Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Cultures

The war [World War 1] launched the destruction of American cultures - for we once had distinct regional cultures - through mass communication. It would turn consumption into an inner compulsion and eradicate difference. Old values of thrift, regional identity that had its own iconography, aesthetic expression and history, diverse immigrant traditions, self-sufficiency, and a press that was decentralized to provide citizens with a voice in their communities, were destroyed by corporate culture. New desires and habits were implanted by corporate advertisers to replace the old. Individual frustrations and discontents could be solved, corporate culture assured the populace, through the wonders of consumerism and cultural homogenization. American culture, or cultures, were replaced with junk culture and junk politics And now, standing on the cultural ash heap, we survey the ruin.  The slogans of advertising and mass culture have become the common idiom, robbing citizens of the language to make sense of the destruction.

--Chris Hedges, "Death Of The Liberal Class", page 82

Tolerance II

"In the name of tolerance - a word the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., never used - the liberal church and the synagogue refuse to denounce Christian heretics who acculturate the Christian religion with the worst aspects of consumerism, nationalism, greed, imperial hubris, violence, and  bigotry. These institutions accept globalization and unfettered capitalism as natural law. Liberal religious institutions, which should concern themselves with justice, embrace a cloying personal piety expressed in a how-is-it-with-me kind of spirituality and small, self-righteous acts of publicly conspicuous charity. Years spent in seminary or rabbinical schools, years devoted to the study of ethics, justice, and morality, prove useless when it comes time to stand up to corporate forces that usurp religious and moral language for financial and political gain."

--Chris Hedges, "Death Of The Liberal Class", pages 9 - 10

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Traditional

In a traditional democracy, the liberal class functions as a safety valve. It makes piecemeal and incremental reform possible. It offers hope for change and proposes gradual steps toward greater equality. It endows the state and the mechanisms of power with virtue. It also serves as an attack dog that discredits radical social movements, making the liberal class a useful component within the power elite.

But the assault by the corporate state on the democratic state has claimed the liberal class as one of its victims. Corporate power forgot that the liberal class, when it functions, gives legitimacy to the power elite. And reducing the liberal class to courtiers or mandarins, who have nothing to offer but empty rhetoric, shuts off this safety valve and forces discontent to find other outlets that often end in violence.

--Chris Hedges, "Death Of The Liberal Class", pages 9 - 10

Ceremonies

"The devastated earth, the air, water, the extinct species of mankind, animalkind, and plantkind, the drugs, suicides, family separations - these are all the result of false ceremonies."
--Barney Bush, Shawnee

Friday, April 26, 2013

Destroying

"Education should aim at destroying free will so that after pupils are thus schooled they will be incapable throughout the rest of their lives of thinking or acting otherwise than as their school masters would have wished ... The social psychologist of the future will have a number of classes of school children on whom they will try different methods of producing an unshakable conviction that snow is black. When the technique has been perfected, every government that has been in charge of education for more than one generation will be able to control its subjects securely without the need of armies or policemen."
--Johann Gottlieb Fichte (1762-1814)
German philosopher, psychologist, considered the father of German nationalism

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Size

"If very small class size, and the individual attention it enables a good teacher to give to every girl and boy, is good for the son of a prosperous attorney or the daughter of a CEO, then it’s good for the poorest child in America,"
--Jonathan Kozol

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Bliss

Before I was married, I used to eat out in the restaurants of town for my lunch and dinners. Thursday night was the maid's night off in Bronxville, so that many of the families were out in restaurants. One fine evening I was in my favorite restaurant there, and at the next table there was a father, a mother, and a scrawny boy about twelve years old. The father said to the boy, "Drink your tomato juice."And the boy said, "I don't want to." Then the father, with a louder voice, said, "Drink your tomato juice." And the mother said, "Don't make him do what he doesn't want to do." The father looked at her and said, "He can't go through life doing what he wants to do. If he does only what he wants to do, he'll be dead. Look at me. I've never done a thing I wanted to in all my life."And I thought, "My God, there's Babbitt incarnate!" That's the man who never followed his bliss. You may have a success in life, but then just think of it-what kind of life was it? What good was it-you've never done the thing you wanted to do in all your life. I always tell my students, go where your body and soul want to go. When you have the feeling, then stay with it, and don't let anyone throw you off.
--Joseph Campbell's The Power of Myth--an Interview with Bill Moyers

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Ritz

"Justice is open to everyone in the same way as the Ritz Hotel."
--Judge Sturgess

Generally

"I'm very brave generally, he went on in a low voice: only today I happen to have a headache."
--Lewis Carroll

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Timid II

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty."
--Thomas Jefferson

Useful

"Religion is regarded by the common people as true, by the wise as false, and by the rulers as useful."
--Seneca, 1st Century philosopher

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Learning V

"Liberty without learning is always in peril
and learning without liberty is always in vain."
--John F. Kennedy

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Regulated

"Free speech is not to be regulated like diseased cattle and impure butter. The audience that hissed yesterday may applaud today, even for the same performance."
--William O. Douglas, US Supreme Court Justice

Appetites

"We are the living graves of murdered beasts, slaughtered to satisfy our appetites… How can we hope in this world to attain the peace we say we are so anxious for?"
--George Bernard Shaw, Living Graves, 1951

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

*Information*

"The way to prevent irregular interpositions of the people is to give them full information of their affairs through the channel of the public papers, and to contrive that those papers should penetrate the whole mass of the people. The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter."
--Thomas Jefferson, letter to Colonel Edward Carrington, Jan. 16, 1787

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Blizzard

"[T]his blizzard of mind-warping war propaganda out of Washington is building up steam. Monday is Anthrax, Tuesday is Bankruptcy, Friday is Child-Rape, Thursday is Bomb-scares, etc., etc., etc.... If we believed all the brutal, frat-boy threats coming out of the White House, we would be dead before Sunday. It is pure and savage terrorism reminiscent of Nazi Germany."
--Hunter S. Thompson

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Indefinite

"If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions."
--James Madison, letter to Edmund Pendleton, 1792

Dialogue

Kennedy-Dulles Dialogue in Heaven: The Logic of War
by E. Martin Schatz

[The lights come up slowly; the location is the Colored House, Heaven. John Kennedy is sitting in a rocker reading a newspaper. Allen Dulles in panama hat and bermuda shorts enters suitcase in hand.]

DULLES: [friendly] Well, hello Jack.

KENNEDY: [jumps to his feet] You! You dare speak to me?

DULLES: Why Jack, what's the matter?

KENNEDY: Forget the pretense, do you think I don't know it was you who was behind my assassination?

DULLES: Oh, it's that, is it. Taking it personally, are you?

KENNEDY: You're incredible. Do you expect me to greet my assassin with open arms?

DULLES: Now hold on, Jack. It is one thing to say that I was behind your assassination. It's another thing to call me your assassin.

KENNEDY: And what would you call you?

DULLES: That's not the point, Jack. It's true I was behind your assassination, but who do you think was behind me?

KENNEDY: Who?

DULLES: Why the people, Jack, the American People.

KENNEDY: The People??

DULLES: Yes, and if the whole truth be told, who do you think was behind them?

KENNEDY: Tell me.

DULLES: You, Jack, none other than you.

KENNEDY: [laughs] You have nerve, Dulles. Isn't it strange that somehow I don't remember being in on the arrangements.

DULLES: No, it's not strange at all. It often happens that way.

KENNEDY: Well, since I missed my own participation, maybe you would like to let me in on it.

DULLES: Well, you see, as far as I'm concerned, you are as much to blame as anyone, if we want to start blaming people. Look here, you don't think you were killed out of any personal motive. We were all fond of you, I hope you realize that. It was simply a matter of politics. Yours versus the people's.

KENNEDY: The people's? Why, the people loved me.

DULLES: Yes, they loved you, Jack. But did they love your policies? You don't think there could have been a successful assassination without the assistance of the people? You don't think we could have returned America to her true Cold War traditions, if the people had really been in support of what you were doing. After all, we live in a democracy, Jack.

KENNEDY: A democracy you assaulted.

DULLES: A democracy I assaulted? Not at all, Jack. It was a democracy you assaulted. After all, did you not run on a platform of rebuilding our defenses and of a hard line against the Soviets and Cubans? Yes, it was on that basis that the people elected you. And what did you do with our public's trust? You changed your mind. Or to be more precise, you let the communists change your mind. [Now in an ironic tone] "To hell with Dulles, to hell with the CIA, to hell with those who had slaved for years to protect our system. To hell with what the people thought they were electing. I, Jack Kennedy, numero uno, I know what's best for them."

KENNEDY: And suppose I did know best?

DULLES: So what if you did, Jack. That's how the communists in Russia are always justifying what they do. They know what's best for the people. No, Jack, that's not our way. The people have the right to make mistakes and correct them.

KENNEDY: And suppose that mistake is blowing themselves and the rest of the world up. Is it necessary that the people have that right too?

DULLES: Yes, if they want it. Strange as it may seem, if we deprive them of that right, what will be the difference between us and the communists? Once you give up the principle that the people are leading the country, and let an elite with the power to manipulate the media lead the people, well, where will it end?

KENNEDY: Oh, I see, shooting the President is OK, but manipulating the media isn't.

DULLES: It's not a matter of being OK. None of us wanted to do what we had to do. I know it's hard not to get carried away by the way it happened. But try to look at it this way. Suppose you had had a stroke in Dealey Plaza that afternoon. Would the history of the United States really have been any different? We didn't take over the government, we just shot you. And the people realized that on the personal level it was a tragedy, but on the political level no serious damage had been done to our democracy and they supported our return to tradition. Even your family and advisers understood once it happened and helped us.

KENNEDY: The people, they didn't even understand my policies. How could they have fought your efforts to erase what I was doing?

DULLES: Precisely. And you had no business following policies that others didn't understand and support.

KENNEDY: This is ridiculous.

DULLES: You see, Jack, this was precisely the problem. This was the reason you had become a communist agent, Jack. Our system had ceased to make sense to you. You had stopped believing in our way.

KENNEDY: Do you mean you actually believe that I was a communist agent?

DULLES: I don't believe it. I know it. If and when the people decide they want peace with the Russians we will have it, but not before. That is the heart of our system, the free marketplace of ideas.

KENNEDY: Look Allen, I understand what you are trying to say but do you realize what this means? What you are saying is that if you're not free to commit suicide, you're not free.

DULLES: That fortunately or unfortunately, Jack, is the logic of our system, and only the people have the right to change the system. Freedom for us is liberty, free will, the absence of restraint. That is the system you took an oath to uphold, and that is the system that you betrayed.

KENNEDY: But what about the freedom that comes out of recognizing that something must be done? The freedom that is the product of knowledge which the people don't have and must be helped to see.

DULLES: That is the real difference between the communists and us, Jack. We believe that people are naturally born free and that no one has the right to restrain that natural God-given freedom. It is the communists who believe that without education, health care, a job, or what have you, you can't be free, that people have to be [sarcastic] raised up so they can appreciate freedom.

KENNEDY: In that respect do you think that their idea is so wrong?

DULLES: To tell you the truth, I don't know. But it's not for me to decide. I am simply a servant of our people.

KENNEDY: Allen, listen, I see what you are saying. Perhaps I did act rather rashly with you. I'm really sorry I didn't appreciate you more.

DULLES: [Putting his arm around Kennedy to comfort him.] It's all right, Jack. I understand. You were young and headstrong. It was natural for you to make such a mistake. Those Mickey Mouse civics classes we are all brought up on, which teach us the President is so important.

[KENNEDY and DULLES chuckle.]

KENNEDY: My family must have given you a lot of trouble?

DULLES: Not really.

KENNEDY: Not even Bobby?

DULLES: No, he took it better than I expected. Of course, Nick Katzenbach was a big help.

KENNEDY: [Embracing DULLES and then holding him at arm's length, smiling and looking DULLES straight in the eyes.] You forgive me ... all the trouble I caused you, ... the family, ... everyone.

DULLES: Of course. [Dulles affectionately musses KENNEDY'S hair. They hug each other with vigor.]


--E. Martin Schotz, "History Will Not Absolve Us", pages 295 - 300

Friday, April 12, 2013

Process

Knowledge is not something which everyone wants. It is difficult to acquire, and in order to know, one must have a desire to know. In turn, one's desire to know depends on social attitudes and social activity. To acquire knowledge one must go through the laborious process of digesting the work of others and make it one's own. One can be helped to acquire knowledge and be guided in the process, but one cannot be given it directly. The process of acquiring knowledge has no true beginning. As with life one enters in the middle of the process and must attempt to go back and pick up what has been worked out historically while at the same time carrying the process forward.

--E. Martin Schotz, "History Will Not Absolve Us", page 3

Core

[I]n confronting the murder of JFK we are not confronted with the task of repairing something that has been injured. We are confronted with the task of addressing a society that in 1963 was already profoundly ill, and if anything has become sicker in the intervening years. At the core of this illness is that mentality which pursues anti-communism and the Cold War above all else, a mentality which will subordinate any crime, including the threat to annihilate mankind, in pursuit of defeating this supposed enemy. I reiterate, what did Kennedy in was his effort to depart from this insanity. And on this score, in deciding to handle the assassination as they did, the left/liberal establishment revealed that when push came to shove, when they had to make a choice, this left/liberal establishment was more addicted to the military and the CIA than to the Constitution. And by and large the American people are part and parcel of this addiction.

--E. Martin Schotz, "History Will Not Absolve Us", page 32

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Wound

I suggest we consider that possibly the assassination of JFK was not a wound to American democracy. It was a wound against certain political forces in our democracy, but not to the democracy itself. In fact, I submit that the assassination was totally within the framework of how American democracy works, and that this was instantly the opinion of people who were knowledgeable, sophisticated, and leading participants in the so-called democratic politics of this society.

The notion that American democracy was not wounded by the assassination of its President is supported by the fact that virtually every segment of the establishment - right, left, and center - lined up to support the mystery cover-up and participate in the pseudo-debate. Not a single member of the Kennedy Administration resigned in protest over what had been done. Not a single member of Congress resigned in protest. Not a single judge in the entire country, not to mention a single justice of the Supreme Court, resigned in protest over the role of the Chief Justice of the United States in this case. The President's brother did not resign in protest, and the entire Kennedy family publicly accepted the Warren Report, albeit with their behind-the- scenes maneuvering and their delayed and lukewarm endorsements. Not a single editor of a major newspaper resigned over being forced to swallow this obviously phony story.

--E. Martin Schotz, "History Will Not Absolve Us", page 17

Clearly

The murder of the President is not a mystery. The nature of the conspiracy that took President Kennedy's life was from the outset quite obvious to anyone who knew how to look and was willing to do so. The same holds true today. Any citizen who is willing to look can see clearly who killed President Kennedy and why.

The fact that "no one knows this" is an example of a subtle process of Orwellian mind control which has enveloped our society and which our public has been more than willing to have foisted upon it. The process has been orchestrated by the CIA in defense of itself and the "powers that be," but it has also been critically aided by the entire spectrum of our society's intellectual and political establishments, right, center, and left.

--E. Martin Schotz, "History Will Not Absolve Us", page 4

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

Immobilizing

It is so important to understand that one of the primary means of immobilizing the American people politically today is to hold them in a state of confusion in which anything can be believed but nothing can be known, nothing of significance that is.

And the American people are more than willing to be held in this state because to know the truth - as opposed to only believe the truth - is to face an awful terror and to be no longer able to evade responsibility. It is precisely in moving from belief to knowledge that the citizen moves from irresponsibility to responsibility, from helplessness and hopelessness to action, with the ultimate aim of being empowered and confident in one's rational powers.

--Unpublished letter, E. Martin Schatz to Vincent J. Salandria, May 14, 1992

Monday, April 08, 2013

Crimestop

"The first and simplest stage of discipline, which can be taught even to young children, is called, in Newspeak, Crimestop. Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc, and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity."
--George Orwell, "1984"

Sunday, April 07, 2013

Wayfarer

The Wayfarer

The wayfarer,
Perceiving the pathway to truth,
Was struck with astonishment.
It was thickly grown with weeds.
"Ha," he said,
"I see that none has passed here
In a long time."
Later he saw that each weed
Was a singular knife.
"Well," he mumbled at last,
"Doubtless there are other roads."

--Stephen Crane

Saturday, April 06, 2013

Costs

"I want everyone to tell me the truth, even if it costs him his job."
--Samuel Goldwyn

Friday, April 05, 2013

Tyrants III

"O sir, we should have fine times, indeed, if, to punish tyrants, it were only sufficient to assemble the people! Your arms, wherewith you could defend yourselves, are gone; and you have no longer an aristocratical, no longer a democratical spirit. Did you ever read of any revolution in a nation, brought about by the punishment of those in power, inflicted by those who had no power at all?"
--Patrick Henry, speech in the Virginia Ratifying Convention, 1788

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

Words II

"Thinking in words slows you down and actually decreases comprehension in much the same way as walking a tightrope too slowly makes one lose one's balance."
--Lenore Fleischer

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Wisdom

"Wisdom is nothing more than healed pain."
--Robert E. Lee

Rubble

"You have to give this much to the Luftwaffe: when it knocked down our buildings it did not replace them with anything more offensive than rubble. We did that."
--Charles, Prince Of Wales

Monday, April 01, 2013

Anxiety

"Beware lest in your anxiety to avoid war you obtain a master."
--Demosthenes