Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Quote(s) of the day -- political installment

I usually like philosophical or thoughtful quotes here, but I've collected along the way some pithy takes of a more overtly political nature, which are more than apt in the current environment. So I offer several at once (so that I can get them off my chest and go back to the philosophy another day)...

To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public.
-- Theodore Roosevelt
26th US President (1858-1919)

All nationalists have the power of not seeing resemblances between similar sets of facts. A British Tory will defend self-determination in Europe and oppose it in India with no feeling of inconsistency. Actions are held to be good or bad, not on their own merits, but according to who does them, and there is almost no kind of outrage -- torture, the use of hostages, forced labour, mass deportations, imprisonment without trial, forgery, assassination, the bombing of civilians -- which does not change its moral colour when it is committed by "our" side.
-- George Orwell,
"Notes on Nationalism," 1945
(both via a comment at Americablog, by Mike in Texas)

clash of ideologies?

Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.
- Bertrand Russell,
philosopher, mathematician, author, Nobel laureate (1872-1970)

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add 'within the limits of the law' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual.
-- Thomas Jefferson,
third US president, architect and author (1743-1826)

Intolerance of ambiguity is the mark of an authoritarian personality.
-- Theodor Adorno,
philosopher and composer (1903-1969)
(last three via A.W.A.D.)

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