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Woorden en Beelden

Filosofie en de waan van de dag

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Utopie en bevrijding

Literair werk


Voorkant Campanella 'City of the Sun' Tommaso CAMPANELLA
The City of the Sun - A Poetical Dialogue between a Grandmaster of the Knights Hospitallers and a Genoese Sea-Captain, his guest (1602)
The Floating Press, 2009, 73 blzn.;
ISBN-13: 978 17 7541 0515

Op zijn zwerftochten komt de kapitein in Taprobane, landt eregens op een strand en wordt door allerlei mensen naar de Zonnestad gebracht. De bouw van de stad wordt beschreven (opnieuw als een fort helemaal gericht op defensie). Alle gebouwen zijn er even mooi en rijk aangekleed. Midden op de heuvel waartegen de gebouwen opgebouwd zijn staat een tempel.

[De bouwkundige ideeën in utopia's zijn wat mij betreft eigenlijk alleen interessant in zoverre ze iets zeggen over de waarden en normen van de bewoners ervan.]

"At the top of the building several small and beautiful cells surround the small dome, and behind the level space above the bands or arches of the exterior and interior columns there are many cells, both small and large, where the priests and religious officers dwell to the number of forty-nine."(8-9)

[En we hebben weer priesters ... Erg innovatief.]

"The great ruler among them is a priest whom they call by the name Hoh, though we should call him Metaphysic. He is head over all, in temporal and spiritual matters, and all business and lawsuits are settled by him, as the supreme authority. Three princes of equal power — viz., Pon, Sin, and Mor — assist him, and these in our tongue we should call Power, Wisdom, and Love."(9)

[Leuk gevonden. De hogepriester is dus een filosoofkoning als bij Plato? De andere drie geven het belang aan van bepaalde zaken:]

Macht wordt neergezet als iemand die alle militaire zaken regelt en de baas is over legers, fortificaties en zo meer.

Wijsheid gaat over wiskunde en logica, wetenschappen, geneeskunde, kunsten, en zorgt ervoor dat al die informatie overal in de stad is te zien.

[Al die kennis wordt dus openlijk gedeeld, de stad is werkelijk één grote mediatheek. Dat is wel erg origineel.]

Liefde moet voor het ras zorgen.

"He sees that men and women are so joined together, that they bring forth the best offspring. Indeed, they laugh at us who exhibit a studious care for our breed of horses and dogs, but neglect the breeding of human beings. [mijn nadruk] Thus the education of the children is under his rule. So also is the medicine that is sold, the sowing and collecting of fruits of the earth and of trees, agriculture, pasturage, the preparations for the months, the cooking arrangements, and whatever has any reference to food, clothing, and the intercourse of the sexes. Love himself is ruler, but there are many male and female magistrates dedicated to these arts."(15)

[Blijkbaar zijn het drie mannen. De voortplanting van mensen is dus strikt geregeld naar eugenetische principes. Dat zal wel in meer utopische verhalen voorkomen. De persoon Liefde gaat over het geestelijke en lichamelijke welzijn in het algemeen, is dus zowel met opvoeding bezig als met voeding.]

"Although the community of wives is not instituted among the other inhabitants of their province, among them it is in use after this manner: All things are common with them, and their dispensation is by the authority of the magistrates. Arts and honors and pleasures are common, and are held in such a manner that no one can appropriate anything to himself. [mijn nadruk]"(16)

Privébezit leidt tot zelfliefde en daarmee tot allerlei problemen.

"But when we have taken away self-love, there remains only love for the State."(16)

[Wat onduidelijk blijft: wordt hier u gesproken over dat vrouwen gemeenschappelijk zijn? het lijkt er op: alles is gemeenschappelijk. Maar wat dat concreet betekent gezien de eugentische principes? en bestaat er dus geen huwelijk dan?]

Het bezwaar tegen het opheffen van het privébezit van de Grandmaster is dat dan niemand geneigd zou zijn om te werken en zal profiteren van het werken van anderen.

"Whatever is necessary they have, they receive it from the community, and the magistrate takes care that no one receives more than he deserves. Yet nothing necessary is denied to anyone."(17)

"All those of the same age call one another brothers. They call all over twenty-two years of age, fathers; those that are less than twenty-two are named sons. Moreover, the magistrates govern well, so that no one in the fraternity can do injury to another."(18)

[Het is weer opvallend dat alles om mannen lijkt te draaien.]

"Wherefore among them neither robbery nor clever murders, nor lewdness, incest, adultery, or other crimes of which we accuse one another, can be found."(18)

[Moord wordt hier bijna op één lijn gesteld met wulpsheid / geilheid.]

"That you may know, then, men and women wear the same kind of garment, suited for war. The women wear the toga below the knee, but the men above; and both sexes are instructed in all the arts together. When this has been done as a start, and before their third year, the boys learn the language and the alphabet on the walls by walking round them."(19)

[Even lijkt het of vrouwen dezelfde opvoeding krijgen als mannen. Maar na die laatste zin gaat het alleen over mannen. En die oefenen zichzelf, leren de ambachten, leren de wetenschappen, leren in de praktijk landbouw en veeteelt.]

"And they consider him the more noble and renowned who has dedicated himself to the study of the most arts and knows how to practise them wisely."(20)

[Blijkbaar komen uit die mannen ook de mannen met officiële functies voort. Want:]

"The rest of the officials, however, are chosen by the four chiefs, Hoh, Pon, Sin and Mor, and by the teachers of that art over which they are fit to preside."(20-21)

[Hoe dan ook: Bestuurders moeten wijs en geleerd zijn, vooral degene die uiteindelijk voorgedragen wordt als Hoh.]

"But beyond everything else it is necessary that Hoh should understand metaphysics and theology; that he should know thoroughly the derivations, foundations, and demonstrations of all the arts and sciences; the likeness and difference of things; necessity, fate, and the harmonies of the universe; power, wisdom, and the love of things and of God; the stages of life and its symbols; everything relating to the heavens, the earth, and the sea; and the ideas of God, as much as mortal man can know of him. He must also be well read in the prophets and in astrology. And thus they know long beforehand who will be Hoh."(21-22)

[Met andere woorden: omdat iedere man goed opgevoed en begeleid wordt, kennen de leraren enz. de intelligentie en de vaardigheden en interesses van elke jongere man zodat het dus gemakkelijk is ze richting een officiële functie te begeleiden.
Tot dusver is er geen beeld van hoe en wat vrouwen leren en wat voor functies ze allemaal kunnen hebben.]

"There are occupations, mechanical and theoretical, common to both men and women, with this difference, that the occupations which require more hard work, and walking a long distance, are practised by men, such as ploughing, sowing, gathering the fruits, working at the threshing-floor, and perchance at the vintage. But it is customary to choose women for milking the cows and for making cheese. In like manner, they go to the gardens near to the outskirts of the city both for collecting the plants and for cultivating them. In fact, all sedentary and stationary pursuits are practised by the women, such as weaving, spinning, sewing, cutting the hair, shaving, dispensing medicines, and making all kinds of garments. They are, however, excluded from working in wood and the manufacture of arms. If a woman is fit to paint, she is not prevented from doing so; nevertheless, music is given over to the women alone, because they please the more, and of a truth to boys also. But the women have not the practise of the drum and the horn."(25)

[Standaard verdeling van taken gebaseerd op vooroordelen als de spierkracht van mannen die hun geschikter zou maken voor activiteiten buitenshuis (en voor oorlogen) terwijl vrouwen meer gebouwd zijn voor activiteiten binnenshuis. Muziek is iets voor vrouwen, niet voor mannen; trommels en hoorn en wapens maken is iets voor mannen, niet voor vrouwen. Mannen zijn hier krijgers / degenen die oorlog voeren.]

Jongeren bedienen de ouderen in de gemeenschappelijke eetruimtes. Ook hier het kloosteridee met iemand die voorleest. Mannen zitten aan de ene kant van de tafels, vrouwen aan de andere.

"And truly it is pleasant to observe in what manner these young people, so beautiful and clothed in garments so suitable, attend to them, and to see at the same time so many friends, brothers, sons, fathers, and mothers all in their turn living together with so much honesty, propriety, and love."(26-27)

[Oeps, ineens zijn de meisjes weer verdwenen. En blijkbaar zijn er toch vaders en moeders ondanks de eugenetische aanpak.]

Over de kleding. Iedereen draagt dezelfde voorgeschreven witte kleren.

"When their women have brought forth children, they suckle and rear them in temples set apart for all. They give milk for two years or more as the physician orders. After that time the weaned child is given into the charge of the mistresses, if it is a female, and to the masters, if it is a male."(29)

Er is geen jaloezie onder degenen die niet verkozen zijn tot bepaalde ambten want:

"... the race is managed for the good of the commonwealth, and not of private individuals, and the magistrates must be obeyed. They deny what we hold — viz., that it is natural to man to recognize his offspring and to educate them, and to use his wife and house and children as his own. For they say that children are bred for the preservation of the species and not for individual pleasure, as St. Thomas also asserts. Therefore the breeding of children has reference to the commonwealth, and not to individuals, except in so far as they are constituents of the commonwealth. And since individuals for the most part bring forth children wrongly and educate them wrongly, they consider that they remove destruction from the State, and therefore for this reason, with most sacred fear, they commit the education of the children, who, as it were, are the element of the republic, to the care of magistrates; for the safety of the community is not that of a few. And thus they distribute male and female breeders of the best natures according to philosophical rules. Plato thinks that this distribution ought to be made by lot, lest some men seeing that they are kept away from the beautiful women, should rise up with anger and hatred against the magistrates ... (...); is not necessary among the inhabitants of the City of the Sun. For with them deformity is unknown. When the women are exercised they get a clear complexion, and become strong of limb, tall and agile, and with them beauty consists in tallness and strength. Therefore, if any woman dyes her face, so that it may become beautiful, or uses high-heeled boots so that she may appear tall, or garments with trains to cover her wooden shoes, she is condemned to capital punishment.(...) Moreover, the love born of eager desire is not known among them; only that born of friendship."(31-33)

"Pride they consider the most execrable vice, and one who acts proudly is chastised with the most ruthless correction."(33)

"Every man who, when he is told off to work, does his duty, is considered very honorable. It is not the custom to keep slaves. [mijn nadruk]"(34)

[Hier dezelfde kritiek als bij More: als mensen allemaal gewoon werk verrichten, al is dat hier maar vier uur per dag, is er overvloed, maar in de bestaande samenleving heb je te veel, vaak rijke, nietsnutten zodat er slaven nodig zijn om al het werk te kunnen verrichten dat nodig is voor die samenleving en veel andere mensen in armoede leven.]

"The remaining hours are spent in learning joyously, in debating, in reading, in reciting, in writing, in walking, in exercising the mind and body, and with play. They allow no game which is played while sitting, neither the single die nor dice, nor chess, nor others like these. But they play with the ball, with the sack, with the hoop, with wrestling, with hurling at the stake. They say, moreover, that grinding poverty renders men worthless, cunning, sulky, thievish, insidious, vagabonds, liars, false witnesses, etc.; and that wealth makes them insolent, proud, ignorant, traitors, assumers of what they know not, deceivers, boasters, wanting in affection, slanderers, etc. But with them all the rich and poor together make up the community. They are rich because they want nothing, poor because they possess nothing; and consequently they are not slaves to circumstances, but circumstances serve them. And on this point they strongly recommend the religion of the Christians, and especially the life of the apostles."(34-35)

[Hier nogmaals die kritiek. Communisme was onder de eerste christenen blijkbaar heel gewoon.]

De Grandmaster maakt bezwaar tegen de gemeenschappelijkheid van de vrouwen, dat gebeurde zelfs niet in de apostolische tijd. De Kapitein denkt dat ze Plato en zo verkeerd begrepen hebben.

[Maar het feit blijft dat de vrouwen hier gemeenschappelijk zijn.]

"Practice makes the women suitable for war and other duties."(36)

[Goed, dat is dan duidelijk, denk je dan. Maar dan volgt verderop:]

"Moreover, Power is at the head of all the professors of gymnastics, who teach military exercise, and who are prudent generals, advanced in age. By these the boys are trained after their twelfth year. Before this age, however, they have been accustomed to wrestling, running, throwing the weight, and other minor exercises, under inferior masters. But at twelve they are taught how to strike at the enemy, at horses and elephants, to handle the spear, the sword, the arrow, and the sling; to manage the horse, to advance and to retreat, to remain in order of battle, to help a comrade in arms, to anticipate the enemy by cunning, and to conquer.
The women also are taught these arts under their own magistrates and mistresses, so that they may be able if need be to render assistance to the males in battles near the city. They are taught to watch the fortifications lest at some time a hasty attack should suddenly be made. In this respect they praise the Spartans and Amazons. The women know well also how to let fly fiery balls, and how to make them from lead; how to throw stones from pinnacles and to go in the way of an attack. They are accustomed also to give up wine unmixed altogether, and that one is punished most severely who shows any fear."(37-38)

[Mannen doen nog steeds het 'echte werk' en vrouwen zijn ondersteunend. Er is geen sprake van gelijkwaardige taken, al zijn ze misschien wel allemaal belangrijk.]

Ze geloven dat de ziel onsterfelijk is, dus zijn ze niet bang voor de dood.

"Wars might never occur, nevertheless they are exercised in military tactics and in hunting, lest perchance they should become effeminate and unprepared for any emergency."(39)

Voor het geval dat. Want andere landen zijn vaak jaloers op de inwoners van de Zonnestad.

"It is their wont to take out with them a body of boys, armed and on horses, so that they may learn to fight, just as the whelps of lions and wolves are accustomed to blood. And these in time of danger betake themselves to a place of safety, along with many armed women. After the battle the women and boys soothe and relieve the pain of the warriors, and wait upon them and encourage them with embraces and pleasant words. How wonderful a help is this! For the soldiers, in order that they may acquit themselves as sturdy men in the eyes of their wives and offspring, [mijn nadruk] endure hardships, and so love makes them conquerors."(41-42)

[Vrouwen dus ondersteunend en verzorgend. Mannen worden bewonderd als ze stoer zijn en pijn kunnen lijden.]

"As much of the land as is necessary is cultivated, and the rest is used for the pasturage of cattle."(49)

Volgt van alles over voeding, gezondheid en welzijn door de juiste voeding en beweging, geneeskunde etc. etc.

"They have an abundance of all things, since everyone likes to be industrious, their labors being slight and profitable."(50)

"Among them there is never gout in the hands or feet, nor catarrh, nor sciatica, nor grievous colics, nor flatulency, nor hard breathing. For these diseases are caused by indigestion and flatulency, and by frugality and exercise they remove every humor and spasm."(54)

De Council bestaat uit iedereen boven de twintig:

"To this all from twenty years upward are admitted, and each one is asked separately to say what is wanting in the State, and which of the magistrates have discharged their duties rightly and which wrongly."(56)

"Everyone is judged by the first master of his trade, and thus all the head artificers are judges. They punish with exile, with flogging, with blame, with deprivation of the common table, with exclusion from the church and from the company of women. When there is a case in which great injury has been done, it is punished with death, and they repay an eye with an eye, a nose for a nose, a tooth for a tooth, and so on, according to the law of retaliation."(58)

Maar de Council en de Hoh spelen ook een rol in de rechtspraak. Mensen verdedigen zichzelf, er zijn geen advocaten.

Na de rechtsspraak de religie.

"Beyond all other things they venerate the sun, but they consider no created thing worthy the adoration of worship. This they give to God alone, and thus they serve Him, that they may not come into the power of a tyrant and fall into misery by undergoing punishment by creatures of revenge. They contemplate and know God under the image of the Sun, and they call it the sign of God, His face and living image, by means of which light, heat, life, and the making of all things good and bad proceed."(68-69)

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