Tragedy & Hope: Intro

"This book is almost inexcusably lengthy. For this I must apologize, with the excuse that I did not have time to make it shorter." T&H -Quigley

If I have seen further than others, it is by standing upon the shoulders of giants.  

Isaac Newton

A witty and veiled insult by sir Isaac Newton upon Robert Hooke has come to stand as a synonymous quote for advancing the intellectual mind. Who are these ‘giants’ you may ask? They are individuals who contributed to the sciences, political theories, to the annals of history- their immortalized words to advance us, the living, to have the capability to see into the future as we reflect upon their works.

This quote has good merit we can learn from, but how you may ask? The world in its present state took time to create by the ‘giants’ of the past. We may perhaps have no control of the affairs of our current world’s political, economic, philosophical, or maybe even its poesy but, we may have a chance to change the foreseeable future. 

How? Well, as the quote stated above, we must look upon those ‘shoulders of giants’ to understand where we are standing now. 

We who possess Pynk Mynds are always curious of the five W’s: Who, What, Where, When & Why; therefore, it may lead some of us into rabbit holes, into walls made of stone as we are eager to continue seeking, we will break through them because of our curiosity. As possessors of pynk minds, we will come out anew, acute as Alice of wonderland, better aware of the world she was for a moment under her spell. 

The late Professor Carroll Quigley of Georgetown University had a mind of such depth- in my opinion, he found ways to share it with the world. Writing to the rational mind in his time and those who one day read his books, the late professor penned down how the affairs of the past and the events of his time managed to shape the world; through one of his books called, Tragedy & Hope. 

The book published in 1966 is more than 1,300+ pages, helping the reader understand how events through history shaped our current atmosphere at the turn of the 20th century. Although the majority of the book (1,300+) are tragedies that have fallen upon all society by those in power, the late professor does provide the reader and the attentive Pynk Mynd a small and subtle sign of hope if we can heed to understand the past. 

We can be assured of one thing: the future is not concrete, but the past is.

We have the privilege to look back and reflect, understand and see if we desire to improve our state of affairs with other societies, nations, and those we have yet to understand their point of view.  

The late Professor Quigley demonstrates in his book, Tragedy & Hope, important events by breaking them down into sections; overall -in my opinion- these are what I consider the three major blocks which are crucial to understanding his work:

  • The world before 1914 (before the great war/ WWI),
  • The world after 1919-1940 (The organization of the European states and politics & the prelude to WWII); and
  •  The world after 1945 and the present state of affairs (Reorganization of world affairs and the birth and effects of the Cold War)

These three blocks are significant for they represent how the current state of our world became. These events also shaped the perceptions of our world’s philosophy, its politics, and even its poesy; all men and women who have come to adhere, these events developed our worldview today. 

But, the one thing I noticed from reading this book was the undeniable fact how economics played a crucial role in developing the world we are consciously aware of; as the late professor summed it all in a quote as he concludes his 1,300+ page book to the pynk mynds of tomorrow,

 …War and depression are man-made and needless…

Quigley 1311

Without knowing the basic understanding of economics, this book the late professor Quigley laid out would seem a total bore or a “huge brick” as my beloved often called it. But you, pynk elephant who have read this far, I hope to spark your pynk mynd and help you understand the beautiful underline of this book.

Love it or hate it, the world could not have been shaped and transpired into what we know it as of today without capitalism. Capitalism, in its purest definition, basically maximizes profit under a price system. How can I (seller) get a maximize profit (tangible good) from you (buyer)?  This being microeconomics perse; but on the macro scale, it gets deeper, which I will avoid, to not lead you into a deep slumber. 

I can assure you, once you learn this principle, socialism, fascism, even communism will come to be understood as byproducts of capitalism even though they oppose capitalistic ideals. Capitalism was at the root of the book, and to give Tragedy & Hope an objective review -which is my goal to inspire you, the pynk elephant reading this blog post- I will unfold the upcoming blog posts into these points:

1)         The ‘necessity’ of capitalism,

2)         The world before 1914 (before the great war/ WWI), 

3)         The Treaty of Versailles (the world after 1919-1940)

4)         WWII/ Cold-War/ our present day.

To comprehend our world, I believe these are the utmost ideas to understand as we make sense of our world’s affairs, why nations war, and even to possibly understand the difference between western and eastern civilization.

 In the coming blog posts, I hope to illuminate you by comprehending these points listed above, equip you to grasp the philosophy of our modern times, its politics, and even its poesy; which are provided to us by many mediums for consumption. And maybe, if you’ve been persuaded to see the world under the matriarch of common knowledge, this overview of Tragedy & Hope will help you see the world through a different lens you are not accustomed to. 

Thynk Pynk!

Reference: Quigley, Carrol. Tragedy & Hope. New York: The Macmillan Company, 1966. Print.