Saturday, September 24, 2016

The Soviets and the Pharaohs

In what meaningful respect was the Soviet Union--and particularly that ideal of the Soviet Union, as a "dictatorship of the proletariat", where everyone but a small elite was the proletariat--different morally from Pharaoahonic Egypt?  Lenin was in fact preserved in a major public monument in a prominent public space.  He was embalmed using 20th century technology, and placed on display in a pyramid of sorts.

In both cases you have masses of slaves operating as cogs in a massive centrally planned economic machine.  You have reminders everywhere of the power of the rulers.  In Egypt they are carved into stone, and in the Soviet Union they are posted on walls, broadcast on the radio, and yes, shown in  public monuments.  Pictures of the ruler are everywhere in the Soviet Union, and he is more or less worshipped.  Failure to do courts arrest, torture, and/or death and/or exile.

I would stipulate that high/low is a primitive construct, one rooted in ancient biology, and made vastly worse by the capacity for abstraction unique to humans.

It is circles we should seek.  A church has a high/low, and a front/back.  There is an authority implied by the masses facing one way, and a ceremonial superior facing back, from an elevated place, where they claim to act as God's agent.

Egalitarianism uses the circle rhetorically, but intends the church.

I think most of us can accept the myth--and I intend here a deep symbolic reality which I lack the historical knowledge to tie certainly to known physical realities--of primitive tribes around the world sitting in circles and talking.  Perhaps there is a Chief, and perhaps he sits in a place of honor, but he is in the same circle.  Once there is a Lord, and he faces outward, then primitive simplicity has been lost.

The circle is my own vision for the future.  If you think about it, the internet is in some respects an endless series of circles.

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