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The philosophy founded by Eli Siegel

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On War and Peace
In issue #165 of The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known titled "What Caused the Wars," Eli Siegel, founder of Aesthetic Realism, explained centrally what is necessary for peace to be between nations and people.  He wrote: "The next war has to be against ugliness in self. And the greatest ugliness in self is the seeing of contempt as personal achievement. Contempt must be had for contempt before squabbles grow less, terror diminishes. Respect for what is real must be seen as the great success of man."  In these articles, the writers show some what that study means for individuals and for a nation.

bullet Weston Forum (Weston, CT), 12/28/12

"Root cause of Newtown tragedy is contempt" by Barbara McClung

"I grew up in Weston and was in one of the first graduating classes from the new high school. Newtown was our rival in football and basketball. Those memories come now with a different feeling.As a mother and a New York City teacher for 27 years, my heart is breaking for the families of the children and for the teachers of Newtown. And I’m awed by the courage they showed and by the strength and unity of that community in these days. Nothing can bring back the precious lives that were taken with unspeakable violence on an ordinary December morning. But for true healing to begin and for an end at last to horrors like this one, an understanding of what made for it is imperative. And that understanding does exist."...>more

bulletNewsday (Long Island, NY), 12/5/12

"Why Are There Homeless?" by Matthew D'Amico

"The actions of NYPD Officer Larry DePrimo, who bought boots and socks for a homeless man near Times Square, were commendable ['Man gifted shoes back on streets—without them,' News, Dec. 4]. However, the main question not being asked is, why in this day do we have human beings living on our streets? The sight of this man barefoot was heartbreaking. No person, regardless of circumstances, should be in this situation. 'What does a person deserve by being alive?' is a question asked by Eli Siegel, founder of the philosophy called Aesthetic Realism. This question must be asked by all of us, including our elected officials...."> more

bulletPhiladelphia Sunday Sun (Philadelphia, PA), 11/4/12

"Seeing the Feelings of Other People as Real: An Urgent Necessity" By Ruth Oron, Rose Levy, Zvia Ratz, Avi Gvili, Harriet Bernstein

"Like many Israelis, we were shocked to learn of the recent attack by Israeli teenagers on Palestinian youths in Jerusalem. There has been huge enmity and cruelty on both sides for decades, but the idea that we, the Jews, who endured the Holocaust could be brutal in this way is unbearable to us....As Israelis who dearly love our country, we have learned from Aesthetic Realism, the education founded by Eli Siegel, that what [NY Times writer Nimrod] Aloni describes is contempt: 'the addition to self through the lessening of something else.' Contempt is ordinary. People build up themselves by lessening others through gossip, not listening when someone is talking, feeling smugly that we have better taste, that we are superior to someone else. But ordinary contempt taken far enough leads to horrors...." > more

bulletMachias Valley News Observer (Machias, ME), 9/6/12

"Why Does High Unemployment Persist?—The Cause & Ethical Solution" by Carol Driscoll

"...I love the beautiful state of Maine,and feel passionately that every person has a right to decent housing and adequate, nutritious food, and that means, having a goodpaying job! I very much want your readers to know what has been described in Aesthetic Realism, the education founded by the American philosopher Eli Siegel....In the journal The Right of Aesthetic Realismto Be Known, Editor Ellen Reiss wrote: “An economy which cannot supply jobs to the people of a nation is a failure. Today, the cause of production, of jobs, is the profit motive: how much money can some private individuals squeeze from the labor and needs of their fellow citizens? Along with the fact that it no longer works, this way of thought as an engine of economics was always ugly and cruel.... The solution for our economy is....[as Eli Siegel put it:]‘Jobs for usefulness, not for profit.’" ...> more

bulletWebster Post (Canandaigua, NY), 7/5/12

"Good will vs. contempt in bus bullying issue" by Lauren & Bruce Blaustein

Like people all over the world, we were outraged seeing how mercilessly seventh graders taunted 68-year-old Karen Klein, retired New York school bus driver now working as a bus monitor! This particular bullying is just one example of the bullying that is taking place across our land. Where does this come from? Can it stop? Eli Siegel, founder of the educational philosophy Aesthetic Realism, explained the cause of all cruelty, all human injustice, including what makes for the pleasure in bullying. It is contempt, the “disposition in every person to think he will be for himself by making less of the outside world.”...> more

bulletThe Palladium-Times (Oswego, NY) 1/15/11

"An exhibition: What it truly represents" by Julie Jensen

"As a German woman who was born in Berlin and grew up in Nazi Germany, and whose parents were avid followers of Hitler, I respect the exhibition [Hitler and the Germans: Nation and Crime] very much because it shows the desire to look honestly at our past and our regret. I believe every German wants to be proud of how he or she sees the horror that occurred during World War II—the ugliest time in our long history." … > more

bulletLake Champlain Weekly (Plattsburgh, NY) 10/12-18/05 

"The Spirit of America Lives at TICONDEROGA" by Harvey Spears

LAKE CHAMPLAIN WEEKLY (Plattsburgh, NY)... [W]hile attending a re-enactment of a Revolutionary War encampment and battle held at Fort Ticonderoga, my wife Carol and I were very moved as we saw men, women and children in the attire of eighteenth century America, commemorating one of our country's most important events—our great American Revolution. What made this event even more meaningful to us is the relevance we saw it has to people's lives today....During a commemoration service, the circuit preacher honored the meaning of the lives lost on September 11, 2001, and related this horrific tragedy to the hopes of persons early in our country's history. It had me see newly how urgent it is that people everywhere ask a question first articulated by Eli Siegel, founder of the education Aesthetic Realism: “What does a person deserve by being a person?"… > more

bulletThe Sun-Herald (Rocky River, OH) 6/3/04 

"Contempt can become a very dangerous thing" by Maureen Butler

THE SUN-HERALD  ...People want very much to understand how it is that young American men and women came to degrade and torture Iraqi people—with such obvious pleasure.... As a native of  Rocky River,  I want my fellow readers to know that the means of that understanding is in Aesthetic Realism... more

bullet Woodstock Times (Woodstock, NY) 5/13/04 - 5/19/04
"Contempt is the Beginning" by Carol Driscoll

WOODSTOCK TIMES. In the days since the revelations of the horrific abuses of Iraqi "detainees" at Abu Ghraib prison, a question often asked is: "How could this have happened?"... > more

bullet Chicago Standard News (Chicago, IL) 5/2/02; Rock Island Argus 4/28/02, & more
"Contempt Must Be Studied for Mideast Terror to End!" by Ruth Oron, Harriet Bernstein, Zehava Fishman, Avi Gvili, Zvia Ratz, Rose Levy, Leah Shazar

CHICAGO STANDARD NEWS. As Israelis who love our country, we are ashamed of the brutality now being committed by our army under the current leadership. We join the global outrage, which includes thousands of Israelis and Jews around the world, in protesting...As we have written before — There is a solution to this vicious cycle of contempt! ... > more on the Aesthetic Realism solution

bulletNew York Beacon (New York, NY) 1/31/01 - 2/6/02 [and other newspapers]
"Israeli Mother and Daughter Outline Keys to Peace—An Open Letter" by Leah Shazar and Ruth Oron

NEW YORK BEACON. We are a mother and daughter who love Israel deeply and want her to fare well.... It breaks our hearts to see the pain and uncertainty in our land.  We can’t bear to see Israeli and Palestinian people, including so many children, being killed almost daily, when we know that the cause of war—contempt—has been explained by Eli Siegel, the great philosopher and historian."...> more on the Aesthetic Realism solution

bulletThe African Herald (Dallas, TX) 10/01
"For a Safe World, a Sane World" by Miriam Weiss and Joseph Spetly

THE AFRICAN HERALD. Like people throughout America and the world, we are heartsick and deplore the massive and cold blooded acts that killed thousands of innocent men and women...But we also deplore and are terrified by the reckless cries for military retaliation, something that will only lead to more horrors and destruction, both in other nations and at home... > more

bulletThe Oregonian (OregonLive.com) 6/11/01
    "Protesting the World War II Memorial" by Dale Laurin and Chaim Koppelman

    THE OREGONIAN.  We are WWII veteran Chaim Koppelman and Dale Laurin, son of a veteran. We are now colleagues who study and teach Aesthetic Realism...We learned in our study with Eli Siegel, that every person has two desires: to respect the world we are born into, and to have contempt. Fascism was utter contempt, against beauty, life itself! This was a war nakedly between contempt for people and respect... > more


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