The End Of Illusions Essay Research Paper — страница 2

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the masses from the smaller class of people who are gambling on the stock market.MM: And social security?AM: The more detailed you get about this system, the more illusionary, and in many cases the more hallucinatory, it becomes. The big resistance to this new tax proposal – which would give even more benefits to the wealthiest 1% of the population – is coming from a small group of extremely rich people, like Bill Gates, probably the richest man in the world, who object to this proposal on the grounds that it would make them somewhat richer, but reduce the amount of charitable donations. That way it will create a class of heirs who, no doubt, will be idle and unworthy. MM: For the moment they feel secure in their wealth. AM: They feel that this will cause a degeneration of

the system from which they benefited so greatly, and that it will create a class of people who simply stand with a big basket and all the money falls in – who are not necessarily moved to invent or work or do anything else. The question you have to ask yourself is: whence comes this idea? From a brand-new president. And I can only imagine that, since he is in the oil business, and the oil business is notoriously predatory – don’t go where the oil is, even if it’s in your bathroom – they figured that their man could extract more money from the tax department. And to hell with everybody else. MM: Travelling backwards, we could say that art mummifies life. Through mummification, we receive a sense of reality. It’s extremely ironic.AM: Basically, that is what its function

is now. It’s just to stop time. You stop time. That massive flow of images that floods every country, with no meaning, no definition – art stops it. Long enough for you to say, “Oh, that’s what the hell it is!” It gives you a moment of recognition. But all you get is that moment. If I can generalise from my small experience with younger people, they know something is missing. They’re quite conscious of it. They think – in relation, let’s say, to my work or the work of my generation – that this something once existed. They long for an emergency. An emergency that will give them values; in other words, things you have to do. Ideas you have to understand in order to survive. They don’t have any such ideas. Every idea is something they choose to have or not have.

Everything they do is arbitrary. There’s no necessity in anything. That’s a very common situation now, probably the most common situation, really forced upon us by an apparent culture which throws up an endless string of meaningless images. MM: We’ve reached a state where the communicable world is lost.AM: I don’t know what the reason is, but I do know what the effect is: that economic man is all there is. There isn’t a culture. And I’m wondering whether it was destroyed by the many wars of the last 100 years or so. A religion, for example, which offers itself as a means of dignifying humanity, and blesses, but does not condemn a Holocaust, finally evolves into vapour in the human mind. Religion in this country is like a football game. People get together in large

institutions and cheer the minister. The idea of changing one’s life by turning towards some set of values is very remote. The only value is that we’re all together. That’s the value. We’re all together. We’re all singing together and we’re all praying together.MM: We’re all together on a sinking ship.AM: Yes. The one thing about this country which you can be sure of is that it’s gonna change. That’s the only certainty I know. Whatever is today will be somewhat different tomorrow.? Michael March, 2001· Michael March runs the Prague Writers’ Festival.