Thursday, May 30, 2024


The Roman Empire declined and fell and Edward Gibbon lived to write about it. And of course Thucydides and Herodotus predicted competing albeit more contemporary accounts of the Peloponnesus. History is a peculiar subject as Louis Menand points out quoting Walter Benjamin inThe Free World "no fact that is a cause is for that very reason historical. It became historical posthumously." Simple chronology doesn't say  enough. Hegel is, of course, famous for his dialectic out of which the Marxian notion of "dialectical materialism" emanated. Stephan Daedalus famously says, "History is a nightmare from which I am trying to awake"--something which pertains to the current world in which autocracy threatens even so-called democracies." Menand also points out that German and Austria from whence Nazism emanated were also the seats of the Bauhaus, Kant, Goethe and a list of cultural figures and movements too numerous to list. And what about "income inequality" which Thomas Picketty underscores in Capital? The vision of many works of sci fi and fantasy is feudal with powerful forces leveling great power over the kind of drones that can't be flown. The Judaic Christian origin myths still hold sway while the Greek gods no longer intervene as they look down on mortals from Mount Olympus.

listen to "Slip Away" by Clarence Carter

and read "Why Big German Words like Vergangenbangenheit Carry Weight" by Francis Levy, Huff Post

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