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, September 30, 2004
Class and Religion As Instincts of Hierarchy and Ritualism
Karlo suggested there were great similarities between the way we think of class and the way we think of religion. Are there? And if there are, how can we bring a discussion of class into the open?
It's a vital question and here is my partial answer:
I see class and religion as subsets of the primal instinct to map hierarchies onto our perception of the world around us as a survival technique. I believe there are five basic primal instincts that can account for nearly all of our behaviors; self-preservation, reproduction, territorialism, hierarchy and ritualism. Some behaviors are uncatagorical and a product of irrationality or chaos caused by extreme trauma or diseases which play havoc with the brain's ability to accurately perceive the world around it.
Human behavior is complex and no given human behavior is likely the result of any individual instinct. It is more likely that two more of these simplified five instincts interact to produce a given behavior.
Social class is specifically a case of the hierarchy dominance instinct, as in the so-called alpha male or female of a pack of animals or a human tribe, whereas religion falls most purely into the ritualistic which is exemplified by repetitive and habitual behavior response to the perceived environment as means of dealing with spontaneous change and challenges from the environment.
It is easy to see how the instincts for hierarchy and ritual can interact and produce a social class structure reinforced by ritual. It is also obvious that a notion such as "the divine right of kings" would be produced by such an interaction. I doubt that there is any clear cut way to separate class and religion. The only tempering mechanism for either is intellect, but as we are all aware, intellect is an artifice and invention of the brain's neocortex and is nowhere near as powerful or persistent as the more ancient limbic system. In matters of personal survival and reproduction, the intellect goes out the window first. We are animals first and sapients second.
The intellect can harness the instinct for hierarchy into positive attributes such competitiveness and leadership, but of course if we perceive our environment as threatening or unrewarding the need for dominance can have truly devastating results on either individuals or whole societies subject to that dominance. Hence the intellect creates abstract social devices, like laws and procedures and constitutions to mitigate whatever reversions to the limbic instincts might occur from time to time due to perceived threats.
The big problem with many modern religions is not in their ritualistic function, acting as a palliative to "the horrors of the great void" per se, but rather in how they have been integrated so firmly into the hierarchy in such a way that the intellect is by default barred from being as effacious as it might be in regulating its effects on either the individual or society. This allows for irrational perceptions of the world around us to be given the same status as our sensate ones and leads to so some much confusion between belief and truth which in turn can lead to misperceived threats and a return to limbic based solutions to problems. This is my primary reason for being anti-religious.
"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.