Thanksgiving Is Ruined
April 13, 2006
"Every force evolves a form"
In the late Guy Davenport's wonderful essay with the above title, he took in a historically sweeping variety of cultural products (or, to oversimplify greatly, poems about birds) to consider "modulations of a long tradition, a dance of forms to a perennial spiritual force." Davenport borrowed his title from a maxim of Mother Anne Lee of the Shakers.
In the Spring 2006 issue of Fifth Estate, Peter Lamborn Wilson thinks about another "long tradition," and "perennial" forces of another (but maybe related?) kind, in his article, "Secular Antinomian Anabaptist Neo-Luddism: What Can Anarchists and Anarcho-Primitivists Learn from Old Order Religious Groups about Living Beyond Technology?"
At least one learnable item, he suggests, is "the pleasure of reversion":
The Amish may be dour, but they have produced a short of zen-shaker life-texture that possesses spontaneous good taste -- always a sign of pleasure.
In an ambitious but sketchy-feeling short essay that namechecks both Luther Blissett and the Schwenkenfeldians, he concludes:
Anarchist utopiansism has a noble history in America. It has always been a part of our strategic deployment.