In his account of youthful character, Aristotle attributes all its errors to excess and vehemence in love, hate, and everything else. At their peril, the young neglect of the maxim of Chilon: Μηδὲν ἄγαν, Ne quid nimis, “Never go to extremes”. (Rhetoric 1389b4-5; Diogenes Laertius, Vitae Philosophorum I.41.) And as he turns to the flaccid dispositions of old men, Aristotle observes that neither their love nor their hatred is strong; but, according to the precept of Bias, καὶ φιλοῦσιν ὡς μισήσοντες καὶ μισοῦσιν ὡς φιλήσοντες—“they love as if they would one day hate, and hate as if they would one day love”. (Rhetoric 1389b21-25; DL I.87.) Prudential anticipation of reversals in love and hatred emerged as an early modern adage. Thus Erasmus commends it in commenting upon “Ne quid nimis” in Adagia I.vi.96. Likewise, Juan Luis Vives writes on behalf of the “Anima Senis”: odi ut amatura et amo ut osura—“I hate as if one day I should love, and love as if one day I should hate”. More recently, Tancredo Neves, the hero of Brazilian Democratic Movement, is said to always have remembered the motto of Getúlio Vargas, his former patron, role model, and predecessor in election to the Brazilian Presidency: “I have never made an enemy whom I could not approach or a friend from whom I could not separate.”—“Não tenho inimigo de quem não possa me aproximar nem amigo de quem não possa me distanciar.” (Ronaldo Costa Couto, História indiscreta da ditadura e da abertura: Brasil: 1964-1985, Editora Record, 1999, p. 322.) Striving to dislodge a military dictatorship, Neves boasted during his Presidential campaign, that if he got 500 votes from his party, not even God would remove him from Presidency. He got the votes and was due to be sworn into office on the Ides of March in 1985. But a day before taking his Presidential oath, Neves fell gravely ill with a gastric tumor. Seven surgical bouts only served to aggravate his suffering. Neves died on 21 April 1985, the 193rd anniversary of execution and dismemberment of Tiradentes, the hero of Brazilian independence. Thus Tancredo Neves came to God after having slighted His will.
God’s will has swayed the fortunes of Jerusalem since 1095. A nominally secular state, Israel was founded upon the promise made by God to the descendants of Abraham. This promise is countermanded by the founding charter and ongoing policy of Hamas, which calls for the elimination of the Jewish state and worldwide extermination of Jews. And just as the Zionist project emerged in response to the political leverage of antisemitism, so Palestinian nationalism feeds off Jewish hegemony in the Holy Land. In more generic terms, Carl Schmitt cast the essence of the political as resting on the distinction between friend and enemy:
Crossposted to larvatus and history.