Wednesday, April 29, 2015

The firmest principle of all is the principle of non-contradiction

"For the same thing to hold and not to hold of the same thing at the same time and in the same respect is impossible, given any further specifications added to guard against dialectical objections." ~ Aristotle in Metaphysics

Monday, April 27, 2015

Conditions for a machine economy

"As long as this universe lasts, the conditions in which a machine economy can be created and maintained are unalterable; and they exclude collectivism. One variation of the "historic necessity" theory is that "human nature can be changed." If that were true in the vital characteristic, so that men lost the right of liberty and the desire for it, those "changed" ex-human beings would thereby become incapable of inventing and operating machines. The inventions of man are of the spirit, not of materialism; and it is a crime against humanity to take the products of that divine endowment and throw them to the slave-drivers of Communism, to be trampled in the filth of a barracoon." ~ Isabel Paterson in The God of The Machine (Published in 1943)

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Real money is indispensable

"Lenin was certainly right. There is no subtler, no surer means of overturning the existing basis of society than to debauch the currency. The process engages all the hidden forces of economic law on the side of destruction." ~ J. M. Keynes 

Friday, April 24, 2015

The philanthropist, the politician, and the pimp

"The philanthropist, the politician, and the pimp are inevitably found in alliance because they have the same motives, they seek the same ends, to exist for, through, and by others. And the good people cannot be exonerated for supporting them. Neither can it be believed that the good people are wholly unaware of what actually happens." ~ Isabel Paterson in The God of The Machine

Thursday, April 23, 2015

The humanitarian sets up the guillotine

If the primary objective of the philanthropist, his justification for living, is to help others, his ultimate good requires that others shall be in want. His happiness is the obverse of their misery. If he wishes to help "humanity," the whole of humanity must be in need. The humanitarian wishes to be a prime mover in the lives of others. He cannot admit either the divine or the natural order, by which men have the power to help themselves. The humanitarian puts himself in the place of God.

But he is confronted by two awkward facts; first, that the competent do not need his assistance; and second, that the majority of people, if unperverted, positively do not want to be "done good" by the humanitarian. When it is said that everyone should live primarily for others, what is the specific course to be pursued? Is each person to do exactly what any other person wants him to do, without limits or reservations? and only what others want him to do? What if various persons make conflicting demands? The scheme is impracticable. Perhaps then he is to do only what is actually "good" for others. But will those others know what is good for them? No, that is ruled out by the same difficulty. Then shall A do what he thinks is good for B, and B do what he thinks is good for A? Or shall A accept only what he thinks is good for B, and vice versa? But that is absurd. Of course what the humanitarian actually proposes is that he shall do what he thinks is good for everybody. It is at this point that the humanitarian sets up the guillotine.

~ from Isabel Paterson's The God of The Machine

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

In applied mathematics, you must describe your unit ~ Newton

Sir Isaac Newton was asked by the British Treasury officials and financiers of his day why the monetary pound had to be a fixed quantity of precious metal. Why, indeed, must it consist of precious metal, or have any objective reality? Since paper currency was already accepted, why could not notes be issued without ever being redeemed? The reason they put the question supplies the answer; the government was heavily in debt, and they hoped to find a safe way of being dishonest. But Newton was asked as a mathematician, not as a moralist. He replied: "Gentlemen, in applied mathematics, you must describe your unit." Paper currency cannot be described mathematically as money. A dollar is a certain weight of gold; that is a mathematical description, by measure (weight). Is a piece of paper of certain dimensions (length, breadth, and thickness, or else weight) a dollar? Certainly not. Is a given-sized piece of paper a dollar even if numerals and words of a certain size are stamped on it with a given quantity of ink? No.

Source: Isabel Paterson's book The God of The Machine

Monday, April 20, 2015

Property is ownership ~ Isabel Paterson

As language is the faculty which distinguishes man from the lower animals, it is also a ready index to the intellectual level of cultures and persons. The confusion and vagueness of terms always found in collectivist theories is not accidental; it is a reversion to the mental and verbal limitations of the primitive society it advocates, the inability to think in abstract terms. This defect is strikingly evident in the collectivist arguments concerning property.

Property is ownership. Things which nobody owns are not property; they are merely objects in nature. Perhaps the most senseless phrase ever coined even by a collectivist is that of Proudhon: "All property is theft." It is indeed remarkable in its own way, for the variety of errors compressed into such brief utterance; in four words it confuses objects, acts, attributes, moral values, and relations, as if they were interchangeable. Theft presupposes rightful ownership. An object must be property before it can be stolen.

 ~ Isabel Paterson in The God of The Machine

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Mark Twain's Beautiful Epitaph for his Daughter

Warm summer sun, shine kindly here;
Warm southern wind, blow softly here;
Green sod above, lie light, lie light-
Good-night, dear heart, good-night, good-night.”

~ Mark Twain wrote this epitaph for his daughter Suzy Clemens at Woodlawn Cemetery, Elmira, N.Y

Saturday, April 18, 2015

The Westerner

                                                                       The Westerner

My fathers sleep on the sunrise plains,
    And each one sleeps alone.
Their trails may dim to the grass and rains,
    For I choose to make my own.
I lay proud claim to their blood and name,
    But I lean on no dead kin;
My name is mine, for the praise or scorn,
And the world began when I was born
    And the world is mine to win.

They built high towns on their old log sills,
    Where the great, slow rivers gleamed,
But with new, live rock from the savage hills
    I'll build as they only dreamed.
The smoke scarce dies where the trail camp lies,
    Till the rails glint down the pass;
The desert springs into fruit and wheat
And I lay the stones of a solid street
    Over yesterday's untrod grass.

I waste no thought on my neighbor's birth
    Or the way he makes his prayer.
I grant him a white man's room on earth
    If his game is only square.
While he plays it straight I'll call him mate;
    If he cheats I drop him flat.
Old class and rank are a wornout lie,
For all clean men are as good as I,
    And a king is only that.

I dream no dreams of a nurse-maid state
    That will spoon me out my food.
A stout heart sings in the fray with fate
    And the shock and sweat are good.
From noon to noon all the earthly boon
    That I ask my God to spare
Is a little daily bread in store,
With the room to fight the strong for more,
    And the weak shall get their share.

The sunrise plains are a tender haze
    And the sunset seas are gray,
But I stand here, where the bright skies blaze
    Over me and the big today.
What good to me is a vague "maybe"
    Or a mournful "might have been,"
For the sun wheels swift from morn to morn
And the world began when I was born
    And the world is mine to win.

By Badger Clark

Thursday, April 16, 2015

A more respectable place than many a court ~ Voltaire

“Go into the London Stock Exchange—a more respectable place than many a court—and you will see representatives from all nations gathered together for the utility of men. Here Jew, Mohammedan and Christian deal with each other as though they were all of the same faith, and only apply the word infidel to people who go bankrupt. Here the Presbyterian trusts the Anabaptist and the Anglican accepts a promise from the Quaker. On leaving these peaceful assemblies some go to the Synagogue and others for a drink, this one goes to be baptized in a great bath in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, that one has his son’s foreskin cut and has some Hebrew words he doesn’t understand mumbled over the child, others go to their church and await the inspiration of God with their hats on, and everybody is happy. If there were just one religion in England, despotism would threaten; if there were two religions, they would cut each other’s throats; but there are thirty religions, and they live together peacefully and happily.” ~ Voltaire, Letters on England, Letter 6

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

The wonder of all is man ~ Sophocles

Wonders are many in the world, and the wonder of all is man.
With his bit in the teeth of the storm and his faith in a fragile prow,
Far he sails, where the waves leap white-fanged, wroth at his plan.
And he has his will of the earth by the strength of his hand on the plough.

~ Sophocles in Antigone

Monday, April 13, 2015

Isabel Paterson on Marx and Marxism

Misuse of language is the means by which the Marxist cult of Communism has done the most serious injury to intelligence. There is a natural obstacle to progress in abstract thought which has often delayed rational inquiry; an erroneous concept or theory may be expressed in terms which embody the error, so that thinking is blocked until the misleading words are discarded from the given context. The ancient classification of earth, air, fire, and water as "elements" was such an error, which had to be abandoned before the elements could be distinguished and denominated as such. The theory of elements was a correct and penetrating guess; but the phenomena assigned were wrong. On the other hand, the notion of the four "humors" of the body was an erroneous theory, which seriously hindered the science of medicine. Likewise the Cartesian theory of "vortices," and the assumption of the existence of a kind of essence of fire or heat, called "phlogiston," were verbal obstacles to extension of knowledge of physics. These are unfortunate fixations of language which the keenest intellects may establish on the borders of the unknown. As they cannot be refuted until something further really is known, while they tend to pre- vent the advance, they are a more serious handicap than statements which are simply and demonstrably false; yet they occur in the nature of things, and are not immune to reason in the long run.

But the Marxist terminology reduces verbal expression to literal nonsense on the basis of fact and usage; this is not obvious gibberish, nor the humorous nonsense which will sometimes elucidate an intrinsic difficulty of expression or indicate a gap in knowledge, but arrangements of words according to the rules of grammar, in which each word taken separately has a customary meaning, but which in the given sequence, the sentence, mean nothing at all. For example, let it be said that: "An isosceles triangle is green." The several words are in common use, and as parts of speech they are placed in proper order; but the whole statement is absurd. That is bad enough, but it would be rather worse if one spoke of the "roundness of a triangle." The phrase "dictatorship of the proletariat" is like the "roundness of a triangle," a contradiction in terms. It has no meaning. The theory of "dialectical materialism" is a misuse of terms of the same type as the statement that an isosceles triangle is green. It posits an inevitable succession of a thesis producing its opposite or antithesis and the fissiparous abstraction reuniting into a synthesis. As nothing in nature does go through any such transmogrification, endless and senseless debate may be carried on by which social relations are said to exhibit in various phases a thesis, antithesis, and synthesis, each credited with "producing" its "opposite" and merging again into something else, like the Squidgicum Squee that swallers itself. Fools might argue solemnly that an isosceles triangle is not green but blue, or that a green isosceles triangle will produce a blue circle and the two will then synthesize into a purple cow or rhomboid; still these statements are empty. This is specifically the language of fools; for the deficiency which is indicated by the word fool is the incapacity to under- stand categories and the relation of things and qualities.

Marx was a fool with a large vocabulary of long words. Yet he did have an unacknowledged need to adopt the nonsensical "dialectic" of Hegel. A parasitical pedant, shiftless and dishonest, he wanted to put in a claim on "society" solely as a consumer. He embraced Communism because no other theory can be stretched even on paper into promising "to each according to his needs." Only a presumed "common stock" into which all production is expropriated can be imagined as available for the non-producer to grab what he wants from it, although this is pure imagination, the dream of the incompetent and vicious or of the child mind unschooled in production. On the other hand, Marx was confronted by the historic fact that in Communism as a general order production never rises above a bare subsistence level. How was he then to even imagine abundant production into Communism? He could only assume that the "means of production" brought to a high standard with private property and free individual enterprise, which is capitalism, could be expropriated and kept going by a successor regime of Communism. True, no such thing had ever happened; the nearest approach to Communism as the social norm was always very primitive; but if he first imagined "dialectical materialism," and then arbitrarily called capitalism the thesis; and then designated the unpropertied as the proletarian antithesis, he might further assert that the two would "merge" by conflict and produce a "synthesis" which would have to be Communism if he said so. Since it had never happened, he could say that it was inevitably going to happen. He could also, quite as easily, while he was about it, call the capitalist society of contract the class system although it positively was not.

Marx's theory of class war is utter nonsense by its own definition; it has no reference to either class or war, if it relates to "capital" and "labor." It is physically impossible for "labor" and "capital" to engage in war on each other. Capital is property; labor is men. All that can occur is sporadic rioting and possibly destruction of property, for the very weapons of war in an industrial society can be produced and maintained only by "capital" and "labor" in combination.

~ from Isabel Paterson's book The God of The Machine

Sunday, April 12, 2015

We are made for ourselves

“If we are made in some degree for others, yet, in a greater, we are made for ourselves. It were contrary to feeling, and indeed ridiculous to suppose that a man had less rights in himself than one of his neighbors, or indeed all of them put together. This would be slavery, and not the liberty which the [Virginia] bill of rights has made inviolable, and for the preservation of which our government has been charged. Nothing could so completely divest us of that liberty as the establishment of the opinion, that the State has the perpetual right to the services of all its members. This, to men of certain ways of thinking, would be to annihilate the blessings of existence, and to contradict the Giver of life, who gave it for happiness and not for wretchedness.” ~ Thomas Jefferson

Friday, April 10, 2015

Three Apples That Changed the World

From mythology to science to mac... its the "apple" all the way

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

When Alexander met Diogenes

Plutarch provides an account of what happened when Alexander the Great came to visit the Greek philosopher Diogenes of Sinope:

Thereupon many statesmen and philosophers came to Alexander with their congratulations, and he expected that Diogenes of Sinope also, who was tarrying in Corinth, would do likewise. But since that philosopher took not the slightest notice of Alexander, and continued to enjoy his leisure in the suburb Craneion, Alexander went in person to see him; and he found him lying in the sun. Diogenes raised himself up a little when he saw so many people coming towards him, and fixed his eyes upon Alexander. And when that monarch addressed him with greetings, and asked if he wanted anything, "Yes," said Diogenes, "stand a little out of my sun." It is said that Alexander was so struck by this, and admired so much the haughtiness and grandeur of the man who had nothing but scorn for him, that he said to his followers, who were laughing and jesting about the philosopher as they went away, "But truly, if I were not Alexander, I would be Diogenes."

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The wise man must not be ordered...

"Since we are seeking this knowledge, we must inquire of what kind are the causes and the principles, the knowledge of which is Wisdom. If one were to take the notions we have about the wise man, this might perhaps make the answer more evident. We suppose first, then, that the wise man knows all things, as far as possible, although he has not knowledge of each of them in detail; secondly, that he who can learn things that are difficult, and not easy for man to know, is wise (sense- perception is common to all, and therefore easy and no mark of Wisdom); again, that he who is more exact and more capable of teaching the causes is wiser, in every branch of knowledge; and that of the sciences, also, that which is desirable on its own account and for the sake of knowing it is more of the nature of Wisdom than that which is desirable on account of its results, and the superior science is more of the nature of Wisdom than the ancillary; for the wise man must not be ordered but must order, and he must not obey another, but the less wise must obey him." ~ Aristotle in Metaphysics 

Monday, April 6, 2015

Opening lines of Aristotle's Metaphysics

"All men by nature desire to know. An indication of this is the delight we take in our senses; for even apart from their usefulness they are loved for themselves; and above all others the sense of sight. For not only with a view to action, but even when we are not going to do anything, we prefer seeing (one might say) to everything else. The reason is that this, most of all the senses, makes us know and brings to light many differences between things." ~ Opening lines of Aristotle's Metaphysics

Narasimha Rao on Jawaharlal Nehru

In his book, The Insider, Narasimha Rao wrote:

"But what has this man [Jawaharlal Nehru] done to ensure against an uncertain future? He gave us lofty ideas, great personal example, remarkable deeds, unmatched respect in world councils, elaborate physical infrastructure, firm ideological anchorage, something to look forward to...yes..yes..yes..YES! But what is the human material he has entrusted all this legacy to? He has made a glorious place for himself, but where will his successors take the country? If he was Mahatma Gandhi's heir, who, for heaven's sake, is his heir? Collective leadership? For what? For whom? Why did he not realise that the fabric he had woven for the nation's future was primarily sustained by his own personality? How would it carry on if he was no more? Where is the faith? Where is the vision? Where is the lamp lit by this lamp?"

Sunday, April 5, 2015

Are you genuine?

“Are you genuine? Or merely an actor? A representative? Or that which is represented? In the end, perhaps you are merely a copy of an actor.” ~ Nietzsche, Twilight of the Idols

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Narasimha Rao Study/Appreciation Group

Just joined a the group on Facebook: Narasimha Rao Study/Appreciation Group

If you are a fan of the work done by Rao, click here to join the Facebook group.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Charles Dickens in Nicholas Nickleby

"There are many pleasant fictions of the law in constant operation, but there is not one so pleasant or practically humorous as that which supposes every man to be of equal value in its impartial eye, and the benefits of all laws to be equally attainable by all men, without the smallest reference to the furniture of their pockets." ~ Charles Dickens in Nicholas Nickleby


“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas A. Edison

 “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” – Winston Churchill

“Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Winston Churchill

“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” – Henry Ford

“Failures are finger posts on the road to achievement.” – C.S. Lewis

Thursday, April 2, 2015

We, The Sheeple

“Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.” ~ Voltaire

“There are no old roads to new directions.” – The Boston Consulting Group

“If at first the idea is not absurd, then there will be no hope for it.” – A. Einstein 

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

The Advice from Zarathustra

Zarathustra’s advice to all true believers: “Now I go alone, my disciples, You too, go now, alone. Thus I want it. Go away from me and resist Zarathustra! And even better: be ashamed of him! Perhaps he deceived you. The man of knowledge must not only love his enemies, he must be able to hate his friends. One repays a teacher badly if one always remains nothing but a student. And why do you not want to pluck at my wreath? You revere me; but what if your reverence tumbles one day? Beware lest a statue slay you. You say that you believe in Zarathustra? But what matters Zarathustra? You are my believers—but what matter all believers? You have not yet sought yourselves; and you found me. Thus do all believers; therefore all faith amounts to so little. Now I bid you lose me and find yourselves; and only when you have all denied me will I return to you.” ~ Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra