Friday, September 28, 2012

Art and Its Social Power

My son's final post to his Peace Corps blog includes a number of reflections on the work there and his hopes and dreams for the future.

One paragraph caught my attention - his reflections on the social power of art.

Here it is:

I have art sitting in my parents place waiting to be framed that will always remind me of my time there. And have a huge new appreciation for art since Swaziland as country very much lacks creativity in art and thought. And I have created my own style called Dotillism (kind of like Pointillism). Art is such an important aspect of life and when it goes away it is the kind of thing that lowers life's experience. The Power of Art is one of the most underrated world powers. Hollywood has cornered the market on it and maybe someday some how it will really figure out how to help make big change through it's work instead of just entertaining the world. But the world outside the US almost needs the entertainment more then we do. In Swaziland, the lack of art is something that needs to be addressed on top of many of the issues that appear in the newspapers. Because creativity helps solve problems and creative thought is something to be encouraged. There are lots of individuals working daily to figure out how to make their lives better, Swaziland is a young country and small with both of those type of insecurities but technology like Facebook, internet and cell phone are transforming the people there. In the 2 years I was there pretty much every Swazi joined Facebook, got a much better cell phone many now have Blackberrys (or the Chinese knock off versions) and they communicate through status updates & messages more than talk, phone or email. Since it is the best & cheapest way to communicate there. I hope the best for the country as it struggles to find its voice in the big world and for them to find democracy.

You can check out the final post HERE!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Capitalism, Communism and Marx

American Capitalists understood that Marx was right about the enslaving social conditions of Capitalism, and that's why the Robber Barons hated him, and still do.

On the other hand, Stalin and the Communists "embraced" Marx, much as Western Culture embraces Jesus - the Communists quickly employed Marx to further their own tyrannical purposes.

Both American Capitalists and Stalinist Communists knew that Marx was mostly right - the one group rejected him and made him the supreme enemy of God and Country; the other group "embraced" him and squeezed the life out of him.