Monthly Archives: February 2013

Wisdom

“Wisdom resides less in the means than in affirmation of ends.  If there is the will to attain the end, the means will be found.  If the end is perfidious, no means can have in itself any inherent virtue capable of preventing the perversion of justice.

“Against this, it may be observed that certain systems, and certain mechanisms of means, have been purposely invented and set working in order to mislead the public, and to keep them ignorant of the facts of history and of the best means of creating and maintaining social justice.  The ideological and propagandist battle should be directed against this obscurantism.”

– AMERICA AND THE SECOND WORLD WAR, 1944

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The Constitution

“The American Constitution…is written in a style that is not very attractive to the average reader.  The key phrases come a long way after the beginning and the citizen gets bored before he catches up with them.  For years, now, Congress has taken no notice of the powers it has been invested with by this document.  Now and then some crank from Nebraska or Dakota raises an uncouth voice to demand a little of the liberty proclaimed by the Fathers of the Republic, but the roar of the rotary presses soon drowns such rustic vociferations.”

-AMERICA AND THE SECOND WORLD WAR, 1944

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Democracy

“It is so much waste of time to talk of this or that ‘democracy.’  The real government was, and is, to be found behind the scenes.  The system works as follows.  Two or more parties appear before the public.  As a matter of form, and to reassure the simpletons, some honest men are allowed to do a little clean work as long as they don’t touch the big rackets.  The biggest rackets are those of finance and monopolization, including the monopolization of money itself, both within the nation and in combination with the various foreign currencies.”

-AMERICA AND THE SECOND WORLD WAR, 1944

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What Do You Want?

“If you want certain results, you must as a scientist examine a great many phenomena.  If you won’t admit what you are driving at, even to yourself, you remain in penumbra.  Adams did not keep himself in penumbra, he believed in a responsible class.  He wanted safeguards and precautions and thereby attained unpopularity.

“‘You and I ought not to die before we have explained ourselves to each other.’ (Adams to Jefferson, July 15, 1813).  Did Rousseau or Montaigne ever write anything to equal that sentence, given the context (1760 to 1813)?”

-THE JEFFERSON-ADAMS LETTERS AS A SHRINE AND A MONUMENT, 1937

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And All of This Costs the Khan Nothing

And of Kublai:
"I have told you of that emperor's city in detail
And will tell you of the coining in Cambaluc
       that hyght the secret of alchemy:
They take bast of the mulberry-tree,
That is a skin between the wood and the bark,
And of this they make paper, and mark it
Half a tornesel, a tornesel, or a half-groat of silver,
Or two groats, or five groats, or ten groats,
Or, for a great sheet, a gold bezant, 3 bezants, 
                 ten bezants;
And they are written on by officials,
And smeared with the great khan's seal in vermillion;
And the forgers are punished with death.
And all this costs the Khan nothing,
And so he is rich in this world."

- Canto XVIII

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