Sunday, October 30, 2016

On wealth: Gonzaga, Este, Borgia, Medici... and Trump

I wrote yesterday of the enormous wealth of the Gonzagas of Mantova,  also mention of the Este family in Ferrara and connections with other gigantically rich families, the Borgias, the Medici and the grasping of those especially for the papacy and expenditure on art and fame which lost them, in several cases, all their wealth.. and in the case of the papacy, half the church to Luther and the Germans generally, resentful, hateful of taxes and 'indulgences' sold by the popes to finance the art of Rome.

Edith Templeton, calling them Renaissance gangsters, questioned their happiness amid their wealth.

Today, reading James Fallows's invaluable political blog at The Atlantic I find a link to a reflection on wealth and Citizen Kane by Donald Trump. Which surely the Gonzagas, Russian kleptocrats of the present, the Koch brothers might do well to have watched at some time. The clip is from a never finished film by Errol Mark Morris, known mostly for his film The Fog of War: Eleven Lessons from the Life of Robert S McNamara.

Fallows describes that as 'astonishly introspective' for Trump.
True, but one also sees in it Trump likening himself to Kane.

Here is Orson Welles, including with chorus line,
doing a bit of a Trump in the original promotion for Kane.

It would be sensible of both Clinton and Trump (and Putin)
to watch the Eleven Lessons of Robert McNamara,
not believing all the argument but understanding the tragedy involved in being 'right.'

Also spare a thought for the Gonzagas and Estes and Medicis
persistently at war, for evil or duty or right?
Right/s (diritto/diritti) a word with all its ambiguity, in English and Italian.
In Latin far apart:
iustum: justice, justness, formality, uprightness.
fas: divine law, divine command, Destiny, sacred duty, Right.
— in current times too, there is surely a lot of slippage in crisis or vision from iustum to fas
or rather there is insufficient common understanding of what may be our nations, tribes, states
to avoid conflict in which fas and iustum is confoundedly confused.

McNamara added ten more after seeing the film, see wikipedia

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