Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Diversion with Shakespeare

... and it’s nice to know that Schramm has personality qualities that are like generosity. In honor of Schramm while he’s away, I’m posting a quote from Shakespeare. I thought of this quote while we were invading Iraq but did not have time to post it when it was relevant.

Lincoln thought Macbeth was the perfect play because it taught everything there is to know about tyranny. I was reminded of this when Saddam’s Fedayeen started harassing American supply lines on the long march to Baghdad. Secretary Rumsfeld and the rent-a-generals on TV called the Fedayeen "dead-enders" and the "bitter-enders." The Fedayeen were the most vicious elements of Iraqi society. In a free society, they would be on the street or in jail, but tyrants sooner or later rely on them to keep decent people in line. Shakespeare makes this observation when he has Macbeth hire Banquo’s murderers:

Murd. 2: I am one, my liege, Whom the vile blows and buffets of the world Have so incensed that I am reckless what I do to spite the world.

Murd. 1: And I another So weary with disasters, tugg’d with fortune, That I would set my life on any chance, To mend it, or be rid on’t.

Macbeth, III.i.108-14.

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