March 18, 2014

The human abstract

I have long been aware from personal experience and observation that being poor is not nearly as much fun as some people who aren't tend to think it is. This piece by Barbara Ehrenreich in the Atlantic points out that it's also expensive.

Ehrenreich's article reminded me of this classical sociological analysis by Herbert Gans of all the ways poverty benefits people who aren't poor.

Come to think of it, that reminds me of these lines of the divinely mad and inspired English poet William Blake from the poem "The Human Abstract" in Songs of Experience.

Pity would be no more
If we did not make somebody poor,
And Mercy no more could be
If all were as happy as we.

(Note: if you want more of Blake, search the Goat Rope archives in the upper left hand corner of the screen.)


No comments: