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.
Tuesday, October 26, 2004
This election is not just about Bush
When I vote next week, I won't be voting "for" John Kerry and John Edwards. Oh, sure, I'll check the box next to their names, because it's the only option for any sane person with an IQ in excess of 12 (mine's 15 - but then again, I'm not all that sane).
Interestingly enough, though, I won't really be voting against Bush. I've done my share of Bush Burning Bashing the past couple of years, but very little of this whole mess is really about him. This executive administration, together with its many friends in the federal legislative and judicial branches, is a predictable, logical confluence of (a) late-stage capitalism, (b) six decades of hard work and discipline on the right wing, (c) six decades of carelessness and laziness on the left wing, and (d) an outright terrifying combination of brick-brain ignorance and advanced narcissism in 90% of the citizenry. A nation of boiled frogs.
Let me list some stuff that's just absolutely freaking me out:
Bill Clinton, as vilified by the Right as Doubleduh is by the Left, is being pulled out of quadruple bypass recovery to stand in front of Kerry for the final week of the campaign. Think about the implications . . . we're being asked to pseudo-re-elect the guy who killed the Democratic Party;
some alternative news sources are saying we're about to strike Iran, 'cuz The Doubleduh-Cheney Gang thinks that'll win the election;
a lot of people calling themselves "liberals" think the Iraq War was a fine idea mishandled by Bush - Kerry would "do it right";
the most common response to people who express great fear about what is happening to us is, "relax . . .there's not really much you can do about it";
about half of all Americans will stay unflinchingly loyal to Bush no matter what.
When I vote next Tuesday, it's mostly that last item that I'll vote about. I just don't want folks in charge who are so proud to be stupid. I don't want rational thought and honesty to become a sin and ignorance become a virtue. These folks think that The Doubleduh-Cheney Gang is on their side and that only us godless, terror-lovin' lefties will lose if The Gang stays in power. They don't understand (nor do they want to) that once they're no longer of use in furthering The Gang's agenda, they'll be thrown out the side door of the Huey, too. It's one thing to be blinded by the light, but quite another to be screwed by the dark.
If you want a first-hand taste about how some of our neighbors feel and think, read 'The Brownshirting of America' by Paul Craig Roberts of Counterpunch. Here's a clip:
In language reeking with hatred, Heritage Foundtion TownHall readers impolitely informed me that opposing the invasion of Iraq is identical to opposing America, that Bush is the greatest American leader in history and everyone who disagrees with him should be shot before they cause America to lose another war. TownHall's readers were sufficiently frightening to convince the Heritage Foundation to stop posting my columns.
Bush's conservative supporters want no debate. They want no facts, no analysis. They want to denounce and to demonize the enemies that the Hannitys, Limbaughs, and Savages of talk radio assure them are everywhere at work destroying their great and noble country.
I remember when conservatives favored restraint in foreign policy and wished to limit government power in order to protect civil liberties. Today's young conservatives are Jacobins determined to use government power to impose their will at home and abroad . . .
See what I mean? This isn't about GeeDubya. It's not even about Reagan. It's about half the people in this country thinking that the other half are incorrigibly, dangerously evil.
I've had a bunch of arguments with folks on the Left during the past couple of years about whether we have been a Democracy. The argument on the "yes" side rests almost entirely on the fact that we have had the vote. Guess what. We don't. We're going into this one knowing that thousands of legitimate votes have been and/or will be blocked; that we have no way of knowing whether votes cast using certain machines in certain precincts will be lost; that the outcome of the election may be tied up for months or longer in courts.
Many have said that this is the most important election in our history. I disagree. Although I fear that this may be the last one, I think the most important one was in 2000. It was a successful coup. Now that they are in power, do you think for one second that they'll give up that power readily? If the disregard for the Constitution they've shown so far is any indication, the answer to that question is obvious.
"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.