Posts Tagged ‘prudence’

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17th CENTURY SPIN FOR FRANÇOIS HOLLANDE: Oráculo Manual of the art of prudence by Balthasar Gracián (1601-1658). Almost daily (on French news) we see the foolish triumphalist behaviour of one of the very few alternatives to the reign of Sarkozy, and his UMP, François Hollande of the SP. Mass rallies and visits to pre-arranged supportive crowds as if he  has already acquired the presidential seat. Election to the royal position of French president is – sadly – first of all a matter of ‘rhetorics’ and not of a party program. Person comes before content. The 21st century SPINS of Hollande are in my view hopeless and lead him to electoral disaster. I recommend a more classic SPIN, the study of the classic ‘art of prudence’ and the best master remains Balthasar Gracian a 17th century priest at the Spanish court, who published a pocket book (hand oracle) from which I will quote in the coming election time. This is the first maxime, number xix (19):

Arouse no Exaggerated Expectations on entering. It is the usual ill-luck of all celebrities not to fulfil afterwards the expectations beforehand formed of them. The real can never equal the imagined, for it is easy to form ideals but very difficult to realise them. (1)

(1)  English translation under the (alternative) title “The Art of Worldly Wisdom” done by Joseph Jacobs, [1892] in an on-line edition at Sacred Texts web site.

The Spanish original text “Oráculo manual y arte de prudencia” is on-line also in HTML format at the Biblioteca Virtual

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