Thursday, September 6, 2007

Notes from the 16th Century.

I am reading "The Culture of Cities," a history by a hero of mine, Lewis Mumford. (He is to the study of History what Peter Drucker is to the study of Business.) It is one of his brilliant panoramas on civilization and our development as a species. It's pretty damned impressive.

In it, Mumford quotes a poem by a 16th Century writer called Robert Crowley. It's 500 years old and worth thinking about, especially vis a vis the schmendricks running for president or working for Goldman Sachs or engaging in some other form of rapine or pillage.

And this is a city
In name but in deed
It is a pack of people
That seek after meed [gain].
For officers and all
Do seek their own gain
But for the wealth of the Commons
Not one taketh pain.
And hell without order
I may it well call
Where every man is for himself
And no man for all.

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