We are past the intensely critical part of the novel and are now moving onto the great descriptive portion. Letter Four is about a carton factory, a university occupation and all of the characters in Yarostan & Sophia’s lives. It is about the specific nature of peoples’ behavior and how the consequences ripple out over time and into lives.
Archive for the ‘ 4th Letters ’ Category
Of the many interesting topics of the 4th letters, I have chosen to focus on the role of leadership and organization in periods of ferment, as raised by Zdenek and Yarostan. My thoughts about it have been encouraged both by John Zerzan’s guest entry and the ongoing forum discussion on Anarchy and Organization.
Let’s look at the argument that Yarostan has been building throughout his first four letters. He has claimed that as participants of the carton plant takeover 20 years ago, they deceived themselves into believing that they were engaged in a project to liberate themselves and give the workers control of the plant. Instead, the takeover had been staged from above, and the plan all along had been to simply turn power over, but not to abolish it. He now takes this argument one step further and discusses how that activity actually mal-developed his understanding of a liberated life. Read the rest of this entry
Trying to keep track of who is in prison and who is out can be a bit of a headache. Fredy Perlman clearly has a definite timeline in mind, based on the specific lengths of time that he mentions over and over again – not just the twenty years separating the events of the carton factory from the present day, or the nine years that separate the early revolution from the liberation of the city, but many other references besides. Jasna is often quite specific in her reflections, noting for instance that she hadn’t seen Claude for “nine years,” or that Adrian’s release was “two years” before Yarostan’s, and that Yasna’s death was “three years” before the present.
Motivations aren’t always easy to suss out, even our own motivations sometimes. I’d like to think that my actions are motivated by my own desires and not a sense of getting ahead in life. That is, unless I’m clear in my own mind that I’m doing such-and-such a thing specifically in order to get ahead.
I’d like to think it, but that doesn’t mean that it’s the case. Sophia would also like to think it, but it may not be the case as much as she thinks. Yarostan definitely thinks it, and he might be right. This set of letters focuses on manifestations of ladder-climbing, and it’s a running thread in both letters.