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, October 06, 2004
Netpolitik: An Emerging Global Order
Highlights from The Rise of Netpolitik, a report by the Aspen institute's Roundtable on Information Technology. This policy brief inspired me to create this blog.
Until the current period—call it the Information Age, Communications Revolution, Third Wave, or Postindustrial Era—world affairs have been in the hands of diplomats and national leaders. Certainly long before Machiavelli wrote The Prince, diplomatic strategists sought to balance one state’s interest against another to achieve their own state’s purposes. Yet there is a sense that the old rules do not apply anymore.
This is a period of blurring borders, flattening hierarchies, and heightened
ambiguity. Those who are competitors and enemies one day are collaborators and allies the next. Those who stand alone, no matter what their strength, find even the smallest networks in opposition to be daunting. Something is different: the emergence, significance, and importance of the network structure within a world of complexity. The “life form” and organizational structure that is most in evidence in this new world of ideas and media is the network—social networks,electronic networks, media networks, to name a few.
To frame the global strategic questions, political leaders and leading thinkers have tended to gravitate to at least two different “worldview” approaches:
Realpolitik has been practiced over the past 500 years by historical luminaries such as Richelieu, Metternich, Bismarck, and Kissinger.Diplomats play political chess with nation-states, balancing and maneuvering one against the other to gain political advantage or equilibrium. This is a world of fault lines: the global alliances leading to the world wars, the subsequent Cold War, or the Clash of Civilizations suggested by Samuel Huntington.
Global Interdependence or “Liberal Internationalism” regards the world as moving to an intertwined world organism composed of international players—governmental and nongovernmental—for whom reality is interreliance among nations and cultures, economies and environments, and lack of control over many of the actions that affect one’s own locale. It recognizes that people belong to several communities at the same time, have multiple self-images and identities, and need to see themselves as world citizens as well. Here, informal diplomats use soft power, the attractive power of ideas, to survive or prevail.
Other frameworks have been suggested as well:
Mediapolitik: Lee Edwards describes the interrelationship between the mass media and world politics in liberal democratic, authoritarian, and totalitarian regimes. He suggests, as many observers have before, that “there is a strong but always shifting correlation among government, journalism, and public opinion in foreign policy making”. In essence, Edwards places the role of media as a central player in the conduct of world politics.
Cyberpolitik: David Rothkopf, suggests that “the realpolitik of the new era is cyberpolitik, inwhich the actors are no longer just states, and raw power can be countered or fortified by information power.”
Noopolitik: John Arquilla and David Ronfeld coined this term from Pierre Teilhard de Chardin’s concept of noosphere, the sphere of ideas. Noopolitik is an approach to statecraft,to be undertaken as much by non-state as by state actors, that emphasizes the role of soft power in expressing ideas, values, norms and ethics through all manner of media. It incorporates not only mass and cyber media but also the
concept of soft power and thought leadership in developing srategy on the world stage.
Netpolitik is still an unfolding doctrine. It seems to be characterized, however, by a higher velocity of information, new time pressures on thoughtful policymaking, a more robust pluralism in international affairs, and new challenges to the power of the nation-state and traditional diplomacy. Netpolitik seems to be a volatile force because of its great reach: affecting everything from the exercise of state power and military might to issues of deep personal identity and social values. We barely understand how the Internet is being used across the world; understanding how it is
remaking the conduct of international politics will require much more research, study, and debate.
Perhaps the most important imperative in Netpolitik is to recognize that it exists. The Internet and other information technologies are no longer a peripheral force in the conduct of world affairs but a powerful engine for change. Global electronic networking is not only remaking economies, but transforming people's values, identities, and social practices. Moreover, these changes are not just occurring within the boundaries of nation-states but in all sorts of unpredictable transnational communications.
It has been a gradual and subtle process, but the skillful use of new Internet venues by nonstate actors is altering some traditional notions of power in international relations. New types of soft power involving moral legitimacy and respect, credibility as an information source, and cultural values are coming to the fore. Military and financial powers that traditionally have belonged to the dominant nations are now constrained in new ways by soft power and the politics of credibility. A tighter skein of global interdependence may mean that unilateralism by any single nation, especially the United States, could be a more problematic policy approach.
Thanks to the Internet, more segments of the earth's inhabitants can now tell their stories. This is a significant development in human history. What may matter most in the future is our ability to hear each other's stories, learn from them, and perhaps develop a new global story.
"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.