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Edward Carpenter

Data de nascimento: 29. Agosto 1844
Data de falecimento: 28. Junho 1929

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Edward Carpenter foi um poeta inglês, socialista, antologista e um dos primeiros activistas políticos homossexuais.

Figura destacada no Reino Unido em fins do século XIX, Carpenter foi instrumental na fundação do Socialismo Fabiano e do Partido Trabalhista do Reino Unido. Poeta e escritor, foi amigo de Walt Whitman e Rabindranath Tagore, tendo-se correspondido com muitas personalidades famosas como Annie Besant, Isadora Duncan, Havelock Ellis, Roger Fry, Mahatma Gandhi, James Keir Hardie, J K Kinney, Jack London, George Merrill, Edmund Dene Morel, William Morris, Edward R. Pease, John Ruskin e Olive Schreiner[1].

Como filósofo foi especialmente conhecido pela publicação de Civilisation, its Cause and Cure , em que defende que a civilização é uma forma de doença que as sociedades humanas atravessam. As civilizações, segundo Carpenter, raramente sobrevivem mais que mil anos, antes de se desmoronarem, e nenhuma sociedade conseguiu ultrapassar com sucesso uma civilização. A "cura" é uma aproximação mais forte à terra e um maior desenvolvimento da nossa natureza interna. Embora Carpenter se tenha inspirado na sua experiência com o misticismo hindu, e se refira a um "socialismo mítico", o seu pensamento está alinhado com o de diversos escritores nos campos da psicologia e sociologia do princípio do século XX, como Boris Sidis, Sigmund Freud, and Wilfred Trotter, que reconheciam que a sociedade coloca cada vez mais pressão nos indíviduos o que resulta em doenças mentais e físicas como neurose e neurastenia.

Convicto defensor da liberdade sexual, Carpenter vivia numa comunidade gay perto de Sheffield e teve profunda influência sobre D. H. Lawrence e E. M. Forster.

Citações Edward Carpenter

„There is no solution except the freedom of woman—which means of course also the freedom of the masses of the people, men and women, and the ceasing altogether of economic slavery.“

—  Edward Carpenter
Context: There is no solution except the freedom of woman—which means of course also the freedom of the masses of the people, men and women, and the ceasing altogether of economic slavery. There is no solution which will not include the redemption of the terms “free woman” and “free love” to their true and rightful significance. Let every woman whose heart bleeds for the sufferings of her sex, hasten to declare herself and to constitute herself, as far as she possibly can, a free woman. Let her accept the term with all the odium that belongs to it; let her insist on her right to speak, dress, think, act, and above all to use her sex, as she deems best; let her face the scorn and ridicule; let her “lose her own life” if she likes; assured that only so can come deliverance, and that only when the free woman is honored will the prostitute cease to exist. And let every man who really would respect his counterpart, entreat her also to act so; let him never by word or deed tempt her to grant as a bargain what can only be precious as a gift; let him see her with pleasure stand a little aloof; let him help her to gain her feet; so at last, by what slight sacrifices on his part such a course may involve, will it dawn upon him that he has gained a real companion and helpmate on life’s journey.

„Let every woman whose heart bleeds for the sufferings of her sex, hasten to declare herself and to constitute herself, as far as she possibly can, a free woman.“

—  Edward Carpenter
Context: There is no solution except the freedom of woman—which means of course also the freedom of the masses of the people, men and women, and the ceasing altogether of economic slavery. There is no solution which will not include the redemption of the terms “free woman” and “free love” to their true and rightful significance. Let every woman whose heart bleeds for the sufferings of her sex, hasten to declare herself and to constitute herself, as far as she possibly can, a free woman. Let her accept the term with all the odium that belongs to it; let her insist on her right to speak, dress, think, act, and above all to use her sex, as she deems best; let her face the scorn and ridicule; let her “lose her own life” if she likes; assured that only so can come deliverance, and that only when the free woman is honored will the prostitute cease to exist. And let every man who really would respect his counterpart, entreat her also to act so; let him never by word or deed tempt her to grant as a bargain what can only be precious as a gift; let him see her with pleasure stand a little aloof; let him help her to gain her feet; so at last, by what slight sacrifices on his part such a course may involve, will it dawn upon him that he has gained a real companion and helpmate on life’s journey.

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„Plato in his allegory of the soul—in the Phaedrus—though he apparently divides the passions which draw the human chariot into two classes, the heavenward and the earthward—figured by the white horse and the black horse respectively—does not recommend that the black horse should be destroyed or dismissed, but only that he (as well as the white horse) should be kept under due control by the charioteer. By which he seems to intend that there is a power in man which stands above and behind the passions, and under whose control alone the human being can safely move. In fact if the fiercer and so-called more earthly passions were removed, half the driving force would be gone from the chariot of the human soul. Hatred may be devilish at times—but after all the true value of it depends on what you hate, on the use to which the passion is put. Anger, though inhuman at one time is magnificent and divine at another. Obstinacy may be out of place in a drawing-room, but it is the latest virtue on a battlefield when an important position has to be held against the full brunt of the enemy. And Lust, though maniacal and monstrous in its aberrations, cannot in the last resort be separated from its divine companion, Love. To let the more amiable passions have entire sway notoriously does not do: to turn your cheek, too literally, to the smiter, is (pace Tolstoy) only to encourage smiting; and when society becomes so altruistic that everybody runs to fetch the coal-scuttle we feel sure that something has gone wrong. The white-washed heroes of our biographies with their many virtues and no faults do not please us. We have an impression that the man without faults is, to say the least, a vague, uninteresting being—a picture without light and shade—and the conventional semi-pious classification of character into good and bad qualities (as if the good might be kept and the bad thrown away) seems both inadequate and false.“

—  Edward Carpenter

„Every human being grows up inside a sheath of custom, which enfolds it as the swathing clothes enfold the infant.“

—  Edward Carpenter
"Custom," http://books.google.com/books?id=5WxIAAAAYAAJ&q=%22Every+human+being+grows+up+inside+a+sheath+of+custom+which+enfolds+it+as+the+swathing+clothes+enfold+the+infant%22&pg=PA136#v=onepage The Fortnightly Review (1 July 1888) "Custom," http://books.google.com/books?id=WRhwu0Lvag0C&q=%22Every+human+being+grows+up+inside+a+sheath+of+custom+which+enfolds+it+as+the+swathing+clothes+enfold+the+infant%22&pg=PA148#v=onepage Civilization Its Cause And Cure And Other Essays (1889) p. 148

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