Saturday, March 17, 2012

I've off and on read and listened about utopia attempts, and noticed how they seem to be short. Some of them are really influential; most are quite short in time.

Thinking about this off and on for years, I managed to not think of the Mormons. Long-lasting community based on alternative way of looking at thing, and alternative way of looking at things that is and has been disliked by others.

Long-lasting, strong, growing. Yeah, I don't agree with them about a lot, but I just didn't think of them that way, which means I just wasn't thinking.

Even though, I noticed, during one of my thinking about utopia periods, that they started in an area strong in starting movements in this first part of the nineteenth century--upstate New York.

Mormonism, feminism, Shakerness, and more.

I've been to upstate New York once. Really beautiful, in a mild-mannered way. Next to Vermont, famous for beauty, and much like it, less-dramatically, in a less up and down fashion.

Beautiful, and quiet. Maybe too quiet. I wonder if that's one reason people though of whole other ways of living there. Beauty is a demanding question. Being around natural beauty all the time is demanding in a hard to define way. Maybe because it is yet another inconsistency--much is beautiful, much isn't. How can we raise the standard?

In the nineteenth century, upstate New York must have been pretty slow.

I've thought about when thinking of Elizabeth Cady Stanton calling the first US feminist conference there, in Seneca Falls, New York, where she lived. That started the whole lively first US feminist movement which led, they were surprised it took so long, to women having the vote.

She had been at a global anti-slavery conference in London where women delegates from the US weren't admitted as delegates and were sent to be seated in the balcony. "We are doing something difficult and controversial and we can't take on anything else that is difficult and controversial." A recurrent thought in world-changing attempts.

Stanton was not a delegate--her husband was. She was up in the balcony with the pissed-off women, talking and thinking.

Eight years passed. The Stantons moved from a lively city to the calm of upstate New York. Then she called a convention, partly, I'm sure, to make something happen, anything.