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
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
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.