Don Quixote's assault on the windmill vs battle of Lepanto

Y. B. Karasik,
Thoughts Guiding Systems Corp.,
Ottawa, Canada.
e-mail:karasik@sympatico.ca

In his novel "A searing mind" Altshuller wrote:

I disagree. People don't remember the battle of Lepanto because it is of no practical use to them. It does not help solve their current problems, nor can serve as a source of inspiration for anything relevant to the current reality, etc. Having said that it has to be noted that the practical impact is not felt by the common man only because he takes it for granted: he lives in a christian/secular world, enjoys its freedom, and does not suspect that it could have been otherwise. But anyone cognizant of who fought with whom at Lepanto and what the current reality would be if the Ottomans would had won, immediately realize that the practical impact of the battle is still here. Cervantes lost his arm not in vain.

There is probably a contradiction between the level of a practical impact and the degree of inspiration any battle provides. Inspirational battles (like the battle of Don Quixote with the windmill) rarely have any practical impact. But battles that have a tremendous practical impact (like the battle of Lepanto) are rarely inspirational anymore after some time lapse.

Still there are battles that both have tremendous practical impact and remain inspirational forever. They are revolutions.