Social Studies, the mixture of Geography and History that was in the curriculum at school were an interesting subject to read. John, King of England from 1166 until his demise in 1216 had to counter the hapless Barons who turned rebellious and got together to curb his powers. They brought forth the Magna Carta which was drafted to curtail the vast power the King had over the land, people and his recalcitrance towards the Papacy. History is like a long, intriguing novel ! It is a story of knowledge, conniving, deceit, victories, battles won, wars lost, of people who preceded us and in flesh and blood like we. Spilling of much blood, usurping one’s own father, brothers and even mother on the long desperate scramble to the glory of throne!
But my history book says Magna Carat was a failure, though the death of King John secured Magna Carta eventually.
The drama continues to be enacted even today and in our midst, in social lives, in dwellings among lay people and more among the powerful and the mighty. Distrust, helplessness and subterfuge like in the times of John the King of England! The Bard detailed such intrigues in the Macbeth, in King Lear and Julius Caesar. The latter had more in common to the real life episode that preceded William Shakespeare by about one thousand five hundred years. But life all the same, even before the Italian Machiavelli, was full of intrigues, lust for wealth, power and amour. So why pillories him for what we call “Machiavellian deceit and intrigues”?
There is a friend of mine who often narrate in disgust to me the chicaneries in the family she is married into. She lamented in anguish and disgust, the subterfuges and intrigues that are agonisingly rampant in the circle of her in laws. A rocky nuptial accord that she has with her husband is on a plateau now more because of the necessity to secure her children’s rightful share of the assets. She wonders if their father will ever have anything left to bequeath. More because even though he is crafty, he is pliable, she says. One of her in law (her husband’s brother) as she sees it happen will through guile and artistry that deludes without the deceived knowing so, arrogate what has been jointly held by all of them.
She has now decided that she will not deign and begun to face a bunch of specious sisters- in law- square on. Cowed down by the weight of their contradictions, the rest of lot have lost out on their deft plans of producing a Magna Carta to reign in the marauding brother and his wife and save much of the wealth that they will elude their grasp. They now assume that they can “Hail Mary” their way out of the imbroglio .
I asked her if she would mind if I blog some of the story. She said she would not care a hoot. She is sometimes distrait that she indulges in binge drinking. Though I and C have cautioned her to desist from exposing much of the rags in public and take care of herself.
It is the cruel irony of life that under the avalanche of unbridled wealth, people who were relatively decent and spartan would metamorphose into people who can bring forth much sorrow and anguish.