Wednesday, December 6, 2017

How others see us?

Looking at the convoluted negotiations taking place with the European Union I am reminded of what Leo Tolstoy said in “War and Peace”:
Germans are self confident on the basis of an abstract notion  – science, that is, the supposed knowledge of absolute truth.
A Frenchman is self assured because he regards himself personally both in mind and body as irresistibly attractive to men and women.
An Englishman is self assured as being a citizen of the best organised state in the world, and therefore, as an Englishman, always knows what he should do and knows that all he does as an Englishman is undoubtedly correct.
An Italian is self assured because he is excitable and easily forgets himself and other people.
A Russian is self assured just because he knows nothing and does not want to know anything, since he does not believe anything can be known.
The German’s self-assurance is the worst of all, stronger and more repulsive than any other, because he imagines that he knows the truth – science- which he himself has invented but which for him is the absolute truth.

If only?

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