Wednesday, March 03, 2010

On Honor

(fm the BC thread "The Rumor of War")

buddy larsen,
the driving ideal has been imperfectly realized, but has remained

Exactly, we were a smaller nation then than Poland is now and we sacrificed not just to survive but for an ideal. No foreign savage, Tartar from the East or Teuton from the West invaded us; we choose to fight over what we deemed worth it. Men on both sides shared the dream, very few of those from the South had any slaves. Indeed the poor southern farm boys were economically suffering from the presence of unfree labor.

My hope is that we can grasp the sacrifices that Europe went through and with that knowledge learn to communicate with them in a way that might remind them of "the better angels" of their nature. "Honor" to me is a sterile concept that is redolent of 3rd World shame cultures. More useful is self respect and the esteem of a free community. All that the focus on the forms of honor leads to is a demand for the show of obeisance from those you do not respect. Better to me is the mutual respect of free people whose fount of honor is not embodied in an anointed monarch or the submission of a rabble of subjects. Those are like the common soldiers who stood in a circle, like members of a street gang, to watch the heroes Achilles and Hector fight before the walls of Troy. Better than that is the sense of respect, a truer form of honor, found in a free person's own values and the approval of fellow citizens.

(buddy larsen provided comic relief)

Penguins, now that is sophisticated, nuanced even.
I see you and raise you, Señor Wences?
(Sorry, embedding is disabled on this clip)

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