Saturday, January 02, 2010

They Knew


(fm the BC thread "Starting the New Year with a Bang")

Pascal (the derivative),
Betrayal has always been and will remain a problem ...
I cannot decide whether it is character or the ability to recognize it that has become the trait most dear


It is a common error to believe that we are more sophisticated than people were in the past. We know very little more about love loyalty good evil betrayal and hate than people did hundreds or thousands of years ago. A person with any education at all, which excluded most pre-Reformation agricultural labor but often included more than we acknowledge, specifically when illiteracy does not equate to stupidity and where there was a strong tradition of unwritten communication, may have been more capable than their modern counterpart of intelligently discussing the concepts of loyalty and betrayal in the past. The readers or audiences of Shakespeare and Dante certainly could. These issues were as vital then as they are now. Our advantage is in plumbing and if we thank that makes us see other issues more clearly then we are like the kid who measures the value of his own opinions by the price of his father's car.

1 comment:

Pascal Fervor said...

LOTM,

There was almost a five hour delay in the edit of my BC post. The following was finally tacked on about a half hour ago:

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Not long ago I linked you to an old column written by a WWII sergeant. His solution was subjective and prone to error, but effective. Had he or his men lacked character, it could have gone the other way. It was not by the book, and I sense that would trouble you. But his officers accepted it. Could you?z

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Another thing. I subsequently gave a copy of Kubrick's "Paths of Glory" to the old vet. He said he knew lower officers like George Macready's general. He declined to elaborate further. He's gone now, so I could only speculate on what his opinion would be of this latest top brass. I strongly suspect he'd be sending money to LTC West's Florida campaign.