The great idealistic notion from the Reagan administration that shaped our American economy is that if the rich had more money, it would trickle down to the poor as the rich engaged the poor to develop and express skill and create beauty. But if the rich have learned to have no sense of creative design, and have earned no understanding of the ways that craftsmanship lifts all boats, all persons within a culture to greatness, they spend money on themselves, not setting others to work in the making of useful beauty to thus arise in character and quality through such acts.
Sotheby's is having a record year as the rich bid up prices on antiquities and art of certified market value. Market value is the only thing so many rich people have been taught to understand. It seems to be a great time for dead craftsmen and their work. And so this is a sequel to yesterday's post on furniture making.
Children of all classes and from all income levels and particularly those in positions of entitlement need to learn the values that are acquired from working with their hands. And yet, we cannot expect a groundswell of understanding to arise for this issue without the participation of all those who know that great meaning can arise through great making. The following is from Otto Salomon:
"Persons not manually trained, generally regard the products of manual labor at less than their real value. They think it much more difficult to solve a mathematical problem than to make a table. It is not an easy thing to make a parcel-pin or a pen-holder with accuracy, and when students have done these things they will be the better able to estimate comparatively the difficulty of making a table or chair; and what perhaps is of still greater importance, they will become qualified to decide between what is good and what is bad work, and thus avoid the misfortunes which befall the ignorant and credulous through the impositions of knaves."But the matter is even worse now than what Salomon describes. So many from all sectors of society have so little sense of what it takes to create, and have not learned that craftsmanship is the foundation of human culture. As our economy fades, those who have power and those who do not have little to do but stand idly by with twiddling thumbs.
I assume that if you are reading here you know better than that.
"When a man teaches his son no trade, it is as if he taught him highway robbery." TalmudWe have witnessed that very robbery taking place in the halls of congress and in the financial industry.
Make, fix and create...