Friday, April 10, 2009

Best Paragraph of the Day

110: "If a period of growth is followed by a period of depression, there are two possibilities: either the ruling group will modify its attitudes and behavior, or it will be replaced by another group. The aristocrat, Tancredi, tells an older-generation aristocrat, Fabrizio, 'we have to change everything in order to keep everything as it is'."

Burke, Peter. 1974. Venice and Amsterdam, A Study of Seventeenth Century Elites (London: Temple Smith).


Shag from Brookline said...

"plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose"

N'est pas?

Jack said...

And if a period of depression is followed by yet more depression and persistent misery amongst the masses the changes begin with the likes of Sieyes. The next stage is set by a Danton, and things are finalized by Robespierre or his surrogates. In the midst of genuine and popular misery moderation is short lived.

While conditions in 18th century France were far more extreme the parallels between then and now are intriguing.

Kaleberg said...

Isn't that quote from Lampedusa's Il Gattopardo?

Shag from Brookline said...

From Wikipedia:

"If we want things to stay as they are, things will have to change." (spoken by Tancredi)[5]
"We were the Leopards, the Lions, those who'll take our place will be little jackals, hyenas; and the whole lot of us, Leopards, jackals, and sheep, we'll all go on thinking ourselves the salt of the earth." (spoken by Don Fabrizio)[6]

Thanks Kaleberg, especially as it lead to the quote of Don Fabrizio in this novel. The "Salt" of Obama's economic team can be bad for the health of our economy. Frank Rich has a great column in today's NYTimes. Here it is Spring and we're focusing upon Summers.

Jack said...

"Frank Rich has a great column in today's NYTimes."

I agree that Rich's column is worth the read, but how many such descriptions of the totally corrupt nature of Summers' activities need to be publlished before the Obama White House takes notice and takes action. I don't see any good result. Obama has made a significant statement to his grass roots supporters in the appointment of Summers et al, and its not very complimentary.