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  • louise
    A nation of slaves is always prepared to applaud the clemency of their master who, in the abuse of absolute power, does not proceed to the last extremes of
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 2, 2004
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      "A nation of slaves is always prepared to applaud the clemency of
      their master who, in the abuse of absolute power, does not proceed
      to the last extremes of injustice and oppression."
      (Edward Gibbon, Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Ch. XXVIII,
      Everyman edition, O.U.P. Vol. 3, p243)

      Conscious existentialism may be currently the preserve of the few,
      but the will to survive of those few, combined with that basic
      goodness and integrity which is hiding in all populations, and which
      can achieve such great things once it gets its chance to rise
      unintimidated to the surface, yes, these things may indeed set us
      free. Speaking as a British patriot, and at this point in history
      that means I owe my allegiance to the crown and that I consider
      Ulster to be an integral part of my nation, I think there is a sense
      in which symbolically we as a people have allowed ourselves to drift
      into slavery, I suppose, unconscious existential slavery. By
      historical happenstance I think the British are uniquely placed to
      practice what I have called perceptual imperialism. The qualifying
      word perceptual is here vital - in other words, I refer to a process
      of persuasion, between human beings, compatible with but somewhat
      antagonistic to current parliamentary democracy, with its sloth and
      spiritual corruptions. And this inter-human persuasion must
      ultimately be founded in absolute cultural-spiritual reality, that
      manifests, for all to see, in respectful dealings, truth-telling in
      business and public life, and so on. Certain kinds of
      philosophising may form a bridge between the solitary existentialism
      of an elite - who may or may not deserve that title (and I would
      hardly call our current political elites notably existentialist at
      all ...)- and the aspirations of the many. I have stated before
      that my own trust lies in 'love, and do what thou wilt', rather than
      in being careful. But these are all words, and have no value to
      others reading them unless there is a certain kind of receptiveness
      in the reader, something I always wish for, but of which there is
      never any guarantee. And it works the other way, that I seek out
      the words of others, to find a comprehension, an opening up, and
      sometimes hopes are raised and dashed again. C'est la vie?
      D'accord. L'ours est douce. Quel ours?
      Sorry for fatigue.

      Louise
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