Junior Ganymede
We endeavor to give satisfaction

Character is destiny

September 24th, 2012 by Vader

His Majesty sometimes has me read history, for my moral improvement. From Ivan’s War: Life and Death in the Red Army, 1939-1945:   

Ilya’s aunts had been involved in the revolutionary underground for decades. They were old hands by the time of Lenin’s coup of 1917. One had worked in a secret revolutionary group in Baku, the oil port on the Caspian Sea. It was there that she encountered the young man who later gave himself the name Stalin. Ilya’s own image of the future leader was shaped by a tale she liked to tell about his cruelty. One afternoon, she said, it must have been in April, sometime before 1904, she and a group of comrades were out for a walk. Their path lay by a river that had swollen after the spring thaw. A calf, newborn, still doubtful on its legs, had somehow become stranded on an island in the middle. The friends could hear its bleating above the roar of the waters, but no one dared to risk the torrent. No one, that is, except the Georgian, Koba, who ripped off his shirt and swam across. He reached the calf, hauled himself out to stand beside it, waited for all the friends to watch, and then he broke its legs.

I am reminded of the saying I once heard attributed to St. Irenaeus: Fortitude in an evil cause is no virtue.

Comments (9)
Filed under: There are monkey-boys in the facility | Tags: , ,
September 24th, 2012 16:14:19
9 comments

Zen
September 25, 2012

I have often wondered about this.

Saul, in is own way, was in better preparation to become Paul than were the majority of the Jews that did nothing.

The Lamanites were ready for a mighty repentance after being preached to by the sons of Mosiah, and later, the sons of Helaman, in spite of their sinful and polluted state.

So, was it a kind of virtue that they had, or not?


Adam G.
September 25, 2012

And have you noticed any marked improvement in your character, Herr Doktor Vader?


Vader
September 25, 2012

No.

But when I depart on some errand for His Majesty, and he tells me to “Break a leg”, I have to wonder now whether it’s just a figure of speech.


Vader
September 25, 2012

Zen,

I offer you a quote from Victor Hugo:

“Probity, sincerity, candor, conviction, the sense of duty, are things which may become hideous when wrongly directed; but which, even when hideous, remain grand: their majesty, the majesty peculiar to the human conscience, clings to them in the midst of horror; they are virtues which have one vice, – error. The honest, pitiless joy of a fanatic in the full flood of his atrocity preserves a certain lugubriously venerable radiance. Without himself suspecting the fact, Javert in his formidable happiness was to be pitied, as is every ignorant man who triumphs. Nothing could be so poignant and so terrible as this face, wherein was displayed all that may be designated as the evil of the good.”


Bookslinger
September 25, 2012

Please remember that Stalin killed many more than did Hitler. If you start counting at the Bolshevik revolution (1917), about 3 times as many as Hitler.

Mao/PRC, 1949 through 1987, killed even more than the Russians from 1917 through 1987.

http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/20TH.HTM

http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/MURDER.HTM

You can bookmark that site, or remember to just google “democide”, murder by government.


Agellius
September 25, 2012

Bookslinger:

Why doesn’t the United States appear in any of those tables? ; )


Bookslinger
September 28, 2012

It does. The Amer-Indian entry on the pre-20th century table covers that. Though that includes numbers throughout the continent, in North America by primarily British settlers, and Central/South America by primarily Spanish, and Portuguese.

Democide continued to happen long after the conquistadors.

One interesting factoid, is that there are virtually no full-blooded indigenous people left in Chile. They were systemically annihilated.


Vader
September 28, 2012

Can’t speak for Chile, but judging from the number of people I’ve known from Arkansas who claimed Indian ancestry, it was not so much annihilation as assimilation.


Bookslinger
September 28, 2012

er, systematically.

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