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La Main Ouverte - The Open Hand - Y Llaw Agored
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dai



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 12:21 am    Post subject: La Main Ouverte - The Open Hand - Y Llaw Agored Reply with quote

Human beings are so aware of their hands that our languages inevitably make many references to them such as " Un llaw yn wag a'r llall heb dim " which means " One hand empty and the other with nothing " but although that may well be our political situation in Wales that is not the sense that I am trying to evoke here, but rather one of ' Y Llaw Agored ' which is not the same sense I think as ' llawagored.' I'm using this phrase to translate ' La Main Ouverte ' and I am going to try to convey some of the sense that that can have in French, or atleast the sense given to it by the Le Corbusier and the Purist Movement.

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( from an email discussion ... )

... As to other people who have used the Open Hand gesture, there are probably many but the one that set my mind thinking about it was Le Corbusier who used it as a symbolic sculpture for Chandigar - http://www.flickr.com/photos/astroboi/157953206/ - and here is another one by Oscar Niemeyer in Sao Paulo - http://www.flickr.com/photos/astroboi/157957088/in/photostream/ - and here is Corb talking about the philosophy that The Open Hand expresses - I think that you will like it !

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmcR9jU6SPw


" It expresses a philosophy, the result of a life of study : of struggles, of defeats, of victories. From my first meeting with with Mr Nehru in Delhi and Chandigarh the Open Hand was present. Over the years the Open Hand became the crowning point of what I called the Contemplation Hollow : a place to discuss public affairs, far from officials - elected or imposed. The hollow was dug at the summit of the city dominated by the hand, dominated by the 28m hand, shining against the Himalayas. The floor of this consideration pit ... what should be considered ? Things which should be considered : consider means to think, see, to talk about what is real. This consideration pit is 5m deep and consists of two amphitheatres - why two ? Because there are always two sides to any question. There are some chairs for people who wish to speak that evening, I should say that day at sunset, and a speaker's platform with an acoustic shell. All this is dominated by the hand which is 28m high and mounted on a bearing. It turns with the wind, not aimlessly but to express what life really is : constant changes, our daily bread. The Open Hand is the only political act of my life. They say that it is anti-communist - NO ! - the hand is open to give and receive : it is a sign of optimism in this world, of catastrophe. I let others find a solution now - for it is a tragic moment. "

To see a bit about Le Corbusier - http://www.museelecorbusier.org/

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Le Corbusier's idea is well known, but never entirely got off the ground as a political movement although the monument often features in his own and others art work. So I'm just going to browse looking for references to it, having come across ' The Open Hand Cafe ' which looks a like a smaller business version of the ' Philosophy Cafes ' that I enjoy attending in Cardiff's community arts centre The Gate. There are also ' Science Cafes ' to be found, they are part of a world-wide movement.

http://theopenhandcafe.wordpress.com/ - yay ! networking ! ... actually very similar to Corb's proposal and he would not have batted an eyelid at this I think ...

http://theopenhandcafe.com/?p=413
http://theopenhandcafe.com/?p=391

http://theopenhandcafe.com/ - waiting for some attention ?


" When Your Hand Is Open To Give, It Is Also Open To Receive "

" The Open Hand Cafe is a “portable cafe” where people come together to connect, to show genuine interest in each other, and to share and help each other with information and connections.

It is a “home” for entrepreneurs and a hub for people looking for great customer service. We’ve created an environment where you can be yourself, and where you feel safe and encouraged to ask for help if you need it.

The Open Hand Cafe is the first network in Den Haag that aims to be 50/50 in several demographics:
•50% Dutch and 50% International
•50% men and 50% women
•50% entrepreneurs and 50% other professionals

We meet once a month in a cafe in Den Haag in small groups of 20-30 people, so that everyone has the chance to really connect with each other and have genuine conversations, instead of superficial small talk. "

( ... I think that the model is good for politics as well as business. )

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When you search the internet for La Main Ouverte you should be able to find images derived from the Chandigarh project like this -

http://www.metaforum.it/archivio/2009/showthread1177.html?t=2535
http://www.exibart.com/notizia.asp?IDNotizia=7000
http://www.mchampetier.com/coup-de-coeur-31-fr-Jeanneret-Le.Corbusier.html
http://www.mchampetier.com/sitephp/phpfr/estampe/14107_Le%20Corbusier_9f-Le-Corbusier-fev081.html
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fafner/2362328262/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/fafner/2358216961/

Now to be honest I don't particularly like Le Corbusier's architecture or his buildings or his sculptures ... but I like the ideas that he talked about that are symbolised by ' La Main Ouverte ' because they are very similar to those that I wish to be associated with and this is why I consciously referred to this French idea in the ceremony that I contrived for Yr Ardystiad : " The " Open Hand " is a traditional Republican gesture symbolising our peaceful intentions towards the world and its peoples."

http://repwblic.informe.com/viewtopic.php?t=438

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As you can see from the following images The Open Hand is indeed a traditional Republican gesture, and it is more commonly known as ' The Roman Salute ' but unfortunately that term now nearly always refers to the gesture used by Hitler and his Nazis who derived their low slung, fingers outstretched gesture from Mussolini and the Fascists who in turn apparently derived their more vertical, palm outwards salute from David's painting ' The Oath of the Horatii ' which was an icon of Republicanism until it became contaminated in this way, as were the Fasces which were once one of the universally recognised symbols of Republicanism. Fortunately for us there is a whole stock of other Republican symbols that remain uncontaminated, but since the Nazis and Fascists were misled by David's painting, which was deliberately constructed with strong diagonals for a dramatic purpose and is not historically accurate, can we revive the real Roman Salute and disentangle it from those nightmarish associations ? There are good reasons for trying to do so because the gesture of raising the right hand to the shoulder, in simply greeting people and in ceremonial use, has a long tradition in Wales : it belongs to us moderates and we should take it back before any extremists start using it.

Read this for an introduction that isn't quite as biassed as my opinion - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_salute


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 4:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I really ought to start using the night time for sleeping ... I've got into the habit of making up study sheets to illustrate certain points, and below is one I did a while ago to discuss the way in which a fairly simple and natural gesture has acquired such unfortunate associations. The painting that caused all of the trouble was David's ' The Oath of the Horatii,' and this was once an icon of Republicanism which was painted at the time of the First French Republic. The gesture of the hand thrown forwards is ofcourse something that crops up frequently and so when politicians like Obama make it and get captured doing it on film the urge to add Hitler's moustache and toupe is equally natural. Some military forces use it as a salute and ofcourse you can always annoy people that you don't like by using it as a gesture to suggest that they are Nazis, although in the case bottom right the white car actually does contains couple of Boer white suprematists. I think that the poster at the top is from some Asian communist country claiming to be a republic.

The garden gnomes were the cause of some amount of controversy, the football team was Italian and they did not have much choice at the time [ and somewhere out there is a photo of the England team giving such a salute, a matter of international diplomacy at the time.] Maybe Mussolini's grand daughter just didn't appreciate what she was doing recently. The fact that priests were giving the salutes of various Fascist regimes, some willingly and some not, should make us pause to think. Oswald Mosley obviously felt that he needed to bring a bit of mindless discipline into British politics but wanted to stand somewhere between Hitler who gave a low angled salute and Mussolini whose salute was high. It is the other two that I mostly was concerned about here. Mussolini adopted the ' Roman Salute ' as a gesture that presented the palm and held it high, whereas Hitler's version when adopted a few years later was very nearly horizontal at times with the finger tips presented to the crowd. People went wild with the excitement of returning these gestures as we can see from the photo bottom right.

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is actually quite difficult to convincingly scrape together enough images to demonstrate what the Roman Salute was really like in the Roman Republic but a fair number of images survive of Roman Emperors and their statues were posed in conventional postures, albeit that they might have a scroll shoved in their hand or the hand is depicted as being held in some symbolic gesture. The standard posture for statues of emperors seems to be with the upper arm held out sideways and the fore-arm raised, as you can see from these examples. They are mostly depicted here in military garb but you will note that having something draped over the left fore-arm is the convention ( the image of the statue with the eagle at its foot I have flipped to show the regularity of the posture, this emperor is probably being depicted in the role of Ponitfex Maximus, the ' great bridge builder ' or chief priest of Rome.) The Roman civil dress on formal occasions, the mark of a citizen, was the toga alba* or white toga in which heavy folds were draped over the left arm and the right arm was barely less incapacitated. It should be fairly obvious that when wearing a toga it is not possible to raise the right arm in the way being depicted in the statues. In ordinary life on civic occasions the citizen's arm was close to the body when he raised his forearm and presented the palm of his hand at around shoulder height.



[ * P.S. It is one of those historical coincidences, that ' alba ' is an ancient Hindo-European word for ' white ' and the natives who inhabited this island, that the Romans called ' Britannia ' after just one of the indigenous Celtic tribes here that they knew about, referred to it as ' Alba.' Those ' proto-Welsh ' who lived in the southern part of what remained the unconquered north of this island continued to do so, both before and after the Romans left, hence the modern Scots' Gaelic name for the country that their forbears conquered - and it is also the root of the modern Welsh name for it - ' Alban ' - AND - if you enjoy all of that Iolo Morganwgish Neo-Druidical stuff that still haunts the fringes of republicanism in Wales ( as I do ! ) : the ' albanau ' are the quarter-days of the year - Alban Arthan = Winter Solstice, Alban Eilir = Vernal Equinox, Alban Hefin = Summer Solstice, Alban Elfed = Autumnal Equinox, so there is also a sense of the ' pure ' or ' blessed ' being evoked in the name of our ancient homeland - ' Ynys Alba ' - and of course our druids wore white and they were the very personification of the republican ideal ... we know all of this because - 'cos Iolo said so !!! ] [ P.S. Daf has commented that an ' alb ' is a vestment worn by consecrated kings and priests, and there is a discussion here of the Romans' use of the name Albionon and the Greek name for Britain Ἀλβιών and their possible relationship to Indo-European root words for ' white ' and ' hill ' - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Albion ]


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2011 5:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Most people think of the Roman Republic and then the Empire as being signified by the Eagle standard, more properly called the Aquila which was carried by the Aquilifer at the head of each legion. In Wales we are conscious of another Roman standard, the Draco which was carried by the Draconarius, because this ' dragon ' which was a sort of roaring windsock is the origin of our national flag Y Ddraig Goch. In ancient Rome however the standard that the ordinary citizen most probably identified with was the Manus - the Hand standard. To understand the reason why, consider how a legion was made up and operated : each legion was raised and funded by a very wealthy family and members of their family and retinue were the commisioned officers and received the right to command such a threatening force only by permission of the ruling elite who sent them out into the world carrying the eagle standard in the name of ' Senatus Populus Que Romanus ' - SPQR - ' the Senate and People of Rome ' - and inevitably they were members of the Senatorial class. To avoid being a footsoldier a not so wealthy member of the class of Equites - ' knights ' - who could afford the upkeep of a horse could join the cavalry of a legion, and their standard was the dragon. All of the plebs like you and me who were conscripted into the ranks on pain of losing our citizenship marched behind the standards that were topped by hands, and each section was jokingly referred to as a ' maniple ' - a ' handful.' These sections of the legion were distinguished one from the other by the number of discs mounted on the pole with the hand on top, and the rear of the section was followed up by a spear with the same number of discs on its pole - the message being that you had better not be found marching backwards - and manouvres on the battlefield were performed in relationship to the signals made with these two ' Signa.' A while ago I found a rather nice American Roman legionary enactment group and made up this study sheet from images and text from their website - http://www.legionxxiv.org/



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 4:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-15693962

I read this only a matter of a few days after finally getting around to write the above postings, and today watching the Sunday ceremonies that followed the 11th November 2011 celebration of fixing all things by warfare and not-so-quietly swearing under my breath at the images on bbc.co.uk of Remembrance Day in Cardiff, not that I particularly begrudge people being in the military but this has now effectively entirely lost its original sense of regret and grief at the futile and casual destruction of so many people's lives in two World Wars not to mention so many other conflicts. Michael Foot in his old duffle coat comes to mind - and how they made such a hoo-ha about him not wearing a suit and respecting ' their ' glorious dead, but I reckon that Michael was the man really paying his respects to both the dead and the bereaved and was thinking about the meaning of the occasion - the rest were attending a media carnival and playing to their audience and therefore concerned about appearances. [ P.S. I have since had a conversation with somebody who was at the National War Memorial of Wales Remembrance Day Ceremony, and he ticked me off for believing in the BBC's reportage of the event which created this impression of the ceremony being slanted at celebrating the UK's recent military adventures - he assured me that the impression that I got from the BBC's reportage was due to their editting out the bits that I would approve of, because of concentrating on the politicians not the soldiers etc. As an ex-soldier he also feels that the number of civilians killed in wars is being totally forgotten, because of the emphasis upon remembering the sacrifices made by those in the services, and we pondered / argued about how to address this : 16 / 11 / 11 ]

For younger people a brief biography - http://yba.llgc.org.uk/en/s8-FOOT-MAC-1913.html - and that dufflecoat - http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/gallery/2010/mar/03/michael-foot-life?intcmp=239#/?picture=338445339&index=18

I was indulging myself in my gloomy mood earlier - so a word to the wise to the literal-minded : I'm putting this into italics because you can't hear my tone of voice and grasp that it is me indulging my anger with a bit of humour but also addressing some serious points. I'm NOT issuing instructions, but thinking in architectural mode - anticipating what others may do by way of daydreaming about what is possible, and me being me I'd specify that the first thirty feet at least of this monument should be covered in thick black anti-climb paint - hell, paint the lot to the top, just be on the safe side ...

So - I find that we have been given a ready-made ' Llaw Agored ' courtesy of the Forestry Commission and in a significant place : Lake Vyrnwy beneath which lies yet another of our drowned villages - Llanwddyn. Now I'd consider that an excellent place for peacable republicans to gather ( with hammers and chisels perhaps to claim it as an Open Hand monument by carving suitably inspiring inscriptions ? i.e. before somebody goes and scrawls lewd graffiti all over it or sprays a swastika on its palm - you can see full well that it's going to happen, its just begging for somebody to sling a rope around one of those fingers and abseil up it and they won't need any encouragement from me scribbling away here - anything like this made of wood in and around Cardiff is considered fair game for somebody with a pen knife and if it is made of metal like the sculpture in the middle of the pond locked away behind eight foot high walls at night in Thompson Park - a chainsaw ? )


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-10949820

Uh. I suppose that I had better stop speculating about this or I'll be done for incitement to damaging government property ... which sort of leads into the subject of the damage that the British government's Forestry Commission have done to the Welsh landscape over the past hundred years or so, something of which I have witnessed a lot of as somebody who has often tramped through plantations tracing the fringes of native flora left here and there, not to mention the deserted ruins of communities drowned under the reservoir of conifers. In a way they have made it possible for me to walk in places where I can be alone and hear myself think but it is hardly a peaceful silence since no bird sings and I meet nobody because nobody else is daft enough to thread their way on foot through the mires that were once our ancient ridgeways.

Perhaps this monumental ' Llaw Agored ' is some small unexpected compensation ... perhaps we can persuade the Forestry Commission themselves to take the idea onboard and carve some suitably noble internationalist sentiments upon it to encourage the visitors to that sculpture to not only enjoy it as a peaceful spot but to contemplate how we can make the whole world a peaceful place.

But I'd still like one in Cardiff because Cathays Park is sprouting monuments to wars all over the place in and around Alexandria Gardens. I suspect that the Peace Garden is in a sorry state behind the Temple of Peace, but that is the obvious place to erect a monument to inspire people to be committed to opposing war : it houses the Welsh National Book of Remembrance in ' The Crypt.' I regret to say that I have twice declined to sit on the UNA committee however though I go to events there occasionally. It is not very user-friendly for people who want to meet there out of office hours, and the management charge too much for the sorts of voluntary groups that it was intended to serve who of course want to meet outside of office hours. Still, I feel that that should be the obvious location for Y Llaw Agored in Cardiff - and of course it was the scene of one notable association with republicanism in Wales that we might want to balance with another association ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Temple_of_Peace,_Cardiff

So : where would you put Y Llaw Agored in Swansea, Newport, Rhyl ? How would you design yours ? Remember the image of friendliness and goodwill that it is supposed to evoke as a gesture :



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 13, 2011 8:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm not happy with the tone of that previous posting though I'll leave it up as an example of my behaving badly and not living up to the standards I ought to. Daf and I relax and redesign the guillotine on a regular basis as a way of letting off steam but the recreational comedy of our conversations is not always appreciated by the literal minded, especially when we are making a serious point by dint of dead pan exageration. After a couple of hours I decided that I ought to act my age and do something more constructive, such as go out and lay a wreath on the war memorial decorated with ivy and dedicated to the war of 1400-1415, after all - we have learned today that all of those who have died killing for somebody else's country should be solemnly remembered, haven't we ... ?

Anyway, the Forestry Commission are no better than they should be, and therefore no worse than me - so I got down to doing proper politics and wrote them an email :

Dear Coed Y Gororau Forest District,

( Am I correct that the Giant Hand Sculpture on the Lake Vyrnwy Estate is in your area ? )

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-15693962

I read this earlier today with a great deal of pleasure because I have been thinking about this - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UmcR9jU6SPw - in which Le Corbusier said :

" It expresses a philosophy, the result of a life of study : of struggles, of defeats, of victories. From my first meeting with with Mr Nehru in Delhi and Chandigarh the Open Hand was present. Over the years the Open Hand became the crowning point of what I called the Contemplation Hollow : a place to discuss public affairs, far from officials - elected or imposed. The hollow was dug at the summit of the city dominated by the hand, dominated by the 28m hand, shining against the Himalayas. The floor of this consideration pit ... what should be considered ? Things which should be considered : consider means to think, see, to talk about what is real. This consideration pit is 5m deep and consists of two amphitheatres - why two ? Because there are always two sides to any question. There are some chairs for people who wish to speak that evening, I should say that day at sunset, and a speaker's platform with an acoustic shell. All this is dominated by the hand which is 28m high and mounted on a bearing. It turns with the wind, not aimlessly but to express what life really is : constant changes, our daily bread. The Open Hand is the only political act of my life. They say that it is anti-communist - NO ! - the hand is open to give and receive : it is a sign of optimism in this world, of catastrophe. I let others find a solution now - for it is a tragic moment. "

The Open Hand as a symbol of optimism for collaboration towards a more peaceful and productive world greatly appeals to me, but whilst the monument in Chandigarh is well known and people often discuss Le Corbusier's statements about the ideas that he associated with it, only a few more such monuments have been built, such as Oscar Niemeyer's in Sao Paulo - http://www.flickr.com/photos/astroboi/157957088/in/photostream/

This news report of a giant hand carved from a massive tree stump cheered me up a great deal after watching the various War Memorial ceremonies on TV which seem to be losing track of the point that was keenly felt by previous generations who had lost their loved ones to war, I don't like the tone of things developing towards celebrating not regretting war.

It seemed to me a wonderful opportunity that this wooden tree stump sculpture of a hand could be akin to Le Corbusier's ' La Main Ouverte ' - so I went to the Forestry Commission website searching for news of it, to learn in particular if it was just a ' naked ' sculpture or whether it had had any meaning attributed to it with a name and / or a piece of poetry on a plaque or carved onto it - but I have found no close up photos or description of it.

Given that it is in such a peaceful place it seems to me that it would be very appropriate for it to be associated with the idea of making the whole world into a more peaceful place, to be more than simply an oversized hand carved out of a massive tree stump, after all nobody is going to forget that it is the remains of such a big tree - but it would be nice if it reminded them of other things, of more subtle and universal ideas than a tree stump in the shape of a hand. Perhaps verses of poetry spiralling upwards upon it ?

I suspect that such thoughts have already been had and maybe something of this nature is already part of the design, but if not would it not be worthwhile considering such ?

Now I confess that I was in a cynical and angry mood earlier having read about this sculpture whilst sitting under a cloud of thoughts about these military displays, and as a frequenter of various sculpture parks over the years - including the one at the bottom end of Lake Vyrnwy, which I enjoyed - one thing that I notice is that if there is a notable sculpture such as this that is in any place where somebody can calmly take out a knife and carve their name or scrawl lewd graffiti with an indelible marker pen, they inevitably do so. But such people inevitably like an undisturbed expanse of wood so that their handiwork is obvious, and the way to deter this behaviour is to either work the surfaces with ridges or hollows so that they don't find it profitable to scribble there or to sculpt something that they do not want to disturb. Perhaps the trouble with modern scupltures is that they provide neither, and I get the impression that the shaft / arm of this sculpture appears to be very smooth ... so why not get there first and do something meaningful with it ?

I was joking on a web site earlier that this hand's fingers were just an invitation for people to sling a rope around them and abseil up to scrawl a swastika or spray lewd graffiti on its palm, not perhaps a wise idea when others can potentially be so literal minded, but I think that it is a real problem e.g. the giant chair sculpture in the forest down by Coleford was a magnet for people to climb it and leave their tag for others to see. Not a great sculptural idea I suppose to fence the whole thing off but surely an eventuality to be anticipated ?

Anyway, as you can see this sculpture fired up my imagination, it is a very strong and beautiful image for me in my mind's eye of this white hand rising up through the green canopies and I'd like to know a bit more about it e.g. where to view photos of it ( because I rarely get past Builth, so I'm unlikely to get to see it for a few years.)

Sincerely Yours,
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 17, 2011 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sometimes an individual's written suggestion is better than a mass demo ... ?

Hello David

Your message has been passed on to me

You raise some interesting features of such a sculpture found in the trees in the Lake Vyrnwy Forests.
We are still working on the promotion of the feature in the Forestry Commission along with Severn Trent Water agents
Your explaination will certainly create additional input to the promotion aspects

The Forestry Commission Website will be updated later , in readiness for the new Spring season is the plan( April 2012)

Clearly others have stolen our thunder in its Promotion
I hope you still enjoy the features that you currently have access too.

Kind Regards

Jim

So I then further suggested :

Dear Jim,

thankyou for your prompt reply, and since you are still working on the promotion aspects - may I make a suggestion ?

Since this is Wales, and the Forestry Commission must have promotional funds for such a purpose, why not sponsor a poetry competition inviting submissions on the subject of this hand in the forest and what it might symbolise ? It would be nice if you suggested the theme of peace in this local place to be linked to the peace to be hoped for globally.

You could sponsor a prize for a poem in the National Eisteddfod and thus promote the Forestry Commission there with a stand linked to the theme on the Maes, or offer a prize for two poems - one in English, one in Welsh - across Wales, or even invite poems in from across the whole world in many languages ?

Regards,

David

And he replied ...

Hello David

I will take the ideas forward, however maybe on a smaller scale. Must wait till senior staff comeback to me with their support for the idea

If we started with a local community competition, the result would then be promoted to a wider audience, using the press and the FC Website

I am afraid that I donot have a local budget for this type of thing, and we did spend alot of money on the work itself, I am led to believe

Kind Regards

Jim

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No harm in asking is there ? Extend an open hand and you have something put into it, if only another open hand to join in a handshake.
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2011 1:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The fact that the hand is a very obvious symbol to use, powerful and readily recognised, makes it virtualy our oldest ' logo ' such as the ones found in cave painting hundreds of thousands of years old, made by spit-spraying paint over the hand on the wall or simply by dipping the hand into a paint pot. Here is an example I came across of a stencilled hand on a grit bin last week :



I was actually down at my mother's and had forgotten all about this piece of sculpture that I did as a teenager that she still has on her sideboard. The theme was not La Main Ouverte, I was more imaginative as a kid : this was a piece of driftwood in which I saw a ghostly hand and whittled it slightly to accentuate the shape and then painted it a deathly white with blood running down through the creases in its skin with ' magical ' symbols, it has a sort of strange fairground feel about it and if you lay it down the painting is obscured and it is a piece of driftwood again. Then as now I enjoyed ambiguity in my story-telling, and this was based on the folk tale / legend of ' The Hand of Glory ' - which I guess is going to translate as ' Y Llaw o Gogoniant ' in Welsh but maybe it has another name in Welsh because I've not actually come across any Welsh versions of this fairly common european folk tale - unless we are to take it that this was Meibion Glyndwr's preferred method ? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hand_of_Glory - http://www.flickr.com/photos/33964241@N03/3501355928/





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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 2:43 am    Post subject: napo ' hands off ' placard - jewelry display 'open hand' Reply with quote

The 30th November 2011 was reckoned to be the biggest day of coordinated trade union action since 1926, and NAPO produced these placards :



A female friend of mine invited me out to wander around a craft fair - she knows full well that I will only grumble about all this over-priced junk, and ask why can't she be sensible and buy a book or at least get such things in charity shops like normal people - anyhow there was this hand which was posed in a way that I had not really thought of in order to show off jewelry :



... and a little bit later I picked up another trade union penant bearing the NUT 's stylised hand, good enough for them then ...



... hell, if it is good enough for the NUT and for GOD, what IS the problem with our starting to use it again ???



( No, that is not a scene cut in stone from ' Easy Rider ' - it is from the Rosslyn Chapel in Scotland, but a very familiar gesture that we all use.)
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 31, 2011 3:12 am    Post subject: New Year's Resolution 2012 - The Open Hand Reply with quote

Mmm ... now as you can see from the above I'm inclined to recommend the use The Open Hand / Y Llaw Agored / La Main Ouvert both as a gesture and as a symbol to evoke The Open Conspiracy / The Open Society / Open Government and that whole brand of Republicanism that fears to speak its name but goes around the world spreading the Politics of Love. The trouble is for me that I'm against politics being reduced merely to slogans and symbols : ' Open Politics ' is quite real and lots of people are doing it all of the time by writing letters and making speeches etc to put forward facts and arguments. But on the other hand this ' white ' republican movement in Wales is not visible, not even to itself and so remedying that is a useful thing to do so that it might be more effective, that people might be encouraged to be more active and confident in what they are doing.

That counts for me too, though I can't share most of what I am doing. Recently I had a go at Zionism and in that sort of angry way that speaks of the frustration of impotency to persuade people from doing wrong. I understand why I am so angry, but it doesn't help matters and I felt a little ashamed of myself so when I ran into some more of these hands for displaying jewelry - with a choice between blackand white - I chose to buy one, it sort of beckoned to me ...



... and it occurred to me to take a photograph to sort of symbolise what this is all about, but I only had these books readily to hand and there are probably more appropriate ones stuffed into boxes somewhere ...



... of course in symbolic photographs you can only juxtapose images that you hope can convey an idea and excite another person's imagination ...



... and the whole theory of Symbolism as an artistic movement was to juxtapose symbols that did not in fact mean anything but which created a sense of significance in the viewer such that they invented meanings to fit the images that they saw, each person therefore having an intensely personal experience of the work of art presented to them ; the Pre-Raphaelites, Guild Socialism and the Arts and Crafts Movement were deeply connected to Symbolism and these artists as workers contrived to address the spirituality of their audience in order to restore their art to its original religious role and therefore hoped to restore a means for the proper functioning of society, repudiating the commodification of art by the beourgois investors who were merely collecting status symbols and robbing poorer nations of their cultural inheritance e.g. " The ' Elgin ' Marbles " : artistically meaningless once ripped from their original context and put in the British Museum, it's like installing Max Boyce in St Fagans ...



As you can see from my collection of art objects I am no beourgois investor, although the spiritual purpose that I bought this ' Llaw Agored ' for - to remind myself to be better behaved and a more presentable example of a ' white ' Republican Democrat - may well become obscured by various things cluttering up my life in general ...



... so much for my New Year's Resolution for 2012.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 5:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

03.15 AM AGAIN !!! I GOT OUT OF BED TO WRITE THIS ??? bah, humbug.

Apparently my services as the dark haired handsome stranger to be locked outside on a freezing cold rainy night in December are still in demand, even though I long ago ceased to fit the description of what a first footer should be. No small kids to entertain anymore by keeping them up to midnight to wait outside with me with their tray of symbolic goodies and for me to stop them burning themselves on their tea-light lanterns ( candles in jam jars are no longer acceptable on aesthetic grounds apparently.) I always seem to just get stuck with jobs like this ...

Conversations anticipating 2012 seemed to be uniformly negative, tales of politicians protecting their pet projects at the expense of urgent services, anticipated unemployments, bad payers, poor prospects ... the only people likely to do really well out of it are those scavengers gathering around Wales' bankrutcy courts. To lighten the tone I described the arguments above about Symbolism and the pictures that had I made to illustrate it. I was just having pleasure in describing a new idea that had occurred to me later : that ' The Open Hand ' apart from its intended basic symbolism lends itself much better to variations upon its symbolism by putting objects into the hand. People can associate themselves with the basic Republican Democratic symbol whilst adding to it a symbol of their own e.g. a red rose to symbolise their bias towards Socialism. Thus people from parties do not have sacrifice their political identities in order to associate themselves with a wish to work with people of other political identities, they can share ' Y Llaw Agored ' but have it hold their own symbol.

" Oh " said one of my friends, one whose attitude might be described as one of Pure Republican scepticism about political parties in general : " How about putting a wad of money into it, and calling it ' The Back Hander ' instead ? "

This was the best joke of the evening, and actually I can't convey her excellent comic timing and delivery which had us all falling about laughing. It is a joke however that does point out a problem : it IS an OPEN hand and could equally well have an olive branch or an arrow placed in it, a problem which is solved in the various bald eagle emblems of the USA by juxtaposing both together in opposite talons of the bird, but its head is normally turned to look in the direction of peace as symbolised by the olive branch - there was once an argument over the design of one of these bald eagle emblems in which it had been designed to face over the arrows, which are normally held in the left i.e. ' sinister ' talons.

In contrast to the eagle or the dragon though, the hand is a much more usable symbol : it is easy to draw reasonably well or simply dip your hand in a bucket of paint and print the symbol that way. The hand can hold objects or be an object that is held or drawn on or even mutilated to make a point such as cutting off a finger. Of course gestures that change the shape of the hand from that of the original ' Manus ' standard risk changing the message that it IS the OPEN hand and not some symbol from some other stock such as the clenched fist salute of revolutionaries, and putting an object such as a hand grenade into it contradicts the sorts of politics that it represents.

Consider how the ' white eagle glyph ' developed : the original flag designed by Harri Webb was literally an heraldic eagle - and nobody could draw it, it required too much artistic ability and so when the Free Wales Army acquired the flag they swiftly gave up trying to copy it and devised and then revised the ' white eagle glyph ' into the present iconic symbol. It is now very good, and probably also ubiquitous enough to be asserted to be ' post-FWA ' and in general use - but it is not adaptable in the way that the Open Hand is, and the values of the Open Conspiracy can not really be grafted onto the heritage of the Free Wales Army which openly professed itself to be a secret organisation in public speeches, marches, television and radio guest show appearances ... but then I still crack up laughing about what I regard as an elegant Situationist strategy that expertly and apparently effortlessly manufactured propoganda when it was needed and suceeded so well in ideologically transforming the existential hegemony of Welsh national consciousness : if only this could be understood about the FWA and the ' white eagle glyph ' symbol that its sympathisers scrawled all over Wales then we could move on to deepen our understanding of the battlefield deployment of exploding alsatian dogs.

Iconic though they are, eagles and dragons aren't as easy to use as the hand e.g. nobody has created a really drawable logo for the red dragon, and attempts in the USA to get the eagle to sing and dance to a political tune have all foundered on its lack of a credible personality - the closest anybody got to it was in Sesame Street's Sam the Eagle who is an excellent proponent of the dizzying heights of American Republicans' moral and ethical reasoning. Back down here in the bottom right hand corner of Wales, Oliver Postgate's Idris the Dragon, with his wife Olwen and their offspring Gaian and Blodwyn, are hardly to be counted as political models, although they do live in an environmentally friendly geo-thermally heated cave which should be commended by all republicans in Wales who dislike windmills and yet are still having ecological concerns for our nation's dependency on fossil fuels ( but then of course they dissapprove of people like me who love Ivor the Engine for his eating anthracite and thus providing people with jobs, not to mention Mr Dinwiddy for his digging holes and filling them in again whilst incidentally educating people.)

I'm getting so far off-subject and yet surely I'm stone cold sobre by now ?
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:00 am    Post subject: The Land of the White Gloves, Yr Wladys Rydd,The Green Woman Reply with quote

Pondering those photos of the ceramic hand that I bought, its whiteness and its appearing to be like a Marigold rubber glove, put me in mind of that old proud tag for Wales ' The Land of the White Gloves ' which symbolised the fact that 19c Wales had an extremely law abiding society. It was an expression derived from the practice of Wales' local dignitaries presenting the presiding judge of the court with a pair of white gloves if there were no criminal cases to be heard. This was important in the wake of ' The Treachery of The Blue Books ' which had portrayed the Welsh as a degenerate criminal race on account of their not conforming to the rest of the UK in speaking Welsh, allegedly a language in which seditious plots were being hatched out. So it then occurred to me that Y Llaw Agored could thus be associated with that imagery and that Yr Wladys Rydd should therefore wear white gloves and in saluting the onlooker with the raised Open Hand she would also be referring to The Open Conspiracy, itself a repudiation of the allegation that Republican Democrats are advocates of secrecy and practitioners of sedition. I began to sketch an idea on the backs of envelopes ...

When I revived the idea of Yr Wladys Rydd for the purposes of Yr Ardystiad, the image that I had in mind was of a woman in a white empire style dress of the 1790's with a broad purple sash about her waist, with a liberty ( phrygian ) cap possibly with ivy wound around it to evoke those images of Liberty so common in 19c republicanism. On the one hand I presented her at Cardiff Bay Republican Day as the Welsh counterpart of the female symbol of the French Republic ' Marianne,' and our friend Marianne was pleased to play this part for that event adding to the point being made, but on the other hand I made a punning joke that ' Yr Wladys Rydd ' was " The Land-lady of Freedom " from the root of the name and title ' gwlad ' - ' land.' ' Yr Wladys Rydd ' is meant to be more than just a Welsh version of ' Libety ' : she is to be closely identified with the land itself, a sort of ' genus locii ' and this put me in mind of herself and her consort Yr Wledig being the equivilent of Oberon and Titania, the king and queen of the fairies which in Wales of course are Y Tylwyth Teg. I have written elsewhere on this bulletin board about discerning in Y Tylwyth Teg the memory of a tradition of rough and ready folk justice that I think prevailed in Wales and underlay the business of men blacking up and visiting the neighbours in the middle of the night to make sure that they know what public opinion makes of their behaviour, and that its counterpart was conducted in daylight hours by women who casually distributed gifts to poorer or sicker neighbours of food and medicine. Thus I have been thinking for some time that Yr Wladys Rydd represents the latter, whereas Yr Wledig ( well, what should his title be ? ) ( ' Yr Wledig Teg ' rolls better off my tongue than ' Yr Wledig Cyfiawn ' ) represents the former. So after an initial sketch it occurred to me that ' Yr Wladys Rydd ' might have a more other-wordly quality and the image of ' The Green Woman ' came to mind, a counterpart to ' The Green Man ' who represents the eternal spirit of the land and its ability to give life to those who inhabit it but indiffent to their comings and goings. This in itself leads back towards ' Y Repwblic ' as characterised by an eternal and universal justice, punishing those who offend it as surely as the land betrays those who contempt it.

In this drawing, a bit rough and subject to some future revision, I stuck to the colour theme of red, white and green except that I used purple for the background as a certain reference to republicanism, it being the colour traditionally associated with republicanism because wearing it was granted to those who took a share in political office. Yr Wladys Rydd wears a white sort of classical garb just as political candidates in Rome wore the Toga Candida, but one breast is bared as the figure of Liberty is usually depicted this way. She wears long white gloves in order to emphasise that in giving the traditional republican salute of ' Y Llaw Agored ' she is also making reference not only to ' Y Gwlad Y Menig Gwynion ' but also to ' The Open Conspiracy ' and the legacy of ' The New Republicanism ' of the 20c. The trilliw that she has gathered around its staff and holds horizontally is the correct tricolour to be derived from ' Y Ddraig Coch,' but in fact that flag was derived from this red, white and green tricolour brought back from Paris in 1792 and it in turn was derived from the first flag of the first French Republic declared that year, which was red, white and blue. This red, white and green tricolour was once the flag of international republicanism, and like the French flag its colours were reversed in 1794 and in that order it survives now in the Italian and Mexican flags. Sticking to that colour theme, I decided to give Yr Wladys Rydd a big shock of bright red ' Celtic ' hair and to colour her skin green to create a supernatural appearance, to declare she is an immortal who can be wounded but not ultimately defeated : Y Repwblic will triumph in the end !!!

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PostPosted: Thu Jun 14, 2012 1:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://repwblic.informe.com/viewtopic.php?p=1460#1460

References to hands ofcourse crop up regularly and I keep meaning to post some more images, but here is a piece about Philip Pettit's ' The Intangible Hand ' in contradistinction to Adam Smith's ' The Invisible Hand.'
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PostPosted: Mon Jun 18, 2012 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hands often appear as political symbols and on the cover of ' Ideology ' by David Hawkes - Routledge 1996 / 2003 - isbn 0 415 29012 0 - the same symbol of a handprint is used four times over in different colour variations to convey different political ideologies ( which in Wales would in fact correspond to our four electable political parties - green / Plaid Cymru - orange-yellow / Liberal-Democrats - red / Labour & Cooperative - blue / Conservative & Unionist ).

I have in fact already been toying with 1D / 2D / 3D diagrams for some twenty years that employ republican symbols in juxtaposed colours for the Democratic Republicanisms that are antagonists for each other - ( e.g. background / symbol )

Socialist Republican ( red / green ) V Fascist Republican ( green / red )

[ historically true - in the UK Socialists use red - and the original British Fascists movements used green ... and I don't mind commenting that Plaid Cymru historically has had mildly fascist with a small f tendencies, and still advocates corporatist politics ]

Communist Republican ( purple / yellow ) V Liberal Republican ( yellow / purple )

[ historically true if you allow Spencerian communism, as a precursor to modern Communist Republicanism, the purple flag usually proclaimed ' the Sovereignty of the People ' - Liberalism was associated with yellow ... but also with orange / blue flags earlier on ]

Conservative Republican ( blue / orange ) V Anarchist Republican ( orange / blue )

[ historically true that in the UK the Conservative & Unionist party now uses predominantly blue but of course it down plays Unionism in Britain whereas in Northern Ireland Unionism vaunts orange as the colour associated with the Glorious Revolution of 1688 ] [ Yeah - Anarchists are going to object that orange with blue symbols have nothing to do with them, but orange boilersuits have been used in demos anarchists participated in - and the whole thing about Anarchism is that it is the whole freedom thing - so I take the liberty to squeeze them into my model with these colours because I reserve black for those who opt out of peaceful and into violent political acts which most anarchists reject.]

Republicans ( white / black ) V Democrats ( black / white )

[ historically true that Republicanism has a long association with white, originally the white toga was the proof of citizenship and the right of peaceful participation in the political life of the Roman Republic - but those who protested that they were prepared to resort to violence against those who had taken over the Roman Republic i.e. the Democrats opposing various emperors, put on black togas to signify this.] [ John Adams and the Federalist Party used a black and white cockade - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federalist_Party ]

{ Of course colouring in diagrams is a recreational activity rather than a political argument, but these diagrams are generated out of my take on an important subject - Meta-Ideology - about which I have struggling to formulate a theoretical argument based upon Personal Construct Philosophy for the past twenty five years, and so I read books like this - }



Pity, but when infringing copy right I'd like to credit the designer of the jacket but I can not find out their name ... hopefully Routledge will accept a plug for the book in exchange for the image - buy it on Amazon for £12.99 or even less second hand -

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Ideology-The-New-Critical-Idiom/dp/0415290120/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1340056899&sr=1-1
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 22, 2012 6:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't actually have any idle moments at the present time but I guess that I just don't want to do any real work so I played around looking at how people symbolise the Open Hand gesture ... started off by reading a mock newspaper on line - http://www.jewishwomenwatching.com/actions/jewishspeak/jewishspeak.pdf - and this group are using a version of that traditional hand symbol that has a special name but I can't remember it ... looking at these images I can't help feeling that aesthetically I prefer to see the thumb on the left of the hand, sort of leading into it visually ... back in Roman times there were explanations as why it was the right hand displayed ( it had to be show that the sword hand was empty etc ) and not the left hand ( ' sinister ' is the word for ' left ' in Latin, so you can immediately get the connatation - even today it is the hand reserved for arse-wiping in most human societies and so offering the left hand is a ' sinister ' gesture - the reasn why left haned kids are given a hard time.) --- but that ancient symbolic hand used by this Jewish Women's group is neither left nor right but has two ' thumbs ' - if it is a hand at all.



Ah ! As I thought, that - ' hand ' - is the ' hand of Miriam ' - except before that it was the Muslim ' hand of Fatima ' - and they got it from ... I didn't get it because it was upside down and on Wikipedia it is called by a name I did not know - ' Hamsa ' - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hamsa - ... and for Christians it is the ' hand of Mary ' - of course : if it is a good symbol with powerful associations, then why not knick it ? I've often thought of hi-jacking establishment symbols and using them for Republican Purposes.

The way that symbols can shift their meaning and acquire a sort of life of their own in much the same way that a bottle can traverse the ocean in unexpected ways is perhaps illustrated by this ' hand ' symbol with its eye to ward off evil, that it has a sort of bunch of associations that this women's group are using : it is a female not a male possession in all religions, and " Raising one's right hand with the palm showing and the fingers slightly apart is part of this ( Arabic ) curse meant "to blind the aggressor " ( when you say 'five fingers in your eye' ) - interesting from the point of view of non-Arabs using it as a republican salute and greeting ...

" With the establishment of the State of Israel, the widespread use of the talisman by Jews who came there from Islamic countries declined precipitously. Its association with superstition was out of place in the secularly conceived state, and according to writer Alexandra Nocke, its 'Easternness' was looked down upon in the Eurocentric Ashkenazi cultural milieu that dominated.[23]

In recent decades, that trend has been reversed with the renewed Israeli interest in Mizrahi folklore and customs and the hamsa's use is proliferating. In Israel today, it is a trendy symbol that has become "an icon of Israeliness and secularity," though its symbolism there is by no means all pervading or universal."

The hand symbol that I was hoping to find a number of images of is the one that has a heart in the palm of the hand, associated with Friendly Societies in particular I think the Oddfellows who are the poor man's Freemasons and of far more practical use and who transmitted radical values whilst looking after the sick, unemployed and elderly - and nearly got suppressed for doing so in case being kind to people would lead to revolution ...
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 09, 2013 12:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some recent images that I collected of the use of the hand symbol in Ancient Rome on its walls by the Populares as derived from their Manus standards as the Roman Army's cannon fodder - and more recently by the Republican Brotherhood in the recent pro Morsi protests after his arrest in Egypt - Islamic Republicanism drawing on the same symbols as Christian Republicanism, and indeed Jewish Republicans have used it - and a nice image of somebody damping the strings of a crwyth.







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PostPosted: Sat Jan 04, 2014 3:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

From - http://repwblic.informe.com/viewtopic.php?p=1883#1883 Intangible Hand v Invisible Hand [ v Iron Hand ? ]

" Personally when I make the old right-handed Republican greeting or salute of " The Open Hand / Y Llaw Agored " these are the kinds of sentmiments towards others which that gesture is intended to convey : " Love, Truth, Peace and Freedom " ( in the sense of non-attachment ) in which each of these are being counted off on my fingers leading up to the ultimate wish that I want to convey to others in my thumbs-up for " Life." ... And my bug bear and the opposite to this is conveyed by that other Republican salute, that left-handed greeting beloved by some of putting a fist to the side of their heads which as far as I am concerned refuses to extend those fingers and thereby signifies " Hate, Lies, War and Slavery " and leads to that famous gesture of pointing the thumb downwards towards others for " Death " - the sinister salute made famous by those fighting to defend the Spanish Republic in their murderous struggle against the Falangists 1936-39. ... And what salute did Franco use to differentiate his side and his style of Fascism from Mussolini's or Hitler's ? Claiming that he was coming to save the Spanish Republic etc he naturally stole " The Open Hand " saute - a lesson therefore for everybody in not their letting political movements be identified solely by symbols which can be easily hi-jacked and subverted : Republicans must conduct our politics by argument not by symbols - we should leave the moronic sectarian tribalism to Democrats : " Seyneores !!! We don't need no badges ! ! ! " ... And that's a great pity because I like both symbolism and Symbolism - because it is great fun inventing mystical symbols which excite everybody's imaginations and yet mean nothing at all ! "



As you can see below, Franco's salute was quite different from Hitler's salute but personally I have always worried about the appallingly tasteless dress sense of those who come to power in Democracies and as to whether the unimaginative Primark who plaguarise others will now popularise this style of dress all over again : they are already selling those boots !



We should definitely be campaigning to make woolly hats, woolly jumpers, woolly trousers and skirts with woolly socks and woolly sandals compulsory for all everybody to wear in order to finally stop all of this dangerously crazy Democratic nonsense by at least starting to replace it with our own safely sane Republican nonsense.
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2014 12:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SEE ALSO - http://repwblic.informe.com/viewtopic.php?p=2289#2289

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PostPosted: Sun Jul 27, 2014 6:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have just written what appears below as part of the following here - http://repwblic.informe.com/viewtopic.php?p=2406#2406

I have been playing with versions of it for a long while ...

Those who can be bothered to read my religious writes probably already know that whilst I recommend that people should take an interest in all religions, in order to improve upon their understanding and practice of their own because I hold that religion is a universal human activity rather than that any particular description of it is to be considered the last word upon the matter of understanding how to live, never the less I have formulated my own list of useful things to remember out of my reading around a few religions and I use the following as the basis of my morality - Love, Truth, Peace and Freedom ( in the sense of non-attachment e.g. to addictive drugs like those those to be found in particular belief systems ) leads to more Life. Indeed, for many of those whose belief systems are religious, to Eternal Life : these are the four things which are usually attributed to their one or more Gods in nearly all religions. Hence you can tell that there have always been human beings in all nations who have always been united in agreeing that Love, Truth, Peace and Freedom are necessary for those who want more Life, and that they are therefore the most important of all things - and so to be together made into gods to worship as an embodiment of that spirituality in order to obtain more Life by thus propagating an understanding of Love, Truth, Peace and Freedom. But people with these spiritualities, these unifying senses of The People and The World united, have regularly failed to teach these things to their nations and thus failed to re-unite The People and The World because they have failed to implement these religious moralities into political ethics in the way that Republicanism proposes, as an antidote to the paranoid and racist Nationalisms that lead to the kinds of monarchistic militarisms that characterise Israel and the United Kingdom - and those who oppose them who possess the same belief systems i.e. " black factions " big and small.

To teach this simple religious morality to small Republican children I get them to count them out on the fingers of their right hands as an explanation of what the Republican salute is about : a friendly wave to the People of Wales and the World - not quite the American gesture, and certainly not like those gestures made by Mussolini, Hitler or Franco, it is humanity's universally recognised gesture of The Open Hand featuring fingers spread wide apart to warmly greet others who may well be some located at some distance away from us or nearer but whose languages we can not speak. I like making up silly stories to explain things to children in their own terms in order to make things memorable to them ... and of course I have to remind them of the opposite gesture, ' The Closed Fist ' of those whose politics is ' sinister ' i.e. of ' The Left Hand Path ' of ' The Black Faction ' - a legitimate choice when denied any possibility of a political solution, but a lousy one to have to choose which is why the Palestinians have only just resorted to it now after years of their being deprived in Gaza of the means to life - because they are fighting a black faction much bigger than themselves in the Israelis. Apparently on Sunday 20th July the Israeli Defence Force deliberately targeted Shishaiyah where the beleagured remnant of ' The White Faction ' of Palestine were i.e. the Israelis did this in order to ensure that they got the war that they wanted, and are apparently deliberately killing those Palestinians who are still committed to trying to pursue peace and justice through non-violence and the ' dexterous ' political methods of ' The Right Hand Path ' of ' The Open Hand ' of ' The White Faction ' - which I claim for ' Republicanism in Wales.'

So to keep you all, my adopted nephews and nieces, on the old straight track which prevents you all from harming yourselves or anybody else : hold up your hands my little lovelies and stick your stubby little fingers out and then repeat after me whilst doing the following -

( Hold up the left hand as a fist, palm towards yourself, and then successively raise and then close the fourth, third, middle and index fingers and then by finally dramatically turning the fist over with a shaking motion and then with the thumb downwards indicate death - and whilst doing so say out loud - )

" This is the LEFT hand path of SINISTER non-politics - which I may legitimately take if I can do no more than to return like for like by resisting those who are doing these same things to me : HATRED, LIES, WAR and SLAVERY - lead to - DEATH ! "


( Hold up the right hand with the fingers stretched out, palm towards yourself, and then successively bend and then stretch out the fourth, third, middle, and index fingers and then whilst briefly turning the hand outwards to give wave to The People and The World, gather the fingers round beneath the thumb pointing upwards to indicate life - and whilst doing so say out loud - )

" This is the RIGHT hand path of DEXTEROUS politics - which I may always legitimately take if I can do so in order to not return like for like by resisting doing to others what they are doing to me : LOVE, TRUTH, PEACE and FREEDOM - lead to - LIFE ! "


... as for all of those colours used by Republicans in Wales located in-between these extremes of black and white, I am sure that you can all make up your own childish hand-play games ...

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I have always trotted these out in the order " Love, Truth, Peace, Freedom lead to Life " & " Hatred, Lies, War, Slavery lead to Death " because of their assigned locations in the model. But it occurs to me today that I had a debate about this order some time ago as to whether it did not make more logical sense for ' The Left Hand Path ' to have War immediately preceding Death - " SLAVERY, HATRED, LIES and WAR - lead to - DEATH " - which would mean that ' The Right Hand Path ' would have Peace immediately preceding Life - " FREEDOM, LOVE, TRUTH and PEACE - lead to - LIFE " - each of which has a slightly different sense to the grouping of their same four moral values. I guess that I value ' Love and Truth ' more than ' Peace and Freedom ' ?

In the model they form a series in a continuous ring, so you could pick any of four orders without destroying the circular logic of it -

" FREEDOM, LOVE, TRUTH, PEACE, FREEDOM, LOVE, TRUTH, PEACE, FREEDOM, LOVE, TRUTH, WAR "

" SLAVERY, HATRED, LIES, WAR, SLAVERY, HATRED, LIES, WAR, SLAVERY, HATRED, LIES, WAR "

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

As a further comment on this business of trying to formulate things in a simple memorable way without risking making them dangerously over-simplified, the fact that the United Kingdom clearly wants the educational system to turn out an enslaved workforce passively obedient to authority figures such as the Hierarchies of BBC newsreaders and children's programme presenters, of which Wales' Democrats are but poor imitators of but whom people have been trained in early childhood to not question, I feel that we ought to make individual efforts to instill good values into children long before we allow the Hierarchies of the state's educational system anywhere near them. I realise that it is simply not financially possible for most people to pursue home schooling in the way that many Republican parents have opted into, and whilst I think that children educated in this way are socially and thus emotionally better adjusted and admirably mature for their age, having had a natural family-based upbringing instead of being penned up like livestock to fight amongst themselves in the farmyards of the United Kingdom's schools, I do have a concern for their actually acquiring an education in things which will create opportunities for employment.

The various schemes of homeschooling that I have seen always seem weak to me on teaching practical science skills due to lack of physical resources, and whilst these small home schooling groups often try to have parents compensating for each other's weaknesses these arrangements seem to me to be a bit hit and miss. The thing that I dread is that in the fragmented society created by this Liberal value system there is far too much respect given to the rights of the parents as individuals who may treat their children as private property within this Capitalist economic system without any countermanding Communist values to assert collective concern for the welfare of our society's children. It is a moot point really : which kind of educational institution do you care for if they all treat our children as economic assets, such privately run ' public ' schools seeing them as sources of cash if only they can ' cram ' them in that bizarre way in which parents pay for educational results whatever the cost to them in money and their children in emotional security and emotional development to the point where they are so psycho-socially damaged that they end up becoming Democrats.

On the other hand we have ' home schooling ' parents who are in fact treating their children as sources of comfort and admiration to hang onto and talk to and torment like dolls, or as child labourers in their businesses - or worse ... ugh ... I do not think that I can say such things never happened before, but they were not licenced by the communities that families were embedded in who could keep track of the welfare of children within them : the ' nuclear family ' which regularly moves from place to place and lives isolated from others and with their doors closed to those around them is a problem which the state schools, for all their faults, can actually address if they are allowed to contradict and confront the prevalent Liberal values of the United Kingdom which licence Capitalism with some of the good old fashioned Communist values that still survive in our society despite the destruction of traditional community institutions by industrialisation and Socialist values. I do not highly rate our Republican chances of restoring a healthy balance between the various ideologies and still less do I rate our chances of establishing a meta-ideology in Wales to drive the Democrats and other Ultraists out of politics altogether, but I think that before we send our children out into the preygrounds of the United Kingdom's nursery schools we can instill in the a strong sense of morality which will be of benefit to them and all those around them for the rest of their lives - and we should aim to do this before they are two years old, long before the Democrats can ever lay their hands upon our children, so that they enter the educational system already well equipped to resist any indoctrination into the corrupt morality of the United Kingdom.

Well that was a brief introduction the following was it not ?

When I was developing the first religious model in the 1990s ( the political model sort of both preceded it and followed it until the two began to merge in the 2000s ) and choosing values for it, I was concerned that the choice of values if poor would build in intractable difficulties that would be difficult if not impossible to root out later. This was a particular problem if these values were introduced in early infancy, which is why I looked to the older and more established religions whose basic belief systems can be argued to have survived the test of time even if they have been added to by their Hierarchies seeking to obtain power by gaining control of them. My reasoning was that without ' Love ' society falls apart in the first instance and therefore establishing any political system becomes impossible. ' Truth ' is necessary because without it any political system will rapidly become dysfunctional, being unable to examine and adjust its own behaviour. ' Peace ' is not to be regarded as an end result but a policy which is applied to determine the consequences of any action lest it harms anyone and damages the political system, and ' Freedom ' has to be closely defined for the same end in order not to licence individuals to seek their own gratifications at the expense of others thus harming the political system.

These four things - Love, Truth, Peace and Freedom in the sense of non-attachment - are prominent values in most established religions, and therefore can be relied on. They are normally taught to small children using stories which are often presented in a coercive way to make them obey the belief system of their religions and this fills them as often as not with anxiety about their conforming to their religion's teachings and anger and hostility towards those who do not who thus summon his anxiety. This is typcally the consequence of Hierarchy i.e. people who have obtained control of a once happy celebratory religion and turned it into one of anxiety and dudgery in order to obtain power over that religion's believers and typically make them obedient to their ambitions. I strongly object to small children being harmed in this way : our collective religious responsibilities to all children are to teach them how to understand those around them and to impart to them sufficient wisdom for them to live happy and productive lives - and trying to do so by frightening them out of their wits is wrong because it violates ' Love, Truth, Peace and Freedom.'

Repetition is as often as not the key to learning, and repetition is made so much easier if the lesson being taught is turned into a pleasurable activity i.e. a game that children want to repeat again and again and again ... until you sort of wish that you had not made it so much fun for them because you really do have to go to work now and we have been playing this since 04.20 am and could I at least get to go to the toilet before I go to work ? The kind of game that had in mind was a sort of ' pat-a-cake ' playing with hands game ( although to be honest I have never been good at them ) because children - well, girls - having learnt them, if they like them, go off to school to teach the rhymes they know to others. Most rhymes around are non-sense rhymes like " one-potato, two-potato, three- " but note that that has some sense in it in as far as it is a counting rhyme.

Personally I am very fond of children who are old enough to talk and want to have earnest conversations about the world that they are just trying to begin to make sense of ( but not so old that they start lecturing me about the rubbish I talk and why I should walk ten yards behind them in public.) Small children really like trying to understand things and I think that they actually like rhymes that are meaningful because they are, aged two to five, laying the foundations of their future belief systems and what happens to them at this age psychologically is critically important because it becomes unavailable for them to remember later : leaving children to play alone with nobody to ask questions of, or even worse in front of the television where they are bombarded with stuff by television presenters of whom they can not ask any questions, has changed our nation's psyches and as somebody who has never watched television much the change over fifty years is obvious. It is not just that people are more passive and unquestioningly obedient, or that they collectively share a belief system that enables them to talk with others but only about what is on television, but most strikingly there are a lot of people wandering around Wales who are apparently surprised to find that other people are physically real and exist in space and time and can not be switched off - and I have increasingly noted numbers of them literally walk into other people and recoiling in horror at encountering another corporeal being.

Children aged about five and socialised only by television have become a big problem in our schools - but by the age of five it is far too late : they have already been harmed far too deeply, the foundations of their psyches having been laid badly because the political system of the United Kingdom is Democratic and their parties are driven by communities of interest which simply have no regard for the socio-biology of the human species, not even for the bare facts of our needing to procreating ourselves each generation. They don't pay us enough to support a family and they don't even want us to have children because that requires hospitals and schools and a family wage - very costly in contrast to employing immigrants born elsewhere and paid for by some other nation, and so our nation is in demographic crisis - not because of immigrants but because of those who exploit them and us, and all of this is presented to us by the Hierarchy as ' normal.' How come it is not normal for an employee being exploited and oppressed to be so damned inconvenient and unprofitable as to commit suicide - whereas when the same collective circumstances leads a nation to not procreate i.e. to commit collective suicide that is very damned convenient, and provides profitable economic opportunities for - who ? - well not us, because many of my generation are now dying without children and thus our nation is gradually dying with us. The whole meaning of the word ' nation ' hinges on ' birth ' and thus this is less a matter of language and culture than providing the means for future generations in Wales surviving to procreate in order to have a nation at all, talking in any language that is other than the BBC's or about what is on the BBC ! We need to teach our nation's kids to talk Republican.

I know that this has dragged on a bit, but you only have to read it !

You have to imagine devising games as ways of teaching small children " to talk Republican " - i.e. that at the very time that they are acquiring their sense of how their sense of the world is to be ordered around them, as they lay down the foundations of their personal belief systems, you teach them your Republicanisms but please do not do this by frightening them and filling them with anxiety about and hatred towards those who believe differently to themselves : teach them consideration for the belief systems of others even if you can not teach them respect for the United Kingdom. You do not need to teach them that they are to be counted as rebels, the United Kingdom will be declaring that to them all of their lives - but it will be too late for the United Kingdom's school system if you have taught them good moral values long before they ever get their claws into your kids. They simply can not do to them in the classroom what you can do for your children in the cradle : they will hurl empty words and threats at them, you can teach them by example and encouagement.

We all make mistakes and childcare can be a haphazard business where mistakes will happen but consistency of behaviour by the surrounding adults is what counts. Do not hesitate to throw out of your home anybody who behaves badly, whoever they are, and do not hesitate to invite into your home anybody who behaves well so that your children can see you relationships with others and thus understand by their own observations of you ' being the Republic ' that our Republicanisms are founded in our relationships not in the state. Make a point of explaining what is happening between adults and encourage them to ask questions, to criticise and to learn to protest : do not leave them to learn how to do this later in life - make sure that they start to challenge their relationship with you early in their lives and to be at ease in refusing their consent and learning to understand others and in sympathising with them consent to fairly negotiated compromises. If this sounds rather above the intellectual capacity if a two year old, it is not actually above that of a one year old and it is between those two ages that what I am describing mostly takes place - any later is too late. By the time you have witnessed your child utter the words " Mummy " and " Daddy " they have already acquired a much more extensive vocabulary - so perhaps you should be careful what you say !

Make sure that you are using the words " Love, Truth, Peace, Freedom and Life " and pairing them with their antagonistic opposites " Hatred, Lies, War, Slavery and Death " so that they are in a strong contrasting relationship with each other. As children develop they seem to acquire these ideas in the order - you can hear parents using them - " I Love you my darling, but tell me the Truth now because I want to sit down and have a moment of Peace to myself and the Freedom to just - PUT THAT DOWN !!!! .... You know my Hatred of you doing that ... LIes ! Lies ! Lies ! ... Are you waging War on your Mummy ? ... Is this it - am I now in Slavery until one or both of us meet our Death, or you grow up ? ... Just you wait untill you are old enough for me to send you to school - the United Kingdom will sort you out - YOU MARK MY WORDS !!! "
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dai



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=78u2nOEZIiE " The French Revolution : Tearing up History " 2014 BBC ( documentary on iconoclasm )

I should have thought of this before : David deployed the classic Republican gesture in a variety of ways, most notoriously in " The Oath of the Horatii " so beloved by those with a Fascist Fetish, but until watching this documentary about iconoclasm in the French Revolution I had forgotten about " The Tennis Court Oath " pictures which depict a real not imaginary event ... oh, alright imagines a real event ... but it is deemed to be a reliable contemporary depiction of the sorts of gestures which those polite French republicans were making in public places ( whatever rude gestures they were making about or towards each other in private.)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennis_Court_Oath

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