Words from Carl Barks, creator of Scrooge McDuck, with annotations.
I've always looked at the ducks as caricatured human beings. [Eisenstein on Bambi: not an anthropomorphized deer, but a human "redeerized"] In rereading the stories, I realized that I had gotten kind of deep [20 ft, the
in some of them: there was philosophy in there that I hadn't realized I was putting in. [
It was an added feature [that "dangerous supplement"] that went along with the stories. I think a lot of the philosophy in my stories is conservative —conservative in the sense that I feel our civilization peaked around 1910. [Version One: Civilization means that which was but now...
- is going up in impure flames. Version Two:
and finally comes the period of decadence, which in Spengler's view is synonymous with "civilization." This "seasonal" flow of history is a predicament of all nations, although the historical timing of their decline varies with the virility of each nation, geographical area, or epoch. In the field of politics and statecraft, the process of decadence is very much the same. Thus, the closing years of the First World War witnessed the passing of the feudal rule of the landed aristocracy and the emergence of budding forms of parliamentary plutocracy - soon to be followed by the rise of rootless mobocracy and the "dictatorship of money"]
Since then we've been going downhill. Much of the older culture had basic qualities that the new stuff we keep hatching can never match. [
Look at the magnificent cathedrals and palaces that were built. Nobody can build that sort of thing nowadays. [
Also, I believe that we should preserve many old ideals and methods of working: honor, honesty, allowing other people to believe in their own ideas ["Federici explains how the movements became increasingly revolutionary as they grew in size. "In the course of this process, the political horizon and the organizational dimensions of the peasant and artisan struggle broadened. Entire regions revolted, forming assemblies and recruiting armies. At times, the peasants organized in bands, attacking the castles of the lords, and destroying the archives where the written marks of their servitude were kept." In the 1420s and 1430s, the Taborites fought to liberate all of Bohemia, beating back several Crusades of over 100,000 men organized by the Vatican. The uprisings became contagious, so much so that in the crucial period of 1350-1500, unprecedented concessions were made including the doubling of wages, reduction in prices and rents, and a shorter working day. In the words of Federici, "the feudal economy was doomed." The author documents that the initial reaction by elites was to institute the "Holy Inquisition," a brutal campaign of state repression that included torturing and even burning heretics to death. But as time went on, ruling class strategy shifted from targeting heretics in general to specifically targeting female community leaders. The Inquisition morphed into the Witch Hunt."], not trying to force everyone into one form [
The thing I have against the present political system is that it tries to make everybody exactly alike.
[The result of the total movement is the production of a universal class, a numerous proletariat, proletariat is the sense of the totality of men who have no reserves (old proletariat + new middle classes). It is a universal class as it forms the largest part of the population and 'because it cannot demand in a particular way, but only in a human way.]
We should have a million different patterns.
[Ornament without repetition, impossible - we should have - wallpaper: none are singular instances, not a million little pieces, but a million different patterns. Hence a density of line that is just a scribble. Time may be river that cannot be stepped into twice, but it freezes at times, and such it obstructs its own flow and it is this hold-up, this eddy, that alone is responsible for the creation of folds and patterns. And the winter is never long enough to skate.]
They say that wealthy people like the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers are sinful because they accumulated fortunes by exploiting the poor. ["O.E. synn "moral wrongdoing, offense against God, misdeed," from P.Gmc. *sundjo (cf. O.S. sundia, O.Fris. sende, M.Du. sonde, Ger. Sünde "sin, transgression, trespass, offense"), probably ult. "true" (cf. Goth. sonjis, O.N. sannr "true"), from PIE *es-ont-, prp. of base *es- "to be" (see is)." They are sinful because they are, because unlike the proletariat, they are not enemies of mankind. They are sinful because they are not misanthropes.]
I feel that everybody should be able to rise as high as they can or want to, provided they don't kill anybody or actually oppress other people on the way up. [
A little exploitation is something you come by in nature. ["Like they're giving each other a kiss?" "Very similar. Yes." "Yes. By regurgitating blood." ] We see it in the pecking order of animals—everybody has to be exploited or to exploit someone else to a certain extent. [
I don't resent those things.
["Envy which is establishing itself is a levelling, and while a passionate age pushes forward, establishing new things and destroying others, raising and tearing down, a reflective, passionless age does the opposite, it stifles and hinders, it levels. This levelling is a silent, mathematical, abstract process which avoids upheavals. . . . Levelling at its maximum is like the stillness of death, where one can hear one's own heartbeat, a stillness like death, into which nothing can penetrate, in which everything sinks, powerless."
The leveled is the stillness of the money pit's tiled bottom. For there is the shorn chill of undried sweat, the only trace of the frantic doggy-paddle of a hoarding duck who mistakes money for matter and who has forgotten how to swim.]