Blogs > Liberty and Power > Ibsen and Hayek

Jul 26, 2005 6:44 am

Ibsen and Hayek

Dear Yumi,
A very nice piece of yours today in on Ibsen, whose plays I first enjoyed in high school, long before I met Hayek.
You omitted, however, an important aspect of the conclusion of"An Enemy of the People." Dr. Stockmann does not just decide to stay in town, he chooses to fight back!
He asks his daughter, Petra, to round up some ragamuffins whom he intends to offer a real liberal education. When she asks how many, he replies, in a typical Ibsen reference to Christianity, that, as a start,"twelve will do."
It is in that context that one understands his declaration,"A man is strongest when he stands most alone." (Various translations).
With respect to the press, you may have noted that in several other plays Ibsen also calls the press person,"Aslaksen." A Norwegian friend told me that translates as"ass kisser!"
I have long referred to Washington, DC, as the"anal sphincter" of the American Empire, and Ibsen's choice of words might well apply to most of the Media inhabiting that Beltway and beyond!
Bill Marina

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Kenneth R Gregg - 7/26/2005

Ibsen was a master of the play and characterization. Perhaps it is the translations that I've read, but his style always reminded me of Ray Bradbury.

Just a thought.
Just Ken