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Friday, August 22, 2014

A sense of community

From Wikipedia

Here's an interesting quote many folk will have come across at one time or another.

He could not see, it was not born in him to see, that the highest good of the community as it stands is no longer the highest good of even the average individual. He thought that, because the community represents millions of people, therefore it must be millions of times more important than any individual, forgetting that the community is an abstraction from the many, and is not the many themselves. 

Now when the statement of the abstract good for the community has become a formula lacking in all inspiration or value to the average intelligence, then the “common good” becomes a general nuisance, representing the vulgar, conservative materialism at a low level.
D.H. Lawrence - The Rainbow (1915)

Such a common word isn't it? Community. What could be nicer than to be part of a community? Yet a community binds us together in a way which may be benign or oppressive, but is too often merely political. 

Community. A community facility. A community resource. A community organiser. Wasn't Obama a community organiser? Or maybe a community organizer. Sounds grim to me. Not a job I'd relish. 

Unfortunately Lawrence was right. The idea of community has become a formula lacking in all inspiration or value to the average intelligence.

We've forgotten that bit haven't we - the inspiration? We've sucked the human juice out of a useful notion and made it dull, mechanical and more than a little unhealthy.


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Sackerson said...
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Sackerson said...

Community is your family, your village, your tribe, with its customs (so much more important than the law). Governments pervert these instincts to their own ends, just as Shredded Wheat interposed itself between mother and child and sang:

"Children grow so fast, before you know, they go their different ways, remembering that you're the one who gave them golden days, golden days, Shredded Wheat, golden days, Shredded Wheat, when you give them Shredded Wheat you give them golden days."

A K Haart said...

Sackers - that Shredded Wheat ditty penetrated deeply. I have a few like that, such as Oat Krunchies.