What we’re Learning
What did the Stoics believe?
What are we willing to do for Utopia?
What kind of societal control is permissible?
“Poverty is a virtue which one can teach oneself.”
― Diogenes of Sinope
Diogenes was asked why he always begged. “To teach people,” replied Diogenes. “Oh yes, and what do you teach?” people would ask him scornfully. “Generosity”, he replied.
Reminder of Monday HW:
Shamelessness vs. Quiet Observation
Fury, Paranoia, Loss of Perspective
Ursula LeGuin’s Short Story
Read, explain, connect to our world and the Brave New One
Brave New World
Respond to these quotes:
1) A gramme is always better than a damn . . . A gramme in time saves nine . . . One cubic centimetre cures ten gloomy sentiments . . . Everybody’s happy nowadays . . . Every one works for every one else . . . When the individual feels, the community reels . . . Never put off till to-morrow the fun you can have to-day . . . Progress is lovely
2)Wasn’t it wonderful?” said Fifi Bradlaugh. “Wasn’t it simply wonderful?” She looked at Bernard with an expression of rapture, but of rapture in which there was no trace of agitation or excitement–for to be excited is still to be unsatisfied. Hers was the calm ecstasy of achieved consummation, the peace, not of mere vacant satiety and nothingness, but of balanced life, of energies at rest and in equilibrium. A rich and living peace. For the Solidarity Service had given as well as taken, drawn off only to replenish. She was full, she was made perfect, she was still more than merely herself. “Didn’t you think it was wonderful?” she insisted, looking into Bernard’s face with those supernaturally shining eyes.
“Yes, I thought it was wonderful,” he lied and looked away; the sight of her transfigured face was at once an accusation and an ironical reminder of his own separateness. He was as miserably isolated now as he had been when the service began–more isolated by reason of his unreplenished emptiness, his dead satiety. Separate and unatoned, while the others were being fused into the Greater Being; alone even in Morgana’s embrace–much more alone, indeed, more hopelessly himself than he had ever been in his life before. He had emerged from that crimson twilight into the common electric glare with a self-consciousness intensified to the pitch of agony. He was utterly miserable, and perhaps (her shining eyes accused him), perhaps it was his own fault. “Quite wonderful,” he repeated; but the only thing he could think of was Morgana’s eyebrow.
3)Don’t you wish you were free, Lenina?”
“I don’t know what you mean. I am free. Free to have the most wonderful time. Everybody’s happy nowadays.”
He laughed, “Yes, ‘Everybody’s happy nowadays.’ We begin giving the children that at five. But wouldn’t you like to be free to be happy in some other way, Lenina? In your own way, for example; not in everybody else’s way.”
“I don’t know what you mean,” she repeated. Then, turning to him, “Oh, do let’s go back, Bernard,” she besought; “I do so hate it here.”
“Don’t you like being with me?”
“But of course, Bernard. It’s this horrible place.”
“I thought we’d be more … more together here–with nothing but the sea and moon. More together than in that crowd, or even in my rooms. Don’t you understand that?”
“I don’t understand anything,” she said with decision, determined to preserve her incomprehension intact. “Nothing. Least of all,” she continued in another tone “why you don’t take soma when you have these dreadful ideas of yours. You’d forget all about them. And instead of feeling miserable, you’d be jolly. So jolly,” she repeated and smiled, for all the puzzled anxiety in her eyes, with what was meant to be an inviting and voluptuous cajolery.
He looked at her in silence, his face unresponsive and very grave–looked at her intently. After a few seconds Lenina’s eyes flinched away; she uttered a nervous little laugh, tried to think of something to say and couldn’t. The silence prolonged itself.
HW: Read chapters 7-8 in Brave New World. Monday is also the day your writing is due (Observation or Shamelessness reactions)