Friday, October 16, 2009

social work and where it goes

It is fascinating that a deep study of anything takes you into the heart of everything.

I hadn't realized I would be studying Adam Smith and the invisible hand, Marx, Rawls and Nozick, the foundations of capitalism and the various theories of our various states - liberal, new liberal, neo-liberal, neo-conservative, social democratic, socialist, communist. And inside these things are the bigger questions: freedom, liberty, equality, rights, care, love. We try to account for these things when we devise our strategies for living. We think of love and then we practice economics. We try to be practical and human. We try to do what's right. We devise lengthy rationalizations when our choices depart from what is clearly love. We come up with the invisible hand. We call it beautiful. We extoll the impartiality of nature, the primeval state, the purity, like Robinson Jeffers speaks of God. We equate economics with God.

My mind hums with thoughts. It is an incredible feeling, like flying, to soar so high above things. The joy of theory is in the bird's eye view, the height, the disengagement, the freedom to turn one's head this way and that and see it all.

I want to stay engaged in the world while studying theory. I want to keep from loving theory like one loves the abstractions of love. I want to stay in relationship with the world, not just in love with the idea of it.

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