Saturday, February 27, 2021

Incitatus

According to Suetonius, Caligula had plans to make his favorite horse, Incitatus, a consul.

Why? Because he was insane and thought a horse was a man? Or because he was drunk on power and would enjoy seeing everyone else assiduously “not noticing” that the consul was a horse?

Something similar could be asked about the naked emperor in H. C. Andersen’s famous fable. Was he the most gullible man that ever lived — or was he just on a power trip?

And — but no, I’d better just stop here.

2 comments:

Bruce Charlton said...

I suppose there could be a kind of insanity, in which clarity of thinking becomes impossible, so that people both adhere to categories and yet cannot separate them. This has happened with marriage.

SSM at one level; leading onto people who love their pets, and want to 'marry' their pet (apparently it has happened). We have observed how it became (over a period of years) normal to regard marriage as the 'kind of thing' which can include any two people, any number of people, and two living things - and (so far in sci fi only, I think, but coming) - a person/s and AI/ Robots/ dummies...

I could imagine that this trajectory into de facto insanity - which took society a few decades, might be traversed in a much shorter time in someone who was medically insane.

Wm Jas Tychonievich said...

Today I was reading an old Moldbug post I’d never read before and found this: “ It was also a bit of a flex, as if FDR had nominated his horse—and everyone still had to say nice things about the horse. Hence Truman.”

Nothin' but mammals

Would it surprise you to know that one of the proximate inspirations for my previous post, " Satan divided against himself ," was ...