Must always note that it's Melian oligarchs who got them into that fix (5.84). The demos had no say. Things might have turned out different.

Saul Alinsky and later organizers used the Melian Dialogue as a training text. I downloaded this years ago, now the link is dead. But
worth having.
Reading at a training included the Melian Dialogue. The Melians kept to their principles, did not give in, and got their fellow citizens killed and enslaved as a result.

Trainees discussed the text. Then Saul Alinsky responded: 2/
Compromise is a key and beautiful word. It is always present in the pragmatics of operation. It is making the deal, getting that vital breather, that is usually the victory. If you start with nothing, demand 100%, then compromise for 30 %, you’re 30% ahead. 3/
Find a conservative who recognizes that side of Alinsky. 4/

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More from @dan_pericles

8 Jan
Do we need an anthology on the nature and degree of Big Tech "control" of voters? First we heard that Cambridge Analytica / the Mercers etc. cattle-shuted voters into Facebook-like "lookalike audiences" (e.g. Harcourt, _Exposed_).

Then popular audiences heard in the Atlantic 1/
that Facebook (_if_ I understand correctly) didn't manipulate of voters but rather, created a machine that autonomously - is that the adverb of the year 2021? - sorted us out: “Facebook’s advertising algorithm has gotten so much better at automating campaign 2/
management that it can now easily outperform a human manager": the company advises advertisers to “embrace a certain agnosticism towards placement, platforms and yes, even audience. This gives _systems_ more opportunities to consider when assessing which will deliver /3
Read 6 tweets
4 Jan
Thinking of what to call a person who seems to fall short, I wondered what the antonym is of "salt of the earth." Matthew 5:13 comes close: "... salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to 1/
be thrown out and trodden under foot," εἰς οὐδὲν ἰσχύει ἔτι εἰ μὴ βληθὲν ἔξω καταπατεῖσθαι.
As always the original helps: "Lost its taste" is τὸ ἅλας μωρανθῇ, where the verb is μωραίνω, "become insipid" i.e. "stupid": 2/
So the base is a metaphor for stupidity, conveyed by two different words in two different languages. But does it work for "salt," or is salt anthropomorphized from the get go? 3/
Read 4 tweets
2 Jan
2 more bits: a) I've been reminded that Eliz. Haddon did live in a cave near the mouth of the Cooper River at least for some time; b) the Mennonites, Wiki says, had a settlement plan that required level land, and all by the Delaware R. was taken. They were offered E. Falls 1/
but too hilly, so Penn suggested "land a little further east, near the top of a gentle hill between two creeks, and Pastorius agreed. Germantown was thus founded along a Lenni Lenape trail four miles (6 km) north of Philadelphia." (Wiki) "Lenni Lenape" has its dark side: the 2/
local Native Americans who'd been cheated out of their land by the Walkng Purchase, which forced westward migration & conflicts with other Natives that led to 7 Years War. An indirect Quaker contribution to the wars of North America. 3/
Read 4 tweets
19 Dec 21
Working on the oligarchic coup in Athens, 411 BCE, 8.66-69, as I notice news of Manchin's rejection of BBB. Lattimore's translation:
"as the work of numerous intelligent men, the undertaking not unnaturally went forward, although it was a major one; for it was difficult, in 1/
close to the 100th year after the tyrants were overthrown, to end the freedom of the Athenian people, who were not only not subjects but over more than half of that time had themselves been accustomed to rule over others."

"Not unnaturally" isn't quite right: "unreasonably" 2/
or "improbably" gets the Greek better. Thucydides can be cruelly perceptive at figuring out what's "likely" or "probable," even when it's disturbing, like this successful coup. "Nature" had nothing to do with it.
So here, after BIF and BBB got unlinked, failure of BBB, too,3/
Read 4 tweets
15 Dec 21
No one has been charged with "insurrection" for the Capitol attack, as far as I can find. The word certainly appears in the news but prosecutors are being careful, possibly aware of the difficulty of broad charges in court.
Americans are seldom charged with "treason," 1/
which the founders wisely framed more tightly than the Brits.
Sidebar: Nathanael Tomkins, no direct relation, was hanged _in front of his own house_ on Fetter Lane in 1643 for treason in Waller's Plot. His mate Challoner said: 2/
"if we could make a moderate party here in London, to unite King & Parliament, it would be a very acceptable work, for now the three Kingdoms lay bleeding." But no compromise peace for Parliament, which hanged them for treason. (Waller himself bribed and survived.) 3/
Read 4 tweets
17 Nov 21
Bill Grueskin's column is meaningful, but I wish that as a professional he'd acknowledged the challenges reporters faced. Here's Goldman to Wemple: "I might have figured [that the FBI had interviewed the dossier’s primary sub-source in January 2017] in early 2019 or late 2018.1/
An extraordinary moment: Right? I knew, s---, there were problems. So now there’s some indication that there were problems with the dossier and the FBI had a sense of it. But there were only a handful of people in that room with the source [in January 2017]. And I couldn’t 2/
— to be able to write a definitive story with the details the IG had was ... a bridge too far, right? ... a mountain too high for me. Because as the IG report shows, THE INFORMATION DIDN’T EVEN GET TO THE FISA COURT. 3/
Read 4 tweets

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