It’s only a transitional discomfort

…the influence of Property is apparent enough.  It is evident that the growth of property through the increase of man’s powers of production reacts on the man in three ways: to draw him away namely, (1) from Nature, (2) from his true Self, (3) from his Fellows….

It begins with the forsaking of the hardy nature-life, and it ends with a society broken down and prostrate, hardly recognisable as human amid every form of luxury, poverty and disease.  He who had been the free child of Nature denies his Mother; he disowns the very breasts that suckled him….And so with this denial of Nature comes every form of disease….

In order to advance any farther in his Evolution, Man must first fall; in order to know, he must lose.  In order to realise what Health is, how splendid and glorious a state, he must go through all the long negative experience of Disease; in order to know the perfect social life, to understand what power and happiness to mankind are involved in their true relation to each other, he must learn the misery and suffering which come from mere individualism and greed; and in order to find his true Humanity, he must first become slave to his own passions and desires, whirled away like Phaethon by the horses which he cannot control…

–Edward Carpenter was born this day in 1844.  These quotes are from his book about Civilisation, published in 1898.


“I can see only one ultimate way out of the morass in which we are engulfed. The present commercial system will have to go, and there will have to be a return to the much simpler systems of co-operation be-longing to a bygone age.”


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