Fellowship of Punditry

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Cul Heath

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The Fellowship is accepting new members. Inquire within.

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  • George Orwell

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    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.

    Mark Twain

    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.

    Winston Churchill

    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.

    Voltaire

    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.

    Karl Marx

    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.

    Monday, August 02, 2004

    NONZERO: The Logic of Human Destiny

    By Nick

    Below is a rip from scholar Robert Wright's site, NONZERO.ORG. Many of you may be familiar with Robert Wright, he wrote a fantastic editorial in today's New York Times called What Would Machiavelli Do?. He also wrote a fascinating book which explored how evolution shaped our behavior called. The Moral Animial. Anyhow, below is a thought provoking snipit from NONZERO titled "The New World Order". Enjoy.


    In 1500 B.C., there were around 600,000 autonomous polities on the planet. Today, after many mergers and acquisitions, there are 193 autonomous polities. At this rate, the planet should have a single government any day now.

    World government? Traditionally, the idea of world government has been embraced mainly by left-wing peaceniks. In other corners, it draws various kinds of disdain, two of which are of special interest. One school finds the notion hopelessly unrealistic-and files those left-wing peaceniks under the label "woolly-minded one-worlders." The second school finds the notion plausible but terrifying-and speaks ominously of a coming "New World Order."

    Roughly speaking, what divides these two schools is which half of "Jihad vs. McWorld" they extrapolate from. Many members of the first school look to the future and see ever-more-virulent tribalism: civil war, cross-border ethnic strife, and terrorism-all empowered by new and deadly technologies, and all in the explosive context of overpopulation and environmental stress. Thus, according to the writer Robert Kaplan, the "grid of nation-states is going to be replaced by a jagged-glass pattern of city-states, shanty-states, nebulous and anarchic regionalisms." Private armies and drug cartels will flourish and "criminal anarchy" will emerge as "the real 'strategic' danger."

    In scenario number two, the problem isn't chaos, but rather a spooky kind of order. The order emanates partly from the multinational corporations and globetrotting financiers who animate McWorld. They swear allegiance not to any nation, but to profit alone, and they've implanted their values in such supranational bodies as the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization, whose tendrils threaten to slowly engulf and then smother national self-determination...(read more) In this view, the alphabet soup of supranational organizations-IMF, WTO, UN, NAFTA, and so on-is the harbinger of a coming planetary authority, the sovereignty-crushing New World Order. In some apocalyptic visions on the fringes of Christian fundamentalism, such institutions literally represent the Antichrist.

    One difference between these two schools-between the people who fear chaos and the people who fear order-is that the latter are more likely to be insane. They have a tendency, for example, to mistake unassuming dark-colored helicopters for attack aircraft sent by the United Nations.

    Ordinarily, sane people are a more reliable guide to the future than crazy people. But here the opposite may be the case. If history is even a roughly accurate guide, much power now concentrated at the level of the nation-state will indeed migrate to international institutions. World government-a single, centralized, planetary authority-may or may not arrive, but something firm enough to warrant the name world governance is in the cards. World governance, you might say, is human destiny, the natural outgrowth of the millennia-old expansion of non-zero-sumness among human beings.

    This isn't to say that the "chaos" theorists are wholly wrong. Indeed, there are at least two senses in which history will vindicate them.

    First, the "fragmentation" and "tribalism" that are part of the chaos scenario are indeed growing, and will keep growing. In fact, that massive net decline in the number of polities on earth-from 600,000 to 193-masks a recent reversal. Over the past century, the number of polities has actually grown. But, as we'll see, this and other manifestations of "tribalism" are not just reconcilable with world governance; oddly, they are inseparable from it, integral to it.

    Second, the chaos at the heart of the chaos scenario is not a figment of anyone's imagination. But, as we'll also see, it is precisely this chaos that is helping to drive the world to the final level of political organization, the global level.

    posted by Nick at 8/02/2004 04:15:00 PM |

    Comments: Post a Comment

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