John Julius Norwich

A History of Venice


One of the best history reads I've ever experienced. Venice is a unique city in the world, for its culture and history. It was a Republic that lasted over 1000 years, had the most civilized and liberal constitution in the world during its whole existence, up until the creation of the United States of America. Venice truly was the "city on a hill", the light that shines in the darkness of Europe, where everywhere around her there was tyranny, fanaticism, intolerance and ignorance, Venice stood out from the crowd of nations, like a rare species out of its proper environment. And as a rare species we can study her too, like in a lab. Her long history can be easily contrasted to those of more orthodox nations of her time. Venice skipped altogether the feudal times. Watching her birth is like watching the United States being born, only over 700 years before. She didn't need any Independence War, had no civil war to lament, she went straight to business. She went straight to making herself an empire, a military and commercial world empire, out of the blue, like the US in the 19th century.

She also avoided religious entanglements and wars. Fanaticism was not her thing. She was born free and lived free. She was the first ever free and independent state in the world. Ruled by a cultivated class, oligarchy, yes, but in the author's words,
a remarkably broadly based one. A nation that was, and stood for a thousand years, way ahead of her time.

Today we may think of Venice as beautiful place, we think of art. Well, that's all true, but that's the least important thing -in my opinion- about this remarkable city. Her beauty is only a symptom of her political stability and her talented citizenry throughout the ages. The Serenissima Republica is a political case to be studied and admired. The Old Lady died old, but what a life she had. Her story is told as beautifully as befits this wonderful city.

"Es cierto que el Romano es libre de hacer todo lo que quiera. Pero también lo es que tiene que soportar las consecuencias de sus actos. No importa que se haya equivocado, que le hayan engañado o incluso forzado: un hombre no se deja forzar: etiamsi coactus, attamen voluit. Es libre; pero si distraído, imprudente o atontado, prometió pagar una determinada cantidad y no puede pagarla, se convierte en esclavo de su acreedor."

Rudolph von Ihering

“Slavery, protection, and monopoly find defenders, not only in those who profit by them, but in those who suffer by them.”

Frédéric Bastiat

On the true nature of the Castro Revolution in Cuba: "The revolution was a cover for committing atrocities without the slightest vestige of guilt ... we were young and irresponsible. We were pirates. We formed our own caste ... we belonged to and believed in nothing -no religion, no flag, no morality or principle. It's fortunate we didn't win, because if we had, we would have drowned the continent in barbarism."

Jorge Masetti -In the Pirate's Den

La anarquía, es decir, la ausencia de fuerza estatal, no es una forma de Estado, y cualquiera que acabe con ella por el medio que sea, el usurpador nacional o el conquistador extranjero, rinde un servicio a la sociedad. Es un salvador, un bienhechor, porque la forma más insoportable de Estado es la ausencia de Estado.

Rudolph von Ihering

"El envidioso está afligido no solo por sus males propios, sino por los bienes de los demás."  -Hipias

[la norma de conducta de los progres] "No hacer nada que alguien pueda envidiarme." -Hipasos




Seguimos a la espera de la reedición de este importante libro del gran escritor español José Pla

Historia de la Segunda República.


También a la espera de este importante libro del genial Rafael Abella.

Finales de enero, 1939, Barcelona cambia de piel


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