Division Of Labor

Some time ago we stopped caring what politicians said in the sense that we care about Pliny the Younger’s Panegyricus Traiani.  Politicians (or bureaucrats) also seem less inclined to be writers of fiction (think here of Chaucer’s Cantebury Tales – Chaucer was probably a spy, he was involved in the all important wool trade as a government official, etc.).

First, are my claims true?  Second, if they are true, why has this occurred?

I can answer the second question for myself.  Politics – being a politician – is now more of an all consuming career than it was in times past.  An example of this is the fact that Sen. Coburn may no longer keep up his practice as a physician because it was deemed unethical for him to do so; once you decide to run for Congress you basically abandon whatever career you had before hand.

I am not suggesting that this either a good or bad development; it is just different than was the case in times past.


Lost Kingdoms

Possibly my favorite of Europe’s “lost kingdoms” (my phrase).


Tacitus put these words into the mouth of Calgacus, one of the leaders of the Britons in opposition to Roman rule:

ubi solitudinem faciunt, pacem appellant


The Arch of Titus

No arch has inspired other arch builders than this one.  There is even a replica of said in New Hampshire.  I can think of no piece of Roman architecture which symbolizes what would happen to you and your people if you foolishly decided to defy Rome – or at least that is what the Romans were trying to portray (in fact lots of people did get away with defying Rome – be it the Parthians or the various Germanic tribes or the Picts).

Matthias Grunewald

John Fletcher

Shepherds all, and maidens fair, fold your folks up, for the air gins to thicken, and the sun already his great course hath run.

– John Fletcher, 1610

The Comstat Angels

Norwegian Open Prisons

Better Off Dead

Anti-Foreign Bias

Instead of looking at the events in Norway through the lens of any particular ideology, I would suggest that instead we view it as an extreme example of what Bryan Caplan calls “anti-foreign bias.” 

I’d say this is a pretty good example of what I am getting at. H/T Bryan Caplan

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