Posts

C.S. Lewis | I do not like the pretensions of Government

“I do not like the pretensions of Government -- the grounds on which it demands my obedience -- to be pitched too high. I don't like the medicine-man's magical pretensions nor the Bourbon's Divine Right. This is not solely because I disbelieve in magic and in Bossuet's Politique. I believe in God, but I detest theocracy. For every Government consists of mere men and is, strictly viewed, a makeshift; if it adds to its commands 'Thus saith the Lord', it lies, and lies dangerously. On just the same ground I dread government in the name of science. That is how tyrannies come in. In every age the men who want us under their thumb, if they have any sense, will put forward the particular pretension which the hopes and fears of that age render most potent. They 'cash in'. It has been magic, it has been Christianity. Now it will certainly be science. Perhaps the real scientists may not think much of the tyrants' 'science'-- they didn't think much of Hitler's racial theories or Stalin's biology. But they can be muzzled.”

C.S. Lewis

Edmund Burke | Their passions forge their fetters

"Until you could make out practically that great work, a combination of opposing forces, "a work of labour long, and endless praise," the utmost caution ought to have been used in the reduction of the royal power, which alone was capable of holding together the comparatively heterogeneous mass of your states. But at this day, all these considerations are unreasonable. To what end should we discuss the limitations of royal power? Your king is in prison. Why speculate on the measure and standard of liberty? I doubt much, very much indeed, whether France is at all ripe for liberty on any standard. Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites, — in proportion as their love to justice is above their rapacity, — in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption, — in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters."

Edmund Burke

Idi Amin Dada | cannot guarantee freedom after speech

"There is freedom of speech, but I cannot guarantee freedom after speech."

Idi Amin Dada

George Orwell | If you want a picture of the future

"If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever."

George Orwell

Friedrich August von Hayek | all forms of collectivism lead eventually to tyranny

"Through the inevitable mismanagement of resources and goods at the disposal of the state, all forms of collectivism lead eventually to tyranny."

Friedrich August von Hayek

Tom Clancy | What the government is good at is collecting taxes

"What the government is good at is collecting taxes, taking away your freedoms and killing people. It's not good at much else."

Tom Clancy

Erich Fromm | Indeed, freedom and the capacity for disobedience are inseparable

"Indeed, freedom and the capacity for disobedience are inseparable; hence any social, political, and religious system which proclaims freedom, yet stamps out disobedience, cannot speak the truth."

Erich Fromm

Benjamin Constant | When you pay the representatives of the people

"When you pay the representatives of the people, you do not arouse in them an interest in performing their functions conscientiously; rather, you interest them only in continuing to secure for themselves the exercise of those functions."

Benjamin Constant

John Edgar Hoover | a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists

"The individual is handicapped by coming face-to-face with a conspiracy so monstrous he cannot believe it exists. The American mind simply has not come to a realization of the evil which has been introduced into our midst. It rejects even the assumption that human creatures could espouse a philosophy which must ultimately destroy all that is good and decent."

John Edgar Hoover

Ayn Rand | You can ignore reality, but you cannot ignore the consequences

„Neither life nor happiness can be achieved by the pursuit of irrational whims. Just as man is free to attempt to survive by any random means, as a parasite, a moocher or a looter, but not free to succeed at it beyond the range of the moment—so he is free to seek his happiness in any irrational fraud, any whim, any delusion, any mindless escape from reality, but not free to succeed at it beyond the range of the moment nor to escape the consequences.“

Ayn Rand

Friedrich Nietzsche | We live in a system

"We live in a system in which one must either be a wheel or get crushed by the wheels."

Friedrich Nietzsche

Erich Fromm | The holders of authority and those who take advantage of it

"The holders of authority and those who take advantage of it must convince people of this fiction and put to sleep their realistic, that is to say, critical, faculty of thought. Every thinking person knows the methods of propaganda, methods by which critical judgment is destroyed and the mind is lulled until it submits to clichés that stultify people because they make them dependent, depriving them of the ability to trust their eyes and their judgment. This function, in which they believe, blinds them to reality."

Erich Fromm

Karl Jaspers | Where is the Federal Republic headed?

"Every four years it elects the Bundestag. The lists or persons submitted to it by the parties are already elected beforehand by the parties. The process of this hidden preliminary election, which is the actual election, is convoluted; the names for the constituency lists and the state lists are not drawn up in the same way. But it is always the party committees, never the people, who would be involved in this decisive beginning. One must be a party member in order to participate somewhere in this election and to be able to be set up. Even those who are party members, as such, have little effect in the nominations. The decisive factor is the party hierarchy and bureaucracy.[...] Even the elections are not really elections, but acclamations to the party oligarchy. [....] The parties, which should by no means be the state, make themselves, withdrawn from the life of the people, the state [....] The governance of the state is in the hands of the party oligarchy [....] Their position, not limited by any tension to other power, seduces [....] the parties to want to occupy the seats by their own people. This is the reward for party work, the spoils of victory after the electoral battle [....]"

Karl Jaspers

Caitlin Johnstone | The empire still fears the public

"The empire still fears the public. If it didn't it wouldn't bother rolling out so much propaganda ahead of all its depraved actions—it would just act. They work so hard to manufacture our consent because they're still afraid of what we'll do to them if we decide we don't consent."

Caitlin Johnstone

Thomas Jefferson | When government fears the people

"When government fears the people, there is liberty. When the people fear the government, there is tyranny."

Thomas Jefferson

George Orwell | If you can feel that staying human is worth while

"If you can feel that staying human is worth while, even when it can't have any result whatever, you've beaten them."

George Orwell

Georg Orwell | What counts is that we don’t betray each other

"It’s not so much staying alive, it’s staying human that’s important. What counts is that we don’t betray each other."

Georg Orwell

Kevin Sorbo | what the governments of disarmed citizens have done

"If you think mass shooters have killed too many people, just wait till you find out what the governments of disarmed citizens have done."

Kevin Sorbo

Georges Bernanos | violence in the service of the totalitarian state

"It is not the use of violence that seems to me condemnable, but its mysticism, the religion of violence in the service of the totalitarian state, in the service of the dictatorship of the general welfare, considered not as a means but as an end."

Georges Bernanos

Henry Louis Mencken | The whole drift of our law

"The whole drift of our law is toward the absolute prohibition of all ideas that diverge in the slightest form from the accepted platitudes, and behind that drift of law there is a far more potent force of growing custom, and under that custom there is a natural philosophy which erects conformity into the noblest of virtues and the free functioning of personality into a capital crime against society."

Henry Louis Mencken

Gore Vidal | The modern dictatorship doesn’t come with brown or black uniforms

"What is a president, then? He is the mouthpiece of the corporations - and nothing else. [....] We are no longer a democracy. We gave up our constitution long ago. [....] The modern dictatorship doesn't come with brown or black uniforms. We do it with entertainment, with television, with fun, fun. And an education that dumbs down."

Gore Vidal

Clarence Darrow | You can only be free if I am free

"You can only protect your liberties in this world by protecting the other man's freedom. You can only be free if I am free.
"

Clarence Darrow

General Aladeen | Why are you guys so anti-dictators?

"Why are you guys so anti-dictators? Imagine if America was a dictatorship. You could let 1% of the people have all the nation's wealth. You could help your rich friends get richer by cutting their taxes. And bailing them out when they gamble and lose. You could ignore the needs of the poor for health care and education. Your media would appear free, but would secretly be controlled by one person and his family. You could wiretap phones. You could torture foreign prisoners. You could have rigged elections. You could lie about why you go to war. You could fill your prisons with one particular racial group, and no one would complain. You could use the media to scare the people into supporting policies that are against their interests."

General Aladeen

George Orwell | These people don’t see that

"These people don’t see that if you encourage totalitarian methods, the time may come when they will be used against you instead of for you."

George Orwell

Noam Chomsky | bludgeon is to a totalitarian state

"Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state."

Noam Chomsky

Mahatma Gandhi | the truth is still the truth

"Many people, especially ignorant people, want to punish you for speaking the truth, for being correct, for being you. Never apologize for being correct, or for being years ahead of your time. If you’re right and you know it, speak your mind. Speak your mind. Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is still the truth."

Mahatma Gandhi

Alice Bailey | The Masonic Movement

“The Masonic Movement when it can be divorced from politics and social ends and from its present paralyzing condition of inertia, will meet the need of those who can, and should, wield power. It is the custodian of the law; it is the home of the Mysteries and the seat of initiation. It holds in its symbolism the ritual of Deity, and the way of salvation is pictorially preserved in its work. The methods of Deity are demonstrated in its Temples, and under the All-seeing Eye the work can go forward. It is a far more occult organization than can be realized, and is intended to be the training school for the coming advanced occultists. In its ceremonials lies hid the wielding of the forces connected with the growth and life of the kingdoms of nature and the unfoldment of the divine aspects in man. In the comprehension of its symbolism will come the power to cooperate with the divine plan. It meets the need of those who work on the first Ray of Will or Power.”

Alice Bailey

George Bernard Shaw | I’m known for my irony

"I'm known for my irony. But the idea of erecting a Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor would not have occurred to even me."

George Bernard Shaw

Marjane Satrapi | the world is not divided into countries

"If I have one message to give to the secular American people, it’s that the world is not divided into countries. The world is not divided between East and West. You are American, I am Iranian, we don’t know each other, but we talk together and we understand each other perfectly. The difference between you and your government is much bigger than the difference between you and me. And the difference between me and my government is much bigger than the difference between me and you. And our governments are very much the same."

Marjane Satrapi