One time in my past I was in a classroom having nasty exchanges with another student and I responded to something he said with something like: ‘Well I don’t give a fuck.’
Not very nice, eh?
I wouldn’t do that nowadays. I don’t think I would.
But it is still within me.
So you could see this nice polite, urbane, well mannered, well spoken person going about and perhaps think he’s very nice, very acceptable, ‘good’.
But really it’d be me with that nastiness within me. Still capable of that nastiness. Still capable of coming out with a remark like that given the appropriate provocation.
When I first thought of this I imagined how horrified ‘polite’ and well mannered society would be at such as I.
And felt a tad sad that I was forever cut off from such good people.
Because for sure it is within me forever.
But then I remembered the doings of the politest of society since the dawn of time. I refer to the aristocracy, of course.
It is in the courts of Kings and Queens and Emperors that we find the purest expression of good manners and ‘good breeding’ isn’t it? So much so that it has become almost axiomatic that good breeding and good manners go together.
It is amongst the Kings and Queens, the Princes and the Princesses that we find the best, the highest manifestation of ‘culture’ in the social sense.
So much that their example spreads outwards first to the courtiers and then the next rank and so on….
But who are they, these people, these ‘aristocrats’ these mentors of good behaviour and exemplars of good breeding? They are villains and thieves of the first water in the first instance. Leading armies to attack, take and plunder. Aren’t they? Weren’t they?
And then in the following decades, centuries, they and their descendants manifest all kinds of evil whilst manoeuvring to maintain or expand their positions, their wealth, their power.
We’ve got a vast body of history and literature prompted by that history to attest to this.
Hmm. So what’s the point? I don’t know. Maybe that all is not what it seems? Maybe that we’re lost in a mythical understanding of reality? Maybe…. I don’t know..