Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pieper on an all-too familiar form of codependency

"all these different forms of proletarianism, particularly the last two, mutually attract one another and in so doing intensify each other.  The 'total work' State needs the spiritually impoverished, one-track mind of the 'functionary'; and he, in his turn, is naturally inclined to find complete satisfaction in his 'service' and thereby achieves the illusion of a life fulfilled. . . ."

Joseph Pieper, Leisure:  the basis of culture, trans. Alexander Dru (San Francisco:  Ignatius Press, 2009 [1963/1952]), 58.  Proletarianism is defined here as "a symptomatic state of mind common to all levels of society and by no means confined to the 'proletariat', to the 'worker', a general symptom that is merely found isolated in unusually acute form in the proletariat; so that it might be asked whether we are not all of us proletarians and all of us, consequently, ripe and ready to fall into the hands of some collective labor State and be at its disposal as functionarieseven though explicitly of the contrary political opinion" (58-59).

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