"Out beyond ideas of right doing and wrong doing, there is a field, meet me there" Rumi
Only from here is an understanding possible. Doubtless, this a an unconfortable region; it requires us to let go of moral platitudes, to hold in abayence all that may serve as a terminal truth- to see with fresh eyes, and look 'without instruments', to see if something other than 'moral lessons' emerge.
"Among things, reject non; among people, reject no-one. This is called comprehensive intelligence." Lao Tzu.
Are we really prepared to discover just how 'comprehensive' this intelligence is?
If violence can spread throughout a city like wild-fire then we can conclude at least one thing: that it had been long prepared. A fire cannot keep burning without a source of fuel: a forest fire can only spread when the conditions are right.
When something is pushed underground, it doesnt cease to exist as it is required to, but takes root, and grows. Behind walls of silence, movements gather strength, waiting for the right time to break out in the open. The 'divine impatience' waits for the propitious moment to say 'ENOUGH! So far, but Non Plus Ultra'
The vitims of such convulsive violence can be compared to the victims of a wirlwind or storm. Senseless violence is an abstract idea, never met with in actuality, what we often see however is *confused* violence- born of an authentic intention but confused as to its proper object.
"Crisis is opportunity riding a dangerous wind." Chinese Proverb.
This, like so much else in life, transcends the rational dialectic of the Westminster system. Although the left may lay claim to serving the interests of the proletariat, there is no institution to serve the interests of the Dostoevsky's of the megalopolis.
Psychiatrists have known for a long time that modern industrialized cities produce all kinds of absurd violence not to be met with anywhere else (its noteworthy that the serial killer is a product of the modern industrialized city). The recent spate of violent murders in China provide a case in point. Men plan ideal cities free of crime, filth and disease, but the city breeds a new kind of man in its basements and back alleys. Irrational forces defy a rational order and throw it into confusion. But what else is this convulsive erruption but the re-assertion of the cosmic nature shut out by the city walls and paved over by concrete? The centre cannot hold, and the cracks let the light in. The eruption of the unconscious in a culture that places the conscious ego at the center of its existence, a psychic re-centering which bares an analogy with that of Copernicus. In its negative aspect, it is the return of the repressed in a tragic confrontation with a
demonic double, in its positive aspect, the awakening of a wider existence, the restoration of a lost unity.
It is clearly a mistake to confuse the 'arts of government' with the institutions of the government. And this especially in a society such as our own whose art of government is really a kind of art of self-government. This is the problem that revolutionary politics keeps confronting in the formulation of its concept of 'power', which invariably locates it in the institutions of the 'government' or 'corporation'. We are learning that we need to go further.
The western 'art of government' is based on the view that human beings are naturally selfish and antisocial, and that a sustained and concerted effort is required, in the form of artificial social, economic and political institutions, to make them sociable. The idea is that people are selfish, but that this essence of their nature, which it would be vein to deny, can be turned to good account so that 'private vice' can lead to 'public benifits'. Milton Friedman will supply our meaning here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWsx1X8PV_A
See also Mandavilles' 'The Fable of the Bees, or, Private Vice, Public Benefits'.
So, greed is asked to play a salutary- or rather, soteriological- role and is thus actively cultivated in this art of management. If man is selfish, therefore, we can see that this is of the order of results.
Homo Urbanus has become the 'human type', which all psychology, biology and anthropology assumes, and takes as 'homo natura'. Homo Urbanus is without race, independent of geographical place and historical time. The megalopolis is his natural habitat, and he cannot be seperated from its 'Euclidian world feeling'.
"[T]he disciplinary system had a primary, massive, overall function which appears clearly in the eighteenth century; ... . Insofar as these disciplinary systems were normalizing, they necessarily produced, on their borders and through exclusion, residual abrnormalities, illegalities, and irregularities. The tighter the dissciplinary system, the more numerous the abnormalities and irregularities. [T]hese irregularities, illegalities, and abrnormalities that the disciplinary system was designed to reduce,... it created precisely to the extent that it functioned... ." Foucault.
"As restrictions and prohibitions are multiplied in the Empire, the people grow poorer and poorer. When the people are subjected to overmuch government, the land is thrown into confusion."
"The greater the number of laws and enactments, the more thieves and robbers there will be." Lao Tzu.
"Ts‘ui Chü asked Lao saying: 'If the empire is not to be governed, how are men's hearts to be kept in order?' 'Be careful,' replied Lao 'not to interfere with the natural goodness of the heart of man. Man's heart may be forced down or stirred up. In each case the issue is fatal.'" Chaung Tzu.