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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, October 04, 2004

    The Old Cause

    By Boileryard Clarke

    They will tell you it is a dream of an age gone by. We will be told we are merely waxing nostalgic for an idealized America. They will say the ideas we espouse were better suited to a small coastal republic in a world where travel to distant places still took weeks to accomplish, and oceans meant more than they do now in the way of a buffer from enemies and people of ill intent.

    They will further tell us that there is no going back. That the current configurations of international relations cannot be undone, and that to pull away from our involvements now would be the equivalent of burying our head in the sand.




    But you should know - these are the arguments always used to discredit the virtues of the Original Idea. They are arguments in the pejorative, used to dismiss reason in favor of the madness they now call "reality."

    We will treat with them in the realm of ideas even as they advance their scorn, and their faulty characterizations. The Old Cause revives this day.

    The major parties and the thinking that perpetuates their oligarchy over American politics are in no way representative of any establishment done in the Constitution. Their existence is protected only under our Freedom to Associate. It is not in law that "two parties" form the system - however much they attempt to bring that notion into law by blocking the rise of dissent from their control.

    What passes for "Conservative" in the Republican Party is earnest patriotism, but it is a patriotism informed by xenophobia and jingoism. They mistake their flag-waving for Americanism, as they have created a false definition of that term.

    What passes for "Liberal" in the Democratic Party is an earnest desire to reform and redress wrongs, but it is a reform not based in any semblance of liberty. They foster curbs on what constitutes free speech, introduce programs and policy based on race, and believe Americanism is the special spawn of a paternal central government.

    The Constitution of the United States of America prescribed certain duties of that central government and specifically declared what considerations remained as the domain of the States. What practical adaptations we have made to that idea have gone beyond the scope of reason and now include a central government involved in virtually every aspect of a person's life in this country.

    Washington and Adams gave sufficient definition of the face we should present to the world relative to foreign policy that held up as the cornerstone of our policies at the birth of our republic and well into it's youth.

    That understanding was changed with the definition of "interests" given to our policy makers mostly by commercial firms in the latter part of the 19th century as well as the misguided notion that America should project it's power into the world and contend for Empire alongside monarchic regimes that did not have the background of representative government.

    Both parties, being funded by these interests, have formed a more or less consistent international interventionist paradigm that is a legacy left to us even unto today, until the only real argument between them on this score is who can wave the flag higher.

    And the criticism of this paradigm under which both parties operate is characterized by them as "isolationism", an "ostrich-head-in-the-sand", and even as the philosophy of appeasement. They will tell you our idea doesn't include the possibility for self-defense (though it does), and scare thinking men and women away from it. They will cite Pearl Harbor and 9/11 as reasons we must project that power at all times, and reject the ideas of non-intervention as unusable.

    But this conveniently forgets that at the time of 9/11 our power was never so "projected" as before (being the lone hyper-power in the world with quick-strike capability to reach around the globe) and did nothing to stop 9/11.

    And the only visible difference the Republican incumbent would demonstrate from the Democratic challenger in this election is which army of partisan hacks will be given what largesse to reward what behavior. Other than that precious little but the most superficial will actually be changed.

    Based on the instructions of our founders and the ideals that lay at the heart of the original American argument, are four principles that should guide our foreign policy at all times to the exclusion of all other notions.

    1. The principle purpose of the foreign policy of the United States should be to maintain the liberty of the American people.

    2. War by its very nature tends to concentrate power in the hands of the central state, thus threatening the American ideals of limited government and the separation of powers.

    3. In matters of foreign policy, the only thing that can destroy this country is the same thing that historically destroyed all the world's great powers: Over extension of its commitments and its resources.

    4. History has shown that centralization of power to the executive, the threat to civil liberties at home, and the extension of commitments beyond any nation's capacity to meet them, are the three most dangerous and threatening conditions that can arise when a nation activates a highly interventionist foreign policy.

    America is an idea founded on the understandings that the social order is spontaneous rather than planned or directed, people should be free to pursue their own individual purposes as long as they do not interfere with the rights of others to do likewise, and ultimately we are a civil association operating under the rule of law.

    Washington, Jefferson, and J.Q. Adams advanced the foreign policy premise that while we must accept the need to resort to warfare whenever the liberty and survival of the American people was directly threatened, war should never be undertaken to advance any other purpose.

    To further inform this premise it should be stated that: Liberty takes primacy over the access to raw materials, because raw materials can be lawfully obtained in the marketplace and liberty cannot.

    It is not, therefore, our beholden duty to advance the notion that we have been given a divine mission to bring freedom to others. Nor are we ordained to embark upon a crusade to liberate them, unless those conditions we seek to change threaten American liberty directly. Then this should be the sole criterion which congress must use as a benchmark to judge whether or not we ever engage in war as a nation, in deliberation over the lawful request made by the executive.

    The United States of America should maintain a "free hand" in pursuance of its foreign policy, and clearly define the concluding principles...
    1. We must at all times insist upon the standing of our own sovereignty.

    2. Binding commitments that create new, or expand existing, obligations to foreign entities should be opposed.

    3. While it is proper to promote and encourage freedom around the world, we should not meanly justify a desire to impose our understandings of freedom upon others where the standards others live by do not hinder our liberty.

    4. Our devotion to the ideal of liberty ought to extend to other nations' and other peoples' ownership of their own history and culture.

    The question is; are we willing to forego de facto empire status as the world's hyper-power in order to implement the patient, incremental pursuit of a system in which equality under the law supercedes power as the basis of international relations?

    This is the question that could well determine whether America proceeds from the century it owned into a future it holds / or if it shall merely reside in the history books of that future as yet another great state, that failed.

    posted by Boileryard Clarke at 10/04/2004 05:00:00 PM |

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