Sunday, December 9, 2012

The need for chaos and anarchy

‎" Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock.." : Harry Lime, The Third Man.

Such a wonderful thought. I know there would be lots of people who would disagree with this line of thought. Foremost would be the people who actually lived during the time when the Borgias ruled. But maybe chaos and anarchy do give rise to the development of arts and science. Or is it just that you recognise the talents and creations more effectively when you are surrounded by pandemonium. After all, the shine of a diamond is most evident when placed in mud and not among other diamonds.

Here is an interesting article on this topic:

As the article explains, people are apprehensive about admitting that art can flourish under tyranny for the simple reason that freedom will appear to be overrated if that was the case. Though contrary to the article, my view is that art flourishes under despotism for the simple reason that despotism can illicit in a person strong feelings and emotions, something that is central to the development of art. All forms of art, be it written or graphical is the result of acute belief in an idea and the strong emotion to give that idea a physical form. And autocracy is just a basis to develop these emotions. The emotions of competition, rivalry, anathema, abomination among others are absent from a democratic harmonious setting which will lead to cultural desolation.

Conflict and antagonism seem to have a more conducive effect on the development of culture and art forms when compared to harmony. I am an example of this. I feel that my writing flourishes whenever I am in a state of despair and desolation. Like now. I am strung out since I don't have a job. And I have suddenly writing with a voracious appetite. I was similarly under a major amount of stress when I had my last creative spell. When I am happy, I am unable to coin anything. I stare blankly at the paper and words refuse to form in my head. But in moments such as these, I attain a clear perception of my feelings and my need to emote through words. And I begin writing. I write as if that is the only thing I like doing. I write for large parts of the day. And I am not tired of it. There are so many ideas that I want to put on paper. And so I do. My states of stress and tension has the capability to awaken the writer in me. And I am glad about it. Because, I really do love writing. But I cannot write until and unless I feel something forceful enough.

Though the original statement is not accurate since the cuckoo clock came later and the Swiss were a major military power, but the statement is still quite strong and gives form to an idea which has been prevalent. The core of the statement, the idea that culture and its development seek antagonism is quite emphatic and calls for attention.

Leaving you with something to think about.

The Rambler

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