Words from the Grave…

July 31, 2006

Michael Holroyd, writing recently in the London Times Literary Supplement online edition (http://tls.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,25338-2277082,00.html) makes some interesting observations about what Bernard Shaw might have had to say about the current world politic. How much is Holroyd and how much is Shaw can probably only be determined by a literary scholar, which I am not, however, either way, the article offers value. Consider this paragraph: By the same token Shaw believed that the only revolutions which would not lead to counter-revolutions, landing us back to approximately where we had begun, were bloodless revolutions, revolutions that arose through changing the mind of a country by its writers, philosophers, thinkers, men and women of imagination. If you are bombed, for heaven’s sake, do not go blindly bombing back – unless you actually want more bombing, more deaths, indiscriminately all over the place. The way to judge people’s motives is to look at the results of their actions: that is the pragmatist’s philosophy. One of the ironies of history is that in most wars both sides eventually come to resemble each other and impose defeat on themselves. Or as Shaw succinctly put it: “A victory for anybody is a victory for war”. (Copyright 2006 The Times Literary Supplement Ltd.) What the Israeli’s (and the Palestinians) couldn’t learn from that! Thanks to Arthur Silber’s excellent blog, Once Upon a Time (at http://www.powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/) for bringing this interesting article to my attention.

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