I have very little doubt that “we shall behold the miracle of a strictly animal society, a perfect and final ant-hill.

 

I have very little doubt that “we shall behold the miracle of a strictly animal society, a perfect and final ant-hill.” as Paul Valéry described – in the coming decade, or at least the European attempt at this:

 

“Hamlet hardly knows what to do with all these skulls. But if he throws them away!… Will he then cease to be himself? His fearfully lucid mind surveys the passage from war to peace. This transition is more dangerous, more obscure than the passage from peace to war; all nations are convulsed by it. “And I, the European intellect, what will become of me? …And what is peace he asks. “Peace is perhaps the state of things in which the natural hostility of man toward man is manifested by creation, in place of the destruction which marks a war.” It is the period of creative competition and the struggle of inventions. But as for me, am I weary of inventing? Have I not exhausted the desire for extreme attempts and made a vice of my skillful fabrications? Must I abandon my difficult duties and my transcendent ambitions? Should I follow the movement like Polonius, who has become the editor of a great newspaper? like Laertes, who is somewhere in the aviation? like Rosenkrantz, who does I don’t know what under a Russian name? “Phantoms, farewell! The world has no more need of you.Nor of me. The world, which has given the name of ‘progress’ to its tendency toward a fatal precision, is seeking to unite the blessings of life with the advantages of death. A certain confusion still reigns, but yet a little while and all will be made clear; at last we shall behold the miracle of a strictly animal society, a perfect and final ant-hill.”  (Paul Valéry, The Intellectual Crisis, 1919).

Published in: on April 21, 2008 at 8:39 am  Leave a Comment  

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