العودة إلى العمل : لماذا يحتاج الإقتصاد القوي إلى حكومة ذكية بيل كلينتون الاستماع مجانا

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  • العودة إلى العمل : لماذا يحتاج الإقتصاد القوي إلى حكومة ذكية بيل كلينتون الاستماع مجانا

العودة إلى العمل : لماذا يحتاج الإقتصاد القوي إلى حكومة ذكية بيل كلينتون الاستماع مجانا

العودة إلى العمل : لماذا يحتاج الإقتصاد القوي إلى حكومة ذكية بيل كلينتون الاستماع نسخة مجانية وكاملة

يضع بيل كلينتون اليد على الجرح، حين يشخِّص الحالة المرضية للولايات المتحدة الأميركية في الأعوام الثلاثين الأخيرة. ويشير إلى إخفاق النظام السيا. . .  سي في مواجهة التحديات، وانخفاض الموقع التنافسي للولايات المتحدة. وفي حين أنه يوجِّه انتقادات شديدة اللهجة إلى الس   Show.

العودة إلى العمل : لماذا يحتاج الإقتصاد القوي إلى حكومة ذكية بيل كلينتون الاستماع كتاب على الانترنت مجانا

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العودة إلى العمل : لماذا يحتاج الإقتصاد القوي إلى حكومة ذكية

karenwildehorse

Designated Driver Have you ever got the impression that, when an author started a book, they had no idea where it would go or how it would end? That they would just slide into the front seat and let the book take over? This is not such a book. Instead, I got the impression that DeLillo was so firmly ensconced in the driver’s seat here that he wouldn’t have got out if a crew of firemen arrived to rescue him from his burning vehicle. It was win or die, so he had to pull out all stops. When he started, he had the finish line in sight, and when he arrived at the finish line, he made sure that he had come full circle back to where he had started. Seventh Heaven “The Names” was DeLillo’s seventh novel. His previous works had enjoyed modest critical success, but hadn’t really made any commercial impact. This book is generally regarded as the one that launched his career. Originally published in 1982, I first read it in 1987, when it was repackaged after the relative success of his next novel, “White Noise”. It is still the DeLillo book by which I judge all others, but it’s also the one that I recommend as an entry point for anyone who hasn’t read him yet. While it deals with later concerns like cults, terrorism, modernity, security and the plight of America in the world, it does so in a more overtly humanist manner. These issues are the backdrop for the very personal frailties and stories of the protagonists. First Among Protagonists The narrator is an American, James Axton, who is based in Athens at the beginning of the 1980’s. Someone who is quite capable of writing fiction and screenplays, he makes a living writing reports and memos about the economic, social and political situation in the Middle East for the North East Group, a corporation that issues insurance policies against the risk of terrorist activities. He has to identify and assess the risk of terrorist activity, which brings him and his employer to the attention of the CIA. At heart, he is a lonely sad expatriate, a man living apart. He isn’t writing the works he is capable of. He is estranged from his wife and nine year old son, his native America and the Greek society around him. He survives in a world of similarly jaded expatriates who have made Athens a European base for business sorties into the Middle East. Like his own, the other expatriate marriages are stressed and vulnerable to adulterous affairs. This is very much a late twentieth century European version of “The Quiet American”. The Poor Norseman and the Acropolis At the beginning, James defines himself in relation to the Acropolis. He is overawed and daunted by this renowned, exalted building perched on a somber rock and surrounded by tourists. He rationalises that he prefers to wander in a modern city, even though it might be imperfect and blaring compared with the beauty, dignity, order and proportion of the Acropolis. He personalises it as a monument to doomed expectations, as if its existence will confront him with his own inadequacy and the madness of the society around him. Like his peers, James constructs an elaborate sense of self-importance around him that he uses to conceal his loneliness and unhappiness. He is not the stuff of a typical fictional American hero, yet bit by bit he pulls down the construct around him and by the end seems to have seized control of his life. In order to do so, he has to learn from the tumultuous people and events around him. The Women in His Life “The Names” is not a sexually explicit novel, but it does bounce around in a slyly erotic manner. Over the course of the novel, James negotiates comfort from many of the women in his community, whether married or not. Of the women he flirts with, some appear to be good long term friends, some appear to be content with a Platonic attraction and one, Janet Ruffing, a banker’s wife and freelance belly dancer, he imposes himself on so insistently that I can’t think of any better word for it than rape. It is strange that this last relationship almost goes unremarked upon. If it had occurred in a Romansbildung of a much younger character, perhaps his conduct would have been excusable in the name of fiction. However, it is almost as if this rape is intended to symbolize a growing capacity to assert himself within his overall getting of wisdom. This, for me, is the one major, but inexplicable, failure of tone and sensitivity in the novel. Owen Brademas, Epigraphic Detective Perhaps the most important mentor for James is his wife, Kathryn’s, employer, an archeologist and epigrapher. In the twilight of his professional life, he is fascinated by language and its origins in marks, inscriptions, symbols, characters, letters and alphabets. He examines how these systems developed, almost as attempts to make a mark or impression on life, then as a method of recording details of grain, livestock, possessions and wealth. So language wasn’t just concerned with communication within a tribe, but was a major tool, a lingua franca, designed to facilitate trade and commerce between tribes. The Significance of Language To enable communication, alphabets and words had to have commonly accepted meanings and significance. A sign must have a signifier and a signified. An image must have a connection that is commonly recognised. This recognition passes from person to person, but also from generation to generation. Images and words convey the memories of one generation to another generation. Language keeps alive memories and experiences and wisdom. Therefore, language became an important repository for social and cultural meaning. The Language of Power Language has always been more than a vehicle for individual or personal expression. Like the Acropolis, language is a social construct that has its own beauty, dignity, order and proportion. Unlike the Acropolis, it is a vehicle for a dynamic relationship between people. Just as language connects people and things or people and other people, it defines, manages and controls the relationship between the two. It allows people to discover the world and, having done so, it allows them to relate to it. However, inevitably, the relationship involves elements of power, control and persuasion. Thus, it is the fundamental mechanism through which politics operates. Which means that it can be abused. Within mass society, language becomes an instrument of oppression. The Language of Religion This abuse extends beyond the civil sphere. Starting with the crucible of the Middle East, there is inevitably a role for language within spirituality and religion. It connects people and God. However, it also defines Good and Evil, and defines our relationship with them. We cannot engage with Good and Evil, except though the vehicle of language. It shapes and moulds our responses to moral issues, especially in emotional terms. Owen tells Kathryn: "Masses of people scare me. Religion. People driven by the same powerful emotion. All that reverence, awe and dread." And, as if by explanation, he states: "I’m a boy from the prairie." Like James in awe of the Acropolis, he believes he has a simple worldview. He’s self-contained and not given to surrendering his independence to the powers that be. He believes that you can lose your individuality in a crowd: "Was it a grace to be there, to lose oneself in the mortal crowd, surrendering, giving oneself over to mass awe, to disappearance in others?" Later on, Frank Volterra, a filmmaker who is captivated by and interested in filming Owen’s story, says: "It is religion that carries a language. The river of language is God." Language is a facility granted to us by God. By the same token, language is a container that holds and transmits that reverence, awe and dread. So, ultimately, language has positive and negative aspects. And “The Names” is DeLillo’s chosen vehicle for exploring them. Reducing Language to Writing Spoken language is just sounds. In order to speak or communicate, we must make a noise: "I liked the noise, the need to talk loud, to lean into people’s faces and enunciate." Yet, too much noise, too little order, too much randomness, and the noise becomes a cacophony of incomprehension. Language must be “subdued and codified” (again, the concept uses the language of power and control). DeLillo first uses this term when he reveals that Owen has been thinking of the English archaeologist Rawlinson, who wanted to copy and analyse the inscriptions on the Behistun Rock, which contained three separate languages, Old Persian, Elamite and Babylonian. This enterprise allows him to work at the level of meta-language. Until the stone is deciphered, until the code is broken, it is just a riddle. Rawlinson must apply intelligence to the task, in order to discover the intelligence within or at least on the surface of the rock. He cannot establish a connection with the past, he cannot create a community, until he has managed to decipher the code. Ironically, DeLillo ensures that all the time Owen is being watched by an intelligence community of one description or another, whether it is James or the CIA or the local security forces. "All the noise and babble and spit of three spoken languages had been subdued and codified, broken down to these wedge-shaped marks. With his grids and lists the decipherer searches out relationships, parallel structures. What are the sign frequencies, the phonetic values? He wants a design that will make this array of characters speak to him." An Array of Characters Earlier, Owen mentions that the word “character” comes from a Greek word, which means “to brand or to sharpen” or in the case of the noun “an engraving or branding instrument”. In English, he points out that the same word is used not just for a mark or symbol (like a letter in the alphabet), but a person in a story. You could extrapolate that those original marks or symbols might actually have represented real people. Interestingly, the same English word is used to describe the quality or characteristics of a person, their “character” and the “mark” they will make on the world. So language is a tool that enables us to tell stories, to create our own worlds and to populate them with people. In more advanced societies, story-telling takes the form of novels and film. Just as Rawlinson and Owen are trying to decipher riddles, the challenge for an author like DeLillo is to create “a design that will make this array of characters speak to him”. Frank Volterra follows in Owen’s footsteps, trying to make a film that will capture and describe the story. Fiction and film are designed to make a lasting impression, they are the wedge-shaped marks scratched out by this generation that future generations will examine to learn about us and themselves. Naming Names At the simplest level, the concept of the “Names” is that language consists of giving “names” to things or images or signs. But we need codes to understand the allocation of a name to a sign. Many of these codes were carved in stone, intended to last a thousand years. Just as these codes, when broken, reveal their meaning, we also learn that many of the inscriptions were codifications or codes of law and usage that were intended to regulate and manage trade and commerce. They supply guidance, directions and commandments as to how things should and must be done. Originally, they were primarily intended to work for the benefit of merchants and consumers. However, language took on a life of its own as a tool of power and control. You could even speculate that language is the power and control and that people are the vehicle it uses to achieve its purpose. The risk in all codes and laws is that they become too prescriptive and inflexible. They can ossify or, ironically given their origin, turn to stone. So there comes a point when the code attracts not awe, but resistance. A Cult Defying Language In DeLillo’s hands, the resistance comes from a cult of fundamentalists. They see language as an instrument of oppression and they begin to attack it by killing people. Obviously, most people are the carriers of language, so if you murder someone you destroy their capacity to use language. Yet, this seems so arbitrary. It makes an enemy of everyone. Owen sets out to find “a pattern, order, some sort of unifying light” to explain their conduct. Owen and James discover that all of the victims are old and infirm, (almost) ready to die, some having lost their memory and therefore their connection with the past, themselves and those around them. Kathryn even speculates that the cult is sacrificing these people to God as a plea for divine intercession in a world that they believe has gone wrong. Perhaps, they are a doomsday cult trying to forestall doomsday? Occult Practices Owen questions it, because he has met them and doubts whether they worship a divine being: "They weren’t a god-haunted people." They are interested in “letters, written symbols, fixed in sequence”. He suspects that they want to return to a simpler world, where symbols are purely derived from nature, where letters are mere pictographs representing only “everyday objects, animals, parts of the body”. Frank learns that they oppose the order of language, the way it has become both law and order: "The alphabet is male and female. If you know the correct order of letters, you make a world, you make creation. This is why they will hide the order. If you will know the combinations, you make all life and death." Take Your Name and Place James learns that the cult chooses victims whose initials match the first letter of each word in a place-name. "The letters match...Name. Place-name." They are placing people in the real world. Then killing them. The act of murder silences the victim. Owen learns from a former cult member: "When we came into the Mani [peninsula], we knew we would stay. What is here? This is the strength of the Mani. It does not suggest things to us. No gods, no history. The rest of the Peloponnese is full of associations. The Deep Mani, no. Only what is here. The rocks, the towers. A dead silence. A place where it is possible for men to stop making history. We are inventing a way out." A Cult with No Names The cult appears to be a genuine cult with no name. They will not reveal it to anyone. Ironically, James finds one incidence of where they have created their own marking. It’s a rock inscribed with the words “Ta Onomata”, which he suspects might be the name of the cult. "Do you know what it means? “The Names”." They define themselves by the name of their enemy. By marking the name of the enemy on pottery and smashing it, they will bring about their enemy’s death. And perhaps their own. "You...want to hurt your enemy, it is in history to destroy his name…the same harm [as if] you cut his throat." The Politics of Empire DeLillo treats language as a symbol of a process that subdues and codifies people. It can also have a special place in the subjugation of peoples, the politics of empire: "We can say of the Persians that they were enlightened conquerors…they preserved the language of the subjugated people. Is this the scientific face of imperialism? The humane face? Subdue and codify?" In the contemporary world, DeLillo’s subjects include “money, politics and force”, the topics of James’ reports and memos. "For a long time, [Greek] politics have been determined by the interest of great powers. Now it is just the Americans who determine." Americans “learn comparative religion, economics of the Third World, the politics of oil, the politics of race and hunger”. They have learned that “power works best when it doesn’t distinguish friends from enemies.” Like language, this imperial approach is destined to attract resistance, in the form of terrorism. “The Names” was written at the time of the Iran hostage crisis in 1980. Terrorism has become more powerful and refined since then, but there is much in DeLillo’s novel that preempts both real world politics and the concerns of his future novels. Even James realises that, "If America is the world’s living myth, then the CIA is America’s myth." Ultimately, "The final enemy is government." The Coded Matters of Intimacy If the novel was just concerned with global politics, it would be enough. However, DeLillo extends his gaze to personal and family relationships. James is no hero, but he does embark on a hero’s journey, learning from others and his own discoveries. It’s a collective effort that reconnects him to his family. When we first meet him, he is alienated, although nowadays we would probably diagnose him as depressed. Deep down he seems like quite a charmer, but he is a “reluctant adulterer” who has “an eye for his friends’ wives and his wife’s friends”, just two of “27 Depravities” he lists about himself. He has failed to pay attention, failed to concentrate, failed to focus, failed to treat his family seriously, he has lost the words needed to make a family life happen. Ultimately, as he learns about language, he rediscovers the language of love. But first he must acknowledge that he has made a mistake. Kathryn’s “every dissatisfaction, mild complaint, bitter grievance” was right, although it is amusing that he can only see this retrospectively. He can only acknowledge that Kathryn was “retroactively correct” (i.e., “she is right now, but I was right at the time.” I must try this out on my wife, F.M. Sushi, next time I apologise). Memorising the Future This retroactivity involves memory. Once again, James is influenced by Owen, who believes that memory is: "... the faculty of absolution. Men developed memories to ease their disquiet over things they did as men. The deep past is the only innocence and therefore necessary to retain." It is a reminder that we have been good and that we can be good again. Language is the beginning of doing good: "This is what love comes down to, things that happen and what we say about them." It’s not enough to be awestruck by the wonders of the world, because we will sometimes encounter what his nine-year old son, Tap, describes as something “worse than a retched nightmare. It was the nightmare of real things, the fallen wonder of the world.” James finds Tap’s mangled words exhilarating: "He made me see them new again, made me see how they worked, what they really were. They were ancient things, secret", [but most importantly] "reshapable". We have to add some love, some light, some colour of our own. Acropoliptic Vision When James finally conquers his fear of the Acropolis, this is what he has come to realise. There are crowds, tourists, families, none of them alone, making a noise, all speaking their own language, "one language after another, rich, harsh, mysterious, strong". "This is what we bring to the temple, not prayer or chant or slaughtered rams. Our offering is language." Ultimately, this is DeLillo's offering to us: language that is rich, harsh, mysterious, strong.

2020-02-20 16:53

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