19 August 2011

Marauding bands

"... the citizens any paradise would need – the people who are brave enough, resourceful enough, and generous enough – already exist. The possibility of paradise hovers on the cusp of coming into being, so much so that it takes powerful forces to keep such a paradise at bay. If paradise now arises in hell, it's because in the suspension of the usual order and the failure of most systems, we are free to live and act another way." (A Paradise Built In Hell, Rebecca Solnit, 2009; page 7). 
The problem with that picture is not how people behave immediately after a disaster has struck but how people will behave later, when they will have had the chance to assemble marauding bands to plunder the countryside. 
For that reason the Chumash introduced the notion of sheviit and miqdash, to limit the accumulation of material wealth and to afford the society the room to promote a better system where meaning trumps worth and where neighborliness prevails over local warlords and where God's empire keeps the peace.  

No comments:

Post a Comment