I am told, my friend tells me, that he believes.
In democracy that is. Mr Democracy also believes, or so he says.
And as for science, I have previously ‘told tales’ of his liaison with Marina Columbina. Mrs Science that is, or so we sometimes affectionately like to call her, in recognition of the PhD she was awarded (which contributed significantly to a theory of social knowledge according to certain citations), alongside our other more personal and private terms of affection which we have also given her, some more passionate and desirous to do with her bella figura, others more shadowy and cautious to do with her Neapolitan familial links to an underworld of violence and crime.
A WORD here about our exploratory method to “walk a path between”: AS is our habit, we are leaping a vast continental landscape of twentieth century historical argument and evidence, foreshortening, and foreshortened in this instance to Mr Democracy and Mrs Science (in remembrance perhaps of the similar catchwords adopted by the Chinese ‘May 4th Movement’ in 1919), without consciously or otherwise attempting to fill all the space.
What kind of democracy is that, I asked, One grounded in secular reason, and whose legitimacy is based on appeals to popular sovereignty, and, normatively, resting on the rule of law, came the instant reply, but spoken in a monotone so that I had the impression I was being read to, and could not be sure the answer was my friend’s own.
And the will of God plays no part.
At least, since the 1848 Year of Revolutions in Europe, that has been the general consensus, but whether it remains so I am now become uncertain, since my friend tells me, as I said at the outset, that he also believes.
And we have known for some time, in Europe at any rate, our good intentions, Mr Democracy and Mrs Science, are no guarantee against Evil, and things going badly wrong.