lunes, 22 de febrero de 2010
The passions of men (I mean, the soul of sensibility in the heart of men) –in all quarrels, in al contests, in all quests, in all delights, in all employments which are either sought by men or thrust upon them- do immeasurably transcend their objects. The true sorrow of humanity consists in this; not that the mind of man fails; but that the course and demands of action and of life so rarely correspond with dignity and intensity of human desires: and hence that, which is slow to languish, is too easily turned aside and abused.
However, there is a solution – at least to some extent and in some sense. It requires a sustained set of changes in the organizations of society as well as in the orientation of consciousness. Its benefits touch on our most fundamental interests. First, on our material interests in lifting the burden of poverty, drudgery, and infirmity weighing on human life; it lightens this burden by developing those forms of cooperation that are most hospital to permanent innovation. Second, on our social interests in disengaging our cooperative relations from the restraints on predetermined social division and hierarchy. Third, on our moral interests in creating circumstances that enable us better to reconcile the conflicting requirements of self-construction: to live among others without surrendering to them our self-possession. Fourth, on our intellectual and spiritual interests in so arranging society and culture that we are better able to be both insiders and outsiders, and engage without surrendering.
The enlargement of human power, individual and collective, we should seek and prize is a combination of these four interests. The protagonists and beneficiaries are ordinary men and women rather than an elite of heroes, geniuses and saints.