Tuesday, November 26, 2013

general notes, to refer to. partial repeat
MPAVictoria 07.09.13 at 5:58 pm
...Your impressions about how aristocratic they can be differ from mine. I have sat in on dinner parties where every single person there (besides me) arrived in an expensive German vehicle and listened to them complain about the gall of cashiers asking for 12 dollars an hour. So naturally your impressions made me curious.

Rakesh Bhandari 07.09.13 at 6:06 pm
Well that complaining does not seem very aristocratic to me, more petit-bourgeois.

Henry 07.09.13 at 6:09 pm
Rakesh – look up the etymology of the word aristocrat (‘aristoi’+'kratein’= …)
'Aristoi' - The best, the most noble.  Aristotle, Politics,  Book 4
The distribution of offices according to merit is a special characteristic of aristocracy, for the principle of an aristocracy is virtue, as wealth is of an oligarchy, and freedom of a democracy. In all of them there of course exists the right of the majority, and whatever seems good to the majority of those who share in the government has authority. Now in most states the form called polity exists, for the fusion goes no further than the attempt to unite the freedom of the poor and the wealth of the rich, who commonly take the place of the noble. But as there are three grounds on which men claim an equal share in the government, freedom, wealth, and virtue (for the fourth or good birth is the result of the two last, being only ancient wealth and virtue), it is clear that the admixture of the two elements, that is to say, of the rich and poor, is to be called a polity or constitutional government; and the union of the three is to be called aristocracy or the government of the best, and more than any other form of government, except the true and ideal, has a right to this name.
Programmatic liberalism, even that calling itself leftism, focuses on technical means of regulating behavior. Laws are seen as replacing the need for noble behavior as such. [See G.A. Cohen, Brighouse et al.]
Aristocratic "nobility" in modern practice: the military; education (teachers as opposed to researchers); medicine (practitioners, again as opposed to researchers); an ethic not of freedom but service to others.  Beyond that, the ethic of committed craftspeople who serve their craft.  Artists in this sense are not "free"; they study a tradition (whichever one) of which they hope to play a part.  Fiddle players serve their instrument, not the other way around. Ask one.

Broch, beauty etc.

jumping forward: Montesquieu,"the republican state, which has virtue for its principle", and Lefebvre.

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