Saturday 31 July 2010

Having and being in America

On my way to the American Cybernetics Society conference in Troy, NY, I was reading Erich Fromm's "To have or to be?" What Fromm calls the 'having mode' is so clearly visible in the US. I was struck how beautiful the natural landscape of New York city is - how it must have seemed like Eden to the European settlers. The train ride up the Hudson to Albany was simply stunning. When the settler's arrived, the 'Having mode' was already well established in them - and they wanted to have this land. The natives were in the 'being mode' - we didn't listen to them. And the consequences of the possessing we are clearly reaping now. Which way now?

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