I came across the following in my reading a few months back. I had not
expected to see it acted out in American society, circa 1993.
"Feudal society was so granular in structure, composed of such
compact curds, that any individual who attempted to remove himself from
the close and omnipresent conviviality, to be alone, to construct his
own private enclosure, to cultivate his garden, immediately became an
object of either suspicion or admiration, regarded as either a rebel or
a hero and in either case considered 'foreign' --- the antithesis of
'private.' The person who stood apart, even if his intention was not
deliberately to commit evil, was inevitably destined to do so, for his
very isolation made him more vulnerable to the Enemy's attacks. No one
would run such a risk who was not deviant or possessed or mad; it was
commonly believed that solitary wandering was a symptom of insanity.
Men and women who traveled the roads without escort were believed to
offer themselves up as prey, so it was legitimate to take everything
they had. In any case, it was a pious work to place them back in some
community, regardless of what they might say, to restore them by force
to that clearly ordered and well-managed world where God intended them
to be, a world composed of private enclosures and the public spaces
between them, through which people moved only in cortege."
Georges Duby, A HISTORY OF PRIVATE LIFE:
REVELATIONS OF THE MEDIEVAL WORLD
It would seem that human nature is indeed a constant, and that we are
no better than our redneck peasant ancestors. The difference today, of
course, is that we have Federal agencies do the dirty work for us. It
is evident that the people at Mount Carmel --- those who survive the
siege, that is --- will be sent, one and all, to prisons and mental
hospitals; that their property will be confiscated down to the shirts
on their backs; and that the juveniles among them will be put in foster
homes. All this, for a weapons-possession charge, the moral equivalent
Remember, gang, the ATF attack on this place was predicated on the
assumption that no one would object, because no one would care, because
after all the Davidians are a bunch of weirdos, and it's OK to shoot
Check out today's WALL STREET JOURNAL for a letter to the editor
comparing this to the SS attack on the Warsaw Ghetto. We're not all
taking it lying down.
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