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Rome - the eternal recurrence

by Ted Welch Sun Mar 3rd, 2013 at 06:24:40 PM EST

History repeats itself as farce ?


As I left Rome after a recent trip the Italians voted. The winner was widely thought to be the comedian become political agitator, Bepe Grillo, whose party became a powerful new force. Grillo had been backed by Dario Fo, a popular political playwright:

"Grillo is like a character in one of my plays," says Dario Fo, whose satires on medieval and modern life have seen him handed a Nobel prize and hounded off Italian stages in a career that has covered 50 years. "He is from that school of medieval minstrels who played with paradox and the absurd," adds Fo.

Fo, 86, is best known for his play Accidental Death of an Anarchist, inspired by the death of a man in police custody in 1969, and has long been a leftwing hero in Italy. He publicly backed Grillo this year, co-writing a book on the comedian's fledgling political movement and giving him a ringing endorsement at a packed rally in Milan's Piazza Duomo days before the election.
The real trap for Grillo, warns Fo, is being beguiled by flattery. Turning again to history, he cites Cola Di Rienzo, the charismatic son of a tavern owner in the 14th century who wooed Romans with his oratory and became the city's leader, setting his sights high and ousting corrupt noble families, only to see his support slip away before he was murdered by a mob as he sought to flee in disguise.


But in Rome one is taken back long before the time of the Rienzo. A chance link, a quotation under a bust in the National Museum, took me to Appian, one of the lesser-known ancient historians. He had a remarkably Marxist approach, emphasising class-struggle and showing how little things have changed. Then as now a wealthy elite manipulated the already sophisticated political system, and resorted to violence when the opposition became too threatening to their interests:


To show how these things came about I have written and compiled this narrative, which is well worth the study of those who wish to know the measureless ambition of men, their dreadful lust of power, their unwearying perseverance, and the countless forms of evil.

Appian, Civil Wars p.14

At length Tiberius Sempronius Gracchus, an illustrious man, eager for glory, a most powerful speaker, and for these reasons well known to all, delivered an eloquent discourse, while serving as tribune, concerning the Italian race, lamenting that a people so valiant in war, and blood relations to the Romans, were declining little by little in pauperism and paucity of numbers without any hope of remedy.

... After speaking thus he again brought forward the law, providing that nobody should hold more than 500 jugera of the public domain. But he added a provision to the former law, that the sons of the present occupiers might each hold one-half of that amount, and that the remainder should be divided among the poor by triumvirs, who should be changed annually.

This was extremely disturbing to the rich because, on account of the triumvirs, they could no longer disregard the law as they had done before; nor could they buy the allotments of others, because Gracchus had provided against this by forbidding sales. They collected together in groups, and made lamentation, and accused the poor of appropriating the results of their tillage, their vineyards, and their dwellings.

(Led by Nasica) the Senate ... wrested clubs out of the hands of the Gracchans themselves, or with fragments of broken benches or other apparatus that had been brought for the use of the assembly, began beating them, and pursued them, and drove them over the precipice. In the tumult many of the Gracchans perished, and Gracchus himself was caught near the temple, and was slain at the door close by the statues of the kings. All the bodies were thrown by night into the Tiber.

So perished on the Capitol, and while still tribune, Gracchus, the son of the Gracchus who was twice consul, and of Cornelia, daughter of that Scipio who subjugated Carthage ... This shocking affair, the first that was perpetrated in the public assembly, was seldom without parallels thereafter from time to time. On the subject of the murder of Gracchus the city was divided between sorrow and joy. Some mourned for themselves and for him, and deplored the present condition of things, believing that the commonwealth no longer existed, but had been supplanted by force and violence. Others considered that everything had turned out for them exactly as they wished.

Appian: Gracchus


"I am pessimistic. Nothing will change," said Luciana Li Mandri, 37, as she cast a ballot in the Sicilian capital Palermo on the first of two days of voting that continues on Monday.

"The usual thieves will be in government."


Meanwhile - in Rome, "the eternal city" - the photos:

View from the hotel terrace near Piazza Navona looking towards St. Peter's:


In the Vatican:


The Laocoon:


"This will make a great barbecue":


On the bridge by Castel Sant'Angelo:


The Stadium of Domitian, now under Piazza Navona:


The Stadium was used almost entirely for athletic contests. For "a few years", following fire-damage to the Colosseum in 217 AD, it was used for gladiator shows. According to the Historia Augusta's garish account of the Emperor Elagabalus, the arcades were used as brothels and the emperor Severus Alexander funded his restoration of the Stadium partly with tax-revenue from the latter ...

With the economic and political crises of the later Imperial and post-Imperial eras the Stadium seems to have fallen out of its former use; the arcades provided living quarters for the poor and the arena a meeting place.

... Substantial portions of the structure survived into the Renaissance era, when they were mined and robbed for building materials.

The Piazza Navona sits over the interior arena of the Stadium. The sweep of buildings that embrace the Piazza incorporate the Stadium's original lower arcades.


Looking out to Piazza Navona:


Later I stayed in an apartment in San Lorenzo, the Aurelian Wall was at the end of my street, Via de Sabelli:


Aurelian ... was Roman Emperor from 270 to 275. During his reign, he defeated the Alamanni after a devastating war. He also defeated the Goths, Vandals,Juthungi, Sarmatians, and Carpi. Aurelian restored the Empire's eastern provinces after his conquest of the Palmyrene Empire in 273. The following year he conquered the Gallic Empire in the west, reuniting the Empire in its entirety. He was also responsible for the construction of the Aurelian Walls in Rome ...

It was a working class area but is becoming trendier and in my street there were two very nice bars: the Odd Room, and Rive Gauche - the names say it all.

The Odd Room:


Rive Gauche:


The National museum, with beautifully lit sculpture:


The one thing I really wanted to see in the National Museum was the famous bronze sculpture of a boxer, unfortunately it seemed to be the one thing missing, but there was at least a very good video showing it from various angles and in close-up:


The bronze Boxer of Quirinal, also known as the Terme Boxer, is a Hellenistic Greek sculpture dated around 330 B.C. of a sitting boxer with Caestus, a type of leather hand-wrap, in the collection of the National Museum of Rome.
The statue is a masterpiece of Hellenistic athletic professionalism, with a top-heavy over-muscled torso and scarred face, cauliflower ears, broken nose, and a mouth suggesting broken teeth...


The sculpture is soldered together from eight separately cast segments. The lips and wounds and scars about the face were originally inlaid with copper, and further copper inlays on the right shoulder, forearm, oxeis himantes and thigh represented drops of blood.


A ghostly reflection of a statue of Augustus, with a modern propaganda tool in the background:



Early porn - very hard - but it's OK, she's a daughter of goddess Niobe, trying to pull an arrow out of her back:



Then there's decadence from Asia Minor:

a-hermaphrodite-rome-2013-03357 copy

a-hermaphrodite-rome-2013-03358 copy

"I seem to have a red cast in the photo and lots of phallic symbols."


Trevi fountain:


When in Rome:


Cold play:


Trastevere - too full of young American tourists; I preferred San Lorenzo:


Wine bar, Trastevere - togetherness:


Trastevere, fountain and Apollo montage:


Arch of Constantine with Colosseum in the background:



This is no triumph to be celebrated by any rational person, Constantine made Christianity the official religion of the Empire giving it enormous power which it used to stifle science and anyone who raised questions the Church thought dangerous, even killing Bruno, one of their own, but one who dared to think outside Church dogma.

Giordano Bruno, Campo Fiori:


After the Roman Inquisition found him guilty of heresy, he was burned at the stake. After his death he gained considerable fame, particularly among 19th- and early 20th-century commentators who, focusing on his astronomical beliefs, regarded him as a martyr for free thought and modern scientific ideas.


The Pantheon - a lovely quiet evening in the piazza, unlike Cour Saleya in Nice, not a single motorbike disturbed the peace. With very few customers, the Rumanian waitress, who spoke very good English as well as Italian, told me her opinion of the various nationalities she dealt with. The French were difficult, the Spanish rude, Americans were happy, the Brits OK, and the Italians enjoyed life, while the Rumanians remained rather depressed. But she was doing well enough to being going on holiday in Mexico in a week's time to get warm:



The Colosseum - on a cold, moonlit night, with almost nobody else around - an atmosphere to reflect in peace on the violent events these walls had seen:



Violent death was not confined to the Colosseum, as the story of Gracchus reminds us. But at least, Nasica, the leader of the massacre of Gracchus and followers, paid dearly for it:

When threatened with impeachment, Nasica was reassigned to Asia to remove him from the city. The People made no attempt to conceal their hatred of him, accosting him publicly, cursing him and calling him a tyrant. Nasica wandered, despised and outcast, until he died shortly later near Pergamum.


If only such a fate had come to Berlusconi years ago - instead he's back after offering bribes to the electorate - tragedy is replaced by farce.

"Bloody imperialists - I'm going Left!"


So I'll end - in the spirit of the absurd - with an excellent clown in Piazza Navona:

"Go Left young man"


To the next diary:


European Tribune - Rome - the eternal recurrence
the arcades were used as brothels

Online Etymology Dictionary

fornication (n.)
c.1300, from Old French fornicacion (12c.), from Late Latin fornicationem (nominative fornicatio), noun of action from pp. stem of fornicari "fornicate," from Latin fornix (genitive fornicis) "brothel" (Juvenal, Horace), originally "arch, vaulted chamber" (Roman prostitutes commonly solicited from under the arches of certain buildings), from fornus "oven of arched or domed shape."
by afew (afew(a in a circle)eurotrib_dot_com) on Mon Mar 4th, 2013 at 05:54:45 AM EST
Fabulous! I'll be back several times, I'm sure.

'tis strange I should be old and neither wise nor valiant. From "The Maid's Tragedy" by Beaumont & Fletcher
by Wife of Bath (kareninaustin at g mail dot com) on Mon Mar 4th, 2013 at 04:54:09 PM EST

Thanks - there is so much more to see, I might return soon.

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.

by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Tue Mar 5th, 2013 at 04:13:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Drop me a line the next time you're in town- and I extend it to all. If gk is around too we can arrange a micro meet-up over drinks or whatnot. MillMan looked me up in August 2009. Alas, I missed stormy present once as she whisped through town.

You need several lifetimes to see all the Romes here.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Thu Mar 7th, 2013 at 10:47:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
i've actually been there a number of times recently, though sometimes very briefly (such as a 3-hour visit to go to the Israeli Embassy to request a certificate of good conduct, or stopping there for the day on the way back from Naples). This time I'm arrriving late May 10 and leaving early May 13. The Sunday is pretty busy (Scuderie del Quirinale and the opera), but I have no specific plans for Saturday the 11th.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Fri Mar 8th, 2013 at 03:24:29 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Tiziano? I'd be glad to meet for an aperitif, and if that degenerates into a dinner, that's great by me, whether it's enotecas or Roman cuisine. We can work it out through email.
by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Fri Mar 8th, 2013 at 04:21:49 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Yes, that's the one. I'll contact you by email shortly before.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Sun Mar 10th, 2013 at 08:51:05 AM EST
[ Parent ]
I'll be there second weekend in May.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Tue Mar 5th, 2013 at 04:16:39 PM EST
[ Parent ]
They all speak foreign and pretend - no matter HOW LOUD YOU SHOUT - they don't understand simple English.


She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Tue Mar 5th, 2013 at 05:47:27 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Giordano Bruno's fame in the nineteenth century was due more to the Risorgimento and consequential anti-clerical exorcism of the Catholic Church's temporal power. He was treated as a lay saint by both the left and the right in the recently united Italy. Although a major impetus came from the academic world, the primary interest in Giordano Bruno was political.

It was not until the early twentieth century that systematic studies of his philosophical work were undertaken. His astronomical skills were naïve, smothered in hermetic notions. What did count was his visionary capacity to understand the major revolution in thought brought about by Kepler, Copernicus and Galileo and his outright obstinacy and pride in defending his philosophy to his death. (One wonders if a Heidegger would have been capable of such a choice...)

The events surrounding the statue are well worth the tale. It was initially sponsored by the academic world but gathered impetus under the guidance of the masonry and a broad political backing. The Church fought against the project as an outrage to God. There was no serious attempt at compromise- the proposal to erect it in the university for example- since the promoters saw its placement in Campo de' Fiori as the ideal vindication of free thought and tolerance over religious obscurantism, "an honour for the Italian nation."

The original project was to have Bruno's arm raised, popular iconography at the time as reflected in the French Statue of Liberty. Fortunately the more meditative posture won the day. The Jesuits were very vehement, promising hell and brim fire if the statue were raised, and saw ominous portents of God's displeasure in the natural calamities that struck Italy at the time. The celebration lasted three days and the army was put on alert in the caserns throughout the city. The black nobility, ever faithful, fled the city, and under the torrid heat of that fateful day, June 9th, 1889, the pope fasted, prostrated at the feet of St. Peter's statue, while "the satanic orgy" carried on. As late as 1929, the Church sought the destruction of this offence to God, but the pragmatic atheist Mussolini would have none of it.

In order to erect the statue, the fountain was removed and ended up to this day in front of Chiesa Nuova. The statue does not mark the spot where Bruno was burned. The French ambassador who then resided in a palace near via Balestrari often complained of the burning of heretics in Campo de' Fiori for the stench and sorts. Since the French crown had interceded for clemency towards Bruno, the Church saw fit to burn him right under the French ambassador's window.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Mon Mar 4th, 2013 at 06:45:53 PM EST
Thanks for the additional information on Bruno. He is someone I can empathize with, though maybe not as far as the fire:

But Bruno's taste for free thinking and forbidden books soon caused him difficulties, and given the controversy he caused in later life it is surprising that he was able to remain within the monastic system for eleven years.
Things apparently went well for Bruno for a time, as he entered his name in the Rector's Book of the University of Geneva in May 1579. But in keeping with his personality he could not long remain silent. In August he published an attack on the work of Antoine de la Faye, a distinguished professor. He and the printer were promptly arrested. Rather than apologizing, Bruno insisted on continuing to defend his publication.


As a result he led a very cosmopolitan and often successful intellectual life, helped by the fact that Latin was the language of the church and academia. After Geneva:

He left for France, arriving first in Lyon, and thereafter settling for a time (1580-1581) in Toulouse, where he took his doctorate in theology and was elected by students to lecture in philosophy.  It seems he also attempted at this time to return to the Catholic fold, but was denied absolution by the Jesuit priest he approached. When religious strife broke out in the summer of 1581, he relocated to Paris. There he held a cycle of thirty lectures on theological topics, and he also began to gain fame for his prodigious memory. Bruno's feats of memory were based, at least in part, on his elaborate system of mnemonics
In April 1583, Bruno went to England with letters of recommendation from Henry III as a guest of the French ambassador, Michel de Castelnau. There he became acquainted with the poet Philip Sidney (to whom he dedicated two books) and other members of the Hermetic circle around John Dee, though there is no evidence that Bruno ever met Dee himself. He also lectured at Oxford, and unsuccessfully sought a teaching position there. His views spurred controversy ...Some of the works that Bruno published in London, notably The Ash Wednesday Supper, appear to have given offense. It was not the first time, nor was it to be the last, that Bruno's controversial views coupled with his abrasive sarcasm lost him the support of his friends.

(No change there then :-) )

In October 1585, after the French embassy in London was attacked by a mob, Bruno returned to Paris with Castelnau, finding a tense political situation. Moreover, his 120 theses against Aristotelian natural science and his pamphlets against the mathematician Fabrizio Mordente soon put him in ill favor. In 1586, following a violent quarrel about Mordente's invention, the differential compass, he left France for Germany.
In Germany he failed to obtain a teaching position at Marburg, but was granted permission to teach at Wittenberg, where he lectured on Aristotle for two years. However, with a change of intellectual climate there, he was no longer welcome, and went in 1588 to Prague, where he obtained 300 talerfrom Rudolf II, but no teaching position. He went on to serve briefly as a professor in Helmstedt, but had to flee again when he was excommunicatedby the Lutherans.
The year 1591 found him in Frankfurt. Apparently, during the Frankfurt Book Fair, he received an invitation to Venice from the patrician Giovanni Mocenigo, who wished to be instructed in the art of memory, and also heard of a vacant chair in mathematics at the University of Padua. Apparently believing that the Inquisition might have lost some of its impetus, he returned to Italy.

Big mistake, he was arrested in Venice, then the Roman Inquisition demanded that he was sent to them and he was in prison for 7 years but remained uncowed to the end:

On January 20, 1600, Pope Clement VIII declared Bruno a heretic and the Inquisition issued a sentence of death. According to the correspondence of one Gaspar Schopp of Breslau, he is said to have made a threatening gesture towards his judges and to have replied:

"Maiori forsan cum timore sententiam in me fertis quam ego accipiam (Perhaps you pronounce this sentence against me with greater fear than I receive it)."

The continued hypocrisy of the Catholic church comes as no surprise, but is still sickening:

 On the 400th anniversary of Bruno's death, in 2000, Cardinal Angelo Sodano declared Bruno's death to be a "sad episode" but, despite his regret, he defended Bruno's prosecutors, maintaining that the Inquisitors "had the desire to serve freedom and promote the common good and did everything possible to save his life."

Maybe it's because I'm a Londoner - that I moved to Nice.
by Ted Welch (tedwelch-at-mac-dot-com) on Tue Mar 5th, 2013 at 04:12:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I actually visited a seminar on him this weekend.

"He went on to serve briefly as a professor in Helmstedt, but had to flee again when he was excommunicatedby the Lutherans."

Almost in rooms he did use then!

by IM on Sun Mar 10th, 2013 at 02:49:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Bruno had an unwavering ecumenical idea that all religions should unite as one. He racked up one excommunication after another- Romans, Calvinists, Lutherans. He did indeed have a visionary concept of the universe very close to our modern understanding of the cosmos. He praised Copernicus but criticised him because Copernicus hadn't the vision to understand the consequences of his heliocentric revolution. Bruno tore apart Aristotle's cosmological hierarchy that Copernicus also stuck to, and postulated that the universe was infinite with infinite suns, worlds and inhabitants.  

The thing about him is that he was undoubtedly a genius far too aware of his qualities, an exceptional orator, gifted with a prodigious memory, and a bon vivant. His undoing was his pride and arrogance that made him numerous enemies. It was a clumsy, low brow Venetian patrician, Giovanni Mocenigo, who denounced him to the Venetian Inquisition. Mocenigo lived under the illusion that Bruno was a sort of magician who could turn him into dashing and engaging personality in no time flat. Bruno found his student to be a dimwit who made no progress in learning his mnemonic system and quickly tired of his host. Perhaps Bruno was brash or inclined to make disparaging remarks but his decision to move on was ill received by Mocenigo who revenged himself, accusing Bruno of all sorts of heretical opinions- which were probably true by the standards of those days. The Venetian Inquisition would probably have left him off if Rome hadn't been so insistent on getting their silk mitts on him.

I think there's an allusion in Shakespeare to Mocenigo but it's still controversial as to what influence Bruno, through Florio, may have had on the Bard. Some assert that Bruno is behind some speeches in The Tempest, and is alluded to in Much Ado about Nothing.

by de Gondi (publiobestia aaaatttthotmaildaughtusual) on Sun Mar 10th, 2013 at 03:46:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
There's something about monotheistic religions that makes people looney-tunes.  I've read several suggestions.  None of them hit the mark.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Mar 5th, 2013 at 04:12:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
it's the cognitive dissonance.

god is love, but will send you to hell if...

god is mercy, but anyone unbaptised will suffer eternal torture.

priests are emissaries of god, followers of a pauper shepherd, but their lives are lived in silks and satins, and the communion wine is drunk from a golden chalice.
that's just christianity, the others i don't know from the inside.

crazy-making spiritual diet.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Mar 5th, 2013 at 05:26:35 PM EST
[ Parent ]
That's one.  Doesn't address the hypocrisy and sociopathy that seems to drag along with monotheism.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Tue Mar 5th, 2013 at 05:45:46 PM EST
[ Parent ]
hypocrisy is even more endemic than bad religion, mono- or poly-theistic.

plenty of sociopath atheists too.

these pathologies are way older than religion, religion was probably fostered in order to try to educate people to think beyond their own immediate needs.

epic fail... religion has never transcended tribalism. spirituality on the other hand...

one depends on teaching so-called moral precepts without critical thinking, the other is about passing on situational awareness.

thanks for the erudite diary, ted. between the election and the vatican to-do's italy is unually in the global spotlight, at a crossroads.

fine pics, as usual too!

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty

by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Tue Mar 5th, 2013 at 08:47:36 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I'd say it's pretty simple: the end justifies the means. and when the end is eternal bliss (ie absolute), the means can be as ugly as you want.

Wind power
by Jerome a Paris (etg@eurotrib.com) on Sun Mar 10th, 2013 at 08:48:22 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Polytheism implicitly allows that truth may be multiple or partial, and that it's OK if power is not concentrated in one omnipotent entity.

Monotheism, by construction, contradicts this; and therein lies its quintessential evil.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Wed Mar 13th, 2013 at 08:36:03 AM EST
[ Parent ]
What is your sample of "monotheistic religions?"

How many of them did not evolve from the death spasms of the Roman empire?1

I would propose that having its formative centuries shaped by the idiosyncrasies of a brutally oppressive empire in violent decline is, eh, unlikely to be the most constructive possible baggage for a religion to carry around.

- Jake

1Yes, I count Judaism in its modern form as a post-Roman construct - claiming historical continuity to the pre-Diaspora era is as far-fetched as England claiming historical continuity to pre-Saxon times.

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Mar 13th, 2013 at 11:57:28 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Zoroastrianism? Judaism? Christianity? Islam? Baha'i?

Are there any more?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS

by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 13th, 2013 at 12:24:56 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Also Sikhism.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 13th, 2013 at 12:25:55 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Rastafaris. Cao Dai. Druze.

Is it possible to regard Hong Xiuquan (younger brother of Jesus Christ) as having founded a now-extinct monotheistic religion in China?

by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Mar 13th, 2013 at 12:38:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
But the Bible was written around 600 BC, and that's where God's orders to exterminate Amalek (subsequently interpreted to mean the Armenians/Nazis/Palestinians/Obama etc) along with everyone else who doesn't worship God in exactly the right way comes from.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Mar 13th, 2013 at 12:40:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Axial Age insanity?

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 13th, 2013 at 12:41:24 PM EST
[ Parent ]
In other words, debt?
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Mar 13th, 2013 at 12:42:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Debt monetization, actually.

I distribute. You re-distribute. He gives your hard-earned money to lazy scroungers. -- JakeS
by Carrie (migeru at eurotrib dot com) on Wed Mar 13th, 2013 at 12:47:12 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I would propose that what is and is not written in the holy book has only a fairly Platonic relationship to the actual religious institutions that happen to claim religious continuity with the authors of the holy book.

- Jake

Friends come and go. Enemies accumulate.

by JakeS (JangoSierra 'at' gmail 'dot' com) on Wed Mar 13th, 2013 at 01:50:17 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I think this depends on the religion. Religiious Jews strictly observe all 613 commandments. As you can see, they come from the Bible, and many of them are observed literaly - though some, especially the financial ones (jubilee etc) are, of course, interpreted away.
by gk (gk (gk quattro due due sette @gmail.com)) on Wed Mar 13th, 2013 at 03:00:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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