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“Nineteen hundred years ago — the other day…”

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Ken MacLeod’s got an interesting post up on the death of the Pope, which resolves itself with this paragraph:

Like the Dalai Lama and Nelson Mandela, he became a figurehead of an
inchoate global humanism that has little to do with what he (and the
others) specifically stand for. Fidel Castro is an awkward fourth in
that company, but – like it or not – he belongs in it. All four of
these old men have their roots in the Cold War, of which they are the
last men standing. It’s a measure of the strangeness of the New World
Order that they all, in very contradictory ways, have become icons of
its discontents.

Interesting to see it this way. As the product of some 15 years of Catholic education, I have a very hard time seeing anything but the worst from the Church and its Prince. Let’s just say, true to Buck Mulligan’s description of Stephen, I have the jesuit in me, only its injected the wrong way. But MacLeod’s is an interesting perspective on PJP… Strange to think of this last (or close to last) divine right absolutist as conversely the most global thing going, and in this sense the most modern, for better or worse. "That has little to do with what he… specifically stand[s] for…"

WWNS? (What would Negri say?)

An umbilical cord strecthed across the fragmentation of the centuries, back to Rome, Roman imperium, and "civilization" for good or ill.

Another student of the legacy and persistance of the "eternal city," Conrad:

I was thinking of very old times, when the Romans first came here,
nineteen hundred years ago — the other day. . . . Light came out of
this river since — you say Knights? Yes; but it is like a running
blaze on a plain, like a flash of lightning in the clouds. We live in
the flicker — may it last as long as the old earth keeps rolling!

UPDATE: Nice piece by Neal Ascherson at Open Democracy about the legacy of PJP…

Written by adswithoutproducts

April 3, 2005 at 1:53 am

Posted in Religion

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