We Reach the Same End by Discrepant Means.

We all reach the same end, death. This much is obvious, and it does not matter about the details of our lives.

However, even during our lives, we reach the same ends by different means. It is interesting to note how in the twentieth century, the two political extremes, Communism and Fascism, ended up both as controlling and totalitarian regimes. Almost as if Hitler was looking into the mirror and seeing Stalin in the reflection.

Montaigne notes how in historical scenarios, different sets of behaviour lead to the same outcome and how sometimes the exact same set of behaviour leads to different outcomes.

In some cases, a general that fights to the end in spared due to his bravery, while in other cases, it is that very bravery that gets him viciously tortured.

Why is this?

If we compare different situations, it is often not a straight comparison because there are a lot of other factors at play, especially when two or more people interact.

Even when the same two people interact, we should expect this variety in outcomes from similar situations (or vice versa) because humans have a memory. These are not two distinct events but are on the same continuum. This is very much like the story of the boy who cried wolf. You can keep the same behaviour on your end, but you cannot guarantee that others will do the same.

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