souls that are bodies and bodies that are legal existences

Mind and Body [top of the hill] had the idea that what once we conceived of as the struggle of mind versus body was now the struggle of individuals versus corporations (or governments). On the face of it, this was a trite consideration, but I saw it in these terms, which were startling to me:

— there was no soul but for the individual and his body (and others and their bodies)– and there was no body but for corporations [or governments] and their existences (which oddly seemed to be without any bodies: they were legal existences); — so there was a soul, which was an individual, which was a body, and a body, which was a corporation, which had no actual body (somewhat as we had once conceived the soul, existing but without a body) (but this was our body –our appetite, our excretion– that was without a body. Our body was a “status as body”, a piece of paper, a legal body.)

Now, even if your concerns about mass behavior gravitate more towards fears of governments than of corporations, the strange thing about this thought remains: for it means that the soul is not in you — it is you– and the rest (governments, corporations) is not the devil: it is your body. (It is not more or less evil or good than your body.)


Maybe this is the sort of thing my friend thinks of when he calls himself a “radical materialist.” The dark horse is private industry, the white horse is the government, and the individual, the charioteer.

government qua an exaggeration of our need for stability and private enterprise as an exaggeration of our need for thrill (we’re more comfortable with risk than the existence of governments suggest, we need fewer and gentler pleasures than the existence of private enterprise would suggest…) not of course speaking of anything current

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