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George Orwell

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
George Orwell
A photo showing the head and shoulders of a middle-aged man with black hair and a slim moustache.

Orwell’s press card portrait, 1943
Born Eric Arthur Blair
25 June 1903
Motihari, Bengal Presidency, British India
(now East Champaran, Bihar, India)
Died 21 January 1950 (aged 46)
University College Hospital, London, England, United Kingdom
Resting place Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire, England, United Kingdom
Pen name George Orwell
Occupation Novelist, essayist, journalist, critic
Alma mater Eton College
Genre Dystopia, roman à clef, satire
Subject Anti-fascism, anti-Stalinism, democratic socialism, literary criticism, news, polemic
Notable works Animal Farm
Nineteen Eighty-Four
Years active 1928–1950
Spouse Eileen O’Shaughnessy
(m. 1935; her death 1945)
Sonia Brownell
(m. 1949; his death 1950)

Signature Eric Blair ("George Orwell")

Eric Arthur Blair (25 June 1903 – 21 January 1950),[1] better known by the pen name George Orwell, was an English novelist, essayist, journalist, and critic. His work is marked by lucid prose, awareness of social injustice, opposition to totalitarianism, and outspoken support of democratic socialism.[2][3]

Orwell wrote literary criticism, poetry, fiction, and polemical journalism. He is best known for the allegorical novella Animal Farm (1945) and the dystopian novel Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949). His non-fiction works, including The Road to Wigan Pier (1937), documenting his experience of working class life in the north of England, and Homage to Catalonia (1938), an account of his experiences in the Spanish Civil War, are widely acclaimed, as are his essays on politics, literature, language, and culture. In 2008, The Times ranked him second on a list of “The 50 greatest British writers since 1945”.[4]

Orwell’s work continues to influence popular and political culture, and the term Orwellian – descriptive of totalitarian or authoritarian social practices – has entered the language together with many of his neologisms, including cold war, Big Brother, Thought Police, Room 101, memory hole, newspeak, doublethink, and thoughtcrime.[5]

Contents

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Life

Early years

Blair family home at Shiplake, Oxfordshire

Eric Arthur Blair was born on 25 June 1903, in Motihari, Bengal Presidency (present-day Bihar), in British India.[6] His great-grandfather Charles Blair was a wealthy country gentleman in Dorset who married Lady Mary Fane, daughter of the Earl of Westmorland, and had income as an absentee landlord of plantations in Jamaica.[7] His grandfather, Thomas Richard Arthur Blair, was a clergyman.[8] Although the gentility passed down the generations, the prosperity did not; Eric Blair described his family as “lower-upper-middle class“.[9] His father, Richard Walmesley Blair, worked in the Opium Department of the Indian Civil Service.[10] His mother, Ida Mabel Blair (née Limouzin), grew up in Moulmein, Burma, where her French father was involved in speculative ventures.[7] Eric had two sisters: Marjorie, five years older, and Avril, five years younger. When Eric was one year old, his mother took him and his sister to England.[11][n 1] His birthplace and ancestral house in Motihari has been declared a protected monument of historical importance.[12]

In 1904, Ida Blair settled with her children at Henley-on-Thames in Oxfordshire. Eric was brought up in the company of his mother and sisters, and apart from a brief visit in mid-1907,[13] they did not see the husband and father Richard Blair until 1912.[8] His mother’s diary from 1905 describes a lively round of social activity and artistic interests.

Before the First World War, the family moved to Shiplake, Oxfordshire where Eric became friendly with the Buddicom family, especially their daughter Jacintha. When they first met, he was standing on his head in a field. On being asked why, he said, “You are noticed more if you stand on your head than if you are right way up.”[14] Jacintha and Eric read and wrote poetry, and dreamed of becoming famous writers. He said that he might write a book in the style of H. G. Wells‘s A Modern Utopia. During this period, he also enjoyed shooting, fishing and birdwatching with Jacintha’s brother and sister.[14]

Playing fields at St. Cyprian’s. Blair’s time at the school inspired his essay “Such, Such Were the Joys“.

At the age of five, Eric was sent as a day-boy to a convent school in Henley-on-Thames, which Marjorie also attended. It was a Roman Catholic convent run by French Ursuline nuns, who had been exiled from France after religious education was banned in 1903.[15] His mother wanted him to have a public school education, but his family could not afford the fees, and he needed to earn a scholarship. Ida Blair’s brother Charles Limouzin recommended St Cyprian’s School, Eastbourne, East Sussex.[8] Limouzin, who was a proficient golfer, knew of the school and its headmaster through the Royal Eastbourne Golf Club, where he won several competitions in 1903 and 1904.[16] The headmaster undertook to help Blair to win a scholarship, and made a private financial arrangement that allowed Blair’s parents to pay only half the normal fees. In September 1911 Eric arrived at St Cyprian’s. He boarded at the school for the next five years, returning home only for school holidays. He knew nothing of the reduced fees, although he “soon recognised that he was from a poorer home”.[17] Blair hated the school[18] and many years later wrote an essay “Such, Such Were the Joys“, published posthumously, based on his time there. At St. Cyprian’s, Blair first met Cyril Connolly, who became a writer. Many years later, as the editor of Horizon, Connolly published several of Orwell’s essays.

While at St Cyprian’s, Blair wrote two poems that were published in the Henley and South Oxfordshire Standard.[19][20] He came second to Connolly in the Harrow History Prize, had his work praised by the school’s external examiner, and earned scholarships to Wellington and Eton. But inclusion on the Eton scholarship roll did not guarantee a place, and none was immediately available for Blair. He chose to stay at St Cyprian’s until December 1916, in case a place at Eton became available.[8]

In January, Blair took up the place at Wellington, where he spent the Spring term. In May 1917 a place became available as a King’s Scholar at Eton. He remained at Eton until December 1921, when he left midway between his 18th and 19th birthday. Wellington was “beastly”, Orwell told his childhood friend Jacintha Buddicom, but he said he was “interested and happy” at Eton.[21] His principal tutor was A. S. F. Gow, Fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge, who also gave him advice later in his career.[8] Blair was briefly taught French by Aldous Huxley. Stephen Runciman, who was at Eton with Blair, noted that he and his contemporaries appreciated Huxley’s linguistic flair.[22] Cyril Connolly followed Blair to Eton, but because they were in separate years, they did not associate with each other.[23]

Blair’s academic performance reports suggest that he neglected his academic studies,[22] but during his time at Eton he worked with Roger Mynors to produce a College magazine, The Election Times, joined in the production of other publications – College Days and Bubble and Squeak – and participated in the Eton Wall Game. His parents could not afford to send him to a university without another scholarship, and they concluded from his poor results that he would not be able to win one. Runciman noted that he had a romantic idea about the East,[22] and the family decided that Blair should join the Imperial Police, the precursor of the Indian Police Service. For this he had to pass an entrance examination. His father had retired to Southwold, Suffolk, by this time; Blair was enrolled at a crammer there called Craighurst, and brushed up on his Classics, English, and History. He passed the entrance exam, coming seventh out of the 26 candidates who exceeded the pass mark.[8][24]

Policing in Burma

Blair pictured in a passport photo during his Burma years

Blair’s maternal grandmother lived at Moulmein, so he chose a posting in Burma. In October 1922 he sailed on board SS Herefordshire via the Suez Canal and Ceylon to join the Indian Imperial Police in Burma. A month later, he arrived at Rangoon and travelled to the police training school in Mandalay. After a short posting at Maymyo, Burma’s principal hill station, he was posted to the frontier outpost of Myaungmya in the Irrawaddy Delta at the beginning of 1924.

Working as an imperial policeman gave him considerable responsibility while most of his contemporaries were still at university in England. When he was posted farther east in the Delta to Twante as a sub-divisional officer, he was responsible for the security of some 200,000 people. At the end of 1924, he was promoted to Assistant District Superintendent and posted to Syriam, closer to Rangoon. Syriam had the refinery of the Burmah Oil Company, “the surrounding land a barren waste, all vegetation killed off by the fumes of sulphur dioxide pouring out day and night from the stacks of the refinery.” But the town was near Rangoon, a cosmopolitan seaport, and Blair went into the city as often as he could, “to browse in a bookshop; to eat well-cooked food; to get away from the boring routine of police life”.[25] In September 1925 he went to Insein, the home of Insein Prison, the second largest jail in Burma. In Insein, he had “long talks on every conceivable subject” with Elisa Maria Langford-Rae (who later married Kazi Lhendup Dorjee). She noted his “sense of utter fairness in minutest details”.[26]

British Club in Katha (in Orwell’s time, it occupied only the ground floor)

In April 1926 he moved to Moulmein, where his maternal grandmother lived. At the end of that year, he was assigned to Katha in Upper Burma, where he contracted dengue fever in 1927. Entitled to a leave in England that year, he was allowed to return in July due to his illness. While on leave in England and on holiday with his family in Cornwall in September 1927, he reappraised his life. Deciding against returning to Burma, he resigned from the Indian Imperial Police to become a writer. He drew on his experiences in the Burma police for the novel Burmese Days (1934) and the essays “A Hanging” (1931) and “Shooting an Elephant” (1936).

In Burma, Blair acquired a reputation as an outsider. He spent much of his time alone, reading or pursuing non-pukka activities, such as attending the churches of the Karen ethnic group. A colleague, Roger Beadon, recalled (in a 1969 recording for the BBC) that Blair was fast to learn the language and that before he left Burma, “was able to speak fluently with Burmese priests in ‘very high-flown Burmese.'”[27] Blair made changes to his appearance in Burma that remained for the rest of his life. “While in Burma, he acquired a moustache similar to those worn by officers of the British regiments stationed there. [He] also acquired some tattoos; on each knuckle he had a small untidy blue circle. Many Burmese living in rural areas still sport tattoos like this – they are believed to protect against bullets and snake bites.”[28] Later, he wrote that he felt guilty about his role in the work of empire and he “began to look more closely at his own country and saw that England also had its oppressed …”

London and Paris

Blair’s 1927 lodgings in Portobello Road, London

In England, he settled back in the family home at Southwold, renewing acquaintance with local friends and attending an Old Etonian dinner. He visited his old tutor Gow at Cambridge for advice on becoming a writer.[29] In 1927 he moved to London.[30] Ruth Pitter, a family acquaintance, helped him find lodgings, and by the end of 1927 he had moved into rooms in Portobello Road;[31] a blue plaque commemorates his residence there.[32] Pitter’s involvement in the move “would have lent it a reassuring respectability in Mrs Blair’s eyes.” Pitter had a sympathetic interest in Blair’s writing, pointed out weaknesses in his poetry, and advised him to write about what he knew. In fact he decided to write of “certain aspects of the present that he set out to know” and “ventured into the East End of London – the first of the occasional sorties he would make to discover for himself the world of poverty and the down-and-outers who inhabit it. He had found a subject. These sorties, explorations, expeditions, tours or immersions were made intermittently over a period of five years.”[33]

In imitation of Jack London, whose writing he admired (particularly The People of the Abyss), Blair started to explore the poorer parts of London. On his first outing he set out to Limehouse Causeway, spending his first night in a common lodging house, possibly George Levy’s ‘kip’. For a while he “went native” in his own country, dressing like a tramp, adopting the name P. S. Burton and making no concessions to middle-class mores and expectations; he recorded his experiences of the low life for use in “The Spike“, his first published essay in English, and in the second half of his first book, Down and Out in Paris and London (1933).

Rue du Pot de Fer, on the Left Bank, in the 5th arrondissement, where Blair lived in Paris

In early 1928 he moved to Paris. He lived in the rue du Pot de Fer, a working class district in the 5th Arrondissement.[8] His aunt Nellie Limouzin also lived in Paris and gave him social and, when necessary, financial support. He began to write novels, including an early version of Burmese Days, but nothing else survives from that period.[8] He was more successful as a journalist and published articles in Monde, a political/literary journal edited by Henri Barbusse (his first article as a professional writer, “La Censure en Angleterre”, appeared in that journal on 6 October 1928); G. K.’s Weekly, where his first article to appear in England, “A Farthing Newspaper”, was printed on 29 December 1928;[34] and Le Progrès Civique (founded by the left-wing coalition Le Cartel des Gauches). Three pieces appeared in successive weeks in Le Progrès Civique: discussing unemployment, a day in the life of a tramp, and the beggars of London, respectively. “In one or another of its destructive forms, poverty was to become his obsessive subject – at the heart of almost everything he wrote until Homage to Catalonia.”[35]

He fell seriously ill in February 1929 and was taken to the Hôpital Cochin in the 14th arrondissement, a free hospital where medical students were trained. His experiences there were the basis of his essay “How the Poor Die“, published in 1946. He chose not to identify the hospital, and indeed was deliberately misleading about its location. Shortly afterwards, he had all his money stolen from his lodging house. Whether through necessity or to collect material, he undertook menial jobs like dishwashing in a fashionable hotel on the rue de Rivoli, which he later described in Down and Out in Paris and London. In August 1929, he sent a copy of “The Spike” to John Middleton Murry‘s New Adelphi magazine in London. The magazine was edited by Max Plowman and Sir Richard Rees, and Plowman accepted the work for publication.

Southwold

Southwold – North Parade

In December 1929, after nearly two years in Paris, Blair returned to England and went directly to his parents’ house in Southwold, which remained his base for the next five years. The family was well established in the town and his sister Avril was running a tea-house there. He became acquainted with many local people, including Brenda Salkeld, the clergyman’s daughter who worked as a gym-teacher at St Felix Girls’ School, Southwold. Although Salkeld rejected his offer of marriage, she remained a friend and regular correspondent for many years. He also renewed friendships with older friends, such as Dennis Collings, whose girlfriend Eleanor Jacques was also to play a part in his life.[8]

In early 1930 he stayed briefly in Bramley, Leeds, with his sister Marjorie and her husband Humphrey Dakin, who was as unappreciative of Blair as when they knew each other as children. Blair was writing reviews for Adelphi and acting as a private tutor to a disabled child at Southwold. He then became tutor to three young brothers, one of whom, Richard Peters, later became a distinguished academic.[36] “His history in these years is marked by dualities and contrasts. There is Blair leading a respectable, outwardly eventless life at his parents’ house in Southwold, writing; then in contrast, there is Blair as Burton (the name he used in his down-and-out episodes) in search of experience in the kips and spikes, in the East End, on the road, and in the hop fields of Kent.”[37] He went painting and bathing on the beach, and there he met Mabel and Francis Fierz, who later influenced his career. Over the next year he visited them in London, often meeting their friend Max Plowman. He also often stayed at the homes of Ruth Pitter and Richard Rees, where he could “change” for his sporadic tramping expeditions. One of his jobs was domestic work at a lodgings for half a crown (two shillings and sixpence, or one-eighth of a pound) a day.[38]

Blair now contributed regularly to Adelphi, with “A Hanging” appearing in August 1931. From August to September 1931 his explorations of poverty continued, and, like the protagonist of A Clergyman’s Daughter, he followed the East End tradition of working in the Kent hop fields. He kept a diary about his experiences there. Afterwards, he lodged in the Tooley Street kip, but could not stand it for long, and with financial help from his parents moved to Windsor Street, where he stayed until Christmas. “Hop Picking”, by Eric Blair, appeared in the October 1931 issue of New Statesman, whose editorial staff included his old friend Cyril Connolly. Mabel Fierz put him in contact with Leonard Moore, who became his literary agent.

At this time Jonathan Cape rejected A Scullion’s Diary, the first version of Down and Out. On the advice of Richard Rees, he offered it to Faber and Faber, but their editorial director, T. S. Eliot, also rejected it. Blair ended the year by deliberately getting himself arrested,[39] so that he could experience Christmas in prison, but the authorities did not regard his “drunk and disorderly” behaviour as imprisonable, and he returned home to Southwold after two days in a police cell.

Teaching career

In April 1932 Blair became a teacher at The Hawthorns High School, a school for boys in Hayes, West London. This was a small school offering private schooling for children of local tradesmen and shopkeepers, and had only 14 or 16 boys aged between ten and sixteen, and one other master.[40] While at the school he became friendly with the curate of the local parish church and became involved with activities there. Mabel Fierz had pursued matters with Moore, and at the end of June 1932, Moore told Blair that Victor Gollancz was prepared to publish A Scullion’s Diary for a £40 advance, through his recently founded publishing house, Victor Gollancz Ltd, which was an outlet for radical and socialist works.

At the end of the summer term in 1932, Blair returned to Southwold, where his parents had used a legacy to buy their own home. Blair and his sister Avril spent the holidays making the house habitable while he also worked on Burmese Days.[41] He was also spending time with Eleanor Jacques, but her attachment to Dennis Collings remained an obstacle to his hopes of a more serious relationship.

The pen name “George Orwell” was inspired by the River Orwell in the English county of Suffolk[42]

“Clink”, an essay describing his failed attempt to get sent to prison, appeared in the August 1932 number of Adelphi. He returned to teaching at Hayes and prepared for the publication of his book, now known as Down and Out in Paris and London. He wished to publish under a different name to avoid any embarrassment to his family over his time as a “tramp”.[43] In a letter to Moore (dated 15 November 1932), he left the choice of pseudonym to Moore and to Gollancz. Four days later, he wrote to Moore, suggesting the pseudonyms P. S. Burton (a name he used when tramping), Kenneth Miles, George Orwell, and H. Lewis Allways.[44] He finally adopted the nom de plume George Orwell because, as he told Eleanor Jacques, “It is a good round English name.” Down and Out in Paris and London was published on 9 January 1933, as Orwell continued to work on Burmese Days. Down and Out was successful and was next published by Harper & Brothers in New York.

In mid-1933 Blair left Hawthorns to become a teacher at Frays College, in Uxbridge, Middlesex. This was a much larger establishment with 200 pupils and a full complement of staff. He acquired a motorcycle and took trips through the surrounding countryside. On one of these expeditions he became soaked and caught a chill that developed into pneumonia. He was taken to Uxbridge Cottage Hospital, where for a time his life was believed to be in danger. When he was discharged in January 1934, he returned to Southwold to convalesce and, supported by his parents, never returned to teaching.

He was disappointed when Gollancz turned down Burmese Days, mainly on the grounds of potential suits for libel, but Harper were prepared to publish it in the United States. Meanwhile, Blair started work on the novel A Clergyman’s Daughter, drawing upon his life as a teacher and on life in Southwold. Eleanor Jacques was now married and had gone to Singapore and Brenda Salkield had left for Ireland, so Blair was relatively isolated in Southwold – working on the allotments, walking alone and spending time with his father. Eventually in October, after sending A Clergyman’s Daughter to Moore, he left for London to take a job that had been found for him by his aunt Nellie Limouzin.

Hampstead

Orwell’s former home at 77 Parliament Hill, Hampstead, London

This job was as a part-time assistant in Booklovers’ Corner, a second-hand bookshop in Hampstead run by Francis and Myfanwy Westrope, who were friends of Nellie Limouzin in the Esperanto movement. The Westropes were friendly and provided him with comfortable accommodation at Warwick Mansions, Pond Street. He was sharing the job with Jon Kimche, who also lived with the Westropes. Blair worked at the shop in the afternoons and had his mornings free to write and his evenings free to socialise. These experiences provided background for the novel Keep the Aspidistra Flying (1936). As well as the various guests of the Westropes, he was able to enjoy the company of Richard Rees and the Adelphi writers and Mabel Fierz. The Westropes and Kimche were members of the Independent Labour Party, although at this time Blair was not seriously politically active. He was writing for the Adelphi and preparing A Clergyman’s Daughter and Burmese Days for publication.

At the beginning of 1935 he had to move out of Warwick Mansions, and Mabel Fierz found him a flat in Parliament Hill. A Clergyman’s Daughter was published on 11 March 1935. In early 1935 Blair met his future wife Eileen O’Shaughnessy, when his landlady, Rosalind Obermeyer, who was studying for a master’s degree in psychology at University College London, invited some of her fellow students to a party. One of these students, Elizaveta Fen, a biographer and future translator of Chekhov, recalled Orwell and his friend Richard Rees “draped” at the fireplace, looking, she thought, “moth-eaten and prematurely aged.”[45] Around this time, Blair had started to write reviews for the New English Weekly.

Orwell’s time as a bookseller is commemorated with this plaque in Hampstead

In June, Burmese Days was published and Cyril Connolly’s review in the New Statesman prompted Orwell (as he then became known) to re-establish contact with his old friend. In August, he moved into a flat in Kentish Town, which he shared with Michael Sayers and Rayner Heppenstall. The relationship was sometimes awkward and Orwell and Heppenstall even came to blows, though they remained friends and later worked together on BBC broadcasts.[46] Orwell was now working on Keep the Aspidistra Flying, and also tried unsuccessfully to write a serial for the News Chronicle. By October 1935 his flatmates had moved out and he was struggling to pay the rent on his own. He remained until the end of January 1936, when he stopped working at Booklovers’ Corner.

The Road to Wigan Pier

At this time, Victor Gollancz suggested Orwell spend a short time investigating social conditions in economically depressed northern England.[n 2] Two years earlier J. B. Priestley had written about England north of the Trent, sparking an interest in reportage. The depression had also introduced a number of working-class writers from the North of England to the reading public.

On 31 January 1936, Orwell set out by public transport and on foot, reaching Manchester via Coventry, Stafford, the Potteries and Macclesfield. Arriving in Manchester after the banks had closed, he had to stay in a common lodging-house. The next day he picked up a list of contacts sent by Richard Rees. One of these, the trade union official Frank Meade, suggested Wigan, where Orwell spent February staying in dirty lodgings over a tripe shop. At Wigan, he visited many homes to see how people lived, took detailed notes of housing conditions and wages earned, went down Bryn Hall coal mine, and used the local public library to consult public health records and reports on working conditions in mines.

During this time, he was distracted by concerns about style and possible libel in Keep the Aspidistra Flying. He made a quick visit to Liverpool and during March, stayed in south Yorkshire, spending time in Sheffield and Barnsley. As well as visiting mines, including Grimethorpe, and observing social conditions, he attended meetings of the Communist Party and of Oswald Mosley – “his speech the usual claptrap – The blame for everything was put upon mysterious international gangs of Jews” – where he saw the tactics of the Blackshirts – “one is liable to get both a hammering and a fine for asking a question which Mosley finds it difficult to answer.”[48] He also made visits to his sister at Headingley, during which he visited the Brontë Parsonage at Haworth, where he was “chiefly impressed by a pair of Charlotte Brontë‘s cloth-topped boots, very small, with square toes and lacing up at the sides.”[49]

A former warehouse at Wigan Pier is named after Orwell

No 2 Kits Lane, Wallington, Hertfordshire. Orwell’s residence c. 1936–1940

The result of his journeys through the north was The Road to Wigan Pier, published by Gollancz for the Left Book Club in 1937. The first half of the book documents his social investigations of Lancashire and Yorkshire, including an evocative description of working life in the coal mines. The second half is a long essay on his upbringing and the development of his political conscience, which includes an argument for Socialism (although he goes to lengths to balance the concerns and goals of Socialism with the barriers it faced from the movement’s own advocates at the time, such as ‘priggish’ and ‘dull’ Socialist intellectuals, and ‘proletarian’ Socialists with little grasp of the actual ideology). Gollancz feared the second half would offend readers and added a disculpatory preface to the book while Orwell was in Spain.

Orwell needed somewhere he could concentrate on writing his book, and once again help was provided by Aunt Nellie, who was living at Wallington, Hertfordshire in a very small 16th-century cottage called the “Stores”. Wallington was a tiny village 35 miles north of London, and the cottage had almost no modern facilities. Orwell took over the tenancy and moved in on 2 April 1936.[50] He started work on The Road to Wigan Pier by the end of April, but also spent hours working on the garden and testing the possibility of reopening the Stores as a village shop. Keep the Aspidistra Flying was published by Gollancz on 20 April 1936. On 4 August Orwell gave a talk at the Adelphi Summer School held at Langham, entitled An Outsider Sees the Distressed Areas; others who spoke at the school included John Strachey, Max Plowman, Karl Polanyi and Reinhold Niebuhr.

Orwell’s research for The Road to Wigan Pier led to him being placed under surveillance by the Special Branch from 1936, for 12 years, until one year before the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four.[51]

Orwell married Eileen O’Shaughnessy on 9 June 1936. Shortly afterwards, the political crisis began in Spain and Orwell followed developments there closely. At the end of the year, concerned by Francisco Franco‘s military uprising, (supported by Nazi Germany, Fascist Italy and local groups such as Falange), Orwell decided to go to Spain to take part in the Spanish Civil War on the Republican side. Under the erroneous impression that he needed papers from some left-wing organisation to cross the frontier, on John Strachey‘s recommendation he applied unsuccessfully to Harry Pollitt, leader of the British Communist Party. Pollitt was suspicious of Orwell’s political reliability; he asked him whether he would undertake to join the International Brigade and advised him to get a safe-conduct from the Spanish Embassy in Paris.[52] Not wishing to commit himself until he had seen the situation in situ, Orwell instead used his Independent Labour Party contacts to get a letter of introduction to John McNair in Barcelona.

The Spanish Civil War

The square in Barcelona renamed in Orwell’s honour

Orwell set out for Spain on about 23 December 1936, dining with Henry Miller in Paris on the way. The American writer told Orwell that going to fight in the Civil War out of some sense of obligation or guilt was ‘sheer stupidity,’ and that the Englishman’s ideas ‘about combating Fascism, defending democracy, etc., etc., were all baloney.’[53] A few days later, in Barcelona, Orwell met John McNair of the Independent Labour Party (ILP) Office who quoted him: “I’ve come to fight against Fascism”.[54] Orwell stepped into a complex political situation in Catalonia. The Republican government was supported by a number of factions with conflicting aims, including the Workers’ Party of Marxist Unification (POUM – Partido Obrero de Unificación Marxista), the anarcho-syndicalist Confederación Nacional del Trabajo (CNT) and the Unified Socialist Party of Catalonia (a wing of the Spanish Communist Party, which was backed by Soviet arms and aid). The ILP was linked to the POUM so Orwell joined the POUM.

After a time at the Lenin Barracks in Barcelona he was sent to the relatively quiet Aragon Front under Georges Kopp. By January 1937 he was at Alcubierre 1,500 feet (460 m) above sea level, in the depth of winter. There was very little military action, and Orwell was shocked by the lack of munitions, food, and firewood, and other extreme deprivations.[55] Orwell, with his Cadet Corps and police training, was quickly made a corporal. On the arrival of a British ILP Contingent about three weeks later, Orwell and the other English militiaman, Williams, were sent with them to Monte Oscuro. The newly arrived ILP contingent included Bob Smillie, Bob Edwards, Stafford Cottman and Jack Branthwaite. The unit was then sent on to Huesca.

Meanwhile, back in England, Eileen had been handling the issues relating to the publication of The Road to Wigan Pier before setting out for Spain herself, leaving Nellie Limouzin to look after The Stores. Eileen volunteered for a post in John McNair’s office and with the help of Georges Kopp paid visits to her husband, bringing him English tea, chocolate, and cigars.[56] Orwell had to spend some days in hospital with a poisoned hand[57] and had most of his possessions stolen by the staff. He returned to the front and saw some action in a night attack on the Nationalist trenches where he chased an enemy soldier with a bayonet and bombed an enemy rifle position.

In April, Orwell returned to Barcelona.[57] Wanting to be sent to the Madrid front, which meant he “must join the International Column”, he approached a Communist friend attached to the Spanish Medical Aid and explained his case. “Although he did not think much of the Communists, Orwell was still ready to treat them as friends and allies. That would soon change.”[58] This was the time of the Barcelona May Days and Orwell was caught up in the factional fighting. He spent much of the time on a roof, with a stack of novels, but encountered Jon Kimche from his Hampstead days during the stay. The subsequent campaign of lies and distortion carried out by the Communist press,[59] in which the POUM was accused of collaborating with the fascists, had a dramatic effect on Orwell. Instead of joining the International Brigades as he had intended, he decided to return to the Aragon Front. Once the May fighting was over, he was approached by a Communist friend who asked if he still intended transferring to the International Brigades. Orwell expressed surprise that they should still want him, because according to the Communist press he was a fascist.[60] “No one who was in Barcelona then, or for months later, will forget the horrible atmosphere produced by fear, suspicion, hatred, censored newspapers, crammed jails, enormous food queues and prowling gangs of armed men.”[61]

After his return to the front, he was wounded in the throat by a sniper’s bullet. At 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m) Orwell was considerably taller than the Spanish fighters[62] and had been warned against standing against the trench parapet. Unable to speak, and with blood pouring from his mouth, Orwell was carried on a stretcher to Siétamo, loaded on an ambulance and after a bumpy journey via Barbastro arrived at the hospital at Lérida. He recovered sufficiently to get up and on 27 May 1937 was sent on to Tarragona and two days later to a POUM sanatorium in the suburbs of Barcelona. The bullet had missed his main artery by the barest margin and his voice was barely audible. It had been such a clean shot that the wound immediately went through the process of cauterisation. He received electrotherapy treatment and was declared medically unfit for service.[63]

By the middle of June the political situation in Barcelona had deteriorated and the POUM – painted by the pro-Soviet Communists as a Trotskyist organisation – was outlawed and under attack. The Communist line was that the POUM were “objectively” Fascist, hindering the Republican cause. “A particularly nasty poster appeared, showing a head with a POUM mask being ripped off to reveal a Swastika-covered face beneath.”[64] Members, including Kopp, were arrested and others were in hiding. Orwell and his wife were under threat and had to lie low,[n 3] although they broke cover to try to help Kopp.

Finally with their passports in order, they escaped from Spain by train, diverting to Banyuls-sur-Mer for a short stay before returning to England. In the first week of July 1937 Orwell arrived back at Wallington; on 13 July 1937 a deposition was presented to the Tribunal for Espionage & High Treason, Valencia, charging the Orwells with “rabid Trotskyism“, and being agents of the POUM.[65] The trial of the leaders of the POUM and of Orwell (in his absence) took place in Barcelona in October and November 1938. Observing events from French Morocco, Orwell wrote that they were ” – only a by-product of the Russian Trotskyist trials and from the start every kind of lie, including flagrant absurdities, has been circulated in the Communist press.”[66] Orwell’s experiences in the Spanish Civil War gave rise to Homage to Catalonia (1938).

Rest and recuperation

Laurence O’Shaughnessy’s former home, the large house on the corner, 24 Crooms Hill, Greenwich, London[67]

Orwell returned to England in June 1937, and stayed at the O’Shaughnessy home at Greenwich. He found his views on the Spanish Civil War out of favour. Kingsley Martin rejected two of his works and Gollancz was equally cautious. At the same time, the communist Daily Worker was running an attack on The Road to Wigan Pier, misquoting Orwell as saying “the working classes smell”; a letter to Gollancz from Orwell threatening libel action brought a stop to this. Orwell was also able to find a more sympathetic publisher for his views in Frederic Warburg of Secker & Warburg. Orwell returned to Wallington, which he found in disarray after his absence. He acquired goats, a rooster he called “Henry Ford”, and a poodle puppy he called “Marx”[68][69][70] and settled down to animal husbandry and writing Homage to Catalonia.

There were thoughts of going to India to work on the Pioneer, a newspaper in Lucknow, but by March 1938 Orwell’s health had deteriorated. He was admitted to Preston Hall Sanatorium at Aylesford, Kent, a British Legion hospital for ex-servicemen to which his brother-in-law Laurence O’Shaughnessy was attached. He was thought initially to be suffering from tuberculosis and stayed in the sanatorium until September. A stream of visitors came to see him including Common, Heppenstall, Plowman and Cyril Connolly. Connolly brought with him Stephen Spender, a cause of some embarrassment as Orwell had referred to Spender as a “pansy friend” some time earlier. Homage to Catalonia was published by Secker & Warburg and was a commercial flop. In the latter part of his stay at the clinic Orwell was able to go for walks in the countryside and study nature.

The novelist L. H. Myers secretly funded a trip to French Morocco for half a year for Orwell to avoid the English winter and recover his health. The Orwells set out in September 1938 via Gibraltar and Tangier to avoid Spanish Morocco and arrived at Marrakech. They rented a villa on the road to Casablanca and during that time Orwell wrote Coming Up for Air. They arrived back in England on 30 March 1939 and Coming Up for Air was published in June. Orwell spent time in Wallington and Southwold working on a Dickens essay and it was in July 1939 that Orwell’s father, Richard Blair, died.

Second World War and Animal Farm

At the outbreak of the Second World War, Orwell’s wife Eileen started working in the Censorship Department of the Ministry of Information in central London, staying during the week with her family in Greenwich. Orwell also submitted his name to the Central Register for war work, but nothing transpired. “They won’t have me in the army, at any rate at present, because of my lungs”, Orwell told Geoffrey Gorer. He returned to Wallington, and in late 1939 he wrote material for his first collection of essays, Inside the Whale. For the next year he was occupied writing reviews for plays, films and books for The Listener, Time and Tide and New Adelphi. On 29 March 1940 his long association with Tribune began[71] with a review of a sergeant’s account of Napoleon‘s retreat from Moscow. At the beginning of 1940, the first edition of Connolly’s Horizon appeared, and this provided a new outlet for Orwell’s work as well as new literary contacts. In May the Orwells took lease of a flat in London at Dorset Chambers, Chagford Street, Marylebone. It was the time of the Dunkirk evacuation and the death in France of Eileen’s brother Lawrence caused her considerable grief and long-term depression. Throughout this period Orwell kept a wartime diary.

Orwell was declared “unfit for any kind of military service” by the Medical Board in June, but soon afterwards found an opportunity to become involved in war activities by joining the Home Guard. He shared Tom Wintringham‘s socialist vision for the Home Guard as a revolutionary People’s Militia. His lecture notes for instructing platoon members include advice on street fighting, field fortifications, and the use of mortars of various kinds. Sergeant Orwell managed to recruit Frederic Warburg to his unit. During the Battle of Britain he used to spend weekends with Warburg and his new Zionist friend, Tosco Fyvel, at Warburg’s house at Twyford, Berkshire. At Wallington he worked on “England Your England” and in London wrote reviews for various periodicals. Visiting Eileen’s family in Greenwich brought him face-to-face with the effects of the blitz on East London. In mid-1940, Warburg, Fyvel and Orwell planned Searchlight Books. Eleven volumes eventually appeared, of which Orwell’s The Lion and the Unicorn: Socialism and the English Genius, published on 19 February 1941, was the first.[72]

Early in 1941 he started writing for the American Partisan Review which linked Orwell with The New York Intellectuals, like him anti-Stalinist, but committed to staying on the Left,[73] and contributed to Gollancz anthology The Betrayal of the Left, written in the light of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact (although Orwell referred to it as the Russo-German Pact and the Hitler-Stalin Pact[74]). He also applied unsuccessfully for a job at the Air Ministry. Meanwhile, he was still writing reviews of books and plays and at this time met the novelist Anthony Powell. He also took part in a few radio broadcasts for the Eastern Service of the BBC. In March the Orwells moved to a seventh-floor flat at Langford Court, St John’s Wood, while at Wallington Orwell was “digging for victory” by planting potatoes.

One could not have a better example of the moral and emotional shallowness of our time, than the fact that we are now all more or less pro Stalin. This disgusting murderer is temporarily on our side, and so the purges, etc., are suddenly forgotten.

— George Orwell, in his war-time diary, 3 July 1941[75]

In August 1941, Orwell finally obtained “war work” when he was taken on full-time by the BBC’s Eastern Service. He supervised cultural broadcasts to India to counter propaganda from Nazi Germany designed to undermine Imperial links. This was Orwell’s first experience of the rigid conformity of life in an office, and it gave him an opportunity to create cultural programmes with contributions from T. S. Eliot, Dylan Thomas, E. M. Forster, Ahmed Ali, Mulk Raj Anand, and William Empson among others.

At the end of August he had a dinner with H. G. Wells which degenerated into a row because Wells had taken offence at observations Orwell made about him in a Horizon article. In October Orwell had a bout of bronchitis and the illness recurred frequently. David Astor was looking for a provocative contributor for The Observer and invited Orwell to write for him – the first article appearing in March 1942. In early 1942 Eileen changed jobs to work at the Ministry of Food and in mid-1942 the Orwells moved to a larger flat, a ground floor and basement, 10a Mortimer Crescent in Maida Vale/Kilburn – “the kind of lower-middle-class ambience that Orwell thought was London at its best.” Around the same time Orwell’s mother and sister Avril, who had found work in a sheet-metal factory behind Kings Cross Station, moved into a flat close to George and Eileen.[76]

Orwell at the BBC in 1941. Despite having spoken on many broadcasts, no recordings of Orwell’s voice are known to survive.[77][78][79]

At the BBC, Orwell introduced Voice, a literary programme for his Indian broadcasts, and by now was leading an active social life with literary friends, particularly on the political left. Late in 1942, he started writing regularly for the left-wing weekly Tribune[80]:306[81]:441 directed by Labour MPs Aneurin Bevan and George Strauss. In March 1943 Orwell’s mother died and around the same time he told Moore he was starting work on a new book, which turned out to be Animal Farm.

In September 1943, Orwell resigned from the BBC post that he had occupied for two years.[82]:352 His resignation followed a report confirming his fears that few Indians listened to the broadcasts,[83] but he was also keen to concentrate on writing Animal Farm. Just six days before his last day of service, on 24 November 1943, his adaptation of the fairy tale, Hans Christian Andersen‘s The Emperor’s New Clothes was broadcast. It was a genre in which he was greatly interested and which appeared on Animal Farms title-page.[84] At this time he also resigned from the Home Guard on medical grounds.[85]

In November 1943, Orwell was appointed literary editor at Tribune, where his assistant was his old friend Jon Kimche. Orwell was on staff until early 1945, writing over 80 book reviews[86] and on 3 December 1943 started his regular personal column, “As I Please“, usually addressing three or four subjects in each.[87] He was still writing reviews for other magazines, including Partisan Review, Horizon, and the New York Nation and becoming a respected pundit among left-wing circles but also a close friend of people on the right such as Powell, Astor and Malcolm Muggeridge. By April 1944 Animal Farm was ready for publication. Gollancz refused to publish it, considering it an attack on the Soviet regime which was a crucial ally in the war. A similar fate was met from other publishers (including T. S. Eliot at Faber and Faber) until Jonathan Cape agreed to take it.

In May the Orwells had the opportunity to adopt a child, thanks to the contacts of Eileen’s sister Gwen O’Shaughnessy, then a doctor in Newcastle upon Tyne. In June a V-1 flying bomb struck Mortimer Crescent and the Orwells had to find somewhere else to live. Orwell had to scrabble around in the rubble for his collection of books, which he had finally managed to transfer from Wallington, carting them away in a wheelbarrow.

Another bombshell was Cape’s reversal of his plan to publish Animal Farm. The decision followed his personal visit to Peter Smollett, an official at the Ministry of Information. Smollett was later identified as a Soviet agent.[88][89]

The Orwells spent some time in the North East, near Carlton, County Durham, dealing with matters in the adoption of a boy whom they named Richard Horatio Blair.[90] By September 1944 they had set up home in Islington, at 27b Canonbury Square.[91] Baby Richard joined them there, and Eileen gave up her work at the Ministry of Food to look after her family. Secker & Warburg had agreed to publish Animal Farm, planned for the following March, although it did not appear in print until August 1945. By February 1945 David Astor had invited Orwell to become a war correspondent for the Observer. Orwell had been looking for the opportunity throughout the war, but his failed medical reports prevented him from being allowed anywhere near action. He went to Paris after the liberation of France and to Cologne once it had been occupied by the Allies.

It was while he was there that Eileen went into hospital for a hysterectomy and died under anaesthetic on 29 March 1945. She had not given Orwell much notice about this operation because of worries about the cost and because she expected to make a speedy recovery. Orwell returned home for a while and then went back to Europe. He returned finally to London to cover the 1945 general election at the beginning of July. Animal Farm: A Fairy Story was published in Britain on 17 August 1945, and a year later in the US, on 26 August 1946.

Jura and Nineteen Eighty-Four

Animal Farm struck a particular resonance in the post-war climate and its worldwide success made Orwell a sought-after figure.

For the next four years Orwell mixed journalistic work – mainly for Tribune, The Observer and the Manchester Evening News, though he also contributed to many small-circulation political and literary magazines – with writing his best-known work, Nineteen Eighty-Four, which was published in 1949.

Barnhill on the Isle of Jura off the west coast of Scotland

In the year following Eileen’s death he published around 130 articles and a selection of his Critical Essays, while remaining active in various political lobbying campaigns. He employed a housekeeper, Susan Watson, to look after his adopted son at the Islington flat, which visitors now described as “bleak”. In September he spent a fortnight on the island of Jura in the Inner Hebrides and saw it as a place to escape from the hassle of London literary life. David Astor was instrumental in arranging a place for Orwell on Jura.[92] Astor’s family owned Scottish estates in the area and a fellow Old Etonian Robin Fletcher had a property on the island. In late 1945 and early 1946 Orwell made several hopeless and unwelcome marriage proposals to younger women, including Celia Kirwan (who was later to become Arthur Koestler‘s sister-in-law), Ann Popham who happened to live in the same block of flats and Sonia Brownell, one of Connolly’s coterie at the Horizon office. Orwell suffered a tubercular haemorrhage in February 1946 but disguised his illness. In 1945 or early 1946, while still living at Canonbury Square, Orwell wrote an article on “British Cookery”, complete with recipes, commissioned by the British Council. Given the post-war shortages, both parties agreed not to publish it.[93] His sister Marjorie died of kidney disease in May and shortly after, on 22 May 1946, Orwell set off to live on the Isle of Jura.

Barnhill[94] was an abandoned farmhouse with outbuildings near the northern end of the island, situated at the end of a five-mile (8 km), heavily rutted track from Ardlussa, where the owners lived. Conditions at the farmhouse were primitive but the natural history and the challenge of improving the place appealed to Orwell. His sister Avril accompanied him there and young novelist Paul Potts made up the party. In July Susan Watson arrived with Orwell’s son Richard. Tensions developed and Potts departed after one of his manuscripts was used to light the fire. Orwell meanwhile set to work on Nineteen Eighty-Four. Later Susan Watson’s boyfriend David Holbrook arrived. A fan of Orwell since school days, he found the reality very different, with Orwell hostile and disagreeable probably because of Holbrook’s membership of the Communist Party.[95] Susan Watson could no longer stand being with Avril and she and her boyfriend left.

Orwell returned to London in late 1946 and picked up his literary journalism again. Now a well-known writer, he was swamped with work. Apart from a visit to Jura in the new year he stayed in London for one of the coldest British winters on record and with such a national shortage of fuel that he burnt his furniture and his child’s toys. The heavy smog in the days before the Clean Air Act 1956 did little to help his health about which he was reticent, keeping clear of medical attention. Meanwhile, he had to cope with rival claims of publishers Gollancz and Warburg for publishing rights. About this time he co-edited a collection titled British Pamphleteers with Reginald Reynolds. As a result of the success of Animal Farm, Orwell was expecting a large bill from the Inland Revenue and he contacted a firm of accountants of which the senior partner was Jack Harrison. The firm advised Orwell to establish a company to own his copyright and to receive his royalties and set up a “service agreement” so that he could draw a salary. Such a company “George Orwell Productions Ltd” (GOP Ltd) was set up on 12 September 1947 although the service agreement was not then put into effect. Jack Harrison left the details at this stage to junior colleagues.[96]

Orwell left London for Jura on 10 April 1947.[8] In July he ended the lease on the Wallington cottage.[97] Back on Jura he worked on Nineteen Eighty-Four and made good progress. During that time his sister’s family visited, and Orwell led a disastrous boating expedition, on 19 August,[98] which nearly led to loss of life whilst trying to cross the notorious gulf of Corryvreckan and gave him a soaking which was not good for his health. In December a chest specialist was summoned from Glasgow who pronounced Orwell seriously ill and a week before Christmas 1947 he was in Hairmyres Hospital in East Kilbride, then a small village in the countryside, on the outskirts of Glasgow. Tuberculosis was diagnosed and the request for permission to import streptomycin to treat Orwell went as far as Aneurin Bevan, then Minister of Health. David Astor helped with supply and payment and Orwell began his course of streptomycin on 19 or 20 February 1948.[99] By the end of July 1948 Orwell was able to return to Jura and by December he had finished the manuscript of Nineteen Eighty-Four. In January 1949, in a very weak condition, he set off for a sanatorium at Cranham, Gloucestershire, escorted by Richard Rees.

The sanatorium at Cranham consisted of a series of small wooden chalets or huts in a remote part of the Cotswolds near Stroud. Visitors were shocked by Orwell’s appearance and concerned by the short-comings and ineffectiveness of the treatment. Friends were worried about his finances, but by now he was comparatively well-off. He was writing to many of his friends, including Jacintha Buddicom, who had “rediscovered” him, and in March 1949, was visited by Celia Kirwan. Kirwan had just started working for a Foreign Office unit, the Information Research Department, set up by the Labour government to publish anti-communist propaganda, and Orwell gave her a list of people he considered to be unsuitable as IRD authors because of their pro-communist leanings. Orwell’s list, not published until 2003, consisted mainly of writers but also included actors and Labour MPs.[88][100] Orwell received more streptomycin treatment and improved slightly. In June 1949 Nineteen Eighty-Four was published to immediate critical and popular acclaim.

Final months and death

University College Hospital in London where Orwell died

Orwell’s health had continued to decline since the diagnosis of tuberculosis in December 1947. In mid-1949, he courted Sonia Brownell, and they announced their engagement in September, shortly before he was removed to University College Hospital in London. Sonia took charge of Orwell’s affairs and attended him diligently in the hospital, causing concern to some old friends such as Muggeridge. In September 1949, Orwell invited his accountant Harrison to visit him in hospital, and Harrison claimed that Orwell then asked him to become director of GOP Ltd and to manage the company, but there was no independent witness.[96] Orwell’s wedding took place in the hospital room on 13 October 1949, with David Astor as best man.[101] Orwell was in decline and visited by an assortment of visitors including Muggeridge, Connolly, Lucian Freud, Stephen Spender, Evelyn Waugh, Paul Potts, Anthony Powell, and his Eton tutor Anthony Gow.[8] Plans to go to the Swiss Alps were mooted. Further meetings were held with his accountant, at which Harrison and Mr and Mrs Blair were confirmed as directors of the company, and at which Harrison claimed that the “service agreement” was executed, giving copyright to the company.[96] Orwell’s health was in decline again by Christmas. On the evening of 20 January 1950, Potts visited Orwell and slipped away on finding him asleep. Jack Harrison visited later and claimed that Orwell gave him 25% of the company.[96] Early on the morning of 21 January, an artery burst in Orwell’s lungs, killing him at age 46.[102]

Orwell had requested to be buried in accordance with the Anglican rite in the graveyard of the closest church to wherever he happened to die. The graveyards in central London had no space, and fearing that he might have to be cremated against his wishes, his widow appealed to his friends to see whether any of them knew of a church with space in its graveyard.

George Orwell’s grave in Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire

David Astor lived in Sutton Courtenay, Oxfordshire, and arranged for Orwell to be interred in All Saints’ Churchyard there.[103] Orwell’s gravestone bears the simple epitaph: “Here lies Eric Arthur Blair, born June 25th 1903, died January 21st 1950”; no mention is made on the gravestone of his more famous pen name.

Orwell’s son, Richard Horatio Blair, was brought up by Orwell’s sister Avril. He maintains a public profile as patron of the Orwell Society.[104] He gives interviews about the few memories he has of his father.

In 1979, Sonia Brownell brought a High Court action against Harrison, who had in the meantime transferred 75% of the company’s voting stock to himself and had dissipated much of the value of the company. She was considered to have a strong case, but was becoming increasingly ill and eventually was persuaded to settle out of court on 2 November 1980. She died on 11 December 1980, aged 62.[96]

Literary career and legacy

During most of his career, Orwell was best known for his journalism, in essays, reviews, columns in newspapers and magazines and in his books of reportage: Down and Out in Paris and London (describing a period of poverty in these cities), The Road to Wigan Pier (describing the living conditions of the poor in northern England, and class division generally) and Homage to Catalonia. According to Irving Howe, Orwell was “the best English essayist since Hazlitt, perhaps since Dr Johnson.”[105]

Modern readers are more often introduced to Orwell as a novelist, particularly through his enormously successful titles Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four. The former is often thought to reflect degeneration in the Soviet Union after the Russian Revolution and the rise of Stalinism; the latter, life under totalitarian rule. Nineteen Eighty-Four is often compared to Brave New World by Aldous Huxley; both are powerful dystopian novels warning of a future world where the state machine exerts complete control over social life. In 1984, Nineteen Eighty-Four and Ray Bradbury‘s Fahrenheit 451 were honoured with the Prometheus Award for their contributions to dystopian literature. In 2011 he received it again for Animal Farm.

Coming Up for Air, his last novel before World War II is the most “English” of his novels; alarms of war mingle with images of idyllic Thames-side Edwardian childhood of protagonist George Bowling. The novel is pessimistic; industrialism and capitalism have killed the best of Old England, and there were great, new external threats. In homely terms, Bowling posits the totalitarian hypotheses of Borkenau, Orwell, Silone and Koestler: “Old Hitler’s something different. So’s Joe Stalin. They aren’t like these chaps in the old days who crucified people and chopped their heads off and so forth, just for the fun of it … They’re something quite new – something that’s never been heard of before”.

Literary influences

In an autobiographical piece that Orwell sent to the editors of Twentieth Century Authors in 1940, he wrote: “The writers I care about most and never grow tired of are: Shakespeare, Swift, Fielding, Dickens, Charles Reade, Flaubert and, among modern writers, James Joyce, T. S. Eliot and D. H. Lawrence. But I believe the modern writer who has influenced me most is W. Somerset Maugham, whom I admire immensely for his power of telling a story straightforwardly and without frills.” Elsewhere, Orwell strongly praised the works of Jack London, especially his book The Road. Orwell’s investigation of poverty in The Road to Wigan Pier strongly resembles that of Jack London’s The People of the Abyss, in which the American journalist disguises himself as an out-of-work sailor to investigate the lives of the poor in London. In his essay “Politics vs. Literature: An Examination of Gulliver’s Travels” (1946) Orwell wrote: “If I had to make a list of six books which were to be preserved when all others were destroyed, I would certainly put Gulliver’s Travels among them.”

Other writers admired by Orwell included: Ralph Waldo Emerson, George Gissing, Graham Greene, Herman Melville, Henry Miller, Tobias Smollett, Mark Twain, Joseph Conrad and Yevgeny Zamyatin.[106] He was both an admirer and a critic of Rudyard Kipling,[107][108] praising Kipling as a gifted writer and a “good bad poet” whose work is “spurious” and “morally insensitive and aesthetically disgusting,” but undeniably seductive and able to speak to certain aspects of reality more effectively than more enlightened authors.[109] He had a similarly ambivalent attitude to G. K. Chesterton, whom he regarded as a writer of considerable talent who had chosen to devote himself to “Roman Catholic propaganda”.[110]

Orwell as literary critic

Throughout his life Orwell continually supported himself as a book reviewer, writing works so long and sophisticated they have had an influence on literary criticism. He wrote in the conclusion to his 1940 essay on Charles Dickens,

When one reads any strongly individual piece of writing, one has the impression of seeing a face somewhere behind the page. It is not necessarily the actual face of the writer. I feel this very strongly with Swift, with Defoe, with Fielding, Stendhal, Thackeray, Flaubert, though in several cases I do not know what these people looked like and do not want to know. What one sees is the face that the writer ought to have. Well, in the case of Dickens I see a face that is not quite the face of Dickens’s photographs, though it resembles it. It is the face of a man of about forty, with a small beard and a high colour. He is laughing, with a touch of anger in his laughter, but no triumph, no malignity. It is the face of a man who is always fighting against something, but who fights in the open and is not frightened, the face of a man who is generously angry – in other words, of a nineteenth-century liberal, a free intelligence, a type hated with equal hatred by all the smelly little orthodoxies which are now contending for our souls.

George Woodcock suggested that the last two sentences characterised Orwell as much as his subject.[111]

Orwell wrote a critique of George Bernard Shaw‘s play Arms and the Man. He considered this Shaw’s best play and the most likely to remain socially relevant, because of its theme that war is not, generally speaking, a glorious romantic adventure. His 1945 essay In Defense of P.G. Wodehouse contains an amusing assessment of his writing and also argues that his broadcasts from Germany (during the war) did not really make him a traitor. He accused The Ministry of Information of exaggerating Wodehouse’s actions for propaganda purposes.

Reception and evaluations of Orwell’s works

Arthur Koestler mentioned Orwell’s “uncompromising intellectual honesty [which] made him appear almost inhuman at times.”[112] Ben Wattenberg stated: “Orwell’s writing pierced intellectual hypocrisy wherever he found it.”[113] According to historian Piers Brendon, “Orwell was the saint of common decency who would in earlier days, said his BBC boss Rushbrook Williams, ‘have been either canonised – or burnt at the stake'”.[114] Raymond Williams in Politics and Letters: Interviews with New Left Review describes Orwell as a “successful impersonation of a plain man who bumps into experience in an unmediated way and tells the truth about it.”[115] Christopher Norris declared that Orwell’s “homespun empiricist outlook – his assumption that the truth was just there to be told in a straightforward common-sense way – now seems not merely naïve but culpably self-deluding”.[116] The American scholar Scott Lucas has described Orwell[117] as an enemy of the Left. John Newsinger has argued[118] that Lucas could only do this by portraying “all of Orwell’s attacks on Stalinism [-] as if they were attacks on socialism, despite Orwell’s continued insistence that they were not.”

Orwell’s work has taken a prominent place in the school literature curriculum in England,[119] with Animal Farm a regular examination topic at the end of secondary education (GCSE), and Nineteen Eighty-Four a topic for subsequent examinations below university level (A Levels). Alan Brown noted that this brings to the forefront questions about the political content of teaching practices. Study aids, in particular with potted biographies, might be seen to help propagate the Orwell myth so that as an embodiment of human values he is presented as a “trustworthy guide”, while examination questions sometimes suggest a “right ways of answering” in line with the myth.[120][clarification needed]

Historian John Rodden stated: “John Podhoretz did claim that if Orwell were alive today, he’d be standing with the neo-conservatives and against the Left. And the question arises, to what extent can you even begin to predict the political positions of somebody who’s been dead three decades and more by that time?”[113]

In Orwell’s Victory, Christopher Hitchens argues, “In answer to the accusation of inconsistency Orwell as a writer was forever taking his own temperature. In other words, here was someone who never stopped testing and adjusting his intelligence”.[121]

John Rodden points out the “undeniable conservative features in the Orwell physiognomy” and remarks on how “to some extent Orwell facilitated the kinds of uses and abuses by the Right that his name has been put to. In other ways there has been the politics of selective quotation.”[113] Rodden refers to the essay “Why I Write“, in which Orwell refers to the Spanish Civil War as being his “watershed political experience”, saying “The Spanish War and other events in 1936–37, turned the scale. Thereafter I knew where I stood. Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written directly or indirectly against totalitarianism and for Democratic Socialism as I understand it.” (emphasis in original)[113] Rodden goes on to explain how, during the McCarthy era, the introduction to the Signet edition of Animal Farm, which sold more than 20 million copies, makes use of “the politics of ellipsis”:

If the book itself, Animal Farm, had left any doubt of the matter, Orwell dispelled it in his essay Why I Write: ‘Every line of serious work that I’ve written since 1936 has been written directly or indirectly against Totalitarianism … dot, dot, dot, dot.’ “For Democratic Socialism” is vaporised, just like Winston Smith did it at the Ministry of Truth, and that’s very much what happened at the beginning of the McCarthy era and just continued, Orwell being selectively quoted.[113]

Fyvel wrote about Orwell: “His crucial experience … was his struggle to turn himself into a writer, one which led through long periods of poverty, failure and humiliation, and about which he has written almost nothing directly. The sweat and agony was less in the slum-life than in the effort to turn the experience into literature.”[122][123]

In October 2015 Finlay Publisher, for the Orwell Society, published George Orwell ‘The Complete Poetry’, compiled and presented by Dione Venables.[124]

Influence on language and writing

In his essay “Politics and the English Language” (1946), Orwell wrote about the importance of precise and clear language, arguing that vague writing can be used as a powerful tool of political manipulation because it shapes the way we think. In that essay, Orwell provides six rules for writers:

  1. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print.
  2. Never use a long word where a short one will do.
  3. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.
  4. Never use the passive where you can use the active.
  5. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent.
  6. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous.[125]

Andrew N. Rubin argues, “Orwell claimed that we should be attentive to how the use of language has limited our capacity for critical thought just as we should be equally concerned with the ways in which dominant modes of thinking have reshaped the very language that we use.”[126]

The adjective Orwellian connotes an attitude and a policy of control by propaganda, surveillance, misinformation, denial of truth, and manipulation of the past. In Nineteen Eighty-Four Orwell described a totalitarian government that controlled thought by controlling language, making certain ideas literally unthinkable. Several words and phrases from Nineteen Eighty-Four have entered popular language. Newspeak is a simplified and obfuscatory language designed to make independent thought impossible. Doublethink means holding two contradictory beliefs simultaneously. The Thought Police are those who suppress all dissenting opinion. Prolefeed is homogenised, manufactured superficial literature, film and music, used to control and indoctrinate the populace through docility. Big Brother is a supreme dictator who watches everyone.

Orwell may have been the first to use the term cold war to refer to the state of tension between powers in the Western Bloc and the Eastern Bloc that followed the Second World War, in his essay, “You and the Atom Bomb”, published in Tribune, 19 October 1945. He wrote:

We may be heading not for general breakdown but for an epoch as horribly stable as the slave empires of antiquity. James Burnham‘s theory has been much discussed, but few people have yet considered its ideological implications – this is, the kind of world-view, the kind of beliefs, and the social structure that would probably prevail in a State which was at once unconquerable and in a permanent state of ‘cold war’ with its neighbours.[127]

Museum

In 2014 it was announced that Orwell’s birthplace, a bungalow in Motihari, Bihar, in India would become the world’s first Orwell museum.[10][128]

Modern Culture

In 2014 a play written by playwright Joe Sutton titled Orwell in America was first performed. It is a fictitious account of Orwell doing a book tour in America (something he never did in his lifetime). It moved to Off-Broadway in 2016.[129]

Personal life

Childhood

Jacintha Buddicom‘s account Eric & Us provides an insight into Blair’s childhood.[130] She quoted his sister Avril that “he was essentially an aloof, undemonstrative person” and said herself of his friendship with the Buddicoms: “I do not think he needed any other friends beyond the schoolfriend he occasionally and appreciatively referred to as ‘CC'”. She could not recall his having schoolfriends to stay and exchange visits as her brother Prosper often did in holidays.[131] Cyril Connolly provides an account of Blair as a child in Enemies of Promise.[23] Years later, Blair mordantly recalled his prep school in the essay “Such, Such Were the Joys“, claiming among other things that he “was made to study like a dog” to earn a scholarship, which he alleged was solely to enhance the school’s prestige with parents. Jacintha Buddicom repudiated Orwell’s schoolboy misery described in the essay, stating that “he was a specially happy child”. She noted that he did not like his name, because it reminded him of a book he greatly disliked – Eric, or, Little by Little, a Victorian boys’ school story.[132]

Connolly remarked of him as a schoolboy, “The remarkable thing about Orwell was that alone among the boys he was an intellectual and not a parrot for he thought for himself”.[23] At Eton, John Vaughan Wilkes, his former headmaster’s son recalled, “… he was extremely argumentative – about anything – and criticising the masters and criticising the other boys … We enjoyed arguing with him. He would generally win the arguments – or think he had anyhow.”[133] Roger Mynors concurs: “Endless arguments about all sorts of things, in which he was one of the great leaders. He was one of those boys who thought for himself …”[134]

Blair liked to carry out practical jokes. Buddicom recalls him swinging from the luggage rack in a railway carriage like an orangutan to frighten a woman passenger out of the compartment.[14] At Eton he played tricks on John Crace, his Master in College, among which was to enter a spoof advertisement in a College magazine implying pederasty.[135] Gow, his tutor, said he “made himself as big a nuisance as he could” and “was a very unattractive boy”.[136] Later Blair was expelled from the crammer at Southwold for sending a dead rat as a birthday present to the town surveyor.[137] In one of his As I Please essays he refers to a protracted joke when he answered an advertisement for a woman who claimed a cure for obesity.[138]

Blair had an interest in natural history which stemmed from his childhood. In letters from school he wrote about caterpillars and butterflies,[139] and Buddicom recalls his keen interest in ornithology. He also enjoyed fishing and shooting rabbits, and conducting experiments as in cooking a hedgehog[14] or shooting down a jackdaw from the Eton roof to dissect it.[134] His zeal for scientific experiments extended to explosives – again Buddicom recalls a cook giving notice because of the noise. Later in Southwold his sister Avril recalled him blowing up the garden. When teaching he enthused his students with his nature-rambles both at Southwold[140] and Hayes.[141] His adult diaries are permeated with his observations on nature.

Relationships and marriage

Buddicom and Blair lost touch shortly after he went to Burma, and she became unsympathetic towards him. She wrote that it was because of the letters he wrote complaining about his life, but an addendum to Eric & Us by Venables reveals that he may have lost her sympathy through an incident which was, at best, a clumsy attempt at seduction.[14]

Mabel Fierz, who later became Blair’s confidante, said: “He used to say the one thing he wished in this world was that he’d been attractive to women. He liked women and had many girlfriends I think in Burma. He had a girl in Southwold and another girl in London. He was rather a womaniser, yet he was afraid he wasn’t attractive.”[142]

Brenda Salkield (Southwold) preferred friendship to any deeper relationship and maintained a correspondence with Blair for many years, particularly as a sounding board for his ideas. She wrote: “He was a great letter writer. Endless letters, and I mean when he wrote you a letter he wrote pages.”[22] His correspondence with Eleanor Jacques (London) was more prosaic, dwelling on a closer relationship and referring to past rendezvous or planning future ones in London and Burnham Beeches.[143]

When Orwell was in the sanatorium in Kent, his wife’s friend Lydia Jackson visited. He invited her for a walk and out of sight “an awkward situation arose.”[144] Jackson was to be the most critical of Orwell’s marriage to Eileen O’Shaughnessy, but their later correspondence hints at a complicity. Eileen at the time was more concerned about Orwell’s closeness to Brenda Salkield. Orwell had an affair with his secretary at Tribune which caused Eileen much distress, and others have been mooted. In a letter to Ann Popham he wrote: “I was sometimes unfaithful to Eileen, and I also treated her badly, and I think she treated me badly, too, at times, but it was a real marriage, in the sense that we had been through awful struggles together and she understood all about my work, etc.”[145]Similarly he suggested to Celia Kirwan that they had both been unfaithful.[146] There are several testaments that it was a well-matched and happy marriage.[147][148][149]

Blair was very lonely after Eileen’s death, and desperate for a wife, both as companion for himself and as mother for Richard. He proposed marriage to four women, including Celia Kirwan, and eventually Sonia Brownell accepted.[150] Orwell had met her when she was assistant to Cyril Connolly, at Horizon literary magazine.[151] They were married on 13 October 1949, only three months before Orwell’s death. Some maintain that Sonia was the model for Julia in Nineteen Eighty-Four.

Religious views

Orwell regularly participated in the social and civic life of the church, and yet was an atheist, both critical of religious doctrine and of religious organisations. He attended Holy Communion at the Church of England regularly,[152] and makes allusions to Anglican rites in his book A Clergyman’s Daughter. He was extremely well-read in Biblical literature and could quote lengthy passages from the Book of Common Prayer from memory.[153] However, his forensic knowledge of the Bible came coupled with unsparing criticism of its philosophy, and as an adult he could not bring himself to believe in its tenets. He said clearly in part V of his essay, “Such, Such Were the Joys“: “Till about the age of fourteen I believed in God, and believed that the accounts given of him were true. But I was well aware that I did not love him.”[154] Of his regular Church attendance, he said: “It seems rather mean to go to HC [Holy Communion] when one doesn’t believe, but I have passed myself off for pious & there is nothing for it but to keep up with the deception.”[155]Despite this, he had two Anglican marriages and left instructions for an Anglican funeral.[156] Orwell directly contrasted Christianity with secular humanism in his essay “Lear, Tolstoy and the Fool“, finding the latter philosophy more palatable and less “self-interested.” Literary critic James Wood wrote that in the struggle, as he saw it, between Christianity and humanism, “Orwell was on the humanist side, of course—basically an unmetaphysical, English version of Camus’s philosophy of perpetual godless struggle.”[157]

Orwell’s writing was often explicitly critical of religion, and Christianity in particular. He found the church to be a “selfish … church of the landed gentry” with its establishment “out of touch” with the majority of its communicants and altogether a pernicious influence on public life.[158] In their 1972 study, The Unknown Orwell, the writers Peter Stansky and William Abrahams noted that at Eton Blair displayed a “sceptical attitude” to Christian belief.[159] Crick observed that Orwell displayed “a pronounced anti-Catholicism”.[160] Evelyn Waugh, writing in 1946, acknowledged Orwell’s high moral sense and respect for justice but believed “he seems never to have been touched at any point by a conception of religious thought and life.”[161] His contradictory and sometimes ambiguous views about the social benefits of religious affiliation mirrored the dichotomies between his public and private lives: Stephen Ingle wrote that it was as if the writer George Orwell “vaunted” his unbelief while Eric Blair the individual retained “a deeply ingrained religiosity”. Ingle later noted that Orwell did not accept the existence of an afterlife, believing in the finality of death while living and advocating a moral code based on Judeo-Christian beliefs.[162][163]

Political views

Orwell liked to provoke arguments by challenging the status quo, but he was also a traditionalist with a love of old English values. He criticised and satirised, from the inside, the various social milieux in which he found himself – provincial town life in A Clergyman’s Daughter; middle-class pretension in Keep the Aspidistra Flying; preparatory schools in “Such, Such Were the Joys”; colonialism in Burmese Days, and some socialist groups in The Road to Wigan Pier. In his Adelphi days he described himself as a “Toryanarchist.”[164][165]

In 1928, Orwell began his career as a professional writer in Paris at a journal owned by the French Communist Henri Barbusse. His first article, “La Censure en Angleterre“, was an attempt to account for the ‘extraordinary and illogical’ moral censorship of plays and novels then practised in Britain. His own explanation was that the rise of the “puritan middle class,” who had stricter morals than the aristocracy, tightened the rules of censorship in the 19th century. Orwell’s first published article in his home country, “A Farthing Newspaper”, was a critique of the new French daily the Ami de Peuple. This paper was sold much more cheaply than most others, and was intended for ordinary people to read. Orwell pointed out that its proprietor François Coty also owned the right-wing dailies Le Figaro and Le Gaulois, which the Ami de Peuple was supposedly competing against. Orwell suggested that cheap newspapers were no more than a vehicle for advertising and anti-leftist propaganda, and predicted the world might soon see free newspapers which would drive legitimate dailies out of business.[166]

The Spanish Civil War played the most important part in defining Orwell’s socialism. He wrote to Cyril Connolly from Barcelona on 8 June 1937: “I have seen wonderful things and at last really believe in Socialism, which I never did before.”[167][168] Having witnessed the success of the anarcho-syndicalist communities, for example in Anarchist Catalonia, and the subsequent brutal suppression of the anarcho-syndicalists, anti-Stalin communist parties and revolutionaries by the Soviet Union-backed Communists, Orwell returned from Catalonia a staunch anti-Stalinist and joined the Independent Labour Party, his card being issued on 13 June 1938.[169] Although he was never a Trotskyist, he was strongly influenced by the Trotskyist and anarchist critiques of the Soviet regime, and by the anarchists’ emphasis on individual freedom. In Part 2 of The Road to Wigan Pier, published by the Left Book Club, Orwell stated: “a real Socialist is one who wishes – not merely conceives it as desirable, but actively wishes – to see tyranny overthrown.” Orwell stated in “Why I Write” (1946): “Every line of serious work that I have written since 1936 has been written, directly or indirectly, against totalitarianism and for democratic socialism, as I understand it.”[170] Orwell was a proponent of a federal socialist Europe, a position outlined in his 1947 essay “Toward European Unity,” which first appeared in Partisan Review. According to biographer John Newsinger,

the other crucial dimension to Orwell’s socialism was his recognition that the Soviet Union was not socialist. Unlike many on the left, instead of abandoning socialism once he discovered the full horror of Stalinist rule in the Soviet Union, Orwell abandoned the Soviet Union and instead remained a socialist – indeed he became more committed to the socialist cause than ever.”[60]

In his 1938 essay “Why I joined the Independent Labour Party,” published in the ILP-affiliated New Leader, Orwell wrote:

For some years past I have managed to make the capitalist class pay me several pounds a week for writing books against capitalism. But I do not delude myself that this state of affairs is going to last forever … the only régime which, in the long run, will dare to permit freedom of speech is a Socialist régime. If Fascism triumphs I am finished as a writer – that is to say, finished in my only effective capacity. That of itself would be a sufficient reason for joining a Socialist party.[171]

Towards the end of the essay, he wrote: “I do not mean I have lost all faith in the Labour Party. My most earnest hope is that the Labour Party will win a clear majority in the next General Election.”[172]

Orwell was opposed to rearmament against Nazi Germany – but he changed his view after the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact and the outbreak of the war. He left the ILP because of its opposition to the war and adopted a political position of “revolutionary patriotism”. In December 1940 he wrote in Tribune (the Labour left’s weekly): “We are in a strange period of history in which a revolutionary has to be a patriot and a patriot has to be a revolutionary.” During the war, Orwell was highly critical of the popular idea that an Anglo-Soviet alliance would be the basis of a post-war world of peace and prosperity. In 1942, commenting on journalist E. H. Carr‘s pro-Soviet views, Orwell stated: “all the appeasers, e.g. Professor E. H. Carr, have switched their allegiance from Hitler to Stalin.”[173]

On anarchism, Orwell wrote in The Road to Wigan Pier: “I worked out an anarchistic theory that all government is evil, that the punishment always does more harm than the crime and the people can be trusted to behave decently if you will only let them alone.” He continued and argued that “it is always necessary to protect peaceful people from violence. In any state of society where crime can be profitable you have got to have a harsh criminal law and administer it ruthlessly.”

In his reply (dated 15 November 1943) to an invitation from the Duchess of Atholl to speak for the British League for European Freedom, he stated that he did not agree with their objectives. He admitted that what they said was “more truthful than the lying propaganda found in most of the press” but added that he could not “associate himself with an essentially Conservative body” that claimed to “defend democracy in Europe” but had “nothing to say about British imperialism.” His closing paragraph stated: “I belong to the Left and must work inside it, much as I hate Russian totalitarianism and its poisonous influence in this country.”[174]

Orwell joined the staff of Tribune as literary editor, and from then until his death, was a left-wing (though hardly orthodox) Labour-supporting democratic socialist.[175] On 1 September 1944, about the Warsaw uprising, Orwell expressed in Tribune his hostility against the influence of the alliance with the USSR over the allies: “Do remember that dishonesty and cowardice always have to be paid for. Do not imagine that for years on end you can make yourself the boot-licking propagandist of the sovietic regime, or any other regime, and then suddenly return to honesty and reason. Once a whore, always a whore.” According to Newsinger, although Orwell “was always critical of the 1945–51 Labour government’s moderation, his support for it began to pull him to the right politically. This did not lead him to embrace conservatism, imperialism or reaction, but to defend, albeit critically, Labour reformism.”[176] Between 1945 and 1947, with A. J. Ayer and Bertrand Russell, he contributed a series of articles and essays to Polemic, a short-lived British “Magazine of Philosophy, Psychology, and Aesthetics” edited by the ex-Communist Humphrey Slater.[177][178]

Writing in early 1945 a long essay titled “Antisemitism in Britain,” for the Contemporary Jewish Record, Orwell stated that anti-Semitism was on the increase in Britain, and that it was “irrational and will not yield to arguments.” He argued that it would be useful to discover why anti-Semites could “swallow such absurdities on one particular subject while remaining sane on others.”[179] He wrote: “For quite six years the English admirers of Hitler contrived not to learn of the existence of Dachau and Buchenwald. … Many English people have heard almost nothing about the extermination of German and Polish Jews during the present war. Their own anti-Semitism has caused this vast crime to bounce off their consciousness.”[180] In Nineteen Eighty-Four, written shortly after the war, Orwell portrayed the Party as enlisting anti-Semitic passions against their enemy, Goldstein.

Orwell publicly defended P.G. Wodehouse against charges of being a Nazi sympathiser – occasioned by his agreement to do some broadcasts over the German radio in 1941 – a defence based on Wodehouse’s lack of interest in and ignorance of politics.[181]

Special Branch, the intelligence division of the Metropolitan Police, maintained a file on Orwell for more than 20 years of his life. The dossier, published by The National Archives, states that, according to one investigator, Orwell had “advanced Communist views and several of his Indian friends say that they have often seen him at Communist meetings.” MI5, the intelligence department of the Home Office, noted: “It is evident from his recent writings – ‘The Lion and the Unicorn’ – and his contribution to Gollancz’s symposium The Betrayal of the Left that he does not hold with the Communist Party nor they with him.”[182]

Social interactions

Orwell was noted for very close and enduring friendships with a few friends, but these were generally people with a similar background or with a similar level of literary ability. Ungregarious, he was out of place in a crowd and his discomfort was exacerbated when he was outside his own class. Though representing himself as a spokesman for the common man, he often appeared out of place with real working people. His brother-in-law Humphrey Dakin, a “Hail fellow, well met” type, who took him to a local pub in Leeds, said that he was told by the landlord: “Don’t bring that bugger in here again.”[183] Adrian Fierz commented “He wasn’t interested in racing or greyhounds or pub crawling or shove ha’penny. He just did not have much in common with people who did not share his intellectual interests.”[184] Awkwardness attended many of his encounters with working-class representatives, as with Pollitt and McNair,[185] but his courtesy and good manners were often commented on. Jack Common observed on meeting him for the first time, “Right away manners, and more than manners – breeding – showed through.”[186]

In his tramping days, he did domestic work for a time. His extreme politeness was recalled by a member of the family he worked for; she declared that the family referred to him as “Laurel” after the film comedian.[38] With his gangling figure and awkwardness, Orwell’s friends often saw him as a figure of fun. Geoffrey Gorer commented “He was awfully likely to knock things off tables, trip over things. I mean, he was a gangling, physically badly co-ordinated young man. I think his feeling [was] that even the inanimate world was against him …”[187] When he shared a flat with Heppenstall and Sayer, he was treated in a patronising manner by the younger men.[188] At the BBC, in the 1940s, “everybody would pull his leg,”[189] and Spender described him as having real entertainment value “like, as I say, watching a Charlie Chaplin movie.”[190] A friend of Eileen’s reminisced about her tolerance and humour, often at Orwell’s expense.[148] Psychiatrist Michael Fitzgerald has speculated that Orwell’s social and physical awkwardness, limited interests and monotone voice were the result of Asperger syndrome.[191]

One biography of Orwell accused him of having had an authoritarian streak.[192] In Burma, he struck out at a Burmese boy who, while “fooling around” with his friends, had “accidentally bumped into him” at a station, resulting in Orwell falling “heavily” down some stairs.[193] One of his former pupils recalled being beaten so hard he could not sit down for a week.[194] When sharing a flat with Orwell, Heppenstall came home late one night in an advanced stage of loud inebriation. The upshot was that Heppenstall ended up with a bloody nose and was locked in a room. When he complained, Orwell hit him across the legs with a shooting stick and Heppenstall then had to defend himself with a chair. Years later, after Orwell’s death, Heppenstall wrote a dramatic account of the incident called “The Shooting Stick”[195] and Mabel Fierz confirmed that Heppenstall came to her in a sorry state the following day.[196]

Orwell got on well with young people. The pupil he beat considered him the best of teachers, and the young recruits in Barcelona tried to drink him under the table – though without success. His nephew recalled Uncle Eric laughing louder than anyone in the cinema at a Charlie Chaplin film.[147]

In the wake of his most famous works, he attracted many uncritical hangers-on, but many others who sought him found him aloof and even dull. With his soft voice, he was sometimes shouted down or excluded from discussions.[197] At this time, he was severely ill; it was wartime or the austerity period after it; during the war his wife suffered from depression; and after her death he was lonely and unhappy. In addition to that, he always lived frugally and seemed unable to care for himself properly. As a result of all this, people found his circumstances bleak.[198] Some, like Michael Ayrton, called him “Gloomy George,” but others developed the idea that he was a “secular saint.”

Although Orwell was frequently heard on the BBC for panel discussion and one-man broadcasts, no recorded copy of his voice is known to exist.[199]

Lifestyle

“By putting the tea in first and stirring as one pours, one can exactly regulate the amount of milk, whereas one is likely to put in too much milk if one does it the other way round”

– One of Orwell’s eleven rules for making tea from his essay “A Nice Cup of Tea“, appearing in the London Evening Standard, 12 January 1946.[200]

Orwell was a heavy smoker, who rolled his own cigarettes from strong shag tobacco, despite his bronchial condition. His penchant for the rugged life often took him to cold and damp situations, both in the long term, as in Catalonia and Jura, and short term, for example, motorcycling in the rain and suffering a shipwreck. Described by The Economist as “perhaps the 20th century’s best chronicler of English culture“,[201] Orwell considered fish and chips, association football, the pub, strong tea, cut price chocolate, the movies, and radio among the chief comforts for the working class.[202] Orwell enjoyed strong tea – he had Fortnum & Mason‘s tea brought to him in Catalonia.[8] His 1946 essay, “A Nice Cup of Tea“, appeared in the London Evening Standard article on how to make tea, with Orwell writing, “tea is one of the mainstays of civilisation in this country and causes violent disputes over how it should be made”, with the main issue being whether to put tea in the cup first and add the milk afterward, or the other way round, on which he states, “in every family in Britain there are probably two schools of thought on the subject”.[203] He appreciated English beer, taken regularly and moderately, despised drinkers of lager[204] and wrote about an imagined, ideal British pub in his 1946 English Standard article, “The Moon Under Water“.[205] Not as particular about food, he enjoyed the wartime “Victory Pie”[206] and extolled canteen food at the BBC.[189] He preferred traditional English dishes, such as roast beef and kippers.[207] Reports of his Islington days refer to the cosy afternoon tea table.[208]

His dress sense was unpredictable and usually casual.[209] In Southwold, he had the best cloth from the local tailor[210] but was equally happy in his tramping outfit. His attire in the Spanish Civil War, along with his size-12 boots, was a source of amusement.[211][212]David Astor described him as looking like a prep school master,[213] while according to the Special Branch dossier, Orwell’s tendency to dress “in Bohemian fashion” revealed that the author was “a Communist”.[214]

Orwell’s confusing approach to matters of social decorum – on the one hand expecting a working-class guest to dress for dinner,[215] and on the other, slurping tea out of a saucer at the BBC canteen[216] – helped stoke his reputation as an English eccentric.

Views on homosexuality

Orwell was openly homophobic, at a time when such prejudice was not uncommon. Speaking at the 2003 George Orwell Centenary Conference, Daphne Patai said: “Of course he was homophobic. That has nothing to do with his relations with his homosexual friends. Certainly he had a negative attitude and a certain kind of anxiety, a denigrating attitude towards homosexuality. That is definitely the case. I think his writing reflects that quite fully.”[217]

Orwell used the homophobic epithets “Nancy” and “pansy” as terms of abuse, notably in his expressions of contempt for what he called the “pansy Left”, and “nancy poets”, i.e. left-wing homosexual or bisexual writers and intellectuals such as Stephen Spender and W. H. Auden.[218] The protagonist of Keep the Aspidistra Flying, Gordon Comstock, conducts an internal critique of his customers when working in a bookshop, and there is an extended passage of several pages in which he concentrates on a homosexual male customer, and sneers at him for his “Nancy” characteristics, including a lisp, which he identifies in detail, with some disgust.[219] Dr Thomas S Veale, in The Banality of Virtue: A Multifaceted view of George Orwell as champion of the common man, refers to Orwell’s “homophobia most probably based on the perceived weakness of homosexuals and their preferences’ betrayal of the natural order”. Stephen Spender, however, “thought Orwell’s occasional homophobic outbursts were part of his rebellion against the public school”.[220]

Biographies of Orwell

Orwell’s will requested that no biography of him be written, and his widow Sonia Brownell repelled every attempt by those who tried to persuade her to let them write about him. Various recollections and interpretations were published in the 1950s and ’60s, but Sonia saw the 1968 Collected Works[138] as the record of his life. She did appoint Malcolm Muggeridge as official biographer, but later biographers have seen this as deliberate spoiling as Muggeridge eventually gave up the work.[221] In 1972, two American authors, Peter Stansky and William Abrahams,[222] produced The Unknown Orwell, an unauthorised account of his early years that lacked any support or contribution from Sonia Brownell.

Sonia Brownell then commissioned Bernard Crick, a left-wing professor of politics at the University of London, to complete a biography and asked Orwell’s friends to co-operate.[223] Crick collated a considerable amount of material in his work, which was published in 1980,[82] but his questioning of the factual accuracy of Orwell’s first-person writings led to conflict with Brownell, and she tried to suppress the book. Crick concentrated on the facts of Orwell’s life rather than his character, and presented primarily a political perspective on Orwell’s life and work.[224]

After Sonia Brownell’s death, other works on Orwell were published in the 1980s, with 1984 being a particularly fruitful year for Orwelliana. These included collections of reminiscences by Coppard and Crick[137] and Stephen Wadhams.[22]

In 1991, Michael Shelden, an American professor of literature, published a biography.[26] More concerned with the literary nature of Orwell’s work, he sought explanations for Orwell’s character and treated his first-person writings as autobiographical. Shelden introduced new information that sought to build on Crick’s work.[223] Shelden speculated that Orwell possessed an obsessive belief in his failure and inadequacy.

Peter Davison‘s publication of the Complete Works of George Orwell, completed in 2000,[225] made most of the Orwell Archive accessible to the public. Jeffrey Meyers, a prolific American biographer, was first to take advantage of this and published a book in 2001[226] that investigated the darker side of Orwell and questioned his saintly image.[223] Why Orwell Matters (released in the UK as Orwell’s Victory) was published by Christopher Hitchens in 2002.[227]

In 2003, the centenary of Orwell’s birth resulted in biographies by Gordon Bowker[228] and D. J. Taylor, both academics and writers in the United Kingdom. Taylor notes the stage management which surrounds much of Orwell’s behaviour,[8] and Bowker highlights the essential sense of decency which he considers to have been Orwell’s main motivation.[229][230]

Ancestry

Bibliography

Main article: George Orwell bibliography

Novels

Nonfiction

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Orwell

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What is Wrong With Our Culture [Alan Watts] — Choice — Be The Change You Expect To See In The World — Videos

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What is Wrong With Our Culture [Alan Watts]

Thought-provoking 5 minutes on the state of the world from the late, great Alan Watts, a man far ahead of his time.

Speech: Alan Watts – What is Wrong With Our Culture (AKA: Sex The Pleasurable Punishment)

Alan Watts – Choice

Alan Watts discusses choice and the thoughts process behind it. Our choices are fundamentally what shape our character, and more importantly our life as a whole.

 

What Do You Desire? Thought Provoking Motivation: By Alan Watts

 

Alan Watts breaks down what’s wrong with the world – Part 1 (1970)

Published on Dec 22, 2013

UPDATE: Video now has full closed-caption (subtitles) in English. Allowing it to be viewed in many other languages through Google’s auto-translation captioning. Enjoy.

The very wise Alan Watts breaks down what’s wrong with the world at large, and does so back in 1970! His foreshadowing of the manipulation of the food supply through high yield crops is eery and so very true (i.e., Monsanto and their Ready Roundup crops).

He proposes a number of things we can do to change our attitudes towards life and the planet. I’m sorry to say he would be greatly disappointed if he were alive today, however we still have a chance to set things right and fulfill Watts’ dream of unity, peace, and love.

Alan Watts breaks down what’s wrong with the world – Part 2 (1970)

 

Alan Watts

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Alan Watts
Born Alan Wilson Watts
6 January 1915
Chislehurst, Kent, England
Died 16 November 1973 (aged 58)
Mt. Tamalpais, California, United States
Nationality British and American[1]
Era Contemporary philosophy
Region Eastern Philosophy
School
Main interests

Alan Wilson Watts (6 January 1915 – 16 November 1973) was a British philosopher, writer, and speaker, best known as an interpreter and populariser of Eastern philosophy for a Western audience. Born in Chislehurst, England, he moved to the United States in 1938 and began Zen training in New York. Pursuing a career, he attended Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, where he received a master’s degree in theology. Watts became an Episcopal priest in 1945, then left the ministry in 1950 and moved to California, where he joined the faculty of the American Academy of Asian Studies.

Watts gained a large following in the San Francisco Bay Area while working as a volunteer programmer at KPFA, a Pacifica Radio station in Berkeley. Watts wrote more than 25 books and articles on subjects important to Eastern and Western religion, introducing the then-burgeoning youth culture to The Way of Zen (1957), one of the first bestselling books on Buddhism. In Psychotherapy East and West (1961), Watts proposed that Buddhism could be thought of as a form of psychotherapy and not a religion. He considered Nature, Man and Woman (1958) to be, “from a literary point of view — the best book I have ever written.”[2] He also explored human consciousness, in the essay “The New Alchemy” (1958), and in the book The Joyous Cosmology (1962).

Towards the end of his life, he divided his time between a houseboat in Sausalito and a cabin on Mount Tamalpais. Many of his books are now available in digital format and many of his recorded talks and lectures are available on the Internet. According to the critic Erik Davis, his “writings and recorded talks still shimmer with a profound and galvanizing lucidity.”[3]

Early years

Alan Watts, age seven

Watts was born to middle class parents in the village of Chislehurst, Kent (now south-east London), in 1915, living at 3 (now 5) Holbrook Lane, which was subsequently lived in by author John Hemming-Clark in the early 2000s. Watts’ father, Laurence Wilson Watts, was a representative for the London office of the Michelin Tyre Company; his mother, Emily Mary Watts (née Buchan), was a housewife whose father had been a missionary. With modest financial means, they chose to live in pastoral surroundings and Alan, an only child, grew up playing at brookside, learning the names of wildflowers and butterflies.[4] Probably because of the influence of his mother’s religious family[5] the Buchans, an interest in “ultimate things” seeped in. But it mixed with Alan’s own interests in storybook fables and romantic tales of the mysterious Far East.[6]

Watts also later wrote of a mystical dream he experienced while ill with a fever as a child.[7] During this time he was influenced by Far Eastern landscape paintings and embroideries that had been given to his mother by missionaries returning from China. The few Chinese paintings Watts was able to see in England riveted him, and he wrote “I was aesthetically fascinated with a certain clarity, transparency, and spaciousness in Chinese and Japanese art. It seemed to float…”.[8] These works of art emphasized the participatory relationship of man in nature, a theme that stood fast throughout his life, and one that he often writes about. See, for instance, the last chapter in The Way of Zen.[9]

Buddhism

Seated Great Buddha (Daibutsu), Kamakura, Japan

By his own assessment, Watts was imaginative, headstrong, and talkative. He was sent to boarding schools (which included both academic and religious training of the Muscular Christianity sort) from early years. Of this religious training, he remarked “Throughout my schooling my religious indoctrination was grim and maudlin…”[10]

Watts spent several holidays in France in his teen years, accompanied by Francis Croshaw, a wealthy Epicurean with strong interests in both Buddhism and exotic little-known aspects of European culture. It was not long afterward that Watts felt forced to decide between the Anglican Christianity he had been exposed to and the Buddhism he had read about in various libraries, including Croshaw’s. He chose Buddhism, and sought membership in the London Buddhist Lodge, which had been established by Theosophists, and was now run by the barrister Christmas Humphreys. Watts became the organization’s secretary at 16 (1931). The young Watts explored several styles of meditation during these years.

Education

Watts attended The King’s School, Canterbury next door to Canterbury Cathedral. Though he was frequently at the top of his classes scholastically and was given responsibilities at school, he botched an opportunity for a scholarship to Oxford by styling a crucial examination essay in a way that was read as presumptuous and capricious.[11]

When he left secondary school, Watts worked in a printing house and later a bank. He spent his spare time involved with the Buddhist Lodge and also under the tutelage of a “rascal guru” named Dimitrije Mitrinović. (Mitrinović was himself influenced by Peter Demianovich Ouspensky, G. I. Gurdjieff, and the varied psychoanalytical schools of Freud, Jung and Adler.) Watts also read widely in philosophy, history, psychology, psychiatry and Eastern wisdom. By his own reckoning, and also by that of his biographer Monica Furlong, Watts was primarily an autodidact. His involvement with the Buddhist Lodge in London afforded Watts a considerable number of opportunities for personal growth. Through Humphreys, he contacted eminent spiritual authors (e.g. the artist, scholar, and mystic Nicholas Roerich, Sarvapalli Radhakrishnan, and prominent theosophists like Alice Bailey).

In 1936, aged 21, he attended the World Congress of Faiths at the University of London, heard D. T. Suzuki read a paper, and afterwards was able to meet this esteemed scholar of Zen Buddhism.[12] Beyond these discussions and personal encounters, Watts absorbed, by studying the available scholarly literature, the fundamental concepts and terminology of the main philosophies of India and East Asia.

Influences and first publication

Watts’s fascination with the Zen (or Ch’an) tradition—beginning during the 1930s—developed because that tradition embodied the spiritual, interwoven with the practical, as exemplified in the subtitle of his Spirit of Zen: A Way of Life, Work, and Art in the Far East. “Work”, “life”, and “art” were not demoted due to a spiritual focus. In his writing, he referred to it as “the great Ch’an (or Zen) synthesis of Taoism, Confucianism and Buddhism after 700 CE in China.”[13] Watts published his first book, The Spirit of Zen, in 1936. Two decades later, in The Way of Zen[14] he disparaged The Spirit of Zen as a “popularisation of Suzuki‘s earlier works, and besides being very unscholarly it is in many respects out of date and misleading.”

Watts married Eleanor Everett, whose mother Ruth Fuller Everett was involved with a traditional Zen Buddhist circle in New York. Ruth Fuller later married the Zen master (or “roshi”), Sokei-an Sasaki, who served as a sort of model and mentor to Watts, though he chose not to enter into a formal Zen training relationship with Sasaki. During these years, according to his later writings, Watts had another mystical experience while on a walk with his wife. In 1938 Watts and his wife left England to live in the United States. Watts became a United States citizen in 1943.[15]

Christian priest and after

Watts left formal Zen training in New York because the method of the teacher did not suit him. He was not ordained as a Zen monk, but he felt a need to find a vocational outlet for his philosophical inclinations. He entered Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, an Episcopal (Anglican) school in Evanston, Illinois, where he studied Christian scriptures, theology, and church history. He attempted to work out a blend of contemporary Christian worship, mystical Christianity, and Asian philosophy. Watts was awarded a master’s degree in theology in response to his thesis, which he published as a popular edition under the title Behold the Spirit: A Study in the Necessity of Mystical Religion. He later published Myth & Ritual in Christianity (1953), an eisegesis of traditional Roman Catholic doctrine and ritual in Buddhist terms. However, the pattern was set, in that Watts did not hide his dislike for religious outlooks that he decided were dour, guilt-ridden, or militantly proselytizing—no matter if they were found within Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, or Buddhism.

As recounted in his autobiography, Alan was ordained as an Episcopal priest in 1945 (aged 30) and resigned the ministry by 1950, partly as a result of an extramarital affair which resulted in his wife having their marriage annulled, but also because he could no longer reconcile his Buddhist beliefs with the formal doctrine of the church. He spent the New Year getting to know Joseph Campbell and Campbell’s wife, Jean Erdman; as well as John Cage, the notable composer.

In early 1951, Watts moved to California, where he joined the faculty of the American Academy of Asian Studies in San Francisco. Here he taught from 1951 to 1957 alongside Saburō Hasegawa (1906-1957), Frederic Spiegelberg, Haridas Chaudhuri, lama Tada Tōkan (1890-1967), and various visiting experts and professors. Hasegawa, in particular, served as a teacher to Watts in the areas of Japanese customs, arts, primitivism, and perceptions of nature. It was during this time he met the poet, Jean Burden whom he called an “important influence.” Alan placed a “cryptograph” crediting her in his book “Nature , Man and Woman” to which he alludes in his autobiography (P.297). Besides teaching, Watts served for several years as the Academy’s administrator. One notable student of his was Eugene Rose, who later went on to become a noted Orthodox Christian hieromonk and controversial theologian within the Orthodox Church in America under the jurisdiction of ROCOR. Rose’s own disciple, a fellow monastic priest published under the name Hieromonk Damascene, produced a book entitled Christ the Eternal Tao, in which the author draws parallels between the concept of the Tao in Chinese philosophy and the concept of the Logos in classical Greek philosophy and Eastern Christian theology.

Watts also studied written Chinese and practiced Chinese brush calligraphy with Hasegawa as well as with some of the Chinese students who enrolled at the academy. While Watts was noted for an interest in Zen Buddhism, his reading and discussions delved into Vedanta, “the new physics“, cybernetics, semantics, process philosophy, natural history, and the anthropology of sexuality.

Middle years

After heading up the Academy for a few years, Watts left the faculty for a freelance career in the mid-1950s. In 1953, he began what became a long-running weekly radio program at Pacifica Radio station KPFA in Berkeley. Like other volunteer programmers at the listener-sponsored station, Watts was not paid for his broadcasts. These weekly broadcasts continued until 1962, by which time he had attracted a “legion of regular listeners”.[16][17] Watts continued to give numerous talks and seminars, recordings of which were broadcast on KPFA and other radio stations during his life. These recordings are broadcast to this day. (For example, in 1970 Watts lectures were broadcast on Sunday mornings on San Francisco radio station KSAN;[18] and in 2014 a number of radio stations continue to have an Alan Watts program in their weekly program schedules.[19][20][21]) Original tapes of his broadcasts and talks are currently held by the Pacifica Radio Archives, based at KPFK in Los Angeles, and at the Electronic University archive founded by his son, Mark Watts.

In 1957 Watts, then 42, published one of his best known books, The Way of Zen, which focused on philosophical explication and history. Besides drawing on the lifestyle and philosophical background of Zen, in India and China, Watts introduced ideas drawn from general semantics (directly from the writings of Alfred Korzybski) and also from Norbert Wiener‘s early work on cybernetics, which had recently been published. Watts offered analogies from cybernetic principles possibly applicable to the Zen life. The book sold well, eventually becoming a modern classic, and helped widen his lecture circuit.

In 1958, Watts toured parts of Europe with his father, meeting the Swiss psychiatrist Carl Jung and the German psychotherapist Karlfried Graf Dürckheim.[22]

Upon returning to the United States, Watts recorded two seasons of a television series (1959–1960) for KQED public television in San Francisco, “Eastern Wisdom and Modern Life”.[23]

In the 1960s, Watts became increasingly interested in how identifiable patterns in nature tend to repeat themselves from the smallest of scales to the most immense. This became one of his passions in his research and thought.[24]

Experimentation

Some of Watts’ writings published in 1958 (e.g., his book Nature, Man and Woman and his essay “The New Alchemy”) mentioned some of his early views on the use of psychedelic drugs for mystical insight. Watts had begun to experiment with psychedelics, initially with mescaline given to him by Oscar Janiger. He tried LSD several times in 1958, with various research teams led by Keith S. Ditman, Sterling Bunnell, Jr., and Michael Agron. He also tried marijuana and concluded that it was a useful and interesting psychoactive drug that gave the impression of time slowing down. Watts’s books of the ’60s reveal the influence of these chemical adventures on his outlook. He later said about psychedelic drug use, “If you get the message, hang up the phone. For psychedelic drugs are simply instruments, like microscopes, telescopes, and telephones. The biologist does not sit with eye permanently glued to the microscope, he goes away and works on what he has seen.”[25]

For a time, Watts came to prefer writing in the language of modern science and psychology (Psychotherapy East and West is a good example),[tone] finding a parallel between mystical experiences and the theories of the material universe proposed by 20th-century physicists. He later equated mystical experience with ecological awareness, and typically emphasized whichever approach seemed best suited to the audience he was addressing.[citation needed]

Supporters and critics

Watts’s explorations and teaching brought him into contact with many noted intellectuals, artists, and American teachers in the human potential movement. His friendship with poet Gary Snyder nurtured his sympathies with the budding environmental movement, to which Watts gave philosophical support. He also encountered Robert Anton Wilson, who credited Watts with being one of his “Light[s] along the Way” in the opening appreciation of Cosmic Trigger. Werner Erhard attended workshops given by Alan Watts and said of him, “He pointed me toward what I now call the distinction between Self and Mind. After my encounter with Alan, the context in which I was working shifted.”[26]

Though never affiliated for long with any one academic institution, he was Professor of Comparative Philosophy at the California Institute of Integral Studies (as mentioned above), had a fellowship at Harvard University (1962–64), and was a Scholar at San Jose State University (1968).[27] He also lectured to many college and university students as well as the general public.[28] His lectures and books gave him far-reaching influence on the American intelligentsia of the 1950s–1970s, but he was often seen as an outsider in academia.[29] When questioned sharply by students during his talk at University of California, Santa Cruz in 1970, Watts responded, as he had from the early sixties, that he was not an academic philosopher but rather “a philosophical entertainer.”

Watts has been criticized by Buddhists such as Philip Kapleau and D. T. Suzuki for allegedly misinterpreting several key Zen Buddhist concepts. In particular, he drew criticism from those who believe that zazen must entail a strict and specific means of sitting, as opposed to a cultivated state of mind available at any moment in any situation. Typical of these is Kapleau’s claim that Watts dismissed zazen on the basis of only half a koan.[30] In regard to the aforementioned koan, Robert Baker Aitken reports that Suzuki told him, “I regret to say that Mr. Watts did not understand that story.”[31] In his talks, Watts addressed the issue of defining zazen practice by saying, “A cat sits until it is tired of sitting, then gets up, stretches, and walks away.”

Watts’s biographers saw him, after his stint as an Anglican priest, as representative of no religion but as a lone-wolf thinker and social rascal. In David Stuart’s warts-and-all biography of the man, Watts is seen as an unusually gifted speaker and writer driven by his own interests, enthusiasms, and demons.[32] Elsa Gidlow, whom Alan called “sister” refused to be interviewed for this work but later painted a kinder picture of Alan’s life in her own autobiography, “Elsa, I Come With My Songs.”

However, Watts did have his supporters in the Zen community, including Shunryu Suzuki, the founder of the San Francisco Zen Center. As David Chadwick recounted in his biography of Suzuki, Crooked Cucumber: the Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki, when a student of Suzuki’s disparaged Watts by saying “we used to think he was profound until we found the real thing”, Suzuki “fumed with a sudden intensity”, saying, “You completely miss the point about Alan Watts! You should notice what he has done. He is a great bodhisattva.”[33]

Applied aesthetics

Watts sometimes alluded to a group of neighbors in Druid Heights (near Mill Valley, California) who had endeavored to combine architecture, gardening, and carpentry skills to make a beautiful and comfortable life for themselves. These neighbors accomplished this by relying on their own talents and using their own hands, as they lived in what has been called “shared bohemian poverty”.[34] Druid Heights was founded by the writer Elsa Gidlow,[35] and Watts dedicated his book The Joyous Cosmology to the people of this neighborhood.[36] He later dedicated his autobiography to Elsa Gidlow, for whom he held a great affection.

Regarding his intentions, Watts attempted to lessen the alienation that accompanies the experience of being human that he felt plagued the modern Westerner, and (like his fellow British expatriate and friend, Aldous Huxley) to lessen the ill will that was an unintentional by-product of alienation from the natural world. He felt such teaching could improve the world, at least to a degree. He also articulated the possibilities for greater incorporation of aesthetics (for example: better architecture, more art, more fine cuisine) in American life. In his autobiography he wrote, “… cultural renewal comes about when highly differentiated cultures mix”.[37]

In his last novel, Island (1962), Aldous Huxley mentions the religious practice of maithuna as being something like what Roman Catholics call “coitus reservatus“. A few years before, Watts had discussed the theme in his own book, Nature, Man and Woman, in which he discusses the possibility of the practice being known to early Christians and of it being kept secretly by the Church.

Later years

In his writings of the 1950s, he conveyed his admiration for the practicality in the historical achievements of Chán (Zen) in the Far East, for it had fostered farmers, architects, builders, folk physicians, artists, and administrators among the monks who had lived in the monasteries of its lineages. In his mature work, he presents himself as “Zennist” in spirit as he wrote in his last book, Tao: The Watercourse Way. Child rearing, the arts, cuisine, education, law and freedom, architecture, sexuality, and the uses and abuses of technology were all of great interest to him. Though known for his Zen teachings, he was also influenced by ancient Hindu scriptures, especially Vedanta, and spoke extensively about the nature of the divine reality which Man misses: how the contradiction of opposites is the method of life and the means of cosmic and human evolution; how our fundamental Ignorance is rooted in the exclusive nature of mind and ego; how to come in touch with the Field of Consciousness and Light, and other cosmic principles. These are discussed in great detail in dozens of hours of audio that are in part captured in the ‘Out of Your Mind’ series.

Watts sought to resolve his feelings of alienation from the institutions of marriage and the values of American society, as revealed in his classic comments on love relationships in “Divine Madness” and on perception of the organism-environment in “The Philosophy of Nature”. In looking at social issues he was quite concerned with the necessity for international peace, for tolerance and understanding among disparate cultures. He also came to feel acutely conscious of a growing ecological predicament; writing, for example, in the early 1960s: “Can any melting or burning imaginable get rid of these ever-rising mountains of ruin—especially when the things we make and build are beginning to look more and more like rubbish even before they are thrown away?”[38] These concerns were later expressed in a television pilot made for NET (National Educational Television) filmed at his mountain retreat in 1971 in which he noted that the single track of conscious attention was wholly inadequate for interactions with a multi-tracked world.

Political stance

Watts disliked much in the conventional idea of “progress”. He hoped for change, but he preferred amiable, semi-isolated rural social enclaves, and also believed in tolerance for social misfits and eccentric artists. Watts decried the suburbanization of the countryside and the way of life that went with it. In one campus lecture tour, which Watts titled “The End to the Put-Down of Man”, Watts presented positive images for both nature and humanity, spoke in favor of the various stages of human development (including the teenage years), reproached excessive cynicism and rivalry, and extolled intelligent creativity, good architecture and food.[citation needed]

On spiritual and social identity

In regards to his ethical outlook, Watts felt that absolute morality had nothing to do with the fundamental realization of one’s deep spiritual identity. He advocated social rather than personal ethics. In his writings, Watts was increasingly concerned with ethics applied to relations between humanity and the natural environment and between governments and citizens. He wrote out of an appreciation of a racially and culturally diverse social landscape.

He often said that he wished to act as a bridge between the ancient and the modern, between East and West, and between culture and nature.

Watts led some tours for Westerners to the Buddhist temples of Japan. He also studied some movements from the traditional Chinese martial art taijiquan, with an Asian colleague, Al Chung-liang Huang.

Worldview

In several of his later publications, especially Beyond Theology and The Book: On the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are, Watts put forward a worldview, drawing on Hinduism, Chinese philosophy, pantheism or panentheism, and modern science, in which he maintains that the whole universe consists of a cosmic Self playing hide-and-seek (Lila); hiding from itself (Maya) by becoming all the living and non-living things in the universe and forgetting what it really is – the upshot being that we are all IT in disguise. In this worldview, Watts asserts that our conception of ourselves as an “ego in a bag of skin,” or “skin-encapsulated ego” is a myth; the entities we call the separate “things” are merely aspects or features of the whole.

Watts’ books frequently include discussions reflecting his keen interest in patterns that occur in nature and which are repeated in various ways and at a wide range of scales – including the patterns to be discerned in the history of civilizations.[39][40]

Death

In October 1973, Watts returned from a European lecture tour to his cabin in Druid Heights. Friends of Watts had been concerned about him for some time over what they considered his excessive drinking of alcohol.[41] On 16 November 1973, he died in his sleep. He was reported to have been under treatment for a heart condition.[42] His body was cremated shortly thereafter. His ashes were split with half buried near his library at Druid Heights and half at the Green Gulch Monastery.

A personal account of Watts’ last years and approach to death is given by Al Chung-liang Huang in Tao: The Watercourse Way.[43]

Personal life

Watts married three times and had seven children (five daughters and two sons). Watts met Eleanor Everett in 1936, when her mother, Ruth Fuller Everett, brought her to London to study piano. They met at the Buddhist Lodge, were engaged the following year and married in April 1938. A daughter, Joan, was born in November 1938 and another, Anne, was born in 1942. Their marriage ended in 1949, but Watts continued to correspond with his former mother-in-law.[44]

Jean Burden, his lover and the inspiration for Nature, Man and Woman, remained in his thoughts to the end of his life.

In 1950, Watts married Dorothy DeWitt and moved to San Francisco in early 1951 to teach. They began a family that grew to include five children: Tia, Mark, Richard, Lila, and Diane. The couple separated in the early 1960s after Watts met Mary Jane Yates King while lecturing in New York. After a difficult divorce he married King in 1964. Watts lived with Mary Jane in Sausalito, California, in the mid-1960s.[45] He divided his later years between a houseboat in Sausalito called the Vallejo,[46]and a secluded cabin in Druid Heights, on the southwest flank of Mount Tamalpais north of San Francisco, California.

Watts’ eldest daughters, Joan Watts and Anne Watts, own and manage most of the copyrights to his books. His son, Mark Watts, serves as curator of his father’s audio, video and film and has published content of some of his spoken lectures in print format.

Bibliography

(ISBN’s for titles originally published prior to 1974 are for reprint editions)

Posthumous publications

  • 1974 The Essence of Alan Watts, ed. Mary Jane Watts, Celestial Arts
  • 1975 Tao: The Watercourse Way, with Chungliang Al Huang, Pantheon
  • 1976 Essential Alan Watts, ed. Mark Watts,
  • 1978 Uncarved Block, Unbleached Silk: The Mystery of Life
  • 1979 Om: Creative Meditations, ed. Mark Watts
  • 1982 Play to Live, ed. Mark Watts
  • 1983 Way of Liberation: Essays and Lectures on the Transformation of the Self, ed. Mark Watts
  • 1985 Out of the Trap, ed. Mark Watts
  • 1986 Diamond Web, ed. Mark Watts
  • 1987 The Early Writings of Alan Watts, ed. John Snelling, Dennis T. Sibley, and Mark Watts
  • 1990 The Modern Mystic: A New Collection of the Early Writings of Alan Watts, ed. John Snelling and Mark Watts
  • 1994 Talking Zen, ed. Mark Watts
  • 1995 Become What You Are, Shambhala, expanded ed. 2003. ISBN 1-57062-940-4
  • 1995 Buddhism: The Religion of No-Religion, ed. Mark Watts A preview from Google Books
  • 1995 The Philosophies of Asia, ed. Mark Watts
  • 1995 The Tao of Philosophy, ed. Mark Watts, edited transcripts, Tuttle Publishing, 1999. ISBN 0-8048-3204-8
  • 1996 Myth and Religion, ed. Mark Watts
  • 1997 Taoism: Way Beyond Seeking, ed. Mark Watts
  • 1997 Zen and the Beat Way, ed. Mark Watts
  • 1998 Culture of Counterculture, ed. Mark Watts
  • 1999 Buddhism: The Religion of No-Religion, ed. Mark Watts, edited transcripts, Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 0-8048-3203-X
  • 2000 What Is Zen?, ed. Mark Watts, New World Library. ISBN 0-394-71951-4 A preview from Google Books
  • 2000 What Is Tao?, ed. Mark Watts, New World Library. ISBN 1-57731-168-X
  • 2000 Still the Mind: An Introduction to Meditation, ed. Mark Watts, New World Library. ISBN 1-57731-214-7
  • 2000 Eastern Wisdom, ed. Mark Watts, MJF Books. ISBN 1-56731-491-0, three books in one volume: What is Zen?, What is Tao?, and An Introduction to Meditation (Still the Mind). Assembled from transcriptions of audio tape recordings made by his son Mark, of lectures and seminars given by Alan Watts during the last decade of his life.
  • 2002 Zen, the Supreme Experience: The Newly Discovered Scripts, ed. Mark Watts, Vega
  • 2006 Eastern Wisdom, Modern Life: Collected Talks, 1960–1969, New World Library

Audio and video works, essays

Including recordings of lectures at major universities and multi-session seminars.

  • 1960 Eastern Wisdom and Modern Life, television series, Season 1 (1959) and Season 2 (1960)
  • 1960 Essential Lectures
  • 1960 Nature of Consciousness (here)
  • 1960 The Value of Psychotic Experience
  • 1960 The World As Emptiness
  • 1960 From Time to Eternity
  • 1960 Lecture On Zen
  • 1960 The Cross of Cards
  • 1960 Taoism
  • 1962 This Is It – Alan Watts and friends in a spontaneous musical happening (Long playing album – MEA LP 1007)
  • 1968 Psychedelics & Religious Experience, in California Law Review (here)
  • 1969 Why Not Now: The Art of Meditation
  • 1971 A Conversation With Myself: Part 1 on YouTube, Part 2 on YouTube, Part 3 on YouTube, Part 4 on YouTube
  • 1972 The Art of Contemplation, Village Press
  • 1972 The Way of Liberation in Zen Buddhism, Alan Watts Journal, vol. 2, nr 1
  • 1994 Zen: The Best of Alan Watts (VHS)
  • 2004 Out of Your Mind: Essential Listening from the Alan Watts Audio Archives, Sounds True, Inc. Unabridged edition,
  • 2005 Do You Do It, or Does It Do You?: How to let the universe meditate you (CD)
  • 2007 Zen Meditations with Alan Watts, DVD (here)
  • 2013 What If Money Was No Object? (3 minutes) on YouTube

Biographical publications

  • Furlong, Monica 1986 Genuine Fake: a Biography of Alan Watts. Heinemann. (or titled Zen Effects: The Life of Alan Watts as published by Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, ISBN 0-395-45392-5)
  • Lhermite, Pierre 1983 Alan Watts, Taoïste d’Occident, éd. La Table Ronde.
  • Stuart, David 1976 (pseudonym for Edwin Palmer Hoyt, Jr.) Alan Watts: The Rise and Decline of the Ordained Shaman of the Counterculture. Chilton Book Co, Pa.

In popular culture

Literature

  • Watt’s appears in two books written by Jack Kerouac. Due to the objections of his publishers, Kerouac was not permitted to use the real names of the people featured in his books. Therefore, Watt’s appears as Arthur Whane in the book The Dharma Bums and Alex Aums in Desolation Angels.

Music

  • Watts’ talks inspired Van Morrison to write the song “Alan Watts Blues” for his 1987 album Poetic Champions Compose.
  • Psytrance artist Mekkanikka features samples of Watts describing the Chinese conception of nature, as that which proceeds involuntarily and in essence uncontrollably, throughout the 2006 song “Let Go”.
  • The math rock band Giraffes? Giraffes! sample Watts in their song “I Am S/H(im)e[r] As You Am S/H(im)e[r] As You Are Me And We Am I And I Are All Our Together: Our Collective Consciousness’ Psychogenic Fugue”, off of their 2007 album “More Skin With Milk-Mouth”.
  • Samples from lectures by Alan Watts are featured in the intros or endings of several of STRFKR songs, including 2008’s “Florida”, “Isabella of Castile”; 2009’s “Medicine”; 2010’s “Pistol Pete”; 2011’s “Mystery Cloud”, “Hungry Ghost” and “Quality Time”, and in their 2016 album ‘Being No One, Going Nowhere‘ on the song “Interspace”.
  • Ott features samples of Alan Watts lectures in his 2011 album Mir, on the first track, “One Day I Wish to Have This Kind of Time”.
  • The artist Will Cady included samples of Watts’ lecture “The Dream of Life” in a 2013 single “What Fills The Gap”.[50]
  • Around 2013, many Chillstep producers began sampling Alan Watts’ recorded speeches in their music, resulting in what is called Philosophystep.[51]
  • Nothing More‘s 2014 self-titled album has passages from Watts’s lectures incorporated into the background of two songs. Both Gyre and Pyre consist of instrumentals with Watts’ quotes used over the music.
  • The progressive metal band The Contortionist features a sample of Alan Watts at the end of their 2014 album Language.
  • In 2015, Logic sampled the “What Do I Desire (What If Money Was No Object)” lecture on his 2015 album The Incredible True Story in the title song. Watt’s lecture concludes the album before it transitions to an audio cut-scene consistent with the rest of the album.
  • A sample of Watt’s lecture “The Spectrum of Love” begins the song “Intro/Spectrum” by the band HÆLOS on their 2016 album Full Circle
  • The metalcore band Architects released an album in 2016 entitled All Our Gods Have Abandoned Us, which includes Watts’ “The Mercy of Nature” quotes in the song Memento Mori.
  • Sound Tribe Sector 9 features samples of Alan Watts in their live performances of the songs “World Go Round” and “Totem”.

Film

  • The 2013 film Her features Watts as an artificially intelligent operating system, portrayed by Brian Cox.[52]
  • The 2014 Red Bull Media House/Matchstick Productions skiing documentary Days Of My Youth uses Watts’ spoken word in a number of sequences through the film.
  • In recent years[when?], portions of Watts’ lectures have been popularized by a series of animated internet videos.[53]

TV

  • In the 2007-09 US-aired NBC TV series Life, Damian Lewis’ character often listens to Alan Watts’ recordings in his car and their significance as woven into the plot.

Notes

  1. Jump up^ James Craig Holte The Conversion Experience in America: A ‘Sourcebook on American Religious Conversion Autobiography page 199
  2. Jump up^ Watts, Alan W. (1973). In My Own Way: An Autobiography 1915–1965. New York: Pantheon Books. p. 280.
  3. Jump up^ David, Erik (2006). The Visionary State: A Journey through California’s Spiritual Landscape. Chronicle Books. ISBN 0-8118-4835-3.
  4. Jump up^ Watts, Alan W. 1973, Part 1
  5. Jump up^ Zen Effects: The Life of Alan Watts, by Monica Furlong, p. 12
  6. Jump up^ Zen Effects: The Life of Alan Watts, by Monica Furlong, p. 22
  7. Jump up^ Watts, Alan W. 1973, p. 322
  8. Jump up^ Watts, Alan W. 1973, pp. 71–72
  9. Jump up^ Watts, Alan W. 1957, Part 2, Chapter 4
  10. Jump up^ Watts, Alan W. 1973, p. 60
  11. Jump up^ Watts, Alan W. 1973, p. 102
  12. Jump up^ Watts, Alan W. 1973, pp. 78–82
  13. Jump up^ Watts, Alan W. 1947/1971 Behold the Spirit, revised edition. New York: Random House / Vintage. p. 32
  14. Jump up^ Watts, Alan W., 1957, p.11
  15. Jump up^ “Alan Wilson Watts”. Encyclopedia of World Biography.
  16. Jump up^ KPFA Folio, Volume 13, no. 1, 9–22 April 1962, p. 14. Retrieved at archive.org on 26 November 2014.
  17. Jump up^ KPFA Folio, Volume 14, no. 1, 8–21 April 1963, p. 19. Retrieved at archive.org on 26 November 2014.
  18. Jump up^ Susan Krieger, Hip Capitalism, 1979, Sage Publications, Beverly Hills, ISBN 0-8039-1263-3 pbk., p. 170.
  19. Jump up^ KKUP Program Schedule. Retrieved on 26 November 2014.
  20. Jump up^ KPFK Program Schedule. Retrieved on 26 November 2014.
  21. Jump up^ KGNU Program Schedule. Retrieved on 26 November 2014.
  22. Jump up^ Watts, Alan W. 1973, p. 321.
  23. Jump up^ Alan Watts, “Eastern Wisdom and Modern Life, Season 1 (1959)” and Season 2 (1960), KQED public television series, San Francisco
  24. Jump up^ Ropp, Robert S. de 1995, 2002 Warrior’s Way: a Twentieth Century Odyssey. Nevada City, CA: Gateways, pp. 333-334.
  25. Jump up^ The Joyous Cosmology: Adventures in the Chemistry of Consciousness (the quote is new to the 1965/1970 edition (page 26), and not contained in the original 1962 edition of the book).
  26. Jump up^ William Warren Bartley, Werner Erhard, The Transformation of a Man
  27. Jump up^ “Alan Watts – Life and Works”.
  28. Jump up^ “Deoxy Org: Alan Watts”.
  29. Jump up^ Weidenbaum, Jonathan. “Complaining about Alan Watts”.
  30. Jump up^ Kapleau 1967, pp. 21–22
  31. Jump up^ Aitken 1997, p. 30. [1]
  32. Jump up^ Stuart, David 1976 Alan Watts. Pennsylvania: Chilton.
  33. Jump up^ Chadwick, D: Crooked Cucumber: The Life and Zen Teaching of Shunryu Suzuki, Broadway Books,2000
  34. Jump up^ ^ Davis, Erik (May 2005). Druids and Ferries “Druids and Ferries”. Arthur (Brooklyn: Arthur Publishing Corp.) (16). http://www.techgnosis.com/index_druid.html Druids and Ferries.
  35. Jump up^ Davis, Erik (May 2005). “Druids and Ferries”. Arthur. Brooklyn: Arthur Publishing Corp. (16).
  36. Jump up^ The Joyous Cosmology, p. v
  37. Jump up^ Watts, Alan W. 1973, p. 247.
  38. Jump up^ The Joyous Cosmology, p. 63
  39. Jump up^ De Ropp, Robert S. 2002 Warrior’s Way. Nevada City, CA: Gateways, p. 334.
  40. Jump up^ Watts, Alan W. 1947/1971, pp. 25–28.
  41. Jump up^ Zen Effects: The Life of Alan Watts, by Monica Furlong
  42. Jump up^ “Alan Watts, Zen Philosopher, Writer and Teacher, 58, Dies”. The New York Times. 16 November 1973. Retrieved 6 March 2013.
  43. Jump up^ Watts, Alan (1975). Huang, Chungliang Al, ed. TAO: The Watercourse Way (Foreword). New York: Pantheon Books. pp. vii–xiii. ISBN 0-394-73311-8.
  44. Jump up^ Stirling 2006, pg. 27
  45. Jump up^ The Book on the Taboo Against Knowing Who You Are (1966)
  46. Jump up^ Watts, Alan, 1973, pp. 300–304
  47. Jump up^ Theologia Mystica at WorldCat
  48. Jump up^ The Supreme Identity atWorldCat
  49. Jump up^ Nonsense at WorldCat
  50. Jump up^ Will Cady (2013-02-28), Will Cady – What Fills The Gap (feat. Alan Watts), retrieved 2016-08-07
  51. Jump up^ https://www.buzzfeed.com/theant/people-are-mixing-alan-watts-with-chillstep-music-o4ff
  52. Jump up^ “Her (2013)”. IMDb.com, Inc. Retrieved 31 December 2013.
  53. Jump up^ Flash Animated Philosophy From South Park Creators www.coldhardflash.com

References

  • Aitken, Robert. Original Dwelling Place. Counterpoint. Washington, D.C. 1997. ISBN 1-887178-41-4 (paperback)
  • Charters, Ann (ed.). The Portable Beat Reader. Penguin Books. New York. 1992. ISBN 0-670-83885-3 (hard cover); ISBN 0-14-015102-8 (paperback)
  • Furlong, Monica, Zen Effects: The Life of Alan Watts Houghton Mifflin. New York. 1986 ISBN 0-395-45392-5, Skylight Paths 2001 edition of the biography, with new foreword by author: ISBN 1-893361-32-2
  • Gidlow, Elsa, “Elsa:I Come With My Songs”. Bootlegger Press and Druid Heights Books, San Francisco. 1986.

ISBN 0-912932-12-0

  • Kapleau, Philip. Three Pillars of Zen (1967) Beacon Press. ISBN 0-8070-5975-7
  • Stirling, Isabel. Zen Pioneer: The Life & Works of Ruth Fuller Sasak, Shoemaker & Hoard. 2006. ISBN 978-1-59376-110-3
  • Watts, Alan, In My Own Way. New York. Random House Pantheon. 1973 ISBN 0-394-46911-9 (his autobiography)

Further reading

  • Clark, David K. The Pantheism of Alan Watts. Downers Grove, Ill. Inter-Varsity Press. 1978. ISBN 0-87784-724-X

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alan_Watts

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Robert Baer –Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude — Videos

Posted on January 10, 2017. Filed under: American History, Blogroll, Books, Business, Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Communications, Corruption, history, Islam, Law, liberty, Life, Links, Love, media, Natural Gas, Non-Fiction, Oil, People, Philosophy, Photos, Politics, Rants, Raves, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Religion, Resources, Security, Shite, Spying, Strategy, Sunni, Talk Radio, Television, Terrorism, Video, War, Wealth, Weapons, Welfare, Wisdom, Work | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

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Conversations With History – Robert Baer

28 Pages, “silly media”, ex-CIA Baer

Bob Baer: A fascinating and candid look into the life of a former CIA Agent.

Politics Book Review: Sleeping with the Devil: How Washington Sold Our Soul for Saudi Crude by Ro…

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Unconditional Positive Regard — Anticipation –You Can Get What You Want — Change Your Expectations — Choose What You Want! — Commit To Mastery — Love — Videos

Posted on December 16, 2016. Filed under: Babies, Blogroll, Communications, Entertainment, Faith, Family, Friends, Heroes, liberty, Life, Literacy, Love, Mastery, media, Music, Music, People, Philosophy, Programming, Radio, Raves, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Success, Television, Video, Wealth, Wisdom, Work, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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The first 20 hours — how to learn anything | Josh Kaufman | TEDxCSU

Unconditional positive regard — the power of self acceptance | Michelle Charfen | TEDxRedondoBeach

After watching this, your brain will not be the same | Lara Boyd | TEDxVancouver

Why you don’t get what you want; it’s not what you expect | Jennice Vilhauer | TEDxPeachtree

Bill Gates on Expertise: 10,000 Hours and a Lifetime of Fanaticism

CHANGE YOUR MIND AND BECOME SUCCESSFUL – Best Motivational Videos Compilation for 2017

Malcolm Gladwell: Outliers

Tim Ferriss Scoffs at Gladwell’s 10,000 Hours

Tim Ferriss shares how to master any skill by deconstructing it | The Next Web

The Rolling Stones – You Can’t Always Get What You Want (TV Show ’69)

I saw her today at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she would meet her connection
At her feet was a footloose man
No, you can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometime you find
You get what you need
I saw her today at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she was gonna meet her connection
At her feet was a footloose man
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you might find
You get what you need
And I went down to the demonstration
To get my fair share of abuse
Singing, “We’re gonna vent our frustration
If we don’t we’re gonna blow a 50-amp fuse”
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes well you just might find
You get what you need
I went down to the Chelsea drugstore
To get your prescription filled
I was standing in line with Mr. Jimmy
And man, did he look pretty ill
We decided that we would have a soda
My favorite flavor, cherry red
I sung my song to Mr. Jimmy
Yeah, and he said one word to me, and that was “dead”
I said to him
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You get what you need
You get what you need–yeah, oh baby
I saw her today at the reception
In her glass was a bleeding man
She was practiced at the art of deception
Well I could tell by her blood-stained hands
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
You can’t always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need

Carly Simon – Anticipation

Lyrics

We can never know about the days to come
But we think about them anyway, yay
And I wonder if I’m really with you now
Or just chasin’ after some finer day

Anticipation, anticipation
Is makin’ me late
Is keepin’ me waitin’

And I tell you how easy it feels to be with you
And how right your arms feel around me
But I, I rehearsed those lines just late last night
When I was thinkin’ about how right tonight might be

Anticipation, anticipation
Is makin’ me late
Is keepin’ me waitin’

And tomorrow we might not be together
I’m no prophet and I don’t know nature’s ways
So I’ll try and see into your eyes right now
And stay right here ’cause these are the good old days

And stay right here ’cause these are the good old days
(These are the good old days)
(These are the good old days)
(These are the good old days)
(These are…..the good old days)

Paul McCartney, Joe Cocker, Eric Clapton & Rod Stewart – All You Need Is Love (LIVE) HD

“All You Need Is Love”

Love, love, love
Love, love, love
Love, love, love

There’s nothing you can do that can’t be done
Nothing you can sing that can’t be sung
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
It’s easy

Nothing you can make that can’t be made
No one you can save that can’t be saved
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you in time
It’s easy

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

Love, love, love
Love, love, love
Love, love, love

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

Nothing you can know that isn’t known
Nothing you can see that isn’t shown
Nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be
It’s easy

All you need is love
All you need is love
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need

All you need is love (All together, now!)
All you need is love (Everybody!)
All you need is love, love
Love is all you need
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Yee-hai! (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)

Yesterday (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Love is all you need (Love is all you need)
Oh yeah! (Love is all you need)
She loves you, yeah yeah yeah (Love is all you need)
She loves you, yeah yeah yeah (Love is all you need)

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Carl R. Rogers — On Becoming A Person — A Way of Being — Client -Centered Therapy — Videos

Posted on December 16, 2016. Filed under: Articles, Blogroll, Books, Education, Law, liberty, Life, Love, media, Non-Fiction, People, Philosophy, Photos, Press, Psychology, Raymond Thomas Pronk, Television, Uncategorized, Video, Wealth, Welfare, Wisdom, Work | Tags: , , , , |

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Carl Rogers: The Conversation

Carl Rogers theory on self (PSY)

01-Carl Rogers on Empathy

“Journey Into Self” Carl Rogers

Carl Rogers on Person-Centered Therapy Video

Carl Rogers Part 1 Person Centered Approach to Peace

Carl Rogers, The Evolution of Psychotherapy Conference, 1985

Carl Rogers: Facilitating Peace: Insights from Three Experiences, 1985

Carl Rogers: Mutual Understanding and Communication, 1985

Person-Centered Approach to World Peace with Carl R. Rogers

Mr. Lin

The Therapist

The Client

Carl Rogers and Paul Tillich p.1

Carl Rogers Empathy Lecture parts 1 and 2

Sylvia: The Struggle for Self-Acceptance

Carl Rogers speaking at UCLA 4/7/1967

Carl Rogers interviews: Richie

May, Rogers, Satir, and Szasz at The Evolution of Psychotherapy conference, 1985

Three approaches to psychotherapy – All Three session

Humanistic theory | Behavior | MCAT | Khan Academy

Rogers In Ten Minutes

Humanist Theory

Person Centred Therapy

Unconditional positive regard — the power of self acceptance | Michelle Charfen | TEDxRedondoBeach

Recollections A Celebration of the Life of Carl Rogers

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Carl Rogers

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
For other people named Carl Rogers, see Carl Rogers (disambiguation).
Carl Rogers
Carlrogers.jpg
Born January 8, 1902
Oak Park, Illinois, U.S.
Died February 4, 1987 (aged 85)
San Diego, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Fields Psychology
Institutions Ohio State University
University of Chicago
University of Wisconsin–Madison
Western Behavioral Sciences Institute
Center for Studies of the Person
Alma mater University of Wisconsin–Madison
Teachers College, Columbia University
Known for The Person-centered approach (e.g., Client-centered therapy, Student-centered learning, Rogerian argument)
Influences Otto Rank, Kurt Goldstein, Charles Darwin, Karl Marx, Sigmund Freud, B.F. Skinner, Friedrich Nietzsche, Alfred Adler
Notable awards Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions to Psychology (1956, APA); Award for Distinguished Contributions to Applied Psychology as a Professional Practice (1972, APA); 1964 Humanist of the Year (American Humanist Association)

Carl Ransom Rogers (January 8, 1902 – February 4, 1987) was an American psychologist and among the founders of the humanistic approach (or client-centered approach) to psychology. Rogers is widely considered to be one of the founding fathers of psychotherapy research and was honored for his pioneering research with the Award for Distinguished Scientific Contributions by the American Psychological Association (APA) in 1956.

The person-centered approach, his own unique approach to understanding personality and human relationships, found wide application in various domains such as psychotherapy and counseling (client-centered therapy), education (student-centered learning), organizations, and other group settings. For his professional work he was bestowed the Award for Distinguished Professional Contributions to Psychology by the APA in 1972. In a study by Haggbloom et al. (2002) using six criteria such as citations and recognition, Rogers was found to be the sixth most eminent psychologist of the 20th century and second, among clinicians, only to Sigmund Freud.[1]

Biography

Rogers was born on January 8, 1902, in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago. His father, Walter A. Rogers, was a civil engineer and his mother, Julia M. Cushing,[2][3]was a homemaker and devout PentecostalChristian. Carl was the fourth of their six children.[4]

Rogers was intelligent and could read well before kindergarten. Following an education in a strict religious and ethical environment as an altar boy at the vicarage of Jimpley, he became a rather isolated, independent and disciplined person, and acquired a knowledge and an appreciation for the scientific method in a practical world. His first career choice was agriculture, at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, where he was a part of the fraternity of Alpha Kappa Lambda, followed by history and then religion. At age 20, following his 1922 trip to Peking, China, for an international Christian conference, he started to doubt his religious convictions. To help him clarify his career choice, he attended a seminar entitled Why am I entering the Ministry?, after which he decided to change his career. In 1924, he graduated from University of Wisconsin and enrolled at Union Theological Seminary. He later became an atheist.[5]

After two years he left the seminary to attend Teachers College, Columbia University, obtaining an MA in 1928 and a PhD in 1931. While completing his doctoral work, he engaged in child study. In 1930, Rogers served as director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children in Rochester, New York. From 1935 to 1940 he lectured at the University of Rochester and wrote The Clinical Treatment of the Problem Child (1939), based on his experience in working with troubled children. He was strongly influenced in constructing his client-centered approach by the post-Freudian psychotherapeutic practice of Otto Rank.[6] In 1940 Rogers became professor of clinical psychology at Ohio State University, where he wrote his second book, Counseling and Psychotherapy (1942). In it, Rogers suggested that the client, by establishing a relationship with an understanding, accepting therapist, can resolve difficulties and gain the insight necessary to restructure their life.

In 1945, he was invited to set up a counseling center at the University of Chicago. In 1947 he was elected President of the American Psychological Association.[7] While a professor of psychology at the University of Chicago (1945–57), Rogers helped to establish a counseling center connected with the university and there conducted studies to determine the effectiveness of his methods. His findings and theories appeared in Client-Centered Therapy (1951) and Psychotherapy and Personality Change (1954). One of his graduate students at the University of Chicago, Thomas Gordon, established the Parent Effectiveness Training (P.E.T.) movement. Another student, Eugene T. Gendlin, who was getting his Ph.D. in philosophy, developed the practice of Focusing based on Rogerian listening. In 1956, Rogers became the first President of the American Academy of Psychotherapists.[8] He taught psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1957–63), during which time he wrote one of his best-known books, On Becoming a Person (1961). Carl Rogers and Abraham Maslow (1908–70) pioneered a movement called humanistic psychology which reached its peak in the 1960s. In 1961, he was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.[9] Carl Rogers was also one of the people who questioned the rise of McCarthyism in 1950s. Through articles, he criticized society for its backward-looking affinities.[10]

Rogers continued teaching at University of Wisconsin until 1963, when he became a resident at the new Western Behavioral Sciences Institute (WBSI) in La Jolla, California. Rogers left the WBSI to help found the Center for Studies of the Person in 1968. His later books include Carl Rogers on Personal Power (1977) and Freedom to Learn for the 80’s (1983). He remained a resident of La Jolla for the rest of his life, doing therapy, giving speeches and writing until his sudden death in 1987. In 1987, Rogers suffered a fall that resulted in a fractured pelvis: he had life alert and was able to contact paramedics. He had a successful operation, but his pancreas failed the next night and he died a few days later.

Rogers’s last years were devoted to applying his theories in situations of political oppression and national social conflict, traveling worldwide to do so. In Belfast, Northern Ireland, he brought together influential Protestants and Catholics; in South Africa, blacks and whites; in Brazil people emerging from dictatorship to democracy; in the United States, consumers and providers in the health field. His last trip, at age 85, was to the Soviet Union, where he lectured and facilitated intensive experiential workshops fostering communication and creativity. He was astonished at the numbers of Russians who knew of his work.

Together with his daughter, Natalie Rogers, and psychologists Maria Bowen, Maureen O’Hara, and John K. Wood, between 1974 and 1984, Rogers convened a series of residential programs in the US, Europe, Brazil and Japan, the Person-Centered Approach Workshops, which focused on cross-cultural communications, personal growth, self-empowerment, and learning for social change.

Theory

Rogers’ theory of the self is considered to be humanistic, existential, and phenomenological.[11] His theory is based directly on the “phenomenal field” personality theory of Combs and Snygg (1949).[12] Rogers’ elaboration of his own theory is extensive. He wrote 16 books and many more journal articles describing it. Prochaska and Norcross (2003) states Rogers “consistently stood for an empirical evaluation of psychotherapy. He and his followers have demonstrated a humanistic approach to conducting therapy and a scientific approach to evaluating therapy need not be incompatible.”

Nineteen propositions

His theory (as of 1953) was based on 19 propositions:[13]

  1. All individuals (organisms) exist in a continually changing world of experience (phenomenal field) of which they are the center.
  2. The organism reacts to the field as it is experienced and perceived. This perceptual field is “reality” for the individual.
  3. The organism reacts as an organized whole to this phenomenal field.
  4. A portion of the total perceptual field gradually becomes differentiated as the self.
  5. As a result of interaction with the environment, and particularly as a result of evaluational interaction with others, the structure of the self is formed – an organized, fluid but consistent conceptual pattern of perceptions of characteristics and relationships of the “I” or the “me”, together with values attached to these concepts.
  6. The organism has one basic tendency and striving – to actualize, maintain and enhance the experiencing organism.
  7. The best vantage point for understanding behavior is from the internal frame of reference of the individual.
  8. Behavior is basically the goal-directed attempt of the organism to satisfy its needs as experienced, in the field as perceived.
  9. Emotion accompanies, and in general facilitates, such goal directed behavior, the kind of emotion being related to the perceived significance of the behavior for the maintenance and enhancement of the organism.
  10. The values attached to experiences, and the values that are a part of the self-structure, in some instances, are values experienced directly by the organism, and in some instances are values introjected or taken over from others, but perceived in distorted fashion, as if they had been experienced directly.
  11. As experiences occur in the life of the individual, they are either, a) symbolized, perceived and organized into some relation to the self, b) ignored because there is no perceived relationship to the self structure, c) denied symbolization or given distorted symbolization because the experience is inconsistent with the structure of the self.
  12. Most of the ways of behaving that are adopted by the organism are those that are consistent with the concept of self.
  13. In some instances, behavior may be brought about by organic experiences and needs which have not been symbolized. Such behavior may be inconsistent with the structure of the self but in such instances the behavior is not “owned” by the individual.
  14. Psychological adjustment exists when the concept of the self is such that all the sensory and visceral experiences of the organism are, or may be, assimilated on a symbolic level into a consistent relationship with the concept of self.
  15. Psychological maladjustment exists when the organism denies awareness of significant sensory and visceral experiences, which consequently are not symbolized and organized into the gestalt of the self structure. When this situation exists, there is a basic or potential psychological tension.
  16. Any experience which is inconsistent with the organization of the structure of the self may be perceived as a threat, and the more of these perceptions there are, the more rigidly the self structure is organized to maintain itself.
  17. Under certain conditions, involving primarily complete absence of threat to the self structure, experiences which are inconsistent with it may be perceived and examined, and the structure of self revised to assimilate and include such experiences.
  18. When the individual perceives and accepts into one consistent and integrated system all her sensory and visceral experiences, then she is necessarily more understanding of others and is more accepting of others as separate individuals.
  19. As the individual perceives and accepts into his self structure more of his organic experiences, he finds that he is replacing his present value system – based extensively on introjections which have been distortedly symbolized – with a continuing organismic valuing process.

In relation to No. 17, Rogers is known for practicing “unconditional positive regard,” which is defined as accepting a person “without negative judgment of …. [a person’s] basic worth.”[14]

Development of the personality

With regard to development, Rogers described principles rather than stages. The main issue is the development of a self-concept and the progress from an undifferentiated self to being fully differentiated.

Self Concept… the organized consistent conceptual gestalt composed of perceptions of the characteristics of ‘I’ or ‘me’ and the perceptions of the relationships of the ‘I’ or ‘me’ to others and to various aspects of life, together with the values attached to these perceptions. It is a gestalt which is available to awareness though not necessarily in awareness. It is a fluid and changing gestalt, a process, but at any given moment it is a specific entity. (Rogers, 1959)[15]

In the development of the self-concept, he saw conditional and unconditional positive regard as key. Those raised in an environment of unconditional positive regard have the opportunity to fully actualize themselves. Those raised in an environment of conditional positive regard feel worthy only if they match conditions (what Rogers describes as conditions of worth) that have been laid down for them by others.

Fully functioning person

Optimal development, as referred to in proposition 14, results in a certain process rather than static state. He describes this as the good life, where the organism continually aims to fulfill its full potential. He listed the characteristics of a fully functioning person (Rogers 1961):[16]

  1. A growing openness to experience – they move away from defensiveness and have no need for subception (a perceptual defense that involves unconsciously applying strategies to prevent a troubling stimulus from entering consciousness).
  2. An increasingly existential lifestyle – living each moment fully – not distorting the moment to fit personality or self-concept but allowing personality and self-concept to emanate from the experience. This results in excitement, daring, adaptability, tolerance, spontaneity, and a lack of rigidity and suggests a foundation of trust. “To open one’s spirit to what is going on now, and discover in that present process whatever structure it appears to have” (Rogers 1961)[16]
  3. Increasing organismic trust – they trust their own judgment and their ability to choose behavior that is appropriate for each moment. They do not rely on existing codes and social norms but trust that as they are open to experiences they will be able to trust their own sense of right and wrong.
  4. Freedom of choice – not being shackled by the restrictions that influence an incongruent individual, they are able to make a wider range of choices more fluently. They believe that they play a role in determining their own behavior and so feel responsible for their own behavior.
  5. Creativity – it follows that they will feel more free to be creative. They will also be more creative in the way they adapt to their own circumstances without feeling a need to conform.
  6. Reliability and constructiveness – they can be trusted to act constructively. An individual who is open to all their needs will be able to maintain a balance between them. Even aggressive needs will be matched and balanced by intrinsic goodness in congruent individuals.
  7. A rich full life – he describes the life of the fully functioning individual as rich, full and exciting and suggests that they experience joy and pain, love and heartbreak, fear and courage more intensely. Rogers’ description of the good life:

    This process of the good life is not, I am convinced, a life for the faint-hearted. It involves the stretching and growing of becoming more and more of one’s potentialities. It involves the courage to be. It means launching oneself fully into the stream of life. (Rogers 1961)[16]

Incongruence

Rogers identified the “real self” as the aspect of one’s being that is founded in the actualizing tendency, follows organismic valuing, needs and receives positive regard and self-regard. It is the “you” that, if all goes well, you will become. On the other hand, to the extent that our society is out of sync with the actualizing tendency, and we are forced to live with conditions of worth that are out of step with organismic valuing, and receive only conditional positive regard and self-regard, we develop instead an “ideal self”. By ideal, Rogers is suggesting something not real, something that is always out of our reach, the standard we cannot meet. This gap between the real self and the ideal self, the “I am” and the “I should” is called incongruity.

Psychopathology

Rogers described the concepts of congruence and incongruence as important ideas in his theory. In proposition #6, he refers to the actualizing tendency. At the same time, he recognized the need for positive regard. In a fully congruent person realizing their potential is not at the expense of experiencing positive regard. They are able to lead lives that are authentic and genuine. Incongruent individuals, in their pursuit of positive regard, lead lives that include falseness and do not realize their potential. Conditions put on them by those around them make it necessary for them to forgo their genuine, authentic lives to meet with the approval of others. They live lives that are not true to themselves, to who they are on the inside out.

Rogers suggested that the incongruent individual, who is always on the defensive and cannot be open to all experiences, is not functioning ideally and may even be malfunctioning. They work hard at maintaining/protecting their self-concept. Because their lives are not authentic this is a difficult task and they are under constant threat. They deploy defense mechanisms to achieve this. He describes two mechanisms: distortion and denial. Distortion occurs when the individual perceives a threat to their self-concept. They distort the perception until it fits their self-concept.

This defensive behavior reduces the consciousness of the threat but not the threat itself. And so, as the threats mount, the work of protecting the self-concept becomes more difficult and the individual becomes more defensive and rigid in their self structure. If the incongruence is immoderate this process may lead the individual to a state that would typically be described as neurotic. Their functioning becomes precarious and psychologically vulnerable. If the situation worsens it is possible that the defenses cease to function altogether and the individual becomes aware of the incongruence of their situation. Their personality becomes disorganised and bizarre; irrational behavior, associated with earlier denied aspects of self, may erupt uncontrollably.

Applications

Person-centered therapy

Rogers originally developed his theory to be the foundation for a system of therapy. He initially called this “non-directive therapy” but later replaced the term “non-directive” with the term “client-centered” and then later used the term “person-centered”. Even before the publication of Client-Centered Therapy in 1951, Rogers believed that the principles he was describing could be applied in a variety of contexts and not just in the therapy situation. As a result, he started to use the term person-centered approach later in his life to describe his overall theory. Person-centered therapy is the application of the person-centered approach to the therapy situation. Other applications include a theory of personality, interpersonal relations, education, nursing, cross-cultural relations and other “helping” professions and situations. In 1946 Rogers co-authored “Counseling with Returned Servicemen,” with John L. Wallen (the creator of the behavioral model known as The Interpersonal Gap),[17] documenting the application of person-centered approach to counseling military personnel returning from the second world war.

The first empirical evidence of the effectiveness of the client-centered approach was published in 1941 at the Ohio State University by Elias Porter, using the recordings of therapeutic sessions between Carl Rogers and his clients.[18] Porter used Rogers’ transcripts to devise a system to measure the degree of directiveness or non-directiveness a counselor employed.[19] The attitude and orientation of the counselor were demonstrated to be instrumental in the decisions made by the client.[20][21]

Learner-centered teaching

The application to education has a large robust research tradition similar to that of therapy with studies having begun in the late 1930s and continuing today (Cornelius-White, 2007). Rogers described the approach to education in Client-Centered Therapy and wrote Freedom to Learn devoted exclusively to the subject in 1969. Freedom to Learn was revised two times. The new Learner-Centered Model is similar in many regards to this classical person-centered approach to education. Rogers and Harold Lyon began a book prior to Rogers death, entitled On Becoming an Effective Teacher — Person-centered Teaching, Psychology, Philosophy, and Dialogues with Carl R. Rogers and Harold Lyon, which was completed by Lyon and Reinhard Tausch and published in 2013 containing Rogers last unpublished writings on person-centered teaching.[22] Rogers had the following five hypotheses regarding learner-centered education:

  1. “A person cannot teach another person directly; a person can only facilitate another’s learning” (Rogers, 1951). This is a result of his personality theory, which states that everyone exists in a constantly changing world of experience in which he or she is the center. Each person reacts and responds based on perception and experience. The belief is that what the student does is more important than what the teacher does. The focus is on the student (Rogers, 1951). Therefore, the background and experiences of the learner are essential to how and what is learned. Each student will process what he or she learns differently depending on what he or she brings to the classroom.
  2. “A person learns significantly only those things that are perceived as being involved in the maintenance of or enhancement of the structure of self” (Rogers, 1951). Therefore, relevancy to the student is essential for learning. The students’ experiences become the core of the course.
  3. “Experience which, if assimilated, would involve a change in the organization of self, tends to be resisted through denial or distortion of symbolism” (Rogers, 1951). If the content or presentation of a course is inconsistent with preconceived information, the student will learn if he or she is open to varying concepts. Being open to consider concepts that vary from one’s own is vital to learning. Therefore, gently encouraging open-mindedness is helpful in engaging the student in learning. Also, it is important, for this reason, that new information be relevant and related to existing experience.
  4. “The structure and organization of self appears to become more rigid under threats and to relax its boundaries when completely free from threat” (Rogers, 1951). If students believe that concepts are being forced upon them, they might become uncomfortable and fearful. A barrier is created by a tone of threat in the classroom. Therefore, an open, friendly environment in which trust is developed is essential in the classroom. Fear of retribution for not agreeing with a concept should be eliminated. A classroom tone of support helps to alleviate fears and encourages students to have the courage to explore concepts and beliefs that vary from those they bring to the classroom. Also, new information might threaten the student’s concept of him- or herself; therefore, the less vulnerable the student feels, the more likely he or she will be able to open up to the learning process.
  5. “The educational situation which most effectively promotes significant learning is one in which (a) threat to the self of the learner is reduced to a minimum and (b) differentiated perception of the field is facilitated” (Rogers, 1951). The instructor should be open to learning from the students and also working to connect the students to the subject matter. Frequent interaction with the students will help achieve this goal. The instructor’s acceptance of being a mentor who guides rather than the expert who tells is instrumental to student-centered, nonthreatening, and unforced learning.

Rogerian rhetorical approach

In 1970, Richard Young, Alton L. Becker, and Kenneth Pike published Rhetoric: Discovery and Change, a widely influential college writing textbook that used a Rogerian approach to communication to revise the traditional Aristotelian framework for rhetoric. The Rogerian method of argument involves each side restating the other’s position to the satisfaction of the other. In a paper, it can be expressed by carefully acknowledging and understanding the opposition, rather than dismissing them.[23]

Cross-cultural relations

The application to cross-cultural relations has involved workshops in highly stressful situations and global locations including conflicts and challenges in South Africa, Central America, and Ireland.[24] Along with Alberto Zucconi and Charles Devonshire, he co-founded the Istituto dell’Approccio Centrato sulla Persona (Person-Centered Approach Institute) in Rome, Italy.

His international work for peace culminated in the Rust Peace Workshop which took place in November 1985 in Rust, Austria. Leaders from 17 nations convened to discuss the topic “The Central America Challenge”. The meeting was notable for several reasons: it brought national figures together as people (not as their positions), it was a private event, and was an overwhelming positive experience where members heard one another and established real personal ties, as opposed to stiffly formal and regulated diplomatic meetings.[25]

Person-centered, dialogic politics

Some scholars believe there is a politics implicit in Rogers’s approach to psychotherapy.[26][27] Toward the end of his life, Rogers came to that view himself.[28] The central tenet of a Rogerian, person-centered politics is that public life does not have to consist of an endless series of winner-take-all battles among sworn opponents; rather, it can and should consist of an ongoing dialogue among all parties. Such dialogue would be characterized by respect among the parties, authentic speaking by each party, and – ultimately – empathic understanding among all parties. Out of such understanding, mutually acceptable solutions would (or at least could) flow.[26][29]

During his last decade, Rogers facilitated or participated in a wide variety of dialogic activities among politicians, activists, and other social leaders, often outside the U.S.[29] In addition, he lent his support to several non-traditional U.S. political initiatives, including the “12-Hour Political Party” of the Association for Humanistic Psychology[30] and the founding of a “transformational” political organization, the New World Alliance.[31]By the 21st century, interest in dialogic approaches to political engagement and change had become widespread, especially among academics and activists.[32] Theorists of a specifically Rogerian, person-centered approach to politics as dialogue have made substantial contributions to that project. [27][33]

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Carl Rogers served on the board of the Human Ecology Fund from the late 50s into the 60s, which was a CIA-funded organization that provided grants to researchers looking into personality. He received money as well. In addition, “he and other people in the field of personality and psychotherapy were given a lot of information about Khrushchev. ‘We were asked to figure out what we thought of him and what would be the best way of dealing with him. And that seemed to be an entirely principled and legitimate aspect. I don’t think we contributed very much, but, anyway, we tried.’ “.[34]

More on the Human Ecology Fund and Carl Rogers: [1], [2], [3]

Selected works by Carl Roger

  • Rogers, Carl. (1939). Clinical Treatment of the Problem Child
  • Rogers, Carl. (1942). Counseling and Psychotherapy: Newer Concepts in Practice.
  • Rogers, Carl. (1951). Client-Centered Therapy: Its Current Practice, Implications and Theory. London: Constable. ISBN 1-84119-840-4.
  • Rogers, C.R. (1957). The necessary and sufficient conditions of therapeutic personality change. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 21: 95-103.
  • Rogers, Carl. (1959). A Theory of Therapy, Personality and Interpersonal Relationships as Developed in the Client-centered Framework. In (ed.) S. Koch, Psychology: A Study of a Science. Vol. 3: Formulations of the Person and the Social Context. New York: McGraw Hill.
  • Rogers, Carl. (1961). On Becoming a Person: A Therapist’s View of Psychotherapy. London: Constable. ISBN 1-84529-057-7.Excerpts
  • Rogers, Carl. (1969). Freedom to Learn: A View of What Education Might Become. (1st ed.) Columbus, Ohio: Charles Merill. Excerpts
  • Rogers, Carl. (1970). On Encounter Groups. New York: Harrow Books, Harper and Row, ISBN 0-06-087045-1
  • Rogers, Carl. (1977). On Personal Power: Inner Strength and Its Revolutionary Impact.
  • Rogers, Carl. (nd, @1978). A personal message from Carl Rogers. In: N. J. Raskin. (2004). “Contributions to Client-Centered Therapy and the Person-Centered Approach.” (pp. v-vi). Herefordshire,United Kingdom: PCCS Books, Ross-on-the-Wye. ISBN 1-898059-57-8
  • Rogers, Carl. (1980). A Way of Being. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.
  • Rogers, Carl. & Stevens, B. (1967). “Person to Person: The Problem of Being Human”. Lafayette, CA: Real People Press.
  • Rogers, Carl R. (1985). The necessary and sufficient conditions of therapeutic personality change. “Journal of Consulting Psychology”, 21(2):95-103.
  • Rogers, Carl, Lyon, Harold C., & Tausch, Reinhard (2013) On Becoming an Effective Teacher – Person-centered Teaching, Psychology, Philosophy, and Dialogues with Carl R. Rogers and Harold Lyon. London: Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-81698-4: http://www.routledge.com/9780415816984/

See als

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carl_Rogers

Person-centered therapy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Person-centered therapy
Intervention
MeSH D009629

Person-centered therapy (PCT) is also known as person-centered psychotherapy, person-centered counseling, client-centered therapy and Rogerian psychotherapy. PCT is a form of psychotherapy developed by psychologistCarl Rogers in the 1940s and 1950s. The goal of PCT is to provide clients with an opportunity to realize how their attitudes and behavior are being affected.[1][further explanation needed]

Although this technique has been criticized by behaviorists for lacking structure and by psychoanalysts for actually providing a conditional relationship,[2] it has proven to be an effective and popular treatment.[3][4][5][6]

History and influences

Person-centered therapy, now considered a founding work in the humanistic school of psychotherapies, began formally with Carl Rogers.[7] “Rogerian” psychotherapy is identified as one of the major school groups, along with psychodynamic psychotherapy, psychoanalysis (most famously Sigmund Freud), classical Adlerian psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy, and existential therapy (such as that pioneered by Rollo May).[8]

Rogers affirmed[7] individual personal experience as the basis and standard for living and therapeutic effect. Rogers identified six conditions which are needed to produce personality changes in clients: relationship, vulnerability to anxiety (on the part of the client), genuineness (the therapist is truly himself or herself and incorporates some self-disclosure), the client’s perception of the therapist’s genuineness, the therapist’s unconditional positive regard for the client, and accurate empathy.[9] This emphasis contrasts with the dispassionate position which may be intended in other therapies, particularly the more extreme behavioral therapies. Living in the present rather than the past or future, with organismic trust, naturalistic faith in your own thoughts and the accuracy in your feelings, and a responsible acknowledgment of your freedom, with a view toward participating fully in our world, contributing to other peoples’ lives, are hallmarks of Roger’s Person-centered therapy. Rogers also claims that the therapeutic process is essentially the accomplishments made by the client. The client having already progressed further along in their growth and maturation development, only progresses further with the aid of a psychologically favored environment.[10]

The necessary and sufficient conditions

Rogers (1957; 1959) stated[9] that there are six necessary and sufficient conditions required for therapeutic change:

  1. Therapist–client psychological contact: a relationship between client and therapist must exist, and it must be a relationship in which each person’s perception of the other is important.
  2. Client incongruence: that incongruence exists between the client’s experience and awareness.
  3. Therapist congruence, or genuineness: the therapist is congruent within the therapeutic relationship. The therapist is deeply involved him or herself — they are not “acting”—and they can draw on their own experiences (self-disclosure) to facilitate the relationship.
  4. Therapist unconditional positive regard (UPR): the therapist accepts the client unconditionally, without judgment, disapproval or approval. This facilitates increased self-regard in the client, as they can begin to become aware of experiences in which their view of self-worth was distorted by others.
  5. Therapist empathic understanding: the therapist experiences an empathic understanding of the client’s internal frame of reference. Accurate empathy on the part of the therapist helps the client believe the therapist’s unconditional love for them.
  6. Client perception: that the client perceives, to at least a minimal degree, the therapist’s UPR and empathic understanding.

Three of these conditions have become known as the ‘Core Conditions’ 3, 4 and 5 (above).

Core conditions

Rogers asserted that the most important factor in successful therapy is the relational climate created by the therapist’s attitude to their client. He specified three interrelated core conditions:

  1. Congruence – the willingness to transparently relate to clients without hiding behind a professional or personal facade.
  2. Unconditional positive regard – the therapist offers an acceptance and prizing for their client for who he or she is without conveying disapproving feelings, actions or characteristics and demonstrating a willingness to attentively listen without interruption, judgement or giving advice.
  3. Empathy – the therapist communicates their desire to understand and appreciate their client’s perspective.

Processes

Rogers believed that a therapist who embodies the three critical and reflexive attitudes (the three ‘Core Conditions’) will help liberate their client to more confidently express their true feelings without fear of judgement. To achieve this, the client-centered therapist carefully avoids directly challenging their client’s way of communicating themselves in the session in order to enable a deeper exploration of the issues most intimate to them and free from external referencing.[11] Rogers was not prescriptive in telling his clients what to do, but believed that the answers to the patients’ questions were within the patient and not the therapist. Accordingly, the therapists’ role was to create a facilitative, empathic environment wherein the patient could discover the answers for him or herself. Reference: Rogers, Lyon, Tausch. On Becoming an Effective Teacher, Routledge 2013. p. 23.

See also

References

Notes

  1. Jump up^ Cepeda, Lisa M.; Davenport, Donna S. (2006). “Person-Centered Therapy and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy: An Integration of Present and Future Awareness”. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research, Practice, Training. Educational Publishing Foundation. 43 (1): 1–12. doi:10.1037/0033-3204.43.1.1.
  2. Jump up^ Prochaska, J. O., & Norcross, J. C. (2007). Systems of Psychotherapy: A Trans-theoretical Analysis, Sixth Edition. Belmont, CA: Thompson Brooks/Cole.
  3. Jump up^ Cooper, M., Watson, J. C., & Hoeldampf, D. (2010). Person-centered and experiential therapies work: A review of the research on counseling, psychotherapy and related practices. Ross-on-Wye, UK: PCCS Books.
  4. Jump up^ Ward, E., King, M., Lloyd, M., Bower, P., Sibbald, B., Farrelly, S., et al. (2000). Randomized controlled trial of non-directive counseling, cognitive-behavior therapy, and usual general practitioner care for patients with depression. I: Clinical effectiveness. British Medical Journal, 321, 1383-1388.
  5. Jump up^ Bower, P., Byford, S., Sibbald, B., Ward, E., King, M., Lloyd, R., et al. (2000). Randomized controlled trial of non-directive counseling, cognitive-behavior therapy, and usual general practitioner care for patients with depression. II: Cost effectiveness. British Medical Journal, 321, 1389-1392.
  6. Jump up^ Shechtman, Z., Pastor, R., 2005. Cognitive-behavioral and humanistic group treatment for children with learning disabilities: A comparison of outcomes and process. Journal of Counseling Psychology 52, 322-336.
  7. ^ Jump up to:a b Prochaska, J.O & Norcross, J.C. 2007. Systems of Psychotherapy: A Trans-theoretical Analysis. Thompson Books/Cole:New York, p.138
  8. Jump up^ Prochaska, J.O & Norcross, J.C. 2007. Systems of Psychotherapy: A Trans-theoretical Analysis. Thompson Books/Cole:New York, p.3
  9. ^ Jump up to:a b Prochaska, J.O & Norcross, J.C. 2007. Systems of Psychotherapy: A Trans-theoretical Analysis. Thompson Books/Cole:New York, p. 142-143
  10. Jump up^ Rogers, Carl (1951). “Client-Centered Therapy” Cambridge Massachusetts: The Riverside Press.
  11. Jump up^ “Person-centered therapy” on the Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders website

Bibliography

  • Arnold, Kyle. (2014). Behind the Mirror: Reflective Listening and its Tain in the Work of Carl Rogers. The Humanistic Psychologist, 42:4 354-369.
  • Bruno, Frank J. (1977). Client-Centered Counseling: Becoming a Person. In Human Adjustment and Personal Growth: Seven Pathways, pp. 362–370. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Cooper, M., O’Hara, M, Schmid, P., and Wyatt, G. (2007). The Handbook of person-centered psychotherapy and counseling. London: Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Rogers, Carl (1961). On Becoming a PersonISBN 0-395-75531-X
  • Rogers, C. (1957) ‘The necessary and sufficient conditions of therapeutic personality change’, Journal of Consulting Psychology, 21 (2): 95-103
  • Rogers, Carl. (1959). A Theory of Therapy, Personality and Interpersonal Relationships as Developed in the Client-centered Framework. In (ed.) S. Koch, Psychology: A Study of a Science. Vol. 3: Formulations of the Person and the Social Context. New York: McGraw Hill.
  • Rogers, Carl (1980). A Way of Being. Boston: Houghton Mifflin
  • Poyrazli, S. (2003, March). Validity of Rogerian Therapy in Turkish Culture: A Cross-Cultural Perspective. Journal of Humanistic Counseling, Education & Development, 42(1), 107-115. Retrieved October 7, 2008, from PsycINFO database.
  • Prochaska, J.O & Norcross, J.C. 2007. Systems of Psychotherapy: A Trans-theoretical Analysis. Thompson Books/Cole:New York.
  • Rogers, Carl (1951). “Client-Centered Therapy” Cambridge Massachusetts: The Riverside Press.
  • Rogers, Carl, Lyon, HC, Tausch, R. (2013). On Becoming an Effective Teacher – Person-centered teaching, Psychology, Philosophy, and Dialogues with Carl R. Rogers and Harold Lyon. London: Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-81698-4: http://www.routledge.com/9780415816984/

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Person-centered_therapy

 

Humanistic psychology is a psychological perspective that rose to prominence in the mid-20th century in answer to the limitations of Sigmund Freud‘s psychoanalytic theory and B. F. Skinner‘s behaviorism.[1] With its roots running from Socrates through the Renaissance, this approach emphasizes individuals’ inherent drive towards self-actualization, the process of realizing and expressing one’s own capabilities and creativity.

It helps the client gain the belief that all people are inherently good.[2] It adopts a holistic approach to human existence and pays special attention to such phenomena as creativity, free will, and positive human potential. It encourages viewing ourselves as a “whole person” greater than the sum of our parts and encourages self exploration rather than the study of behavior in other people. Humanistic psychology acknowledges spiritual aspiration as an integral part of the human psyche. It is linked to the emerging field of transpersonal psychology.[3][4]

Primarily, this type of therapy encourages a self-awareness and mindfulness that helps the client change their state of mind and behaviour from one set of reactions to a healthier one with more productive self-awareness and thoughtful actions. Essentially, this approach allows the merging of mindfulness and behavioural therapy, with positive social support.

In an article from the Association for Humanistic Psychology, the benefits of humanistic therapy are described as having a “crucial opportunity to lead our troubled culture back to its own healthy path. More than any other therapy, Humanistic-Existential therapy models democracy. It imposes ideologies of others upon the client less than other therapeutic practices. Freedom to choose is maximized. We validate our clients’ human potential.”.[2]

In the 20th century, humanistic psychology was referred to as the “third force” in psychology, distinct from earlier, even less humanistic approaches of psychoanalysis and behaviorism. In our post industrial society, humanistic psychology has become more significant; for example, neither psychoanalysis nor behaviorism could have birthed emotional intelligence.

Its principal professional organizations in the US are the Association for Humanistic Psychology and the Society for Humanistic Psychology (Division 32 of the American Psychological Association). In Britain, there is the UK Association for Humanistic Psychology Practitioners.

Origins[edit]

One of humanistic psychology’s early sources was the work of Carl Rogers, who was strongly influenced by Otto Rank, who broke with Freud in the mid-1920s. Rogers’ focus was to ensure that the developmental processes led to healthier, if not more creative, personality functioning. The term ‘actualizing tendency’ was also coined by Rogers, and was a concept that eventually led Abraham Maslow to study self-actualization as one of the needs of humans.[5][6] Rogers and Maslow introduced this positive, humanistic psychology in response to what they viewed as the overly pessimistic view of psychoanalysis.[7][8]

The other sources of inspiration include the philosophies of existentialism and phenomenology.

Conceptual origins

The humanistic approach has its roots in phenomenological and existentialist thought[9] (see Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty and Sartre). Eastern philosophy and psychology also play a central role in humanistic psychology, as well as Judeo-Christian philosophies of personalism, as each shares similar concerns about the nature of human existence and consciousness.[4]

Line drawing of Carl Rogers's head

Carl Rogers (1902–1987), one of the founders of humanistic psychology.

For further information on influential figures in personalism, see: Emmanuel Mounier, Gabriel Marcel, Denis de Rougemont, Jacques Maritain, Martin Buber, Emmanuel Levinas, Max Scheler and Karol Wojtyla

As behaviorism grew out of Ivan Pavlov‘s work with the conditioned reflex, and laid the foundations for academic psychology in the United States associated with the names of John B. Watson and B.F. Skinner, Abraham Maslow gave behaviorism the name “the second force”. Historically “the first force” were psychologists like Sigmund Freud, Alfred Adler, Erik Erikson, Carl Jung, Erich Fromm, Karen Horney, Melanie Klein, Harry Stack Sullivan, and others.[10]

In the late 1930s, psychologists, interested in the uniquely human issues, such as the self, self-actualization, health, hope, love, creativity, nature, being, becoming, individuality, and meaning—that is, a concrete understanding of human existence, included Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers, and Clark Moustakas, who were interested in founding a professional association dedicated to a psychology focused on these features of human capital demanded by post-industrial society.

The humanistic psychology perspective is summarized by five core principles or postulates of humanistic psychology first articulated in an article written by James Bugental in 1964[11]and adapted by Tom Greening,[12] psychologist and long-time editor of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology. The five basic principles of humanistic psychology are:

  1. Human beings, as human, supersede the sum of their parts. They cannot be reduced to components.
  2. Human beings have their existence in a uniquely human context, as well as in a cosmic ecology.
  3. Human beings are aware and are aware of being aware – i.e., they are conscious. Human consciousness always includes an awareness of oneself in the context of other people.
  4. Human beings have the ability to make choices and therefore have responsibility.
  5. Human beings are intentional, aim at goals, are aware that they cause future events, and seek meaning, value, and creativity.

While humanistic psychology is a specific division within the American Psychological Association (Division 32), humanistic psychology is not so much a discipline within psychology as a perspective on the human condition that informs psychological research and practice.

Practical origins

WW II created practical pressures on military psychologists, they had more patients to see and care for than time or resources permitted. The origins of group therapy are here.[citation needed] Eric Berne’s progression of books shows this transition out of what we might call pragmatic psychology of WW II into his later innovation, Transactional Analysis,[citation needed] one of the most influential forms of humanistic Popular Psychology of the later 1960s-1970s.

Orientation to scientific research

Humanistic psychologists generally do not believe that we will understand human consciousness and behavior through Cartesian-Newtonian scientific research.[13] The objection that humanistic psychologists have to traditional research methods is that they are derived from and suited for the physical sciences[14] and not especially appropriate to studying the complexities and nuances of human meaning-making.[15][16][17]

However, humanistic psychology has involved scientific research of human behavior since its inception. For example:

  • Abraham Maslow proposed many of his theories of human growth in the form of testable hypotheses,[18][19][20] and he encouraged human scientists to put them to the test.
  • Shortly after the founding of the American Association of Humanistic Psychology, its president, psychologist Sidney Jourard, began his column by declaring that “research” is a priority. “Humanistic Psychology will be best served if it is undergirded with research that seeks to throw light on the qualities of man that are uniquely human” (emphasis added)[21]
  • In May 1966, the AAHP release a newsletter editorial that confirmed the humanistic psychologist’s “allegiance to meaningfulness in the selection of problems for study and of research procedures, and an opposition to a primary emphasis on objectivity at the expense of significance.”[22] This underscored the importance of research to humanistic psychologists as well as their interest in special forms of human science investigation.
  • Likewise, in 1980, the American Psychological Association’s publication for humanistic psychology (Division 32 of APA) ran an article titled, What makes research humanistic?[23] As Donald Polkinghorne notes, “Humanistic theory does not propose that human action is completely independent of the environment or the mechanical and organic orders of the body, but it does suggest that, within the limits of experienced meanings, persons as unities can choose to act in ways not determined by prior events…and this is the theory we seek to test through our research” (p. 3).

A human science view is not opposed to quantitative methods, but, following Edmund Husserl:

  1. favors letting the methods be derived from the subject matter and not uncritically adopting the methods of natural science,[24] and
  2. advocates for methodological pluralism. Consequently, much of the subject matter of psychology lends itself to qualitative approaches (e.g., the lived experience of grief), and quantitative methods are mainly appropriate when something can be counted without leveling the phenomena (e.g., the length of time spent crying).

Research has remained part of the humanistic psychology agenda, though with more of a holistic than reductionistic focus. Specific humanistic research methods evolved in the decades following the formation of the humanistic psychology movement.[25][26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33][34]

Development of the field

These preliminary meetings eventually led to other developments, which culminated in the description of humanistic psychology as a recognizable “third force” in psychology (first force: psychoanalysis, second force: behaviorism). Significant developments included the formation of the Association for Humanistic Psychology (AHP) in 1961 and the launch of the Journal of Humanistic Psychology (originally “The Phoenix”) in 1961.

Subsequently, graduate programs in Humanistic Psychology at institutions of higher learning grew in number and enrollment. In 1971, humanistic psychology as a field was recognized by the American Psychological Association (APA) and granted its own division (Division 32) within the APA. Division 32 publishes its own academic journal called The Humanistic Psychologist.[4] In 1972, KOCE TV and the Coast Community College District, produced an award winning television series titled As Man Behaves with Carl Rogers as a primary consultant, working with Mathew Duncan as psychologist host and with Bernard Luskin executive producer. This was one of the most viewed television series in psychology ever produced and widely fostered the various aspects of humanistic psychology.[citation needed]

The major theorists considered to have prepared the ground for Humanistic Psychology are Otto Rank, Abraham Maslow, Carl Rogers and Rollo May. Maslow was heavily influenced by Kurt Goldstein during their years together at Brandeis University. Psychoanalytic writers also influenced humanistic psychology. Maslow himself famously acknowledged his “indebtedness to Freud” in Towards a Psychology of Being[35] Other psychoanalytic influences include the work of Wilhelm Reich, who discussed an essentially ‘good’, healthy core self and Character Analysis (1933), and Carl Gustav Jung‘s mythological and archetypal emphasis. Other noteworthy inspirations for, and leaders of the movement include Roberto Assagioli, Gordon Allport, Medard Boss, Martin Buber (close to Jacob L. Moreno), James Bugental, Viktor Frankl, Erich Fromm, Hans-Werner Gessmann, Amedeo Giorgi, Kurt Goldstein, Sidney Jourard, R. D. Laing, Clark Moustakas, Lewis Mumford, Fritz Perls, Anthony Sutich, Thomas Szasz, Kirk J. Schneider, and Ken Wilber.[4][36] Carl Rogers was trained in psychoanalysis before developing humanistic psychology.[5]

Counseling and therapy

Pyramid diagram illustrating Maslow's theory of needs

Diagram illustrating the “hierarchy of needs” theory of Abraham Maslow (1908–1970). Click to enlarge.

The aim of humanistic therapy is usually to help the client develop a stronger and healthier sense of self, also called self-actualization.[4][37] Humanistic therapy attempts to teach clients that they have potential for self-fulfillment. This type of therapy is insight-based, meaning that the therapist attempts to provide the client with insights about their inner conflicts.[38]

Approaches

Humanistic psychology includes several approaches to counseling and therapy. Among the earliest approaches we find the developmental theory of Abraham Maslow, emphazising a hierarchy of needs and motivations; the existential psychology of Rollo May acknowledging human choice and the tragic aspects of human existence; and the person-centered or client-centered therapy of Carl Rogers, which is centered on the client’s capacity for self-direction and understanding of his or her own development.[37] Client-centered therapy is non-directive; the therapist listens to the client without judgement, allowing the client to come to insights by themselves.[38] The therapist should ensure that all of the client’s feelings are being considered and that the therapist has a firm grasp on the concerns of the client while ensuring that there is an air of acceptance and warmth.[5] Client-centered therapist engages in active listening during therapy sessions.[38]

A therapist cannot be completely non-directive, however a nonjudgmental, accepting environment that provides unconditional positive regard will incite feelings of acceptance and value within the patients.[38]

Existential psychotherapies, an application of humanistic psychology, applies existential philosophy, which emphasizes the idea that humans have the freedom to make sense of their lives. They are free to define themselves and do whatever it is they want to do. This is a type of humanistic therapy that forces the client to explore the meaning of their life, as well as its purpose. There is a conflict between having freedoms and having limitations. Examples of limitations include genetics, culture, and many other factors. Existential therapy involves trying to resolve this conflict.[5]

Another approach to humanistic counseling and therapy is Gestalt therapy, which puts a focus on the here and now, especially as an opportunity to look past any preconceived notions and focus on how the present is affected by the past. Role playing also plays a large role in Gestalt therapy and allows for a true expression of feelings that may not have been shared in other circumstances. In Gestalt therapy, non-verbal cues are an important indicator of how the client may actually be feeling, despite the feelings expressed.

Also part of the range of humanistic psychotherapy are concepts from depth therapy, holistic health, encounter groups, sensitivity training, marital and family therapies, body work, the existential psychotherapy of Medard Boss,[4] and Positive Psychology.[39]

Most recently Compassionate Communication, the rebranding of Nonviolent Communication of Marshall Rosenberg seems to be the leading edge of innovation in this field because it is one of very few psychologies with both a simple and clear model of the human psyche and a simple and clear methodology, suitable for any two persons to address and resolve interpersonal conflict without expert intervention, a first in the field.[citation needed]

Empathy and self-help

Empathy is one of the most important aspects of humanistic therapy. This idea focuses on the therapist’s ability to see the world through the eyes of the client. Without this, therapists can be forced to apply an external frame of reference where the therapist is no longer understanding the actions and thoughts of the client as the client would, but strictly as a therapist which defeats the purpose of humanistic therapy. Included in empathizing, unconditional positive regard is one of the key elements of humanistic psychology. Unconditional positive regard refers to the care that the therapist needs to have for the client. This ensures that the therapist does not become the authority figure in the relationship allowing for a more open flow of information as well as a kinder relationship between the two. A therapist practicing humanistic therapy needs to show a willingness to listen and ensure the comfort of the patient where genuine feelings may be shared but are not forced upon someone.[5] Marshall Rosenberg, one of Carl Rogers’ students, emphasizes empathy in the relationship in his concept of Nonviolent Communication.

Self-help is also part of humanistic psychology: Sheila Ernst and Lucy Goodison have described using some of the main humanistic approaches in self-help groups.[40] Humanistic Psychology is applicable to self-help because it is oriented towards changing the way a person thinks. One can only improve once they decide to change their ways of thinking about themselves, once they decide to help themselves. Co-counselling, which is an approach based purely on self-help, is regarded as coming from humanistic psychology as well.[41] Humanistic theory has had a strong influence on other forms of popular therapy, including Harvey JackinsRe-evaluation Counselling and the work of Carl Rogers, including his student Eugene Gendlin; (see Focusing) as well as on the development of the Humanistic Psychodrama by Hans-Werner Gessmann since the 80s.[42]

The ideal self

The ideal self and real self involve understanding the issues that arise from having an idea of what you wish you were as a person, and having that not match with who you actually are as a person (incongruence). The ideal self is what a person believes should be done, as well as what their core values are. The real self is what is actually played out in life. Through humanistic therapy, an understanding of the present allows clients to add positive experiences to their real self-concept. The goal is to have the two concepts of self become congruent. Rogers believed that only when a therapist was able to be congruent, a real relationship occurs in therapy. It is much easier to trust someone who is willing to share feelings openly, even if it may not be what the client always wants; this allows the therapist to foster a strong relationship.[5]

Non-pathological

Humanistic psychology tends to look beyond the medical model of psychology in order to open up a nonpathologizing view of the person.[37] This usually implies that the therapist downplays the pathological aspects of a person’s life in favour of the healthy aspects. Humanistic psychology tries to be a science of human experience, focusing on the actual lived experience of persons.[4] Therefore, a key ingredient is the actual meeting of therapist and client and the possibilities for dialogue to ensue between them. The role of the therapist is to create an environment where the client can freely express any thoughts or feelings; he does not suggest topics for conversation nor does he guide the conversation in any way. The therapist also does not analyze or interpret the client’s behavior or any information the client shares. The role of the therapist is to provide empathy and to listen attentively to the client.[5]

Societal application

Social Change

While personal transformation may be the primary focus of most humanistic psychologists, many now investigate pressing social, cultural, and gender issues.[43] Even the earliest writers who were associated with and inspired by psychological humanism[4] explored topics as diverse as the political nature of “normal” and everyday experience (R. D. Laing), the disintegration of the capacity to love in modern consumerist society (Erich Fromm),[44] the growing technological dominance over human life (Medard Boss), and the question of evil (Rollo May and Carl Rogers).

In 1978, the Association for Humanistic Psychology (AHP) embarked on a three-year effort to explore how the principles of humanistic psychology could be used to further the process of positive social and political change.[45] The effort included a “12-Hour Political Party”, held in San Francisco in 1980, where nearly 1,400 attendees[46] discussed presentations by such non-traditional social thinkers as Ecotopia author Ernest Callenbach, Aquarian Conspiracy author Marilyn Ferguson, Person/Planet author Theodore Roszak, and New Age Politics author Mark Satin.[47] The emergent perspective was summarized in a manifesto by AHP President George Leonard. It proffered such ideas as moving to a slow-growth or no-growth economy, decentralizing and “deprofessionalizing” society, and teaching social and emotional competencies in order to provide a foundation for more humane public policies and a healthier culture.[48]

There have been many other attempts to articulate humanistic-psychology-oriented approaches to social change. For example, in 1979 California state legislator John Vasconcellos published a book calling for the integration of liberal politics and humanistic-psychological insight.[49] From 1979–1983 the New World Alliance, a U.S. political organization based in Washington, D.C., attempted to inject humanistic-psychology ideas into political thinking and processes;[50] sponsors of its newsletter included Vasconcellos and Carl Rogers.[51]

In 1989 Maureen O’Hara, who had worked with both Carl Rogers and Paolo Freire, pointed to a convergence between the two thinkers. According to O’Hara, both focus on developing critical consciousness of situations which oppress and dehumanize.[52] Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, Institute of Noetic Sciences president Willis Harman argued that significant social change cannot occur without significant consciousness change.[53] In the 21st century, humanistic psychologists such as Edmund Bourne[54] and Joanna Macy[55] continue to apply psychological insights to social and political issues.

In addition to its uses in thinking about social change, humanistic psychology is considered to be the main theoretical and methodological source of humanistic social work.[56][57]

Creativity in corporations

Humanistic psychology’s emphasis on creativity and wholeness created a foundation for new approaches towards human capital in the workplace stressing creativity and the relevance of emotional interactions. Previously the connotations of “creativity” were reserved for and primarily restricted to, working artists. In the 1980s, with increasing numbers of people working in the cognitive-cultural economy, creativity came to be seen as a useful commodity and competitive edge for international brands. This led to corporate creativity training in-service trainings for employees, led pre-eminently by Ned Herrmann at G.E. in the late 1970s.

Humanistic psychology concepts were embraced in education and social work, peaking in the 1970s-1980s, particularly in North America. However, as with whole language theory, training practice were too superficial in most institutional settings. Though humanistic psychology raised the bar of insight and understanding of the whole person, professionally it is primarily practiced today by individual licensed counselors and therapists. Outside of that humanistic psychology provides the foundation for virtually every method of Energy Medicine; yet, too little coherence exists yet in this field to discuss it easily.

Humanistic social work

After psychotherapy, social work is the most important beneficiary of the humanistic psychology’s theory and methodology.[58] These have produced a deep reform of the modern social work theory and practice,[59]leading, among others, to the occurrence of a particular theory and methodology: the humanistic social work. Most values and principles of the humanistic social work practice, described by Malcolm Payne in his book Humanistic Social Work: Core Principles in Practice, namely creativity in human life and practice, developing self and spirituality, developing security and resilience, accountability, flexibility and complexity in human life and practice,[56] directly originate from the humanistic psychological theory and humanistic psychotherapy practice.

Also, the representation and approach of the client (as human being) and social issue (as human issue) in social work is made from the humanistic psychology position. According to Petru Stefaroi, the way humanistic representation and approach of the client and his personality is represented is, in fact, the theoretical-axiological and methodological foundation of humanistic social work.[60]

In setting goals and the intervention activities, in order to solve social/human problems, there prevail critical terms and categories of the humanistic psychology and psychotherapy, such as: self-actualization, human potential, holistic approach, human being, free will, subjectivity, human experience, self-determination/development, spirituality, creativity, positive thinking, client-centered and context-centered approach/intervention, empathy, personal growth, empowerment.[61]

See also

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Ken Kasey — One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest — Individualism vs. Collectivism — Hillary Clinton is Nurse Ratched — The Big Nurse — Medication Time — Medication Time — I don’t trust you. –Videos

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 Hillary Clinton Is Nurse Ratched! — Videos

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A Look Inside: One Flew Over The Cuckoos Nest

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest poster.jpg

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Miloš Forman
Produced by Saul Zaentz
Michael Douglas
Screenplay by Lawrence Hauben
Bo Goldman
Based on One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
by Ken Kesey
Starring Jack Nicholson
Louise Fletcher
William Redfield
Music by Jack Nitzsche
Cinematography Haskell Wexler
Bill Butler[1]
Edited by Richard Chew[2]
Sheldon Kahn
Lynzee Klingman
Production
company
Fantasy Films
Distributed by United Artists
Release dates
  • November 19, 1975
Running time
133 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $3 million[3]
Box office $109 million[3]

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a 1975 American comedy-drama film directed by Miloš Forman, based on the 1962 novel One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey. The film stars Jack Nicholson and features a supporting cast of Louise Fletcher, William Redfield, Will Sampson, and Brad Dourif.

Considered to be one of the greatest films ever made, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is No. 33 on the American Film Institute‘s 100 Years… 100 Movies list. The film was the second to win all five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Actor in Lead Role, Actress in Lead Role, Director, and Screenplay) following It Happened One Nightin 1934, an accomplishment not repeated until 1991 by The Silence of the Lambs. It also won numerous Golden Globe and BAFTA Awards.

In 1993, the film was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.

Plot

In 1963, Oregon, recidivist criminal Randle McMurphy is moved to a mental institution after serving a short sentence on a prison farm after raping a teenager. Though not actually mentally ill, McMurphy hopes to avoid hard labour and serve the rest of his sentence in a relaxed environment. Upon arriving at the hospital, he finds the ward run by the steely, strict Nurse Ratched, who subtly suppresses the actions of her patients through a passive-aggressive routine, intimidating the patients.

The other patients include anxious, stuttering Billy Bibbit; Charlie Cheswick, who is prone to childish tantrums; delusional Martini; the well-educated, paranoid Dale Harding; belligerent Max Taber; epileptic Jim Sefelt; and “Chief” Bromden, a tall Native American believed to be deaf and mute. Ratched soon sees McMurphy’s lively, rebellious presence to be a threat to her authority, confiscating the patients’ cigarettes and rationing them. During his time in the ward, McMurphy gets into a battle of wits with Ratched. He steals a hospital bus, escaping with several patients to go on a fishing trip, encouraging his friends to become more self-confident.

McMurphy learns his sentence may become indefinite, and he makes plans to escape, exhorting Chief to throw a hydrotherapy cart through a window. He, Chief, and Cheswick get into a fight with the orderlies after the latter becomes agitated over his stolen cigarettes. Ratched sends them to the “shock shop”, and McMurphy discovers Chief can actually speak, feigning illness to avoid engaging with anyone. After being subjected to electroconvulsive therapy, McMurphy returns to the ward pretending to have brain damage, but reveals the treatment has charged him up even more. McMurphy and Chief make plans to escape, but decide to throw a secret Christmas party for their friends after Ratched leaves for the night.

McMurphy sneaks two women, Candy and Rose, into the ward and bribes the night guard. After a night of partying, McMurphy and Chief prepare to escape, inviting Billy to come with them. He refuses, not ready to leave the hospital. McMurphy instead convinces him to have sex with Candy. Ratched arrives in the morning to find the ward in disarray and most of the patients unconscious. She discovers Billy and Candy together, the former now free of his stutter, until Ratched threatens to inform his mother about his escapade. Billy is overwhelmed with fear and locks himself in the doctor’s office and commits suicide. The enraged McMurphy strangles Ratched, before being knocked out by an orderly.

Ratched comes back with a neck brace and a scratchy voice. Rumours spread that McMurphy escaped rather than be taken “upstairs”. Later that night, Chief sees McMurphy being returned to his bed. He discovers McMurphy has lobotomy scars on his forehead, and smothers his friend with a pillow. Chief finally throws the hydrotherapy cart through the window and escapes into the night, cheered on by the men.

Cast

Production

Filming began in January 1975 and concluded approximately three months later,[4] and was shot on location in Salem, Oregon and the surrounding area, as well as on the Oregon coast.[5][6] It was also shot at Oregon State Hospital in Salem, Oregon, which was also the setting of the novel.[7]

Haskell Wexler was fired as cinematographer and replaced by Bill Butler. Wexler believed his dismissal was due to his concurrent work on the documentary Underground, in which the radical terrorist group The Weather Underground were being interviewed while hiding from the law. However, Miloš Forman said he had terminated Wexler over mere artistic differences. Both Wexler and Butler received Academy Awardnominations for Best Cinematography for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, though Wexler said there was “only about a minute or two minutes in that film I didn’t shoot.”[8]

According to Butler, Jack Nicholson refused to speak to Forman: “…[Jack] never talked to Milos at all, he only talked to me.”[1]

Reception

The film was met with overwhelming critical acclaim; Roger Ebert said “Miloš Forman’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is a film so good in so many of its parts that there’s a temptation to forgive it when it goes wrong. But it does go wrong, insisting on making larger points than its story really should carry, so that at the end, the human qualities of the characters get lost in the significance of it all. And yet there are those moments of brilliance.”[9] Ebert would later put the film on his “Great Movies” list.[10] A.D. Murphy of Variety wrote a mixed review as well,[11] as did Vincent Canby: writing in The New York Times, Canby called the film “a comedy that can’t quite support its tragic conclusion, which is too schematic to be honestly moving, but it is acted with such a sense of life that one responds to its demonstration of humanity if not to its programmed metaphors.”[12]

The film opens with original music by composer Jack Nitzsche, featuring an eerie bowed saw (performed by Robert Armstrong) and wine glasses. Commenting on the score, reviewer Steven McDonald has said, “The edgy nature of the film extends into the score, giving it a profoundly disturbing feel at times — even when it appears to be relatively normal. The music has a tendency to always be a little off-kilter, and from time to time it tilts completely over into a strange little world of its own …”[13]

The film went on to win the “Big Five” Academy Awards at the 48th Oscar ceremony. These include the Best Actor for Jack Nicholson, Best Actress for Louise Fletcher, Best Direction for Forman, Best Picture, andBest Adapted Screenplay for Laurence Hauben and Bo Goldman. The film currently has a 95% “Certified Fresh” rating at Rotten Tomatoes with an average rating of 8.9/10.[14] Its consensus states “The onscreen battle between Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher serves as a personal microcosm of the culture wars of the 1970s — and testament to the director’s vision that the film retains its power more than three decades later.”

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is considered to be one of the greatest American films. Ken Kesey participated in the early stages of script development, but withdrew after creative differences with the producers over casting and narrative point of view; ultimately he filed suit against the production and won a settlement.[15] Kesey himself claimed never to have seen the movie, but said he disliked what he knew of it,[16] a fact confirmed by Chuck Palahniuk who wrote, “The first time I heard this story, it was through the movie starring Jack Nicholson. A movie that Kesey once told me he disliked.”[17]

In 1993, this film was deemed “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant” by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in their National Film Registry.[18]

Awards and honors

Award Category Nominee Result
Academy Award Academy Award for Best Picture Michael Douglas and Saul Zaentz Won
Academy Award for Best Director Miloš Forman Won
Academy Award for Best Actor Jack Nicholson Won
Academy Award for Best Actress Louise Fletcher Won
Academy Award for Writing Adapted Screenplay Laurence Hauben and Bo Goldman Won
Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor Brad Dourif Nominated
Academy Award for Best Cinematography Haskell Wexler and Bill Butler Nominated
Academy Award for Film Editing Richard Chew, Lyzee Klingman and Sheldon Kahn Nominated
Academy Award for Original Music Score Jack Nitzsche Nominated
Golden Globe Award Golden Globe Award for Best Motion Picture – Drama Michael Douglas and Saul Zaentz Won
Golden Globe Award for Best Director – Motion Picture Miloš Forman Won
Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama Jack Nicholson Won
Golden Globe Award for Best Actress – Motion Picture Drama Louise Fletcher Won
Golden Globe Award for Best Screenplay Laurence Hauben and Bo Goldman Won
Golden Globe Award for New Star of the Year – Actor Brad Dourif Won
BAFTA Award BAFTA Award for Best Film Michael Douglas and Saul Zaentz Won
BAFTA Award for Best Direction Miloš Forman Won
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role Jack Nicholson Won
BAFTA Award for Best Actress in a Leading Role Louise Fletcher Won
BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role Brad Dourif Won
BAFTA Award for Best Editing Richard Chew, Lynzee Klingman and Sheldon Kahn Won
BAFTA Award for Best Cinematography Haskell Wexler and Bill Butler Nominated
BAFTA Award for Best Adapted Screenplay Laurence Hauben and Bo Goldman Nominated

Others

American Film Institute

See also

References

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b Townsend, Sylvia (19 December 2014). “Haskell Wexler and the Making of ‘One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest'”. Retrieved 13 April2015.
  2. Jump up^ Chew was listed as “supervising editor” in the film’s credits, but was included in the nomination for an editing Academy Award.
  3. ^ Jump up to:a b “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Box Office Information”.Box Office Mojo. Retrieved January 22, 2012.
  4. Jump up^ One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest at the American Film Institute
  5. Jump up^ Story Notes for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
  6. Jump up^ “Hollywood’s Love Affair with Oregon Coast Continues”. Retrieved15 June 2015.
  7. Jump up^ Oregon State Hospital – A documentary film (Mental Health Association of Portland)
  8. Jump up^ Anderson, John. “Haskell Wexler, Oscar-Winning Cinematographer, Dies at 93.” The New York Times, December 27, 2015.
  9. Jump up^ Suntimes.com – Roger Ebert review, Chicago Sun-Times, January 1, 1975
  10. Jump up^ Suntimes.com – Roger Ebert review, Chicago Sun-Times, February 2, 2003.
  11. Jump up^ Variety.com – A.D. Murphy, Variety, November 7, 1975
  12. Jump up^ Canby, Vincent (November 28, 1975). “Critic’s Pick: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”. The New York Times.
  13. Jump up^ AllMusic: Review by Steven McDonald
  14. Jump up^ “One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest Movie Reviews, Pictures – Rotten Tomatoes”. Retrieved 2010-08-19.
  15. Jump up^ Carnes, Mark Christopher, Paul R. Betz, et al. (1999). American National Biography, Volume 26. New York: Oxford University Press USA. ISBN 0-19-522202-4. p. 312,
  16. Jump up^ Carnes, p. 312
  17. Jump up^ Foreword of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Copyright 2007 by Chuck Palahniuk. Available in the 2007 Edition published by Penguin Books
  18. Jump up^ “U.S. National Film Registry — Titles”. Retrieved September 2,2016.
  19. Jump up^ AFI’s 100 Years…100 Heroes and Villains Nominees

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/One_Flew_Over_the_Cuckoo%27s_Nest_(film)

Could Hillary’s smile cost her the election? Twitter mocks Clinton’s ‘creepy grandma’ grin as she smirks her way through presidential debate

With her opponent dogged by accusations of sexual assault, Hillary Clinton had strong odds as she entered the third presidential debate on Wednesday.

Only one thing seemed to threaten her chances of victory: her smile.

The Democratic candidate faced a flood of insults as she took to the stage at the University of Las Vegas, with many viewers confessing they were ‘creeped out’ by her stubborn grin.

Hundreds took to Twitter to describe her smile as ‘scary’ and ‘creepy’.

Hillary Clinton's unrelenting smile at Wednesday's presidential debate made for uncomfortable viewing for some voters 

Hillary Clinton’s unrelenting smile at Wednesday’s presidential debate made for uncomfortable viewing for some voters

Social media mocks Hillary Clinton’s ‘creepy grandma’ grin

Others questioned why, when being slammed with insults from her opponent, her expression did not drop.

‘Hillary Clinton’s smile is the scariest thing I’ve ever seen in my life,’ said one observer.

‘When Hillary smiles she looks like an evil snake,’ another commented.

‘What to do when you don’t have a response? Smile like a chipmunk,’ remarked another.

‘Whoever told Hillary Clinton to smile less since the first debate gave great advice,’ mused a different viewer.

Others, ever-so-slightly more charmed by her cheerful demeanor, likened her to a happy grandmother.

The Democratic candidate beamed as she listened to Donald Trump slam her political record and campaign policies 

Her glee remained written all over her face as Trump continued to slate her, much to viewers' confusion 

Her glee remained written all over her face as Trump continued to slate her, much to viewers’ confusion

Twitter users were quick to mock her expression as they watched the debate on Wednesday 

Twitter users were quick to mock her expression as they watched the debate on Wednesday

Clinton's happy expression became a talking point at earlier debates. It continued to peak viewers' interests at her final showdown with Trump on Wednesday (above) e

Clinton’s happy expression became a talking point at earlier debates. It continued to peak viewers’ interests at her final showdown with Trump on Wednesday (above)

‘Hillary Clinton is so cute it’s something about her I just want her to tuck me in and give me a kiss with her coffee breath,’ one commented.

It was not the first time her facial expression sparked interest among voters.

After the first presidential debate on September 26, political commentators shared some free advice with the candidate online.

‘Who told Hillary Clinton to keep smiling like she’s at her granddaughter’s birthday party?’ said David Frum, senior editor of The Atlantic, at the time.

The discussion had the same hallmarks of bizarre criticisms made earlier this month about Donald Trump’s incessant sniffing.

Viewers were distracted throughout the second presidential debate by the Republican candidate’s runny nose, complaining in their droves about it online. 
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3854016/Could-Hillary-s-smile-cost-election-Twitter-mocks-Clinton-s-creepy-grandma-grin-smirks-way-presidential-debate.html#ixzz4Nf3WfCyu

Ken Kesey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Not to be confused with Kenny Casey (disambiguation).
Ken Kesey
Born Kenneth Elton Kesey
September 17, 1935
La Junta, Colorado, U.S.
Died November 10, 2001 (aged 66)
Eugene, Oregon, U.S.[1][2]
Occupation Novelist, short story writer, essayist, poet
Nationality American
Genre Beat, postmodernism
Literary movement Merry Pranksters
Notable works One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1962)
Sometimes a Great Notion(1964)

Kenneth Elton “Ken” Kesey (/ˈkz/; September 17, 1935 – November 10, 2001) was an American novelist, essayist, and countercultural figure. He considered himself a link between the Beat Generation of the 1950s and the hippies of the 1960s.

Kesey was born in La Junta, Colorado and grew up in Springfield, Oregon, graduating from the University of Oregon in 1957. He began writing One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest in 1960 following the completion of a graduate fellowship in creative writing at Stanford University; the novel was an immediate commercial and critical success when published two years later. Subsequently, he moved to nearby La Honda, California and began hosting happenings with former colleagues from Stanford, miscellaneous bohemian & literary figures (most notably Neal Cassady), and other friends under the imprimateur of the Merry Pranksters; these parties, known as Acid Tests, integrated the consumption of LSD with multimedia performances. He mentored the Grateful Dead (the de facto “house band” of the Acid Tests) throughout their incipience and continued to exert a profound influence upon the group throughout their long career. Sometimes a Great Notion—an epic account of the vicissitudes of an Oregon logging family that aspired to the modernist grandeur of William Faulkner‘s Yoknapatawpha saga—was a commercial success that polarized critics and readers upon its release in 1964, although Kesey regarded the novel as his magnum opus.[3]

In 1965, following an arrest for marijuana possession and subsequent faked suicide, Kesey was imprisoned for five months. Shortly thereafter, he returned home to the Willamette Valley and settled in Pleasant Hill, Oregon, where he maintained a secluded, family-oriented lifestyle for the rest of his life. In addition to teaching at the University of Oregon—culminating in Caverns (1989), a collaborative novel written by Kesey and his graduate workshop students under the pseudonym of “O.U. Levon”—he continued to regularly contribute fiction and reportage to such publications as Esquire, Rolling Stone, Oui, Running, and The Whole Earth Catalog; various iterations of these pieces were collected in Kesey’s Garage Sale (1973) and Demon Box (1986).

Between 1974 and 1980, Kesey published six issues of Spit in the Ocean, a little magazine that featured excerpts from an unfinished novel (Seven Prayers by Grandma Whittier, an account of Kesey’s grandmother’s struggle with Alzheimer’s disease) and contributions from such luminaries as Margo St. James, Kate Millett, Stewart Brand, Saul-Paul Sirag, Jack Sarfatti, Paul Krassner, and William S. Burroughs.[4][5] After a third novel (Sailor Song) was released to lukewarm reviews in 1992, he reunited with the Merry Pranksters and began publishing works on the Internet until ill health (including a stroke) curtailed his activities.

Biography

Early life

Ken Kesey was born in La Junta, Colorado, to dairy farmers Geneva (née Smith) and Frederick A. Kesey.[1] In 1946, the family moved to Springfield, Oregon.[2] Kesey was a champion wrestler in both high school and college in the 174-pound weight division, and he almost qualified to be on the Olympic team until a serious shoulder injury stopped his wrestling career. He graduated from Springfield High School in 1953.[2] An avid reader and filmgoer, the young Kesey took John Wayne, Edgar Rice Burroughs, and Zane Grey as his role models (later naming a son Zane) and toyed with magic, ventriloquism, and hypnotism.[6]

In 1956, while attending college at the University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication in neighboring Eugene, Oregon, Kesey eloped with his high-school sweetheart, Norma “Faye” Haxby, whom he had met in seventh grade.[2] According to Kesey, “Without Faye, I would have been swept overboard by notoriety and weird, dope-fueled ideas and flower-child girls with beamy eyes and bulbous breasts.”[7] Married until his death at the age of 66, they had three children: Jed, Zane, and Shannon.[8] Additionally, Kesey fathered a daughter with fellow Merry Prankster Carolyn “Mountain Girl” Adams and the approval of Faye Kesey; born in 1966, Sunshine Kesey was raised by Adams and Jerry Garcia.[9]

Kesey had a football scholarship for his freshman year, but switched to University of Oregon wrestling team as a better fit to his build. After posting a .885 winning percentage in the 1956–57 season, he received the Fred Low Scholarship for outstanding Northwest wrestler. In 1957, Kesey was second in his weight class at the Pacific Coast intercollegiate competition.[1][10][11] He remains “ranked in the top 10 of Oregon Wrestling’s all time winning percentage.”[12][13]

A member of Beta Theta Pi throughout his studies, Kesey graduated from the University of Oregon with a Bachelor of Arts degree in speech and communication in 1957. Increasingly disengaged by the playwriting and screenwriting courses that comprised much of his major, he began to take literature classes in the second half of his collegiate career with James B. Hall, a cosmopolitan alumnus of the University of Iowa‘s renowned writing program who had previously taught at Cornell University and later served as provost of the University of California, Santa Cruz.[14] Hall took on Kesey as his protege and cultivated his interest in literary fiction, introducing Kesey (whose interests were hitherto confined to Ray Bradbury‘s science fiction) to the works of Ernest Hemingway and other paragons of modernist fiction.[15] After the last of several brief summer sojourns as a struggling actor in Los Angeles, he published his first short story (“First Sunday of September”) in the Northwest Review and successfully applied to the highly selective Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship for the 1958–59 academic year.

Unbeknownst to Kesey, who applied at Hall’s request, the maverick literary critic Leslie Fiedler successfully importuned the regional fellowship committee to select the “rough-hewn” Kesey alongside more traditional fellows from Reed College and other elite institutions.[16] Because he lacked the prerequisites to work toward a traditional master’s degree in English as a communications major, Kesey elected to enroll in the non-degree program at Stanford University‘s Creative Writing Center that fall; while studying and working in the Stanford milieu over the next five years, most of them spent as a resident of Perry Lane (a historically bohemian enclave adjacent to the university golf course), he developed intimate lifelong friendships with fellow writers Ken Babbs, Larry McMurtry, Wendell Berry, Ed McClanahan, Gurney Norman, and Robert Stone.[2]

During his initial fellowship year, Kesey frequently clashed with Center director Wallace Stegner, who regarded the young writer as “a sort of highly talented illiterate”; Stegner’s deputy Richard Scowcroft later recalled that “neither Wally nor I thought he had a particularly important talent.”[17] Stegner rejected Kesey’s application for a departmental Stegner Fellowship before finally permitting his attendance as a Woodrow Wilson Fellow; according to Stone, Stegner “saw Kesey… as a threat to civilization and intellectualism and sobriety” and continued to reject Kesey’s Stegner Fellowship applications for the 1959–60 and 1960–61 terms.[18]

Nevertheless, Kesey received the prestigious $2,000 Harper-Saxton Prize for his first novel in progress (the oft-rejected Zoo) and audited the graduate writing seminar—a courtesy nominally accorded to former Stegner Fellows, although Kesey only secured his place by falsely claiming to Scowcroft that his colleague (on sabbatical through 1960) “had said that he could attend classes for free”—through the 1960-61 term.[17]The course was initially taught that year by Viking Press editorial consultant and Lost Generation eminence grise Malcolm Cowley, who was “always glad to see” Kesey and fellow auditor Tillie Olsen. Cowley was succeeded the following quarter by the Irish short story specialist Frank O’Connor; frequent spats between O’Connor and Kesey ultimately precipitated his departure from the class.[19] While under the tutelage of Cowley, he began to draft and workshop the manuscript that would evolve into One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

Reflecting upon this period in a 1999 interview with Robert K. Elder, Kesey recalled, “I was too young to be a beatnik, and too old to be a hippie.”[20]

Experimentation with psychoactive drugs

At the instigation of Perry Lane neighbor and Stanford psychology graduate student Vik Lovell, an acquaintance of Richard Alpert and Allen Ginsberg, Kesey volunteered to take part in what turned out to be a CIA-financed study under the aegis of Project MKULTRA, a highly secret military program, at the Menlo Park Veterans’ Hospital[21] where he worked as a night aide.[22] The project studied the effects of psychoactive drugs, particularly LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, cocaine, aMT, and DMT on people.[2] Kesey wrote many detailed accounts of his experiences with these drugs, both during the study and in the years of private experimentation that followed.

Kesey’s role as a medical guinea pig, as well as his stint working at the Veterans’ Administration hospital, inspired him to write One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. The success of this book, as well as the demolition of the Perry Lane cabins in August 1963, allowed him to move to a log house at 7940 La Honda Road in La Honda, California, a rustic hamlet in the Santa Cruz Mountains fifteen miles to the west of the Stanford University campus.[23] He frequently entertained friends and many others with parties he called “Acid Tests,” involving music (including the Stanford-educated Anonymous Artists of America and Kesey’s favorite band, the Grateful Dead), black lights, fluorescent paint, strobe lights, LSD, and other psychedelic effects. These parties were described in some of Ginsberg’s poems and served as the basis for Tom Wolfe‘s The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test, an early exemplar of the nonfiction novel. Other firsthand accounts of the Acid Tests appear in Hell’s Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs by Hunter S. Thompson and the 1967 Hell’s Angels memoir Freewheelin Frank, Secretary of the Hell’s Angels (Frank Reynolds; ghostwritten by Michael McClure).

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest

While still enrolled at the University of Oregon in 1957, Kesey wrote End of Autumn; according to Rick Dogson, the novel “focused on the exploitation of college athletes by telling the tale of a football lineman who was having second thoughts about the game.”[24] Although Kesey came to regard the unpublished work as juvenilia, an excerpt served as his Stanford Creative Writing Center application sample.[24]

During his Woodrow Wilson Fellowship year, Kesey wrote Zoo, a novel about the beatniks living in the North Beach community of San Francisco, but it was never published.

The inspiration for One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest came while working on the night shift with Gordon Lish at the Menlo Park Veterans’ Hospital. There, Kesey often spent time talking to the patients, sometimes under the influence of the hallucinogenic drugs with which he had volunteered to experiment. Kesey did not believe that these patients were insane, but rather that society had pushed them out because they did not fit the conventional ideas of how people were supposed to act and behave. Published under the guidance of Cowley in 1962, the novel was an immediate success; in 1963, it was adapted into a successful stage play by Dale Wasserman, and in 1975, Miloš Forman directed a screen adaptation, which won the “Big Five” Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor (Jack Nicholson), Best Actress (Louise Fletcher), Best Director (Forman) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Lawrence Hauben, Bo Goldman).

Kesey originally was involved in creating the film, but left two weeks into production. He claimed never to have seen the movie because of a dispute over the $20,000 he was initially paid for the film rights. Kesey loathed the fact that, unlike the book, the film was not narrated by the Chief Bromden character, and he disagreed with Jack Nicholson’s being cast as Randle McMurphy (he wanted Gene Hackman). Despite this, Faye Kesey has stated that her husband was generally supportive of the film and pleased that it was made.[25]

Merry Pranksters

When the publication of his second novel, Sometimes a Great Notion in 1964, required his presence in New York, Kesey, Neal Cassady, and others in a group of friends they called the Merry Pranksters took a cross-country trip in a school bus nicknamed Further.[26] This trip, described in The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test (and later in Kesey’s unproduced screenplay, The Further Inquiry) was the group’s attempt to create art out of everyday life, and to experience roadway America while high on LSD. In an interview after arriving in New York, Kesey is quoted as saying, “The sense of communication in this country has damn near atrophied. But we found as we went along it got easier to make contact with people. If people could just understand it is possible to be different without being a threat.”[1] A huge amount of footage was filmed on 16mm cameras during the trip which remained largely unseen until the release of Alex Gibney‘s Magic Trip in 2011.

After the bus trip, the Pranksters threw parties they called Acid Tests around the San Francisco Bay Area from 1965 to 1966. Many of the Pranksters lived at Kesey’s residence in La Honda. In New York, Cassady introduced Kesey to Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg, who then turned them on to Timothy Leary. Sometimes a Great Notion inspired a 1970 film starring and directed by Paul Newman; it was nominated for two Academy Awards, and in 1972 was the first film shown by the new television network HBO, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.

Kesey was arrested for possession of marijuana in 1965. In an attempt to mislead police, he faked suicide by having friends leave his truck on a cliffside road near Eureka, along with an elaborate suicide note, written by the Pranksters. Kesey fled to Mexico in the back of a friend’s car. When he returned to the United States eight months later, Kesey was arrested and sent to the San Mateo County jail in Redwood City, California, for five months where he was introduced to a highly recommended San Francisco lawyer, Richard Potack, who specialized in marijuana cultivation. On his release, he moved back to the family farm in Pleasant Hill, Oregon, in the Willamette Valley, where he spent the rest of his life.[27] He wrote many articles, books (mostly collections of his articles), and short stories during that time.

Death of son

In 1984, Kesey’s 20-year-old son Jed, a wrestler for the University of Oregon, suffered severe head injuries in a vehicle accident on the way to a tournament;[11] after he was declared brain-dead two days later his parents gave permission for his organs to be donated.[28]

Jed’s death deeply affected Kesey, who later called Jed a victim of policies that had starved the team of funding. He wrote to Mark Hatfield, “And I began to get mad, Senator. I had finally found where the blame must be laid: that the money we are spending for national defense is not defending us from the villains real and near, the awful villains of ignorance, and cancer, and heart disease and highway death. How many school buses could be outfitted with seatbelts with the money spent for one of those 16-inch shells?” [29]

At a Grateful Dead concert soon after the death of promoter Bill Graham, Kesey delivered a eulogy, mentioning that Graham had donated $1,000 toward a memorial to Jed atop Mount Pisgah, near the Kesey home in Pleasant Hill.[30] Ken Kesey donated $33,395 towards the purchase of a proper bus for the school’s wrestling team to replace the chicken van that fell off a cliff.[31]

Final years

Kesey was diagnosed with diabetes in 1992. In 1994, he toured with members of the Merry Pranksters performing a musical play he wrote about the millennium called Twister: A Ritual Reality. Many old and new friends and family showed up to support the Pranksters on this tour that took them from Seattle’s Bumbershoot, all along the West Coast including a sold out two-night run at The Fillmore in San Francisco to Boulder, Colorado, where they coaxed (or pranked) the Beat Generation poet Allen Ginsberg into performing with them.[citation needed]

Kesey mainly kept to his home life in Pleasant Hill, preferring to make artistic contributions on the Internet or holding ritualistic revivals in the spirit of the Acid Test. In the official Grateful Dead DVD release The Closing of Winterland (2003) documenting the monumental New Year’s 1978/1979 concert at the Winterland Arena in San Francisco, Kesey is featured in a between-set interview.[citation needed]

On August 14, 1997, Kesey and his Pranksters attended a Phish concert in Darien Lake, New York. Kesey and the Pranksters appeared onstage with the band and performed a dance-trance-jam session involving several characters from The Wizard of Oz and Frankenstein.[citation needed]

In June 2001, Kesey was invited and accepted as the keynote speaker at the annual commencement of The Evergreen State College.[citation needed] His last major work was an essay for Rolling Stone magazine calling for peace in the aftermath of the September 11 attacks.[citation needed]

Death

In 1998, health problems began to weaken him, starting with a stroke that year.[2] On October 25, 2001 Kesey had surgery on his liver to remove a tumor.[2] He did not recover from that operation and died of complications on November 10, 2001, age 66.[2]

Legacy

The film Gerry (2002) is dedicated to the memory of Ken Kesey.[32]

Works

Some of Kesey’s better-known works include:[33]

Footnotes

  1. ^ Jump up to:a b c d Lehmann-Haupt, Christopher. “Ken Kesey, Author of ‘Cuckoo’s Nest,’ Who Defined the Psychedelic Era, Dies at 66“, The New York Times (November 11, 2001). Retrieved February 21, 2008.
  2. ^ Jump up to:a b c d e f g h i Baker, Jeff (November 11, 2001). “All times a great artist, Ken Kesey is dead at age 66”. The Oregonian. pp. A1.
  3. Jump up^ https://alumni.stanford.edu/get/page/magazine/article/?article_id=38411
  4. Jump up^ http://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/1830/the-art-of-fiction-no-136-ken-kesey
  5. Jump up^ http://www.deaddisc.com/GDFD_Spit.htm
  6. Jump up^ Macdonald, Gina, and Andrew Macdonald. “Ken Kesey.” Magill’s Survey of American Literature, Revised Edition (2007): Literary Reference Center. EBSCO.
  7. Jump up^ “Ken Kesey Kisses No Ass”. Esquire Magazine (September 1992).
  8. Jump up^ “Ken Kesey, Author of ‘Cuckoo’s Nest,’ Who Defined the Psychedelic Era, Dies at 66”, The New York Times (November 11, 2001).
  9. Jump up^ Robins, Cynthia (2001-12-07). “Kesey’s friends gather in tribute”.
  10. Jump up^ Christensen, Mark (2010). Acid Christ : Ken Kesey, LSD, and the politics of ecstasy. Tucson, AZ: Schaffner Press. p. 40. ISBN 9781936182107. OCLC 701720769. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  11. ^ Jump up to:a b “Crash takes second life”. The Spokesman-Review. 101st Year (251). Spokane, WA: Cowles Publishing Company. 1984-01-29. p. A6. Retrieved 2014-12-14. Writer’s son, Oregon wrestler Jed Kesey, dies of injuries
  12. Jump up^ “Top Wrestlers”. Eugene, OR: Save Oregon Wrestling Foundation. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  13. Jump up^ “2006–07 Stats, History, Opponent Info – University of Oregon Wrestling” (PDF). University of Oregon Athletic Department. 2007-12-03. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  14. Jump up^ “Hall, James B(yron)”, International Who’s Who in Poetry, 2004, p. 138.
  15. Jump up^ Jeff Baker, “James B. Hall: Writer, teacher”, The Oregonian/OregonLive, May 14, 2008.
  16. Jump up^ Too Good to Be True. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  17. ^ Jump up to:a b Philip L. Fradkin, Wallace Stegner and the American West
  18. Jump up^ Wallace Stegner. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  19. Jump up^ Cowley, M. (1976). “Ken Kesey at Stanford”, Northwest Review, 16(1), 1.
  20. Jump up^ “Down on the peacock farm”. Salon Magazine. 2001. Retrieved 2009-06-12.
  21. Jump up^ VA Palo Alto Health Care System. “Menlo Park Division – VA Palo Alto Health Care System”. va.gov. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  22. Jump up^ Reilly, Edward C. “Ken Kesey.” Critical Survey of Long Fiction, Second Revised Edition (2000): EBSCO. Web. Nov 10. 2010.
  23. Jump up^ “Perry Ave, West Menlo Park, CA 94025 to 7940 La Honda Rd, La Honda, CA 94020 – Google Maps”. google.com. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  24. ^ Jump up to:a b https://books.google.com/books?id=kaQVAQAAQBAJ&pg=PA66&dq=end+of+autumn+kesey&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CDoQ6AEwBmoVChMI-bOJ37iWyAIVjKKACh1Y_grf#v=onepage&q=end%20of%20autumn%20kesey&f=false
  25. Jump up^ “11 Authors Who Hated the Movie Versions of Their Books”. Mental Floss. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  26. Jump up^ “National Museum of American History Collections: Signboard, Pass the Acid Test”. americanhistory.si.edu. Retrieved 2015-04-08.
  27. Jump up^ Lehmann-Haupt, Christopher (November 11, 2001). “Ken Kesey, Author of ‘Cuckoo’s Nest,’ Who Defined the Psychedelic Era, Dies at 66”. The New York Times.
  28. Jump up^ “Letters of Note: What a world”. lettersofnote.com. Retrieved 2014-12-14.
  29. Jump up^ Kesey, Jed (1984). “Remembering Jed Kesey”. Whole Earth Catalogue. Co-Evolutionary Quarterly. Retrieved March 14, 2016.
  30. Jump up^ https://archive.org/details/gd91-10-31.sbd.gardner.2897.sbeok.shnf“. Track 13, starting at about :35.
  31. Jump up^ https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1356&dat=19880225&id=D7hPAAAAIBAJ&sjid=CQcEAAAAIBAJ&pg=2381,6211590&hl=en. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  32. Jump up^ Adams, Sam (September 19–25, 2002). “Try to Remember”. Philadelphia City Paper. Retrieved August 5,2015.
  33. Jump up^ Martin, Blank (2010-01-19). “Selected Bibliography for Ken Kesey”. Literary Kicks. Retrieved 2014-12-14.

Further reading

  • Ronald Gregg Billingsley, The Artistry of Ken Kesey. PhD dissertation. Eugene, OR: University of Oregon, 1971.
  • Dedria Bryfonski, Mental illness in Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2010.
  • Rick Dodgson, It’s All Kind of Magic: The Young Ken Kesey. Madison, WI: University of Wisconsin Press, 2013.
  • Robert Faggen, “Ken Kesey, The Art of Fiction No. 136,” The Paris Review, Spring 1994.
  • Barry H. Leeds, Ken Kesey. New York: F. Ungar Publishing Co., 1981.
  • Dennis McNally, A Long Strange Trip: the Inside History of the Grateful Dead. Broadway Books, 2002.
  • Tim Owen, “Remembering Ken Kesey,” Cosmik Debris Magazine, November 10, 2001.
  • M. Gilbert Porter, The Art of Grit: Ken Kesey’s Fiction. Columbia, MO: University of Missouri Press, 1982.
  • Elaine B Safer, The contemporary American Comic Epic: The Novels of Barth, Pynchon, Gaddis, and Kesey. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 1988.
  • Peter Swirski, “You’re Not in Canada until You Can Hear the Loons Crying; or, Voting, People’s Power and Ken Kesey’s One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest,” in Swirski, American Utopia and Social Engineering in Literature, Social Thought, and Political History. New York: Routledge, 2011.
  • Stephen L. Tanner, Ken Kesey. Boston, MA: Twayne, 1983.

External links

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Kesey

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Eric Hoffer — Videos

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Posted on September 23, 2015. Filed under: American History, Babies, Banking, Blogroll, Books, British History, Business, Catholic Church, College, Communications, Congress, Constitution, Corruption, Crime, Crisis, Culture, Economics, Education, Employment, Entertainment, European History, Faith, Family, Federal Government, Federal Government Budget, Fiscal Policy, Foreign Policy, Freedom, Friends, Genocide, government, government spending, Health Care, history, History of Economic Thought, Homicide, Illegal, Immigration, Language, Law, Legal, liberty, Life, Links, Literacy, Love, Macroeconomics, media, Medicine, Microeconomics, Middle East, Monetary Policy, Money, Money, Movies, Newspapers, Non-Fiction, Obamacare, People, Philosophy, Political Correctness, Politics, Press, Radio, Radio, Rants, Raves, Religion, Religious, Security, Speech, Strategy, Talk Radio, Tax Policy, Taxation, Television, Television, Terrorism, Torture, Trade Policiy, Unemployment, Video, War, Wealth, Weather, Welfare, Wisdom, Writing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

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Pronk Pops Show 525: September 2, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 524: August 31, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 523: August 27, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 522: August 26, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 521: August 25, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 520: August 24, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 519: August 21, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 518: August 20, 2015  

Pronk Pops Show 517: August 19, 2015 

Pronk Pops Show 516: August 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 515: August 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 514: August 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 513: August 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 512: August 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 511: August 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 510: August 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 509: July 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 508: July 20, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 507: July 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 506: July 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 505: July 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 504: July 14, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 503: July 13, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 502: July 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 501: July 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 500: July 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 499: July 6, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 498: July 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 497: July 1, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 496: June 30, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 495: June 29, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 494: June 26, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 493: June 25, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 492: June 24, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 491: June 23, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 490: June 22, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 489: June 19, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 488: June 18, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 487: June 17, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 486; June 16, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 485: June 15, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 484: June 12, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 483: June 11, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 482; June 10, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 481: June 9, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 480: June 8, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 479: June 5, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 478: June 4, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 477: June 3, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 476: June 2, 2015

Pronk Pops Show 475: June 1, 2015

Story 1: Watermelon President Obama and Pope Francis — Green on The Outside and Red On The Inside — Neither Is An Authority On Science, Economics, Or Democides — Cosmic or Social Justice Is Using Coercion and Force To Steal — Leads To Democide and Genocide — Videos

Lord Acton on “Power Corrupts”

I cannot accept your canon that we are to judge Pope and King unlike other men, with a favourable presumption that they did no wrong. If there is any presumption it is the other way, against the holders of power, increasing as the power increases. Historic responsibility has to make up for the want of legal responsibility. Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men, even when they exercise influence and not authority, still more when you superadd the tendency or the certainty of corruption by authority. There is no worse heresy than that the office sanctifies the holder of it.

letter that Acton wrote to Bishop Creighton

In The Shoes of the Fisherman (Last Scene)

Pope Francis in the USA- Welcome ceremony and visit to the President

Milton Friedman – Collectivism

AYN RAND PREDICTS OBAMAS END TO THE REPUBLIC

Milton Friedman – Socialism is Force

Milton Friedman discusses the moral values encouraged by economic systems and explains that a primary difference between capitalism and socialism is the difference between free choice and compulsory force.

Milton Friedman – Whats wrong with welfare? (Q&A)

Milton Friedman on Donahue #2

Milton Friedman Speaks – Is Capitalism Humane?

Rush Limbaugh Bashes Pope Francis

Milton Friedman on Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” 1994 Interview 1 of 2

Milton Friedman on Hayek’s “Road to Serfdom” 1994 Interview 2 of 2

Friedrich Hayek: Why Intellectuals Drift Towards Socialism

Friedrich Hayek on Redistribution of Wealth

F A Hayek – Social Justice

Thomas Sowell – The Quest for Cosmic Justice (Full Video)

The reason Social Justice is fundamentally incompatible with equality of opportunity.

Thomas Sowell and a Conflict of Visions

The Life & Thought of Friedrich Hayek

Immigration, World Poverty and Gumballs – Updated 2010

Immigration by the Numbers — Off the Charts

Watermelons

ManBearPig, Climategate and Watermelons: A conversation with author James Delingpole

James Delingpole is a bestselling British author and blogger who helped expose the Climategate scandal back in 2009. Reason.tv caught up with Delingpole in Los Angeles recently to learn more about his entertaining and provocative new book Watermelons: The Green Movement’s True Colors. At its very roots, argues Delingpole, climate change is an ideological battle, not a scientific one. In other words, it’s green on the outside and red on the inside. At the end of the day, according to Delingpole, the “watermelons” of the modern environmental movement do not want to save the world. They want to rule it.

MAJOR REDUCTIONS IN CARBON EMISSIONS ARE NOT WORTH THE MONEY 4 /14- Intelligence Squared U.S.

Climate Change in 12 Minutes – The Skeptic’s Case

James Delingpole: Great Britain, the Green Movement, and the End of the World

Richard Lindzen, Ph.D. Lecture Deconstructs Global Warming Hysteria (High Quality Version)

Mind blowing speech by Robert Welch in 1958 predicting Insiders plans to destroy America

The Ten Planks of the 
Communist Manifesto
1848 by Karl Heinrich Marx

List of short-term demands, also known as the ten planks:

1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes.

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.

6. Centralisation of the means of communications and transportation in the hands of the State.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of population over the country.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.[1]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Communist_Manifesto

The Left Has Its Pope

By Thomas Sowell

Pope Francis has created political controversy, both inside and outside the Catholic Church, by blaming capitalism for many of the problems of the poor. We can no doubt expect more of the same during his visit to the United States.

Pope Francis is part of a larger trend of the rise of the political left among Catholic intellectuals. He is, in a sense, the culmination of that trend.
There has long been a political left among Catholics, as among other Americans. Often they were part of the pragmatic left, as in the many old Irish-run, big city political machines that dispensed benefits to the poor in exchange for their votes, as somewhat romantically depicted in the movie classic, “The Last Hurrah.”

But there has also been a more ideological left. Where the Communists had their official newspaper, “The Daily Worker,” there was also “The Catholic Worker” published by Dorothy Day.

A landmark in the evolution of the ideological left among Catholics was a publication in the 1980s, by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, titled “Pastoral Letter on Catholic Social Teaching and the U.S. Economy.”

Although this publication was said to be based on Catholic teachings, one of its principal contributors, Archbishop Rembert Weakland, said: “I think we should be up front and say that really we took this from the Enlightenment era.”

The specifics of the Bishops’ Pastoral Letter reflect far more of the secular Enlightenment of the 18th century than of Catholic traditions. Archbishop Weakland admitted that such an Enlightenment figure as Thomas Paine “is now coming back through a strange channel.”

Strange indeed. Paine rejected the teachings of “any church that I know of,” including “the Roman church.” He said: “My own mind is my own church.” Nor was Paine unusual among the leading figures of the 18th century Enlightenment.

To base social or moral principles on the philosophy of the 18th century Enlightenment, and then call the result “Catholic teachings” suggests something like bait-and-switch advertising.

But, putting aside religious or philosophical questions, we have more than two centuries of historical evidence of what has actually happened as the ideas of people like those Enlightenment figures were put into practice in the real world — beginning with the French Revolution and its disastrous aftermath.

Both the authors of the Bishops’ Pastoral Letter in the 1980s, and Pope Francis today, blithely throw around the phrase “the poor,” and blame poverty on what other people are doing or not doing to or for “the poor.”

Any serious look at the history of human beings over the millennia shows that the species began in poverty. It is not poverty, but prosperity, that needs explaining. Poverty is automatic, but prosperity requires many things — none of which is equally distributed around the world or even within a given society.

Geographic settings are radically different, both among nations and within nations. So are demographic differences, with some nations and groups having a median age over 40 and others having a median age under 20. This means that some groups have several times as much adult work experience as others.

Cultures are also radically different in many ways.

As distinguished economic historian David S. Landes put it, “The world has never been a level playing field.” But which has a better track record of helping the less fortunate — fighting for a bigger slice of the economic pie, or producing a bigger pie?

In 1900, only 3 percent of American homes had electric lights but more than 99 percent had them before the end of the century. Infant mortality rates were 165 per thousand in 1900 and 7 per thousand by 1997. By 2001, most Americans living below the official poverty line had central air conditioning, a motor vehicle, cable television with multiple TV sets, and other amenities.

A scholar specializing in the study of Latin America said that the official poverty level in the United States is the upper middle class in Mexico. The much criticized market economy of the United States has done far more for the poor than the ideology of the left.

Pope Francis’ own native Argentina was once among the leading economies of the world, before it was ruined by the kind of ideological notions he is now promoting around the world.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2015/09/22/the_left_has_its_pope_128160.html

Pope Francis’s fact-free flamboyance

Opinion writer

Pope Francis embodies sanctity but comes trailing clouds of sanctimony. With a convert’s indiscriminate zeal, he embraces ideas impeccably fashionable, demonstrably false and deeply reactionary. They would devastate the poor on whose behalf he purports to speak — if his policy prescriptions were not as implausible as his social diagnoses are shrill.

Supporters of Francis have bought newspaper and broadcast advertisements to disseminate some of his woolly sentiments that have the intellectual tone of fortune cookies. One example: “People occasionally forgive, but nature never does.” The Vatican’s majesty does not disguise the vacuity of this. Is Francis intimating that environmental damage is irreversible? He neglects what technology has accomplished regarding London’s air (see Page 1 of Dickens’s “Bleak House”) and other matters.

George F. Will writes a twice-weekly column on politics and domestic and foreign affairs. He began his column with The Post in 1974, and he received the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary in 1977. He is also a contributor to FOX News’ daytime and primetime programming.View Archive

And the Earth is becoming “an immense pile of filth”? Hyperbole is a predictable precursor of yet anotherU.N. Climate Change Conference — the 21st since 1995. Fortunately, rhetorical exhibitionism increases as its effectiveness diminishes. In his June encyclical and elsewhere, Francis lectures about our responsibilities, but neglects the duty to be as intelligent as one can be.This man who says “the Church does not presume to settle scientific questions” proceeds as though everything about which he declaims is settled, from imperiled plankton to air conditioning being among humanity’s “harmful habits.” The church that thought it was settled science that Galileo was heretical should be attentive to all evidence.

Francis deplores “compulsive consumerism,” a sin to which the 1.3 billion persons without even electricity can only aspire. He leaves the Vatican to jet around praising subsistence farming, a romance best enjoyed from 30,000 feet above the realities that such farmers yearn to escape.

The saint who is Francis’s namesake supposedly lived in sweet harmony with nature. For most of mankind, however, nature has been, and remains, scarcity, disease and natural — note the adjective — disasters. Our flourishing requires affordable, abundant energy for the production of everything from food to pharmaceuticals. Poverty has probably decreased more in the past two centuries than in the preceding three millennia because of industrialization powered by fossil fuels. Only economic growth has ever produced broad amelioration of poverty, and since growth began in the late 18th century, it has depended on such fuels.

Matt Ridley, author of “The Rational Optimist,” notes that coal supplanting wood fuel reversed deforestation, and that “fertilizer manufactured with gas halved the amount of land needed to produce a given amount of food.” The capitalist commerce that Francis disdains is the reason the portion of the planet’s population living in “absolute poverty” ($1.25 a day) declined from 53 percent to 17 percent in three decades after 1981. Even in low-income countries, writes economist Indur Goklany, life expectancy increased from between 25 to 30 years in 1900 to 62 years today. Sixty-three percent of fibers are synthetic and derived from fossil fuels; of the rest, 79 percent come from cotton, which requires synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. “Synthetic fertilizers and pesticides derived from fossil fuels,” he says, “are responsible for at least 60 percent of today’s global food supply.” Without fossil fuels, he says, global cropland would have to increase at least 150 percent — equal to the combined land areas of South America and the European Union — to meet current food demands.

Francis grew up around the rancid political culture of Peronist populism, the sterile redistributionism that has reduced his Argentina from the world’s 14th highest per-capita gross domestic product in 1900 to 63rd today. Francis’s agenda for the planet — “global regulatory norms” — would globalize Argentina’s downward mobility.

As the world spurns his church’s teachings about abortion, contraception, divorce, same-sex marriage and other matters, Francis jauntily makes his church congruent with the secular religion of “sustainability.” Because this is hostile to growth, it fits Francis’s seeming sympathy for medieval stasis, when his church ruled the roost, economic growth was essentially nonexistent and life expectancy was around 30.

Francis’s fact-free flamboyance reduces him to a shepherd whose selectively reverent flock, genuflecting only at green altars, is tiny relative to the publicity it receives from media otherwise disdainful of his church. Secular people with anti-Catholic agendas drain his prestige, a dwindling asset, into promotion of policies inimical to the most vulnerable people and unrelated to what once was the papacy’s very different salvific mission.

He stands against modernity, rationality, science and, ultimately, the spontaneous creativity of open societies in which people and their desires are not problems but precious resources. Americans cannot simultaneously honor him and celebrate their nation’s premises.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/pope-franciss-fact-free-flamboyance/2015/09/18/7d711750-5d6a-11e5-8e9e-dce8a2a2a679_story.html

Obama’s welcoming speech to Pope Francis, and the pope’s reply

President Barack Obama’s remarks came first Wednesday morning at the White House. Pope Francis’ own comments are below the president’s.

Obama

Good morning! What a beautiful day the Lord has made! Holy Father, on behalf of Michelle and myself, welcome to the White House. Our backyard is not typically this crowded – but the size and spirit of today’s gathering is just a small reflection of the deep devotion of some 70 million American Catholics . . . and the way your message of love and hope has inspired so many people, across our nation and around the world. On behalf of the American people, it is my great honor and privilege to welcome you to the United States of America.

Today, we mark many firsts. Your Holiness, you have been celebrated as the first pope from the Americas. This is your first visit to the United States. And you are also the first pontiff to share an encyclical through a Twitter account.

Holy Father, your visit not only allows me, in some small way, to reciprocate the extraordinary hospitality you extended to me at the Vatican last year. It also reveals how much all Americans, from every background and of every faith, value the role that the Catholic Church plays in strengthening America. From my time working in impoverished neighborhoods with the Catholic Church in Chicago to my travels as president, I’ve seen firsthand how, every day, Catholic communities, priests, nuns and laity feed the hungry, heal the sick, shelter the homeless, educate our children and fortify the faith that sustains so many.

What is true in America is true around the world. From the busy streets of Buenos Aires to remote villages in Kenya, Catholic organizations serve the poor, minister to prisoners, build schools and homes, and operate orphanages and hospitals. And just as the Church has stood with those struggling to break the chains of poverty, it has given voice and hope to those seeking to break the chains of violence and oppression.

And yet, I believe the excitement around your visit must be attributed not only to your role as pope, but to your unique qualities as a person. In your humility, your embrace of simplicity, the gentleness of your words and the generosity of your spirit, we see a living example of Jesus’ teachings, a leader whose moral authority comes not just through words but also through deeds.

You call on all of us, Catholic and non-Catholic alike, to put the “least of these” at the center of our concern. You remind us that in the eyes of God our measure as individuals, and as societies, is not determined by wealth or power or station or celebrity, but by how well we hew to Scripture’s call to lift up the poor and the marginalized, to stand up for justice and against inequality, and to ensure that every human being is able to live in dignity – because we are all made in the image of God.

You remind us that “the Lord’s most powerful message” is mercy. That means welcoming the stranger with empathy and a truly open heart – from the refugee who flees war-torn lands to the immigrant who leaves home in search of a better life. It means showing compassion and love for the marginalized and the outcast, those who have suffered and those who seek redemption.

You remind us of the costs of war, particularly on the powerless and defenseless, and urge us toward the imperative of peace. Holy Father, we are grateful for your invaluable support of our new beginning with the Cuban people, which holds out the promise of better relations between our countries, greater cooperation across our hemisphere and a better life for the Cuban people. We thank you for your passionate voice against the deadly conflicts that ravage the lives of so many men, women and children; and your call for nations to resist the sirens of war and resolve disputes through diplomacy.

You remind us that people are only truly free when they can practice their faith freely. Here in the United States, we cherish religious liberty. Yet around the world at this very moment, children of God, including Christians, are targeted and even killed because of their faith. Believers are prevented from gathering at their places of worship. The faithful are imprisoned. Churches are destroyed. So we stand with you in defense of religious freedom and interfaith dialogue, knowing that people everywhere must be able to live out their faith free from fear and intimidation.

And, Holy Father, you remind us that we have a sacred obligation to protect our planet – God’s magnificent gift to us. We support your call to all world leaders to support the communities most vulnerable to a changing climate and to come together to preserve our precious world for future generations.

Your Holiness, in your words and deeds, you set a profound moral example. And in these gentle but firm reminders of our obligations to God and to one another, you are shaking us out of complacency. All of us may, at times, experience discomfort when we contemplate the distance between how we lead our daily lives and what we know to be true and right. But I believe such discomfort is a blessing, for it points to something better. You shake our conscience from slumber; you call on us to rejoice in Good News, and give us confidence that we can come together, in humility and service, and pursue a world that is more loving, more just, and more free. Here at home and around the world, may our generation heed your call to “never remain on the sidelines of this march of living hope!”

For that great gift of hope, Holy Father, we thank you, and welcome you, with joy and gratitude, to the United States of America.

Pope Francis

Good morning. Mr. President, I am deeply grateful for your welcome in the name of the all Americans. As a son of an immigrant family, I am happy to be a guest in this country, which was largely built by such families.

I look forward to these days of encounter and dialogue in which I hope to listen to and share many of the hopes and dreams of the American people. During my visit, I will have the honor of addressing Congress, where I hope, as a brother of this country, to offer words of encouragement to those called to guide the nation’s political future in fidelity to its founding principles. I will also travel to Philadelphia for the eighth World Meeting of Families to celebrate and support the institutions of marriage and the family at this critical moment in the history of our civilization.

Mr. President, together with their fellow citizens, American Catholics are committed to building a society which is truly tolerant and inclusive, to safeguarding the rights of individuals and communities, and to rejecting every form of unjust discrimination. With countless other people of goodwill, they are likewise concerned that efforts to build a just and wisely ordered society respect their deepest concerns and the right to religious liberty. That freedom reminds one of America’s most precious possessions. And, as my brothers, the United States bishops, have reminded us, all are called to be vigilant, precisely as good citizens, to preserve and defend that freedom from everything that would threaten or compromise it.

Mr. President, I find it encouraging that you are proposing an initiative for reducing air pollution. Accepting the urgency, it seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to our future generation. When it comes to the care of our common home, we are living at a critical moment of history. We still have time to make the change needed to bring about a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change.

Such change demands on our part a serious and responsible recognition not only of the kind of world we may be leaving to our children, but also to the millions of people living under a system which has overlooked them. Our common home has been part of this group of the excluded, which cries out to heaven and which today powerfully strikes our homes, our cities, our societies. To use a telling phrase of the Rev. Martin Luther King, we can say that we have defaulted on a promissory note, and now is the time to honor it.

We know by faith that the Creator does not abandon us; He never forsakes his loving plan or repents of having created us. Humanity has the ability to work together in building our common home. As Christians inspired by this certainty, we wish to commit ourselves to the conscious and responsible care of our common home.

Mr. President, the efforts which were recently made to mend broken relationships and to open new doors to cooperation within our human family represent positive steps along the path of reconciliation, justice and freedom.

I would like all men and women of goodwill in this great nation to support the efforts of the international community to protect the vulnerable in our world and to stimulate integral and inclusive models of development, so that our brothers and sisters everywhere may know the blessings of peace and prosperity which God wills for all his children.

Mr. President, once again I thank you for your welcome, and I look forward to these days in your country. God bless America.

Read Pope Francis’ Speech That He Gave at the White House

Obama to Bask in Pope’s Aura, But Francis Wants Economic Justice

When Pope Francis meets Barack Obama at the White House on Wednesday, the president will bask in his guest’s moral authority and iconic popularity. But the first pontiff from Latin America is likely to exploit those assets to pressure his host on U.S. global economic leadership.

On Francis’s first full day in the country, Obama and as many as 15,000 guests will welcome him on the South Lawn of the White House. For the president, it’s an opportunity to showcase the pope’s support for his initiatives on income inequality, immigration and climate change.

“These are issues that are going to define our future, and the pope I think is providing an incredible sense of motivation that they can and must be addressed,” Deputy National Security Adviser Ben Rhodes said in a conference call with reporters. “The pope’s voice could not be more timely and important.”

Contentious issues involving Church doctrine on the family — such as abortion rights and contraception coverage — will be swept under the carpet of the Oval Office. But the pope, who called for “a poor Church for the poor” on his election, is expected to elevate his concern for the downtrodden and the excluded for a global audience.

“There are points of tension, and the role of the U.S. as a world leader in economic justice is certainly going to be an issue — how much the U.S. is doing will be on the pope’s mind,” said veteran Vatican watcher John Thavis, author of The Vatican Prophecies. “The U.S. is in a position to drive some of these discussions, and the pope would like to see some leadership.”

At the White House on Wednesday morning, crowds began gathering well before sunrise to clear the security checkpoints before assembling on the South Lawn. A group of drummers banged on their instruments near the Treasury Department, and a man with a bullhorn disrupted the quiet near Lafayette Square on the north side of the White House complex.

Lines for those holding tickets to the White House ceremony grew after the gates opened at 5 a.m. Yellow and white Vatican flags were flying alongside U.S. flags around the White House ready for Francis’s arrival.

Extraordinary Pulpit

The political heft of the leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics will be underscored by crowds that security officials expect to be comparable to a presidential inauguration. Some 150,000 people may congregate on the route of his “popemobile” along the National Mall. Much of downtown Washington will be closed to traffic.

Francis faces a balancing act in crafting his message for the extraordinary pulpit that his first visit to the U.S. affords. He will be the first pope to address Congress, on Thursday, and then speaks to the United Nations General Assembly on Friday. He must tailor his criticisms of capitalism’s excesses for a country in which the philosophy is nearly a faith.

“He will make it clear that he is not attacking capitalism as an economic theory, but the way it plays out in the real world — he sees masses of people excluded from the benefits of capitalism, and I think he will say that greed cannot be a motivator in human society,” Thavis said.

Humble Symbol

In one small symbol, Francis chose a humble Fiat 500L to travel from Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, where his plane landed, to the Vatican envoy’s residence in the city. The compact car was dwarfed in his motorcade by the Secret Service’s hulking sport utility vehicles.

The Argentine pope’s priorities are reflected even in his choice of language. At the White House, he will deliver the first speech of his visit in English. But 14 of the 18 speeches scheduled in the country will be in his native Spanish.

“He’s more comfortable that way,” his spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi, said at a briefing last week. He’s also better able to reach the nation’s largest immigrant group in the language, a top item on his agenda.

It’s also in Spanish that Francis will celebrate his first Mass in the U.S. on Wednesday, and canonize a saint on U.S. soil for the first time, Hispanic missionary Junipero Serra.

Persuading the Hierarchy

Earlier in the day, Francis will speak to approximately 300 U.S. Catholic bishops at a prayer service at St. Matthew’s Cathedral, known to many Americans as the site of President John F. Kennedy’s funeral Mass.

Those remarks are significant, as it is the church’s U.S. hierarchy that is responsible for follow-through on Francis’s priorities through Sunday sermons, religious education programs, Catholic school curricula and parish activities, said Father Tom Reese, a Jesuit priest and a senior analyst for the National Catholic Reporter.

“The bishops in the United States over the past 10 years have tended to focus on abortion, gay marriage and this religious freedom issue. He wants them to move in a different direction,” Reese said. “He’s not going to succeed unless the rest of the church gets behind him, particularly the bishops and the priests.”

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-09-23/obama-to-bask-in-pope-s-aura-but-francis-wants-economic-justice

White House compares Obama to Pope Francis

By NICOLE DURAN

Pope Francis and President Obama have both dedicated their lives to helping the less fortunate, and that commonality will be central to their meeting Wednesday during the pope’s first visit to the United States, a White House spokesman said hours before Obama left to greet the pontiff as he landed at Andrews Air Force Base Tuesday afternoon.

“[B]oth men have talked, quite publicly, about their commitment to social justice,” White House spokesman Josh Earnest said in previewing their Oval Office meeting scheduled for Wednesday morning. “And both men have dedicated their, not just their careers, but their lives, to that effort.”

“Certainly the kind of commitment that we’ve seen from Pope Francis is unique and singular,” Earnest allowed “but I think the values that both men live out have some common ground.”

Earnest talked about how Obama turned down high-paying jobs upon graduating law school to instead work in Chicago’s poor South Side, and how Francis is known for advocating on behalf of impoverished communities in his home country of Argentina before ascending through the Roman Catholic Church’s ranks.

“And you know, the president actually worked quite closely with other Catholics in that community, and the president has talked about that quite a bit … this has been a value that has animated the president’s career choices since he was a young man.”

Earnest said Francis’s story is similar.

“[P]rior to rising through the leadership ranks of the Catholic Church … Pope Francis earned a reputation in Latin America [as being someone] willing to roll up his sleeves” to help the less fortunate, “particularly those who were economically destitute,” Earnest said.

Earnest said many in the administration are looking forward to greeting Francis because they feel they are working toward the same goals.

They’re “animated by the same kinds of values that animate the pope,” Earnest said about White House staffers. “And I think that’s why the opportunity to have Pope Francis, somebody who shares those values, here in this building tomorrow, makes for a really special day.”

A crowd of 15,000 is expected to welcome Francis at a ceremony on the White House lawn Wednesday morning.

According to press reports, several hundred people were on hand at Maryland’s Andrews Air Force Base to watch “Shepherd One” land and cheer the pope as he deplaned.

“We love Francis, yes we do,” people reportedly chanted. “We love Francis, how about you?”

In addition to Obama, First Lady Michelle, Vice President Joe Biden his wife Jill, and their extended families, nearly 20 other dignitaries were on hand at Andrews, including all of the Washington and Baltimore areas’ Catholic bishops.

“Ho, ho, hey, hey, welcome to the USA,” the larger crowd chanted, welcoming Francis on his first trip ever to the United States.

http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/white-house-officials-are-now-comparing-obama-to-the-pope/article/2572634

Pope of the poor arrives in US denying he’s a liberal

By NICOLE WINFIELD and RACHEL ZOL

Pope of the poor arrives in US denying he’s a liberal

he pope of the poor arrived for his first-ever visit to the world’s wealthiest superpower Tuesday denying he is a leftist and riding in a frugal little family car, windows rolled down.

Pope Francis’ chartered plane from Cuba touched down at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland, where President Barack Obama and his wife and daughters paid him the rare honor of meeting him at the bottom of the stairs on the red-carpeted tarmac. Presidents usually make important visitors come to them at the White House.

Emerging from the aircraft to loud cheers from a crowd of hundreds, the smiling 78-year-old pontiff removed his skullcap in the windy weather and made his way down the steps in his white robes.

He was welcomed by a military honor guard, chanting schoolchildren, politicians, and Roman Catholic clerics in black robes with vivid sashes of scarlet and purple. Joe Biden, the nation’s first Catholic vice president, and his wife were among those who greeted him.

Eschewing a limousine, the pope climbed into the back of a little Fiat sandwiched between huge black SUVs. He promptly rolled down the windows, enabling the cheering, whooping crowds to see him as his motorcade took him to the Vatican diplomatic mission in Washington, where he will stay while in the nation’s capital.

The choice of car was in keeping with his simple habits and his stand against consumerism. His decision to roll down the windows reflected his penchant for trying to connect to ordinary people despite the tight security around him.

During his six-day, three-city visit to the U.S., the pope will meet with the president on Wednesday, address Congress on Thursday, speak at the United Nations in New York on Friday and take part in a Vatican-sponsored conference on the family in Philadelphia over the weekend.

The Argentine known as the “slum pope” for ministering to the downtrodden in his native Buenos Aires is expected to urge America to take better care of the environment and the poor and return to its founding ideals of religious liberty and open arms toward immigrants.

During the flight, Francis defended himself against conservative criticism that his condemnation of trickle-down economics makes him a communist.

“I am certain that I have never said anything beyond what is in the social doctrine of the church,” he said. He said some may have misinterpreted his writings in a way that makes him sound “a little bit more left-leaning,” but he said that’s wrong.

Joking about doubts in some quarters over whether he is truly Catholic, he said, “If I have to recite the Creed, I’m ready.”

Francis is the fourth pope ever to visit the United States.

Francis’ enormous popularity, propensity for wading into crowds and insistence on using an open-sided Jeep rather than a bulletproof popemobile have complicated things for U.S. law enforcement, which has mounted one of the biggest security operations in American history to keep him safe.

The measures are unprecedented for a papal trip and could make it nearly impossible for many ordinary Americans to get anywhere close to Francis.

For all the attention likely to be paid to Francis’ speeches, including the first address from a pope to Congress, his more personal gestures — visiting with immigrants, prisoners and the homeless — could yield some of the most memorable images of the trip.

“What the pope does in the United States will be more important than what he says,” said Mat Schmalz, a religious studies professor at Holy Cross college in Worcester, Massachusetts. “There are a lot of things he will say about capitalism and about wealth inequality, but many Americans and politicians have already made up their minds on these issues. What I would look for is a particular gesture, an unscripted act, that will move people.”

In Cuba, Francis basked in the adulation of Cubans grateful to him for brokering the re-establishment of diplomatic relations between the U.S. and the communist island.

On the plane, though, he told reporters he will not use his speech to Congress to call specifically for the U.S. to lift the Cold War-era trade embargo against Cuba.

He arrives at a moment of bitter infighting across the country over gay rights, immigration, abortion and race relations — issues that are always simmering in the U.S. but have boiled over in the heat of a presidential campaign.

Capitol Hill is consumed by disputes over abortion and federal funding for Planned Parenthood after hidden-camera videos showed its officials talking about the organization’s practice of sending tissue from aborted fetuses to medical researchers. While Francis has staunchly upheld church teaching against abortion, he has recently allowed ordinary priests, and not just bishops, to absolve women of the sin.

Francis’ visit comes three months after the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage, putting U.S. bishops on the defensive and sharply dividing Americans over how much they should accommodate religious objectors. The pope has strongly upheld church teaching against same-sex marriage but adopted a welcoming tone toward gays themselves, saying, “Who am I to judge?” when asked about a supposedly gay priest.

Americans are also wrestling anew with issues of racism. A series of deaths in recent years of unarmed black men at the hands of law enforcement has intensified debate over the American criminal justice system. Francis will see that system up close when he meets with inmates at a Pennsylvania prison.

U.S. bishops, meanwhile, expect Francis will issue a strong call for immigration reform, a subject that has heated up with hardline anti-immigrant rhetoric from some of the Republican presidential candidates, especially Donald Trump.

Francis, the first Latin American pope, will be sending a powerful message on that front by delivering the vast majority of his speeches in his native Spanish.

“Our presidential candidates have been using immigrants as a wedge issue,” Miami Archbishop Thomas Wenski said. “It’s our hope that the visit of Pope Francis will change this narrative.”

Francis’ most eagerly watched speech will be his address to Congress. Republicans and many conservative Catholics have bristled at his indictment of the excesses of capitalism that he says impoverish people and risk turning the Earth into an “immense pile of filth.” Many conservatives have likewise rejected his call for urgent action against global warming.

Nevertheless, Francis enjoys popularity ratings in the U.S. that would be the envy of any world leader. A New York Times/CBS News poll conducted last week found 63 percent of Catholics have a favorable view of him, and nearly 8 in 10 approve the direction he is taking the church.

Just how far Francis presses his agenda in Washington is the big question.

Paul Vallely, author of “Pope Francis, The Struggle for the Soul of Catholicism,” predicted both “warmth” and “some finger-wagging” from the pope.

“He won’t necessarily confront people head-on,” Vallely said, “but he’ll change the priorities.”

http://news.yahoo.com/pope-ends-cuban-trip-address-families-heads-us-040511515.html

Pope Francis visits U.S. amid legal challenges to religious freedom


Pope Francis is arriving in the U.S. at a time when the faithful are facing broad challenges in court over the limits of religious liberty.

From the administration’s contraception mandate under Obamacare to the fallout from the Supreme Court’s ruling on same-sex marriage, church-affiliated institutions and individuals are confronting litigation to compel them to carry out policies contrary to their religious beliefs.

Some observers say the pope, with whom President Obama claims to hold a special relationship, shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to speak out in defense of religious liberty in the U.S.

“This is the time, right now,” said Joseph Prud’homme, director of the Institute for the Study of Religion, Politics, and Culture at Washington College in Chestertown, Maryland. “I think it’s an opportunity for the pope to speak clearly about the right of religious liberty in this country.”

From his behind-the-scenes role in brokering the restoration of diplomatic ties between Cuba and the U.S. to his issuing of an encyclical on the environment in June calling for renewable-fuel subsidies and energy efficiency, Francis has appeared to many to be on the same page with much of Mr. Obama’s agenda.

“He has established a considerable bridge with the secular left with his encyclical on the environment,” Mr. Prud’homme said. “And using that kind of bridge, he needs to now walk across it and say very clearly that the right of religious freedom needs to be guaranteed and the right of individuals to follow their conscience needs to be protected.”

Francis addressed the issue of his ideological leanings Tuesday on the plane from Cuba, saying that while some glosses on his writings and words may have created a view that he is “a little bit more left-leaning,” such narratives are wrong.

“I am certain that I have never said anything beyond what is in the social doctrine of the church,” he asserted, referring to more than 120 years of church criticism of the excesses of capitalism, repeated in various ways by every pope since Leo XIII’s encyclical Rerum Novarum.

White House aides said the president’s meeting with the pope in the Oval Office on Wednesday will focus on their shared values and won’t address policy specifics.

“Their focus in the context of this meeting will not be about politics, not about specific policies, but rather about the kinds of values that both men have dedicated their lives to championing,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest. “There is no plan or strategy that’s been put in place to try to stage an event that will advance anybody’s political agenda.”

Mr. Earnest, addressing the Islamic State’s persecution of Christians in Syria and Iraq, said one of the values that Mr. Obama shares with Pope Francis “is a commitment to religious liberty — standing up for the rights of religious minorities around the world.”

“That has long been a value that President Obama has prioritized,” he said.

Whether or not it was timed to coincide with the pope’s arrival, HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell gave a speech Tuesday at Howard University’s College of Medicine on progress made under the Affordable Care Act.

The Supreme Court is increasingly likely to take up one or more challenges to the Obamacare contraception mandate. A panel of the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis ruled last week that forcing two Missouri organizations to offer contraceptive coverage to employees — even indirectly — would violate the groups’ religious freedoms.

Every other appeals court to consider the issue has ruled in opposition to the 8th Circuit, and the Supreme Court usually steps in to resolve such splits. The other courts have said the administration has done enough to accommodate the objections of religiously affiliated nonprofit organizations such as universities, hospitals and charities.

The Becket Fund’s petitions to the high court involve the Little Sisters of the Poor and Houston Baptist University, both of which are challenging the mandate on religious grounds. The court is expected to decide in October whether to hear one or more of the cases.

“I think it’s unlikely that the court would refuse to address the issue, which is affecting hundreds if not thousands of religious organizations across the country,” Mr. Baxter said.

“The administration shouldn’t be picking and choosing between religious organizations. The bishops who run the dioceses around the country have been exempted from the mandate, there’s no reason why the nuns, like Little Sisters of the Poor, or other religious organizations shouldn’t also be exempt,” he said.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/sep/22/pope-francis-visits-us-amid-legal-challenges-to-re/?page=2

Ten Commandments

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Decalogue” redirects here. For other uses, see Decalogue (disambiguation).

This is an image of a copy of the 1675 Ten Commandments, at the Amsterdam Esnoga synagogue, produced on parchment in 1768 by Jekuthiel Sofer, a prolific Jewish eighteenth century scribe in Amsterdam. It has Hebrew language writing in two columns separated between, and surrounded by, ornate flowery patterns.

This 1768 parchment (612×502 mm) by Jekuthiel Sofer emulated the 1675 Ten Commandments at theAmsterdam Esnoga synagogue.[1]

The Ten Commandments, also known as the Decalogue, are a set of commandments which the Bible describes as being given to the Israelites by God at biblical Mount Sinai. The Ten Commandments appear twice in the Hebrew Bible, first atExodus 20:1–17, and then at Deuteronomy 5:4–21. According to Exodus, God inscribed them on two stone tablets, which he gave to Moses. Modern scholarship has found likely influences in Hittite and Mesopotamian laws and treaties, but is divided over exactly when the Ten Commandments were written and who wrote them. According to New Testament writers, the Ten Commandments are clearly attributed to Moses. John 7:19, Mark 7:10, Ephesians 6:2.

They include instructions to worship only God, to honour parents, and to keep the sabbath; as well as prohibitions againstidolatry, blasphemy, murder, adultery, theft, dishonesty, and coveting. Different religious groups follow different traditions for interpreting and numbering them.

Terminology

The second of two parchment sheets making up 4Q41, it contains Deuteronomy 5:1–6:1

Part of the All Souls Deuteronomy, containing one of the oldest extant copies of the Decalogue

In biblical Hebrew, the Ten Commandments are called עשרת הדברים (transliterated Asereth ha-D’bharîm) and in Rabbinical Hebrew עשרת הדברות (transliterated Asereth ha-Dibroth), both translatable as “the ten words”, “the ten sayings” or “the ten matters”.[2] The Tyndale and Coverdale English translations used “ten verses”. TheGeneva Bible appears to be the first to use “tenne commandements”, which was followed by the Bishops’ Bible and the Authorized Version (the “King James” version) as “ten commandments”. Most major English versions follow the Authorized Version.[3]

The English name “Decalogue” is derived from Greek δεκάλογος, dekalogos, the latter meaning and referring[4] to the Greek translation (in accusative) δέκα λόγους, deka logous, “ten words”, found in theSeptuagint (or LXX) at Exodus 34:28[3] and Deuteronomy 10:4.[5]

The stone tablets, as opposed to the commandments inscribed on them, are called לוחות הברית: Luchot HaBrit, meaning “the tablets of the covenant”.

Passages in Exodus and Deuteronomy

The biblical narrative of the revelation at Sinai begins in Exodus 19 after the arrival of the children of Israel at Mount Sinai (also called Horeb). on the morning of the third day of their encampment, “there were thunders and lightnings, and a thick cloud upon the mount, and the voice of the trumpet exceeding loud”, and the people assembled at the base of the mount. After “the LORD[6] came down upon mount Sinai”, Moses went up briefly and returned and prepared the people, and then in Exodus 20 “God spoke” to all the people the words of the covenant, “even ten commandments”[7] as it is written.

The people were afraid to hear more and moved “afar off”, and Moses responded with “Fear not.”[8] Nevertheless, he drew near the “thick darkness” where “the presence of the Lord” was[9] to hear the additional statutes and “judgments”, (Exodus 21–23) all which he “wrote”[10] in the “book of the covenant[11] which he read to the people the next morning, and they agreed to be obedient and do all that the LORD had said. Moses escorted a select group consisting of Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, and “seventy of the elders of Israel” to a location on the mount where they worshipped “afar off”[12] and they “saw the God of Israel” above a “paved work” like clear sapphire stone. (Exodus 24:1–11)

And the LORD said unto Moses, Come up to me into the mount, and be there: and I will give thee tablets of stone, and a law, and commandments which I have written; that thou mayest teach them. 13 And Moses rose up, and his minister Joshua: and Moses went up into the mount of God.

— First mention of the tablets in Exodus 24:12–13

The mount was covered by the cloud for six days, and on the seventh day Moses went into the midst of the cloud and was “in the mount forty days and forty nights.” (Exodus 24:16–18) And Moses said, “the LORD delivered unto me two tablets of stone written with the finger of God; and on them was written according to all the words, which the LORDspake with you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly.” (Deuteronomy 9:10) Before the full forty days expired, the children of Israel collectively decided that something happened to Moses, and compelled Aaron to fashion a golden calf, and he “built an altar before it” (Ex.32:1–5) and the people “worshipped” the calf. (Ex.32:6–8)

After the full forty days, Moses and Joshua came down from the mountain with the tablets of stone: “And it came to pass, as soon as he came nigh unto the camp, that he saw the calf, and the dancing: and Moses’ anger waxed hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands, and brake them beneath the mount.” (Ex.32:19) After the events in chapters 32 and 33, the LORD told Moses, “Hew thee two tablets of stone like unto the first: and I will write upon these tablets the words that were in the first tablets, which thou brakest.” (Ex.34:1) “And he wrote on the tablets, according to the first writing, the ten commandments, which the LORD spake unto you in the mount out of the midst of the fire in the day of the assembly: and the LORD gave them unto me.” (Deuteronomy 10:4)

According to Jewish tradition, Exodus 20:1–17 constitutes God’s first recitation and inscription of the ten commandments on the two tablets,[13] which Moses broke in anger with his rebellious nation, and were later rewritten on replacement stones and placed in the ark of the covenant;[14] and Deuteronomy 5:4–20 consists of God’s re-telling of the Ten Commandments to the younger generation who were to enter the Promised Land. The passages in Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5 contain more than ten imperative statements, totalling 14 or 15 in all.

Traditions for numbering

Different religious traditions divide the seventeen verses of Exodus 20:1–17 and their parallels at Deuteronomy 5:4–21 into ten “commandments” or “sayings” in different ways, shown in the table below. Some suggest that the number ten is a choice to aid memorization rather than a matter of theology.[15][16]

Traditions:

  • S: Septuagint, generally followed by Orthodox Christians.
  • P: Philo, same as the Septuagint, but with the prohibitions on killing and adultery reversed.
  • T: Jewish Talmud, makes the “prologue” the first “saying” or “matter” and combines the prohibition on worshiping deities other than Yahweh with the prohibition on idolatry.
  • A: Augustine follows the Talmud in combining verses 3–6, but omits the prologue as a commandment and divides the prohibition on coveting in two and following the word order of Deuteronomy 5:21 rather than Exodus 20:17.
  • C: Catechism of the Catholic Church, largely follows Augustine.
  • L: Lutherans follow Luther’s Large Catechism, which follows Augustine but omits the prohibition of images[17] and uses the word order of Exodus 20:17 rather than Deuteronomy 5:21 for the ninth and tenth commandments.
  • R: Reformed Christians follow John Calvin‘s Institutes of the Christian Religion, which follows the Septuagint.
The Ten Commandments
S P T A C L R Main article Exodus 20:1-17 Deuteronomy 5:4-21
1 1 (1) I am the Lord thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 2[18] 6[18]
1 1 2 1 1 1 1 Thou shalt have no other gods before me 3[19] 7[19]
2 2 2 1 1 2 Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image 4–6[20] 8–10[21]
3 3 3 2 2 2 3 Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain 7[22] 11[23]
4 4 4 3 3 3 4 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy 8–11[24] 12–15[25]
5 5 5 4 4 4 5 Honour thy father and thy mother 12[26] 16[27]
6 7 6 5 5 5 6 Thou shalt not kill 13[28] 17[28]
7 6 7 6 6 6 7 Thou shalt not commit adultery 14[29] 18[30]
8 8 8 7 7 7 8 Thou shalt not steal 15[31] 19[32]
9 9 9 8 8 8 9 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour 16[33] 20[34]
10 10 10 10 10 9 10 Thou shalt not covet (neighbor’s house) 17a[35] 21b[36]
10 10 10 9 9 10 10 Thou shalt not covet (neighbor’s wife) 17b[37] 21a[38]
10 10 10 10 10 10 10 Thou shalt not covet (neighbor’s servants, animals, or anything else) 17c[39] 21c[40]
  • All scripture quotes above are from the King James Version. Click on verses at top of columns for other versions.

Religious interpretations

The Ten Commandments concern matters of fundamental importance in both Judaism and Christianity: the greatest obligation (to worship only God), the greatest injury to a person (murder), the greatest injury to family bonds (adultery), the greatest injury to commerce and law (bearing false witness), the greatest inter-generational obligation (honor to parents), the greatest obligation to community (truthfulness), the greatest injury to moveable property (theft).[41]

The Ten Commandments are written with room for varying interpretation, reflecting their role as a summary of fundamental principles.[16][41][42][43] They are not as explicit[41] or detailed as rules[44] or many other biblical laws and commandments, because they provide guiding principles that apply universally, across changing circumstances. They do not specify punishments for their violation. Their precise import must be worked out in each separate situation.[44]

The Bible indicates the special status of the Ten Commandments among all other Old Testament laws in several ways. They have a uniquely terse style.[45] Of all the biblical laws and commandments, the Ten Commandments alone[45] were “written with the finger of God” (Exodus 31:18). And lastly, the stone tablets were placed in the Ark of the Covenant (Exodus 25:21).[45]

Judaism

In Judaism, the Ten Commandments provide God’s universal and timeless standard of right and wrong, unlike the other 613 commandments in the Torah, which include, for example, various duties and ceremonies such as the kashrut dietary laws and now unobservable rituals to be performed by priests in the Holy Temple.[46] They form the basis of Jewish law.[47] Jewish tradition considers the Ten Commandments the theological basis for the rest of the commandments; a number of works (starting with Rabbi Saadia Gaon) have made groupings of the commandments according to their links with the Ten Commandments.[citation needed]

The traditional Rabbinical Jewish belief is that the observance of these commandments and the other mitzvot are required solely of the Jewish people, and that the laws incumbent on humanity in general are outlined in the seven Noahide laws (several of which overlap with the Ten Commandments). In the era of the Sanhedrintransgressing any one of six of the Ten Commandments theoretically carried the death penalty, the exceptions being the First Commandment, honoring your father and mother, saying God’s name in vain, and coveting, though this was rarely enforced due to a large number of stringent evidentiary requirements imposed by theoral law.[48]

The two tablets

Main article: Tablets of Stone

The arrangement of the commandments on the two tablets is interpreted in different ways in the classical Jewish tradition. Rabbi Hanina ben Gamaliel says that each tablet contained five commandments, “but the Sages say ten on one tablet and ten on the other”, that is, that the tablets were duplicates.[49] This can be compared to diplomatic treaties of Ancient Egypt, in which a copy was made for each party.[50]

According to the Talmud, the compendium of traditional Rabbinic Jewish law, tradition, and interpretation, one interpretation of the biblical verse “the tablets were written on both their sides”,[51] is that the carving went through the full thickness of the tablets, yet was miraculously legible from both sides.[52]

Use in Jewish ritual

The Ten Commandments on a glass plate

During the period of the Second Temple, the Ten Commandments were recited daily.[53] The Mishnah records that in the Temple, it was the practice to recite them every day before the reading of the Shema Yisrael (as preserved, for example, in the Nash Papyrus, a Hebrew manuscript fragment from 150–100 BCE found in Egypt, containing a version of the ten commandments and the beginning of the Shema); but that this practice was abolished in the synagogues so as not to give ammunition to heretics who claimed that they were the only important part of Jewish law,[54][55] or to dispute a claim by early Christians that only the Ten Commandments were handed down at Mount Sinai rather than the whole Torah.[53]

In later centuries, rabbis continued to omit the Ten Commandments from daily liturgy in order to prevent a confusion among Jews that they are only bound by the Ten Commandments, and not also by many other biblical and talmudic laws, such as the requirement to observe holy days other than the sabbath.[53]

Today, the Ten Commandments are heard in the synagogue three times a year: as they come up during the readings of Exodus and Deuteronomy, and during the festival of Shavuot.[53] The Exodus version is read in parashat Yitro around late January–February, and on the festival of Shavuot, and the Deuteronomy version in parashat Va’etchanan in August–September. In some traditions, worshipers rise for the reading of the Ten Commandments to highlight their special significance[53] though many rabbis, including Maimonides, have opposed this custom since one may come to think that the Ten Commandments are more important than the rest of the Mitzvot.[56]

In printed Chumashim, as well as in those in manuscript form, the Ten Commandments carry two sets of cantillation marks. The ta’am ‘elyon (upper accentuation), which makes each Commandment into a separate verse, is used for public Torah reading, while the ta’am tachton (lower accentuation), which divides the text into verses of more even length, is used for private reading or study. The verse numbering in Jewish Bibles follows the ta’am tachton. In Jewish Bibles the references to the Ten Commandments are therefore Exodus 20:2–14 and Deuteronomy 5:6–18.

Samaritan

The Samaritan Pentateuch varies in the Ten Commandments passages, both in that the Samaritan Deuteronomical version of the passage is much closer to that in Exodus, and in that Samaritans count as nine commandments what others count as ten. The Samaritan tenth commandment is on the sanctity of Mount Gerizim.

The text of the Samaritan tenth commandment follows:

And it shall come to pass when the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land of the Canaanites whither thou goest to take possession of it, thou shalt erect unto thee large stones, and thou shalt cover them with lime, and thou shalt write upon the stones all the words of this Law, and it shall come to pass when ye cross the Jordan, ye shall erect these stones which I command thee upon Mount Gerizim, and thou shalt build there an altar unto the Lord thy God, an altar of stones, and thou shalt not lift upon them iron, of perfect stones shalt thou build thine altar, and thou shalt bring upon it burnt offerings to the Lord thy God, and thou shalt sacrifice peace offerings, and thou shalt eat there and rejoice before the Lord thy God. That mountain is on the other side of the Jordan at the end of the road towards the going down of the sun in the land of the Canaanites who dwell in the Arabah facing Gilgal close by Elon Moreh facing Shechem.[57]

Christianity

Christians believe that the Ten Commandments have divine authority and continue to be valid, though they have different interpretations and uses of them.[58]Through most of Christian history, the decalogue has been considered a summary of God’s law and standard of behavior, and has been central to Christian life, piety, and worship.[59]

References in the New Testament

During his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explicitly referenced the prohibitions against murder and adultery. In Matthew 19:16-19 Jesus repeated five of the Ten Commandments, followed by that commandment called “the second” (Matthew 22:34-40) after the first and great commandment.

And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

In his Epistle to the Romans, Paul the Apostle also mentioned five of the Ten Commandments and associated them with the neighbourly love commandment.

Romans 13:8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.
9 For this, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not kill, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Thou shalt not covet; and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly comprehended in this saying, namely, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
10 Love worketh no ill to his neighbour: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.

— Romans 13:8-10 KJV

Roman Catholicism

In Roman Catholicism, Jesus freed Christians from Jewish religious law, but not from their obligation to keep the Ten Commandments.[60] They are to the moral order what the creation story is to the natural order.[60]

According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church—the official exposition of the Catholic Church‘s Christian beliefs—the Commandments are considered essential for spiritual good health and growth,[61] and serve as the basis for social justice.[62] Church teaching of the Commandments is largely based on the Old and New Testaments and the writings of the early Church Fathers.[63] In the New Testament, Jesus acknowledged their validity and instructed his disciples to go further, demanding a righteousness exceeding that of the scribes and Pharisees.[64] Summarized by Jesus into two “great commandments” that teach the love of God and love of neighbor,[65] they instruct individuals on their relationships with both.

Orthodox

The Eastern Orthodox Church holds its moral truths to be chiefly contained in the Ten Commandments.[66] A confession begins with the Confessor reciting the Ten Commandments and asking the penitent which of them he has broken.[67]

Protestantism

See also: Law and Gospel

Even after rejecting the Roman Catholic moral theology, giving more importance to biblical law in order to better hear and be moved by the gospel, early Protestant theologians still took the Ten Commandments to be the starting point of Christian moral life.[68] Different versions of Christianity have varied in how they have translated the bare principles into the specifics that make up a full Christian ethic.[68] Where Catholicism emphasizes taking action to fulfill the Ten Commandments, Protestantism uses the Ten Commandments for two purposes: to outline the Christian life to each person, and to make each person realize, through their failure to live that life, that they lack the ability to do it on their own.[68]

A Christian school in India displays the Ten Commandments

Lutheranism

The Lutheran division of the commandments follows the one established by St. Augustine, following the then current synagogue scribal division. The first three commandments govern the relationship between God and humans, the fourth through eighth govern public relationships between people, and the last two govern private thoughts. See Luther’s Small Catechism[69] and Large Catechism.[17]

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints[edit]

According to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS) doctrine, Jesus completed rather than rejected the Mosaic Law.[70] The Ten Commandments are considered eternal gospel principles necessary for exaltation.[71] They appear in the Book of Mosiah 12:34–36,[72] 13:15–16,[73] 13:21–24[74] and Doctrine and Covenants.[71] In Mosiah, a prophet named Abinadi taught the Ten Commandments in the court of King Noah and was martyred for his righteousness.[75] Abinadi knew the Ten Commandments from the brass plates.[76]

In an October, 2010 address, LDS president and prophet Thomas S. Monson taught “The Ten Commandments are just that — commandments. They are not suggestions.”[77]

Strangites[edit]

One Mormon fundamentalist faction, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (Strangite), offers a unique version of the Ten Commandments that is not found in any other religious tradition—including other Latter Day Saint churches. In his Book of the Law of the Lord, which Strangite founder James J. Strangclaimed to be the long-lost Plates of Laban described in the Book of Mormon, Strang offers a commandment which no other version of the Ten Commandments has: “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself,”[78] (which appears in the Hebrew Bible in Leviticus 19:18 and five times in the New Testament). In his “Note on the Decalogue,”[79] Strang asserted that no other version of the Decalogue contains more than nine commandments. He equally speculated that his fourth commandment was lost perhaps as early as Josephus‘ time (circa 37-100 AD). Strang’s version of the Decalogue (together with the rest of his teaching) are rejected by the mainline LDS Church, together with all other non-Strangite Mormon factions.

New Covenant Theology

Main article: New Covenant Theology

New Covenant Theology (NCT) is a recently expressed Christian theological view of redemptive history which claims that all Old Covenant laws have beencancelled[80] in favor of the Law of Christ or New Covenant law of the New Testament. This can be summarized as the ethical expectation found in the New Testament. New Covenant Theology does not reject all religious law, they only reject Old Covenant law. NCT is in contrast with other views on biblical law in that most others do not believe the Ten Commandments and Divine laws of the Old Covenant have been cancelled and prefer the term “Supersessionism” (rather than “cancelled” or “abrogated”) for the rest. In 2001, Richard Barcellos, an associate professor and pastor of a Reformed Baptist Church in California, published a critique of NCT for proposing that the Ten Commandments have been cancelled.[81]

Islam

The Qur’an includes a version of the Ten Commandments in sura Al-An’am 6:151:

  • “Say: “Come, I will rehearse what Allah hath (really) prohibited you from”: Join not anything with Him; be good to your parents; kill not your children on a plea of want;- We provide sustenance for you and for them;- come not nigh to indecent deeds. Whether open or secret; take not life, which Allah hath made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus doth He command you, that ye may learn wisdom. And come not nigh to the orphan’s property, except to improve it, until he attain the age of full strength; give measure and weight with (full) justice;- no burden do We place on any soul, but that which it can bear;- whenever ye speak, speak justly, even if a near relative is concerned; and fulfill the Covenant of Allah. thus doth He command you, that ye may remember.”[82]

Another Chapter of The Qur’an also includes a version of the Ten Commandments in Al-Isra According to Hazrat Abdullah Ibn Abbas °the verses of Chapter 17Al-Isra are the Quranic version of the ten Commandments[83] Commandment 1 Verse 22 “Set not up with Allah any other ilah (god), (O man)!”[84] Commandment 2Verse 23 “And your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And that you be dutiful to your parents. If one of them or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of disrespect, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honour.” Verse 24 “And lower unto them the wing of submission and humility through mercy, and say: “My Lord! Bestow on them Your Mercy as they did bring me up when I was small.”[85] Commandment 3 Verse 26 “And give to the kindred his due and to the Miskin (poor) and to the wayfarer. But spend not wastefully (your wealth) in the manner of a spendthrift .”[86] Commandment 4 Verse 29“And let not your hand be tied (like a miser) to your neck, nor stretch it forth to its utmost reach (like a spendthrift), so that you become blameworthy and in severe poverty.”[87] Commandment 5 Verse 31 “And kill not your children for fear of poverty. We provide for them and for you. Surely, the killing of them is a great sin.”[88]Commandment 6 Verse 32 “And come not near to the unlawful sexual intercourse.”[89] Commandment 7 Verse 33 “And do not kill anyone which Allah has forbidden, except for a just cause.”[90] Commandment 8 Verse 34 “And come not near to the orphan’s property except to improve it, until he attains the age of full strength.”[91] Commandment 9 Verse 35 “And give full measure when you measure, and weigh with a balance that is straight.”[92] Commandment 10 Verse 36“And follow not (O man i.e., say not, or do not or witness not, etc.) that of which you have no knowledge (e.g. one’s saying: “I have seen,” while in fact he has not seen, or “I have heard,” while he has not heard). Verily! The hearing, and the sight, and the heart, of each of those you will be questioned (by Allah).”[93]

:22-37[94]

Main points of interpretative difference

Sabbath day

Main articles: Sabbath in Christianity and Shabbat

Sabbath in Christianity is a weekly day of rest or religious observance, derived from the sabbath.[95] Non-Sabbatarianism is the principle of Christian liberty from being bound to physical sabbath observance. Most dictionaries provide both first-day and seventh-day definitions for “sabbath” and “Sabbatarian”, among other related uses.

Until the 2nd and 3rd century, Christians kept the Jewish Sabbath[citation needed], which occurs from Friday night to Saturday night each week. Observing the Sabbath on Sunday, the day of resurrection, gradually became the dominant Christian practice from the Jewish-Roman wars onward. Before then, Christianity was predominantly still a Jewish sect. The Church’s general repudiation of Jewish practices during this period is apparent in the Council of Laodicea (4th Century AD) where Canons 37–38 state: “It is not lawful to receive portions sent from the feasts of Jews or heretics, nor to feast together with them” and “It is not lawful to receive unleavened bread from the Jews, nor to be partakers of their impiety”.[96]

Canon 29 of the Laodicean council specifically refers to the sabbath: “Christians must not judaize by resting on the [Jewish] Sabbath, but must work on that day, rather honoring the Lord’s Day; and, if they can, resting then as Christians. But if any shall be found to be judaizers, let them be anathema (excommunicated) from Christ.”[96]

Killing or murder

Main article: You shall not murder

The Sixth Commandment, as translated by the Book of Common Prayer (1549).
The image is from the altar screen of the Temple Church near the Law Courts in London.

Multiple translations exist of the fifth/sixth commandment; the Hebrew words לא תרצח (lo tirtzach) are variously translated as “thou shalt not kill” or “thou shalt not murder”.[97]

The imperative is against unlawful killing resulting in bloodguilt.[98] The Hebrew Bible contains numerous prohibitions against unlawful killing, but also allows for justified killing in the context of warfare (1Kings 2:5–6), capital punishment(Leviticus 20:9–16) and self-defence (Exodus 22:2–3). The New Testament is in agreement that murder is a grave moral evil,[99] and maintains the Old Testament view of bloodguilt.[100]

You shall not steal

Main article: You shall not steal

Significant voices among academic theologians (such as German Old Testament scholar Albrecht Alt: Das Verbot des Diebstahls im Dekalog (1953)) suggest that commandment “you shall not steal” was originally intended against stealing people—against abductions and slavery, in agreement with the Talmudic interpretation of the statement as “you shall not kidnap” (Sanhedrin 86a).

Idolatry

In Christianity’s earliest centuries, some Christians had informally adorned their homes and places of worship with images of Christ and the saints, while some thought it inappropriate. No church council had ruled on whether such practices constituted idolatry. The controversy reached crisis level in the 8th century, during the period of iconoclasm: the smashing of icons.[101]

In 726, Emperor Leo III ordered all images removed from all churches; in 730, a council forbade veneration of images, citing the Second Commandment; in 787, theSeventh Ecumenical Council reversed the preceding rulings, condemning iconoclasm and sanctioning the veneration of images; in 815, Leo V called yet another council, which reinstated iconoclasm; in 843, Empress Theodora again reinstated veneration of icons.[101] This mostly settled the matter until the Protestant Reformation, when John Calvin declared that the ruling of the Seventh Ecumenical Council “emanated from Satan”.[101] Protestant iconoclasts at this time destroyed statues, pictures, stained glass, and artistic masterpieces.[101]

The Eastern Orthodox Church celebrates Theodora’s restoration of the icons every year on the First Sunday of Great Lent.[101] Eastern Orthodox tradition teaches that while images of God, the Father, remain prohibited, depictions of Jesus as the incarnation of God as a visible human are permissible. To emphasize the theological importance of the incarnation, the Orthodox Church encourages the use of icons in church and private devotions, but prefers a two-dimensional depiction[102] as a reminder of this theological aspect. Icons depict the spiritual dimension of their subject rather than attempting a naturalistic portrayal.[101] In modern use (usually as a result of Roman Catholic influence), more naturalistic images and images of the Father, however, also appear occasionally in Orthodox churches, but statues, i.e. three-dimensional depictions, continue to be banned.[102]

The Roman Catholic Church holds that one may build and use “likenesses”, as long as the object is not worshipped. Many Roman Catholic Churches and services feature images; some feature statues. For Roman Catholics, this practice is understood as fulfilling the Second Commandment, as they understand that these images are not being worshipped.[citation needed]

For Jews and Muslims, veneration violates the Second Commandment. Jews and Muslims read this commandment as prohibiting the use of idols and images in any way. For this reason, Jewish Temples and Islamic Mosques do not have pictures of God, saints or prophets.[citation needed]

Some Protestants will picture Jesus in his human form, while refusing to make any image of God or Jesus in Heaven.[citation needed]

Strict Amish people forbid any sort of image, such as photographs.[citation needed]

Adultery

Originally this commandment forbade male Israelites to have sexual intercourse with the wife of another Israelite, though Israelite men were not forbidden to have sexual intercourse with the slaves belonging to their own household. Sexual intercourse between an Israelite man, even if he was married, and an unmarried or unbetrothed woman was not considered as adultery.[103] This concept of adultery stems from the economic aspect of Israelite marriage, as adultery constituted a violation of the husband’s exclusive right to his wife, whereas the wife, as the husband’s possession, had no such right.[104]

Critical historical analysis

Early theories

Critical scholarship is divided over its interpretation of the ten commandment texts.

In Julius Wellhausen‘s classic documentary hypothesis of the formation of the Pentateuch (see JEDP), first published in 1878, Exodus 20-23 and 34 were composed by the J or Jahwist writer and “might be regarded as the document which formed the starting point of the religious history of Israel.”[105] Deuteronomy 5 then reflects King Josiah’s attempt to link the document produced by his court to the older Mosaic tradition.

In a 2002 analysis of the history of this position, Bernard M. Levinson argued that this reconstruction assumes a Christian perspective, and dates back to Johann Wolfgang von Goethe‘s polemic against Judaism, which asserted that religions evolve from the more ritualistic to the more ethical. Goethe thus argued that the Ten Commandments revealed to Moses at Mt. Sinai would have emphasized rituals, and that the “ethical” Decalogue Christians recite in their own churches was composed at a later date, when Israelite prophets had begun to prophesy the coming of the messiah, Jesus Christ. Levinson points out that there is no evidence, internal to the Hebrew Bible or in external sources, to support this conjecture. He concludes that its vogue among later critical historians represents the persistence of this polemic that the supersession of Judaism by Christianity is part of a longer history of progress from the ritualistic to the ethical.[106]

By the 1930s, historians who accepted the basic premises of multiple authorship had come to reject the idea of an orderly evolution of Israelite religion. Critics instead began to suppose that law and ritual could be of equal importance, while taking different form, at different times. This means that there is no longer any a priori reason to believe that Exodus 20:2–17 and Exodus 34:10–28 were composed during different stages of Israelite history. For example, critical historian John Bright also dates the Jahwist texts to the tenth century BCE, but believes that they express a theology that “had already been normalized in the period of the Judges” (i.e., of the tribal alliance).[107] He concurs about the importance of the decalogue as “a central feature in the covenant that brought together Israel into being as a people”[108] but views the parallels between Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5, along with other evidence, as reason to believe that it is relatively close to its original form and Mosaic in origin.[109]

Hittite treaties

According to John Bright, however, there is an important distinction between the Decalogue and the “book of the covenant” (Exodus 21-23 and 34:10–24). The Decalogue, he argues, was modeled on the suzerainty treaties of the Hittites (and other Mesopotamian Empires), that is, represents the relationship between God and Israel as a relationship between king and vassal, and enacts that bond.[110]

“The prologue of the Hittite treaty reminds his vassals of his benevolent acts.. (compare with Exodus 20:2 “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery”). The Hittite treaty also stipulated the obligations imposed by the ruler on his vassals, which included a prohibition of relations with peoples outside the empire, or enmity between those within.”[111] (Exodus 20:3: “You shall have no other gods before Me”). Viewed as a treaty rather than a law code, its purpose is not so much to regulate human affairs as to define the scope of the king’s power.[112]

Julius Morgenstern argued that Exodus 34 is distinct from the Jahwist document, identifying it with king Asa’s reforms in 899 BCE.[113] Bright, however, believes that like the Decalogue this text has its origins in the time of the tribal alliance. The book of the covenant, he notes, bears a greater similarity to Mesopotamian law codes (e.g. the Code of Hammurabi which was inscribed on a stone stele). He argues that the function of this “book” is to move from the realm of treaty to the realm of law: “The Book of the Covenant (Ex., chs. 21 to 23; cf. ch. 34), which is no official state law, but a description of normative Israelite judicial procedure in the days of the Judges, is the best example of this process.”[114] According to Bright, then, this body of law too predates the monarchy.[115]

Hilton J. Blik writes that the phrasing in the Decalogue’s instructions suggests that it was conceived in a mainly polytheistic milieu, evident especially in the formulation of “no-other-gods-before-me” commandment.[116]

Dating

If the Ten Commandments are based on Hittite forms that would date it somewhere between the 14th-12th century BCE.[117] Archaeologists Israel Finkelstein andNeil Asher Silberman argue that “the astonishing composition came together … in the seventh century BCE”.[118] Critical scholar Yehezkel Kaufmann (1960) dates the oral form of the covenant to the time of Josiah.[119] An even later date (after 586 BCE) is suggested by David H. Aaron.[120]

The Ritual Decalogue

Main article: Ritual Decalogue

Some proponents of the Documentary hypothesis have argued that the biblical text in Exodus 34:28[121] identifies a different list as the ten commandments, that of Exodus 34:11–27.[122] Since this passage does not prohibit murder, adultery, theft, etc., but instead deals with the proper worship of Yahweh, some scholars call it the “Ritual Decalogue“, and disambiguate the ten commandments of traditional understanding as the “Ethical Decalogue”.[123][124][125][126]

According to these scholars the Bible includes multiple versions of events. On the basis of many points of analysis including linguistic it is shown as a patchwork of sources sometimes with bridging comments by the editor (Redactor) but otherwise left intact from the original, frequently side by side.[127]

Richard Elliott Friedman argues that the Ten Commandments at Exodus 20:1–17 “does not appear to belong to any of the major sources. It is likely to be an independent document, which was inserted here by the Redactor.”[128] In his view, the Covenant Code follows that version of the Ten Commandments in the northern Israel E narrative. In the J narrative in Exodus 34 the editor of the combined story known as the Redactor (or RJE), adds in an explanation that these are a replacement for the earlier tablets which were shattered. “In the combined JE text, it would be awkward to picture God just commanding Moses to make some tablets, as if there were no history to this matter, so RJE adds the explanation that these are a replacement for the earlier tablets that were shattered.”[129]

He writes that Exodus 34:14–26 is the J text of the Ten Commandments: “The first two commandments and the sabbath commandment have parallels in the other versions of the Ten Commandments. (Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5). … The other seven commandments here are completely different.”[130] He suggests that differences in the J and E versions of the Ten Commandments story are a result of power struggles in the priesthood. The writer has Moses smash the tablets “because this raised doubts about the Judah’s central religious shrine”.[131]

According to Kaufmann, the Decalogue and the book of the covenant represent two ways of manifesting God’s presence in Israel: the Ten Commandments taking the archaic and material form of stone tablets kept in the ark of the covenant, while the book of the covenant took oral form to be recited to the people.[119]

United States debate over display on public property

Picture of a large stone monument displaying the ten commandments with the Texas State Capitol in Austin in the background. The picture was part of a news release Wednesday, March second, 2005, by then Attorney General Abbott.

Ten Commandments display at theTexas State Capitol in Austin.

European Protestants replaced some visual art in their churches with plaques of the Ten Commandments after the Reformation. In England, such “Decalogue boards” also represented the English monarch’s emphasis on rule of royal law within the churches. In the United States, images of Moses and the tablets of the Decalogue also claim biblical roots to U.S. law (as on the pediment of the Supreme Court building in Washington). Images of the Ten Commandments, then, have long been contested symbols for the relationship of religion to national law.[132]

In the 1950s and 1960s, the Fraternal Order of Eagles placed hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Ten Commandments displays in courthouses and school rooms, including many stone monuments on courthouse property.[133] Because displaying the commandments can reflect a sectarian position if they are numbered (see above), the Eagles developed an ecumenical version that omitted the numbers, as on the monument at the Texas capitol (shown here). Hundreds of monuments were also placed by director Cecil B. DeMille as a publicity stunt to promote his 1956 film The Ten Commandments.[134] Placing the plaques and monuments to the Ten Commandments in and around government buildings was another expression of mid-twentieth century U.S. civil religion, along with adding the phrase “under God” to the Pledge of Allegiance.[132]

By the beginning of the twenty-first century in the U.S., however, Decalogue monuments and plaques in government spaces had become a legal battleground between religious as well as political liberals and conservatives. Organizations such as the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and Americans United for Separation of Church and State launched lawsuits challenging the posting of the ten commandments in public buildings. The ACLU has been supported by a number of religious groups (such as the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.),[135] and the American Jewish Congress[136]), both because they do not want government to be issuing religious doctrine and because they feel strongly that the commandments are inherently religious. Many commentators see this issue as part of a widerculture war between liberal and conservative elements in American society. In response to the perceived attacks on traditional society, other legal organizations, such as the Liberty Counsel, have risen to advocate the conservative interpretation. Many Christian conservatives have taken the banning of officially sanctioned prayer from public schools by the U.S. Supreme Court as a threat to the expression of religion in public life. In response, they have successfully lobbied many state and local governments to display the ten commandments in public buildings.

Those who oppose the posting of the ten commandments on public property argue that it violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. In contrast, groups like the Fraternal Order of Eagles who support the public display of the ten commandments claim that the commandments are not necessarily religious but represent the moral and legal foundation of society, and are appropriate to be displayed as a historical source of present-day legal codes. Also, some argue like Judge Roy Moore that prohibiting the public practice of religion is a violation of the first amendment’s guarantee offreedom of religion.[132]

The Ten Commandments by Lucas Cranach the Elder in the townhall ofWittenberg, (detail)

U.S. courts have often ruled against displays of the Ten Commandments on government property. They conclude that the ten commandments are derived from Judeo-Christian religions, to the exclusion of others: the statement “Thou shalt have no other gods before me” excludes non-monotheistic religions like Hinduism, for example. Whether the Constitution prohibits the posting of the commandments or not, there are additional political and civil rights issues regarding the posting of what is construed as religious doctrine. Excluding religions that have not accepted the ten commandments creates the appearance of impropriety. The courts have been more accepting, however, of displays that place the Ten Commandments in a broader historical context of the development of law.

One result of these legal cases has been that proponents of displaying the Ten Commandments have sometimes surrounded them with other historical texts to portray them as historical, rather than religious. Another result has been that other religious organizations have tried to put monuments to their laws on public lands. For example, an organization calledSummum has won court cases against municipalities in Utah for refusing to allow the group to erect a monument of Summum aphorisms next to the ten commandments. The cases were won on the grounds that Summum’s right to freedom of speech was denied and the governments had engaged in discrimination. Instead of allowing Summum to erect its monument, the local governments chose to remove their ten commandments.

Cultural references

Two famous films of this name were directed by Cecil B. DeMille: a silent movie released in 1923 starring Theodore Roberts as Moses and a colour VistaVisionversion of 1956, starring Charlton Heston as Moses.

Both The Decalogue, a 1989 Polish film series directed by Krzysztof Kieślowski, and The Ten, a 2007 American film, use the ten commandments as a structure for 10 smaller stories.[137]

See also

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_Commandments

The Communist Manifesto

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Communist Manifesto
Communist-manifesto.png

First edition, in German
Author Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels
Country United Kingdom
Language German (translated into several world languages)
Genre Manifesto
Publication date
21 February 1848

The Communist Manifesto (originally Manifesto of the Communist Party) is an 1848 political pamphlet by German philosophers Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. Commissioned by the Communist League and originally published in London (in the German language as Manifest der kommunistischen Partei) just as the revolutions of 1848 began to erupt, the Manifesto was later recognised as one of the world’s most influential political manuscripts. It presents an analytical approach to the class struggle (historical and present) and the problems of capitalism and the capitalist mode of production, rather than a prediction of communism’s potential future forms.

The Communist Manifesto summarises Marx and Engels’ theories about the nature of society and politics, that in their own words, “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”. It also briefly features their ideas for how the capitalist society of the time would eventually be replaced by socialism, and then finally communism.

Synopsis

A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of communism.

— Opening sentence

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, authors of the Manifesto

The Communist Manifesto is divided into a preamble and four sections, the last of these a short conclusion.

Preamble

The introduction begins by proclaiming “A spectre is haunting Europe—the spectre of communism. All the powers of old Europe have entered into a holy alliance to exorcise this spectre”. Pointing out that parties everywhere—including those in government and those in the opposition—have flung the “branding reproach of communism” at each other, the authors infer from this that the powers-that-be acknowledge communism to be a power in itself. Subsequently, the introduction exhorts Communists to openly publish their views and aims, to “meet this nursery tale of the spectre of communism with a manifesto of the party itself”.

Bourgeois and Proletarians

The first section of the Manifesto, “Bourgeois and Proletarians”, elucidates the materialist conception of history, that “the history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles”. Societies have always taken the form of an oppressed majority living under the thumb of an oppressive minority. In capitalism, the industrial working class, or proletariat, engage in class struggle against the owners of the means of production, thebourgeoisie. As before, this struggle will end in a revolution that restructures society, or the “common ruin of the contending classes”. The bourgeoisie, through the “constant revolutionising of production [and] uninterrupted disturbance of all social conditions” have emerged as the supreme class in society, displacing all the old powers of feudalism. The bourgeoisie constantly exploits the proletariat for its labour power, creating profit for themselves accumulating capital. However, by doing so the bourgeoisie “are its own grave-diggers”; the proletariat inevitably will become conscious of their own potential and rise to power through revolution, overthrowing the bourgeoisie.

Proletarians and Communists

“Proletarians and Communists”, the second section, starts by stating the relationship of conscious communists to the rest of the working class. The communists’ party will not oppose other working-class parties, but unlike them, it will express the general will and defend the common interests of the world’s proletariat as a whole, independent of all nationalities. The section goes on to defend communism from various objections, such as the claim that communists advocate “free love“, and the claim that people will not perform labour in a communist society because they have no incentive to work. The section ends by outlining a set of short-term demands—among them a progressive income tax; abolition of inheritances; free public education etc.—the implementation of which would be a precursor to a stateless and classless society.
List of short-term demands, also known as the ten planks:

1. Abolition of private property and the application of all rents of land to public purposes.

2. A heavy progressive or graduated income tax.

3. Abolition of all rights of inheritance.

4. Confiscation of the property of all emigrants and rebels.

5. Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.

6. Centralisation of the means of communications and transportation in the hands of the State.

7. Extension of factories and instruments of production owned by the state, the bringing into cultivation of waste lands, and the improvement of the soil generally in accordance with a common plan.

8. Equal liability of all to labor. Establishment of industrial armies, especially for agriculture.

9. Combination of agriculture with manufacturing industries, gradual abolition of the distinction between town and country, by a more equitable distribution of population over the country.

10. Free education for all children in public schools. Abolition of children’s factory labor in its present form. Combination of education with industrial production.[1]

Socialists and Communist Literature

The third section, “Socialist and Communist Literature”, distinguishes communism from other socialist doctrines prevalent at the time—these being broadly categorised as Reactionary Socialism; Conservative or Bourgeois Socialism; and Critical-Utopian Socialism and Communism. While the degree of reproach toward rival perspectives varies, all are dismissed for advocating reformism and failing to recognise the pre-eminent revolutionary role of the working class. “Position of the Communists in Relation to the Various Opposition Parties”, the concluding section of the Manifesto, briefly discusses the communist position on struggles in specific countries in the mid-nineteenth century such as France, Switzerland, Poland, and Germany, this last being “on the eve of a bourgeois revolution”, and predicts that a world revolution will soon follow. It ends by declaring an alliance with the social democrats, boldly supporting other communist revolutions, and calling for united international proletarian action.

Writing

Only surviving page from the first draft of the Manifesto, handwritten by Marx

Friedrich Engels has often been credited with composing the first drafts which led to the Communist Manifesto. In July 1847, Engels was elected into the Communist League, where he was assigned to draw up a catechism. This became the Draft of a Communist Confession of Faith. It contained almost two dozen questions that expressed the ideas of both Engels and Karl Marx at the time. In October 1847, Engels composed his second draft for the League, The Principles of Communism (which went unpublished until 1914). Once commissioned by the Communist League, Marx combined these drafts with Engels’ 1844 work The Condition of the Working Class in England to write the Communist Manifesto.[2]

Although the names of both Engels and Marx appear on the title page alongside the “persistent assumption of joint-authorship”, Engels, in the preface to the 1883 German edition of the Manifesto, said it was “essentially Marx’s work” and that “the basic thought… belongs solely and exclusively to Marx.”[3] Engels wrote after Marx’s death:

I cannot deny that both before and during my forty years’ collaboration with Marx I had a certain independent share in laying the foundations of the theory, but the greater part of its leading basic principles belongs to Marx … Marx was a genius; we others were at best talented. Without him the theory would not be by far what it is today. It therefore rightly bears his name.[4]

Despite Engels’s modesty in this quotation, he made major contributions to the Manifesto, starting with the suggestion to abandon “the form of a catechism and entitle it the Communist Manifesto.” Moreover, Engels joined Marx in Brussels for the writing of the Manifesto. There is no evidence of what his contributions to the final writing were, but the Manifesto bears the stamp of Marx’s more rhetorical writing style. Nevertheless, it seems clear that Engels’s contributions justify his name’s appearance on the title page after Marx’s.[5]

Publication

Initial publication and obscurity, 1848–72

A scene from the German March Revolution in Berlin, 1848

In late February 1848, the Manifesto was anonymously published by the Workers’ Educational Association (Communistischer Arbeiterbildungsverein) at 46 Liverpool Street in the City of London. Written in German, the 23-page pamphlet was titled Manifest der kommunistischen Partei and had a dark-green cover. It was reprinted thrice and serialised in the Deutsche Londoner Zeitung, a newspaper for German émigrés. On 4 March, one day after the serialisation in theZeitung began, Marx was expelled by Belgian police. Two weeks later, around 20 March, a thousand copies of the Manifestoreached Paris, and from there to Germany in early April. In April–May the text was corrected for printing and punctuation mistakes; Marx and Engels would use this 30-page version as the basis for future editions of the Manifesto.

Although the Manifesto‍ ’​s prelude announced that it was “to be published in the English, French, German, Italian, Flemish and Danish languages”, the initial printings were only in German. Polish and Danish translations soon followed the German original in London, and by the end of 1848, a Swedish translation was published with a new title—The Voice of Communism: Declaration of the Communist Party. In June–November 1850 the Manifesto of the Communist Party was published in English for the first time when George Julian Harney serialised Helen Macfarlane‘s translation in his Chartist magazine The Red Republican. (“A frightful hobgoblin stalks throughout Europe”, her version begins, “We are haunted by a ghost, the ghost of Communism…”[6]) For her translation, the Lancashire-based Macfarlane probably consulted Engels, whose own English translation had been abandoned half way. Harney’s introduction revealed the Manifesto‍ ’​s hitherto-anonymous authors’ identities for the first time.

Immediately after the Cologne Communist Trial of late 1852, the Communist League disbanded itself.

Soon after the Manifesto was published, Paris erupted in revolution to overthrow King Louis Philippe. The Manifesto played no role in this; a French translation was not published in Paris until just before the working-class June Days Uprising was crushed. Its influence in the Europe-wide revolutions of 1848 was restricted to Germany, where the Cologne-based Communist League and its newspaper Neue Rheinische Zeitung, edited by Marx, played an important role. Within a year of its establishment, in May 1849, the Zeitung was suppressed; Marx was expelled from Germany and had to seek lifelong refuge in London. In 1851, members of the Communist League’s central board were arrested by the Prussian police. At theirtrial in Cologne 18 months later in late 1852 they were sentenced to 3–6 years’ imprisonment. For Engels, the revolution was “forced into the background by the reaction that began with the defeat of the Paris workers in June 1848, and was finally excommunicated ‘by law’ in the conviction of the Cologne Communists in November 1852”.

After the defeat of the 1848 revolutions the Manifesto fell into obscurity, where it remained throughout the 1850s and 1860s. Hobsbawm says that by November 1850 the Manifesto “had become sufficiently scarce for Marx to think it worth reprinting section III … in the last issue of his [short-lived] London magazine”. Over the next two decades only a few new editions were published; these include a Russian translation by Mikhail Bakunin in Geneva c. 1863 and a 1866 edition in Berlin—the first time the Manifesto was published in Germany. According to Hobsbawm, “By the middle 1860s virtually nothing that Marx had written in the past was any longer in print.”

Rise, 1872–1917

In the early 1870s, the Manifesto and its authors experienced a revival in fortunes. Hobsbawm identifies three reasons for this. The first is the leadership role Marx played in the International Workingmen’s Association (aka the First International). Secondly, Marx also came into much prominence among socialists—and equal notoriety among the authorities—for his support of the Paris Commune of 1871, elucidated in The Civil War in France. Lastly, and perhaps most significantly in the popularisation of the Manifesto, was the treason trial of German Social Democratic Party (SPD) leaders. During the trial prosecutors read the Manifesto out loud as evidence; this meant that the pamphlet could legally be published in Germany. Thus in 1872 Marx and Engels rushed out a new German-language edition, writing a preface that identified that several portions that became outdated in the quarter century since its original publication. This edition was also the first time the title was shortened to The Communist Manifesto (Das Kommunistische Manifest), and it became the bedrock the authors based future editions upon. Between 1871 and 1873, the Manifesto was published in over nine editions in six languages; in 1872 it was published in the United States for the first time, serialised in Woodhull & Claflin’s Weekly of New York City. However, by the mid 1870s the Communist Manifesto remained Marx and Engels’ only work to be even moderately well-known.

Over the next forty years, as social-democratic parties rose across Europe and parts of the world, so did the publication of the Manifesto alongside them, in hundreds of editions in thirty languages. Marx and Engels wrote a new preface for the 1882 Russian edition, translated by Georgi Plekhanov in Geneva (but later attributed to “the heroic Vera Zasulich” by Engels). In it they wondered if Russia could directly become a communist society, or if she would become capitalist first like other European countries. After Marx’s death in 1883, Engels alone provided the prefaces for five editions between 1888 and 1893. Among these is the 1888 English edition, translated by Samuel Moore and approved by Engels, who also provided notes throughout the text. It has been the standard English-language edition ever since.

The principle region of its influence, in terms of editions published, was in the “central belt of Europe”, from Russia in the east to France in the west. In comparison, the pamphlet had little impact on politics in southwest and southeast Europe, and moderate presence in the north. Outside Europe, Chinese and Japanese translations were published, as were Spanish editions in Latin America. This uneven geographical spread in the Manifesto‍ ’​s popularity reflected the development of socialist movements in a particular region as well as the popularity of Marxist variety of socialism there. There wasn’t always a strong correlation between a social-democratic party’s strength and the Manifesto‍ ’​s popularity in that country. For instance, the German SPD printed only a few thousand copies of the Communist Manifesto every year, but a few hundred thousand copies of the Erfurt Programme. Further, the mass-based social-democratic parties of the Second Internationaldid not require their rank and file to be well-versed in theory; Marxist works such as the Manifesto or Capital were read primarily by party theoreticians. On the other hand, small, dedicated militant parties and Marxist sects in the West took pride in knowing the theory; Hobsbawm says “This was the milieu in which ‘the clearness of a comrade could be gauged invariably from the number of earmarks on his Manifesto'”.

Ubiquity, 1917–present

The Bolshevik (1920) by Boris Kustodiev.Following the 1917 Bolshevik takeover of Russia Marx/Engels classics like theCommunist Manifesto were distributed far and wide.

Following the October Revolution of 1917 that swept the Vladimir Lenin-led Bolsheviks to power in Russia, the world’s firstsocialist state was founded explicitly along Marxist lines. The Soviet Union, which Bolshevik Russia would become a part of, was a single-party state under the rule of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (CPSU). Unlike their mass-based counterparts of the Second International, the CPSU and other Leninist parties like it in the Third International expected their members to know the classic works of Marx, Engels and Lenin. Further, party leaders were expected to base their policy decisions on Marxist-Leninist ideology. Therefore works such as the Manifesto were required reading for the party rank-and-file.

Therefore the widespread dissemination of Marx and Engels’ works became an important policy objective; backed by a sovereign state, the CPSU had relatively inexhaustible resources for this purpose. Works by Marx, Engels and Lenin were published on a very large scale, and cheap editions of their works were available in several languages across the world. These publications were either shorter writings or they were compendia such as the various editions of Marx and Engels’Selected Works, or their Collected Works. This affected the destiny of the Manifesto in several ways. Firstly, in terms of circulation; in 1932 the American and British Communist Parties printed several hundred thousand copies of a cheap edition for “probably the largest mass edition ever issued in English”. Secondly the work entered political-science syllabi in universities, which would only expand after the Second World War. For its centenary in 1948, its publication was no longer the exclusive domain of Marxists and academicians; general publishers too printed theManifesto in large numbers. “In short, it was no longer only a classic Marxist document,” Hobsbawm noted, “it had become a political classic tout court.”

Even after the collapse of Marxism-Leninism in the 1990s, the Communist Manifesto remains ubiquitous; Hobsbawm says that “In states without censorship, almost certainly anyone within reach of a good bookshop, and certainly anyone within reach of a good library, not to mention the internet, can have access to it.” The 150th anniversary once again brought a deluge of attention in the press and the academia, as well as new editions of the book fronted by introductions to the text by academics. One of these, The Communist Manifesto: A Modern Edition by Verso, was touted by a critic in the London Review of Books as being a “stylish red-ribboned edition of the work. It is designed as a sweet keepsake, an exquisite collector’s item. In Manhattan, a prominent Fifth Avenue store put copies of this choice new edition in the hands of shop-window mannequins, displayed in come-hither poses and fashionable décolletage.”

Influence

Soviet Union stamp commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Manifesto

A number of 21st-century writers have commented on the Communist Manifesto‍ ’​s continuing relevance. Academic John Raines in 2002 noted that “In our day this Capitalist Revolution has reached the farthest corners of the earth. The tool of money has produced the miracle of the new global market and the ubiquitous shopping mall. Read The Communist Manifesto, written more than one hundred and fifty years ago, and you will discover that Marx foresaw it all.”[7] In 2003, the English Marxist Chris Harman stated:

There is still a compulsive quality to its prose as it provides insight after insight into the society in which we live, where it comes from and where its going to. It is still able to explain, as mainstream economists and sociologists cannot, today’s world of recurrent wars and repeated economic crisis, of hunger for hundreds of millions on the one hand and ‘overproduction’ on the other. There are passages that could have come from the most recent writings on globalisation.[8]

The continued relevance of the Marxist theories found within the text has also been supported by Alex Callinicos, editor ofInternational Socialism, who stated that “This is indeed a manifesto for the 21st century.”[9] Writing in The London Evening Standardin 2012, Andrew Neather cited Verso Books‘ 2012 re-edition of The Communist Manifesto, with an introduction by Eric Hobsbawm, as part of a resurgence of left-wing-themed ideas which includes the publication of Owen Jones‘ best-selling Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class, and Jason Barker‘s documentary Marx Reloaded.[10]

However, not all scholars have praised it. Revisionist Marxist and reformist socialist Eduard Bernstein distinguished between “immature” early Marxism—as exemplified by the Communist Manifesto written by Marx and Engels in their youth—that he opposed for its violent Blanquist tendencies, and later “mature” Marxism that he supported.[11] This latter form refers to Marx in his later life acknowledging that socialism could be achieved through peaceful means through legislative reform in democratic societies.[12] Bernstein declared that the massive and homogeneous working-class claimed in the Communist Manifesto did not exist, and that contrary to claims of a proletarian majority emerging, the middle-class was growing under capitalism and not disappearing as Marx had claimed. Bernstein noted that the working-class was not homogeneous but heterogeneous, with divisions and factions within it, including socialist and non-socialist trade unions. Marx himself, later in his life, acknowledged that the middle-class was not disappearing, in his work Theories of Surplus Value (1863). The obscurity of the later work means that Marx’s acknowledgement of this error is not well known.[13]

George Boyer described the Manifesto as “very much a period piece, a document of what was called the ‘hungry’ 1840s.”[14]

Many have drawn attention to the passage in the Manifesto that seems to sneer at the stupidity of the rustic: “The bourgeoisie … draws all nations … into civilisation … It has created enormous cities … and thus rescued a considerable part of the population from the idiocy [sic!] of rural life”.[15] As Eric Hobsbawm noted, however:

[W]hile there is no doubt that Marx at this time shared the usual townsman’s contempt for, as well as ignorance of, the peasant milieu, the actual and analytically more interesting German phrase (“dem Idiotismus des Landlebens entrissen”) referred not to “stupidity” but to “the narrow horizons”, or “the isolation from the wider society” in which people in the countryside lived. It echoed the original meaning of the Greek term idiotes from which the current meaning of “idiot” or “idiocy” is derived, namely “a person concerned only with his own private affairs and not with those of the wider community”. In the course of the decades since the 1840s, and in movements whose members, unlike Marx, were not classically educated, the original sense was lost and was misread.[16]

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References