I like the idea or at least the tradition of the Italian vendetta … or as the Latin origin would have it: “Vindicta” … “A rod used in manumitting slaves … deliverance … “
“In Roman law. A rod or wand; and, from the use of that instrument in their course, various legal acts came to be distinguished by the term; e. g., one of the three ancient modes of manumission was by the v indict a; also the rod or wand inter-vened in the progress of the old action of vindicatio, whence the name of that action.”
To me it symbols a kind of natural justice, delivered when civil justice is absent or deliberately denied … even a kind of “poetic justice” could be seen as a comfort of a successful “vendetta” by fate … by mute Nemesis.
Yes … certainly a “deliverance” from a perceived injustice, be it by person or persons known, corporations or political opponents … Radicalism against conservatism could be seen as a vindicta; a deliverance from oppression of bland and suffocating mediocrity in life.
Clarence Darrow, in his 79th year, saw the publication of his brilliant dissertation “On Selecting a Jury”, in Esquire Magazine, May 1936:
“The late Clarence Darrow was 79 when this achieved print. Active practice was definitely over for the lawyer who never, in more than fifty years at the bar, appeared on the side of the prosecution, who never, in scores of capital cases, had a client executed. We gave him a fairly pedestrian assignment, asking him to write a piece giving a few pointers on jury-picking. It was greater luck than we merited to receive in return this winged answer to profounder questions than we had the wit to ask. For here is no less a thing than a golden epitome of all the wisdom that has accrued to an ever-youthful spirit in the late evening of a well spent life. Far more than a mere footnote to the tricks of his trade, it is a philosophic summation of the practical answers to any present day Pilate who might jesting ask “What is Justice?” It is an answer wise though witty, compassionate though cynical, the answer of the man who said of the great Governor Altgeld what might equally well be said of himself: “Even admirers have seldom understood the real character of this great human man. It was not a callous heart that so often led him to brave the most violent and malicious hate: it was not a callous heart, it was a devoted soul . . . that spoke for the poor, the oppressed, the captive and the weak.”
His own assessment of the bias of “justice” in that same article can be read below:
“In the last analysis, most jury trials are contests between the rich and poor. If the case concerns money, it is apt to be a case of damages for injuries of some sort claimed to have been inflicted by someone. These cases are usually defended by insurance companies, railroads, or factories. If a criminal case, it is practically always the poor who are on trial. The most important point to learn is whether the prospective juror is humane. This must be discovered in more or less devious ways. As soon as “the court” sees what you want, he almost always blocks the game.”
This publication by Darrow could be seen as a kind of fulfilled “vendetta” against those who would victimise the same; “… poor, oppressed, the captive and the weak.” He left no stone unturned as he dissected the bulbous, inflated buffoonery of civil laws that worked mainly for the wealthy and privileged. Those were the days when a radical attitude toward the conservative establishment was a respected and almost a desirable quirk of the human condition. These days, however, it seems almost a dirty word, where “people of taste and style” are more savvy to avoid distasteful confrontation for what can only be described as acceptance … acceptance of what is described as the “inevitable”, the “reality of the situation” and an avoidance of anything that smacks of the distasteful in either language or opinion … ”one’s upbringing … doncha know!”… when all the time it really is just simple cowardice.
“Acceptance in human psychology is a person’s assent to the reality of a situation, recognizing a process or condition (often a negative or uncomfortable situation) without attempting to change it or protest it. The concept is close in meaning to acquiescence, derived from the Latin acquiēscere (to find rest in).” (Wikipedia).
And then there is this:
Often when I discuss acceptance with students or clients, a common argument is put forth: “Acceptance is no good. It is passive and accepting things as they are is giving up. It is resignation to something unpalatable.” But that is not the real meaning of acceptance. There is no better explanation than Jon Kabat-Zinn’s in, “Coming to Our Senses: Healing Ourselves and the World Through Mindfulness”: “Acceptance doesn’t, by any stretch of the imagination, mean passive resignation. Quite the opposite. It takes a huge amount of fortitude and motivation to accept what is- especially when you don’t like it-and then work wisely and effectively as best you possibly can with the circumstances you find yourself in and with the resources at your disposal, both inner and outer, to mitigate, heal, redirect, and change what can be changed.” (p.407). In other words, desiring the world to be something it is not at the moment is stopped and ruminating thoughts about how things “should be” are put aside. Then change what can be changed.
Acceptance helps reduce what people experience as negative. That is only half of the solution to improving one’s quality of life, however. It has been purported that it takes five positive experiences to counter one negative (Gottman) or, more generally, your brain responds to positive events like Teflon and to negative ones like Velcro (Hanson, Mendius). So, the new goal is to allow the positive to resonate, to be prolonged, not in a desperate grasping fashion, but instead through mindfulness and allowing it to permeate one’s attention. This helps counter the balance, and swing experience to the positive.” (Psychology Today, June 27, 2015).
What a load of middle-class wank, but taken alongside the silence or the defensive acquiesce in regards to the “majority decision” on refugees etc, the “outrage” against the minutiae of political behaviour and the pathetic seediness of sexual misconduct of the politically ugly and degenerate and one has to wonder if with such limp-wristed pontification, we, the people are not moving into the last days of radicalism.
Me personally, I prefer Norm Gallagher’s simple response when told of the bankruptcy of a particularly nasty building company:
“It couldn’t’ve happened to a nicer bunch of bastards!”