Friday, December 17, 2010

Hayek write that in a free market the individual is recognized as “the ultimate judge of his ends,” and this means that cooperative actions among individuals arise from “coincidence of individual ends.”  Social ends are “merely identical ends of many individuals – or ends to the achievement of which individuals are willing to contribute in return for the assistance they receive in the satisfaction of their own desires.”

This claim assumes, obviously enough, that we have desires that can be identified as “our own.”  If Girard is right about the mimetic nature of desire, however, then desire is social.  And if that’s true, then we can’t simply characterize social ends as a collection of individual ends, and we cannot characterize the individual’s contribution to social ends simply in terms of “satisfaction of [one's] own desire.”  Hayek assumes, more fundamentally, that the individual is the basic unit of analysis, but if Girard is right, then the individual is always already infused with the social.

I’m sure there are economists out there working out the economic implications of Girardian anthropology.

Composition is a discipline; it forces us to think. If you want to 'get in touch with your feelings,' fine — talk to yourself; we all do. But, if you want to communicate with another thinking human being, get in touch with your thoughts. Put them in order; give them a purpose; use them to persuade, to instruct, to discover, to seduce. The secret way to do this is to write it down and then cut out the confusing parts.  --William Safire

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


She said, "I have this sense of urgency about what I want to get done and I discipline myself by keeping to myself."

And, "A mystical experience would be wasted on me. Ordinary things have always seemed numinous to me. One Calvinist notion deeply implanted in me is that there are two sides to your encounter with the world. You don't simply perceive something that is statically present, but in fact there is a visionary quality to all experience. It means something because it is addressed to you. This is the individualism that you find in Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson. You can draw from perception the same way a mystic would draw from a vision."

And, "To think that only faultless people are worthwhile seems like an incredible exclusion of almost everything of deep value in the human saga. Sometimes I can't believe the narrowness that has been attributed to God in terms of what he would approve and disapprove."