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Archive for June 28th, 2012

From the iconostasis of Mr Hart’s chapel

English Orthodox iconographer Aiden Hart writes well of his craft. He includes photos of the very beautiful chapel he has created at the Hermitage of Saint Anthony and Saint Cuthbert, Shropshire, England:

That is to say, spiritual things need explaining or manifesting in a spiritual way. So what makes icons and other good liturgical arts so powerful is not just their sacred subject matter, but the way this subject matter is expressed. An icon crudely or sentimentally painted still acts as an icon inasmuch as it connects us with its prototype through the saint’s name that it bears. But it fails inasmuch as its “style” or language does not satisfactorily evoke the transfigured world. Similarly, a church building can protect the congregation from the elements but by poor design fail to give them the sense of the incarnate God dwelling in their amidst.
To see with the eye of the heart we need first to be purified, to repent, to turn towards God. Liturgical art can assist this turning through its “joyful sorrow”.

More here, from The Orthodox Arts Journal.

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The city of Mondragon, Spain

“Modern societies have mostly chosen a capitalist organization of production. In capitalism, private owners establish enterprises and select their directors who decide what, how and where to produce and what to do with the net revenues from selling the output. This small handful of people makes all those economic decisions for the majority of people – who do most of the actual productive work. The majority must accept and live with the results of all the directorial decisions made by the major shareholders and the boards of directors they select. This latter also select their own replacements.

Capitalism thus entails and reproduces a highly undemocratic organization of production inside enterprises. True believers insist that no alternatives to such capitalist organizations of production exist or could work nearly so well, in terms of outputs, efficiency, and labor processes. The falsity of that claim is easily shown. Indeed, I was shown it a few weeks ago and would like to sketch it for you here.

In May 2012, I had occasion to visit the city of Arrasate-Mondragon, in the Basque region of Spain. It is the headquarters of the Mondragon Corporation (MC), a stunningly successful alternative to the capitalist organization of production.

MC is composed of many co-operative enterprises grouped into four areas: industry, finance, retail and knowledge. In each enterprise, the co-op members (averaging 80-85% of all workers per enterprise) collectively own and direct the enterprise. Through an annual general assembly the workers choose and employ a managing director and retain the power to make all the basic decisions of the enterprise (what, how and where to produce and what to do with the profits).”

Read more from The Guardian : http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2012/jun/24/alternative-capitalism-mondragon

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