Sunday, August 16, 2009

I wish I'd said that...Civilization

Paul's theory is that our civilization is collapsing into a dark age and that the advancing edges of this are visible in urban ghettos. He says dark ages are all about forgetting civilization and its arts and also the increasing reluctance of the ruling classes to pay for civic life. This sealed the fate of Rome, he claims. He doesn't think that the ghetto needs uplift, however, but rather that when the crash comes, the poor will survive better than their masters. They need less, he says, an they are more charitable, and they don't have to unlearn as much. This was why Jesus preferred them. Yes, quite crazy; but when I observe the perfect helplessness of my fellow citizens of the middle class and higher; our utter dependence on electricity, cheap gas, and the physical service of unseen millions, our reluctance to pay our fair share, our absurd gated enclaves, our "good buildings," and our incompetence at any task other than the manipulation of symbols, I often think he has a point. The Book of Air and Shadows Michael Gruber

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