Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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You said it, amba. I knew you would like this.

I bet there are people reading Korton right now who don't see the connection with utopian totalitarianism., who believe that until 5,000 years ago women ruled the world, with peace and love for all.

Korton claims his theory is based on various sciences, which is an outright lie.

This is EXACTLY the kind of thing that I have spent my whole life questioning.

Aldous Huxley's novel "Island" is the same kind of progressive propaganda -- some people take it seriously even though they know it's a novel.


Well he's certainly nt in the real world. There is certainly a desire to turn the clock back to idealized communities of the past. The cultural and religious right represents one very big element of this trend.

It cerainly is debatable that the more complex and wealthier he society the greater the concentration of wealth. Unless of course he thinks beloved leaders N Korea like that of various god kings is the ideal. Studies have indicated that the socities creating wealth fastest reduce inequality.

All I see is a spouting of cliches without any referance to reality.

Charlie (Colorado)

The dream of restoring local, land-based, self-sustaining communities is another powerfully appealing part of Korten's vision. The trouble is, Satin says, that a nostalgic dream is what it is. It just ain't happening:...

I've never understood this trope, having grown up in a town of 7500 (except for the time we spend in a town of 200) --- isn't this more or less what we called "trapped in this parochial small town"?

This is good?

Charlie (Colorado)

Julie, you know, I listen to these things and I wonder sometimes how old (or how awake) the person saying it is. I don't know if increasing wealth increases or decreases "inequality" --- I've seen studies that argue it both ways. But what I can tell you is that poor in 1956 is a helluva sight different than poor in 2006: A color TV cost a month's wages in 1960; a better color TV costs a day's wages now. I remember people getting their first indoor plumbing in my town in 1960; how many people in town don't have indoor plumbing now? I grew up thinking canned peaches where the only kind of peaches there were 'cause we were that far back in the mountains; I was in my home town last month and saw fresh peaches, nectarines, plums, mangoes, and live lobsters, in the same Safeway I went to as a child.


Yep . . . nostalgia just ain't what it useta be!


When I think of this sort of thing I often refer to the Renaissance Festival crowd...going in nice, clean clothes to a nice, clean place and buying cheap crap from China...what that has to do with the filth encrusted hovels and 16 hours of backbreaking peasant work of the time I have no idea. Even the nobles smelled like a pissoir.

Utopian societies may be a fantasy, but to automatically reject them as unrealistic and unreachable may be a mistake. Sure, human nature opposes ever reaching such a laudable system, but if we reject it out of hand, we may be preventing ourselves from pursuing even the ideal or the dream of such a world.

Instead, we should be trying to temper the rampant capitalism of the West with at least some ideals of this sort of system, so that we don't all end up like Dick Cheney...soulless moneygrubbing powermongers.



You must not have read Satin's article. He is not against trying to improve our system -- that is exactly what his goal is. His criticism is of Korten's simplistic analysis -- there are good guys and bad guys, we are the good guys, let's get rid of the bad guys. That is a tested formula for mass execution and oppression.

Satin is promoting a more sophisticated approach to reform, including the recognition that most positive change is evolutionary rather than revolutionary, and that diverse individuals will always disagree on what an ideal society should be like. And most importantly, the recognition that the worst of us are partly good and the best of us are partly bad, depending on circumstances.

It's very easy to divide everything into two simple categories and pronounce one good and the other evil. But it is not useful, it is not a sign of maturity, and it has probably caused at least as much destruction and misery as lust for power or money.


But nowhere near as much destruction and misery as religion ;)


I read Huxley's Island long long ago when I was innocently macro-idealistic about psychedelic drugs. The book was so blatently flawed that I regretfully rejected its premise. In retrospect it may even be that I caught a glimpse of "totalitarian impulse that incubates inside any kind of knowing-best, including most insidiously the meaning-well kind."

A large part of why I did not absorb the leftist/fluffy-bunny idealism of my environment was that I'd picked up a fixation on the material plane, particularly the lumpen world of high performance automobiles, a world where what happened resulted directly from what you did.


Uh, sleipner, a large part of the destruction and misery you attribute to religion is the same destruction and misery realpc is posting about.


Fast cars as the antidote to fuzzy-headedness -- I love it.


"the destruction and misery you attribute to religion"

I don't think it's religion in general that causes destruction. It's the kind of religion that says "we are right and everyone else is wrong. "This includes radical Islam, Chriistianity in the past, and 20th century varieties of utopianism (yes, Marxism is, ironically enough, very much like the intolerant religions Marx despised).

The left makes a big logical error when it attributes intolerance and violence to religion in general. I doubt religious wars were fought by polytheists. It is the intolerant, absolute good vs. absolute evil, kind of religion. And it has nothing to do with belief in God. An atheist ideology can be this kind of religion. Actually, atheism is a perfect example of a highly intolerant religion.

The left still consists largely of starry-eyed utopians. Marxist revolutions fail because of opposition from the US, because they are hyjacked by evil dictators, because the host nation is not industrialized, etc., etc. All kinds of excuses. It's NEVER because utopia is a fantasy.

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