Friday, September 27, 2013

Money Wisdom #209

"The temple buildings which dominate the first cities are monuments of accumulated guilt and expiation. The process of expiation, no longer a totemic communion of persons, has been reified and passes into piles of stone and gold and many other things beside. 'To look at the plan of a great City,' said Frank Lloyd Wright, 'is to look at something like the cross-section of a fibrous tumor.' But guilt is time: 'In the city, time becomes visible,' says Mumford. In monumental form, as money or as the city itself, each generation inherits the ascetic achievements of its ancestors; not, as Joan Robinson says of the gold fund, as a 'free gift from history', but as a debt to be paid by further accumulation of monuments. Through the city the sins of the fathers are visited upon the children, every city has a history and a rate of interest."

Norman O Brown Life against Death - The Psychoanalytical Meaning of History (1959) p.283

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