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, August 25, 2004
A NEW PROGRESSIVE ERA? Part I: 'Our' Government
The American Prospect brought together seventeen progressive thinkers to answer the question: If you had 15 minutes with President Kerry, what would you tell him? I've read all 17 essays. Below are the highlights I've found. I feel that these points could help us take back our government. Thank's for the heads up, ddjango. Also note that a "-" between paragraphs denotes a cut.
I. We must repair the gap between citizens and government. Deborah Tannen, a professor of linguistics at Georgetown University, writes: When we recall the now-famous incantation, "ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country," we focus on its content: John F. Kennedy invited Americans to become active participants in, rather than passive recipients of, American democracy. But the word that stands out for me is the personal pronoun "your."
In their eagerness to turn voters against the party of Roosevelt and Kennedy--the party that gave Americans services such as Social Security and Medicare that the other party now claims to protect while clandestinely striving to erode--Republicans have defined a new enemy: "the government." The sense of unity that followed the September 11 attacks by a literal enemy has been dissolved as Republicans encourage Americans to see their own government as a metaphorical enemy. Like an autoimmune disease, this metaphoric battle turns the body politic's protective forces against the body itself. Rather than regarding the government as ours--a source of services that better citizens' lives--many Americans now see the services the government provides as their due, while regarding the government that provides those services as an enemy force.
How could John Kerry as president repair this internal rift and restore a sense of connection between citizens and their government? One way is to attend to the smallest parts of speech. He should refer to himself as "your president" and talk of "your" government or "ours." He must avoid the temptation to leap on the bandwagon that Republicans have built by claiming that he, too, will get government off your backs. It's an easy way to hitch a ride, but it undermines Democratic leaders' ability to get the credit their party deserves for having created the programs voters now see as part of the landscape, and to garner citizen support for future programs.
Effective presidents have embraced new communications technologies. Roosevelt's fireside chats made brilliant use of radio, a technology that brought the public voice of a political leader into people's homes, the most private of spaces. With television, not only a voice but a physical persona enters the home, sits down to dinner, becomes a member of the family. Ronald Reagan exploited these aspects of TV to become a "great communicator."
"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.