“Os Jacobinos Negros”, de C. L. R. James + Maya Deren no Haiti (documentário + LP com gravações Voodoo)

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THE BLACK JACOBINS

by C.R.L. James (1901-1989)

From the author’s preface:

“In 1789 the French West Indian colony of San Domingo supplied 2/3 of the overseas trade of France and was the greatest individual market for the European slave-trade. It was an integral part of the economic life of the age, the greatest colony in the world, the pride of France, and the envy of every other imperialist nation. The whole structure rested on the labour of 500.000 slaves.

In August 1791, after 2 years of the French Revolution and its repercussions in San Domingo, the slaves revolted. The struggle lasted for 12 years. The slaves defeated in turn the local whites and the soldiers of the French monarchy, a Spanish invasion, a British expedition of some 60.000 men, and a French expedition of similar size under Bonaparte’s brother-in-law. The defeat of Bonaparte’s expedition in 1803 resulted in the establishment of the Negro state of Haiti which has lasted to this day.

The revolt is the only successful slave revolt in history, and the odds it had to overcome is evidence of the magnitude of the interests that were involved. The transformation of slaves, trembling in hundreds before a single white man, into a people able to organise themselves and defeat the most powerful European nations of their day, is one of the great epics of revolutionary struggle and achievement. Why and how this happened is the theme of this book.”

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From The New York Times:

“Mr. James is not afraid to touch his pen with the flame of ardent personal feeling – a sense of justice, love of freedom, admiration for heroism, hatred for tyranny  and his detailed, richly documented and dramatically written book holds a deep and lasting interest.”

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Download e-book in english (PDF, 19 mb)

http://bit.ly/1hWPwHC

New York: Vintage Books.

 Buy at Amazon.

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Voices Of Haiti (recorded by Maya Deren) Elektra EKLP-5 (10-inch mono) 1953

Voices Of Haiti (recorded by Maya Deren)
Elektra EKLP-5 (10-inch mono) 1953

“The belief that the proper performance of a sacred formula of symbols or sounds is the means by which man achieves contact with divine powers is a basic principle not only of Voudoun, but of every religion. Such formulae were known as mantras in ancient Sanskrit, and this is still the term for all such ritual action, whether the chants of the Muslim muezzin or the saying of the Catholic rosary. The use of mantras is as ancient and as universal as man’s desire to improve his condition and secure his destiny. It is as prevailing as the proud conviction of each man that his weaknesses and inadequaceis are, by and large, common to all men and that, consequently, the power which is sufficiently superior to sustain and fortify him is one which is superior to man altogether. In times of need a man may seek to enlist such assistance by magic means. (…) If the songs and drumming achieve the compelling power which I believe is represented in this album it is because the microphone, lashed to the center post of the ceremonial peristyle, has captured a record not of men and women at play, not of their relaxed spontaneities, nor of their effort to create an art work for other men or for the satisfaction of any employer. It is a record of labor, of the most serious and vital effort which a Haitian makes, for he is here laboring for divine reward, addressing himself not to men but to divinity. They are singing for the gods. It is a privilege to have overheard and to have recorded it.” -Maya Deren

VOICES OF HAITI >>> DOWNLOADMIRROR

side one:

a1- Creole O Voudoun  (yanvalou) 5:02
a2- Ayizan Marche  (zepaules) 3:23
a3- Signaleagwe Orroyo  (yanvalou) 3:37
a4- Zulie Banda  (banda) 3:09
a5- Ibo Lele  (ibo) 1:16

side two:

b1- Ghede Nimbo  (mahi) 4:39
b2- Nogo Jaco Colocoto  (nago crabino) 2:50
b3- Miro Miba  (congo) 2:59
b4- Po’ Drapeaux  (petro mazonnei) 5:49

Recorded during ceremonials near Croix Des Missions and Petionville in Haiti by Maya Deren in 1953.


The Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti
Full Documentary. Directed by Maya Deren.

“Plato’s Utopia is more terrifying than Orwell’s 1984…”, por Arthur Koestler @ The Sleepwalkers (1959)

Plato

“O cristianismo não passa de platonismo para o povo…” – Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900)

“Plato’s Utopia is more terrifying than Orwell’s 1984 because Plato desires to happen what Orwell fears might happen. ‘That Plato’s Republic should have been admired, on its political side, by decent people, is perhaps the most astonishing example of literary snobbery in all history’, remarked Bertrand Russell. In Plato’s Republic, the aristocracy rules by means of the ‘noble lie’, that is, by pretending that God has created 3 kinds of men, made respectively of gold (the rulers), of silver (the soldiers) and of base metals (the common man). Another pious lie will help to improve the race: when marriage is abolished, people will be made to draw mating-lots, but the lots will be secretly manipulated by the rulers according to the principles of eugenics. There will be rigid censorship; no young person must be allowed to read Homer because he spreads disrespect of the gods, unseemly merriment, and the fear of death, thus discouraging people from dying in battle.

Aristotle’s politics move along less extreme, but essentially similar lines. Not only does he regard slavery as the natural basis of the social order – ‘the slave is totally devoid of any faculty of reasoning’ – he also deplores the existence of a ‘middle’ class of free artisans and professional men, because their superficial resemblance to the rulers brings discredit on the latter. Accordingly, all professionals are to be deprived of the righs of citizenship in the Model State…

Even these cursory remarks may indicate the general mood underlying these philosophies: the unconscious yearning for stability and permanence in a crumbling world where ‘change’ can only be a change for the worse… ‘Change’, for Plato, is virtually synonymous with degeneration; his history of creation is a story of the sucessive emergence of ever lower and less worthy forms of Life – from God who is pure self-contained Goodness, to the World of Reality which consists only of perfect Formas or Ideas, to the World of Appeareance, which is a shadow and copy of the former; and so down to man: ‘Those of men first created who led a life of cowardice and injustice were suitably reborn as women in the second generation, and this is why it was at this particular juncture that the gods contrived the lust for copulation’. After the women we come to the animals… It is a tale of the Fall in permanence: a theory of descent and devolution – as opposed to evolution by ascent.

Let us retain this essential clue to Plato’s cosmology: his fear of change, his contempt and loathing for the concepts of evolution and mutability. It will reverberate all through the Middle Ages, together with its concominant yearning for eternal, changeless perfection. This ‘mutation phobia’ seems to be mainly responsible for the repellent aspects of Platonism: empirical science is ridiculed and discouraged; physics is made into a department of theology; (…)there’s hatred of the body and contempt for the senses.

All this is not an expression of humility – neither of the humiity of the mystic seeker for God, nor the humility of Reason acknowledging its limits; it is the half-frightened, half-arrogant philosophy of the genius of a doomed aristocracy and a bankrupt civilization. When reality becomes unbearable, the mind must withdraw from it and create a world of artificial perfection. Plato’s world of pure Ideas and Forms, which alone is to be considered as real, whereas the world of nature which we perceive is merely its cheap copy, is a flight into delusion.”

ARTHUR KOESTLER
The Sleepwalkers
Arkana/Penguin, 1959, Pg. 58.

1984-1

“Plato’s Utopia is more terrifying than Orwell’s 1984 because Plato desires to happen what Orwell fears might happen.” – Arthur Koestler