Utopia VI

Primitive social organization based its mode of production (obviously, unconsciously) on the simplest harmony with nature. Labor was minimal, sufficient to meet needs. This is an idealization, of course, utopian in excluding human nature and its vices, but a model of hunter-gatherer-herder or agrarian culture. The point of the model is the mode of production. The simplicity of the mode is then echoed in the simplicity of needs. Harmony with nature is built into the material circumstances. This accommodation with nature points to a self-sufficiency that is best fostered by isolation, for as soon as the group in the model — which assumes “society,” but a subconscious one — makes contact with other groups, society properly speaking develops and human vices begin to erode harmony for competition.

Moonlight III

Despite Debussy and Chirico (or perhaps in part because of them — search “moonlight” in the archives), I have always been wary of the moon, or more precisely, the “man in the moon.” One night, I looked up into the night sky to gaze at the bright moon but instead it seemed to be looking intently at me. “What are you staring at?” it demanded. “First you stared at the finger pointing to the moon, until at last you learned to look instead to what the finger pointed. Now you are staring at the moon, instead of looking at what the moon is illuminating.” I looked away, reproved. About me were the trees, the contour of the landscape against the night sky, the stars in cold silent heavens. I looked down at the ground before me, the flowers, rocks, my hands and fingers. I could see all these things, pale and incandescent, in the moonlight.