“Soft despotism is a term coined by Alexis de Tocqueville describing the state into which a country overrun by "a network of small complicated rules" might degrade. Soft despotism is different from despotism (also called 'hard despotism') in the sense that it is not obvious to the people."
Wednesday, September 20, 2006
Cedarford, Cedarford, Come Forth and Debate
Walking through the streets of a lovely medieval French town in Provence.....You know what it looks like, cobblestones, narrow streets, ancient doors, pedestrians only, winding rambling parts of old Europe. Lovely, lovely , lovely. I should have been munching on a baguette, but I wasn't. I enjoy looking at architectural details and one particular tiny street caught my attention. Halfway down this alley, a stone arch was built over the street connecting houses on opposite sides of the same street. Built over the arch was a house, so that the only way one could get through the area was to walk under this charming stone arch. On the other side of the arch were a small series of dead end streets and when you carried on walking for another seventy five yards and around the corner was built another arch connection.
The sign says "Street of Jews", a Jew Rue. I was in a small old Jewish Ghetto in a prosperous little town in French wine country. It was explained to me that when times got difficult, this tiny group of homes, maybe thirty, could brick in both arches, and this little part of town became refuge for the local Jewish merchants. They had food and provisions stored and could wait out the storm. They would often hire some mercenaires to provide additional protection from the rabble that would attempt to breach the walls. This became an accepted part of their life and culture.
Culture, architecture, history all help make us all who and what we are. The relationship between Christian and Jew often bubbles below the surface on most of C-4's excellent, well thought out and argued posts. Debate is limited at the BC, but things are different at The Elephant. C-4 has an opportunity to respond and engage in an open and frank debate , a no holds barred challenge to argue and convince or go down trying. The trunk of the Elephant is raised and the trumpet calls. Cedarford, Cedarford, Come Forth and Debate.