Justice and Injustice in Economics

The Right Of is edited by Ellen Reiss, Aesthetic Realism Chairman of Education, who is author of its commentaries.

The Three Failures, by Eli Siegel / Number 181, September 15, 1976

A fair idea may be had of what Aesthetic Realism is by considering The Three Failures, as Aesthetic Realism sees these. The failures are different, are in different fields; but they all arise from the seeing of the world and persons representing the world, in an inaccurate and unjust way. These three failures, in contemporary terms, may be described as: One, The Freud Failure; Two, The Greenspan Failure; and Three, The Eliot Failure.

Because Aesthetic Realism sees Sigmund Freud as having failed the mind of man; sees Alan Greenspan as failing now the economics of man where economics is ethics; and sees Thomas Stearns Eliot as having failed poetry as meaning and music at once—an idea may be had of what Aesthetic Realism regards as not failure, or success. For the purpose of understanding Aesthetic Realism, is it not necessary, dear unknown friends, to know what Aesthetic Realism regards as failure and regards as success?... more

The Two Kinds of Cleverness / Number 1977, April 18, 2018

We have come to section 4 of Eli Siegel’s wonderful 1949 lecture Poetry and Cleverness. Offhand, cleverness does not seem one of humanity’s biggest concerns. Yet how our very lives go depends on how we see cleverness, on how we’re affected by it, on how we try to be clever.

Cleverness is immensely diverse. And in this lecture Mr. Siegel describes what all cleverness has in common, from the kind that’s ridiculous, to the charming, to the kind much present in politics. Cleverness is always a dealing with the opposites of ease and difficulty....more

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What Kind of Imagination? / Number 1958, July 26, 2017

Here is the first part of Imagination—It Gathers, by Eli Siegel. This lecture of June 1971 is from a series, magnificent and definitive, that he was giving at the time on the subject of imagination. He spoke and wrote on imagination often, and he is the philosopher to explain something never understood before: Aesthetic Realism shows there are two kinds of imagination, and shows the criterion for each, the distinction between them. Humanity needs, mightily, to know that distinction.

What makes some imagination valuable, life-strengthening, beautiful, even artistically great? And what makes another kind ugly, weakening, stupid, viciously hurtful?...more

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What Are History & the Self of Everyone Going For? / Number 1932, July 27, 2016

[In the lecture being serialized,] Mr. Siegel is speaking about the idea central to Aesthetic Realism: The human self is an aesthetic matter. We have in us the structure of reality itself, the opposites, and it is our constant need to make them one. “All beauty,” he is the philosopher to show, “is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.”

In this part of the lecture Mr. Siegel looks, for example, at those mysterious opposites, body and mind. They are inseparable in us, as the ever so tangible granite of a cliff is inseparable from the shape of that cliff—the shape which, like thought, weighs nothing, is not matter, has never of itself been touched....more

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The Fight in Each of Us—& in Economics / Number 1930, June 29, 2016

...Aesthetic Realism is the philosophy which shows that the central fight in every person’s individual mind and the central fight in world economics are the same. There is a battle in everyone between respect, the desire to see meaning in things and people, and contempt—the feeling, I am important if I can look down on someone, manage things and people, and also put them aside, not think about them at all. That, too, is the big battle in economics: should things be produced, jobs be had, the nation be owned in a way that respects every man, woman, and child—or should an economy be run on a basis of contempt for millions of people?...more

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Ourselves, Justice, & Stella Winn / Number 1928, June 1, 2016

We have been serializing Eli Siegel’s great, definitive 1970 lecture The Self Is. And in the part published here, he relates an essay by David Riesman that he has been discussing to a section of his own book Self and World: the section in which Mr. Siegel describes the woman he calls Stella Winn.

The central matter in the life of Stella Winn and everyone, Aesthetic Realism shows, is an aesthetic matter. It is our need to put together two tremendous opposites: our own personality, our treasured particularity, our just-me-ness; and the fact that we’re related to every person and thing and were born with an ineluctable obligation to know and be just to what is not ourselves....more

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Timothy Lynch Represents America / Number 1924, April 6, 2016

On February 21, at the Huntington Hilton on Long Island, there took place a Memorial Event in honor of the life of Timothy Lynch: American labor leader, President of Teamsters Local 1205, and actor and singer with the Aesthetic Realism Theatre Company. Over five hundred people attended, mostly men and women of the New York area labor movement, including union officials and union members.

Timothy Lynch, I am immensely grateful to say, was my husband. What he stood for and fought for—in relation to both unions and Aesthetic Realism—is what America needs most, needs desperately. And so there is the title of this issue: Timothy Lynch Represents America. Here, the word represents has two meanings, which are connected: Timothy’s work as a union leader was to represent people, speak and fight for them, and he did that greatly. Further, what he saw in his study of Aesthetic Realism—about economics, art, history, and his own life—is what can bring to the people of our land the justice and happiness they’re thirsting for. That means he represents Americans’, and all people’s, biggest hopes....more

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Walt Whitman—& Who Should Own America / Number 1911, October 7, 2015

It is an honor to print here an important American essay, originally written and published in 1938: “Walt Whitman, Agitator,” by Eli Siegel. While there is in it a sense of that year, it is also immensely immediate, of our own very moment. It explains what Americans are looking for, tumultuous for, clamoring for right now.

The essay is important literarily. As literary criticism it is great. And the writing in it is beautiful: the prose has the scholarship, grace, vividness, and throbbing comprehension that are Eli Siegel’s. This essay is great too in its understanding of history, and economics.

Mr. Siegel wrote “Walt Whitman, Agitator” before Aesthetic Realism formally existed. But the philosophy he would begin to teach three years later was developing in his thought....more

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Justice: As Real as the Sidewalks / Number 1900, May 6, 2015

...In the present lecture, Mr. Siegel is speaking about the shame that has always accompanied profit economics. That shame exists because the profit way is based on something ugly: the seeing of human beings in terms of how much money can I extract for myself from them—from their labor and their needs.

... Of enormous importance for America’s history and future are the recent demonstrations across the land, demanding a $15-an-hour minimum wage. There have been several in the last two years, principally by fast-food workers. But the strike/demonstration that took place this April 15 in  226 American cities also included home healthcare workers, carwash employees, part-time college teachers, and more. According to USA Today, it’s being called “the largest-ever mobilization of U.S. workers seeking higher pay.” And that newspaper gave the article telling of it the headline “Fast-Food Strikes Widen into Social-Justice Movement” (April 15)....more

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Lives, Feelings, & the Profit Motive / Number 1899, April 22, 2015

...In [the lecture by Eli Siegel we're serializing, he] gives instances—diverse, surprising, some subtle, all vivid—of the profit way of seeing and using people, with its ensuing shame. And by way of prelude, I’ll mention a very current instance.

On March 26, in New York City’s East Village, an explosion destroyed three buildings. There had been many apartments in those buildings, and the residents lost their possessions, their homes. Two people lost their lives. Twenty-two others were injured. The full cause of the conflagration that leveled the buildings is still being studied, but some things seem clear. New York Magazine wrote on April 1, “Authorities now believe [the explosion] was caused by an illegally tapped gas line.” That is: it seems the landlord of two of the buildings arranged a system for siphoning gas and getting it to the apartments in her building—either to avoid paying for the gas, or to keep the apartments usable and rents coming in even though utility workers had “determin[ed] that the building was not ready to receive gas on the upper floors.” The owner had been caught engaging in the same technique several months before....more

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Unions, America, & William Cullen Bryant / Number 1898, April 8, 2015

...In [Eli Siegel's Goodbye Profit Sytem lectures] is the means to understand the economic tribulation of America now: for example, the huge debt, including student debt, burdening millions of people; the feeling you may lose your job at any moment—if you have one at all; the being paid much less than once; the fact that millions of people who considered themselves middle class no longer are; the fact that hunger is real and widespread—over a fifth of America’s children are “food-insecure.”...

In the section [of Shame Goes with It All] published here, Mr. Siegel refers to unions. One of the biggest campaigns of our time is the gigantic effort to annihilate unions. It is run and massively funded by persons who think the wealth of America should belong to only a few. I have written about it in other issues of this journal. For now, in order to place it, I am going to quote from the journalistic writing of a person eminent in American literature and history: William Cullen Bryant (1794-1878)....more

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Trains, Beauty, Profit, & Shame / Number 1897, March 25, 2015

...The profit way, [Eli Siegel] made clear, was always unethical, always ugly. After all, the profit motive is the looking on a fellow human being not for the purpose of understanding him, wanting him to fare well, to get what he deserves, wanting to relate him to oneself and use him to know oneself. Rather, it is the seeing of another with the motive of aggrandizing oneself through this person: you hope the person is so desperate that you can pay him very little for his work—or charge him very much for something he needs.

That (despite all that’s been done to glamorize it) is the profit motive. It has made for sweatshops, child labor, thousands of industrial accidents (because safety measures cost money and cut into profits). It has made for poverty, and hunger. And Mr. Siegel explained that this motive which for centuries was unethical and cruel now is also inefficient: it is a victory for humanity and ethics that the immoral is now also the impractical.

It is nearly 45 years later, and he was right....more

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Intelligence, Shame, & Profit / Number 1896, March 11, 2015

...The lecture we’re serializing is about the feeling of shame that, Mr. Siegel shows, has always been present in connection with the profit system. He begins with a discussion of one of the most noted essays in English, Charles Lamb’s “Poor Relations.” And he speaks about the shame that has been because some people have had much less money than others....

That poverty exists in this world, which has enough resources for all, will be seen as massive barbarism. I remember Mr. Siegel saying that only contempt could permit poverty to go on. He defined contempt as the getting an “addition to self through the lessening of something else,” and identified it as the source of all cruelty....

A matter of huge, immediate importance—which joins the two aspects of this issue of TRO—is: Is the profit system based on intelligence? Is the “engine” impelling it, the famous profit motive, intelligent? What’s intelligent depends on what the purpose of the human self is—because if we go against the very purpose of our life, of our mind, we’re unintelligent....more

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Shame, Pride, & Economics / Number 1895, February 25, 2015

With this issue we begin a serialization of the historic lecture Shame Goes with It All, by Eli Siegel. The “It” is the profit system: economics based on seeing one’s fellow humans in terms of how much financial profit one can extract from them—how much money one can get from them and their labor while giving them as little as possible.

[This lecture], of October 1970, is one of [those] in Mr. Siegel’s Goodbye Profit System series. In May of that year he explained that the profit way of economics had reached the point at which it was no longer able to succeed. Though it might be made to continue, it would do so with more and more difficulty and would never flourish again. In his lectures he gave the reasons why and provided evidence from history and the immediate moment, from economic texts and from world literature....more

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The Battle of Insistences / Number 1886, October 22, 2014

We begin to serialize a lecture Eli Siegel gave in 1949: Mind and Insistence. I find it amazing—great. He describes with richness and delicacy the various kinds of insistence everyone has, which are not understood by or even known to us.

There are, Aesthetic Realism explains, two big purposes that insist in every person, and battle with each other. There is the purpose we were born for: to respect the world, see meaning in it. That is at war all the time with another purpose, false but tremendous: to have contempt, to lessen what’s not us as a means of elevating ourselves. This second purpose is the source of every cruelty. Yet the first—to see things and people with vibrant justice—is the larger, deeper insistence. No matter how much we try to submerge it, it’s what our minds are for....more

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What Education & the Economy Are For / Number 1883, September 10, 2014

We publish an article...on the great Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method. And I am going to relate the principles behind this method to economics—and the economy from which millions of children are suffering throughout our land.

Eli Siegel is the philosopher to explain that “The purpose of education is to like the world through knowing it.” This idea is fundamental to the Aesthetic Realism method, which has been enabling children of all backgrounds to learn successfully—including children who had been thought incapable of doing so. To like the world through knowing it is why we should learn the alphabet, find out about numbers, continents, atoms, history. To like the world is the purpose of everyone’s life. Meanwhile, humanity has lived for centuries with a system of economics completely opposed to that purpose....more

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The Sheer Fight / Number 1870, March 12, 2014

We are proud to publish “The Serious Aspect of Snobbery,” which Eli Siegel wrote in the 1950s. It is a logical and rollicking, an incisive and delightful, an eloquent and charming essay about a horrible thing. Mr. Siegel defines snobbishness, or snobbery; and he shows that, though it may often seem casual and urbane, it is related to the most brutal cruelty and has the same source. Later in his teaching of Aesthetic Realism he would describe that source as contempt, “the addition to self through the lessening of something else.”

As introduction, I’m going to comment on a massive form of snobbishness and contempt. It is snobbishness become a way of economics, something which has hurt, curtailed, crippled human lives for thousands of years. And I’ll comment on a recent happening, because this event, though of a particular time, concerns all of world history and every person... more

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Shakespeare and Mandela / Number 1865, January 1, 2014

We are honored to publish “Shakespeare’s Eighth Sonnet & Self,” an essay by Eli Siegel. It is mightily important as literary criticism—and for everyone’s understanding of our own lives.

I could write lengthily about Mr. Siegel’s love for and explanation of the work of Shakespeare....He enabled people really to love Shakespeare, and understand him....Through what he said about Shakespeare’s plays, people can feel at last that the play is about them, their immediate lives, their inner tumults, and can feel inextricably too its true, full grandeur....

Here I make a relation to something that seems very different from a Shakespeare sonnet. Less than a month ago, one of the most important people of the last century died: Nelson Mandela. And there were the memorial service and so many adulatory statements by press and government leaders about him. From what I know of those statements, at least those in the western media, there has been a tremendous inaccuracy in the placing of his life and meaning. That inaccuracy and who Mandela really was, concern the same opposites as those in Shakespeare’s sonnet: self and world. They are opposites central to how a nation should be owned....more

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What & Who Are Important? / Number 1856, August 28, 2013

[In the lecture by Eli Siegel being serialized here,] he shows that every new movement in art arises from the sense that the world has not been seen with enough justice; things have not been valued; their meaning has not been brought forth! We’re ashamed, we have guilt, when we’re unjust. And an artist welcomes the guilt and feels, I must give to these misseen, undervalued things the form, the beauty, they deserve!

Never was such a feeling stronger than during the romantic movement, at the end of the 18th and beginning of the 19th centuries. Romanticism said: The ordinary things you take for granted have wonder! Things you consider distant from you, strange, even grotesque, can tell you about yourself! People who have been thought lowly have importance, dignity, even grandeur! ... more

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Homer, Cynicism, & Goodbye Profit System / Number 1849, May 22, 2013

...It was 43 years ago today that Eli Siegel gave the first of his landmark Goodbye Profit System lectures. In them he described a huge, irreversible occurrence in economic history. He showed that an economy based on contempt—on seeing human beings in terms of how much profit you can make from them—could no longer continue successfully. He wrote:

There will be no economic recovery in the world until economics itself, the making of money, the having of jobs, becomes ethical; is based on good will rather than on the ill will which has been predominant for centuries.

...I’m going to comment on a New York Times article about the recent factory building collapse in Bangladesh. That collapse is an instance of what Mr. Siegel once called a “horror story of free enterprise.” It killed more than 1,000 people....I’m commenting on this because, with all the horror (and, really, murderousness) of what occurred, the factories in that building are emblematic of the one way the profit system can now go on.... more

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Jobs, Feelings, & Philosophy / Number 1826, July 4, 2012

... [The article published here] illustrates [a central] Aesthetic Realism principle: that every person’s “greatest danger or temptation...is to get a false importance or glory from the lessening of things not oneself; which lessening is Contempt.” From contempt comes all injustice. And our desire to be big through lessening what’s not us is also the weakener, from within, of every person’s mind and life. As can be seen in the wording of the principle, contempt makes for a fundamental enmity between the central opposites in our lives: our self and the outside world.

A pair of opposites Mr.Siegel speaks about in the present section of his lecture is Cause and Effect. How utterly philosophic these are. Yet they have with them the turmoil, the anguish, and also the possible happiness of people. I’ll comment a little about cause and effect in relation to an agony of today: unemployment....more

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 People’s Lives, the Profit System, & Philosophy / Number 1825, June 20, 2012

[In this part of Eli SIegel's lecture] Philosophy Begins with That,...the discussions of philosophy incomplete.” Philosophy, he shows, is not just about the seemingly higher matters: it’s in each “specific thing, the thing on the move.” It’s what we’re in the midst of all the time.

Early in the talk he describes philosophy as “the study of what reality can never be without.” And this what is the opposites: such opposites as sameness and difference, rest and motion, being and change....

An instance of art, at once charming and deep, is the prose of Arnold Bennett in the passage, quoted here, about commercial cultivation of flowers. We can see that his style is simultaneously factual and graceful, no-nonsense and tender. His sentences have, inseparably, point and nuance, often humor and pathos, the acerb and the kind.

When opposites are not one—as in life they so frequently are not—there are always, in various ways, ugliness, pain, cruelty. That is so in a field which affects every person in the world: economics....more

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Reality vs. the Profit Motive / Number 1813, January 4, 2012

...It Weakens, the lecture Eli Siegel gave on January 15, 1971...is one of his great, definitive Goodbye Profit System talks. In them, and in issues of this periodical, he did what no other economist or historian has done: he explained what has happened these years to the American and world economy, and why there is so much economic anguish in people’s lives today….

The economics of Aesthetic Realism is inseparable from its philosophy, from its seeing of what the world as such is. Mr. Siegel is speaking about Emerson’s view that deeply the world is good. A question arising from that view, which Emerson did not ask but Aesthetic Realism does, is whether an economy not in keeping with the nature of the world has something basically amiss and inefficient in it. This is a world to be known, valued accurately, cared for critically—not manipulated, grabbed, seen as a field in which to take advantage of one’s fellow humans.....more

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The Victory of Good Will / Number 1812, December 21, 2011

In [his Goodbye Profit System lectures of the 1970s, Eli Siegel] showed that economics driven by the profit motive—the looking on human beings, their needs, their labor, in terms of how much money one can extract from them—had reached the point at which it could no longer succeed. It might grind on for some years. But the contempt of seeing reality, with its grandeur, and people, with all their feelings and depths and dignity, as existing for one’s private profit, would never flourish again. For an economy to succeed, that ugly motive has to be replaced by something that is new yet has been demanded in various ways throughout the centuries: economics has to be based on ethics, on that aesthetic oneness of justice to other people and to oneself which Mr. Siegel described as good will.

The failure of the profit way, which he spoke of four decades ago, is what we are experiencing now....more

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Europe, America, & the Clamor for Good Will! /  Number 1811, December 7, 2011

…In his Goodbye Profit System talks of the 1970s Mr. Siegel explained that, after many centuries, economics based on the profit motive—on seeing people in terms of how much money can be made from them—had finally failed….because of the contempt for people on which it is based. I quote again this statement, in which he describes exactly, ringingly, and kindly what is happening today on all the continents:

"There will be no economic recovery in the world until economics itself, the making of money, the having of jobs, becomes ethical; is based on good will rather than on the ill will which has been predominant for centuries."

I have commented often on economic matters in America. But let us take the trouble now going on in the European Union....The dire warnings about the need for “sacrifice”—both in Europe and here—are part of an effort to make the profit system seem inevitable: to make it seem that economics based on anything other than using earth and humanity for some individuals’ private aggrandizement is unthinkable….Yet people feel increasingly that another basis for an economy is not unthinkable. And such a basis is not Marxism, etc. The needed basis is ethics....more

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America Now: The Beautiful Objection / Number 1809, November 9, 2011

Here is the first part of It Weakens, a 1971 lecture by Eli Siegel. The “it” in the title is the profit system. And in his Goodbye Profit System lectures of the 1970s, of which this is one, Mr. Siegel explained that a way of economics based on seeing people in terms of how much pecuniary profit one can make from them—from their needs and their labor—had finally and irremediably failed. Persons might keep the profit way going a while longer, through various governmental proppings up and through fiscal maneuverings, but its ailment was terminal. Profit-based economics was fundamentally caput, and could be kept in motion only through inflicting increasing pain on people. That is the state of the world, four decades later….

...There is the matter of credit. Forty years after this lecture, the vast, encompassing debt Americans are in is certainly a sign of a nation’s economic failure....more

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A Truly American Economy & “Occupy Wall Street” / Number 1808, October 26, 2011

The 1973 lecture Ah, Blessed Worry, the conclusion of which we publish here, is part of Eli Siegel’s great Goodbye Profit System series. What he described in those lectures describes our economic state today. Using historical, cultural, and contemporary documentation, he showed that by the 1970s the world had reached the point at which economics impelled by contempt was no longer able to succeed....
The profit motive is contempt....

Though it has been in operation for thousands of years, such a way of seeing one’s fellow humans is a barbaric thing for an economy and the lives of people to be based on....

Last month there began something of great importance, which arose from, and also embodies, the force of ethics in our nation and the world. The headline of an October 4 New York Times article about it is “Anti-Wall Street Protests Spreading to Cities Large and Small.” Americans from all walks of life have been literally occupying an area near Wall Street. Joined day after day by others, in hundreds and thousands, they are expressing their passionate objection to the economic injustice in this land....more

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The same inescapable criterion exists for today’s economy: it will continue to flop until it’s impelled by ethics, by good will—the seeing that the way to take care of self is to be fair to other human beings....more

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Not Good Enough for America / Number 1798, June 8, 2011

The way of mind at the basis of the profit system had always been noxious and barbaric: the seeing of human beings not in terms of “What’s just to you?” but in terms of “How can I squeeze big profits for me out of your labor, or your needs?” By the 1970s, Mr. Siegel showed, this state of mind was not only mean—it had become ever-increasingly inefficient. And further: people were more and more clearly against it. That is so today, four decades later. People all over America are furious at being used to make somebody else rich ....more

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What’s the Relation of Justice & Comfort? / Number 1796, May 11, 2011

…In the section [of Eli Siegel’s 1971 lecture They Go Away from Something printed here, he] explains an exceedingly ugly thing in American history, some of which is still going on: hypocrisy about civil rights and law. As he does, he speaks about two desires in every person that have been intensely at odds: the desire to look good to oneself, respect oneself—and the desire to be comfortable. A person wants to see himself as for what Plato called “the Good, the True, and the Beautiful” and ready to stand up for these. But to do so, one feels, can be so inconvenient! What most people go by is the feeling, “Ethics, justice, honesty are all well and good, but they jeopardize some other things I want.”…

Unless we can see...that we’re important and take care of ourselves through being fair to what’s not us[,] we’ll pretend and be hypocrites. So people have pretended to a concern for others that they didn’t have. Often they’ve pretended to themselves. For instance, they’ve acted as though they were devoted to someone, told themselves they were, when a large part of the “devotion” was a desire to manage the person’s life.....more

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Feeling in America, & the Profit System / Number 1795, April 27, 2011

[In his Goodbye Profit System talks, Eli Siegel showed that] economics based on contempt—on seeing people in terms of how much profit one could make from them—was...no longer able to flourish. It would never recover, and would become increasingly inefficient as the years went on.

That is what we are experiencing now. So much of American industry is gone, and with it millions of jobs. The agony of unemployment is throughout the land, and those who are working worry that soon they won’t be. Wages are lower and lower. And there is the terrible fact that hunger is growing. For America to have even one hungry child would be shameful. But the US Department of Agriculture reported last year that in this country “50.2 million people lived in food-insecure households, including 17.2 million children.”

History, Mr. Siegel explained, has reached the point when the only economy that will now work is something which has not yet existed fully in the world: an economy based on ethics....more

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Courage, Cowardice, & the Profit System / Number 1794, April 13, 2011

...[Beginning in 1970, Eli Siegel] gave evidence for the fact that [the profit system had failed and could] proceed only with increasing difficulty—and more and more hardship for people. That is what has happened. He said that while people have gone along with the profit system, seeing it as “how things are,” everyone has been deeply against it. That is because we were born to know the world, be just to what’s not ourselves—not defeat it, exploit it, grab it, manipulate it.

...[The paper published here is] speaks about the fight which Aesthetic Realism shows is central in both the personal life of everyone and in the history of economics. It’s the fight between the desire to have contempt for the world, for things and people not ourselves, and the desire to respect these. The fight is present intensely now as to how American jobs should be had, who should be taxed and how much, how government money should be spent, who should really own our beautiful America with all its wealth....more

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The Great Question in Love & Economics / Number 1793, March 30, 2011

Mr. Siegel begins [his 1971 lecture] They Go Away from Something by speaking about the State of the Union Address to take place that evening. He mentions four measures that he thinks will be (and indeed were) presented. They’re attempts, he says, to save the profit-making ability of US companies, but they won’t work. They did not work, nor have the other methods tried these 40 years...

...This Aesthetic Realism principle is true about both economics and love: “All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves.” Every aspect of economics is a relation of the opposites self and world. It’s always you and something or someone not you—whether you’re manufacturing a product, working at a computer, firing someone, raising a price, buying a loaf of bread. Every aspect of love is also yourself and the outside world: from your intimate thoughts about someone, to embracing that person, to disagreeing with that person. The cruelty and inefficiency in economics, the pain and failure in love, both come from elevating oneself through making less of the world, embodied often in other human beings. Mr. Siegel described the fundamental injustice as contempt...more

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America—& What Unions Are About / Number 1792, March 16, 2011

...In the 1970s, however, Mr. Siegel described a new situation—which exists even more intensely now:

The old motive in economics is not working well any longer....Good will in its full, deep, wide, keen meaning [must now be] the chief thing present as man produces, distributes, sells, works, is paid. [TRO 213]

...As I write, something tremendous and beautiful is taking place in the state of Wisconsin: day after day, thousands of men and women are rallying in support of unions and the dignified lives they have made possible for working people. The lecture we’ve been serializing has much to do with the meaning of those demonstrations. So I’ll comment, not about the particular legislation proposed by the Wisconsin governor, but on a certain greater clarity that has come to be in the feelings, thoughts, and also actions of ever so many Americans....more

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Egypt, the Economy, & Our Deepest Desire / Number 1791, March 2, 2011

....As I wrote in TRO 1790, what the Egyptian revolution is about is also the biggest matter in every country, including ours: to whom does a nation, both its governance and its wealth, belong? We do not know what will happen now in Egypt: will the people be able to own the earth, the resources, the riches of that ancient and contemporary land? Until they do, they’ll never be satisfied....

For now, it is good to use [Egypt's] Hosni Mubarak as a metaphor. His adamant but ineffectual stand can be a symbol. His situation is emblematic of something Eli Siegel described beginning in 1970. That is: Mubarak is like the profit system, that economic way which, after being in the world for centuries, is no longer tenable, no longer works, yet is trying to hang on....

The opposition to profit economics is larger, more inclusive, though perhaps less immediately seeable than the protests in Tahrir Square. It is a protest within the feelings, minds, very beings of millions of people in workplaces and homes: the feeling throughout America and Europe and the world that they’re being rooked and deserve something better....more

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The Biggest Question for a Person & Nation / Number 1790, February 16, 2011

There is no more pressing question now than How should people see people? It’s the biggest question for every individual, in social life, domestic life, and love. It’s the central question for a nation. It’s the burning economic question. We have two choices: 1) Do we see people principally as existing to aggrandize us and make us comfortable—as beings to beat out or ignore or use for our importance? Or 2) do we feel it’s through seeing other people truly, justly, that we become more ourselves?...

I am writing this commentary as a revolution is going on in one of the oldest nations of the world, Egypt. There are barricades, tear gas, burning police cars, and people, people, people demanding something, near the same Nile where Cleopatra travelled in all her queenliness and humanness. I don’t know, of course, what will happen to this Egyptian revolution. But it’s about what Eli Siegel described in his Goodbye Profit System talks. Humanity, he explained, “is saying: We don’t want ill will to hurt and poison our lives anymore.” ...

It is clear that the fury of the Egyptian people is centrally about the fact that they’re tremendously poor, there is massive unemployment, and their government hasn’t wanted that situation to change....more

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  Our Economy: The Failure of Ill Will / Number 1789, February 2, 2011

....Aesthetic Realism makes clear the big, underlying question of economics. It is hidden by various elaborate economic terms, though present in some fashion in all of them. It is: Should our economy be based on contempt, on the seeing of people’s labor and needs as means for someone else’s profit; or should it be based on good will, on having the people of our nation get what they deserve?...more

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America Is Ashamed of the Profit System / Number 1788, January 19, 2011

Published here is the first section of the lecture Shame Is in How You Do Things, by Eli Siegel. In...his Goodbye Profit System series of talks, of which this...is one...he explained, with wide-ranging scholarship and evidence, something that has taken various forms in the years since and is affecting people monumentally now. He showed that by the 1970s a certain point in history had been reached: a way of economics based on seeing one’s fellow humans in terms of how much profit one could make from their labor and needs, had failed irreparably....

The lecture we are serializing is about pride and shame. That subject is personal for everyone. We all want to be, thirst to be, proud; but one can’t be proud just by wishing. Aesthetic Realism explains that the reason people don’t feel proud, don’t like themselves, feel ashamed, is that they go after contempt, the “false importance or glory from the lessening of things not oneself.” We have to feel ashamed of elevating ourselves through lessening other people and things, because the purpose of our lives is to like the world different from ourselves and be just to it. The cause and effect is as inevitable as gravity: contempt makes us ashamed. Is this cause and effect true of a nation too? Of an economy?...more

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Jobs for Usefulness—Not Profit / Number 1760, December 23, 2009

[In the 1947 talk by Eli Siegel published here]...I think it is clear that the human mind of all time and our time is being understood at last, and greatly.

As to jobs: in 1947 the state of the US economy was very different from now. It seemed to be flourishing. Unions were increasingly powerful and therefore more and more people were making better and better wages. Today a huge 10 percent of our population is unemployed—over 15 million men and women. And that government figure does not include the millions of so-called “discouraged workers”—people who have stopped even looking for work. Yet what Mr. Siegel is explaining in 1947 is not only relevant and true today—it’s blazingly needed; it is, in its kindness and clarity, an emergency....more

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The Necessity for Beautiful Economics / Number 1742, April 15, 2009

...As you'll see, Mr. Siegel shows [in the lecture published here] that the only economic way that can satisfy people is aesthetics, the oneness of opposites: justice to all people and to every individual person at once; the simultaneity of security and adventurous expression. In “Psychiatry, Economics, Aesthetics,” chapter 10 of Self and World, he explains:

The world should be owned by the people living in it. Every person should be seen as living in a world truly his. All persons should be seen as living in a world truly theirs....
The purpose of economics...is to maintain the collective while intensifying the individual, to support gloriously the universal while heightening properly a specific person. [P. 270]

     In this 1946 lecture he speaks about Russia 's inability to put those opposites together—to have people who collectively owned a nation feel their individuality was sufficiently encouraged. I'm summarizing a great deal in saying that in Russia 44 years or so after this talk, the aesthetic trouble—about all persons and each particular person, about security and free expression—came to a head....more

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Ethics, Employment, & William Blake / Number 1734, December 24, 2008

In this issue we publish the conclusion of the great 1970 lecture Once More, the World, by Eli Siegel. As we've been serializing it, I have been relating the economic happenings of today, with all their pain and fearfulness, to what Mr. Siegel explained in his Goodbye Profit System lectures of the 1970s:

There will be no economic recovery in the world until economics itself, the making of money, the having of jobs, becomes ethical; is based on good will rather than on the ill will which has been predominant for centuries.

...The failure of the profit system, Mr. Siegel made clear, is an ethical matter, as economics itself is....What's necessary is that our economy be based on respect for every man, woman, and child—that the drive behind it be an honest answer to the question Mr. Siegel said was the most important for the world: “What does a person deserve by being a person?”...more

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Autos & the Force of Ethics / Number 1733, December 10, 2008

...In [Mr. Siegel's Goodbye Profit System lectures of the 1970s] is the explanation of what America is experiencing now: our economic crash, with all its human agony and billion-dollar false, ineffectual remedies. In them also is the true answer, the one solution that will work.

     As I've been describing in this serialization [of one of these lectures], Mr. Siegel showed that by 1970 the profit motive was no longer an efficient basis for national and world economics and never would be again. That motive, the looking at one's fellow humans in terms of how much money one can get out of them, was always ugly and mean. It's the desire to pay a person as little as possible for his labor, or charge him as much as possible for a product he may need, so as to make as much money from him as one can.....more

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For a President & the People of America / Number 1732, November 26, 2008

At this time, when America has had an election that is historic, we publish the 5th section of the lecture we've been serializing—a lecture that explains the economy of now and what Americans are looking for, as a nation and as individuals. It is Once More, the World, by Eli Siegel.... We also print part of a paper by ...

In order for our President-elect to be a good President, in order for him to succeed, he must want, passionately, to answer this question, articulated by Eli Siegel: “What does a person deserve by being a person?” And he must make sure the economy of America is based on a true answer to that question.

That is not what the present economy is based on. And the coming President, and Congress, and the American people need to see that tinkering around with an unethically based economy will not work. We now have to have economics based, not on profit, but on ethics, justice, usefulness....more

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It's All about Ethics / Number 1731, November 12, 2008

...Economy takes in the very lives of people—their hopes, worries, resentments about jobs and money, and their feeling about what they deserve. Through what he said then, and through Aesthetic Realism itself, we can know what our current “financial meltdown,” as it's been called, is truly about...

In this journal in 1976, Eli Siegel wrote about Alan Greenspan. It was before Greenspan was seen as the economic Eminence of our land; his name, Mr. Siegel noted then, was one “many people have not even heard of.” Yet under the heading “The Greenspan Failure,” Eli Siegel presented the clever Mr. Greenspan as standing for an approach to economics which has done terrific damage to humanity, and which has failed.

That was 32 years ago. For so many years since, it could seem that the man had hardly failed—with all the adulation he received, with all the power his advice carried. Then suddenly, in autumn 2008, he is accused of bringing financial disaster to America.....more

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People's Lives, Economics, & the American Land / Number 1730, October 29, 2008

On October 10, an article on the front page of the Washington Post carried the headline “The End of American Capitalism?” What is happening, as financial institutions collapse and are bailed out, or bought out, by the government?

Eli Siegel explained...that history had reached the point at which economics based on contempt no longer worked and would never succeed again. He documented with wide-ranging, scholarly, and vivid detail the profit system's failure; the cause of it; and the historical and human reasons why its terminal illness was taking place at the end of the 20th century. There would be an effort to keep it going and make it appear healthy, but it was a dying thing. And there is only one way, he said, for American and world economics now to succeed: economics—including jobs, finance, buying and selling—must be based on ethics, an honest answer to the question “What does a person deserve by being a person?”....more

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Economics & Human Lives / Number 1729, October 15, 2008

We are serializing Eli Siegel's great lecture Once More, the World, at a time when crisis is one of the milder words being used in relation to the US economy. Major financial institutions have collapsed. And as I write, Congress is discussing a plan for a massive bailout of Wall Street firms, with 700 billion taxpayer dollars.

What it is all about, and the real answer to it, are in the Goodbye Profit System lectures Mr. Siegel gave in the 1970s. One of these is the lecture we're serializing....more

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Money & Our Purposes with People / Number 1706, November 28, 2007

With this issue we conclude our serialization of the great lecture Eli Siegel gave on August 23, 1974, Always with PDC. Those initials stand for the three divisions of any economy: production, distribution, consumption. And, he is showing, what is always with these—and not as a mere accompaniment but as fundamental—is ethics: the justice or injustice with which one sees what is other than oneself...

Right now, a large economic agony—which means a human agony—is the matter of sub-prime mortgages. Families across America have lost their homes because they couldn't make the payments on their mortgages. Much is being written about this mortgage crisis, and its effect on banks and markets. But what I think important to point out here is that it is a matter of ethics all the way....more

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Feelings, Profit, & Ethics in America / Number 1705, November 14, 2007

In the lecture we're serializing,...Eli Siegel is showing that ethics is central in economics—is always with Production, Distribution, and Consumption. Ethics is the justice or injustice, the good will or ill will, with which we see anything outside of ourselves. It is the biggest matter not only in economics but in every aspect of our lives....

I'll comment, and give some background, on some of the matters he speaks about in the present section of Always with PDC....more

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Money, Ethics, & People's Lives / Number 1704, October 31, 2007

...In [the lecture by Eli Siegel we are serializing, in] an informal way, with vividness and grace, he is showing that what is always with those three aspects of economics—production, distribution, consumption—is Ethics.

Ethics is the state of justice or injustice with which we see what's not ourselves. And Aesthetic Realism explains that it is the largest matter in the life of everyone. How fair do we want to be to a person—a person we're close to or one in another neighborhood or continent? How fair do we want to be to an object, a situation, a book, a song, an idea? Whether we know it or not, we judge ourselves on our ethics. How much we like ourselves, how much we feel deeply at ease and alive, depend ineluctably on how just we are to what's different from ourselves....more

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Economics Is about People's Feelings / Number 1703, October 17, 2007

Aesthetic Realism explains that there are essentially two ways we can have of seeing another person, an object, in fact the world itself: with good will or with ill will. Good will, Eli Siegel writes, is “the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful, for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful.” Ill will, or contempt, is “the lessening of what is different from oneself as a means of self-increase as one sees it.”

...Economics is not some territory apart from human feelings and human purposes, something impelled by “market forces” and resolvable into statistics. Every aspect of it is as human a matter as embracing someone, as slapping him on the face, as having good health or being diseased. What's “always with production, distribution, consumption” is human, living, flesh-and-blood ethics.....more

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Money, America, & Ethics / Number 1702, October 3, 2007

With this issue we begin to serialize the great lecture Always with PDC, which Eli Siegel gave in 1974. PDC stands for the three aspects of economics: production, distribution, consumption. And Mr. Siegel is showing that what is always with them is Ethics. He wrote, defining that term, “To be ethical is to give oneself what is coming to one by giving what is coming to other things” (Self and World, p. 243).

He is the philosopher, historian, critic, economist to explain that economics is centrally a matter of ethics. And in 1970, in his Goodbye Profit System lectures, he showed that by the last third of the 20th century, economics based on seeing human beings in terms of how much profit one can get out of them had failed. The underlying reason for the profit system's failure is the contempt, the shoddy ethics, at its basis....more

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Jobs, Beauty, & the Two Freedoms / Number 1674, September 6, 2006

With this issue we begin to serialize There Are Two Freedoms, the lecture Eli Siegel gave on June 5, 1970. It is about one of the most beautiful and important words in the world: freedom. And yet, as Mr. Siegel shows, people have used the word freedom as a cover for some of the ugliest and most vicious activities.

...Beginning about a hundred years ago, there were increasingly those "checks" on the profit system—to make it more humane, add a little ethics to it, temper its injustice. Most of these checks arose from the courageous battling done by unions. There came to be laws against child labor, laws mandating workplace safety, minimum wage, worker's compensation. Men and women in, or trying to form, unions fought and sometimes bled and died so wages could be higher and people need not be hungry. Then unions fought so workers and their families could live with more and more dignity and pleasure, get more and more of the good things of this world....more

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In the lecture Good Will Is in Poetry, serialized here, Eli Siegel discusses the economist Adam Smith, whom he shows to be warm and ever so likable. He looks at two works of Smith that have been seen as very different—The Wealth of Nations of 1776 and The Theory of Moral Sentiments of 1759. And not only does Mr. Siegel show their fundamental likeness of purpose—he shows that the intent of Smith, who is seen as the classical theorist for capitalism, was like that of the poet Shelley! In these works Smith is really saying something larger than, and quite different from, what is put forth by those who picture themselves his ideological heirs.

With this issue we begin to serialize the 1972 lecture Good Will Is in Poetry, by Eli Siegel. It contains a very important, very surprising discussion of Adam Smith, author of The Wealth of Nations. Smith has been presented so often as the champion of capitalism. Yet Mr. Siegel shows that his renowned book has in it something very different from, and in fact opposed to, the way of mind of, say, Donald Trump, or William Buckley, or a boss today trying to rid his workplace of a union....more

Here is the second part of Good Will Is in Poetry, a 1972 lecture in which Eli Siegel speaks about Adam Smith and, later, about Percy Bysshe Shelley....It is a lecture important for both economics and literature, and in the understanding of what people are hoping for. Various persons of the right have turned Adam Smith into a kind of mascot for their views. Yet...Smith,...[Mr. Siegel] makes clear, shows that at the very basis of economics as such is good will, "unarticulated," structural good will....more

At the point we have reached, Eli Siegel is discussing Smith's The Wealth of Nations. And he shows that this person, so often presented as the classical theorist for capitalism, is really saying something much larger than, and quite different from, what is put forth by those who picture themselves Smith's ideological heirs....as Smith describes how economics works, he is describing, with vividness and in great prose, an elemental structure of good will....more

Here is the 4th part of Good Will Is in Poetry, by Eli Siegel....In the section of the lecture printed here, Mr. Siegel comments on passages by Smith about the drive in the human self to identify with other people, to feel what another person may feel....more

This lecture is important in the fields of philosophy, economics, and literature. But it also has to do with the confusion people feel about each other—for instance, with the fact that right now two persons who saw themselves as close find they resent each other, and don't know why....In the part of the lecture we've reached, Mr. Siegel is quoting Smith about the human longing to have someone else see what we feel....more

Mr. Siegel shows the relation, unseen before, among three things: Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations of 1776; Smith’s earlier, so different, work, The Theory of Moral Sentiments; and the writings of the poet Shelley.


Today—with people working longer hours for less pay, with pensions being lost, with American jobs now being done in Guatemala or Indonesia or India—life is replete with instances of the profit system’s failure. But I’ll comment a little on a recent issue of the New York Times Magazine, because in itself it is enough to show that Mr. Siegel was right: though a lot has happened since 1970, and the stock market has risen and fallen many times, and we have wonderful technology and cyberspace, the profit system has not recovered. The New York Times Magazine of June 11 is given entirely to articles on the subject of debt—the debt of Americans and America herself....more

Here is the conclusion of Good Will Is in Poetry, the 1972 lecture in which Eli Siegel—amazingly, logically, and very importantly—shows the relation between the economist Adam Smith and the poet Percy Bysshe Shelley....Mr. Siegel speaks about Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind." It is seemingly a nature poem; and of course, it's partly that. But Mr. Siegel explains that from beginning to end, the poem represents Shelley's passionate feeling that England has to be owned differently, the earth has to be owned in a way that is just....more


The Self, Shelley, & What People Deserve / Number 1645, July 27, 2005

We are serializing the 1966 lecture Psychiatric Terms and Shelley, Byron, Keats, by Eli Siegel....Th[is] stanza [from the poem "Song to the Men of England"(1818)] by Shelley is about the biggest social and economic question today. That question is: To whom should the world and its wealth belong? Shelley was passionate on the subject: the earth, he felt, should belong to everyone living on it. The idea that some few people owned the land of England, and that other people who should rightly own it too had to work for those few persons and provide wealth for them, Shelley despised. That idea is, in fact, contempt, and has the disproportion which, in another field, is insanity....more

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Are We Proud of How We're For & Against? / Number 1613, May 5, 2004

... Mr. Siegel gave [the lecture we're serializing here] just after an off-year election, and he describes something large in the state of mind of Americans as they went to voting places. He says there was a pervasive sourness, grouchiness, ill nature—because people had a feeling of deep objection about their working lives, their economic lives, the cost of healthcare and goods, but were not clear about the objection, or its cause, or how to give form to it.

America now is different. Yet there is still that smoldering, sometimes exploding objection. It's more intense than ever. And it's still looking for comprehension, form, clarity.....more

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What Interferes with Justice / Number 1602, December 17, 2003

We are serializing a work of philosophic, historic, and immediate importance: Eli Siegel’s 1968 lecture We Are Unrepresented. Quoting John Stuart Mill, Aristotle, and articles from current newspapers, he describes what that tremendous, needed thing, representation, is. It is "to have the power that is in things and people bring out, with respect, what is in a person or persons." He speaks about the need of people to be represented in the workings of their nation, and about the interference—the fact that so much throughout the centuries, people have stopped others from being represented....more

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Poetry & Honesty about America / Number 1473, June 27,  2001

In [the part of his lecture we're serializing Eli Siegel speaks] about "The Santa-Fé Trail" of Vachel Lindsay. His discussions of Lindsay here and over the years are hugely important in literary criticism. While other critics have mainly seen Lindsay as a kind of showman, Mr. Siegel saw him as a major American poet, and showed his "Santa-Fé Trail" and "The Congo" to be two of the great poems of the world.

Poetry, Mr. Siegel explained, is full honesty about an object, oneself, and reality. It is exactitude so deep and wide that the result is musical: we hear the structure of the world itself, the oneness of opposites, in the poet's lines. In every true poem we hear, in a different way, tremendous freedom joined with tremendous order; delicacy at one with strength; thought inseparable from feeling. "All beauty is a making one of opposites," Mr. Siegel wrote, in a principle at the basis of Aesthetic Realism, "and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves." There is nothing I love more in this world than his showing what poetry is; and how in all poetry there is the way of seeing we need, and our nation needs, for our lives to go well....more

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Logic, Poetry, and California / Number 1462, April 11, 2001

...As I have described in the last two issues, [the 1949 lecture by Eli Siegel we're serializing] answers an agony of people, because it shows that two tremendous aspects of the self which people see as inevitably divided — our emotion and our logic — can be one.

In a central principle of Aesthetic Realism, Mr. Siegel explains: "All beauty is a making one of opposites, and the making one of opposites is what we are going after in ourselves." Logic and emotion are opposites, and the pained taking for granted that they can't go together is in phrases people are using to themselves and others right now: "Why can't I stop being emotional about this, and start being logical?!"; "I've got to think with my head, not with my heart!" 

Reasoning, logic have seemed perhaps necessary, but severe and flat — not warm, stirring, delightful. And the sweep of emotion has seemed not to have reason or intellect with it. To feel you have to sacrifice one for the other, or have emotion at one time and logic at another, is to feel the world is fundamentally ugly, and that oneself is too....more

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Unions and Beauty / Number 1348, February 3, 1999

...I comment a little here, however, on one of the most beautiful instances of unity in human history: unions. There are millions of people in America grateful to unions, and many more should be. And there are persons, including in government, who have been trying to destroy unions. But Aesthetic Realism is that which shows that a union, a true union, is aesthetic: like a concerto, a novel, a painting, it is a oneness of opposites. And its aesthetics is its power. 

The oneness of opposites, the aesthetics, of a union is told of in a swift, playful, yet important poem by Eli Siegel, "Lines on an I.W.W. Person." The I.W.W., Industrial Workers of the World, was founded in 1905 by, among others, Eugene V. Debs and "Big Bill" Haywood. It aimed to be "one big union," in which workers of all industries would fight together in behalf of decent wages and working conditions, and the just ownership of America. Some of the true courage in American history was shown by I.W.W. persons...— for instance, at the Lawrence strike of textile workers in Massachusetts in 1912....more

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The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known online:

*Current Issues: The most recent issues in which Aesthetic Realism explains the news, happenings in people's lives, events in history, and some of the most moving works in literature.

*National Ethics: What honest criteria can we use to be good critics of ethics on the national and international levels? Aesthetic Realism looks at ethics as to loyalty, international affairs, & more.

*Literature / Poetry: Discussing many great works of poetry and prose. Criticism, wrote Eli Siegel compactly, is showing "a good thing as good, a bad thing as bad, and a middling thing as middling."

*Love: How Aesthetic Realism describes the purpose of love—"to like the world honestly through another person." Discussion of what interferes with having real love—today and in history.

*Racism—the Cause & Solution: The Aesthetic Realism understanding of contempt as the cause of racism, and the place of aesthetics in respecting, pleasurably, people different from oneself.

*The Economy: Why our economic system has failed to meet the needs of the American people, and the Aesthetic Realism understanding of good will as the basis for successful and fair economics

*Education: The success of the Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method in having students learn to read and write—learn science, social studies, art, every subject—and be kinder, less angry, less prejudiced.

*Eli Siegel Day in Baltimore: Talks given on August 16, 2002, Eli Siegel's Centenary, placing Mr. Siegel and Aesthetic Realism, his work, in terms of world culture and history.

*Art: "Aesthetic Realism sees the purpose of art as, from the beginning, the liking of the world more..."

*Archives: The rich education provided by Aesthetic Realism in issues of The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known which are online.

Aesthetic Realism Foundation online

The most comprehensive source of information about Aesthetic Realism is the website of the Aesthetic Realism Foundation—and the sites connected to it, including this one. You can start, for instance, at the Foundation's home page. Then, go on to biographical information about Eli Siegel, who founded Aesthetic Realism in 1941. You will see how the education he began teaching in those years continues now in Aesthetic Realism consultations and in public dramatic presentations and seminars at the Aesthetic Realism Foundation—as well as in the Foundation's Outreach Programs for seniors, young people, libraries, teachers. Meanwhile in the schools of New York, the dramatically effective Aesthetic Realism Teaching Method has enabled students to learn, to love learning, and to pass standardized examinations for three decades. And artists since 1955 have exhibited at the Terrain Gallery for which many have written commentaries (including on their own works), based on the philosophic principles of Aesthetic Realism. You can read about Ellen Reiss, Aesthetic Realism Chairman of Education online, as well as about every person on the faculty of the Foundation. As editor of TRO her commentaries are in every issue (see, e.g., "Nature, Romanticism, & Harry Potter"; "Clothing and Emotion"; and "Jobs, Discontent, and Beauty"). In the Aesthetic Realism Online Library, you'll find the largest single repository of reviews, articles in the press, lectures, poetry; and The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known. In 2002, Eli Siegel' s centenary, the Governor of Maryland and the Mayor of Baltimore, the city where he grew up, wrote on the meaning to America of Aesthetic Realism and its founder. So did the former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, in the U.S. Congressional Record.

Selected Resources online

People in America's diverse professions—the humanities, the arts, education, the social sciences, medicine, labor—have written on the value of Aesthetic Realism. They describe the way Aesthetic Realism teaches people how to understand themselves more accurately; how the ability to be just to other people is enhanced; how one's professional attainments are augmented. Language arts teacher Leila Rosen, for example, writes on the Aesthetic Realism teaching method. Anthropologist Arnold Perey writes on the way Aesthetic Realism opposes prejudice and improves international understanding. And there are many others. Historically, new knowledge has often been met unjustly. This was true about the new, innovative thought of Louis Pasteur and John Keats, Beethoven and William Lloyd Garrison, Jonas Salk and Isaac Newton. And it has been true about Aesthetic Realism. Documenting and opposing this, the website "Friends of Aesthetic Realism — Countering the Lies," written by more than 60 individuals, refutes the falsehoods of the few persons who have attacked Aesthetic Realism and lets the facts speak for themselves. People who want to express their opinion of Aesthetic Realism, and have the knowledge to back it up, have created blogs and websites and have written numerous articles. See, for example, composer and educator Edward Green; essayist Lynette Abel; photographer Len Bernstein; teachers Ann Richards, Christopher Balchin, and Alan Shapiro. Others are listed in "What People Are Saying." The education of Aesthetic Realism enables a person to understand oneself more exactly than has been possible before, and to like the world honestly, authentically.

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