"...it's not the training to be mean but the training to be kind that is used to keep us leashed best." ~ Black Dog Red

"In case you haven't recognized the trend: it proceeds action, dissent, speech." ~ davidly, on how wars get done

"...What sort of meager, unerotic existence must a man live to find himself moved to such ecstatic heights by the mundane sniping of a congressional budget fight. The fate of human existence does not hang in the balance. The gods are not arrayed on either side. Poseiden, earth-shaker, has regrettably set his sights on the poor fishermen of northern Japan and not on Washington, D.C. where his ire might do some good--I can think of no better spot for a little wetland reclamation project, if you know what I mean. The fight is neither revolution nor apocalypse; it is hardly even a fight. A lot of apparatchiks are moving a lot of phony numbers with more zeros than a century of soccer scores around, weaving a brittle chrysalis around a gross worm that, some time hence, will emerge, untransformed, still a worm." ~ IOZ

Sep 1, 2010

A Shiny Good Question


"...does perfection require authoritarianism?"


fwoan said...

That begs the question of what exactly 'perfection' is and who's definition are we going to settle on?

I certainly see perfection as (among other things) a lack of authoritarianism.

Jack Crow said...

I'll play my hand now, fwoan, and add that I believe that no one can obtain or attain "perfection."

It exceeds itself. Assuming for a moment that a person or community achieves this hallowed estate, it must either fix it for all eternity (impossible),or accept the reality of contingency and change.

If change occurs (and I see no reason, at this stage in the human game, to argue against the functional truth of change), then perfection as an attainable state can only, at best, occupy a provisional niche, on the way to what lies beyond it.

Since people do not appear capable of fixing events and relations in unalterable patterns, which endure and preserve themselves, and submit always to human desire, the very idea of "perfection" strikes me as a chimaera, wholly unobtainable, even if it does provide no small measure of inspiration.



Anonymous said...

I had thoughts on this too and for some reason (or impulsive lack thereof) placed them only at BDR where you linked, Jack.

Anonymous said...

errr, not exactly where you linked though. elsewhere in BDR's last two posts. DOH!

BDR said...

Thanks for Kind bump, friend.

Richard said...

without getting into fundamental questions, the answer is YES and, for a brilliant exposition on the subject, see Nagisa Oshima's film "Taboo", which, while outwardly about the homoerotic chaos caused by the arrival of a beautiful young Japanese man into a group of samurai towards the end of the Tokugawa shogunate (roughly, the 1860s), is also concerned with the consequences of the obssession of some Japanese with perfection in all things

it might be more accurate to say that an insistence upon perfection leads inexorably to fascism, as Oshima suggests in "Taboo" (and, note, Oshima (and Kore-eda as well, in "Hana", have highlighted the earthly folkloric current in Japanese social history as an egalitarian alternative)

it is a hard to find film, but it was briefly released in the US, and Netflix may have it, and, if you have an "all regions" DVD player, you can get a PAL version for the English market and watch it

"Hana", by contrast, is much easier to find, having been released in the US in the last year or so (the movie tells the sad story of a pacifist samurai who, in a classic illustration of what Lefevbre called "dialetical irony", ends up facilitating the emergence of a new militaristic period)