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Saturday October 13th 2018Tim Candler9

 

     Dividere et Empera. It's Latin, the most aggravating language our species has ever written, but for some reason it does give provenance to the highfalutin. Most Romans spoke what's called Vulgar Latin, a freewheeling expression of their more rambling thoughts and communications. What's called Classical Latin was mainly used by scholars to precisely record their important ideas for posterity and by administrators to issue death sentences, written instructions, or whatever. People know this today, because the early Roman Playwrights wrote down the words for their talking characters in Vulgar Latin and there's a lot of Roman graffiti scattered around the Mediterranean, most of it ridden with grammatical errors, appalling spelling and some of it is just about incomprehensible.  One beautiful as opposed to vulgar example was on shop door post, "I sing of cloth launderers and an Owl, not of arms and men." I guess the context was the goddess of hardworking launderers, but it makes huge sense to me as a fairly good rule to judge most things and most people by.   

 

Past

     The point is Divide and Rule long predates the Romans, the tyrannically minded have been at it since the first garden spade was shoved into the ground by a bright eyed innocent gardener who was hell bent on getting out of the hunter gatherer business and as an unexpected consequence enabled our species to produce a surplus, much of which went to supporting a political class. Over the years there have been rare flashes of brilliance when minds conjoin around the idea of a set of rules in which power thrashes out solutions to the inevitable problems confronting the multitudes surplus has enabled. Generally the consequence of obedience to those rules has resulted in a productive harmony, but invariably productive harmony itself leads to crisis. An unhappy thought indeed. You can blame narcissistic megalomania, avarice, greed, demanding more from the world than you could ever need, call it whatever you want, but far from being ordained in someway, we, like the Dinosaur, remain a species, ever changing or extinct. On a more positive note, worth recalling the little known Latin phrase, "well disciplined like a corpse."

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