The Many-Headed Hydra Summary

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The book “The Many-Headed Hydra” is set from 1585 forward through potentially today. The reference to “The Lernean Hydra” one of Hercules twelve tasks to atone for the murder of his wife and children. These struggles made Hercules the perfect embodiment of an idea the Greeks called pathos, the experience of virtuous struggle and suffering which would lead to fame and, in Hercules ' case, immortality. While the book is linear (chronological) in its orders and focuses clearly on one subject matter/topic instead of combining major actions/dissension into blocks of specific time; the authors instead attempted to create their historiographical text in the manner of the New Left historians. The book is written in the manner of a Marxist and Hegelian dialectic (I believe it is framed more as a journey and self-development of the idea – if so, then it would be considered more Hegelian in its nature). If so, then it skews the historiographic of the period to a view of a societal norming. One must set aside our 21st century mores; we need to shift our focus on what was practiced in the 17th century to accurately view the scope of the period. This book fails to do so in my opinion. The primary thrust of the book is to rediscover the…show more content…
The “hydra” is a metaphor for anyone stood in the way of profit through the exploitation of resources. The English monarchy and its driven pursuit of profit (mercantilism) is represented by Hercules; who uses brute force to strangle the “hydra”. I believe the metaphor should have been reversed with the English as the hydra who would continually expand its influence across the Atlantic for economic gain. If one head (profit) was cut off, it would simple regrow with the heads of taxation and import duties. Since the bite of the hydra was poisonous; the classless (or the proletariat) needed to have another to burn the stump (France or another group) so that it would not
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