Thursday, March 26, 2009

Two Musings on Socialism

In the interest of actually writing updates on my doings and goings-on, I will try to keep future blog entries shorter and less philosophical.  Well, shorter.

Yesterday I wandered around the Barri Gotic in search of Plaza George Orwell.  He apparently spent some time in Barcelona during the Guerra Civil, and the Catalans of the 1930's, ever comrades in anarchy and socialism, named a plaza after him.  

On Sunday, I went for the first time to see Castellers compete.  Castellers are the troupes of athletes who build human towers, sometimes up to several stories high.  Watching them all cooperate to put up a tower, with thirty or so members at the bottom creating a base, then layers of increasingly smaller team members climbing up to the very top, was extraordinary impressive and inspiring.  After each successful Castell, there was a huge amount of energy and accomplishment that surged throughout the group.  And what's more, the three groups--ostensibly competitors--would actually help out the other troupes.  Each troupe would send ten or so members to help build up the base of the team that was building their Castell, and then that team would reciprocate.  Historians believe that the hoplite army was the origin of Greek Democracy; that standing side-by-side with one's fellow citizens, each man forming a link in the phalanx, breeds a sense of camaraderie that necessitates equality in place of monarchy.  Could it be that the sport of Castellers, which includes members of both sexes, and necessarily of all age groups (the one on top is always a child of 4 or 5), and the cooperative nature of competitions be the nature of Barcelona socialism?


  1. How do you find out about these things? Are Castellers unique to Barcelona? Catalan? Spain? Europe? Do they go back to the Hoplites?

  2. Where do we go to see photographs?

    Is Plaza George Orwell open to the public, and is it monitered, if you know what I mean?

  3. I'd argue not, if for no other reason than that in general a man is more willing to lend a few minutes of his time for a short lived task to another man than his hard earned money (which took many hours to gain) to a nameless entity (government).

  4. Howe Goethe Spain?

    Wow, a grammatically correct sentence made from nouns (Gordie Howe--Red Wings start Play-offs journey to second consecutive Stanley Cup today) (Goethe, a writer) and (Spain, a country).

    Not bad for an old man, eh, kids?

    always checking this blog.

  5. You're doing awesome, man, keep it up. It's really good to hear from you, awesome blogging work!