What’s so great about “peace”?

(Note: this post is not a continuation of the VA business and I wouldn’t have posted it if it was, as I explain to Hal K. below. The VA controversy is over. As I see it, Cindi was referencing the VA dispute in order to make a general point.)

From: Cindi S.
Subject: VA and the subsequent hoo-hah


Using this one instance as a reference point, what the devil is going on with people who “just want the controversy to end”?

Reminds me of the zero-tolerance policy in schools: anybody fighting for whatever reason is subject to the same discipline.

A large part of it is the “pain-avoidance” therapy intended to beat out of children the instinct, desire and ability for/of self-defense.

A smaller part is the persistent laziness that refuses to sort through the who-did-what-first in order to administer true justice.

Such is the cry for cessation applied to every blog/internet controversy I’ve watched or to which I’ve been a party. (Not to mention real-life.)

“Just make it stoooooooooopppppp, already.”

Wait. Something just rang a head-bell. Didn’t we already have this conversation, once?

Stick it out, defend yourself, make your points. If your friends can’t or wade through it with you, screw “em.

I’m really a brawler at heart.

LA replies:


I like your spirit. It’s good to hear you, especially with everyone always telling me not to get into fights or to stop them as soon as they start.

You would like Ezra Pound’s poem about Bertrand de Born:


LOQUITUR: En Bertrans de Born. Dante Alighieri put this man in hell for that he was a stirrer up of strife. Eccovi! Judge ye! Have I dug him up again? The scene is at his castle, Altaforte. “Papiols” is his jongleur. “The Leopard,” the device of Richard Coeur de Lion.

Damn it all! all this our South stinks peace.
You whoreson dog, Papiols, come! Let’s to music!
I have no life save when the swords clash.
But ah! when I see the standards gold, vair, purple, opposing
And the broad fields beneath them turn crimson,
Then howls my heart nigh mad with rejoicing.

In hot summer have I great rejoicing
When the tempests kill the earth’s foul peace,
And the lightnings from black heav’n flash crimson,
And the fierce thunders roar me their music
And the winds shriek through the clouds mad, opposing,
And through all the riven skies God’s swords clash.

Hell grant soon we hear again the swords clash!
And the shrill neighs of destriers in battle rejoicing,
Spiked breast to spiked breast opposing!
Better one hour’s stour than a year’s peace
With fat boards, bawds, wine and frail music!
Bah! there’s no wine like the blood’s crimson!

And I love to see the sun rise blood-crimson.
And I watch his spears through the dark clash
And it fills all my heart with rejoicing
And pries wide my mouth with fast music
When I see him so scorn and defy peace,
His lone might ‘gainst all darkness opposing.

The man who fears war and squats opposing
My words for stour, hath no blood of crimson
But is fit only to rot in womanish peace
Far from where worth’s won and the swords clash
For the death of such sluts I go rejoicing;
Yea, I fill all the air with my music.

Papiols, Papiols, to the music!
There’s no sound like to swords swords opposing,
No cry like the battle’s rejoicing
When our elbows and swords drip the crimson
And our charges “gainst “The Leopard’s” rush clash.
May God damn for ever all who cry “Peace!”

And let the music of the swords make them crimson!
Hell grant soon we hear again the swords clash!
Hell blot black for always the thought “Peace!”

—Ezra Pound

Cindi replies:
And I like your spirit. Fight on, if you will, and make justice evident even to the blind. Injustice and untruth drives me wild.

I believe our previous conversation on this very issue began with the same theme and ended with you self-identifying as Pain in the Ass and myself as The Other Pain in the Ass.

Thus ToPita.

I do like Pound’s poem, thank you. In particular:

The man who fears war and squats opposing
My words for stour, hath no blood of crimson
But is fit only to rot in womanish peace
Far from where worth’s won and the swords clash
For the death of such sluts I go rejoicing;
Yea, I fill all the air with my music.

Womanish peace! Bah. Too many today act like old women.

Paul K. writes:

May I contribute this bit of verse to the discussion?

No Enemies?
You have no enemies you say ?
Alas! my friend the boast is poor;
He who has mingled in the fray
of duty, that the brave endure,
Must have made foes! If you have none,
small is the work you have done.
You’ve hit no traitor on the hip,
You’ve dashed no cup from perjured lip,
You’ve never turned the wrong to right,
You’ve been a coward in the fight.

—Charles Mackay

(The line that says “hit no traitor on the hip” refers to dueling,
where the hip was a preferred target as you could score a painful wound
there without killing a man.)

LA replies:

I love that line:

You’ve dashed no cup from perjured lip

Gintas writes:

Now this is a good topic. If you don’t have something to die for, you’ve got nothing to live for.

Hal K. writes:

I think you should have let this conflict with Vanishing American drop sooner. Although I usually find your arguments to be well thought out, in this case they tended to ring hollow. It is true that Vanishing American is overly sensitive, and I am sympathetic to your situation in that regard.

LA replies:

It is over. Rest assured. This latest post was not about the VA affair, and I wouldn’t have posted it if I thought it was. As Cindi made clear, she was referencing the VA business as an example of a much-repeated pattern at VFR, wherein I get into some dispute, and then people start telling me I should have not have gotten into the dispute and should immediately drop it, and Cindi was saying that for her part she likes confrontations and that I should reject that advice. Then she referred back to an earlier situation where she had also urged me to reject that advice.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 21, 2008 07:02 PM | Send

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