Political language -- and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists -- is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face - forever.
But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.
Sometimes the first duty of intelligent men is the restatement of the obvious.
Whatever is funny is subversive, every joke is ultimately a custard pie... a dirty joke is a sort of mental rebellion.
In our age there is no such thing as 'keeping out of politics.' All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia.
All political thinking for years past has been vitiated in the same way. People can foresee the future only when it coincides with their own wishes, and the most grossly obvious facts can be ignored when they are unwelcome.
At fifty everyone has the face he deserves.
Most people get a fair amount of fun out of their lives, but on balance life is suffering, and only the very young or the very foolish imagine otherwise.
John Stuart Mill
Conservatives are not necessarily stupid, but most stupid people are conservatives.
The amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few now dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time.
The general tendency of things throughout the world is to render mediocrity the ascendant power among mankind.
Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called and whether it professes to be enforcing the will of God or the injunctions of men.
A man who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself.
Don't let schooling interfere with your education.
All generalizations are false, including this one.
A classic is something that everybody wants to have read and nobody wants to read.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.
Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society.
The Public is merely a multiplied "me."
Only kings, presidents, editors, and people with tapeworms have the right to use the editorial "we."
Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
Only one thing is impossible for God: To find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.
Don't go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.
The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.
I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals.
Don't talk to me about naval tradition. It's nothing but rum, sodomy and the lash.
Never hold discussions with the monkey when the organ grinder is in the room.
Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfils the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things.
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results.
In war as in life, it is often necessary when some cherished scheme has failed, to take up the best alternative open, and if so, it is folly not to work for it with all your might.
Otto Von Bismarck
When you want to fool the world, tell the truth.
I have seen three emperors in their nakedness, and the sight was not inspiring.
Never believe anything in politics until it has been officially denied.
Be polite; write diplomatically ;even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness.
A witty saying proves nothing.
If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated.
When he to whom one speaks does not understand, and he who speaks himself does not understand, that is metaphysics.
I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: "O Lord make my enemies ridiculous." And God granted it.
To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.
Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.
It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets.
The best way to be boring is to leave nothing out.
Philosophy stands in the same relation to the study of the actual world as masturbation to sexual love.
All I know is I'm not a Marxist.
The writer may very well serve a movement of history as its mouthpiece, but he cannot of course create it.
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
What If Terrorists Attack the Day Before the Presidential Election?
So I asked the question... What if?
I am not a conspiracy theorist, but as we get closer to the election, and it appears that the current administration is about to be removed from power... If there is some kind of national emergency, anything is possible.
David Rothkopf considered that very question in an article at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace:
Recently, I co-chaired a meeting hosted by CNBC of more than 200 senior business and government executives, many of whom are specialists in security and terrorism related issues.
It was the sense of the group that such an attack was likely to generate additional support for President Bush. These are serious people, not prone to hysteria or panic -- military officers, policymakers, scientists, researchers and others who have studied such issues for a long time. They know that in country after country, elections have held an irresistible lure for terrorists. In Israel, Colombia, Russia, Sri Lanka, Spain, Turkey and elsewhere, recent elections have been disrupted by strikes designed to commandeer the spotlight, to derail democracy, or to discredit or perhaps inflame a political leader.
From the perspective of the terrorist, attacking in an election year makes perfect sense. The objective of terrorism is not so much to strike a blow against a particular physical target as it is to strike a psychological blow against a target audience. That is why terrorists will often hit symbolic targets such as the World Trade Center or conduct "message" strikes on buses or sidewalk cafes to suggest that no one is safe. Elections heighten the stakes because a blow during an election is a blow against a society's political foundations. Elections also enable terrorists to lash out more directly at individual political figures and to do so in a highly visible way.
Now, that sort of logic would likely befuddle most people. Given that President Bush is hard on terror, wouldn't they want a softer canidate in office? The answer is no, and voters need to understand this next point:
Terrorists, too, can see that hard-liners tend to win after terrorist attacks. So why would they want to help them win? Perhaps because terrorists see the attacks as a win-win. They can lash out against their perceived enemies and empower the hard-liners, who in turn empower them as terrorists. How? Hard-liners strike back more broadly, making it easier for terrorists as they attempt to justify their causes and their methods. This in turn suggests that while terrorists must be combated, a measured public response is more effective than an impulsive or ill-conceived military response (however emotionally satisfying) that is likely to produce unnecessary collateral damage, political or otherwise.
So what are we to do if a terrorist attack happens during an election? I think his conclusion is the best possible answer:
In short, post-attack emotion should not be seen as a license for excess, even if that response can win momentary political support.
Assessing terrorism among, but not above, our other priorities won't be easy. Especially not the day after. But you can't fight a war or manage a democracy as if every attack were Pearl Harbor. Nor can we fight alone what is clearly a global problem. The fact that other nations have long dealt with terrorism, and continue to, offers us evidence that spasmodic, violent responses to violence are not productive. And their example offers us hope that through a resolute, international effort there can be an end both to the war on terrorism and to this era of wrenching uncertainty.
"Netpolitik is a new style of diplomacy that seeks to exploit the powerful capabilities of the Internet to shape politics, culture, values, and personal identity. But unlike Realpolitik — which seeks to advance a nation’s political interests through amoral coercion — Netpolitik traffics in “softer” issues such as moral legitimacy, culturalidentity, societal values, and public perception." - The Rise of Netpolitik
PUN-DIT (n) : A learned man; a teacher; a source of opinion; a critic: a political pundit.