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 Youthful fanatics and later regret

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Priscilla
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PostSubject: Youthful fanatics and later regret   Fri 04 Jul 2014, 17:06

With the current rash of youthful fanaticism, I am given to wonder - with simplistic optimism - if there are many instances in History of fanatics and hotheads who have  later expressed regret?
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Aelfwine
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PostSubject: Re: Youthful fanatics and later regret   Sun 06 Jul 2014, 19:53

Richard II was guilty of rash acts  as a young man, and it is interesting to know his thoughts after his abdication on  29 September 1399. Whilst in prison he was visited by the chronicler Adam of Husk. "What a strange and fickle land this is," he said to the chronicler, "which has banished, killed or ruined so many of its kings, rulers and great men and has ever been tarnished with strife and envy."

A slight sign of regret, perhaps?
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Youthful fanatics and later regret   Mon 07 Jul 2014, 12:21

Not to mention Henry VIII's "what the hell was I thinking of" moments when he looked back after 1527 at his "defender of the faith" pope-toadying as a full-blooded hot-headed Catholic supremo just six years earlier.
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Meles meles
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PostSubject: Re: Youthful fanatics and later regret   Mon 07 Jul 2014, 14:29

You do set some posers P ...

No age seems to have lacked its share of hot-blooded, rash, fanatical chaps - as another thread has suggested, it must be something in their genes, or at least their jeans - but nevertheless I'm struggling to think of those that wise up after a few years of reflection. The trouble seems to be that hot-headed lads charge off to conquor the world, and then either (a) die whilst still doing it (say Alexander the Great or Richard I) or, (b) actually achieve it, and so gradually slump into middle-aged complacency, securely wealthy and fat on the rash gambles their younger selves took but unlikely to admit they were foolish since it got them where they are (say, Octavian/Augustus, Arthur Wellsey/Duke of Wellington), or (c) they survived to grow old but feeling increasingly bitter and cheated that all the risks they took as young men didn't quite get them what they felt they deserved (say, Columbus and Walter Raleigh).

But I did wonder about Richard II's older brother, Edward the Black Prince. Militarily precocious, he was certainly bold and hot-headed and remained violently ambitious right up until his death. Yet on his actual death-bed he passed various, almost apologetic, decrees suddenly giving his previously oppressed vassals vastly increased rights and freedoms, and for himself opted for a modest, almost penitential tomb, not at Westminster but at Canturbury.

But I'm not sure that a last minute, death-bed change of heart actually counts ... especially when one is suddenly forced to confront death, and probably from that most undignified and humbling of ailments, amoebic dysentry.

 No
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Youthful fanatics and later regret   Mon 07 Jul 2014, 21:54

Priscilla wrote:
With the current rash of youthful fanaticism, I am given to wonder - with simplistic optimism - if there are many instances in History of fanatics and hotheads who have  later expressed regret?


Priscilla,

I wanted some days ago to give examples as the children crusade
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Children's_Crusade, commenting that it was easy to brainwash young adolescents, giving also the examples of the Nazi youth camps and the Napola film http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2558424/Inside-Hitler-Youth-camps-youngsters-brainwashed-Nazis.html I wanted to make parallels with present day...and yes many regret it afterwards...many not...but writing under my own name, as on a French forum of geopolitics...seeing overthere that there are contributors that have selected ideas as about the last islamic events...and on this very day a meeting of Dutch and Belgian mayors about the problem of youngsters parting for Syria...and the even bigger problem of the returning ones...I rather don't tend to elaborate the phenomenon...

Kind regards and with esteem,

Paul.
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Temperance
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PostSubject: Re: Youthful fanatics and later regret   Tue 08 Jul 2014, 10:18

I've often wondered about those Marxist fanatics, the Cambridge spies - Blunt, Maclean, Philby and Burgess, but especially Burgess.

Life as a homosexual, alcoholic exile can't have been much fun: I wonder if Burgess ever expressed regret for his actions? This old Etonian may however have derived some comfort from his tailor: he was apparently allowed by the Soviet authorities to continue ordering his suits from Saville Row. He died of drink, but impeccably dressed, in Moscow in 1963.

Blunt definitely regretted his youthful folly: he admitted in his memoirs that he regarded passing British secrets to Communist Russia as "the biggest mistake of my life". He too sought refuge "in whisky".
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nordmann
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PostSubject: Re: Youthful fanatics and later regret   Tue 08 Jul 2014, 13:40

There's huge debate Paul regarding just how many "children" were present in the "children's crusade" - the contemporary reports are either sparse or suspect when they do exist. Nor should the whole tragic escapade be confused with the military crusades anyway - the lucky ones made it home without having strayed too far, the rest fell foul of illness, exploitation and worse without getting further than Italy. Young adolescents were definitely amongst their number but the gullibility and ease with which they could be led was a trait shared with many (and probably even a majority) older participants too.
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PaulRyckier
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PostSubject: Re: Youthful fanatics and later regret   Tue 08 Jul 2014, 23:06

nordmann wrote:
There's huge debate Paul regarding just how many "children" were present in the "children's crusade" - the contemporary reports are either sparse or suspect when they do exist. Nor should the whole tragic escapade be confused with the military crusades anyway - the lucky ones made it home without having strayed too far, the rest fell foul of illness, exploitation and worse without getting further than Italy. Young adolescents were definitely amongst their number but the gullibility and ease with which they could be led was a trait shared with many (and probably even a majority) older participants too.


Nordmann,

to be honest I had the "children's crusade" in mind before starting the message, but then reading the "wiki" saw the "historical" approach and yes mostly no children...but already started the message...and becoming "slopy" (logically negligent?) from lazyness caused by lack of time Embarassed ...and not feeling that subject as too important Embarassed ...

The same with my research on Google about the Hitler youth camps...there is a lot more that I before read about...but yesterday in Google most the Napola film that I have seen and discussed in full with the German Thomas on the ex-BBC...and yet already on page 12 of Google...not seeking further...or not seeking with the right terms...I made some "quick" sentence... Embarassed 

Kind regards and with esteem,

Paul.
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