[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Frame of Reference - Index

IV Ethical Discoveries

Tertius Decimus Stele

Social Orders

1) There is perhaps no better place than North America to observe the evolution of human societies, customs, institutions and beliefs. The native populations developed different levels of civilization with all the clarity of a scientific experiment. By 'social order' is intended the broadest sense of organization of human civilization; this is a title for all these developments and more.

Various attempts have been made to plot the American Indian's cultural evolution. One well-known attempt was by Lewis Henry Morgan who described seven stages through which all societies must inevitably progress: 1) lower savagery, 2) middle savagery 3) upper savagery, 4) lower barbarism, 5) middle barbarism, 6) upper barbarism and finally 7) civilizations. This description has been generally discredited as being arbitrary and inadequate, resulting in more exceptions than consistency.

Another prominent organization of humanity came via Karl Marx when in 1857 he proposed a similar evolutionary theory that began with 1) Primitive Communism, 2) Pagan Society, 3) Ancient Classical Society, 4) Feudalism, 5) Roman Catholicism; 6) Capitalism and to the ultimate 7) Communism. This is social organization based largely on economic activity. Primitive Communism probably never existed, and the other stages fit Western civilization but not North America or Africa well.

2) The original settlers of the American continent were probably a small band of primitive people. Based on linguistic analysis, at least three such trans-migrations occurred. They brought with them crude stone tools, no pottery, no agriculture, no domesticated animals except possibly the dog. Most of what the Indian would become he would invent for himself in this New World. Similarities in design and construction of spear points has given clues to the origins of these early inhabitants. It is reasonably certain that several immigrations took place over this long period of un-recorded history.

At the time of Columbus' discovery of the West Indies in 1492, the cultures of American Indians existed at all stages of development. As other explorers penetrated deeper they discovered this diversity of society from the simplest band to the complex state. There were eventually 500 languages described in North America and every category of religious system known to man, including monotheism, evolved somewhere on the continent. More than two thousand kinds of food from plants had been put to use, and economies developed that had sophisticated systems of harvesting, trading and storing the products of the seas and the lands.

Thus to generalize about the practices of Native American Indians in any way is simply hopelessly inaccurate. The evolution of the Indians' culture here shows that human society around the world is something more than patchworks or haphazard end products of history. Almost every culture elsewhere has its analogue in North America. Cultural evolution is not a steady progress toward some inevitable goal, and only a few people have had the combination of courage, creativity and hubris to be instrumental in forming a better future society, such as a Christ, Buddha or avatar.

3) Every culture is composed of elements such as different kinds of baskets, religious beliefs, social practices, tools, weapons, and so forth. In modern times our civilizations have millions of such elements, whereas the Shoshone language people living between the Rocky Mountains and the Sierra Nevada of California, possessed about three thousand elements at the time of their first encounter with White intruders.

The Paiute of the Great Basin obtained horses from the Spaniards, as did other Indians. The Paiute eat them and did not assimilate these beasts of burden and war into their culture.

The Cheyenne Indians of the plains demonstrate a contrary reaction and show how a new synthesis may take place in a social order. The Cheyenne had migrated from Minnesota taking with them certain rudimentary agricultural practices. Even though they were surrounded by bison, they made little use of these initially. Once the Cheyenne obtained Spanish horses, they incorporated these into their society in many ways. They became more itinerant following and hunting bison, they changed the styles of dress and ornamentation, their social stratification became based on wealth in horses from what was previously an egalitarian society of mostly village life. The horse was the catalyst for many changes.

How well do we anticipate the changes in modern culture from any certain technological innovation? Not so well. Is the best we can hope that these will not be destructive?

4) The Aborigines of Australia are a very old people that populated that continent some 60,000 years ago, but no one is sure when, exactly, this occurred. When the white settlers first arrived in the 18th century there were perhaps half a million Aborigines divided into hundreds of tribes, speaking different languages, and scattered sparsely across the entire continent. Most of these people were semi-nomadic, living by hunting and gathering. They had fire, sticks and stones and little else, but a rich hereditary culture including music, stories and taboos.

The Aborigines have an oral history that leads back to antiquity, and this mythical structure is remarkably coherent. Their tradition of rock painting includes replicas of fish, spirit figures and the fearsome Rainbow Serpent. These impressive drawings may be tens of thousands of years older than the European cave drawings of Lascaux or Altamira, and may be the first recorded human drawings in existence.

5) Economic development -- conditions favoring agriculture and specialization of labor -- are the strongest determinant for development of 'advanced' civilization. Economic activity must progress beyond hunting and gathering to support permanent cities and then this facilitates the development of complex cultures and social orders. Agriculture was not the first significant advancement of culture, since it was preceded by language, hunting, carving, (probably music,) drawing, myths and much more. But it is part of culture and essential for moving culture into civilization. When Man could develop stable agriculture practices -- cultivation of nearby land to produce food for the whole year -- society grew beyond nomadic existence. Nomadic people developed hierarchies, social institutions, moral codes, taboos, even complicated arts and crafts, but only those people who tilled the soil and successfully grew crops, subsequently developed significant cultural centers. Civilization needs the city surrounded by productive agriculture to thrive and create -- in sequence -- order in society.

6) "To give everything to religion is not piety but folly; it impoverishes a man so that he must come to depend on charity. We need show no compassion for such a man, for he belongs to those described by the sages as 'pious fools who destroy the world'." (Maimonides, Mishneh Torah: 8:13)

This also applies to those ascetics that live a life of poverty and meditation and hold back their talents from the world, failing to work to help others even when they have the gift of genius to otherwise lead economic and technical development. How many social orders were handicapped in their development (some disappeared) because of the oppressive control of a priestly, ascetic class rather than by the control of a more pragmatic economic and technical class? In Hindu society, material ambition is antithetical to the ideal religious life, so in this way the entire society is ascetic and debased--not just the priests.

7) The development and evolution of language is an interesting phenomenon in every social order. Consider that this book (assuming you were reading this as a book and not online) is printed by a process invented by a German, (Guttenberg) on paper invented in China. The written symbols are a Roman-Etruscan variant of a Greek form of the alphabet, previously obtained from the Phoenicians who got the original idea from Egyptian hieroglyphics (who may have gotten instruction from Babylonians). The syntax derives from the Latin and the language from the English and all their invaders and conquests. Our 'American' culture today is composed almost entirely of such imports and borrowings from every continent, yet it has its distinctive American character combining the home grown and the import into a harmonious whole that continues to evolve, and is the envy of much of the world (for better or worse).

8) No human organization can be simpler than the family, which is sometimes a stable association of a man, a woman and their children. This is as basic as it is possible to get in interpersonal relations, and the family is the foundation upon which larger bands and more complex social organizations have been built. An isolated human in a primitive wilderness is usually a dead human, and outcasts seek the association with other bands because it is natural to strive for survival.

The best classification of social organization is probably as follows:

1. The Band

a. The family
b. The composite band
c. The patri-local band

2. The Tribe

a. The lineal tribe
b. The composite tribe

3. The Chiefdom

4. The State

Each of these levels of development can be characterized further by the number of cultural elements they incorporate. Each basket, digging tool, horse, arrowhead, adornment, habitat, food storage system, etc. counts for one element and as the level of organization increases, the number of cultural elements expands exponentially. The social life of nonhuman primates, even those with tools that develop habitat regimes, is governed to some extent by their anatomy and physiology, whereas human society is ruled more by culture.

Looking at examples of each of these orders is a snap shot of civilization. The missing aspect of this analysis is not showing the progress of society through these stages into a group of enlightened, self-directed individuals. We have come around full circle from ignorant, superstitious band members, to enlightened, self-directed members of a democracy (with some exceptions such as "In God We Trust" coming out of the 1950's McCarthyism).

The concept of "The State" can be broken down into at least two categories: those where the rights of the state are pre-eminent, such as in Monarchies, Communist and Socialist governments, or Empires and that State where the rights of the individual are "self-evident" and the basis of the formation of government. Obviously the republican government of the USA is the quintessential example of how The State exists because of the power vested in it from the people, rather than vice versa. This is an important distinction that should not be glossed over in this analysis. Furthermore, this distinction must be more than mere political rhetoric, it must rule our decisions when we vote and change the rules of governance. (see Vicesimus Unus Stele: Politics, verse 27)

9) The pair bonding of couples is the basic unit of society, and can be thought of as the hydrogen atom that has then been fused into all the other elements, into all the other forms of civilization. Variations on this theme such as polygamy have been widely practiced, just like nature has created helium and its successors, but pairs make up the beginning of every social order.

The cold wind
drums accompaniment
to your warm heart
in my other ear.

(IJ- 1997)

10) The Cuna Indians of Central America (who live on San Blas Islands, Panama) maintain a distinctive culture of sewing multi-colored fabric into molas which depict both traditional and creative modern stories. The tradition of sewing molas is passed down through the women of the community. Cuna women stay at home and perform many chores in what is a matri-local society. Women are the center of Cuna life. When a young woman is ready to get married, she selects her husband, who is brought by both families to the girl's home. When a young man marries, he must live with his wife in the house of his mother-in-law. Property is passed to children by their mother.

11) In India there were four general caste categories (varnas) which were originally based on occupational and ethnic distinctions: the Brahman or religious category at the top, the Kshatrya or warrior category next, the Vaishya or landholders and merchants below them, and the Sudras or cultivators and minerals in the lowest category. Within the broad caste categories there are subcastes, each of which is normally an endogamous (in-marrying) group or else marries according to prescribed linkages with others. Below these four categories, about one-tenth of the population of India, are the Pariah, popularly called 'outcastes,' including many groups of scheduled castes outside the four varnas. The many 'tribal' people of more isolated areas can also be categorized as outcastes. (Felix M. Keesing, Cultural Anthropology, 1958)

12) "Most biomass on land is in the form of wood and leaves, most of which we cannot digest. By selecting and growing those few species of plants and animals we can eat, so that they constitute 90% rather than 0.1% of the biomass on an acre of land, we obtain far more edible calories per acre. As a result, one acre can feed more herders and farmers -- typically, 10 to 100 times more -- than hunter-gatherers. That strength... was the first of many military advantages that food-producing tribes gained over hunter-gatherer tribes... once food can be stockpiled, a political elite can gain control of food produced by others, assert the right of taxation, escape the need to feed itself, and engage full-time in political activities. Hence moderate-sized agricultural societies are organized in chiefdoms, and kingdoms are confined to large agricultural societies." (Jared Diamond, Guns, Germs, and Steel, 1997)

13) The Kwakiutl people (living along the western coastal islands of British Columbia, including Gilford Island, between Smith Sound and the Campbell River) were stratified by rank with each major tribal subdivision, the numima, ordered in relation to each other numima. Each individual, numimot, within each numima was ranked in relation to every other numimot. This status ranking was sometimes uncertain between closely ranked numima and members, and this was undoubtedly a source of drama in the lives of this people who sought an ideal rank-structure in their social order. The Kwakiutl are today, as they have always been a fishing people. Their myths and self-identity is bound to the sea and to the life-forms within the sea.

This ranking was done both for potlatch purposes and also carried into their daily lives. Since no two people could have their names called simultaneously to receive gifts, and no two persons could sit in the same rank ordered seat at a potlatch, feast or winter ceremony, the resulting social order was rigid. Rank and class were determined primarily by inheritance of socially validated names and privileges such as the right to sing certain songs, use certain carvings or designs, wear certain ceremonial masks, seating order and the right to perform certain dances. Further, the rank determined how much property one might receive or control, including the use and control of slaves. The nobility, naqsala, often married among themselves perpetuating the important names and privileges in the chiefly class. Noblemen associated together more than with, xamala, commoners. (By the 1970's most of this social stratification had disappeared, but is maintained by some as a form of religious organization.)

14) The planet Uranus (1,782 million miles) is twice as far away from Sun as its closest neighbor, Saturn (886 million miles). In the social order of planets it ranks sixth in magnitude, and visible to the naked eye if your uncle was an eagle. Uranus is named for the Greek god of heavens, the father of all gods, since at the time it was discovered (1781) it was the last planet in our solar system. Sir William Herschel named this icy giant, 29,000 miles in diameter, George III, to celebrate the ordered society of England, but was overruled in favor of the chaos of Greek myths.

In 1964 it had a respectable number, 5, moons that altogether speed around Sun in a remarkable 84 years. Paradoxically, these moons disobey the normal order of the nebular theory, and rotate on a plane perpendicular to the rotation of Uranus around Sun. In 1986 two additional moons were identified by Voyager 2 but they disappeared for 14 years. Order has now been restored with the rediscovery and naming of Cordelia and Ophelia using the enhanced images made available from Hubble space telescope. These are called 'shepard' moons because they bracket and prevent Uranus' main ring -- made of ice, rocks, and dust -- from separating.

15) Confucius was a pragmatic philosopher and a humanist who never lost sight of the contemporary scene in rapt contemplation of a mystical ideal. Where the Greek thinkers, the Platonists, the Scholastics, and their European successors juggled abstract concepts like "justice," "law," and "virtue," Confucius applied his thoughts to people. His great achievement was the establishment of a system of human relationships within the social order (that made sense and worked). From this system emerged the principles of behavior that shaped the pattern of Chinese civilization for twenty-five centuries (without relying on a benevolent god that would punish sinners).

The Five Relationships (see Septimus Decimus Stele: Morals, verse 7) were recognized by Confucius as fundamental to the social order. Confucius used an important word, "li," which means roughly propriety or ideal standard of conduct. By universal devotion to Li, human relationships can be so ordered that an ideal social structure will result and harmony reign throughout the land. (Li, becomes the Telos of the social order.) Not unlike Kant and the "categorical imperative."

It is one of history's spectacular coincidences that the two figures (Lao Tzu and Confucius) who profoundly influenced Chinese culture lived in the fabulous Sixth Century BC which also produced Buddha, Pythagoras and perhaps Zoroaster.

16) Social Order often has as its infrastructure religious order, even in societies that are not dominated by theocracies. Dominant traditions can take hold of society. The elaborate dietary rules of orthodox Hinduism and Judaism are an example of the collaboration of ritual and collective identity, food representing here a coded statement about exclusive and inclusive membership. These borders are significantly blurred in a pluralistic culture such as in the USA where there are surely more kosher style pickles purchased by gentiles than by Jews. There are increasingly more vegetarians in the USA, to some extent because of the Hindu teachings assimilated into general culture. With modern communication and TV, detailed religious regulations, such as the Mormon "Word of Wisdom," may seem trivial, if not inscrutable. Moslem abstinence from alcohol is accepted as a rule by many religions including some Christian sects, but Prohibition was a miserable failure as government policy. To the participant, purity rules represent consistency in the midst of challenges that arise in everyday life. It is not unreasonable for secular governments to also impose rational social order onto society, but religions have been largely responsible for training people to accept some kind of order. Few governments will act with impunity against the wishes of a significant religious population.

17) "Apart from life, a strong constitution and an abiding connection to the Thembu royal house, the only thing my father bestowed upon me at birth was a name, Rolihlala. In Xhosa... [that name] would be 'troublemaker.' I do not believe that names are destiny or that my father somehow divined my future, but in later years, friends and relatives would ascribe to my birth name the many storms I have both caused and weathered. My more familiar English or Christian name was not given to me until my first day of school." (Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, 1994)

It is one thing to study and theorize about Social Order, but quite another to dedicate your life and create a dramatic change in the Social Order of a nation.

18) By the end of the 19th century it was assumed that the natives (in Australia) would soon be extinct but the Aborigines did not give up. At the turn of the 20th century the policy had changed to assimilation, and the Aborigines were deprived of their nomadic tribal life and concentrated in mission stations run primarily by Protestant evangelists. They were taught 'the Gospel,' shown white ways and prepared for low-level jobs as servants. Around 1910 the shameful policy of stealing children to be assimilated as orphans into white society began in earnest. This social experiment was not abandoned until 1970 and was not made public knowledge until 1997.

In 1992 the doctrine of terra nullius (no-man's land) was declared legally invalid. The first native title victory was the case of Eddie Mabo, a member of the Meriam clan on the Murray Islands in the Torres Strait off northern Australia. He successfully argued before the high court that his people had been there before the whites and had never given up their ancient rights of ownership. Now 15% of the total land area of Australia is owned or controlled by Aboriginal groups and councils. Some 700 land claims, covering 50% of the Australian land mass, await determination by the courts and more claims arrive each day. Stay tuned!

19) "As we dedicate this monument to 'Who' we are and 'What' we do, I want to record the 'Why' that too often goes unexplained. Why would a perfectly content Atheist, like me, be active in a church of any kind? Because religion is an art form, like music, dance, meditation, painting or philosophy... And being involved in religion (even in the Unitarian Universalist congregation) is like composing or playing music, dancing, meditating, painting or doing philosophy... We can thus celebrate the mystery of life and mystery of Universe (with our friends) in a reverent and thoughtful way, and make new friends, and thus contribute to the orderly conduct of society by being involved with like minded people. Besides, I like to attend the pot-luck dinners whenever I can..." (IJ, placed in the time capsule at church.)

20) One of the most influential Japanese leaders was Professor Kiyoshi Hiraizumi of Tokyo Imperial University beginning in 1926. As a historian his main interest was to preserve the spirit of the leaders of the Meiji period, which meant military leadership. To counter the influence of communism he developed the "Green-Green School." The essence of his teaching was that each nation has its own tradition, history and morality and other nations should respect the differences. He taught that Japanese society was based on loyalty and obedience to parents, nation and Emperor. This became an ultra-nationalist school with Shinto, Confucianism and bushido as its inspirations.

Hiraizumi was a lecturer at the Military Academy and he had a huge influence over the officers corps. He taught about the "Imperial Way" and engendered a spirit of self sacrifice to the Empire so strong that his sayings were often on the lips of those going off on kamikaze (suicide) missions. High ranking officers remained his disciples and sought his advice, including Tojo and Anami. Green-Green comes from the Chinese poem: "Evergreens in the snow are even greener." That is, the man under fire who remains "green" is truly pure. (John Toland, The Rising Sun, 1970)

21) One test of virtue for a social order is how well it takes care of its orphans and 'un-sponsored' children. The care and feeding of 'bastards' left in the hands of society is likely to be indirectly related to the level of population and directly related to the hardships faced by the society. The more people the less concern is there for those without an inheritance, and the lower the life span the better integrated will be any child originating outside established rules of wedlock.

Neptune (2,792 million miles from Sun) is something of an orphan in the solar system, being farther away from Sun than Saturn and Uranus combined. Neptune is a plump planet, at 28,000 miles in diameter, making it three and one half times the size of Earth. It might have remained hidden much later than 1890 had it not been for its negative influence on Uranus. Neptune (-385 degrees F) is colder than Uranus (-370 degrees F). Neptune will not return 'home' until the year 2055, having completed one rotation of 165 years since 1890, the year of its discovery. Since it is much too far away to be seen by naked eye, it is too easy to forget. We can only hope that the concept "Out of sight, out of mind" does not influence our judgment as to the virtue of Neptune, as too often it does about orphans around the world.

22) Leo Nicolaevich Tolstoy was already prominent in Russia by 1857 when he took a trip abroad. The experiences he had, set him on a life long revolt against the whole organization of modern civilization and the social orders he found. He began to promote the growth of individual freedom and self-awareness, positing these against the hypocrisy and class consciousness that surrounded him in his native Russia. He started a unique village school at Yasnaya Polyana based on futuristic progressive principles. The peasant children "brought only themselves, their receptive natures, and the certainty that it would be as jolly in school today as yesterday."

The fundamental aim of Tolstoy's nature was a search for truth, for the meaning of life, for the ultimate aims of art, for family happiness, for God. He did not have the benefit of Frame of Reference, and the one hundred and more years of searching that he helped initiate. In marriage his soul found a release, at least initially, from his desperate quest, and once having found his ideal of family happiness, Tolstoy entered upon the greatest creative period of his life. Part of Tolstoy's spiritual struggle is described in Anna Karenina. The various struggles of Levin (Tolstoy autobiographical character) are explained by the excited and tortured life of Anna, an allegory (in my opinion) for Tolstoy's own spiritual torment and conversions. He explained in the end how the meaning of life consists of living according to one's 'inner goodness' and for him that came from a connection to religion and the countryside, albeit with his own unique stamp. He developed a doctrine of 'non-resistance' and that became the foundation of Tolstoy's teachings, living according to nature and renouncing the artificial refinements of society. He thought that self-gratification perverted Man's inherent goodness, and his claims against property rights coincided with the intellectual development of Marxian communism. Individual ownership by one person of things that belong to all, Tolstoy considered as a chief source of evil.

His reaction against the social order of the earlier feudal system of Russia is understandable. Even though the serfs had been liberated in the 1860's they were liberated into poverty desperation. He went well beyond sensitivity to poverty; he argued against carnal lust, ornamental clothing, fancy food as symptoms of the corrupting influence of civilization. Tolstoy had a significant influence on M. K. Gandhi, Mandela, Dr. King and other leaders of social reform.

23) 16 "Honour thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

17 "Thou shalt not kill.

18 "Neither shall thou commit adultery.

19 "Neither shalt thou steal. (Moses and Aaron, The Old Testament, Deuteronomy 5, 16-19)

As I grew older and had two teenage sons, I began to see more clearly the wisdom in this concept of honoring thy father and mother. The other ideas always seemed intuitively obvious.

24) "The vast volume of polemical anti-Marxist writing in the Western world is implicit evidence of the importance of Marxist ideas and of the urgency with which many seek to refute them... Schumpeter wrote: 'We need not believe that a great achievement must necessarily be a source of light or faultless in either fundamental design or details. On the contrary, we may believe it to be a power of darkness; we may think it fundamentally wrong or disagree with it on any number of particular points. In the case of the Marxian system, such adverse judgment or even exact disproof, by its very failure to injure fatally, only serves to bring out the power of the structure."

"Marx and Engels believed they had discovered nothing less than the laws of motion and development of the universe, laws of animate and inanimate nature. The key to their philosophy is the concept of dialectical materialism. The materialistic aspect of this concept holds essentially that the world of our senses has an objective reality and is the sole reality. [nothing super-natural is valid] This is supplemented by the notion that all real phenomena in the universe change according to the tripartite dialectical pattern of thesis-antithesis-synthesis... The dialectical pattern is perhaps best exemplified by Marx's view of the class struggle in capitalist society as the mechanism through which a thesis and antithesis (capitalists and workers) interact to form a synthesis in the form of eventual socialism." It then became Marx's preoccupation to fit the facts of history into this theory, of course there are plenty of facts to choose from so he created a cogent analysis of carefully selected arguments. "Their doctrines had the power to move men to action, to articulate and systematize the grievances of millions of the poor and dispossessed." (Harry Schwartz, Marx on Economics, 1961) (The fundamental errors of this view are discussed later, see Vicesimus Stele: Economics, verse 29)

25) "There were other portraits, much more tormented and of a slightly later period, of Dora Maar, and still lifes with a candle and the head of a bull, or a cat catching a bird, all rather hallucinatory and somber. After the nightmare of the Occupation it must have been a shock for the general public to be exposed to work that was so close in spirit to the years they had just lived through. Seeing the image of a period in which all norms had been swept aside was perhaps in some ways more difficult than living through it." (Francoise Gilot and Carlton Lake, Life With Picasso, 1964) Once one knows the language Pablo Picasso used to express the torment of an age, it makes his dramatic paintings all the more poignant and meaningful. He depicts the pain of civilization and a fundamental frustration with the social order of the day.

26) The intellectual and emotional appeal of communism described by Marx and Engels changed the way Man looked at social order. Those of a utopian mind-set had another justification for their artistic desire to live in harmony, safety and community with like minded believers. The most successful example of communism is the Jewish Kibbutz system. "Martin Buber (1949) presented the kibbutz fifty years ago as a 'singular non-failure,' in contrast to the failures of many attempts to develop communal societies in different parts of the world... kibbutz membership is voluntary and members were a self-selected minority with behavioural traits that differed from those of the general population... the kibbutz was always part of a large labour economy, made up also of moshav cooperative settlements, urban cooperatives and enterprises owned by the Histadrut, the Israeli general trade union. The economic crisis of the 1980's and prior social, economic, and political changes resulted in the dismantling of the labour economy and in the deviation from cooperative principles by the majority of cooperative settlements and organizations. [But the kibbutz system continues in spite of predictions of its demise every year since even before 1926.]

"...One third of the kibbutzim have wholly adopted the concept of separation between economy and community, but more have introduced specific changes belonging to this concept. Among these are an increase in the employment of hired labour, creation of boards of directors, and a decrease in members' participation in decision making... seven out of 270 in 1997 introduced differential salaries, approaching the situation of a conventional labour market... In the majority of kibbutzim there is opposition to this deviation from the kibbutz principle of material equality, but there is more readiness than in the past to use monetary sanctions against members who do not fulfill their work duties. The introduction of sanctions is a change from the basic assumptions of mutual trust and each member's identification with the community, but it is not based on unequal wages.

"The maintenance and further development of the 'utopian' elements of kibbutz ideology is an even more difficult task. The kibbutz ideological crisis is part of a world-wide Zeitgeist of individualistic egoism and 'utopian malnutrition.' In Israel there is internal questioning about the meaning and the relevance of the Zionist ideology. As part of a search for a new role for the kibbutz in Israeli society two new types of kibbuzim have evolved in recent years: urban kibbutzim and education-oriented kibbutzim... No non-religious communal society in the past has ever reached the size of the kibbutz population, its continuity for four generations, and its role and importance in the surrounding society... the kibbutz was in the past and might be in the future not just a deviant case. It also functions as a social laboratory... The future of the kibbutz cannot be predicted..." (http://research.haifa.ac.il/~kibbutz/trends.html, 2000)

27) How does enlightenment grow in the tangled milieu of world society? Matisse offers an insight: "You see, it's very difficult to understand and appreciate the generation that follows. Little by little, as one goes through life, one creates not only a language for himself, but an aesthetic doctrine along with it. That is, at the same time one establishes for himself the values that he creates, he establishes them, at least to a degree, in an absolute sense. And so it becomes all the more difficult for one to understand a kind of painting whose point of departure lies beyond one's own point of arrival. [As with other elements of culture.] Then the movement continues on past us and we are outside it and we don't understand it any longer."

Picasso disagreed: "...the unconscious is so strong in us that is expresses itself in one fashion or another. Those are the roots through which the whole human substratum communicates itself from one being to another. Whatever we may do, it expresses itself in spite of us... Therefore, since there's no such thing as complete automatism, why not admit frankly that one is making use of all that substratum [present culture] of the unconscious but keeping one's hand on it?... Whatever the source of the emotion that drives me to create, I want to give it a form which has some connection with the visible world... I want my paintings to be able to defend themselves... I want there to be only one [interpretation] and in that one, to some extent, the possibility of recognizing nature, which is, after all, a kind of struggle between my interior life and the external world as it exists for most people... And I want that internal surge -- my creative dynamism -- to propose itself to the viewer in the form of traditional painting violated." (Francoise Gilot and Carlton Lake, Life With Picasso, 1964)

Do both these points of view have some validity for the way society changes in the same way trends in art change? We all make the choice of whether to be left on the sideline of social changes or participate in them in whatever way we can.

On to Quartus Decimus Stele - Cannibalism - Human Sacrifice
[an error occurred while processing this directive]