Archive | November 22, 2009

Who Said It?

Magritte - Lovers

Can you guess the source of this passage?

– Do your people always quarrel thus?

– Always.

– Why?

– I do not know. They take their mates for life and are permitted but one and though both men and women have a choice in the selection of their mates they never seem to be satisfied with one another and are always quarreling, usually because neither one nor the other is faithful. Do the men and women quarrel thus in the land from which you come?

– No. They do not. If they did they would be thrown out of the tribe.

– But suppose that they find that they do not like one another?

– Then they do not live together. They separate and if they care to they find other mates.

– That is wicked. We would kill any of our people who did such a thing.

– At least we are all a very happy people, which is more than you can say for yourselves, and, after all, happiness, it seems to me, is everything.

– Perhaps you are right.

The answer.

Icky Sticky Anarchy

I came from a real tough neighborhood.
I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand.

– Rodney Dangerfield

the bricks of society

According to Simon Read, in Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Anarchism, But Were Afraid to Ask: “The English anarchist Colin Ward calls anarchism the cement that holds the bricks of society.”

That’s a great line, paradoxical-sounding but true (though I usually quote it as “Anarchy is the glue that holds society together”). It’s a more succinct, and more radical, version of Paine’s “Great part of that order …” passage. (See also Emerson’s “hooks and eyes” line.) But where, exactly, does Colin Ward say it – if he does?

After looking through some Ward books I own and doing some internet searches (as well as searches through Ward’s books via Amazon’s “look/search inside” feature), I can’t find any place where he says this – though I did find a passage assigning the social-cement role to human solidarity, and another assigning it to music-making.

Can any of my readers recognise/confirm/disconfirm this quote?

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