Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Timeless Wisdom from Mark Twain about an Anarchist

The wisdom and timeless words of Mark Twain describing anarchist killer Luigi Luccheni seem to
fit Larry Gambone perfectly. Gambone is always dottering off about how old he is, but the rest fits
anarchist fools perfectly.

"And who is this miracle worker who has furnished to the world this spectacle? All ironies are compacted in the answer. He is at the bottom of the human ladder, as the accepted estimates of degree and value go: a spoiled and patched young loafer, without gifts, without talents, without education, without morals, without character, without any born charm or any acquired one that wins or beguiles or attracts; without a single grace of mind or heart or hand that any tramp or prostitute could admire him; an unfaithful private in the ranks, an incompetent stone cutter, an inefficient lackey; in a word a mangy, offensive, empty, unwashed, vulgar, gross, mephitic, sneaking, human polecat".

I encountered the quote in Claire Berlinski's Menace in Europe. The book is interesting but has a
few sections that are off. If you are interested in that theme stick with Bruce Bawer who treats the subject with much greater skill.

5 comments:

Always On Watch said...

Gotta love the acerbic satire of Mark Twain!

FJ said...

gee, that description fits the "drones" of Plato's "Republic" that are the ultimate cause of democracies reverting to tyranny's to a "t"...

Ducky's here said...

"I desire to add a word of my own to this report. When certain sorts of people do a sizable good deed, we credit them up a thousand-fold more for it than we would in the case of a better man -- on account of the strain. You stand far away above your classification record here, because of certain self-sacrifices of yours which greatly exceed what could have been expected of you.
Years ago, when you were worth only $100,000, and sent $2 to your impoverished cousin the widow when she appealed to you for help, there were many in heaven who were not able to believe it, and many more who believed that the money was counterfeit.
Your character went up many degrees when it was shown that these suspicions were unfounded. A year or two later, when you sent the poor girl $4 in answer to another appeal, everybody believed it, and you were all the talk here for days together. Two years later you sent $6, upon supplication, when the widow's youngest child died, and that act made perfect your good fame. Everybody in heaven said, "Have you heard about Abner?" -- for you are now affectionately called Abner here. Your increasing donation, every two or three years, has kept your name on all lips, and warm in all hearts. All heaven watches you Sundays, as you drive to church in your handsome carriage; and when your hand retires from the contribution plate, the glad shout is heard even to the ruddy walls of remote Sheol, "Another nickel from Abner!"
But the climax came a few days ago, when the widow wrote and said she could get a school in a far village to teach if she had $50 to get herself and her two surviving children over the long journey; and you counted up last month's clear profit from your three coal mines -- $22,230 -- and added to it the certain profit for the current month -- $45,000 and a possible fifty -- and then got down your pen and your checkbook and mailed her fifteen whole dollars!
Ah, heaven bless and keep you forever and ever, generous heart! There was not a dry eye in the realms of bliss; and amidst the hand-shakings, and embracings, and praisinqs, the decree was thundered forth from the shining mount, that this deed should outhonor all the historic self-sacrifices of men and angels, and be recorded by itself upon a page of its own, for that the Strain of it upon you had been heavier and bitterer than the strain it costs ten thousand martyrs to yield up their lives at the fiery stake; and all said, "What is the giving up of life, to a noble soul, or to ten thousand noble souls, compared with the giving up of fifteen dollars out of the greedy grip of the meanest white man that ever lived on the face of the earth?"
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Man, he sure understood the right. Check out "Letter to the Earth"

Beamish said...

All that from the man who advised aspiring writers...

"If you can capture an adjective, kill it." - Mark Twain

NuroSlam said...

Clemins was an anarchist. And this post has nothing to do with anarchy.