Notice: This is the official website of the All Empires History Community (Reg. 10 Feb 2002)

  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Register Register  Login Login

Help!!! Cameleons in History (need ideas)

 Post Reply Post Reply
Author
poirot View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke
Avatar
Editorial Staff

Joined: 21-May-2005
Location: Belgium
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1838
  Quote poirot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Help!!! Cameleons in History (need ideas)
    Posted: 18-Jan-2006 at 01:07

Dear knowledgeable and industrious members of AE:

I really need help on this one:

I am writing an essay on famous chameleons in history.  It is a definition essay, and I have very good ideas on how to write it, but I need some examples of famously notorious chameleons in history to make the essay complete. 

The idea is based on Anton Chekhov's shory story The Chameleon, in which a police superintendent, being a chameleon, rapidly changes his attitude toward a hound based on reports whether the hound belonged to the general. 

A chameleon is an animal that changes color to conform to the background.

My definition of a chameleon is a person who changes his position constantly to conform with whoever or whatever is in power.  A shameless conformist who, regardless of his real convictions, shamelessly sides with the stronger establishment to protect or advance his self interests.

I have a pretty good idea of the essay, but I would like more raw materials to work with.  I would love to hear some examples of famous, notorious chameleons in history. 



Edited by poirot
AAAAAAAAAA
"The crisis of yesterday is the joke of tomorrow.�   ~ HG Wells
           
Back to Top
Maju View Drop Down
King
King
Avatar

Joined: 14-Jul-2005
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6565
  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2006 at 04:06
I don't know about historical chamaleons but I can't but recall Zelig of Woody Allen. 

NO GOD, NO MASTER!
Back to Top
poirot View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke
Avatar
Editorial Staff

Joined: 21-May-2005
Location: Belgium
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1838
  Quote poirot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2006 at 04:08
Just to give an example, Charles Talleyrand.  I can only think of one or two examples, that is why I am asking the entire AE forum to help!
AAAAAAAAAA
"The crisis of yesterday is the joke of tomorrow.�   ~ HG Wells
           
Back to Top
Maju View Drop Down
King
King
Avatar

Joined: 14-Jul-2005
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 6565
  Quote Maju Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2006 at 04:43
Fouch?

Manuel Fraga? From fascist killer to conservative democrat mild defender of Galician peculiarities?

Mussolini? From socialist to inventor of fascism?

Josep Piqu? From Troskist to Tory and master of reverences.

NO GOD, NO MASTER!
Back to Top
Paul View Drop Down
General
General
Avatar
AE Immoderator

Joined: 21-Aug-2004
Location: Hyperborea
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 952
  Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2006 at 05:08

Would Talleyrand be a chameleon. He didn't really change his political beliefs, he just never had any.

Oswald Mosely would be a good example. He was in the labour party whinging it was not left enough, without success. Started his own more left wing party, which failed. Then moved further and further right with increasing popularity until he was dining with the Hitlers.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/PRmosley.htm



Edited by Paul
Light blue touch paper and stand well back

http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk

http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk
Back to Top
ulrich von hutten View Drop Down
Tsar
Tsar
Avatar
Court Jester

Joined: 01-Nov-2005
Location: Germany
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 3638
  Quote ulrich von hutten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2006 at 05:09
an example of the present.
ex -minister of foreign affairs of germany joseph"joschka" fischer
formally a member of anarchistic groups he changed to that person you may know. in the meantime he was an ecologic hardliner and pacifist.

Back to Top
poirot View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke
Avatar
Editorial Staff

Joined: 21-May-2005
Location: Belgium
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1838
  Quote poirot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2006 at 05:18
Originally posted by Paul

Would Talleyrand be a chameleon. He didn't really change his political beliefs, he just never had any.

Oswald Mosely would be a good example. He was in the labour party whinging it was not left enough, without success. Started his own more left wing party, which failed. Then moved further and further right with increasing popularity until he was dining with the Hitlers.

http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/PRmosley.htm

Exactly, a chameleon does not have deep set beliefs, for he changes what he stands for based on who is in power.  Talleyrand fits the exact mold.

My definition of a chameleon in my essay is one who conforms shamelessly to secure or advance his personal interests.  He does not necessarily believe in what he conforms to, but he decides change banners because it suits his interests. 

A good point: someone who changes his beliefs from A to B because he is convinced that B is better than A is not a chameleon by my defnintion.  A chemeleon is someone who changes from A to B not because he believes in B but because he can better survive/advance his interests through B.



Edited by poirot
AAAAAAAAAA
"The crisis of yesterday is the joke of tomorrow.�   ~ HG Wells
           
Back to Top
Guests View Drop Down
Guest
Guest
  Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2006 at 06:12
In the Netherlands we have the D66 party, who the past three years never had their own opinion for more than 3 weeks.

In Mexican history an example may be Pascual Orozco, who first was anarchist, became liberal when he joined with Madero, then switched to socialist to join with Villa and eventually ended up supporting the reactionary conservative dictatorship of Victoriano Huerta.


Edited by Mixcoatl
Back to Top
Paul View Drop Down
General
General
Avatar
AE Immoderator

Joined: 21-Aug-2004
Location: Hyperborea
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 952
  Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2006 at 06:15

I think there's three positions.

The pragmatist who has no beliefs and plays the role of a or b out of convenience.

The convert who really believes a then genuinely converts to b.

The betrayer who plays the role of supporting b for success while genuinely supporting a.

There's also people who mix these positions throughout their life.

For me Tallyrand is a pragmantist, Mosely a convert.

Are they all chameleons or some more than other in you definition

Light blue touch paper and stand well back

http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk

http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk
Back to Top
Zagros View Drop Down
Emperor
Emperor

Suspended

Joined: 11-Aug-2004
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 8792
  Quote Zagros Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2006 at 06:26
King John Balliol of Scotland, the puppet of Edward I 1292-96.
Back to Top
poirot View Drop Down
Arch Duke
Arch Duke
Avatar
Editorial Staff

Joined: 21-May-2005
Location: Belgium
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 1838
  Quote poirot Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2006 at 10:27
Originally posted by Paul

I think there's three positions.

The pragmatist who has no beliefs and plays the role of a or b out of convenience.

The convert who really believes a then genuinely converts to b.

The betrayer who plays the role of supporting b for success while genuinely supporting a.

There's also people who mix these positions throughout their life.

For me Tallyrand is a pragmantist, Mosely a convert.

Are they all chameleons or some more than other in you definition

The pragmatist who has no beliefs and plays the role of a or b out of convenience.



Edited by poirot
AAAAAAAAAA
"The crisis of yesterday is the joke of tomorrow.�   ~ HG Wells
           
Back to Top
Paul View Drop Down
General
General
Avatar
AE Immoderator

Joined: 21-Aug-2004
Location: Hyperborea
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 952
  Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2006 at 11:30
Richard Neville 'the kingmaker' springs to mind. However my personal favourite in the political deviousness stakes has to be the grand daddy of them all and make Tallyrand look like and angel.... Alcibiades
Light blue touch paper and stand well back

http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk

http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk
Back to Top
Genghis View Drop Down
Caliph
Caliph
Avatar

Joined: 02-Aug-2004
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2656
  Quote Genghis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2006 at 12:49
Alcibiades in the Peloponessian War, if I recall correctly he defected to Sparta from Athens and then back to Athens in the war.
Member of IAEA
Back to Top
Paul View Drop Down
General
General
Avatar
AE Immoderator

Joined: 21-Aug-2004
Location: Hyperborea
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 952
  Quote Paul Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2006 at 13:28

Persia as well,

He also managed to get the Spartan queen pregnant.

Light blue touch paper and stand well back

http://www.maquahuitl.co.uk

http://www.toltecitztli.co.uk
Back to Top
Constantine XI View Drop Down
Suspended
Suspended

Suspended

Joined: 01-May-2005
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 5711
  Quote Constantine XI Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2006 at 21:50
Cleopatra isn't a bad one. Though she only changed in terms of personal loyalty. Her inner loyalty to Egypt never changed.
Back to Top
morticia View Drop Down
Sultan
Sultan
Avatar
Retired AE Editor

Joined: 09-Aug-2005
Location: United States
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 2077
  Quote morticia Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2006 at 16:31
I consider Mary Magdalen a chameleon.

"A mistaken notion has prevailed that this Mary was a woman of bad character, that she was the woman who is emphatically called "a sinner" (Luke 7:36-50)."

There are many different perceptions about Mary Magdalen. She has been called both a woman of ill-repute and a holy woman! You have to be a chameleon to pull that off!


"Morty

Trust in God: She will provide." -- Emmeline Pankhurst
Back to Top
Nick1986 View Drop Down
Emperor
Emperor
Avatar
Mighty Slayer of Trolls

Joined: 22-Mar-2011
Location: England
Online Status: Offline
Posts: 7940
  Quote Nick1986 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 12-Jul-2012 at 19:02
Bishops Gardiner and Bonner might qualify. They conformed under Henry, but as soon as Edward died they proclaimed themselves Catholics and burned many Protestants on Mary's orders
Me Grimlock not nice Dino! Me bash brains!
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Bulletin Board Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 9.56a [Free Express Edition]
Copyright ©2001-2009 Web Wiz

This page was generated in 0.156 seconds.