Tuesday, December 1, 2009

The Future of the United States...

...is 17th century Spain


rick allen said...

So I'm remembering your "I don't have the time I once did to spend with this thing," but I check back in, and lo and behold, time spent indeed.

"If Spain had spent less on war and more on peace it would have achieved world domination, but its greatness has made it careless, and riches that would have made it invincible have passed to other nations."

Diego Saavedra Fajardo, in 1640

A thought on the eve of the expected announcement of one more try in Afganistan.

But I'm not so entirely hard on seventeenth century Spain, as it gave us the melancholy absurdity of the great don Quijote de la Mancha, by whose strong right arm all the wrongs of the world were vanquished.

And I have to say that my adoptive home, la villa real de la Santa Fe de San Francisco de Assis, founded in the very late sixteenth century, came to flourish under its mostly negligent overlords in the seventeenth, and left the mixed legacy that endureth still.

Counterlight said...

It also gave us the painting of Velazquez, a wonderful painter, but a wonderful painter for an inflexible and unimaginative monarch.

rick allen said...

Cynical, but something to it:

"Don't be so gloomy. After all it's not that awful. Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock. So long Holly."

Counterlight said...

I remember that line from The Third Man.

Michelangelo and Leonardo would both have preferred democracy and peace.

Counterlight said...

I could be wrong, but the 17th century Dutch Republic was largely peaceful (relatively speaking) during Rembrandt's lifetime.