On the other hand…

Why the mob may want to consider murder and mayhem. With apologies to the Archpriest of Hita.

Stork's-eye view of a frog.

Stork's-eye view of a frog. Image: jeffreyw.

Re: The trias politica is completely fucked and un(un)fuckable:

  • The legislature is a partocracy whose function is to rubber stamp generally irrelevant and/or unenforceable laws which will encourage the great stupid masses to place crosses in the right box at the next elections.
  • The executive is (was, has always been) the master of this process and distributes the proceeds correspondingly.
  • The judiciary had the decency to oppose the pardon issued by the PSOE and PP to the Santander mafia banker, Alfredo Sáenz, but has just concluded that it would be unwise to enforce a prison sentence handed down to the Catalan nationalists who ran an embezzlement/party funding scheme in the 90s (sic: they were given time to die or perfect their Alzheimer theatre classes) on the grounds that they might be pardoned at some time in the future.

A situation where no one with sufficient wealth, social status and/or political influence is ever in the slightest danger of being seriously kicked off their pedestal clearly has more to do with a sense of divine right than with modern, liberal democracy, and the following description may ring true:

Yo creo que el rey en su regno ha poder
de dar fueros et leyes, e derechos faser:
d’esto manda faser libros, e quadernos componer:
para quien fase el yerro qué pena debe haber.

Acaesçe, que alguno fase grant traición,
ansí que por el fuero debe morir con raçón,
pero por los privados, que en su ayuda son,
si piden merçed al rey, dal’ complido perdón.

O si por aventura aqueste que lo erró,
al rey en algund tiempo atanto le servió,
que piedat e serviçio mucho al rey movió,
porque del yerro fecho complido perdón le dio.

Et ansí como por fuero avía de morir,
el fasedor del fuero non lo quier’ consentir,
dispensa contra el fuero e déxalo vevir;
quien puede faser leyes, puede contra ellas ir.

Arcipreste de Hita’s Book of Good Love‘s politicology is a splendid jumble, so we have to traverse several love affairs before we arrive at Aesop’s well-known explanation as to how such a state of affairs may arise:

Enxiemplo de las ranas, en cómo demandavan rey a don Júpiter

Las ranas en un lago cantavan et jugavan,
cosa non las nusía, bien solteras andavan,
creyeron al diablo, que d’el mal se pagavan,
pidieron rey a don Júpiter, mucho gelo rogavan.

Embioles don Júpiter una biga de lagar
la mayor qu’él pudo; cayó en ese lugar,
el grand golpe del fuste fiso las ranas callar,
mas vieron que non era rey para las castigar.

Suben sobre la biga quantas podían sobir,
dixieron: ‘Non es este rey para lo nos servir.’
Pidieron rey a don Júpiter, como lo solían pedir:
don Júpiter con saña óvolas de oír.

Embioles por su rey cigüeña mansillera,
cercava todo el lago, ansí fas’ la ribera,
andando pico abierta, como era ventenera,
de dos en dos las ranas comía bien ligera.

Querellando a don Júpiter, dieron voçes las ranas:
‘Señor, señor, acórrenos, tú que matas et sanas,
‘el rey, que tú nos diste por nuestras voses vanas,
‘danos muy malas tardes, et peores mañanas,

‘su vientre nos sotierra, su pico nos estraga,
‘de dos en dos nos come, nos abarca, et nos astraga;
‘señor, tú nos defiende, señor, tú ya nos paga,
‘danos la tu ayuda, tira de nos tu plaga.’

Respondioles don Júpiter: ‘Tened lo que pidistes,
‘el rey tan demandado por quantas voses distes,
‘vengue vuestra locura, ca en poco tovistes
‘ser libres et sin premia: reñid, pues lo quisistes.’

Quien tiene lo que l’ cumple, con ello sea pagado,
quien puede ser suyo, non sea enagenado,
el que non toviere premia, non quiera ser premiado
libertad e soltura non es por oro complado.

The pub calls, so this time I won’t quote from Chaves Nogales’ brilliant, devastating eye-witness account of the suicide of the Third Republic (via). Many Spanish, who don’t read very much, particularly beyond their borders, are hungrily looking for parallels in 1930s Spain, but France may be closer to the mark, and even then we’re still a long way off.

I’m still travelling and Kindle-bound, but should get time to fulfil debts to paper next week.

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Published
Last updated 03/05/2013

Aesop's Fables (1):

Alfredo Sáenz Abad (2): Alfredo Sáenz Abad is a Spanish businessman who was the CEO and Vice-Chairman of the Spanish bank Santander Group, the largest bank in the Eurozone and one of the largest banks in the world in terms of market capitalisation.

Arcipreste de Hita (2):

French Third Republic (1): The French Third Republic was the system of government adopted in France from 1870, when the Second French Empire collapsed during the Franco-Prussian War, until 10 July 1940 after France's defeat by Nazi Germany in World War II led to the formation of the Vichy government in France. The early days of the Third Republic were dominated by political disruptions caused by the Franco-Prussian War of 1870–71, which the Republic continued to wage after the fall of Emperor Napoleon III in 1870.

Kaleboel (4324):

King Stork (1):

Libro de buen amor (1):

Manuel Chaves Nogales (2): Manuel Chaves Nogales was a Spanish journalist and writer.


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