2 thoughts on “A commentary on the current year

  1. This made me think about the current year, and yet I don’t know what it is about the current year that this makes me think about.

    This clip seeks justice in corruption against another corruption.

    I see nothing in the past year that is like this.

  2. This clip seeks justice in corruption against another corruption.

    Perhaps. Nonetheless, this portrayal is that of an honorable thief, though a thief he is. This is a man who lives by a code, which simply happens not to coincide with the law of the general public. He is also a wise man who knows when to be harsh and when to be generous.

    The problem with today’s “powerbrokers” is that they lack such honor or wisdom. They are much more like his son, Santino/Sonny (played by James Caan), who gives in to his impulses to humiliate others. Powerful people who lack moderation and restraint soon make many enemies and do not come to a good end (as happened to Santino).

    As a leader, you want to be feared, but you do not want to be hated. When others hate you, they will often harm themselves in an effort to bring you down (lose, lose). And you can’t kill everyone (people have tried). Someone inevitably survives and kills the hated.

    As Edward Luttwak wrote, the use of power tends to increase power while the use of force consumes it. I would go one step further – the use of force, not only consume it, but also provokes reactions or counter-force.

    All great empire-building societies exercised wise (not foolish) and selective moderation in victory, even the Romans and the Mongols. The U.S. also did after World War II. They made peace after war, not because they were good, but because that’s what enhanced their power. The problem with today’s dominant forces in the U.S. is that they lack this wisdom and revel in humiliating the defeated. They seem not to realize that this is likely to end in lose, lose for both them and the rest of us.

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