"There are men, in all ages, who mean to exercise power usefully; but who mean to exercise it. They mean to govern well; but they mean to govern. They promise to be kind masters; but they mean to be masters." Daniel Webster
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Capitalism undoubtedly has certain boils and blotches upon it, but has it as many as government? Has it as many as marriage? Has it as many as religion? I doubt it. It is the only basic institution of modern man that shows any genuine health and vigor. - H.L. Mencken
Posted by Charles at 6:14 AM
Monday, September 28, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Friday, September 25, 2009
Thursday, September 24, 2009
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
This statement from its founding father, Irving Kirstol, pretty much sums up the entire philosophy:
HT: Lew Rockwell
There are different kinds of truths for different kinds of people. There are truths appropriate for children; truths that are appropriate for students; truths that are appropriate for educated adults; and truths that are appropriate for highly educated adults, and the notion that there should be one set of truths available to everyone is a modern democratic fallacy. It doesn’t work.
HT: Lew Rockwell
Monday, September 21, 2009
Posted by Charles at 11:00 AM
[Euthanasia] is what any State medical service has sooner or later got to face. If you are going to be kept alive in institutions run by and paid for by the State, you must accept the State’s right to economize when necessary. - Graham Greene
HT: Bill Shugart at The Beacon
HT: Bill Shugart at The Beacon
Posted by Charles at 4:36 AM
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Saturday, September 19, 2009
Friday, September 18, 2009
Find out just what the people will submit to and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue until they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. - Frederick Douglass
Thursday, September 17, 2009
Will Wilknson says that her detractors and many of her admirers misunderstand her:
From the comments section, he adds:
Rand does not valorize the wealthy. She valorizes the uncompromising integrity of creative visionaries and the productivity of inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs. But there is little to assure the reader that the virtues she extols really pay. Rand’s view of the world was actually pretty bleak, pretty Russian. Her best novel, We the Living, is best precisely because she had yet to philosophically suppress her tragic instincts. One of the least plausible and certainly the saddest aspects of Rand’s thought is what she called the “benevolent universe premise” — a kind of as-if attitudinal stance of positivity meant to ensure “the inability to believe in the power or the triumph of evil.”
From the comments section, he adds:
I wouldn't say Rand leaves herself "wiggle room" in depicting fictional worlds in which "looters" and "moochers" and "second-handers" dominate. I'd say that she pretty conclusive doesn't think money in such worlds track virtue. And she thought our world was a lot like her fictional worlds.
I don't disagree that a lot of Rand's admirers ridiculously identify themselves with her heroes, despite the fact that even the best of them is Eddie Willers. And I don't disagree that a lot of Rand's admirers vacillate incoherently between the idea that our world is chillingly similar to the one depicted in Atlas Shrugged and the idea that wealth is in fact a measure of virtue. But the fact that Rand's admirers can't understand books doesn't speak to what the books actually say.
It only stands to reason that where there’s sacrifice, there’s someone collecting the sacrificial offerings. Where there’s service, there is someone being served. The man who speaks to you of sacrifice is speaking of slaves and masters, and intends to be the master. - Ayn Rand
Posted by Charles at 5:49 AM
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I am free, no matter what rules surround me. If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them; if I find them too obnoxious, I break them. I am free because I know that I alone am morally responsible for everything I do. - Robert Heinlein
Monday, September 14, 2009
And advocates are pretty open about that.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Today's quote is from H.L. Mecnken, via this post on Lewrockwell.com:
The aim of public education is not to spread enlightenment at all; it is simply to reduce as many individuals as possible to the same safe level, to breed and train a standardized citizenry, to down dissent and originality. That is its aim in the United States, whatever pretensions of politicians, pedagogues other such mountebanks, and that is its aim everywhere else…. Their purpose, in brief, is to make docile and patriotic citizens, to pile up majorities, and to make John Doe and Richard Doe as nearly alike, in their everyday reactions and ways of thinking, as possible.
Posted by Charles at 6:19 AM
Monday, September 7, 2009
Sunday, September 6, 2009
Saturday, September 5, 2009
Friday, September 4, 2009
Thursday, September 3, 2009
Abu Muqawama writes
So I was on the Newshour last night debating Afghanistan with a favorite of this blog and its readers, Andrew Bacevich. As readers of this blog know, I am uncomfortable when placed in the position of being expected to lustily defend the war. I think the war is in the nation's interests at the moment, sure, but I'm quick to add that my own thoughts are not wholly formed, I am open to dissenting views, and what views I do offer are accompanied by admissions of how difficult the mission is and a rather un-Abu-Muqawama-like degree of humility. (One of the things that turns me off to Bacevich's arguments on Afghanistan, for example, is how certain he is of his knowledge and opinions on the country, its peoples, its history and NATO operations there without, to my knowledge, having ever traveled to Central Asia. Rory Stewart, obviously, is another matter -- as is the wider Bacevich thesis about the use and abuse of American power.) As I walked out of the studio last night, though, Gwen Ifill turned to me and said, "Look, I understand you're not some fire-breathing hawk, but you're about the only person we can find in Washington to defend this war at the moment."
Woah. The only person who will defend this war? If this blogger is the only person in the nation's capital willing to defend the war, we have a big problem. I'm more used to hosting debates on Afghanistan than participating in them. I do not think it would surprise any reader of this blog, though, to note the speed with which the debate has shifted on the war in Afghanistan. What was, 12 months ago, "the good war" has now become, for paleoconservatives and progressives alike, a fool's errand. And the Obama Administration has thus far shown little energy for defending a policy and strategic goals (.pdf) they themselves arrived at just five months ago. I thought that once the president had settled on a policy and strategic aims, the rest of the administration would then go about executing that policy. That's the way it's supposed to work, right? Yet the policy debate seems to continue within the White House, with the Office of the Vice President apparently pushing for a much more limited approach than what was articulated in March by the president himself and following a lengthy policy review. No wonder, then, the uniformed military is getting nervous about the administration's support for their war. Either the White House has been too busy with health care, or they have failed to notice how quickly the debate has shifted under their feet (as with health care).
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Will is probably the only conservative pundit I can think of who has gotten more libertarian and more radical as he got older. And if you see the reaction from National Review and the Republican echo chamber to his stand on Afghanistan it seems that even the most respected of conservatives will get smashed by their peers if they stand against the militarism and imperialism that masquerades as conservatism these days.