Author Archives: jimmie

A Tale of Two Cultures (America and Russia)

When events do not make sense or are such as sense cannot untie,(1) an option is to forget all about them – the head-in-the-sand solution. Another is to remember that man is but a quintessence of dust (2) and often, … Continue reading

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Decline and Fall of the Western World

Comparisons are often like bikinis, what they reveal is suggestive, what they conceal is vital. The principle equally applies when comparing the history of nations, as implied in the title, which echoes Gibbon’s 6-book, monumental “Decline and Fall of the … Continue reading

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Gorbachev, Trajectories of Opinions

All that lives must die, passing through nature to eternity, (1) and from this point of view Gorbachev’s life is no different. Especially when equally remembering that all the world is a stage and all men and women merely players … Continue reading

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Gulliver’s Travels

Does art imitate nature or is nature herself inherently artistic? The debate has engaged the minds and pens of many critics and philosophers. But, given that comedy is equally a form of art, when man becomes unintentionally comic, is his … Continue reading

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Democracy in America

Words being arbitrary, they owe their power to association, and have the influence which custom has given them – for language is the dress of thought. Therefore on hearing the words “Democracy in America,” some will think of Alexis de … Continue reading

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The Reason for Things

The mythical average citizen probably believes that the universe is under the perpetual superintendence of uncontrollable forces. And that the hallucinating social changes currently occurring – and of which he is sometimes the victim – are akin to a force … Continue reading

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The Masking of the Obvious

An Eastern monarch, of whom we know the existence but not the name, kept an officer in his house whose employment it was to remind him of his mortality, by calling out every morning at a stated hour, “Remember prince … Continue reading

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Putin, Macron, Biden

“One, no-one, one hundred thousand” is the title of a novel by Italian author Luigi Pirandello. ‘One’ refers to the image that everyone has of himself, ‘no one’ refers to what the protagonist decides to be at the end of … Continue reading

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The Curious History of American Exceptionalism

Francois Mitterrand, the longest serving president of France (1981-1985), not long before he died (1996), made this quite extraordinary statement: “France does not know it, but she is at war with America. A permanent, vital, economic war, and only apparently … Continue reading

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Ukraine, The Fumes of Madness

In about 50 BC the Latin poet Publilius Syrus said, “By knowing nothing, life is most delightful” (In nil sapiendo vita iucundissima est.) And in 1788 English poet Thomas Gray rendered the idea in English, “Where Ignorance is Bliss, It … Continue reading

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