Nancy Huntting, Aesthetic Realism consultant, writes: What makes a person intelligent—including about oneself? And is the profit motive wise—or deeply unintelligent? Read “Intelligence, Shame, & Profit,” the great new issue of The Right of Aesthetic Realism to Be Known.
The commentary by Ellen Reiss begins:
Dear Unknown Friends:
We are serializing the great 1970 lecture Shame Goes with It All, by Eli Siegel. And we print here too part of a paper by Aesthetic Realism associate Miriam Weiss from a public seminar of last month, “What Makes a Woman Intelligent—Including about Herself ?”
Shame Goes with It All is one of the Goodbye Profit System lectures that Mr. Siegel gave beginning in May 1970. In them he showed, with documentation from history and world culture, that an economy based on contempt—on using human beings and reality itself for some persons’ private profit—was no longer able to succeed. The profit way might be propped up awhile. But it was like a mortally ailing creature on life support: no matter how long determined persons might keep it going, it would not recover.
The lecture we’re serializing is about the feeling of shame that, Mr. Siegel shows, has always been present in connection with the profit system. He begins with a discussion of one of the most noted essays in English, Charles Lamb’s “Poor Relations.” And he speaks about the shame that has been because some people have had much less money than others.
That poverty exists in this world, which has enough resources for all, will be seen as massive barbarism. I remember Mr. Siegel saying that only contempt could permit poverty to go on. He defined contempt as the getting an “addition to self through the lessening of something else,” and identified it as the source of all cruelty. Read more