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.
Saturday, September 11, 2004
Liberalism is among the more misunderstood and misused words in the American political lexicon. It was first used in the 1820's as a label for middle class industrialist who wished to free themselves from aristocratic controls on the market. As the 19th century passed, it gradually came to denote "one who is opposed to the government encroachment of civil liberties."
However, such libertarian overtones almost completely faded by the 1920's; by the '40s it meant, "one who believes in more government action to meet individual needs." As Thomas Dewey once observed in the 1930's, "...the transmutation of the word, as the alchemist would say, has become one of the great wonders of our time."
Even Liberals themselves have come to criticize the word. George Orwell once remarked that a Liberal is a "power worshiper without power". Adlai Stevenson once described a Liberal as "one who has both feet firmly planted in the air." In other words, anyone who leans liberal should -- as purely pragmatic consideration -- drop the word into the giant dust bin of dead political language.
But, words aside, the philosophy of Liberalism -- that is in its classic usage -- deserves a revival. It is my contention that the majority of self-described "progressives" and "libertarians" could both fit under a coherent ideological umbrella of post-industrial liberalism. For lack of a better label, we'll call it by an embarrassing and predictable name, "Progressive Libertarianism."
It should be said that progressive is not intended to denote a specific stance such as "pro-choice", or "pro-welfare". Furthermore, it by no means is intended to be identfied with leftist thought; rather it seeks to distinguish itself as being neither reactionary nor radical. As Chief Justice Earl Warren once wrote of the word, "It represents true Liberalism, and the best attitude that we could possibly have in American life."
The progressive libertarian will trace the lineage of his philosophy to the works John Locke, Thomas Paine, Adam Smith, and John Stuart Mill (Sorry Marx and Nietzsche). In essence, he will believe in all of the main tenents of Libertarianism: Skepticism about concentrations of power, respect for the rights and dignity of the individual, spontaneous order, free markets, and peace. While, he shares many of the same goals as the socialists (freedom, reason, mobility, progress, and raising the standards of living), he is strongly opposed to their means: namely statism, central planning, and communitarianism.
Like Paine, he recognizes that government is, at best, a necessary evil that came into being as a result of the inability of moral virtue to govern the world. It therefore follows that the only acceptable end of governments is protecting our private-property, life and liberty from the manevolent actions of others.
However, he is suspicious of Anarcho-Libertarianism, by which I mean the belief that unfettered capitalism could replace the necessary functions of the state. He believes that such a system would lead to eventually the same place as communism: monopolized economic sectors merging into a de-facto totalitarian state that owns and controls all the means of production. This consideration adds a great deal of complexity to the economic views of a progressive libertarian. Since its Saturday night, I'll leave those views for tomorrow's post. Its in my self-interest to party tonight.
"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.