecure in primordial society, could be reinterpreted by the emerging priesthood as evidence of the moral failure of the community itself. Drought, diseases, floods, locust infestations, and defeats in warfare — to cite the Biblical afflictions of ancient humanity — were reinterpreted as the retribution of wrathful deities for communal wrong-doing, not merely as the dark work of malevolent spirits. Technical failure, in effect, was shifted from the priestly corporation to a fallen humanity that had to atone for its moral frailties. And only priestly supplications, visibly reinforced by generous sacrifices in the form of goods and services, could redeem humanity, temper the punitive actions of the deities, and restore the earlier harmony that existed between humanity and its gods. In time, sacrifice and supplication became a constant effort in which neither the community nor its priestly corporation could relent. When this effort was institutionalized to the extent that the episodic became chronic, it created the early theocracies that go hand-in-hand with early cities, whose foci were always the temple, its priestly quarters, its storehouses, craft shops, and the dwellings of its artisans and bureaucracies. Urban life began with an altar, not simply a marketplace, and probably with walls that were meant to define sacred space from the natural, not simply as defensive palisades.

The shift from hierarchical to class societies occurred on two levels: the material and the subjective. A clearly material shift was embodied in the emergence of the city, the State, an authoritarian technics, and a highly organized market economy. The subjective shifts found expression in the emergence of a repressive sensibility and body of values — in various ways of mentalizing the entire realm of experience along lines of command and obedience. Such mentalities could very well be called epistemologies of rule, to use a broad philosophical term. As much as any material development, these epistemologies of rule fostered the development of patriarchy and an egoistic morality in the rulers of society; in the ruled, they fostered a psychic apparatus rooted in guilt and renunciation. Just as aggression flexes our bodies for fight or flight, so class societies organize our psychic structures for command or obedience.

A repressive rationality, not to be confused with reason as such, rendered the social change from organic society to class society highly ambiguous in character. Reason has always identified human fulfillment with a consciousness of self, with logical clarity, and with salvation from humanity's complete absorption into the misty world of the mythopoeic. Even matters of faith and religion have been interpreted rationally — as highly systematic theologies rationally derived from a few fundamental beliefs. But this vast project of humanization — from organic to class society — occurred without a clear ethical basis for human fulfillment, one that had a definite rational content. Hence the emergence of class society was to be burdened from its outset by a paradox: how can reason, conceived as a tool or method for achieving ethical goals, be integrated with reason conceived as the inherent feature or meaning of these ethical goals?

Tragically, it was not left to reason alone, as the great thinkers of the Enlightenment so optimistically believed, to resolve this paradox. Crises have riddled class society from its inception. In the western world, at least, they have produced a legacy of domination so formidable that it threatens to push us into an abyss that may engulf social life itself. The result has been the emergence of a misplaced antirationalism so blistering and introverted in its hostility to mind that it has literally lost sight of the legacy of domination itself. In surrendering mind to intuition, rationality to mere impulse, coherence to eclecticism, and wholeness to a mystical "oneness," we may very well reinforce this legacy if only because we refuse to dispel it with the means of rational analyses.

In our reaction to Enlightenment thought, we must rescue reason without becoming "rationalistic," without reducing reason to mere technique. Rarely has society been so direly in need of a clear understanding of the way we mentalize rule and of the history of domination than today, when the very survival of humanity is at stake. In any case, it is only in the use of reason rather than in rationalizing about reason that mind reveals its promises and pitfalls. It would be better to use our rational faculties and reflect on them later than to lose them altogether to a dark heritage that may obliterate mind itself.

The material and subjective levels on which hierarchical societies crystallized into class societies are not sharply separable. Or to use the language of Victorian social thought, we cannot comfortably speak of one level as the "base" for the other; both, in fact, are inextricably intertwined. The city, which from the beginnings of history appears as the "effect" of basic changes from kinship to territorialism, is so crucially important as the arena for dissolving the blood oath that it can only be regarded as a "cause," however ancillary it seems to important changes in technics and ideology. In fact, urban life from its inception occupies such an ambiguous place in the commonsense logic of cause and effect that we would do well to use these concepts gingerly.

This much is clear: the blood oath which, more than any single factor, held together primordial values and institutions with a certain degree of integrity, could only be surmounted after the claims of blood ties could be replaced by those of civic ties. Only after the territorial system began to dissolve the kinship system or, at least, attenuate its nexus of responsibilities, could hallowed terms like brother and sister cease to be compelling natural realities.[20] Thereafter, "brotherhood" increasingly came to mean a commonality of material and political interests rather than those of kinship, and "sisters" were to become the means for establishing alliances — for uniting males into social fraternities based on military, political, and economic needs.

The social and cultural impact of these material and subjective factors, so clearly rooted in the development of the city and State, can hardly be overstated. Humanity was to cling to the primal blood oath with such tenacity that primordial social forms often remained intact even after they had been divested of their content. In many cases, the clans were not immediately destroyed; often they were retained and like the extended family persisted as mere shadows of the past. In fact, they were subtly reworked in certain societies into instrumentalities of the newly emerging State — first, in the service of early priestly corporations, later, in vestigial form, in the service of the military chieftains and kings.

Here; we sense the ideological activities of the early priesthood that had emerged from a reworking of shamanism. By freeing itself from the social vulnerabilities of the shaman, whose body constituted a mere vessel for spirits, the priestly corporation had acquired the role of a cosmic brokerage firm between humanity and its increasingly anthropomorphic deities — deities no longer to be confused with the nature spirits that peopled the environment of organic society. Theology began to gain ascendancy over divination. Seemingly rational accounts of the origins, workings, and destiny of the cosmos — laden with an epistemology of rule — tended to replace magic. By emphasizing the "guilt" of the human "wrong-doer" and the "displeasure" of the deities, the priestly corporation could acquire an immunity to failure that the shaman had always lacked. The technical failures of the shaman, which typically rendered his social status so insecure in primordial society, could be reinterpreted by the emerging priesthood as evidence of the moral failure of the community itself. Drought, diseases, floods, locust infestations, and defeats in warfare — to cite the Biblical afflictions of ancient humanity — were reinterpreted as the retribution of wrathful deities for communal wrong-doing, not merely as the dark work of malevolent spirits. Technical failure, in effect, was shifted from the priestly corporation to a fallen humanity that had to atone for its moral frailties. And only priestly supplications, visibly reinforced by generous sacrifices in the form of goods and services, could redeem humanity, temper the punitive actions of the deities, and restore the earlier harmony that existed between humanity and its gods. In time, sacrifice and supplication became a constant effort in which neither the community nor its priestly corporation could relent. When this effort was institutionalized to the extent that the episodic became chronic, it created the early theocracies that go hand-in-hand with early cities, whose foci were always the temple, its priestly quarters, its storehouses, craft shops, and the dwellings of its artisans and bureaucracies. Urban life began with an altar, not simply a marketplace, and probably with walls that were meant to define sacred space from the natural, not simply as defensive palisades.

The shift from hierarchical to class societies occurred on two levels: the material and the subjective. A clearly material shift was embodied in the emergence of the city, the State, an authoritarian technics, and a highly organized market economy. The subjective shifts found expression in the emergence of a repressive sensibility and body of values — in various ways of mentalizing the entire realm of experience along lines of command and obedience. Such mentalities could very well be called epistemologies of rule, to use a broad philosophical term. As much as any material development, these epistemologies of rule fostered the development of patriarchy and an egoistic morality in the rulers of society; in the ruled, they fostered a psychic apparatus rooted in guilt and renunciation. Just as aggression flexes our bodies for fight or flight, so class societies organize our psychic structures for command or obedience.

A repressive rationality, not to be confused with reason as such, rendered the social change from organic society to class society highly ambiguous in character. Reason has always identified human fulfillment with a consciousness of self, with logical clarity, and with salvation from humanity's complete absorption into the misty world of the mythopoeic. Even matters of faith and religion have been interpreted rationally — as highly systematic theologies rationally derived from a few fundamental beliefs. But this vast project of humanization — from organic to class society — occurred without a clear ethical basis for human fulfillment, one that had a definite rational content. Hence the emergence of class society was to be burdened from its outset by a paradox: how can reason, conceived as a tool or method for achieving ethical goals, be integrated with reason conceived as the inherent feature or meaning of these ethical goals?

Tragically, it was not left to reason alone, as the great thinkers of the Enlightenment so optimistically believed, to resolve this paradox. Crises have riddled class society from its inception. In the western world, at least, they have produced a legacy of domination so formidable that it threatens to push us into an abyss that may engulf social life itself. The result has been the emergence of a misplaced antirationalism so blistering and introverted in its hostility to mind that it has literally lost sight of the legacy of domination itself. In surrendering mind to intuition, rationality to mere impulse, coherence to eclecticism, and wholeness to a mystical "oneness," we may very well reinforce this legacy if only because we refuse to dispel it with the means of rational analyses.

In our reaction to Enlightenment thought, we must rescue reason without becoming "rationalistic," without reducing reason to mere technique. Rarely has society been so direly in need of a clear understanding of the way we mentalize rule and of the history of domination than today, when the very survival of humanity is at stake. In any case, it is only in the use of reason rather than in rationalizing about reason that mind reveals its promises and pitfalls. It would be better to use our rational faculties and reflect on them later than to lose them altogether to a dark heritage that may obliterate mind itself.

The material and subjective levels on which hierarchical societies crystallized into class societies are not sharply separable. Or to use the language of Victorian social thought, we cannot comfortably speak of one level as the "base" for the other; both, in fact, are inextricably intertwined. The city, which from the beginnings of history appears as the "effect" of basic changes from kinship to territorialism, is so crucially important as the arena for dissolving the blood oath that it can only be regarded as a "cause," however ancillary it seems to important changes in technics and ideology. In fact, urban life from its inception occupies such an ambiguous place in the commonsense logic of cause and effect that we would do well to use these concepts gingerly.

This much is clear: the blood oath which, more than any single factor, held together primordial values and institutions with a certain degree of integrity, could only be surmounted after the claims of blood ties could be replaced by those of civic ties. Only after the territorial system began to dissolve the kinship system or, at least, attenuate its nexus of responsibilities, could hallowed terms like brother and sister cease to be compelling natural realities.[20] Thereafter, "brotherhood" increasingly came to mean a commonality of material and political interests rather than those of kinship, and "sisters" were to become the means for establishing alliances — for uniting males into social fraternities based on military, political, and economic needs.

The social and cultural impact of these material and subjective factors, so clearly rooted in the development of the city and State, can hardly be overstated. Humanity was to cling to the primal blood oath with such tenacity that primordial social forms often remained intact even after they had been divested of their content. In many cases, the clans were not immediately destroyed; often they were retained and like the extended family persisted as mere shadows of the past. In fact, they were subtly reworked in certain societies into instrumentalities of the newly emerging State — first, in the service of early priestly corporations, later, in vestigial form, in the service of the military chieftains and kings.

Here; we sense the ideological activities of the early priesthood that had emerged from a reworking of shamanism. By freeing itself from the social vulnerabilities of the shaman, whose body constituted a mere vessel for spirits, the priestly corporation had acquired the role of a cosmic brokerage firm between humanity and its increasingly anthropomorphic deities — deities no longer to be confused with the nature spirits that peopled the environment of organic society. Theology began to gain ascendancy over divination. Seemingly rational accounts of the origins, workings, and destiny of the cosmos — laden with an epistemology of rule — tended to replace magic. By emphasizing the "guilt" of the human "wrong-doer" and the "displeasure" of the deities, the priestly corporation could acquire an immunity to failure that the shaman had always lacked. The technical failures of the shaman, which typically rendered his social status so insecure in primordial society, could be reinterpreted by the emerging priesthood as evidence of the moral failure of the community itself. Drought, diseases, floods, locust infestations, and defeats in warfare — to cite the Biblical afflictions of ancient humanity — were reinterpreted as the retribution of wrathful deities for communal wrong-doing, not merely as the dark work of malevolent spirits. Technical failure, in effect, was shifted from the priestly corporation to a fallen humanity that had to atone for its moral frailties. And only priestly supplications, visibly reinforced by generous sacrifices in the form of goods and services, could redeem humanity, temper the punitive actions of the deities, and restore the earlier harmony that existed between humanity and its gods. In time, sacrifice and supplication became a constant effort in which neither the community nor its priestly corporation could relent. When this effort was institutionalized to the extent that the episodic became chronic, it created the early theocracies that go hand-in-hand with early cities, whose foci were always the temple, its priestly quarters, its storehouses, craft shops, and the dwellings of its artisans and bureaucracies. Urban life began with an altar, not simply a marketplace, and probably with walls that were meant to define sacred space from the natural, not simply as defensive palisades.