Friday, July 31, 2015

Why I Left Greenpeace

Patrick Moore explains why he helped to create Greenpeace, and why he decided to leave it. What began as a mission to improve the environment for the sake of humanity became a political movement in which humanity became the villain and hard science a non-issue.

17 Equations That Changed The Course Of History

Never use the state as a metric for ethics...

Eric Hoffer on Asinine Intellectuals

One of the surprising privileges of intellectuals is they are free to be scandalously asinine without harming their reputation" ~ Eric Hoffer

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Four Things To Learn from "In Defense of Selfishness"

Author Peter Schwartz names four things that readers will learn from his book "In Defense of Selfishness: Why the Code of Self-Sacrifice Is Unjust and Destructive" (2015) — what selfishness and altruism really are, why moral principles are necessary for a genuinely selfish life, and why "the public interest" is a myth. Schwartz is a distinguished fellow at the Ayn Rand Institute as well as a retired chairman of its board of directors.

P. J. O'Rourke on Freedom

"It's not an endlessly expanding list of rights — the 'right' to education, the 'right' to health care, the 'right' to food and housing. That's not freedom, that's dependency. Those aren't rights, those are the rations of slavery—hay and a barn for human cattle." ~ from Age and Guile Beat Youth, Innocence, and a Bad Haircut

Why moon landing could not be faked in 1969?

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

How Smart and Well-Read was Adolf Hitler? By Stephen Hicks

One century ago, Adolf Hitler was fighting in the Great War. He was a good soldier — he would be promoted to the rank of corporal, be wounded two times, and be awarded six medals. And with him during the war he had the writings of philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer.
The image of Hitler reading Schopenhauer is startling, as one popular depiction of Hitler is of a semi-literate, semi-sane outlier who somehow lucked and manipulated his way to power in Germany. Certainly after the devastation of World War Two and the horrors of the Holocaust, it’s tempting to think that those who caused them must be close to crazy and to dismiss the possibility that educated people could be responsible.
But if we are going to fully understand the causes of National Socialism and other horrors, we have to consider an unsettling possibility: Maybe those who commit them, like Hitler and his accomplices, can be highly intelligent, well educated, and think of themselves as noble idealists.
“Books, books, always books!” wrote August Kubizek, young Hitler’s teen-years friend. “I just can’t imagine Adolf without books. He had them piled up around him at home. He always had a book with him wherever he went.”
Also according to Kubizek, Hitler was registered with three libraries in Linz, Austria after the war, and spent much of his time in Vienna in the Habsburgs’ court library. “Books were his world.”
The phenomenon of bookish young men and women becoming activists for political violence is not rare. 

Mencken on politicians

“If he became convinced tomorrow that coming out for cannibalism would get him the votes he needs so sorely, he would begin fattening a missionary in the White House yard come Wednesday.” ~ H.L. Mencken’s observation about FDR seeking reelection in 1936

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Little Owl Knows His Rights! Do you?

Dire Warning From Billionaire Eric Sprott

Chinese shares suffer their biggest one-day percentage drop in more than eight years

Eric Sprott:  “I don’t think there is any doubt about the world economy rolling over.  China has been the major buyer of all products and they’re not holding it together here.  They’ve experienced a market crash already, with these huge amounts of debts that the Chinese have taken.  The Chinese have created more debt than anybody.  Their debt outstanding has increased remarkably….

Read the entire interview of Eric Sprott

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mises on Socialism

"The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office." ~ Economist Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973)

Red Terror: Quotes from Leon Trotsky

"In not more than a month’s time terror will assume very violent forms, after the example of the great French Revolution; the guillotine... will be ready for our enemies... that remarkable invention of the French Revolution which makes man shorter by a head."
- Leon Trotsky
(George Leggett, The Cheka: Lenin’s Political Police [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981], p54)

"Root out the counterrevolutionaries without mercy, lock up suspicious characters in concentration camps... Shirkers will be shot, regardless of past service..."
- Leon Trotsky
(Dmitri Volkogonov, Trotsky: The Eternal Revolutionary [London: HarperCollins, 1996], p213)

"We have to run a hot iron down the spine of the Ukrainian kulaks - that will create a good working environment."
- Leon Trotsky
(Dmitri Volkogonov, Trotsky: The Eternal Revolutionary [London: HarperCollins, 1996], p183)

"As for us, we were never concerned with the Kantian-priestly and vegetarian-Quaker prattle about the ‘sacredness of human life.’"
- Leon Trotsky
(Terrorism and Communism: A Reply to Karl Kautsky [London: New Park Publications, 1975], p82)

"The Red Terror is a weapon utilized against a class, doomed to destruction, which does not wish to perish... the Red Terror hastens the destruction of the bourgeoisie."
- Leon Trotsky
(Terrorism and Communism: A Reply to Karl Kautsky [London: New Park Publications, 1975], p83)

"... the road to socialism lies through a period of the highest possible intensification of the principle of the state… Just as a lamp, before going out, shoots up in a brilliant flame, so the state, before disappearing, assumes the form of the dictatorship of the proletariat, i.e., the most ruthless form of state, which embraces the life of the citizens authoritatively in every direction..."
- Leon Trotsky
(Terrorism and Communism: A Reply to Karl Kautsky [London: New Park Publications, 1975], p177)

"... the very principle of labour conscription has replaced the principle of free labour as radically and irreversibly as socialization of the means of production has replaced capitalist ownership."
- Leon Trotsky
(Dmitri Volkogonov, Trotsky: The Eternal Revolutionary [London: HarperCollins, 1996], pp216-7)

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Whoo... That's some catch, that Catch-22

Yossarian: Is Orr crazy?
Doc Daneeka: Of course he is. He has to be crazy to keep flying after all his close calls he's had.
Yossarian: Why can't you ground him?
Doc Daneeka: I can, but first he has to ask me.
Yossarian: That's all he's gotta do to be grounded?
Doc Daneeka: That's all.
Yossarian: Then you can ground him?
Doc Daneeka: No. Then I cannot ground him.
Yossarian: Aah!
Doc Daneeka: There's a CATCH!
Yossarian: A catch?
Doc Daneeka: Sure. Catch-22. Anyone who wants to get out of combat isn't really crazy, so I can't ground him.
Yossarian: Ok, let me see if I've got this straight. In order to be grounded, I've got to be crazy. And I must be crazy to keep flying. But if I ask to be grounded, that means I'm not crazy anymore, and I have to keep flying.
Doc Daneeka: You got it, that's Catch-22.
Yossarian: Whoo... That's some catch, that Catch-22.
Doc Daneeka: It's the best there is.

~ from Catch-22 by Joseph Heller

Saturday, July 25, 2015

A lesson still not learnt...

"If we were directed from Washington when to sow and when to reap, we would soon want for bread."-Thomas Jefferson

Calving Coolidge on the value of persistence

"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan 'press on' has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." ~ Calvin Coolidge.

Radical Antihuman Quotes from V. I. Lenin

"Psychologically, this talk of feeding the starving is nothing but an expression of the saccharine-sweet sentimentality so characteristic of our intelligentsia." ~ V. I. Lenin
(Robert Conquest, The Harvest of Sorrow [London: Arrow Books, 1988], p234)

"... whoever recognizes class war must recognize civil wars, which in any class society represent the natural and, in certain circumstances, inevitable continuation, development and sharpening of class war." ~ V. I. Lenin
(Dmitri Volkogonov, Lenin: Life and Legacy [London: HarperCollins, 1994], p196)

"Until we apply terror to speculators - shooting on the spot - we won’t get anywhere." ~ V. I. Lenin
(George Leggett, The Cheka: Lenin’s Political Police [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981], p55)

"Let them shoot on the spot every tenth man guilty of idleness." ~ V. I. Lenin
(George Leggett, The Cheka: Lenin’s Political Police [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981], p55)

"Surely you do not imagine that we shall be victorious without applying the most cruel revolutionary terror?" ~ V. I. Lenin
(George Leggett, The Cheka: Lenin’s Political Police [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981], p57)

"You can tell Ter [a local Cheka commander] that if there is an offensive, he must make all preparations to burn Baku down totally, and this should be announced in print in Baku." ~ V. I. Lenin
(Dmitri Volkogonov, Lenin: Life and Legacy [London: HarperCollins, 1994], p202)

"Merciless war against these kulaks! Death to them!"
- V. I. Lenin
(Dmitri Volkogonov, Lenin: Life and Legacy [London: HarperCollins, 1994], p197)

"... carry out merciless mass terror against the kulaks, priests and White Guards; unreliable elements to be locked up in a concentration camp outside the town."
- V. I. Lenin
(George Leggett, The Cheka: Lenin’s Political Police [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981], p103)

"I am confident that the suppression of the Kazan Czechs and White Guards, and likewise of the bloodsucking kulaks who support them, will be a model of mercilessness." ~ V. I. Lenin
(George Leggett, The Cheka: Lenin’s Political Police [Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1981], p119)

"When we are reproached with cruelty, we wonder how people can forget the most elementary Marxism." ~ V. I. Lenin
(Robert Conquest, The Human Cost of Soviet Communism [Washington: Committee on the Judiciary, US Senate, 91st Congress, 2nd Session, 1970], p10)

"... catch and shoot the Astrakhan speculators and bribe-takers. These swine have to be dealt [with] so that everyone will remember it for years." ~ V. I. Lenin
(Dmitri Volkogonov, Lenin: Life and Legacy [London: HarperCollins, 1994], p201)

"Russians are too kind, they lack the ability to apply determined methods of revolutionary terror." ~ V. I. Lenin
(Dmitri Volkogonov, Lenin: Life and Legacy [London: HarperCollins, 1994], p203)

"Dictatorship is rule based directly on force and unrestricted by any laws. The revolutionary dictatorship of the proletariat is rule won and maintained through the use of violence by the proletariat against the bourgeoisie, rule that is unrestricted by any laws." ~ V. I. Lenin
(Stephan Courtois, "Conclusion," in The Black Book of Communism, ed. Stephane Courtois [Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1999], p741)

"I come to the inescapable conclusion that we must now launch the most decisive and merciless battle against the Black Hundreds clergy and crush their resistance with such ferocity that they will not forget it for several decades... The bigger the number of reactionary clergy and reactionary bourgeois we manage to shoot in the process, the better." ~ V. I. Lenin
(Dmitri Volkogonov, Trotsky: The Eternal Revolutionary [London: HarperCollins, 1996], p227)

Via: Marx & Friends

Friday, July 24, 2015

Dissecting Leftism

 "Leftist stupidity is a special class of stupidity. The people concerned are mostly not stupid in general but they have a character defect (mostly arrogance) that makes them impatient with complexity and unwilling to study it. So in their policies they repeatedly shoot themselves in the foot; They fail to attain their objectives." ~ Dr. John Joseph Ray

Mises on origin of profit

Abraham Lincoln on racism

"You and we are different races. We have between us a broader difference than exists between almost any other two races. Whether it is right or wrong I need not discuss, but this physical difference is a great disadvantage to us both, as I think your race suffer very greatly, many of them by living among us, while ours suffer from your presence. In a word, we suffer on each side. If this be admitted, it affords a reason at least why we should be separated. It is better for both, therefore, to be separated." -- Abraham Lincoln speaking at the White House to a group of black community leaders, August 14th, 1862

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Orwell on newspapers...

"Early in life I had noticed that no event is ever correctly reported in a newspaper." ~ George Orwell

Where did Hegel get his ideas from?

Plato's Republic with its ideal of a polity ruled by "philosopher kings" has always had a lot of appeal to Leftists -- who mentally elect themselves as the philosopher kings concerned -- so it should be no surprise that Hegel liked Plato too. I am indebted to a commentator here for drawing my attention to some excellent quotes from a Marxist site which spell that all out: The quotes are from an article on Hegel by  Z. A. Pelczynski . We start with an excerpt from Pelczynski and then go on to a quote from Hegel himself: 

In Hegel’s Lectures on the History of Philosophy (the Haldane-Simson translation in three volumes published 1892-6) Hegel gives Plato’s Republic twenty-six pages of print, compared with the less than four that he gives to Aristotle’s Politics. He regarded Aristotle’s main political work as a common-sense but pedantic and largely empirical treatise, while the Republic seemed to him a work of true genius and a most profound theory expressing the essence of Greek society and culture (PhR, Preface). The fundamental presupposition of the Republic and ancient Greek political life generally (Hegel argues) was the absolute priority of the community over the individual. Hegel refers to it usually as the ‘substantiality’ of the polis or ‘the substantial character of ethical life’ in Greece. The ancient Greek thought of himself as a political animal by nature. He saw himself as a son of his city, a member of an ongoing and historical community and not as an independent individual, facing other similar individuals in an atomistic state of nature or some rather loosely structured society which they had voluntarily established. A Greek citizen was so wholly immersed in the politics and ethos of his city that he cared little for himself. He guided his actions not by his self-interest or some private conception of happiness and virtue, but by the traditional ideals of his city, which he accepted without questioning.’ One could say that he had no individuality in the full sense of the word; he was merely an instrument, a member of an organism, which acted through him in pursuit of its own universal ends. 
We are accustomed to take our start from the fiction of a condition of nature, which is truly no condition of mind, of rational will, but of animals among themselves: wherefore Hobbes has justly remarked that the true state of nature is a war of every man against his neighbour . . . The fiction of a state of nature starts from the individuality of the person, his free will, and his relation to other persons according to this free will. What has been called natural law is law in and for the individual, and the condition of society and the state has been looked upon as the means of the individual person, who is the fundamental end. Plato, in direct contrast with this lays as his foundation the substantial, the universal, and he does this in such a way that the individual as such has this very universal as his end, and the subject has his will, activity, life and enjoyment in the state, so that it becomes his second nature, his habits and his customs. This ethical substance which constitutes the spirit, life and being of individuality, and which is its foundation, systematises itself into a living, organic whole, and at the same time it differentiates itself into its members, whose activity brings the whole into existence. 
I am not of course going to argue with Hegel's reasoning and analysis here. The whole idea of a "state of nature" or an "original state" of mankind is a theoretical invention much beloved of all sorts of Leftists from Rousseau to Rawls but rests entirely on unsubstantiated assertions. If you could get a libertarian to venture into such speculations he would probably counter-assert that the state of nature is voluntary co-operation between free, happy and autonomous individuals. And conservatives, of course, are concerned only about what has developed so far, rather than any high-flown theories that reduce the vast complexity of humanity to simple generalizations. 

VIA: Marx & Friends in Their Own Words

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Jack Cashill’s new book discusses leftist political correctness intolerance

Rather than simply cataloging the neo-puritan assaults on reason and liberty, Scarlet Letters: The Ever-Increasing Intolerance of the Cult of Liberalism illustrates how the progressive movement came to mimic a religion in its structure but not at all in its spirit while profiling those brave individuals who dared to take a stand against this inquisition.

Marx viewed slavery as an economic category of paramount importance

"As for slavery, there is no need for me to speak of its bad aspects. The only thing requiring explanation is the good side of slavery. I do not mean indirect slavery, the slavery of proletariat; I mean direct slavery, the slavery of the Blacks in Surinam, in Brazil, in the southern regions of North America. Direct slavery is as much the pivot upon which our present-day industrialism turns as are machinery, credit, etc. … Slavery is therefore an economic category of paramount importance."
~ Karl Marx (Letter to Pavel Vasilyevich Annenkov, December 28, 1846)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Absolute worst day... or a good day...

This true in today's context as well...

"The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane." ~ Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180)

Monday, July 20, 2015

Florence King - When they came for the smokers

When they came for the smokers
I kept silent because I don't smoke.
When they came for the meat eaters
I kept silent because I'm a vegetarian.
When they came for the gun owners
I kept silent because I'm a pacifist.
When they came for the drivers
I kept silent because I'm a bicyclist.
They never did come for me.
I'm still here because there's nobody left in
the secret police except sissies with rickets.

Socialists Wish to Transform World into a Gigantic Post Office ~ Mises

"The champions of socialism call themselves progressives, but they recommend a system which is characterized by rigid observance of routine and by a resistance to every kind of improvement. They call themselves liberals, but they are intent upon abolishing liberty. They call themselves democrats, but they yearn for dictatorship. They call themselves revolutionaries, but they want to make the government omnipotent. They promise the blessings of the Garden of Eden, but they plan to transform the world into a gigantic post office." ~ Ludwig von Mises (1881-1973)

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Marx was a supporter of British rule in India

Marx was a supporter of imperialism; he supported British rule in India. In an article that he wrote for New-York Daily Tribune, June 25, 1853, Marx expressed the following opinion:

England, it is true, in causing a social revolution in Hindostan, was actuated only by the vilest interests, and was stupid in her manner of enforcing them. But that is not the question. The question is, can mankind fulfil its destiny without a fundamental revolution in the social state of Asia? If not, whatever may have been the crimes of England she was the unconscious tool of history in bringing about that revolution.

Then, whatever bitterness the spectacle of the crumbling of an ancient world may have for our personal feelings, we have the right, in point of history, to exclaim with Goethe:

“Sollte these Qual uns quälen
Da sie unsre Lust vermehrt,
Hat nicht myriaden Seelen
Timur’s Herrschaft aufgezehrt?”

[“Should this torture then torment us
Since it brings us greater pleasure?
Were not through the rule of Timur
Souls devoured without measure?”]
[From Goethe’s “An Suleika”, Westöstlicher Diwan]

Complete article is available here. 

Karl Marx - The Violent Recluse

In Marx’s personal life, violence was never far from the surface. He was verbally abusive, and arguments were common within his family. According to an Encyclopedia Britannica account on Marx, his father even expressed fears that Jenny von Westphalen was “destined to become a sacrifice to the demon that possessed his son.” Jenny commented early about the rancor and irritation she often experienced in dealing with her fiancé.

Summarizing Marx’s animosities, the late British historian Sir Arthur Bryant wrote: “Among his innumerable hates were the Christian religion, his parents, his wife’s uncle—‘the hound’—his German kinsfolk, his own race—‘Ramsgate is full of fleas and Jews’, the Prussian reactionaries, the Liberal and utopian Socialist allies, the labouring population—‘Lumpenproletariat’ or ‘riff-raff’—democracy—‘parliamentary cretinism’—and the British royal family—‘the English mooncalf and her princely urchins,’ as he called them. His self-imposed task he defined as ‘the ruthless criticism of everything that exists.’”

Looking back on the life and writings of Karl Marx, it is difficult to erase the more recent memory of the spectacular failure of his theories. Stalin and Mao killed millions in their efforts to maintain ruthless state control. Marx’s economic theories did not bring resolution to the wrongs that he saw in the social order. In fact, his theories were catastrophic for the lives of millions, and continue to be so in the aftermath of communism’s collapse.

Via: A Dark Fellow From Trier

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Can Socialists be Happy?

In his essay, Can Socialists be Happy (1943), George Orwell is of he view that happiness is concept alien to socialism, and a socialist regime or utopia will not care about making its citizens happy.

He writes, "By far the best known modern Utopias are those of H.G. Wells. Wells's vision of the future is almost fully expressed in two books written in the early Twenties, The Dream and Men Like Gods. Here you have a picture of the world as Wells would like to see it or thinks he would like to see it. It is a world whose keynotes are enlightened hedonism and scientific curiosity. All the evils and miseries we now suffer from have vanished. Ignorance, war, poverty, dirt, disease, frustration, hunger, fear, overwork, superstition all vanished. So expressed, it is impossible to deny that that is the kind of world we all hope for. We all want to abolish the things Wells wants to abolish. But is there anyone who actually wants to live in a Wellsian Utopia? On the contrary, not to live in a world like that, not to wake up in a hygenic garden suburb infested by naked schoolmarms, has actually become a conscious political motive. A book like Brave New World is an expression of the actual fear that modern man feels of the rationalised hedonistic society which it is within his power to create. A Catholic writer said recently that Utopias are now technically feasible and that in consequence how to avoid Utopia had become a serious problem. We cannot write this off as merely a silly remark. For one of the sources of the Fascist movement is the desire to avoid a too-rational and too-comfortable world. All 'favourable' Utopias seem to be alike in postulating perfection while being unable to suggest happiness."

In the concluding paragraph of the essay, Orwell writes, "Nearly all creators of Utopia have resembled the man who has toothache, and therefore thinks happiness consists in not having toothache."

The Green Scam

Friday, July 17, 2015

Hemingway on Writing

“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

Garry Kasparov on Greek Crisis

"The Greece catastrophe is what happens when you try to break the capitalism "laws of physics" & postpone the consequences of dumb decisions." ~  Garry Kasparov in Twitter 

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The Essential Hayek by Donald J. Boudreaux

The Essential Hayek can now be downloaded for free from this website. The website also has good videos, which explain the ideas in the book.

Joseph Sobran on Voters & Politicians

"Too many voters are already bought -not by corporate campaign donors, but by the government itself."

"Politicians never accuse you of 'greed' for wanting other people's money -- only for wanting to keep your own money."

~ Joseph Sobran 

Aristotle on Storytelling

"[storytelling is] an animation of an action that is serious, complete and of a certain magnitude; in language embellished with each kind of artistic ornament, the several kinds being found in separate parts of the play; in the form of action not of narrative; through pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotions." ~ Aristotle in Poetics

Who is John Galt?

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Hitler & Mussolini

In his 1927 ―The Political and Social Doctrine of Fascism― Mussolini clearly states "this will be a century of authority, a century of the Left, a century of Fascism", ...In the next sentence, Mussolini continued and wrote: "For if the 19th century was the century of individualism (Liberalism always signifying individualism) it may be expected that this will be the century of collectivism, and hence the century of the State."

Hitler and Mussolini: History's Dirty Little Secret

Mussolini on Keynes’s

The Italian fascist dictator Mussolini was a fan of Keynesian economics.

Mussolini said, “Fascism entirely agrees with Mr. Maynard Keynes, despite the latter’s prominent position as a Liberal. In fact, Mr. Keynes’ excellent little book, The End of Laissez-Faire (l926) might, so far as it goes, serve as a useful introduction to fascist economics. There is scarcely anything to object to in it and there is much to applaud.”

Via: Stephen Hicks

Monday, July 13, 2015

"Kill Bill" for Better Economy

“It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.” ~ Calvin Coolidge

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Louis L'Amour in Conagher

"To be a man was to be responsible. It was as simple as that. To be a man was to build something, to try to make the world about him a bit easier to live in for himself and those who followed." ~ Louis L'Amour in Conagher 

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Friedrich A. Hayek on Anarchism

From Enlightenment to Entitlement

We are moving backwards--from 1620s to 1780s we had the "Age of Enlightenment", but today we have the "Age of Entitlement"...

Great Things Often Start in a Garage

On Horses and History

Trundholm sun chariot, Denmark, 10th c. B.C.
Some 50 million years ago, in the forests of North America, a timid herbivore less than two feet tall browsed for leaves and fruit. This tiny creature is now called eohippus, or “dawn horse,” and by 1.5 million years ago, its ancestors had evolved into what we today recognize as the horse. About 900,000 years ago, horses spread from the grasslands of North America to the Old World, where they would eventually have their first encounters with people. And so began the incomparable relationship between horses and humans, evidence of which is found in the archaeological record throughout the world.

Via: The Story of the Horse

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Inscriptions of Diogenes of Oinoanda found in Turkey

At a remote site in Turkey, archaeologists have found fragments of the ancient world’s most massive inscription, containing the writings of unknown philosopher, Diogenes of Oinoanda

Click to

Monday, July 6, 2015

It is possible that the Great War was in some true sense a day of reckoning for Kantian thought

John Dewey
1924 was the 200th anniversary of the birth of German philosopher Immanuel Kant, and American philosopher John Dewey was writing a series of essays reflecting on philosophy and current events. The series was published in book form in 1929 as Characters and Events: Popular Essays in Social and Political Philosophy.

Here are a few striking excerpts about the significance of Immanuel Kant.

One is about whether the philosophy of Kant is partly responsible for World War I: “It is possible that the Great War was in some true sense a day of reckoning for Kantian thought.”

Click here to read more

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Modi sings victory song, Main toh PM ban gaya

If all men are created equal, that is final ~ Calvin Coolidge

Calvin Coolidge provided a wonderful view of history, politics and philosophy in the speech that he gave on July 4, 1926.

He said, "If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people. Those who wish to proceed in that direction can not lay claim to progress. They are reactionary. Their ideas are not more modern, but more ancient, than those of the Revolutionary fathers."

Click here to read the complete speech by Calvin Coolidge

Saturday, July 4, 2015

This is how you do it...

Wonderful last line in Dostoyevsky's Crime and Punishment

"But that is the beginning of a new story—the story of the gradual renewal of a man, the story of his gradual regeneration, of his passing from one world into another, of his initiation into a new unknown life. That might be the subject of a new story, but our present story is ended." ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky in Crime and Punishment

Friday, July 3, 2015

Michael Crichton on why the media can't be trusted

“Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray's case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the "wet streets cause rain" stories. Paper's full of them.

In any case, you read with exasperation or amusement the multiple errors in a story, and then turn the page to national or international affairs, and read as if the rest of the newspaper was somehow more accurate about Palestine than the baloney you just read. You turn the page, and forget what you know.”

~ Michael Crichton

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Honesty is the best policy

"It is an old adage that honesty is the best policy; this applies to public as well as private life, to States as well as individuals." – George Washington, letter to James Madison, November 30, 1785

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Everyone must understand philosophy.....

"Everyone must understand philosophy, because even arguing against the practice of philosophy is itself a form of philosophizing. The best form of philosophy is the contemplation of the universe of nature; it is for this purpose that God made human beings and gave them a godlike intellect." ~ Aristotle in Protrepticus