The Advent of Writing

While much has been made of the invention of writing as  agreat technological revolution and advancement in allowing the transfer of information across distance, little has been said about any negative effect it had on the human condition.

Of course writing allowed the standardization of religious and legal references across the distances of kingdoms and countries and allowed the production of great works of propaganda, media, education and eventually even allowed for literature to be established. But each of these was a step in the leaders and their institutions and structures taking and exerting greater control than they had in the past. Written language in itself enabled greater control and was indeed a precursor for the current day base unit of control, the nation-state. The introduction of writing was a great in=vention for those who sought to control us even if for some time they battled amongst themselves for this ultimate prize.

Pre-writing we had a state where virtually everybody who wanted to could express themselves on a fairly equal basis. Stories and entertainments went on among communities often with variation form one telling or acting to the next and involvement and crossing of lines between producer and recipient. Obviously there were limits within what was accepted and believed at community level but this was a denominator agreed by community members. There was freedom to express on a relatively equal footing.

With the introduction of writing eventually came literature. Now literature was not something that came for m the expression fo those at the bottom as they could not use the new code known as writing, but from those educated and above who had mastery over the code. The expression of the ordinary individual or community began to be oppressed away by the formalization of writing and the idea of literature. Even when some limited education came to be given to the ordinary person it was more for propaganda and control sake and any limited learning of the code meant they were still excluded form the production of literature and art which was now controlled by formalised institutions and structures and defined by them to exclude nearly all except their initiates and those carefully trained and manipulated through the controlled education systems.

The invention and widespread use of writing took our art of story telling and entertainments away and relabeled them as poetry, prose, literature, plays etc, each of which was defined in a way to remove it form the realm of the ordinary individual except on initially rare but with the advent of capitalism increasing occasions as a recipient of this great art. The production of art was removed from every individual. A new and unnatural relationship was established where there were formal art producers and then recipients of art. The previous blurs of role were removed leaving a state of natural confusion and frustration within those now denied many of the routes that existed in the past for outlet of natural expression.

Of course as time went on this was further cemented with critic systems to even indicate if not tell us what is good or bad in art. The development of writing and the removal of our art from us and the establishment of art producers as just more commodity producers for use in the market system was complete. And our creativity was stymied and locked inside us and held there by the iron triumvirate of academia, media and art industry only varying in degree by stage of development of the country with those lesser developed being less repressive to natural art production.


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