Marginalia, no.15

It wasn’t courage the Americans lacked, but only the hope of success.

~ Montesquieu

In other words, the optimist always wins.  Lest anyone accuse me of editorializing on current events, I’ll quickly note that by “Americans” Montesquieu was referring to the Aztecs and Incas in their face-off with the Conquistadors.  As a generalization it crumbles under its own ambition but anyway reminds us that in the end even the most valiant and refined fatalism proves, well, fatal.


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