Hey." She said, looking up from an open book propped up on one knee. She brushed a few strands of pale hair out of her face. Her boyfriend, Christian, lay on the floor near her, his head propped up on her other knee. He greeted me by way of a nod. Concidering the antagonism the sometimes flared up between us, that was almost on par with him giving me a bear hug.
Friends have asked how I came to engender this American antagonism. My prodigious sin was, and still is, being a non-conformist. Although I am not a Communist I refused to fall in line by hating them. Secondly, I was opposed to the Committee on Un-American Activities — a dishonest phrase to begin with, elastic enough to wrap around the throat and strangle the voice of any American citizen whose honest opinion is a minority of one.
I am in exact accord with the belief of Thomas Edison that spirit is immortal, that there is a continuing center of character in each personality. But I don't know what spirit is, nor matter either. I suspect they are forms of the same thing. I never could see anything in this reputed antagonism between spirit and matter. To me this is the most beautiful, the most satisfactory from a scientific standpoint, the most logical theory of life.
Cannot swords be turned to plowshares? Can we and all nations not live in peace? In our obsession with antagonisms of the moment, we often forget how much unites all the members of humanity. Perhaps we need some outside, universal threat to make us recognize this common bond. I occasionally think how quickly our differences worldwide would vanish if we were facing an alien threat from outside this world. And yet, I ask you, is not an alien force already among us? What could be more alien to the universal aspirations of our peoples than war and the threat of... Read more »
Our epoch, the epoch of the bourgeoisie, posses however, this distinctive feature; it has simplified the class antagonisms. Society as a whole is more and more splitting up into two great hostile camps, into two great classes directly facing each other.
Tolstoy said, 'The antagonism between life and conscience may be removed either by a change of life or by a change of conscience.' Many of us have elected to adjust our consciences rather than our lives. Our powers of rationalization are unlimited. They allow us to live in luxury and indifference while others, whom we could help if we chose to, starve and go to hell.
On the surface the avant garde as a whole seems united primarily in terms of what they are against: the rejection of social institutions and established artistic conventions, or antagonism towards the public (as representative of the existing order). By contrast any positive programme tends to be claimed as exclusive property by isolated and even mutually antagonistic sub-groups. So modern art appears fragmented and sectarian, defined as much by manifestos as imaginative work.
A woman growing up under American ideas of liberty in government and religion, having never blushed behind a Turkish mask, nor pressed her feet in Chinese shoes, cannot brook any disabilities based on sex alone, without a deep feeling of antagonism with the power that creates it.
The abandonment of the gold standard made it possible for the welfare statists to use the banking system as a means to an unlimited expansion of credit. In the absence of the gold standard, there is no way to protect savings from confiscation through inflation. There is no safe store of value. Deficit spending is simply a scheme for the hidden confiscation of wealth. Gold stands in the way of this insidious process. It stands as a protector of property rights. If one grasps this, one has no difficulty in understanding the statists' antagonism toward the gold standard.