Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred.
You have to remember one thing about the will of the people: it wasn't that long ago that we were swept away by the Macarena.
Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. No one in this world, so far as I know—and I have researched the records for years, and employed agents to help me—has ever lost money by underestimating the intelligence of the great masses of the plain people. Nor has anyone ever lost public office thereby.
Freedom in capitalist society always remains about the same as it was in ancient Greek republics: Freedom for slave owners.
The only way we'll get freedom for ourselves is to identify ourselves with every oppressed people in the world. We are blood brothers to the people of Brazil, Venezuela, Haiti, Cuba -- yes Cuba too.
Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.
A child who does not think about what happens around him and is content with living without wondering whether he lives honestly is like a man who lives from a scoundrel's work and is on the road to being a scoundrel.
Despair is typical of those who do not understand the causes of evil, see no way out, and are incapable of struggle.
But love, like the sun that it is, sets afire and melts everything. what greed and privilege to build up over whole centuries the indignation of a pious spirit, with its natural following of oppressed souls, will cast down with a single shove.
Unity is a great thing and a great slogan. But what the workers’ cause needs is the unity of Marxists, not unity between Marxists, and opponents and distorters of Marxism.
The world, viewed philosophically, remains a series of slave camps, where citizens – tax livestock – labor under the chains of illusion in the service of their masters.
The principle of democracy is a recognition of the sovereign, inalienable rights of man as a gift from God, the Source of law.
The lesson we are indebted to Egypt for, our future generations learned that in the face of oppression silence is never golden.
Democracy should always be viewed with a philosophical perspective rather than a political one, because after all democracy was born to a philosopher and murdered by a politician.
In a room wherepeople unanimously maintaina conspiracy of silence,one word of truthsounds like a pistol shot.
To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them, to use logic against logic, to repudiate morality while laying claim to it, to believe that democracy was impossible and that the Party was the guardian of democracy, to forget whatever it was necessary to forget, then to draw it back into memory again at the moment when it was needed, and then promptly to forget it again: and above all, to apply the same process to the process itself -- that was the ultimate subtlety: consciously to induce unconsciousness, and then, once again, to become unconscious of the act of hypnosis you had just performed. Even to understand the word 'doublethink' involved the use of doublethink.
It’s not unpatriotic to denounce an injustice committed on our behalf, perhaps it’s the most patriotic thing we can do.
A system is corrupt when it is strictly profit-driven, not driven to serve the best interests of its people.
A desire for privacy does not imply shameful secrets; Moglen argues, again and again, that without anonymity in discourse, free speech is impossible, and hence also democracy. The right to speak the truth to power does not shield the speaker from the consequences of doing so; only comparable power or anonymity can do that.
It is truth, in the old saying, that is 'the daughter of time,' and the lapse of half a century has not left us many of our illusions. Churchill tried and failed to preserve one empire. He failed to preserve his own empire, but succeeded in aggrandizing two much larger ones. He seems to have used crisis after crisis as an excuse to extend his own power. His petulant refusal to relinquish the leadership was the despair of postwar British Conservatives; in my opinion this refusal had to do with his yearning to accomplish something that 'history' had so far denied him—the winning of a democratic election.
When I was ten years old, one of my friends brought a Shaleenian kangaroo-cat to school one day. I remember the way it hopped around with quick, nervous leaps, peering at everything with its large, almost circular golden eyes. One of the girls asked if it was a boy cat or a girl cat. Our instructor didn't know; neither did the boy who had brought it; but the teacher made the mistake of asking, 'How can we find out?' Someone piped up, 'We can vote on it!' The rest of the class chimed in with instant agreement and before I could voice my objection that some things can't be voted on, the election was held. It was decided that the Shaleenian kangaroo-cat was a boy, and forthwith, it was named Davy Crockett. Three months later, Davy Crockett had kittens. So much for democracy. It seems to me that if the electoral process can be so wrong about such a simple thing, isn't it possible for it to be very, very wrong on much more complex matters? We have this sacred cow in our society that what the majority of people want is right—but is it? Our populace can't really be informed, not the majority of them—most people vote the way they have been manipulated and by the way they have responded to that manipulation—they are working out their own patterns of wishful thinking on the social environment in which they live. It is most disturbing to me to realize that though a majority may choose a specific course of action or direction for itself, through the workings of a 'representative government,' they may be as mistaken about the correctness of such a choice as my classmates were about the sex of that Shaleenian kangaroo-cat. I'm not so sure than an electoral government is necessarily the best.
. . . the only legitimate reason that kingship is not attractive to us is because in this age and this world the only kings available are finite and sinful. Listen to C. S. Lewis describe why he believes in democracy:A great deal of democratic enthusiasm descends from the ideas of people like Rousseau, who believed in democracy because they thought mankind so wise and good that everyone deserved a share in the government. The danger of defending democracy on those grounds is that they’re not true. . . I find that they’re not true without looking further than myself. I don’t deserve a share in governing a hen-roost, much less a nation. . . . The real reason for democracy is . . . Mankind is so fallen that no man can be trusted with unchecked power over his fellows. Aristotle said that some people were only fit to be slaves. I do not contradict him. But I reject slavery because I see no men fit to be masters.1If there could be a king who is not limited in his wisdom and power and goodness and love for his subjects, then monarchy would be the best of all governments. If such a ruler could ever rise in the world—with no weakness, no folly, no sin—then no wise and humble person would ever want democracy again.The question is not whether God broke into the universe as a king. He did. The question is: What kind of king is he? What difference would his kingship make for you?
In a well-functioning democracy, the state constitution is considered more important than God's holy book, whichever holy book that may be, and God matters only in your private life.
Were the judgments of mankind correct, custom would be regulated by the good. But it is often far otherwise in point of fact; for, whatever the many are seen to do, forthwith obtains the force of custom. But human affairs have scarcely ever been so happily constituted as that the better course pleased the greater number. Hence the private vices of the multitude have generally resulted in public error, or rather that common consent in vice which these worthy men would have to be law.
Constitutional democracy, you see, is no romantic notion. It's our defense against ourselves, the one foe who might defeat us.
The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battle-field, and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.--as quoted in THE RIVER OF WINGED DREAMS
Harmony is our natural state of being, and so, when our energies become too stagnant, chaos is thrown into the mix to stimulate what will eventually result in balance and invite flow. The trick is to not let chaos trap or define you… simply allow it to create movement in the vehicle of your life so that you can snap your eyes open and take back control of the wheel. Do not lose yourself in the storm, instead, be the calm in the storm.
Destroying hope is a critically important project. And when it is achieved, formal democracy is allowed—even preferred, if only for public relation purposes. In more honest circles, much of this is conceded. Of course, it is understood much more profoundly by beasts in men's shapes who endure the consequences of challenging the imperatives of stability and order.
The world economy would collapse if a significant number of people were to realize and then act on the realization that it is possible to enjoy many if not most of the things that they enjoy without first having to own them.