“Heraclitus, the inventor of the notion of the constant change of things, nevertheless set a limit to this perpetual process. This limit was symbolized by Nemesis, the goddess of moderation and implacable enemy of the immoderate.”
A story that gets repeated over and again – hybris.
Certain stories recur in the history of humanity – and one of the most dramatic and traumatic is that of hybris. Hybris is a drama brought about by actions motivated by excessive pride – for example the overestimation by leaders – and the society or institutions in their charge – of their power.
Such an overestimation leads to actions that have the exact opposite outcome to what is intended. Driven to assertions of a power that is actually more limited than they realised leaders overstep unseen limits. Assertion of power which does not exist to the extent believed reveals weakness. Some kind of fall occurs, bringing misfortune or, indeed catastrophe. It is not just the leader who is dragged into catastrophe – those they lead are too. In the terms of Greek mythology – the leader and the society following him (it usually is a him) is punished by the Goddess Nemesis.
We can see that happening now in the drive for greater geo-political power by Donald Trump – rather than accomodating the USA to inevitable decline, and taking steps to protect the most vulnerable members of society from the consequences of decline, making decline more equitable, Trump believe that he can drive American and global society in the opposite direction.
The bigger drama – the hybris of economic growth
But Donald Trump and America’s hybris is actually a sub plot in an even bigger drama – again of hybris. In the bigger drama all the major players in global geo-politics are involved
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