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.
Friday, September 03, 2004
The Causes of Failure for Progressives and Future Strategies
Why the Progressive Movement has Failed
To begin, all progressive minded individuals need to eradicate their faith in revolution, or as it is commonly called in the parlance of our times, "waking people up". Every time you think people are going to magically "wake up", follow this proceedure:
Go to the grocery store and look at the masses of dead-eyed, sleepwalkers contently waddling down the aisles. Those are your voters. Repeat the Following Mantra:
Your political message is for them, not you.
Your only Job is to turn your message into actual votes.
If you think elections are won with reason, truth, or morality
Than dear lord my friend, politics is not for you.
The GOP and Karl Rove understand , and take advantage of this fact. As a result, those dolts keep winning elections. It's a sad fact that Republicans are yet to lose on account of overestimating the stupidity of voters.
Notes on Language:
Here's a few hints on crafting messages: don't bring up controversial social issues unless necessary. We should take back the language! Humor me, and contemplate the differences in your responses to these two sentences:
"It's a woman's right to have an abortion! We must stop these fundamentalists from
creating their theological fascist regime!"
"The radical fringe of the Republican party are attempting to use the coercive force of law as a means of imposing their controversial beliefs on every American. They think that a moral and ethical society will come by force; they see themselves as being chosen by god himself as leaders of a great moral experiment. However, society is not a machine to be "experimented" with; Americans are not gears which can be greased by passing arbitrary laws. In such a diverse society, it should be God -not Congress-- who makes the final judgment."
While the above frame is an overly verbose rough draft, it's an example of framing a pro-choice without exluding women or villifying christians. Most importantly, it paints the opposition as foolish, dangerous, extremists, and "out of touch with the main stream".
Notice the language "fringe", "coercive force", "imposing", these words evoke danger, chauvinism, totalitarianism - such language is effective on both the base of Democratic activists as well as Nascar Dad.
Its important that the progressive cause begin to tailor its issues to society as a whole,
instead of a plurality of interests. On a final note, be sure not to say anything which evokes images of dead fetuses, or gay sex. Remember that your message should be designed for the waddling sleepwalkesr at the grocery store. Make gay marriage about the government preventing you from entering monogomous and moral relationships. I'll tackle cognitive frames in more detail later. However, if you have any ideas, than drop them in the comments box. The more off the wall, the better.
Protests: Finally, let me say some words about the value of protests. Now, lets be honest: How
does clogging streets, yelling campy chants, and holding signs with slogans cause
"change". In all seriousness, when was the last time that a protest achieved anything
besides satisfaction among the protesters, and traffic jams for everyone else? I mean
really, name one achievement brought about by protests in the past 20 years?
Even in the past, when protests worked, they were also combined with strikes, civil disobedience which brought entire cities to a halt. The signs and chants were simply a bi-product and tradition from an age before television. Face it, most modern protests resemble civil war reenactments: they provide a whimsical way to relive historical events. I dare someone to challenge my judgment.
"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.