Wikipedia:Reference desk/Archives/Humanities/2007 July 3

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July 3[edit]

Two lines from Shakespeare:[edit]

"Myself am moved to woo thee for my wife. In good time let him that moved you hither remove you hence." Does anyone know in which one of his plays I can find these lines? signed savta210

Taming of the Shrew. Clarityfiend 06:30, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
More specifically, this is part of the first exchange between Petruchio and Katharina in Act II Scene I:
PETRUCHIO:...Myself I am moved to woo thee for my wife.
KATHARINA:Moved! in good time:let him that moved you hither/Remove you hence...Clio the Muse 09:19, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Hume and History[edit]

In what way did David Humes's scepticism affect his views on history? Martinben 12:30, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Out of curiosity, is this a homework question? --TotoBaggins 16:09, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
This question really sounds like a thesis or dissertation topic. It makes me wonder. Without making any accusations, I can certainly imagine an assistant or associate professor whose dissertation had been on Hume and History presenting a class that is full of rare and interesting insights and then asking students to come up with their own answers. If that is the case here, then it is a real shame that the questioner has not taken in the information. If it isn't, then I apologize for casting aspersions. If it isn't, then I can only say that it's a question that is so wide as to make at least my small head spin. Geogre 17:40, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Assume good faith seems to have gone out of fashion on this board lately. DuncanHill 18:15, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Hose hockey: people are assuming good faith all over the place, but clucking your tongue is absolutely non-contributory. People were not answering because the question could not be answered, and so folks were commenting on what was stopping them: the frame. Please AGF about peoples' answers. Geogre 21:15, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
This is NOT a 'homework question', guys; I'm too old for homework. It's for a study I am doing on the connections between history, philosophy and politics. David Hume was a historian as well as a philosopher, so the question is a valid one. Depending on the answer I got here I was hoping to follow it up with a further question on, this time on Edward Gibbon. Can anyone help me, or am I just whistling in the wind? Martinben 18:22, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
It seems big. I think that's the problem: the connections require a lot of time, a lot of thought, and probably a long study. I would suggest, though, that Hume's history is not only going to reflect his philosophy but a reaction against the best-selling John Oldmixon's The Critical History of England. In other words, historiography was beginning before Hume. Detailed analysis of how Hume's A History of England was influenced by specific elements of his skepticism would require reading the former very closely. You can look at David Fate Norton's The Cambridge Companion to David Hume, but no promises. Geogre 21:15, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Interesting question. I have looked at some philosophical handbooks, but all I can really say is that philosopher appear not to consider his "History of England" part of his important philosophical contributions. All I could find was this quote from Bertrand Russel's History of Western Philosophy (re-translated from Dutch): "His History of England, which was published in the years after 1755, had as purpose to show the superiority of Conservatives over Liberals and Scotsmen over Englishmen; apparently he did no consider history worthy of philosophical impartiality." From this one could derive two things:

  1. His account of history was informed by his conservatism and not his skepticism (question is than: what is the relationship between his conservatism and his skepticism).
  2. His account of history was explicitly not written from an impartial point of view, one could see a relation between impartiality and skepticism. Making his account of history not skeptical at all.

All in all, my answer has to be negative: it did not (or only indirectly)
Gibbon however is much more logical choice for a relationship between philosophical views and historical accounts. His account of the Fall of Rome was informed by his anti-religious views. C mon 21:07, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Question: you really believe his history is conservative? I see it rather differently. I see it as engaged in a dialog with the other histories of England hitting the shops at the time. There is a very, very deep connection between radical skepticism and conservativism in the 18th century. Swift, for example, argued that there was absolutely nothing about bloodlines that meant a thing in terms of worth, but the aristocrats had the advantages of wealth and education and therefore were better suited to rule than the tradesmen who did not. In other words, when you are skeptical of all claims of value, you do not end up supporting change, but rather the reverse. Michael McKean's Origins of the English Novel is nice in proposing that the entire era is a battle between "naive" and "skeptical" forms of empiricism and inherence. Swift is a skeptic and deplored both the mystical conservatives and the wide eyed "progressives" who saw value in trade and wealth. I don't see Hume as much different in that primary frame. Geogre 21:20, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Let us begin by looking for the thread of Ariadne, the only guide through the labyrinth. This will differ for each person, but for David Hume it leads to the heart of the Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding; and it is this-"All inference from experience, therefore, are effects of custom, not of reasoning. Custom, then, is the great guide to human life." So, if the way we perceive the external world is determined not by reason but by custom, then this has to impact on the collective understanding that we know as history. How could it not, when all humanity, to some degree or other, is captive to the past? Just as he used his philosophical work to cast doubts on the nature of perception, so too did he turn his historical work to the very same sceptical ends. In the History of England, which Russell seems wilfully to have misunderstood, Hume attempts to uncover the extent to which people are captives to the past; that they are, in other words, the victims of ancient history and prejudice. The principle of party-of group loyalty-can be seen to determine action, and action is so easily translated into violence. The purpose of his history, like his philosophy, is to raise doubt about the desirability of unreflected action. He explained his thinking in a letter to Adam Smith, the economist, that "faction, next to fanaticism is the most destructive of morality." Still later he was to explain to some friends that the "rage and Prejudice of Party frightens me." If Religion was inimical to reason, then Party was inimical to peace.

Beyond the Enquiry and the History of England, there are useful clues to Hume's thinking in some of his more minor work. In his essay Of the Independency of Parties he suggests that the key maxim of political science is that "every man must be supposed a knave." I have always believed that in this he anticipates the work of people as diverse as Jose Ortega y Gasset and Gustave le Bon on mass psychology and the philosophy of crowds, in that adherance to party substitutes for, and replaces, considerations of individual morality. In adhering to party one only seeks the approval of like-minded individuals. Thus, out of party loyalty decent people can turn into beasts. For Hume, who lived in an age of Whig oligarchy in England, party loyalty was a threat to good and free government, perhaps a rather limited critique. From our historical standpoint, from the age of mass ideology and group fanaticism, we know to just what horrors mankind is reduced by historical fictions of one kind or another.

In the first volume of the History of England Hume applies these abstract principles in his study of the Stuarts, in particular the reign of Charles I. For Thomas Hobbes the lesson of the English Civil War was that freedom was a dream, and absolute government the only solution to human weakness. For Hume, in contrast, it was a struggle between freedom and authority, emerging from the post-feudal emancipation of thought. Fearful of freedom, the English monarchy became ever more arbitrary. With Charles going to one extreme, the Parliamentary militants were forced to the other: the extremes triumphed as the middle was abandoned. People were acting under influences, religious or political, which limited their freedom of action. And is there any better way to understand the history of England in the mid-seventeenth century? Very little art was needed, Hume maintained, to foster a quarrel-"all orders of men had drunk deep of the intoxicating poison...every elegant pleasure or amusement is utterly annihilated; every vice or corruption of mind is promoted...the fanatical spirit let loose, confounded all regards to ease, safety, interest, and dissolved every moral and civil obligation." The people of England went mad, and they went mad collectively. It is not a question of apportioning blame to one side or the other for "a civil war must ensue; a civil war where no party or both parties would justly bear the blame..." More than this, as the Civil War was outwardly fueled by religion this was "singular proof both of the strength and the weakness of the human mind: its widest departure from morals, and its most steady attachment to religious prejudices."

Hobbes was wrong. The solution to fanaticism and anarchy was not absolute government, but the application of reason, and the principles of sceptical philosophy, to politics. All preconceptions, all commitments, all passions have to be subject to scrutiny and examination. Given this general declaration it is hardly surprising that the History of England met with universal hostility, denounced by the Tories for being Whig, and by the Whigs for being Tory, and by all for being inconsistent. But much of what he wrote still has relevance today; for we must always remember it is past hatreds and inherited prejudices that allow the dead to rule the living. Clio the Muse 01:16, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Suppose all men to be knaves sounds not only like Swift, but very, very much like Bernard de Mandeville, who was the hottest name in enraged philosophers since Hobbes. The words on party were, and I don't say this to downplay them, cliches. That's one of those things about the era: we have to know their versions of "democracy" and "liberty": their codewords and truisms. Whigs and Tories alike complained about party, and you can find the most cynical partisans wailing about the evils of party. That said, there are two senses of the term, at least. First, there is "party" as used by those in government -- which means "that we ever developed political parties, instead of having only one government -- that of the king -- and none other" -- and then there is "party" as used by those out of government, which seems to mean "people who, when in government, direct their actions according to a will other than the monarch's." One is complaining that anyone is in opposition, and the other is complaining that anyone has an ideology that they place before the monarch/country. We need to get out the scalpels and pull a bit to figure out what "party" means to Hume. It seems like it means "ideology," which is more or less what it meant to the "Tory" wits that he enjoyed. (As for Mandeville's philosophy: that's still waiting for book length studies. It's a lot more subtle than it seems.) Geogre 01:38, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Japanese Fascism[edit]

Was there a Japanese Fascism in the 1930s? Mr. Crook 12:43, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Strictly speaking, Fascism was an Italian-only movement. That said, many regimes have been referred to as "fascist", with varying levels of credibility. Check out Japanese fascism as a start. --TotoBaggins 18:11, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
I always thought that it was William Shirer in his The Rise and fall of the Third Reich, who was the leading exponent of a model of history that saw the forms of the present in the shadows of the past; that where Martin Luther led, Adolf Hitler followed. But, my goodness, that page on 'Japanese Fascism' is unbeatable! It would seem that all Japanese history, and I mean all, was nothing but a huge prologue for the crisis of the 1930s. The Kamakura Period, even the mythical Emperor Jimmu, all streams leading to one pre-determined end! This is Calvinist pre-destination in the purest form that I have ever come across! And that isn't even an Asian doctrine!
In truth, while national culture and specific forms of historical experience will always play a part in explaning contemporary political developments, the political trends in Japan in the inter-war period had everything to do with the economic, political and social forces at work at the time, and nothing whatsoever to do with the Emperor Jimmu in legend, or the Emperor Meiji in fact. We cannot really talk about Japanese Fascism as such, because the elements we most associate with Fascism in Europe-a charismatic leader and a mass party-were absent. Indeed, Fascism, on this basis, might even be said to be deeply inimical to Japanese culture; for the notion of a divinely-inspired leader was wholly incompatible with the role of the Emperor. Fascism was thus never a popular political label, and it was only ever adopted by the unimportant Nippon Fascism Remmel (Japanese Fascism League). The only significant figure who ever looked to the European example was Nakano Seigo.
Japan did move steadily towards the right in the 1930s, and for very much the same reasons as Italy and Germany: an economy in crisis, growing social unrest, a widespread sense of discontent, and a feeling that the nation had been robbed of the just fruits of victory in the settlement that followed the Great War, a mood that it shared with Italy in particular. This put the country very much among the 'have not' nations. It was these feelings of dissatisfaction and discontent that gave fresh impetus to the traditional elements in Japanese culture, that steadily undercut the partial liberalisation pursued since the Meiji Restoration in 1868. It was a reassertion of traditional conservatism, rather than a discovery of modern Fascism that was to be most significant. To this degree the rightward drift in Japan was far more 'reactionary' than such a move ever could be in Italy and Germany.
So, with no mass party of the right, no Führer or Duce, it was the Army that became the guardian of the national tradition, and the one vehical capable of expressing and channeling the new mood of conservative and militant nationalism. The political and economic turmoil of the 1930s led not to a revolution in government and society, but to a kind of conservative reaffirmation. Japan, urged forward by the army, adopted political practices that may have looked like Fascism, in very much the same fashion that previous reforming elites had adopted political practices that looked like liberalism. Was there a specific form of Japanese Fascism in the 1930s? I would say no. But there was a militant, reactionary and armed nationalism. And, in every sense, that was just as ugly. Clio the Muse 03:06, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
"Martin Luther led, Hitler followed" is very deceptive, if one spends any time studying the writings of each. Edison 05:40, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

What did Surrealists like Andre Breton and others think about Zionism?[edit]

As much as I know Andre Breton and his surrealist group in Paris appreciated the foundation of Israel in 1948. But I really wasn´t able to find reliable sources for that (also Polizzotti´s book does not mention this topic). Can anybody help?77.2.105.145 14:06, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

You asked this question yesterday. Just scroll up. --Dweller 14:26, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

humanities, Economics.[edit]

difference between income consumption curve and price consumption line?

distinguish between price elasticiincome elasticityand cross elasticity of demand?

Pictogram voting delete.svg Please do your own homework.
Welcome to Wikipedia. Your question appears to be a homework question. I apologize if this is a misinterpretation, but it is our aim here not to do people's homework for them, but to merely aid them in doing it themselves. Letting someone else do your homework does not help you learn nearly as much as doing it yourself. Please attempt to solve the problem or answer the question yourself first. If you need help with a specific part of your homework, feel free to tell us where you are stuck and ask for help. If you need help grasping the concept of a problem, by all means let us know. -- Kainaw(what?) 17:03, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Alison Brimelow[edit]

Alison Brimelow CBE became President of the European Patent Office on July 1, 2007. Her father is probably Sir Thomas Brimelow (1915-1995), a British diplomat. Would anyone have a reliable source to confirm this? Thanks. --Edcolins 17:57, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Who's Who would probably have an entry for her, I do not have access at this point in time. DuncanHill 18:11, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
From The Independent's obituary (Aug 4, 1995) : "It is entirely in keeping with Tommy Brimelow's rational approach to life that he wished no fuss be made of his passing, with funeral rites attended only by his adored daughters, Alison and Elizabeth." The preceding page: "In the late 1940s Brimelow was one of "our men" in Havana". And Alison Brimelow was born in Havana in 1949 (see sources linking from the article). Don't know whether this circumstantial evidence is watertight though. ---Sluzzelin talk 18:26, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Thanks a lot! Just found a reliable source in The International Year Book and Statesmen's Who's who, thanks to Google Book. --Edcolins 18:33, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

Murder rate in Ancient Rome compared with modern cities[edit]

Reading about ancient rome is reading about a sucession of murders. Could anyone tell me please:

1) What modern city would ancient Rome be comparable to in its murder rate? London? Chicago? Rio? I'm including all killings we would consider unlawful today, for example deaths in the arena, political killings, or punishments for 'crimes' that would not recieve a death sentance nowadays in the United States.

2) Were there any famous ancient romans who actually died a natural death or died from old age? I believe Cataluss did, were there any others?

Ceaser Augustus died of old age.

3) And changing the subject somewhat, of all the many historical novels written depicting the roman era, which are a) the most readable and b) the most historically accurate?

Thanks. 80.0.96.50 18:47, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

In (partial) answer to your third question, The Kingdom of the Wicked by Anthony Burgess is highly readable. DuncanHill 18:50, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
I, Claudius and Claudius the God are readable, if not really historically accurate. ObiterDicta ( pleadingserrataappeals ) 19:16, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Suetonius (translated into your vernacular) is pretty easy to read by itself, and you don't need a very strong set of notes. He's the source for most of the salacious material anyway. As for murder rates, we'd have to know the period in question -- I assume Julio-Claudians -- and therefore the population, and then we'd have to be able to extrapolate from the known to figure out a per capita murder rate. It would be quite shaky stuff. Geogre 02:29, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

A great many prominent ancient Romans died of natural causes, far, far too many to mention here. I would agree with Geogre that Suetonius is as a good and as racy a read as any fiction (considering his politics, it probably is mostly fiction!), as, indeed, is the later Augustan History. One should bear in mind that there will always be some gap between truth and fiction, but among the very best of the novels with a Roman setting are Memoirs of Hadrian by Margaret Yourcenar and Quo Vadis by Heryk Sienkiewicz. In addition to the Claudius novels of Robert Graves I would also suggest Count Belisarius, set during the reign of the Emperor Justinian (although ignore the story about Belsarius' blinding!). For more up to date fictional treatment you could probably do no better than Imperium and Pompeii, both by Robert Harris. Clio the Muse 05:20, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

After enjoying "I Claudius" on TV I read Suetonius and was deceived by his text. He would say things like "The rude cottage where Augustus was born is preserved, and can be visited today," and I would think. "Yes, I would go far out of my way to go visit it." Then I would realize that Suetonius was writing 1800 years ago or whatever. Alas. Edison 05:37, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Thanks for the literary details. I think I've read parts of Lives of the Twelve Caesars some years ago. Works written in roman times that I would thoroughly recommend, as they are just as lively and readable as modern novels are The Golden Ass and the Satyricon. Both are comedies. The Satyricon, although thought shocking in previous centruries, is nothing special by contemporary standards. The Sartyricon has a modern translation available from Project Gutenberg, but the Golden Ass does not and the translation I read was a 1950's Penguin Books one probably by Robert Graves.

I would like to get an idea of how much mortality and violence Roman society had - would it be worse than the most violent city in 2007, whereever that is? 80.0.133.167 10:46, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

You thought Satyricon was easily readable? The Trimalchio scene famously reads well, but the fragmentary nature makes it very, very difficult to gather anything like a plot. Also, copulating wildly and being molested in their sleep by eunuchs eager for sodomy is still probably not fun for the whole family. At any rate, The Golden Ass is a fine Roman novel, and authors in the 17th century in Spain and France and 18th century in England were inspired by it, but it's...well, not really illustrative. Geogre 11:58, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

It probably depends upon which translation you read. Here is a modern translation by W. C. Firebaugh http://www.gutenberg.org/files/5225/5225.txt I think I read a different translation - there any many. 80.3.46.188 15:59, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Modern society is lawful to a degree that would be unimaginable to anyone from the ancient world. Instead of comparing the murder rate to cities like London or New York, comparing it to Baghdad would be closer. 82.36.179.20 21:09, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

I cannot imagine that Rome, violent as it was, was anything like as violent as Baghdad. One cannot build an empire on the hub of chaos. In the absence of detailed statistics it is difficult to make any meaningful comparison between the crime rate in ancient Rome and any modern city, though it was probably no worse than, say, Rio or Cape Town. If you wish to pursue the issue in some greater depth I would suggest Public Order in Ancient Rome by Wilfred Nippel, Crime and Punishment in Ancient Rome by R. A. Bauman, Crime and Community in Ciceronian Rome by A. M. Riggsby. And for anyone who is watching Rome, currently being screened by the BBC in England, I have a quote from St. Augustine that might put things in perspective-"What are states but large bandit bands, and what are bandit bands but small states?" Clio the Muse 23:13, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

As ever, Clio to the rescue! Just one thing - which St Augustine? DuncanHill 23:22, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Sorry, Duncan, I should have made it clear that I meant this one! Clio the Muse 23:50, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
I thought it was probably him - but the only Saints I know anything about spent their time floating about on millstones. DuncanHill 00:11, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
As a general introduction to Roman History, I have found The Roman Empire by Colin Wells to be very readable. DuncanHill 00:11, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

I happened across Henry Miller's list of 100 best books here http://www.literarycritic.com/miller.htm and they include these books about ancient Rome:

Sienkiewicz, Henry. Quo Vadis?

Bulwer-Lytton. The Last Days of Pompei.

Petronius. The Satyricon

Saltus, Edgar. The Imperial Purple (review here: http://absinthe-literary-review.com/archives/fierce7.htm )

80.2.194.44 21:26, 8 July 2007 (UTC)

Linguistic situation in Eastern European Slavic countries/Russia[edit]

Hello,

- I know that the difference between two languages can be vague, I know there are towns on both sides of the Dutch-German border where people speak dialects similar to both the Dutch and the German language. So my question is : is the same true for Polish, Ukrainian, Czech and Belorussian?

Of course there is some sort of dialectal transition between the languages in question, especially between Russian and Ukrainian (see surzhik and balachka, for instance). You should keep in mind that Belarusian is spoken only in rural areas, and that the urban population of Ukrainian cities on the left bank of the Dnieper and along the Black Sea littoral speak Russian rather than Ukrainian. --Ghirla-трёп- 22:27, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

- Related to the previous question : I know that there have been many demographic shifts (sometimes because of brutal force). One example is that Brest-Litovsk was at one time not very Belorussian at all. I also know there have been many wars for land (like right after World War I). So those minorities in those regions, did their identification rely on their language?

Ethnic identification is heavily dependant on language, but there are numerous exceptions. For instance, the majority of Finno-Ugric indigenous people of modern-day Russia don't have a smattering of their ancestors' language but they still identify themselves as Komi, Karelians, Mordva, etc. The majority of Belarusians speak only Russian, but they would still identify themselves as distinct from Russians ethnically. Very few Volga Germans speak German, yet they have preserved their culture and many of them actually moved to Germany after the dissolution of the USSR. --Ghirla-трёп- 22:27, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

- Does anyone have a nice map (or animation :) ) of the russification (or slavication, if that is a word) of Russia? I mean : cities like Moscow, Saint-Petersburgh, Vladivostok,... probably didn't have that many Slavs/Slavicspeaking people (if they even existed) a thousand years ago. This evolution intrigues me, and I'd love to know more.

I don't know what you want. Would you ask for a map of Anglicization of London and Burmingham or for a map of Frenchification of Paris? The cities mentioned by you were founded by Russians and they have always been predominantly Russian-speaking (although the number of Chechens and Chinese have increased in Moscow and Vladivostok in recent years dramatically). --Ghirla-трёп- 22:27, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

- Just how realistic is this "Rus" theory? I'm trying to understand it a bit better? Is it really safe to say that Ukrainians, Belorussians and Russians were once one and the same people? And if so, how come there are that many Russians and relatively little Belorussians? Evilbu 20:02, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

What "Rus theory"? Actually all the Slavs were more or less the same people a millennium and a half ago. Russians and Poles had no trouble understanding each other's speech during the Polish occupation of Kiev in 1018. There was only minor dialectal difference between Middle Russian and Ruthenian language during the reign of Ivan the Terrible, but no interpreters were required. A century ago, Great Russian, Ukrainian and Belarusian were considered three dialects of the same language. A language is a dialect with an army and navy. Modern Ukrainian and Belarusian scholars strive to trace proto-Ukrainian and proto-Belarusian dialectal features in the sparse record of the East Slavic language, which was spoken by East Slavs from the 1000s to the 1300s. Unfortunately, the record of this language is very incomplete and every conclusion may be easily disputed. It is reasonably certain that there was considerable dialectal variation and that there was the Old Novgorod dialect which did not evolve into a separate East Slavic language, primarily for political reasons. --Ghirla-трёп- 22:27, 3 July 2007 (UTC)


In answer to your first question, the answer is yes, historically, Slavic languages didn't have sharp and easily definable territorial divisions. There was a continum. For example, east Moravian "Czech" was closer to west Slovak than it was to Bohemian Czech. Over the past hundred or so years, there's been a lot of standardization of individual languages, encouraged by the development of national media. So today, there's definitely a Czech language and a Slovak language, and the words on the roadsigns change at the border. I couldn't tell you if the eastern Moravian language still sounds like west Slovak.
Regarding your second question, yes, language is a key ethnic identifier in eastern Europe. For example, I used to know a woman from Minsk who identified herself as "a Russian from Belarus" because her family spoke Russian, not Belorussian. -- Mwalcoff 22:19, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Heh, you would be lucky to find a Belarusian who does not speak Russian. --Ghirla-трёп- 22:27, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
I'm sure nearly all Belarusians speak Russian in addition to Belarusian, but 37% of them actually speak Belarusian at home, according to the Wikipedia article on the language. -- Mwalcoff 22:31, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
I won't not hold my breath reading statistics provided by the Lukashenka regime. A more characteristic example is surzhik, the most popular language/dialect of Europe (by the number of speakers) to have no official recognition at all. --Ghirla-трёп- 22:42, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
Yeah, but I'd expect Lukashenko to underestimate the number of Belarusian speakers. -- Mwalcoff 23:36, 3 July 2007 (UTC)
What makes you think so? If he had been as pro-Russian as he is painted by the Western media, Russia and Belarus would have united a decade ago. --Ghirla-трёп- 00:09, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

One interesting point about this (if I might interrupt the politics) is that immigrant groups in North America may speak a language that is archaic compared to that spoken in Eastern Europe. You see this frequently among Ukrainian-Canadians from Western Canada, most of whose ancestors came from Podolia. The Ukrainians who live in Podolia now speak mainly standard Ukrainian; the Podolian dialect is more likely to be spoken in the areas around Winnipeg and Edmonton than in Khmelnytskyi. --Charlene 08:28, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

American gangsters[edit]

Is there a single american pre-war movie about gangsters in which at the end the gangster is not killed? Because I find this very strange,since most famous american gangsters were not killed(Al Capone,Lucky Luciano,Joe Bonnano,John Gotti and so on).

As a matter of fact,is there any movie made before Godfather that lets the gangster surivie the end of it??

Thank you

Dzoni1 23:59, 3 July 2007 (UTC)

I can't answer your question, but the Hayes Code would have severely inhibited portrayal of gangsters in the era to which you refer. DuncanHill 00:07, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

Well then,what about pre 1934 movies,even if you look at that period,and I think most of american gangster movies were actually made before 1934,even in that period all the criminals die: The Public enemy,Little Ceasar and many more... Dzoni1 01:36, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

The whole point of the censorship was that the bad guy couldn't "get away with it", that there was moral justice, either through the legal system or in some other cosmically appropriate way (preferably in a guns-blazing finale or by falling 16 stories to hit a hard concrete sidewalk). This didn't just apply to gang pictures, but every film where a serious crime was committed. That's why Murder on the Orient Express, written in 1934, couldn't be filmed till the 1970s.--Pharos 03:01, 4 July 2007 (UTC)

After being disgusted by the amount of violence in Kill Bill, and shocked that it wasnt even given the highest cinema classification, but a lower one that would allow children to watch it while munching popcorn, then I think its time for a new Hayes Code where violence is outlawed (sex OK), particularly because of the school shootings and culture of violence. 80.0.133.167 10:31, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
  • You're mixing apples and oranges. First, you assume that films and such have a modeling effect, that impressionable youth will see gangsters on screen and then decide, despite the dangers, to become criminals. There is little research for this. There is some research, although I haven't kept up, that violent children may enact specific behaviors they see in violent entertainments, but none that a non-violent child will become violent. Second, you assume that the gangster living would in some way be more encouraging than the gangster dying. In fact, Little Caesar and Public Enemy were both scandalous because the gangster died well. A really spectacular, theatrical, and momentous death is pretty attractive to the violent. Showing them sitting day after day in prison while they wait for their 30 year sentence to be up would be dull and therefore better than showing "Top of the world, Ma!" Third, you're putting "violence" in with "gangster." Some of the good guy films are excessively violent. Rambo and Deer Hunter and Taxi Driver (not a good guy, of course) and any John Wayne you want is going to be filled with violence, but it appears to be "good" violence or indifferent violence. If violence is the problem, then violence is the problem. If celebrating bad behavior is the problem, then that's the problem whether violence is involved or not. If we're talking about The Crays or Thank You For Smoking, the evil lifestyle being glamorized should have you upset. The problem is that one person's evil is not all persons' evil. I have less trouble with Cagney than I do the tobacco lobbyist. Geogre 13:03, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
Media violence research does not agree with you. 80.3.46.188 17:15, 4 July 2007 (UTC)
Possibly so, but media violence research is methodologically weak and politically commandeered, so we look for the results that keep coming up. De-sensitizing occurs, but encouraging violence (as opposed to kids going out to the playground and pretending to be Power Rangers by giving fake roundhouse kicks to each other) is another matter. For every violent criminal who had watched "Deadwood," how many people watched "Deadwood" and didn't become violent? Suggesting causality is just illogical. Geogre 11:42, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

George,I agree with you one hundered precent,Im quite sure that Scarface ending is much more likely to inspire young criminals then,for example,a movie about John Gotti,showing him spending his life in jail...Or Angels with dirty faces,where Cagney goes to take his electric chair punishment as a hero...Kids would rather follow that example,then if he was shown spending 30 years in jail...

But all this violence existed long before those movies,so it was very strange to me that all of big criminals died of natural deaths(Al Capone,Luciano,Ganovese,Bonanno and so on),at the same time all the movies are showing aposolutly unrealistic picture of the world(Im talkin about pre 1972 movies,every single gangster movie before Godfather ) ... Dzoni1 00:00, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure if I agree with your assertion that "all of the big criminals died of natural deaths." Consider, for example, Bugsy Siegel, Dion O'Banion, Sam Giancana or any of the other members of Category:Murdered mobsters (and the subcategory, Category:Murdered mafiosi). Carom 05:46, 5 July 2007 (UTC)
It's possible, also, that they became "big criminals" because they kept escaping violence. John Gotti, in particular, doesn't really belong on the list because his chief talent seems to have been to be the one who scared the others. Oh, and for very famously shot mobsters, don't forget Dutch Schultz. Didn't Legs Diamond get shot, too? Dillinger, Pretty Boy Floyd, and Babyface Nelson were the most talked-about gangsters at the time of Capone (with Capone, of course), and then there is Clyde Barrow and his gal. One of the things that made Arthur Hill's movie about Bonnie and Clyde so controversial is the interesting lack of heroism in their deaths (as it was emphatic and made Authority look arbitrary and cruel), so showing the G-men blasting the criminals can be a gesture that encourages anti-authoritarianism as well. Geogre 11:42, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Honestly,I`ve never heard of these people that you mentioned,since Im not an american,but outside of USA Vito Genovese, Al Capone, Lucky Luciano, Frank Costello, Joe Bonanno, Paul Castellano, Carlo Gambino, John Gotti,those are the most famouse criminals,you can hardly put Pretty Boy and Babyface in the same category with Capone or Luciano...Off course criminals die and killers die,but I was refering to big bosses,such as Joe Bonanno,Carlo Gambino or John Gotti...

It is strange that in all those movies bosses die,but in the real life,crime pays for big shots...

p.s.Yeah,off course theres Bonnie and Clyde or Billie the Kid or Jesse James,but I was refering to big time gangsters,rather then outlaws such as these,since all these movies that I`ve mentioned are more or less about Capone type gangster,not about outlaws Dzoni1 12:55, 5 July 2007 (UTC) Dzoni1 12:55, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

That might be the thing: selection. Bonnie and Clyde and Bugsy Siegel are far, far, far better known than Joe Bonanno, Paul Castellano, or Carlo Gambino. New Yorkers might recognize the last name, but the other two - maybe one in a thousand would recognize them. Babyface Nelson, Machine Gun Kelly, and Bugsy Siegel (who is and was so well-known he was parodied in children's cartoons) have far higher name recognition. --Charlene 08:33, 6 July 2007 (UTC)

Al Capone had several attempts on his life in prison - he seems lucky to have survived. Surely nobody would want to encourage people to take up the miserable, living-in-fear life of a professional criminal, or especially the great misery they cause their victims. 80.0.130.158 12:01, 6 July 2007 (UTC)


Yes,but Bonnie and Clyde were not gangsters,but outlaws.Machine Gun Kelly,John Dillinger were never bosses. All the really famous bosses died of natural causes,like Gotti,Capone,Luciano,Bonanno and many,many more. My question is simply why at least one fictional gangster movie is not a bit realistic about this? 86.129.72.125 15:54, 10 July 2007 (UTC)