Frozen in time




Life                           -                      Death
Solid                         -                      Liquid
Permanence               -                     Change





Heathcliff, make the world stop right here. Make everything stop and stand still and never move again. Make the moors never change and you and I never change.

[Emily Brontë]
Wuthering Heights




Romantic love hopes to ‘freeze’ a beautiful moment.

It’s a summer’s evening, after dinner, Werther is walking in the woods with his beloved. He wants it to be always like this: so he feel they should get married, have a house together, have children. Though, in reality, marriage will be nothing at all like the lovely June night.

There’ll be exhaustion, bills to pay, squabbles and a sense of confinement. By comparison with the extreme hopes of Romanticism, real love is always necessarily a terrible disappointment.

'Johann Wolfgang von Goethe'




The fact that change is never going to stop renders the very notion of a blueprint for the good society nonsensical, for even if society became like the blueprint it would instantly begin to depart from it.

So not only are ideal societies unattainable because they are ideal, they are unattainable because, to correspond to any sort of blueprint at all, they would have to be static, fixed, unchanging; and no foreseeable society is going to be those things.

[Bryan Magee]
Popper, p. 106




[…] if the lessons of complex dynamical systems apply to human beings, attempting to design fail-safe social systems (whether legal, educational, penal, or other type) that never go wrong is a hopeless task, for several reasons. 

First, since we carry our history on our backs we can never begin from scratch, either personally or as societies. Second, perfection allows no room for improvement. Plato was one of the few thinkers who understood that if a freshly minted utopia were ever to be successfully established, the only direction in which it could change would be downhill. 

Stasis and isolation are therefore essential to maintaining the alleged perfection, not only of Plato's Republic, but of most other utopias as well. 

The noumenal self that Kant postulates as the seat of moral choice and free will is likewise not part of this world. The possibility of perfection requires isolation and has nowhere to go but downward.

[Alicia Juarrero]
Dynamics in Action, p. 257