I confess it – I am an Olympics junky! Glued to the TV last night as Bolt, Blake and Weir gave Jamaica at clean sweep in the 200 metres on the 50th anniversary of Jamaican independence…John Reader is right to remind us in his recent post on this Blog that the Roman ethic of ‘bread and circuses’ infused the ancient games – they were a means of social control. Is that what has been going on in London for the last two weeks?
Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy is obsessed with the question: what are the conditions of possibility for political judgment? Judgment, as Oliver O’Donovan has written in The Ways of Judgment, “both pronounces retrospectively on, and clears space prospectively for, actions that are performed within a community” and is therefore “subject to criteria of truth, on the one hand, and to criteria of effectiveness on the other” (9). Although judgment must meet both criteria, very often in the world of politics, they appear to be in rivalry. Truth-telling, in a world of fickle voters and predatory media, in a world of terrorists and hidden threats, can seem like a very unwise proposition, a luxury that must be dispensed with if order and justice are to be preserved. This tension haunts Nolan’s trilogy.