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The true exercise of freedom is one’s ability to imagine a new way of doing things, a way that makes things better.
By Charles Eisenstein
Wednesday, September 26th, 2018
Can we invent a better myth to live by?
“I am at the barber’s, and a copy of Paris-Match is offered to me. On the cover, a young black soldier in a French uniform is saluting, with his eyes uplifted, probably fixed on a fold of the tricolour. All this is the meaning of the picture. But whether naively or not, I see very well what it signifies to me: that France is a great Empire, that all her sons, without any colour discrimination, faithfully serve under the flag, and that there is no better answer to the detractors of an alleged colonialism than the zeal shown by this black soldier in serving his so-called oppressors.”
“For the myth-reader [i.e., the believer of myth] the outcome is quite different: everything happens as if the picture naturally conjured up the concept, as if the signifier gave a foundation to the signified: the myth exists from the precise moment when French imperiality achieves the natural state”
“Any semiological system is a system of values; now, the myth-consumer takes the signification for a system of facts: myth is read as a factual system, whereas it is but a semiological system.”
“the mythology of wine can in fact help us to understand the usual ambiguity of our daily life. For it is true that wine is a good and fine substance, but it is no less true that its production is deeply involved in French capitalism, whether it is that of the private distillers or that of the big settlers in Algeria who impose on the Muslims, on the very land of which they have been dispossessed, a crop of which they have no need, while they lack even bread. There are thus very engaging myths which are however not innocent. And the characteristic of our current alienation is precisely that wine cannot be a blissful substance, except if we wrongfully forget that it is also the product of an expropriation.”