SOCIAL ART

 

NEW VIEW

 

In these days of constantly changing goalposts, the work of Rudolf Steiner is of relevance to people of all faiths and none. In introducing Steiner to a wide readership, New View magazine offers an invitation to take fresh look at the world and ourselves.

Published quarterly at Christmas, Easter, Midsummer and Michaelmas New View offers substantial analysis of international news and contemporary insights based on Rudolf Steiner’s anthroposophy. Regular items include: World events, Community, Health, Education, Self-development, Arts, Science, Environment, Biodynamic-Agriculture, Book and Film Reviews and much more.

 

See https://www.newview.org.uk/  for details.

 

These articles have appeared in New View:

 

Our World

Black world of horror - grim, relentless, stark!
Suffused with passion greed and cruelty,
Can you be real? Can Man have sunk so far
That he refuses to admit the truth
For long enough to fill his hollow life?
His Absolute a string of daily needs!
If this be true then sordid Adam's shroud
Should surely blot him from the Universe.

Shall some cold thinker of philosophy
Resolve to patterns all chaotic thought?
Astute and subtle, finite in his aims?
A scheme which merely sways the intellect
Nor grasps the magnitude of what shall be.
Is man a monument of mind and flesh,
Shall he be bound within the thought prescribed
As sanity? Then shall his mind be dead.

Shall dreamers sit and idly twirl their thumbs
In vague content - sublime indifference -
Or follow in the greedy way of gain
Their mess of pottage bought - the price we know -
Is this our World, the world we sow and reap,
Where hearts are ever grovelling in fear?
If dreams are dust all-hail the scientist
Who shall resolve us into dust again!

Grim pictures these - but false - Stupendous lies
Which man has told himself till he believes,
For racial thought has woven in his mind
The net to trap him - crush his very soul
That he may be like every other man,
and live and think in masses. Undermine
The very concept of Humanity,
For tie which binds should lift him up sublime!

The truth - Oh Man! You face about, or die
With folded wings and unawakened soul;
Afraid to be yourself- afraid to live,
Though seeking madly for the happiness
Which intuition tells you is your right.
Then face the truth, the self which is divine,
Be fearless in your love for your own soul
And strong because your soul is part of God.

Respect the souls ye see on either hand,
Be proud if they have learned to use their wings.
But love them all, and learn to understand
That personality is but the tune
Which each one plays in Universal Whole,
When he has learned expression for his soul.
Then free yourself that you may come to be
A major chord in God's great harmony.

Margaret V. Underhill, via Malcolm Gluck. See New View 95, Spring 2020 (p80) for details of how this poem came to us at this moment in time. New View is available from: https://www.newview.org.uk/

 

Being pregnant in an age of compliance: Thoughts on healthcare, safety and freedom 

Maria Lyons New View Issue 97 97, Autumn 2020  

So much of what is nowadays termed healthcare has far more to do with the subtle manipulation of behaviour and fostering of compliance than it does either health or care. Of course, with the “coronavirus crisis” ... read more ...

 

The Pandemic of Fear ... (and the Medicine of Love) 

Benjamin Cherry New View Issue 96 Summer 2020

 

The Medicine of Love (Within the Pandemic of Fear)

Benjamin Cherry New View Issue 96 Summer 2020

 

ART AND SOCIAL CREDIT

 

For poets, playwrights, craftspeople, actors and novelists the concept of economic democracy through social credit possessed immediate appeal. Lack of financial security has been an incessant impediment to artistic endeavour. Names associated with the social credit movement include Ezra Pound, T.S. Eliot, Herbert Read, Storm Jameson, William Carlos Williams, James Laughlin (American publisher), Charlie Chaplin, Eimar O’Duffy, Aldous Huxley, Sybil Thorndike and Bonamy Dobrée. Involvement included the authorship of articles and pamphlets, and organisational activities.

 

Below is a selection of writings from this body of literature.

Why Schools of Economics and Political Science Should be Closed Down (2012) by John Papworth

John Papworth goes to the very root of the problem to explain how we, the people, have all been led to trade in the wisdom of ages contained in Aristotle's theory of scale for the shallow modern philosophy of 'just follow the money'.

The book juxtaposes the teachings of the ancient thinkers that put the human being at the centre of economic and political theories against the teachings of the modern schools of economics and political science that have made 'the market' the central focus. Read full text...

 

'The Machine Stops' (1909) by E.M. Forster

In his novella The Machine Stops, Forster (1879-1970) identifies a social phenomenon which appears in a number of fictional dystopias of the twentieth century. The ‘Machine’, like ‘Big Brother’, or the shadowy authority behind the Director of Hatcheries and Conditioning’ (DHC) governs human relationships whilst remaining beyond human comprehension or control. The full text is available here.

 

Danger, Ugliness and Waste (1923) by Owen Barfield 

At a time when this country, if not all Europe, if not civilisation itself, needs more urgently than ever before the assistance of the clearest brains it possesses, I do not apologise for trespassing on your time. Nor will I waste it by...

Read more...

 

Pearls of Wisdom 1 by William Dobson

'Thoughts can be as poisonous as dangerous drugs. You may, if negative in a single hour, or by being in the company of persons whose minds are full of envy, jealousy, cynicism or despondency, absorb a literally poisonous element of thought, full of disease.' 

Read more...

Pearls of Wisdom 2 by William Dobson

'The cultivation of habits of cheerfulness and emotional conditions of a hopeful, optimistic and cheerful mind, have a powerful influence in the building up of a healthy body and the production of happiness. Every mental activity creates a definite chemical change in the body, so that if our thoughts are wholesome and healthy, we are constantly made better by them.'

Read more...

Writings of Eimar O'Duffy

The Goshawk Trilogy 

Social credit provided the central theme of Eimar O'Duffy's mythical science-fiction fantasy trilogy. Published in three volumes, it is a comic indictment of politics and economics in the contemporary world. Read more...

Below are excerpts and whole texts from this trilogy.

King Goshawk

King Goshawk and the Birds (1926)

Extracts from the first book of Eimar O’Duffy’s Trilogy can be read here, with accompanying Commentary. Here, and in Asses in Clover, O'Duffy takes up the theme of the futility of waste and war in the twentieth century.

Spacious Adventures

The Spacious Adventures of the Man in the Street (1928)

The complete text of the second book of O'Duffy's trilogy is available here

Asses in Clover

Asses in Clover (1933)

The full version of the book can be read from here.

Commentary to 'Asses in Clover by Frances Hutchinson

                                                                                                            

Life and Money (1933 edition) 

CONTENTS

Note that the page numbering shown in the ‘contents’ page reflects the original 1933 printing, from which this text was taken. It is hoped to commission a facsimile reprinting of the whole book. These historical page breaks are also indicated in the main text.

PART 1:          THE ECONOMIC MUDDLE

PART 2:           (THE NEW MONETARY SYSTEM – to follow)

PART 3:          THE SABOTAGE OF PLENTY

PART 4:          THE SABOTAGE OF CIVILISATION

PART 5:          THE SABOTAGE OF LIFE

PART 6:          THE LEISURE STATE

                 Social Credit in the Twentieth Century

The twentieth century financial system which made the First World War feasible was the subject of comprehensive study by Clifford Hugh Douglas. Despite Douglas’ analysis of the relationship between finance and real-world policy formation, throughout the inter-war years financial policies leading inevitably to poverty amidst plenty and further warfare were persistently adopted. Subsequently, the worldwide Social Credit movement which arose during the 1920s and 1930s was systematically airbrushed out of public memory. The vast body of literature on the subject of Social Credit is documented elsewhere on this website.

The Social Credit debate was supported by a wide variety of poetry, fictional and autobiographical writing, much of which is currently being made available again, in print or electronically. Eimar O’Duffy’s Goshawk Trilogy, King Goshawk and the Birds, The Spacious Adventures of the Man in the Street, and Asses in Clover illuminates the lunacy of maintaining outdated and irrelevant economic theory as a guide to practical policy formation.

  Other Literature

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All Faiths Letter to the Prime Minister 3 November 2020  

 On 3rd November 2020 a remarkable letter was jointly signed by all leaders of the major faith communities in England. It was addressed to the Prime Minister, Boris Johnson and to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Robert Jenrick. The letter set out the case against further suspension of public worship. The fact that a letter of this quality, should fall on deaf ears demands the attention of people of all faiths and none.

 "Our thoughts and prayers have been with the Cabinet, Parliament and all who advise them, and above all with those who have died or are bereaved, unemployed or unbearably stressed by the virus and its consequences. ... Read more ...

 

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Help Your Child to Wonder by Rachel Carson

Published posthumously by Harper Collins in 1965.

After publication of her first two books, The Sea Around Us and and The Edge of the Sea, Rachel Carson's article entitled "Help Your Child to Wonder" was published in Woman's Home Companion in July 1956. The original article, complete with illustrations and advertisements of the day, is a fascinating historical document in its own right. Rachel Carson's dream was to produce the text as a book with illustrations, but the publication of Silent Spring (1962) prevented her from completing this project. After her death the text, with photographs by Nick Kelsh and an Introduction by Linda Lear, was published by Harper Collins in 1965.

Text as published in Woman's Home Companion

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Visioning the Sustainable City by Bill Hopwood and Mary Mellor

Published in Capitalism, Nature, Socialism.

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'Taking the Bottles Back' by Sue Townsend

Taken from Chatto Counterblasts No.9 Mr Bevan's Dream, Sue Townsend 1989

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AFTERWORD to George Orwell’s 1984 by Erich Fromm

1984 is more than a satire of total barbarism. "It means us, too," says Erich Fromm in his Afterword. It is not merely a political novel but also a diagnosis of the deepest alienation in the mind of Organisation Man.

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'Creed or Chaos?'

Address delivered by Dorothy L. Sayers at the Biennial Festival of the
Church Tutorial Classes Association in
Derby, May 4th, 1940

WORK
The unsacramental attitude of modern society to man and matter is probably closely connected with its unsacramental attitude to work. The Church is a good deal to blame for having connived at this. From the eighteenth Century onwards, she has tended to acquiesce in what I may call the " industrious apprentice" view of the matter: " Work hard and be thrifty, and God will bless you with a contented mind and a competence." This is nothing but enlightened self-interest in its vulgarest form, and plays directly into the hands of the monopolist and the financier. Nothing has so deeply discredited the Christian Church as her squalid submission to the economic theory of society. The burning question of the Christian attitude to money is being so eagerly debated nowadays that it is scarcely necessary to do more than remind ourselves that the present unrest, both in Russia and in Central Europe, is an immediate judgment upon a financial system that has subordinated man to economics, and that no mere readjustment of economic machinery will have any lasting effect if it keeps man a prisoner inside the machine. Complete text.

Poems

The Banker and Economist' by Eimar O'Duffy (1933)

'Our Problem and a Solution' by Bob Harvey (2008)

                'Legalized Usury' by Peter Maurin

Brer Fox 'n' Brer Rabbit:

The Win-Win Game (1913) 

The game of Monopoly is named after the economic concept of monopoly, meaning the domination of a market by a single entity. First patented in 1935, the game is derived from one of a series of variations on  The Landlord's Game. These were created in the United States in the late 19th century as an aid to the group study of the works of Henry George (1839-1937). In his Progress and Poverty and other works George demonstrated the feasibility of eradicating poverty amidst plenty as industrialisation proceeded. He advocated:

  • Socialisation of land and natural resources
  • Single tax
  • Local government provision of infrastructure and services
  • Reform of intellectual property rights
  • Free trade
  • Secret ballot
  • Reform of money creation and banking
  • Citizen's dividend and universal pension
  • Votes for women

The Brer Fox 'n' Brer Rabbit version of the original Landlord's Game is played in three stages. Stage 1 demonstrates the working of the zero-sum game of capitalism, where the winners gain, but the community as a whole achieves a lower-than-potential total of wealth creation. Stages 2 and 3 show that it does not have to be that way. By a process of elementary accounting, the game of finance can be converted into a 'win-win' game. See HARDER ESSAYS, The Win Win Game 1913-2020. 

Many versions of the original Georgist game were drawn up in many localities across the world.

Click here to access this game.