Hubris as the Greeks saw it—not just prideful excess, but a criminal mind

Reader N. writes:

I was going to email you with the latest from AmSpec but you have already commented on yet another in the increasingly bizarre plans of the radical Democrats to shove what you aptly refer to as “their Precious” through the Congress. So never mind on that.

Let’s take a step back. Maybe several steps back. In ancient Athens, Hubris was considered to be a serious crime. It consisted of disgusting, prideful acts such as mutilation of the dead, deliberate humiliation of a defeated foe, some sexual perversions.

It was an act that not only was intended to shame or humiliate the target, but brought some gratification to the one committing the act. Not to revenge for some wrong, but merely for personal pleasure. Nowadays we think of Hubris in terms of haughtiness, arrogance, and overestimation of one’s power or capabilities.

Can we not see nearly all these elements in play? From the modern view of haughtiness, arrogance, and overestimation of personal ability, to the ancient view of deliberate humiliation for personal gratification, can we not find an example in the ongoing, never- ending, pursuit of health care “reform”? In every speech, the President makes it clear that his side won the election, even going so far as to attempt to humiliate McCain during the bogus “summit” with that fact.

It is clear the radical left of the Democrats will destroy the Constitution itself, what remains of it, if need be in order to enact their Precious. The ancient Greeks also believed in Nemesis, especially as punishment for Hubris. Even if the Precious is enacted, there may be sufficient anger in the nation to demand its repeal (or fiscal reality may mandate it). Will the arrogant Left turn on its own if that happens?

The proverb says “Pride goeth before a fall”, surely arrogance and hubris qualify here as well.

- end of initial entry -

March 12

Rick U. writes:

Hubris in the ancient Greek sense is helpful, but I think there is something much more sinister at work here. Hubris doesn’t fully explain the conspiracy at work behind the Democrats; plan. From the beginning, Obama has repeatedly promoted falsehoods about the plans cost, effects on care, and real world experiences in health care. The Democratic leadership as a whole has vilified insurers, doctors, hospitals, and pharmaceutical companies. They have proclaimed the system broken and unsustainable when by any reasonable measure it is certainly not. So, while hubris is an aspect of it all, it doesn’t explain the deeper motivation of this unprecedented power grab, and the vile depths to which the Democrats are willing to go to achieve their agenda.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 11, 2010 09:43 PM | Send

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