May 5th, 2008

Not My Space

From Karl Marx, Grundrisse--
The more deeply we go back into history, the more does the individual, and hence also the producing individual, appear as dependent, as belonging to the greater whole: in a still quite natural way in the family and in the family expanded into the clan; then later in the various forms of communal society arising out of the antitheses and fusions of the clans. Only in the eighteenth century, in 'civil society', do the various forms of social connectedness confront the individual as a mere means towards his private purposes, as external necessity. But the epoch which produces this standpoint, that of the isolated individual, is also precisely that of the hitherto most developed social (from this standpoint, general) relations. The human being is in the most literal sense a "political animal," not merely a gregarious animal, but an animal which can individuate itself only in the midst of a society. Production by an isolated individual outside society -- a rare exception which may well occur when a civilized person in whom the social forces are already dynamically present is cast by accident into the wilderness -- is as much of an absurdity as the development of language without individuals living together and talking to each other.
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Point of Contention

Could Chris Paul be the best point guard-sized point guard since Isaiah Thomas? Tony Parker looked so good last year and against the Suns. But Paul is making him look like a poser. I don't ask this question to slight Steve Nash, who has been a tremendous player for the past half decade, or John Stockton, whose consistency was a wonder to behold. But neither of them could take over a game the way Paul can, the way he has done in the third quarter tonight. And neither of them had the speed to disrupt opposing offenses the way Paul can. He actually reminds me a lot of Jason Kidd when he was younger and quicker, though he's getting by with a lot less size than Kidd did.