May 10th, 2005


the rotten face

― for Tal Kubo    

    People partake of communities in virtue of elective favors. Politeness is the key to the community spirit. Politeness is more demanding than morality. Morality is more demanding than law. Thus law enjoins its subject from pushing a naked woman off a bridge, whereas morality encourages him to pull her out of the water, and politeness requires him to avoid leering whilst she strives to dry her pubic hair.
    Men imbued with community spirits go out of their way to be law-abiding with the authorities, moral with civilians, and polite with deserving parties belonging to the communities of their choice. When their neighbors seek information, they try to formulate an authoritative answer. When their neighbors seek material assistance, they try to provide it within their means. When their neighbors overstep the bounds of civility, they try to avoid boorishness and banality in guiding them back. Collapse )