Notebook (return of the native)

September 28, 2013 § Leave a comment

“I drew attention… to George Eliot’s use of these metaphors – ‘network’ and ‘web’,  ‘a tangled business’ – to describe actual social relations. But I think we have to go on to distinguish the different bearings of this complicated image. The network, we might say, connects; the web, the tangle, disturbs and obscures, To discover a network, to feel human connection in what is essentially a knowable community, is to assert (I mean assert creatively, produce as an experience) a particular social value: a necessary interdependence. But to discover a web or a tangle is to see human relationships as not only involving but compromising, limiting, mutually frustrating. And this is of course a radically different consciousness; in fact the first phase of a post-liberal world: a period between cultures, in which the old confidence of individual liberation has gone and the new commitment to social liberation has not yet been made.”


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