America's Physcon, Ted Kennedy

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Physcon was the nickname for Ptolemy VIII, who became pharaoh of Egypt in 144 B.C. following the assassination of Ptolemy VII at his initiative. Physcon means, roughly, "potbelly," but the nickname has come to stand for a whole related host of human faults:

Everything wrong in the Ptolemies is summed up in the gross person of Physcon: the unswerving pursuit of sensual gratification (through food, drink, sex or power), unhindered by any moral restraints, guilts or fear of retribution; the acts of wanton, indeed sadistic, cruelty against his subjects; the treatment of a whole country as a monarch's vast private estate, to be milked for personal profit; the inability to see beyond the cycle of self—perpetuating rule that these assumptions engendered. There is also, less often noted, a strong and obvious component of fantasy, of megalomaniac unreality, due to the accident of Egypt's secure frontiers and virtual immunity to external invasion.

This is according to Wikipedia, which is certainly not definitive, as we have come to learn. However, it is unlikley that the friends or enemies of Ptolemy VIII have been been altering articles there, so perhaps it approximates truth.

Mike Austin, the proprietor of the blog the return of scipio, draws our attention to all of this, and suggests, with considerable insight, that Senator Edward Kennedy also embodies these qualities, sufficient to merit the deisgnation of "America's Physcon."

I like his thinking.

Thomas Lifson   1 14 06

Physcon was the nickname for Ptolemy VIII, who became pharaoh of Egypt in 144 B.C. following the assassination of Ptolemy VII at his initiative. Physcon means, roughly, "potbelly," but the nickname has come to stand for a whole related host of human faults:

Everything wrong in the Ptolemies is summed up in the gross person of Physcon: the unswerving pursuit of sensual gratification (through food, drink, sex or power), unhindered by any moral restraints, guilts or fear of retribution; the acts of wanton, indeed sadistic, cruelty against his subjects; the treatment of a whole country as a monarch's vast private estate, to be milked for personal profit; the inability to see beyond the cycle of self—perpetuating rule that these assumptions engendered. There is also, less often noted, a strong and obvious component of fantasy, of megalomaniac unreality, due to the accident of Egypt's secure frontiers and virtual immunity to external invasion.

This is according to Wikipedia, which is certainly not definitive, as we have come to learn. However, it is unlikley that the friends or enemies of Ptolemy VIII have been been altering articles there, so perhaps it approximates truth.

Mike Austin, the proprietor of the blog the return of scipio, draws our attention to all of this, and suggests, with considerable insight, that Senator Edward Kennedy also embodies these qualities, sufficient to merit the deisgnation of "America's Physcon."

I like his thinking.

Thomas Lifson   1 14 06