I think, then, that the species of oppression by which democratic nations are menaced is unlike anything that ever before existed in the world; our contemporaries will find no prototype of it in their memories. I seek in vain for an expression that will accurately convey the whole of the idea I have formed of it; the old words despotism and tyranny are inappropriate: the thing itself is new, and since I cannot name, I must attempt to define it.
I seek to trace the novel features under which despotism may appear in the world. The first thing that strikes the observation is an innumerable multitude of men, all equal and alike, incessantly endeavoring to procure the petty and paltry pleasures with which they glut their lives. Each of them, living apart, is as a stranger to the fate of all the rest; his children and his private friends constitute to him the whole of mankind. As for the rest of his fellow citizens, he is close to them, but he does not see them; he touches them, but he does not feel them; he exists only in himself and for himself alone; and if his kindred still remain to him, he may be said at any rate to have lost his country.
“Creativity is more than just being different. Anybody can play weird; that’s easy. What’s hard is to be as simple as Bach. Making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity.” — Charles Mingus
When looking for quotes, I was considering some lofty sentiment from a philosopher or war hero. But I’ve found that musicians offer some of the best quotes I’ve come across. In providing the advice above, Charlie Mingus doesn’t only speak to his fellow jazzbos, but to every writer, professor, architect, and anyone else trying to communicate in any medium.More
Today is George Washington’s Birthday. Although we celebrate President’s Day, I have always felt if we were going to honor a few singular presidents then George Washington certainly deserves it. I have an 8 year old son and recently we were talking about presidents and I made a point, as I do every time the […]
From a 2013 Lifesite News article by Sarah Terzo: [….] Roe v. Wade was based on the rape argument– Norma McCorvey, the plaintiff Jane Roe, claimed that she had been gang-raped and needed an abortion. Years later, she admitted that the rape story was false and was made up in order to garner sympathy for the pro-choice […]
Putting aside whether the author correctly applies this standard to his own beliefs — Novella’s a little quick to dismiss all questioning of global warming’s severity as “denial” for my taste — the quote is magnificent:
One’s dedication to science [and empiricism in general] is tested when the science conflicts with your agenda. Then you have to be able to adapt to what an objective review of the science says. If you only accept the scientific consensus when it agrees with your ideology, then you are not pro-science. You just selectively use science to support your ideological agenda.
Yesterday, May 8, marked the 117th birthday of the great economist and philosopher Friedrich Hayek, who died in 1992. That’s as good a reason as any to offer up some of his wisdom:
1) “The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.” – The Fatal ConceitMore
Help me please, podcast listeners. The main podcast intro features a lovely series of quotes, but I want to know whose they are! Here’s the usual quotes, along with my guesses as to the speaker. More
Everything I need to know about politics, I learned from Dune: Fear is the mind-killer. Once men turned their thinking over to machines in the hope that this would set them free. But that only permitted other men with machines to enslave them. That which submits rules. … The willow submits to the wind and […]
“Much of the social history of the Western world over the past three decades has involved replacing what worked with what sounded good.”
“The first lesson of economics is scarcity: There is never enough of anything to satisfy all those who want it. The first lesson of politics is to disregard the first lesson of economics.”More
“As a lawyer, I’ve had to learn that people aren’t just good or bad. People are many things.”
This line is spoken by Paul Beigler, a fictional small-town lawyer brilliantly played by Jimmy Stewart in the courtroom drama Anatomy of a Murder. I don’t want to have to summarize the whole movie (if you haven’t seen it, though, please make sure to do so; it’s a great flick and also features George C. Scott in what I believe was his film debut), so I’m going to oversimplify the context of the scene.More
Yesterday at lunch, one of my former co-workers shared that she’s “educating” her 12-year-old son regarding some of her favorite movies by spending the summer “screening” them for him. Her reasoning? Because she uses so many lines from each movie’s dialog that it has become part of her everyday vernacular. She wants him to understand the context behind the comments so he now could join in the conversation and truly be part of her family’s movie culture/language.More
Relayed from a Facebook group: “Our Blessed Lord said that the Truth would make us free. By this He meant that only by obedience to the highest law and authority do we become free. Take an example from the realm of arts. If an artist in a fever of broad-mindedness and a desire to be […]
Post a recent quotation (within the last year, or so) you’ve read recently that really tickled your fancy. I’ll start: More
Last Monday morning I quoted Auberon Waugh, for which Barbara Kidder either chid me or chode me—despite our disputations on this site, I remain uncertain of the past tense of “chide”—for selecting an Englishman who was “cruel,” “outrageous,” and “bizarre,” asking me to choose an Englishman next time of more “honorable characteristics.”
Barbara, I think, was a little too hard on Auberon Waugh, who, by contrast with his father, Evelyn Waugh, was beloved of his friends and children, which surely says something basic about his character. But enough Waughs. Bowing to Barbara, I begin this week with a quotation from G. K. Chesterton, than whom no Englishman ever has or ever could prove more honorable.More
“There are countless horrible things happening all over the world and horrible people prospering, but we must never allow them to disturb our equanimity or deflect us from our sacred duty to sabotage and annoy them whenever possible.”
― Auberon WaughMore