Monday, November 16, 2020

Boulder Pushers

We spend our lives fighting to get people very slightly more stupid than ourselves to accept truths that the great men have always known.  They have known for thousands of years that to lock a sick person into solitary confinement makes him worse.  They have known for thousands of years that a poor man who is frightened of his landlord and of the police is a slave.  They have known it.  We know it.  But do the great enlightened mass of the British people know it?  No.  It is our task, Ella, yours and mine, to tell them.  Because the great men are too great to be bothered.  They are already discovering how to colonise Venus and to irrigate the moon.  That is what is important for our time.  You and I are the boulder-pushers.  All our lives, you and I, we'll put all our energies, all our talents into pushing a great boulder up a mountain.  The boulder is the truth that the great men know by instinct, and the mountain is the stupidity of mankind.

-- Doris Lessing (1919 - 2013), British writer, born Doris May Tayler.  In October 2007 Lessing became the eleventh woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in its 106-year history, and its oldest recipient ever.  Paul Tanner, in "Free Women: 1", The Golden Notebook (1962)

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