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.
Thursday, July 01, 2004
A 21st Century Federalist Paper: Split Vote Proportional Representation (Portion of 2nd Draft)
Note: This idea is limited to the house of representitives, and requires doubling the number of seats from 435 to 870. I posted the first part which discusses increasing the size of the house here
Instead of creating 435 new districts, the new seats would represent the minority within the district. However, these two representatives would not have two equal votes. Rather, each district would be entitled to one vote that the two representatives would split. Thus, if a candidate won 51% of the popular vote they would receive 51% of the district’s 1 vote in congress. This system would effectively end the possibility of gerrymandering. Moreover, uniting an electorate towards common goals will become the rule. As opposed to today’s unfortunatly effective political strategy of dividing the electorate against each other.
The other reform is ending the practice of one district being entitled to one full vote. Instead, the weight of every district's vote would be proportional to how many registered voters participated in the congressional election. Thus, if only 38 percent of a district's registered voters participated in a congressional election, than the two elected representatives would have to split 38/100 of the possible full vote. In such a system, not a single citizen would be able to say, “My vote doesn’t matter.” This will also end the usefulness of the most effective but destructive of political strategies: Rallying the easily controllable groups of voters with divisive issues, while purposefully making the unpredictable voters apathetic.
There are numerous hurdles to passing such a sweeping reform. The most obvious of these difficulties would be the passing a constitutional amendment. However, as with all large-scale reforms its best to keep our attention on the next step, not the top of the mountain. Realistically, we could expect a decade and a half to pass before such a proposal could make its way through the system. Thus, I will limit the remainder of this letter to why this is proposal could and should gain legitimacy and attention.
As John Locke once observed, “New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common.” Most Americans have become so accustomed to the plurality/majority system I'm expecting most people to judge this proposition as radical, or insane. However, systems of proportional representation are neither new nor uncommon. In fact, 21 out of the 28 nations in Western Europe use a form proportional representation to elect their national legislatures. In constrast we still use the 220 year old system of plurality/majority, or "winner takes all".
My proposition is a unique form of proportional representation that has been tailored for American Federalism. From hereon, I shall refer to my proposed form of proportional representation as (temporarily) “the split vote system”. Almost all variations of proportional representation are designed for parliamentary systems of government. Employing them within America’s unique system would be akin to hammering a screw into a block of wood. Nevertheless, the reasons for creating a unique and untested form of proportional representation warrant an explanation.
The split vote system is most similar to what electoral designers would call the “German system”, or “the mixed member proportional system”. This system was first practiced in West Germany following World War II. However, until just recently it remained relatively rare and unpopular. However, in the 1990’s New Zealand and Hungry abandoned their majority/plurality systems in favor of the German system. Most recently, the newly created parliaments in Scotland and Wales adopted the same system.
However, there are important differences between the German System and the split vote system. For example, suppose we held an election for a 100-seat legislature that represented 50 districts. If we used the German system, voters would cast two votes on their ballots: One vote would elect 50 seats using the majority-plurality system. The other vote would decide what proportion of seats should go to what party. Thus, if the Democrats won 28 out 50 of individual districts and 40% of voters preferred the democratic party, than the democrats would receive 12 additional seats creating a grand total of 40 of a total 100 seats.
The German system’s second vote for a political party is unnecessary and counter-productive within our system. The German system provides a necessary check and balance in the countries currently practicing it; parliamentary systems entrust the legislative branch with electing the nations chief executive. However, the American people already have a de-fact equivalent to the German system’s second vote. We have been given the unique power of electing our chief executive. Moreover, the purpose of the House of Representatives to protect and advance local communities interests on the national level. There is no reason to waste half of its limited seats with partisan filler. The splitting of a vote within a district preserves the interests of a community. Best of all, it naturally achieves same proportional power as the German system within the national level.
(this work is part of one of my ongoing projects of reforming American Federalism, as far as I know I've proposed something new. However, if you know of a form of proportional representation that resembles what I propose below, please let me know. As Phaedrus said, "I think you may have re-invented the wheel." Please save me the embarrassment of telling the world I've invented the wheel.)
"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.