Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Anarchical Plutocracy

Until very recently I thought that I had invented the term plutocratic anarchy, but it appears to have originated with William Morris... Morris’s term, to be precise, is “anarchical Plutocracy”. Anarchical Plutocracy destroys memory and dissipates attention; it is the enemy of everything that is summoned before us in Bishop Butler’s great pronouncement of 1729; “Everything is what it is, and not another thing”. Bad poetry, bad art, also dissipate the sense of things at once exactly and numinously understood. Great poetry is an act of unfailing attention; its frequently cited “music” must so be understood. -- Geoffrey Hill

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