e pluribus unum: on a US motto

Apparently the origin of the motto is a poem about a cheese, garlic and herb sauce recipee attirbuted to Virgil. The poem — roughly translated as “the salad” — actually helps me to understand what is good about the E Pluribus Unum motto when applied to a culinary process, and what is so sick about it when applied to a social process. Virgil was celebrating the melting together of the ingredients that gave rise to a proper cheese and garlic sauce (virgil.org/appendix/moretum.htm). . .I can relate to that!! in the end, the individual ingredients are gone, what is left is the souce . . .to use this metaphor with respect to a “nation” opens the way for all sort of subordination of individual instances to externally defined “ends” . . .and we know pretty much all about this . . . . . (it is interesting also to know that the motto was replaced in 1956 with the current one “in god we trust”, in which not even the trace of plurality is left, but the immanency of a we with no process) . . . .I also learn that the false alternative version of the motto is also at work in this field . . .according to the Wikipedia oracle, in 1994 Al Gore “stirred controversy by interpreting this motto as meaning “out of one, many” while promoting a multicultural model for American identity in a speech to the Institute of World Affairs.” Of course, if one has to interpret this to its logic consequences, we would end up into pure centrifugal spin . . .I guess what is left for us in our version of commons, is to reinterpret the motto through the wisdom of processes, struggle, subjectivities and immanance, in which the many create the one and the one is condition and result of the many: pluribus et unum (not a good motto if applied to a garlic sauce!!)

PS: for a “how-to” version of the antique recipee, try www.wikihow.com/Make-Moretum-(Garlic-Cheese)

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