July 2017


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July 9th, 2017

draconis: Default icon (Default)
Sunday, July 9th, 2017 09:05 pm
I've recently begun re-reading a book by one of my favorite authors, Jim Butcher: "The Aeronaut's Windlass." He has one of those conversations in it that makes you stop and think -- or at least it made me do so.

The conversation is about dueling. The first speaker is saying that dueling is outdated, no longer necessary.


"We're a civilized society, are we not?"

Esterbrook blinked. "Since when, miss? We're a democracy."

"Just what I mean We have dispensed with violence as a means of governing ourselves, have we not?"

"The heart of democracy is violence, Miss Tagwynn," Esterwood said. "In order to decide what to do, we take a count of everone for and against it, and then do whatever the larger side wishes to do. We're having a symbolic battle, its outcome decided by simple numbers. It saves us time and no end of trouble counting actual bodies -- but don't mistake it for anything but ritualized violence. And every few years, if the person we elected doesn't do the job we wanted, we vote him out of office -- we symbolically behead him and replace him with someone else. Again, without the actual pain and bloodshed, bit acting out the ritual of violence nonetheless. It's actually a very practical way of getting things done."


An interesting way of looking at it. Thank you, Jim Butcher