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May 30th 2009

    

    In those years between the first and second world war, the European imagination held within it a flexibility.  The Great War, as it was first called, curdled the minds of so many, because it was a war without that sort of conclusion that enabled anyone to say 'we suffered because we were right'.

    On one analysis those two decades were prime for the creation of newer myths.  As Mussolini was inclined to say : "it isn't necessary for men to move mountains, rather it is necessary for men to think they have moved mountains."  A paraphrase of Mussolini that I think reflects his vision.

    A myth is justification.  Used by the advertising industry it results in either unnecessary spending or wealth creation, depending upon perspective.  Used by the state, a myth has been defined as:  "an expression of a determination to act."  Yet another paraphrase that makes me so glad I have no academic credential to maintain.

    But the academic credential - the justification, that set of proofs that demonstrate provenance - give argument stature.  If then it is supported by evidence, the agreement of reasonable people should be achieved.

 

    

    I could suggest leaders exist in the world of myth.  They exist in that place where it is not necessary to actually ever move a mountain in order to express a determination to act.  Language is their ally.  The Word, as the Christians have it.  And more often it is a rallying behind idea, rather than something in the category of deed.

    All the same, at the moment of judgment many maintain the myth.  Perhaps there is glory in it.  Perhaps there is that 'charge of the light brigade'.  That 'kill them all and let god decide'.  That rolling down hill.  Or perhaps it is a misunderstanding of the virtue of honesty in the affairs of mortals.  

    Here I might argue that another word for foolishness is "poverty of the objective".  A confluence of idea that in me at least asserts truth as valuable.  And here I might argue that even in the absence of the objective, a wise mind would maintain a distinction between myth and the unknown. 

    But I have always been prone to a dreaming that tucks me in at night.

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(Alfred, Lord Tennyson)  (Albigensian Crusade) (Sayyid Qutb) (Khashaba