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Live Free Or Die

Wisdom Of and For The Ages

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MARK STEYN:
Big Government is, inevitably, stupid government. The bigger it gets the more it will focus on trivia, and the less it will even be able to discern the few things it should be doing. But something more pathological is going on here: “Homeland Security” is more interested in controlling law-abiding Americans than protecting them.

T.S. ELIOT:
If we take the widest and wisest view of a Cause, there is no such thing as a Lost Cause, because there is no such thing as a Gained Cause. We fight for lost causes because we know that our defeat and dismay may be the preface to our successors’ victory, though that victory itself will be temporary; we fight rather to keep something alive than in the expectation that it will triumph.

ROBERT BELVEDERE:
The thing is: those who embrace Leftism are required to harden their hearts towards their fellow Men and balance it with a Hysterical embrace of maudlin ‘love’ for the idea of The Group, The Collective. Why? Because every System Of Ideas – every Ideology – demands rigid adherence and unconditional ‘love’ for it, as they are all fragile creations.

I think this rejection of Love for individuals [ie: real, flesh and blood Human Beings] and the untempered embrace of ideas [ie: the Not-Real] leads Leftists, ultimately, into suffocating arms of Nihilism. Ideas can be perfect and people are not. Spend too much time in the comforting arms of the former and very soon you will end up despising the latter because they just don’t measure-up, as it were.

MCGEHEE:
Virtue is something that must learned and then practiced or it is meaningless. Of course, one of the virtues that must be taught is that of applying what you believe to be right, in your own life, regardless of the perceived costs or rewards.

MCGEHEE:
Who governs in my best interest is he who does not propose to enrich me at the expense of my liberty, because I can enrich myself far better if my liberty is left intact.

RICHARD FEYNMAN:
For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for nature cannot be fooled.

JEFF GOLDSTEIN:
We are in the midst of a revolution. It’s time we started acting like it. Or at least, presenting the argument in such a way that “reasonable people” may interpret our predicament as such.

SAMUEL ADAMS:
…Let not the iron Hand of Tyranny ravish our Laws and seize the Badge of Freedom, nor avow’d Corruption and the murderous Rage of lawless Power be ever seen on the sacred Seat of Justice!

Is it not High Time for the People of this Country explicitly to declare, whether they will be Freemen or Slaves? It is an important Question which ought to be decided. It concerns us more than any Thing in this Life. The Salvation of our Souls is interested in the Event: For wherever Tyranny is establish’d, Immorality of every Kind comes in like a Torrent. It is in the Interest of Tyrants to reduce the People to Ignorance and Vice. For they cannot live in any Country where Virtue and Knowledge prevail. The Religion and public Liberty of a People are intimately connected; their Interests are interwoven, they cannot subsist separately; and therefore they rise and fall together. For this Reason, it is always observable, that those who are combin’d to destroy the People’s Liberties, practice every Art to poison their Morals. How greatly then does it concern us, at all Events, to put a Stop to the Progress of Tyranny. It is advanced already by far too many Strides. We are at this moment upon a precipice. The next step may be fatal to us. Let us then act like wise Men; calmly took around us and consider what is best to be done. Let us converse together upon this most interesting Subject and open our minds freely to each other. Let it be the topic of conversation in every social Club. Let every Town assemble. Let Associations & Combinations be everywhere set up to consult and recover our just Rights.

STEVE SKUBINNA:
Just as Southern plantation owners lived in mortal terror of the idea of the slaves’ uprising, today’s progressives wet their drawers at the idea of any woman or minority wandering off the plantation and becoming autonomous.

To a true believer, the worst enemy is the apostate.

JEFF GOLDSTEIN:
…the academic work done by the left begins with the conclusion and tries to reason backward from that conclusion, looking for clever ways to hide fallacies, manipulate statistics, problematize counter-assertions, and so on.  That is, it is not intended as science or even argument in the traditional sense: it is meant instead to appear that way, to create a perception of science, of rigor, of academic gravitas.  Which is why so much of it is larded down with argot and becomes, to the layman, difficult to negotiate.

ROBERT BELVEDERE:
The Left despises EVERYTHING we stand for. There can never be a common patch of ground with those who would cheer at your utter and total annihilation.

ADJORAN:
Feminist philosophy may be summed up in the rhetorical question, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is there to here it, is it still the man’s fault?”

DARLEEN CLICK:
Gratitude is an essential part of being a free people. Which is being purposely replaced by a sense of entitlement. We are poorer (and less free) because of it.

SAMUEL ADAMS:
A general Dissolution of Principles & Manners will more surely overthrow the Liberties of America than the whole Force of the Common Enemy. While the People are virtuous they cannot be subdued; but when once they lose their Virtue they will be ready to surrender their Liberties to the first external or internal Invader. How necessary then is it for those who are determin’d to transmit the Blessings of Liberty as a fair Inheritance to Posterity, to associate on publick Principles in Support of publick Virtue.

SAMUEL ADAMS:
He who is void of virtuous Attachments in private Life, is, or very soon will be void of all Regard for his Country. There is seldom an Instance of a Man guilty of betraying his Country, who had not before lost the Feeling of moral Obligations in his private Connections.

SAMUEL ADAMS:
The liberties of our Country, the freedom of our civil constitution are worth defending at all hazards: And it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair Inheritance from our worthy Ancestors: They purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood; and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle; or be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men. Of the latter we are in most danger at present: Let us therefore be aware of it. Let us contemplate our forefathers and posterity; and resolve to maintain the rights bequeathed to us from the former, for the sake of the latter. — Instead of sitting down satisfied with the efforts we have already made, which is the wish of our enemies, the necessity of the times, more than ever, calls for our utmost circumspection, deliberation, fortitude, and perseverance. Let us remember that “if we suffer tamely a lawless attack upon our liberty, we encourage it, and involve others in our doom.” It is a very serious consideration, which should deeply impress our minds, that millions yet unborn may be the miserable sharers of the event.

JOHN WAYNE:
I don’t want any handouts from a benevolent government. I think government is naturally the enemy of the individual, but it’s a necessary evil, like, say, motion picture agents are. I do not want the government… to insure me anything more than normal security… Government has no wealth, and when a politician promises to give you something for nothing, he must first confiscate that wealth from you—either by direct taxes, or by the cruelly indirect taxes of inflation.

JOHN WAYNE:
It takes 15 years of kissing somebody’s backside for a professor to get a chair somewhere and then he’s a big shot in a little world, passing his point of view on to a lot of impressionable kids. He’s never really had to tough it out in this world of ours, so he has a completely theoretical view of how it should be run and what we should do for our fellow man.

DICENTRA SPECTABILIS:
Our prolonged prosperity, like living in null gravity, has resulted in an inevitable loss of bone and muscle mass. It will take a crash-landing and decades living on nuts and berries to screw everyone’s head back on.

C.S. LEWIS:
We make men without chests and expect from them virtue and enterprise. We laugh at honor and are shocked to find traitors in our midst.

ALEXANDER HAMILTON:
…When the first principles of civil society are violated, and the rights of a whole people are invaded, the common forms of municipal law are not to be regarded. Men may then betake themselves to the law of nature; and, if they but conform their actions, to that standard, all cavils against them, betray either ignorance or dishonesty. There are some events in society, to which human laws cannot extend; but when applied to them lose all their force and efficacy. In short, when human laws contradict or discountenance the means, which are necessary to preserve the essential rights of any society, they defeat the proper end of all laws, and so become null and void.

ROBERT BELVEDERE:
There is a moment when compliance with the Law becomes no longer tenable. When the enforcers of the Law no longer obey The Rule Of Law, when they trample on those Rights which come to us from God, when they cease to be servants and assume the role of Tyrants, then that moment has come.

Those of use who are fighting to restore our Freedoms and Liberties have been seeking gentle means of redress, but, when the government employs harsh and fierce means to enforce Tyranny then we have the Right, nay, the Duty, to resist it.

RONALD REAGAN:
Government’s view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

JEFF GOLDSTEIN:
But what they don’t seem to understand about the TEA Party is that it isn’t an actual party. Instead, it is a mindset, a counter-revolutionary impulse to the counter-revolutionary coup of Big Centralized Government against the founding and framing of this country.

They can’t kill the TEA Party. Because the TEA Party can disband only as a descriptor. The attitude and beliefs that give it its most visible shapes, from time to time — be it as the revolutionaries who broke from a King, or as the Reagan Revolution, or as teh TEA Party — cannot be disgraced or marginalized. Because the attitude and beliefs that give rise to iterations like the TEA Party are the attitudes and beliefs that in a very real sense are this country and, insofar as we really do believe in the words of our own Declaration of Independence, are the beliefs and attitudes shared by all men and women who wish to break free of tyranny and live their lives not as subjects, but rather under a set of natural rights that governments exist solely to protect.

The TEA Party the establishment ruling class is hoping to marginalize and destroy here is a kind of mist: it can disperse and then reappear in new forms, under new names and descriptions, but it is always the same, and it always has the same goals and desires. It is, in that sense, the very atmosphere of this country.

The establishment politicians are now battling a climate. And if they can’t sense the very real dangers of the storm clouds on the horizon, they’re in for an awakening of stunning proportions.

PALAEOMERUS:
Utopia is a form of madness.  End the insanity.  End it with a shovel if you have to, but end it.

MARK STEYN:
America is unique in this regard. In Europe, if the establishment wants to invent a new “right” – ie, yet another intrusion by government – it goes ahead and does so. If it happens to conflict with this year’s constitution, they rewrite it. But the United States is the only western nation in which the rulers invoke the Constitution for the purpose of overriding it.

KURT SCHLICHTER:
Liberals won’t face that truth, but we conservatives understand that reality has a conservative bias. And the most important reality right now is that if you won’t stand up with a rifle and a fixed bayonet and hold your ground, sooner or later you will be someone’s slave.

JUDGE ALEX KOZINSKI:
My excellent colleagues have forgotten these bitter lessons of history. The prospect of tyranny may not grab the headlines the way vivid stories of gun crime routinely do. But few saw the Third Reich coming until it was too late. The Second Amendment is a doomsday provision, one designed for those exceptionally rare circumstances where all other rights have failed — where the government refuses to stand for reelection and silences those who protest; where courts have lost the courage to oppose, or can find no one to enforce their decrees. However improbable these contingencies may seem today, facing them unprepared is a mistake a free people get to make only once.

ROBERT STACY MCCAIN:
It’s a terrible thing to tell young people that their vices are rights.

JEFF GOLDSTEIN:
The reality is, the left wants an apartheid state so that it can fight constantly against the evils of a divided people it helped create.   That is, they need to create devils in order to paint themselves as avenging angels.

JEFF GOLDSTEIN:
Racialist politics.  It’s tedious.  It’s predictable.  It’s ugly.

And what makes it so ugly is that it diminishes the depravity of real racism by diluting it with phony indictments and trivializing it with ridiculous and insupportable claims aimed at non-racists.

ALEKSANDR SOLZHENITSYN:
Oh, Western freedom-loving “left-wing” thinkers! Oh, left-wing labourists! Oh, American, German and French progressive students! All of this is still not enough for you. The whole book has been useless for you. You will understand everything immediately, when you yourself — “hands behind the back” — toddle into our Archipelago.

ROBERT STACY MCCAIN:
Non-conformists, radicals, misfits, druggies, divorceés, lesbians and, of course, a terrorist bomber: Such were the freaky ingredients of the fringe movement that feminism was in its origins. And I point this out because one sometimes hears people who are ignorant of feminism’s radical beginnings express the mistaken belief that there is, or once was, a “mainstream” feminism which has somehow been “hijacked” by radicals.

No, the women’s movement was radical from the start, and if you ever thought feminism was “mainstream,” you just weren’t paying very close attention. Not paying attention to the radical fringe may seem like a safe bet — “Just ignore those kooks!” — until one day you notice that the kooks and radicals have taken over the country:

ROBERT STACY MCCAIN:
This idea that every misfortune and disappointment experienced by women can be attributed to “oppression” by men is an analog of the Marxist concept that every problem of industrial workers — the proletariat — was the fault of the capitalist bourgeoisie.

In other words, there are no coincidental, individual or random problems, but rather every problem is viewed as the result of deliberate, collective, systematic oppression — “class struggle,” in the Marxist idiom — and the challenge of the revolutionary vanguard is to inform the oppressed that they are, indeed, oppressed. That is to say, the oppressed must have their consciousness raised, which is what the entire academic field of Women’s Studies is about.

ROBERT STACY MCCAIN:
Having been alive during the original Women’s Liberation heyday of the 1970s and having read about as much feminist literature (or likely more) than the typical Women’s Studies major, I recognize that feminism has always been an ideology lacking intellectual rigor and philosophical coherence, insisting on the primacy of emotional subjective “experience” over objective facts. Feminists don’t have arguments, they have grievances, and their resentments cannot be confined by the parameters of logic.

RODNEY STARK:
The truth is that, although the West wisely adopted bits and pieces of technology from Asia, modernity is entirely the product of West­ern civilization.

I use the term modernity to identify that fundamental store of scientific knowledge and procedures, powerful technologies, artistic achievements, political freedoms, economic arrangements, moral sensibilities, and improved standards of living that characterize Western nations and are now revolutionizing life in the rest of the world. For there is another truth: to the extent that other cultures have failed to adopt at least major aspects of Western ways, they remain backward and impoverished.

RODNEY STARK:
…it is ideas that explain why science arose only in the West. Only Westerners thought that sci­ence was possible, that the universe functioned according to rational rules that could be discovered. We owe this belief partly to the ancient Greeks and partly to the unique Judeo-Christian conception of God as a rational cre­ator….

MICHAEL NOVAK:
One principle that today’s intellectuals most passionately disseminate is vulgar relativism, “nihilism with a happy face.” For them, it is certain that there is no truth, only opinion: my opinion, your opinion. They abandon the defense of intellect. There being no purchase of intellect upon reality, nothing else is left but preference, and will is everything. They retreat to the romance of will.

ALEKSANDR SOLZHENITSYN:
If I were asked today to formulate as concisely as possible the main cause of the ruinous revolution that swallowed up some 60 million of our people, I could not put it more accurately than to repeat: “Men have forgotten God; that’s why all this has happened.”

ALEKSANDR SOLZHENITSYN:
If only there were evil people somewhere insidi­ously committing evil deeds, and it were neces­sary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?

ALEKSANDR SOLZHENITSYN:
The human soul longs for things higher, warmer, and purer than those offered by today’s mass living habits, introduced as by a calling card by the revolting invasion of commercial advertis­ing, by TV stupor, and by intolerable music.

C.S. LEWIS:
We all want progress. But progress means getting nearer to the place where you want to be. And if you have taken a wrong turning, then to go forward does not get you any nearer. If you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; and in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive man.

FRED SIEGEL:
…social Darwinism, like eugenics, took hold on the left, not the free market and Christian right. Progressives saw in the scientific prestige of Darwinism a cudgel to batter the ideas of timeless natural rights as enumerated in the Constitution so as to advance social reform. It was Woodrow Wilson who insisted, ‘Living political constitutions must be Darwinian in structure and in practice.’

CECIL B. DEMILLE:
If man will not be ruled by God, he will certainly be ruled by tyrants — and there is no tyranny more imperious or more devastating than man’s own selfishness, without the law.

We cannot break the Ten Commandments. We can only break ourselves against them — or else, by keeping them, rise through them to the fullness of freedom under God. God means us to be free. With divine daring, He gave us the power of choice.

“Who is on the Lord’s side? let him come unto me,” said Moses, holding aloft the tablets of the Law (Exodus 32:26). The same choice is ours today. The choice is always ours….

ROBERT STACY MCCAIN:
We are descending steadily into a post-literate culture, and increasingly young people learn only what they are taught.

Autodidactic curiosity — the impulse to educate yourself about the world, for the sheer satisfaction of knowing — is utterly dead in the current generation of youth. They may complete the assigned readings in school, in order to obtain good grades, but this activity is just an exercise in jumping through hoops in the pursuit of credentials that will qualify them for lucrative careers. Therefore, what today’s youth know about history is entirely a function of what they were required to learn in order to get a diploma. They feel no embarrassment at all about their vast and general ignorance, because none of their peers know anything, either.

FRIEDRICH HAYEK:
Socialism has never and nowhere been at first a working-class movement. It is by no means an obvious remedy for the obvious evil which the interests of that class will necessarily demand. It is a construction of theorists, deriving from certain tendencies of abstract thought with which for a long time only the intellectuals were familiar; and it required long efforts by the intellectuals before the working classes could be persuaded to adopt it as their program.

GERHART NIEMEYER:
We must have a critical grasp of the ideology of the New Left. Its ideological manifestations are of two kinds: unsystematic, spontaneous outbursts of ideological language, imagery, prejudices from the rank-and-file, and coherent and systematic ideological writings of the intellectual leaders.

RUSSELL KIRK:
The libertarian takes the state for the great oppressor. But the conservative finds that the state is ordained of God. In Burke’s phrases, “He who gave us our nature to be perfected by our virtue, willed also the necessary means of its perfection. – He willed therefore the state – He willed its connexion with the source and original archtype of all perfection.” Without the state, man’s condition is poor, nasty, brutish, and short-as Augustine argued, many centuries before Hobbes. The libertarians confound the state with government. But government-as Burke continued-“is a contrivance of human wisdom to provide for human wants.” Among the more important of those human wants is “a sufficient restraint upon their passions. Society requires not only that the passions of individuals should be subjected, but that even in the mass and body, as well as in the individual, the inclinations of men should frequently be thwarted, their will controlled, and their passions brought into subjection. This can be done only by a power out of themselves; and not, in the exercise of its function, subject to that will and to those passions which it is its office to bridle and subdue.” In short, a primary function of government is restraint; and that is anathema to libertarians, though an article of faith to conservatives.

RUSSELL KIRK:
What binds society together? The libertarians reply that the cement of society (so far as they will endure any binding at all) is self-interest, closely joined to the nexus of cash payment. But the conservatives declare that society is a community of souls, joining the dead, the living, and those yet unborn; and that it coheres through what Aristotle called friendship and Christians call love of neighbor.

RUSSELL KIRK:
Since [John Stuart] Mill, the libertarians have forgotten nothing and learned nothing. Mill dreaded, and they dread today, obedience to the dictates of custom. In our time, really, the real danger is that custom and prescription and tradition may be overthrown utterly among us-for has not that occurred already in most of the world? – by neoterism, the lust for novelty; and that men will be no better than the flies of a summer, oblivious to the wisdom of their ancestors, and forming every opinion merely under the pressure of the fad, the foible, the passion of the hour.

NICK VAN CLEVE:
Today, the dominant liberal cultural philosophy of progressivism “assumes movement toward some ideal or end that usually includes the perfectibility of human nature and human society”. Because future societal perfection is assumed in accordance with Enlightenment-style thinking, progressives assert that every imperfect institution today requires reform. Historical analysis suggesting that man’s nature has been and will perpetually remain fallen is ignored or considered outmoded.

TERRENCE MOORE:
The progressive state is one in which citizens don’t do anything and don’t really know anything. They’re willing to turn their lives over to the government.

STEPHEN KLUGEWICZ:
We mistakenly look for permanent victories, political and cultural, and when they do not come, we despair. We seem not to realize that it is not permanent victories that we should seek but rather the preservation of “the permanent things,” which is victory enough.

SAM GAMGEE:
There’s some good in this world, and it’s worth fighting for [from The Lord Of The Rings].

T.S. ELIOT:
We fight for lost causes because we know that our defeat and dismay may be the preface to our successors’ victory, though that victory itself will be temporary; we fight rather to keep something alive than in the expectation that anything will triumph.

GLEN SPROVIERO:
Now, to be Progressive is to hold specific beliefs about the role of government, to understand political economy exclusively through the lens of equality of condition, and to favor the supremacy of the state over religious institutions. The philosophical foundations of Progressivism are constructed upon a bedrock of secular, unabashedly anti-religious sentiment that tolerates no opposition. To be Progressive is to adopt an outlook that permeates every aspect of life—an outlook dependent upon the undermining of traditional norms, customs, conventions, and social rules. It is to question the integrity of our cultural patrimony and to discard the morals and standards that always governed civilized people. In their zeal to embrace the newest trends and fads, Progressives confuse innovation with progress, and indiscriminately apply identical meaning to both terms.

PATRICK HENRY:
…no free government, or the blessings of liberty, can be preserved to any people but by a firm adherence to justice, moderation, temperance, frugality, and virtue, and by frequent recurrence to fundamental principles [Article XV of The Virginia Declaration of Rights].

JUSTICE LORD JOHN FLETCHER MOULTON:
There is a widespread tendency to regard the fact that [one] can do a thing as meaning [one] may do it. There can be no more fatal error than this. Between ‘can do’ and ‘may do’ ought to exist the whole realm which recognizes the sway of duty, fairness, sympathy, taste, and all the other things that make life beautiful and society possible. It is this confusion between “can do” and “may do” which makes me fear at times lest in the future the worst tyranny will be found in democracies. Interests which are not strongly represented in parliament may be treated as though they had no rights by Governments who think that the power and the will to legislate amount to a justification of that legislation. Such a principle would be death to liberty. No part of our life would be secure from interference from without. If I were asked to define tyranny, I would say it was yielding to the lust of governing. It is only when Governments feel it an honorable duty not to step beyond that which was in reality, and not only in form, put into their hands that the world will know what true Freedom is.

JUSTICE LORD JOHN FLETCHER MOULTON:
In many countries — especiallyin the younger nations — there is a tendency to make laws to regulate everything. On the other hand, there is a growing tendency to treat matters that are not regulated by Positive Law as being matters of Absolute Choice. Both these movements are encroachments on the middle land, and to my mind the real greatness of a nation, its true civilization, is measured by the extent of this land of Obedience to the Unenforceable. It measures the extent to which the nation trusts its citizens,and its existence and area testify to the way they behave in response to that trust. Mere obedience to Law does not measure the greatness of a Nation. It can easily be obtained by a strong executive, and most easily of all from a timorous people. Nor is the licence of behavior which so often accompanies the absence of Law, and which is miscalled Liberty, a proof of greatness. The true test is the extent to which the individuals composing the nation can be trusted to obey self-imposed law.

PHIL ROBERTSON:
We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell. That’s the Almighty’s job. We just love ‘em, give ‘em the good news about Jesus – whether they’re homosexuals, drunks, terrorists. We let God sort ‘em out later.

ALEKSANDR SOLZHENITSYN:
And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.

FATHER MERRIN in THE EXORCIST:
Especially important is the warning to avoid conversations with the demon… He is a liar. The demon is a liar. He will lie to confuse us. But he will also mix lies with the truth to attack us. The attack is psychological, Damien, and powerful. So don’t listen to him. Remember that — do not listen.

ALEKSANDR SOLZHENITSYN:
World socialism as a whole, and all the figures associated with it, are shrouded in legend; its contradictions are forgotten or concealed; it does not respond to arguments but continually ignores them — all this stems from the mist of irrationality that surrounds socialism and from its instinctive aversion to scientific analysis… The doctrines of socialism seethe with contradictions, its theories are at constant odds with its practice, yet due to a powerful instinct these contradictions do not in the least hinder the unending propaganda of socialism. Indeed, no precise, distinct socialism even exists; instead there is only a vague, rosy notion of something noble and good, of equality, communal ownership, and justice: the advent of these things will bring instant euphoria and a social order beyond reproach.

G.K. CHESTERTON:
Modern toleration is really a tyranny. It is a tyranny because it is a silence.

G.K. CHESTERTON:
In the matter of reforming things, as distinct from deforming them, there is one plain and simple principle; a principle which will probably be called a paradox. There exists in such a case a certain institution or law; let us say, for the sake of simplicity, a fence or gate erected across a road. The more modern type of reformer goes gaily up to it and says, “I don’t see the use of this; let us clear it away.” To which the more intelligent type of reformer will do well to answer: “If you don’t see the use of it, I certainly won’t let you clear it away. Go away and think. Then, when you can come back and tell me that you do see the use of it, I may allow you to destroy it.

ADOLF HITLER:
In the big lie there is always a certain force of credibility…in the primitive simplicity of their minds they more readily fall victims to the big lie than the small lie, since they themselves often tell small lies in little matters but would be ashamed to resort to large-scale falsehoods. It would never come into their heads to fabricate colossal untruths, and they would not believe that others could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously. Even though the facts which prove this to be so may be brought clearly to their minds, they will still doubt and waver and will continue to think that there may be some other explanation

ROBERT STACY MCCAIN:
The Democrat Party must not merely be defeated, it must be utterly destroyed — humiliated, annihilated, wiped from the face of the Earth so that only a smoldering crater is left to mark its former existence — and my complaint with the Republican Party is that it is overcrowded with half-hearted weaklings and simple-minded hacks who lack the requisite cunning and relentless bloodthirsty eye for the jugular necessary to accomplish this work of political destruction.

EDMUND BURKE:
Thanks to our sullen resistance to innovation, thanks to the cold sluggishness of our national character, we still bear the stamp of our forefathers. We have not (as I conceive) lost the generosity and dignity of thinking of the fourteenth century; nor as yet have we subtilized ourselves into savages. We are not the converts of Rousseau; we are not the disciples of Voltaire; Helvetius has made no progress amongst us. Atheists are not our preachers; madmen are not our lawgivers. We know that we have made no discoveries, and we think that no discoveries are to be made, in morality; nor many in the great principles of government, nor in the ideas of liberty, which were understood long before we were born, altogether as well as they will be after the grave has heaped its mould upon our presumption, and the silent tomb shall have imposed its law on our pert loquacity.

ROBERT STACY MCCAIN:
The various “-isms” of left-wing ideology are really just variations of a destructive anti-social nihilism, whose purpose was forever defined more than 150 years ago when, in their Communist Manifesto, Marx and Engels declared: “The history of all hitherto existing society is the history of class struggles.” Once you understand this profound hostility to social order — the misfit’s appetite for anarchy — then you realize that whatever grievance they complain of is really just a pretext. They do not actually wish to reform society. Rather, they seek revenge against society, and don’t care that others are harmed by their acts of destruction, except insofar as they actively desire such harm.

The Left hates America not for its failures, but for its successes. Our peace, prosperity and liberty are a rebuke to the hateful fanaticism of our nation’s enemies, both foreign and domestic. If the Left told the truth about its intentions, they could never succeed. Their dishonesty is therefore integral to their destructive purposes.

JOHN RANDOLPH of ROANOKE:
I have said, on a former occasion, and if I were Philip, I would employ a man to say it every day, that the people of this country, if ever they lose their liberties, will do it by sacrificing some great principle of free government to temporary passion. There are certain great principles, which if they be not held inviolate, at all seasons, our liberty is gone. If we give them up, it is perfectly immaterial what is the character of our Sovereign; whether he be King or President, elective or hereditary it is perfectly immaterial what is his character we shall be slaves it is not an elective government which will preserve us.

GEORGE ORWELL:
By “patriotism” I mean devotion to a particular place and a particular way of life, which one believes to be the best in the world but has no wish to force on other people. Patriotism is of its nature defensive, both militarily and culturally.

JEFF GOLDSTEIN:
But what they don’t seem to understand about the TEA Party is that it isn’t an actual party.  Instead, it is a mindset, a counter-revolutionary impulse to the counter-revolutionary coup of Big Centralized Government against the founding and framing of this country.

They can’t kill the TEA Party. Because the TEA Party can disband only as a descriptor.   The attitude and beliefs that give it its most visible shapes, from time to time — be it as the revolutionaries who broke from a King, or as the Reagan Revolution, or as teh TEA Party — cannot be disgraced or marginalized.  Because the attitude and beliefs that give rise to iterations like the TEA Party are the attitudes and beliefs that in a very real sense are this country and, insofar as we really do believe in the words of our own Declaration of Independence, are the beliefs and attitudes shared by all men and women who wish to break free of tyranny and live their lives not as subjects, but rather under a set of natural rights that governments exist solely to protect.

The TEA Party the establishment ruling class is hoping to marginalize and destroy here is a kind of mist:  it can disperse and then reappear in new forms, under new names and descriptions, but it is always the same, and it always has the same goals and desires.  It is, in that sense, the very atmosphere of this country.

JEFF GOLDSTEIN:
So bring it on.  All the demonization you heap on us matters not.  We are not a traditional party. We are an idea — the idea, the Founding idea as laid out in the Declaration and later codified in the Constitution’s ratification.  And so we will always be around, in the air and on the ground, visible only when we decide to coalesce into the next movement.

To some very nuanced insiders, this kind of hokey patriotism seems so antiquated and gauche.  Which is what happens when you live your life without principles:  you wind up sneering at everyone else’s to prove to yourself that your shameless expedience and intellectual cowardice is really something more sophisticated than that, an illusion you maintain by finding a consensus among the like minded cowards and gleeful capitulators you rely on to save you from the self-loathing your really should, were you honest, be feeling every time you lace up one of your ridiculous overpriced wingtips.

JOHN RANDOLPH of ROANOKE:
Among the strange notions which have been broached since I have been on the political theatre, there is one which has lately seized the minds of men, that all things must be done for them by the Government, and that they are to do nothing for themselves: the Government is not only to attend to the great concerns which are its province, but it must step in and ease individuals of their natural and moral obligations. A more pernicious notion cannot prevail. Look at that ragged fellow staggering from the whiskey shop, and see that slattern who has gone there to reclaim him; where are their children? Running about, ragged, idle, ignorant, fit candidates for the penitentiary. Why is all this so? Ask the man and he will tell you, “Oh, the Government has undertaken to educate our children for us. It has given us a premium on idleness, and I now spend in liquor, what I should otherwise be obliged to save to pay for their schooling.”

MARK STEYN:
“Popular culture” is more accurately a “present-tense culture”: You’re celebrating the millennium but you can barely conceive of anything before the mid-1960s. We’re at school longer than any society in human history, entering kindergarten at four or five and leaving college the best part of a quarter-century later—or thirty years later in Germany. Yet in all those decades we exist in the din of the present. A classical education considers society as a kind of iceberg, and teaches you the seven-eighths below the surface. Today, we live on the top eighth bobbing around in the flotsam and jetsam of the here and now. And, without the seven-eighths under the water, what’s left on the surface gets thinner and thinner.

CHRISTOPHER SMITH:
If you give the people any chance to participate in government, besides paying taxes and voting for the carefully-groomed, reliable idiots, then they are likely to develop some misplaced sense of ownership.

That is absolutely NOT how this plantation is run.

LADD EHLINGER, JR:
A Statist is someone who cowardly outsources the mugging of his fellow man to the State.

JOHN RANDOLPH OF ROANOKE:
I have said, on a former occasion, and if I were Philip, I would employ a man to say it every day, that the people of this country, if ever they lose their liberties, will do it by sacrificing some great principle of free government to temporary passion. There are certain great principles, which if they be not held inviolate, at all seasons, our liberty is gone. If we give them up, it is perfectly immaterial what is the character of our Sovereign; whether he be King or President, elective or hereditary — it is perfectly immaterial what is his character — we shall be slaves — it is not an elective government which will preserve us.

JEFF GOLDSTEIN:
The Democrats — progressives, Marxists, New Leftists, these are who make up today’s Democratic leadership and their Congressional rank and file (funny how they run as “centrists” and “fiscal conservatives” only to vote lockstep with the progressives) — have taken off the mask:  they openly condemn and criticize the Constitution, in much the way Woodrow Wilson did, because it separates the powers and throws up constant roadblocks to  “fundamental transformation.”  It blocks their agenda, which in fact cannot work in consonance with the Constitution as constructed and intended.

The Constitution, truth be told, was written to ward of the kind of ideology favored by progressives, because the Founders and Framers knew that from centralized, authoritarian, top-down government, flows tyranny and torment.

JAMES BENNETT:
To be part of the Anglosphere requires adherence to the fundamental customs and values that form the core of English-speaking cultures. These include individualism, the rule of law, honoring contracts and covenants, and the elevation of freedom to the first rank of political and cultural values. Nations comprising the Anglosphere share a common historical narrative in which the Magna Carta, the English and American Bills of Rights, and such Common Law principles as trial by jury, presumption of innocence, and “a man’s home is his castle” are taken for granted.

DANIEL HANNAN:
A wave of European states embraced Western values after 1945, and another wave after 1989. But when we use “Western values” in this context, we’re being polite. What we really mean is that these countries have adopted the characteristic features of the Anglo-American political system

MARK STEYN:
Continental Europe has given us plenty of nice paintings and agreeable symphonies, French wine and Italian actresses and whatnot, but, for all our fetishization of multiculturalism, you can’t help noticing that when it comes to the notion of a political West—one with a sustained commitment to liberty and democracy — the historical record looks a lot more unicultural and, indeed (given that most of these liberal democracies other than America share the same head of state), uniregal. The entire political class of Portugal, Spain, and Greece spent their childhoods living under dictatorships. So did Jacques Chirac and Angela Merkel. We forget how rare on this earth is peaceful constitutional evolution, and rarer still outside the Anglosphere.

WINSTON CHURCHILL:
There are few words which are used more loosely than the word “Civilization.” What does it mean? It means a society based upon the opinion of civilians. It means that violence, the rule of warriors and despotic chiefs, the conditions of camps and warfare, of riot and tyranny, give place to parliaments where laws are made, and independent courts of justice in which over long periods those laws are maintained. That is Civilization — and in its soil grow continually freedom, comfort, and culture. When Civilization reigns, in any country, a wider and less harassed life is afforded to the masses of the people. The traditions of the past are cherished, and the inheritance bequeathed to us by former wise or valiant men becomes a rich estate to be enjoyed and used by all.

JEFF GOLDSTEIN:
The left has such cover from the progressive mainstream media — hell, it’s more than that:  the media is complicit in what is an ongoing cultural and political coup — that they no longer even concern themselves with having even to appear consistent.

They simply don’t care about us, because they don’t have to.

Their disdain is everywhere obvious.  We the people don’t matter.  The agenda is to fundamentally transform America — and the Democrats care only about that goal.

GERHART NIEMEYER:
The truth of our situation is…that we are threatened not by one destructive force of unprecedented dimensions, but by two. The atom bomb represents material devastation; the Communist Party, political destruction. The latter, as a political force, is as demonic, as novel, as un-heard of as nuclear explosion. The former’s destructiveness is on a new level of quantity…while Communism is destructive with a novel quality (not mere injustice or mere unfreedom, but the ravaging of the reality of human life by the spirit of dogmatized unreality).

Western intellectuals understand the danger of material destruction, which is, after all, simple and obvious. The quality of Communism’s destructiveness has so far escaped their grasp. To understand it, one must get oneself to enter a mental world of distortion, reason perverted with the aid of force, half-truth set up as dogma, deceit espoused as norm.

ROBERT STACY MCCAIN:
From its beginnings in the 1960s, modern feminism has always been led and controlled by leftist radicals who see their movement as part of a wider revolutionary struggle against bourgeois capitalism. The problem is that people are not taking feminist rhetoric seriously.

WALTER BAGEHOT:
A man’s mother is his misfortune, but his wife is his fault.

CHRISTOPHER LASCH:
We have become too proficient in making excuses for ourselves — worse, in making excuses for the “disadvantaged.” We are so busy defending our rights (rights conferred, for the most part, by judicial decree) that we give little thought to our responsibilities. We seldom say what we think, for fear of giving offense. We are determined to respect everyone, but we have forgotten that respect has to be earned. Respect is not another word for tolerance or the appreciation of “alternative lifestyles and communities.” This is a tourist’s approach to morality. Respect is what we experience in the presence of admirable achievements, admirably formed characters, natural gifts put to good use. It entails the exercise of discriminating judgment, not indiscriminate acceptance.

ROBERT STACY MCCAIN:
When Democrats say we need “a conversation on race,” what they really mean is they want to have a monologue, a tedious lecture about all the evils perpetrated against black people by those evil racist Republicans. Your part of the “conversation” is, shut up.

ROBERT STACY MCCAIN:
Profound psychological alienation, which often manifests itself as a resentment of authority and a rejection of social norms, is the driving impulse of radicalism. Although radicals are typically, like [Lee Harvey] Oswald, “obsessed with political ideology” and quick to cite government policies as the grievances that justify their radicalism, their alienation leads them to reject conventional politics. The radical lacks the kind of patience needed to work steadily to persuade voters and mobilize support for reform policies, because the radical’s real grievance is not political, but rather psychological, in nature.

CHARLES BAUDELAIRE:
My dear brethren, do not ever forget, when you hear the progress of lights praised, that the loveliest trick of the Devil is to persuade you that he does not exist!

G.K. CHESTERTON:
He is a very shallow critic who cannot see an eternal rebel in the heart of a conservative.

G.K. CHESTERTON:
We have had no good comic operas of late, because the real world has been more comic than any possible opera.

G.K. CHESTERTON:
Tradition means giving votes to the most obscure of all classes, our ancestors. It is the democracy of the dead. Tradition refuses to submit to that arrogant oligarchy who merely happen to be walking around.

G.K. CHESTERTON:
My attitude toward progress has passed from antagonism to boredom. I have long ceased to argue with people who prefer Thursday to Wednesday because it is Thursday.

ROBERT STACY MCCAIN:
The inherent radicalism of the women’s movement — its theoretical foundation in Marxism, its implacable antagonism to traditional marriage and other institutions of bourgeois society — is not generally understood outside such campus cauldrons as Bryn Mawr.

Feminism is a totalitarian ideology. It cannot be co-opted or moderated. You cannot negotiate or compromise with feminism, because the ambitions of feminism are without limit. They can accept nothing short of the complete overthrow of “hitherto existing society” (Marx and Engels) resulting in their own dictatorial authority. Halfway “reform” (to which the bourgeoisie may agree in its attempt to stave off this upheaval) can ever placate the revolutionary, because the radical does not seek reform, but rather destruction. And the problem that most conservatives have, in trying to cope with radical movements, is that the typical conservative cannot imagine how fanatical — how rigidly unreasonable, how full of passionate destructive hatefulness — the radical really is….

T.S. ELIOT:
[W]ith the disappearance of the idea of Original Sin, with the disappearance of the idea of intense moral struggle, the human beings presented to us both in poetry and in prose fiction today, and more patently among the serious writers than in the underworld of letters, tend to become less and less real…. If you do away with this struggle, and maintain that by tolerance, benevolence, inoffensiveness, and a redistribution or increase of purchasing power, combined with a devotion, on the part of an élite, to Art, the world will be as good as anyone could require, then you must expect human beings to become more and more vaporous.

ROBERT BELVEDERE:
The Left, members of the Republican Establishment, and certain law enforcement officials and authors would have us believe the lie that only Law Enforcement is allowed to police.

When the people of The United States in their local communities and in the Several States began allowing for the creation of police departments, they never relinquished their right to self-defense or their right to exercise policing powers. They merely delegated the day-to-day business of it to an organized [training came later in the 19th Century] group run by a government entity, much as they had delegated protecting our borders and other national security matters to the government. This creation of police departments was done because it freed-up individuals to concentrate on other concerns, such as earning a living, making one’s lot in life better, taking care of one’s family needs. We never gave up our power to police. We never made ourselves subjects to governmental beneficence. Sovereignty rests only with the people of The United States.

RICHARD PIPES:
In view of the tens of thousands of lives which the Cheka would claim in the years that followed the Ekaterinburg tragedy, and the millions killed by its successors, the death at its hands of eleven prisoners hardly qualifies as an event of extraordinary magnitude. And yet, there is a deep symbolic meaning to the massacre of the ex-Tsar, his family, and staff. Just as liberty has its great historic days —the battles of Lexington and Concord, the storming of the Bastille—so does totalitarianism. The manner in which the massacre was prepared and carried out, at first denied and then justified, has something uniquely odious about it, something that radically distinguishes it from previous acts of regicide and brands it as a prelude to twentieth-century mass murder.

When a government arrogates to itself the power to kill people, not because of what they had done or even might do, but because their death is “needed,” we are entering an entirely new moral realm. Here lies the symbolic significance of the events that occurred in Ekaterinburg in the night of July 16–17. The massacre, by secret order of the government, of a family that for all its Imperial background was remarkably commonplace, guilty of nothing, desiring only to be allowed to live in peace, carried mankind for the first time across the threshold of deliberate genocide. The same reasoning that had led the Bolsheviks to condemn them to death would later be applied in Russia and elsewhere to millions of nameless beings who happened to stand in the way of one or another design for a new world order.

ROBERT BELVEDERE:
Logic will often take you away from Reason.  It always follows it’s own course and that road is often different from Reason’s.

THOMAS MACAULAY:
[Britain's] mightiest empire is that of her manners, her language and her laws; her proudest victories, those which she has achieved over ignorance and ferocity.

SERR8D:
When Leftists have succeeded in destroying any ‘formal’ religious links we have to spiritual God, then it’ll be easier to control their fellow man. We’ll have only the Left’s Animal Husbandry, CONTROL with a vengeance. Not only will abortion be encouraged, but we’ll see the return of full-blown eugenics (abortion is but a file in that cabinet). With ObamaCare, we’ve caught a whiff of the Left’s death panels.

As they see us, as animals, we can, and must, be treated as animals. Animal husbandry.

ROBERT BELVEDERE:
The degeneration into Pragmatism comes when one embraces Utilitarianism.  As long as someone possesses a Moral Imagination, there is little danger of that happening.  A deep and abiding respect for The Permanent Things and a belief in transcendence will stop the slide into believing things and people only have value if they’re ‘useful’, if they meet certain metrics [God, I hate that word].

JEFF GOLDSTEIN:
Like nearly all the left takes hold of, the academy — in many ways — has degenerated into a sham and a scam.  And its priests are either perverse or mere puppets, dancing along on strings they are too un-self-aware to feel tugging them to and fro.

JEAN DUTOUR:
That West of ours having become a buffoon, its final tragedy could well be a joke.

ALEKSANDR SOLZHENITSYN:
Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either — but right through every human heart — and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us it oscillates with the years. And even within the hearts overwhelmed with evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained. And even in the best of all hearts, there remains…an un-uprooted small corner of evil. Since then I have come to understand the truth of all the religions on the world. They struggle with the evil inside a human being (inside every human being). It is impossible to expel evil from the world in its entirety, but it is possible to constrict it within each person. And since that time I have come to understand the falsehood of all the revolutions of history: they destroy only those carriers of evil contemporary with them (and also fail, out of haste, to discriminate the carriers of good as well). And they take to themselves as their heritage the actual evil itself, magnified still more.

ALEKSANDR SOLZHENITSYN:
In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.

ALEKSANDR SOLZHENITSYN:
Bless you prison, bless you for being in my life.  For there, lying upon the rotting prison straw, I came to realize that the object of life is not prosperity as we are made to believe, but the maturity of the human soul.

EDMUND BURKE:
But the age of chivalry is gone; that of sophisters, economists, and calculators has succeeded, and the glory of Europe is extinguished forever. Never, never more, shall we behold that generous loyalty to rank and sex, that proud submission, that dignified obedience, that subordination of the heart, which kept alive, even in servitude itself, the spirit of an exalted freedom! The unbought grace of life, the cheap defense of nations, the nurse of manly sentiment and heroic enterprise is gone. It is gone, that sensibility of principle, that chastity of honor, which felt a stain like a wound, which inspired courage whilst it mitigated ferocity, which ennobled whatever it touched, and under which vice itself lost half its evil, by losing all its grossness.

PITT THE ELDER:
The poorest man may in his cottage bid defiance to all the forces of the Crown. It may be frail — its roof may shake — the wind may blow through it — the storm may enter — the rain may enter — but the King of England cannot enter — all his force dares not cross the threshold of the ruined tenement!

DENNIS PRAGER:
The wise — as opposed to most of the highly educated — know, among many other things, that when you give people something for nothing, you produce ungrateful people; that when you obscure the differences between men and women, you end up with many aimless men and angry women; that when you give children “self-esteem” without their earning it, you produce narcissists who enter adulthood incapable of handling life; that if you do not destroy evil, it will proliferate; and that if you are kind to the cruel, you will be cruel to the kind.

TENCHE COXE:
[The Pennsylvania Gazette, Feb. 20, 1788] Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man gainst his own bosom. Congress have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birthright of an American…[T]he unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but, where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the people.

RICHARD MCENROE:
If leftists had the slightest belief in truth and examined their own beliefs, they would all buy guns just to stick them in their own mouths.

ERNST SCHREIBER:
[Definition of 'Leftism'] It’s a form of spiritual, emotional and intellectual retardation arising from an incomplete or damagaed molding of character in childhood.

ROBERT BELVEDERE:
We in The West like [perhaps love] to think of ourselves as so civilized — so much more advanced than our ancestors. Over the centuries we have striven to reduce the violence in our Societies and refine our behavior in all areas. And at this we have been quite successful, but, in our laurel grasping, we have made the mistake of deluding ourselves into believing that this has resulted in a fundamental transformation of the Nature Of Man — that we have permanently altered it and are superior to all who came before us.

Well, we haven’t and we aren’t.

We are still the same as Adam and Eve. We are still are fallen creatures who have never shaken-off our propensity to reject Right Reason and embrace Evil in all it’s forms, both mild and vicious and every point in between.

Any advancement in behavior we have achieved has been through Will and requires constant maintenance of it’s strength to preserve it.

If enough people can grasp this Truth, then The West stands a chance of surviving.

If not, then we will enter the darkest of dark ages.

SAMUEL ADAMS:
If ye love wealth better than liberty,
the tranquility of servitude
better than the animating contest of freedom,
go home from us in peace.
We ask not your counsels or your arms.
Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you.
May your chains set lightly upon you,
and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.

C.S. LEWIS:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

JOHN PAUL THE GREAT:
In fact, while the climate of widespread moral uncertainty can in some way be explained by the multiplicity and gravity of today’s social problems, and these can sometimes mitigate the subjective responsibility of individuals, it is no less true that we are confronted by an even larger reality, which can be described as a veritable structure of sin. This reality is characterized by the emergence of a culture which denies solidarity and in many cases takes the form of a veritable ‘culture of death.’ This culture is actively fostered by powerful cultural, economic and political currents which encourage an idea of society excessively concerned with efficiency. Looking at the situation from this point of view, it is possible to speak in a certain sense of a war of the powerful against the weak: a life which would require greater acceptance, love and care is considered useless, or held to be an intolerable burden, and is therefore rejected in one way or another. A person who, because of illness, handicap or, more simply, just by existing, compromises the well-being or life-style of those who are more favoured tends to be looked upon as an enemy to be resisted or eliminated. In this way a kind of ‘conspiracy against life’ is unleashed. This conspiracy involves not only individuals in their personal, family or group relationships, but goes far beyond, to the point of damaging and distorting, at the international level, relations between peoples and States.

THE REVEREND DAVID R. GRAHAM, A.M.D.G.:
American Exceptionalism rests on Human Exceptionalism. One cannot get to American Exceptionalism taking humans as merely animals or, worse, things. Humans occupy a dimension of reality animals do not: the dimension of power and meaning. This is the dimension of spirit, the spiritual dimension. Animals are not in it. It is beyond the dimensions of physics and psyche, which animals occupy along with humans. Only in the dimension of spirit do questions of ethics and morality arise. Such questions distinguish humans from animals even though humans have all characteristics animals do, but far more. Humans are exceptional, they transcend the animal dimensions of body and mind, because they grapple with the question of power and meaning, their unity or separation. These questions stand outside mere physical and psychological inquiry and actually, in practice, govern physical and psychological behavior. This is the spiritual dimension, the dimension of spirit (German geist, Latin spiritus). Humans have the spiritual component animals do not.

Another dimension of life is added by humans: the spiritual dimension in which there are questions of personhood and justice. Animals have no such questions. From Human Exceptionalism given favorable and enthusiastic recognition and acceptance (e.g., by creators of the US Declaration of Independence and Constitution) arises American Exceptionalism. And, there is a dimension of reality even beyond the dimension of spirit. It is the dimension of history, the dimension of teleology, purpose, aim. Again, only man experiences the dimension of history.

LADD EHLINGER, JR:
Whatever you are doing today, consider the consequences of your decisions before you act. Regardless of what pop-culture may want you to believe, human beings are not indestructible, and some things are irreversible. This is why Disney and other peddlers of crap children’s tales do such a disservice to mankind. The Grimms had it right: the world is awful and dark, and even the innocent are destroyed in horrible ways for ridiculous reasons.

Weigh your course of actions heavily.

For we are all fragile, and our time is short.

PAUL WEYRICH:
[P]olitics itself has failed. And politics has failed because of the collapse of the culture. The culture we are living in becomes an ever-wider sewer. In truth, I think we are caught up in a cultural collapse of historic proportions, a collapse so great that it simply overwhelms politics.

WHITTAKER CHAMBERS:
When, in 1936, General Emilio Mola announced that he would capture Madrid because he had four columns outside the city and a fifth column of sympathizers within, the world pounced on the phrase with the eagerness of a man who has been groping for an important word. The world might better have been stunned as by a tocsin of calamity. For what Mola had done was to indicate the dimension of treason in our time.

Other ages have had their individual traitors — men who from faint-heartedness or hope of gain sold out their causes. But in the 20th century, for the first time, man banded together by millions, in movements like Fascism and Communism, dedicated to the purpose of betraying the institutions they lived under. In the 20th century, treason became a vocation whose modern form was specifically the treason of ideas.

CICERO:
A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.

CICERO:
For there is but one essential justice which cements society, and one law which establishes this justice. This law is right reason, which is the true rule of all commandments and prohibitions. Whoever neglects this law, whether written or unwritten, is necessarily unjust and wicked.

DIETRICH BONHOEFFER:
For evil to appear disguised as light, charity, historical necessity, or social justice is quite bewildering to anyone brought up on our traditional ethical concepts.

HERODOTUS:
On Hubris and Nemesis: Seest thou how God with his lightning smites always the bigger animals, and will not suffer them to wax insolent, while those of a lesser bulk chafe him not? How likewise his bolts fall ever on the highest houses and the tallest trees? So plainly does He love to bring down everything that exalts itself. Thus ofttimes a mighty host is discomfited by a few men, when God in his jealousy sends fear or storm from heaven, and they perish in a way unworthy of them. For God allows no one to have high thoughts but Himself.

EDMUND BURKE:
Certainly, Gentlemen, it ought to be the happiness and glory of a representative to live in the strictest union, the closest correspondence, and the most unreserved communication with his constituents. Their wishes ought to have great weight with him; their opinions high respect; their business unremitted attention. It is his duty to sacrifice his repose, his pleasure, his satisfactions, to theirs,—and above all, ever, and in all cases, to prefer their interest to his own.

But his unbiased opinion, his mature judgment, his enlightened conscience, he ought not to sacrifice to you, to any man, or to any set of men living. These he does not derive from your pleasure,—no, nor from the law and the Constitution. They are a trust from Providence, for the abuse of which he is deeply answerable. Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays instead of serving you if he sacrifices it to your opinion.

JEFF GOLDSTEIN:
[Definition of Egalitarianism]: …wherein we are all the same, equal in “outcome,” equal in misery, equal in what comes to count as legitimate expression, equal in our subjecthood.

EDMUND BURKE:
In obtaining and securing their power, the Assembly proceeds upon principles the most opposite to those which appear to direct them in the use of it. An observation on this difference will let us into the true spirit of their conduct. Everything which they have done, or continue to do, in order to obtain and keep their power, is by the most common arts. They proceed exactly as their ancestors of ambition have done before them. Trace them through all their artifices, frauds, and violences, you can find nothing at all that is new. They follow precedents and examples with the punctilious exactness of a pleader. They never depart an iota from the authentic formulas of tyranny and usurpation. But in all the regulations relative to the public good, the spirit has been the very reverse of this. There they commit the whole to the mercy of untried speculations; they abandon the dearest interests of the public to those loose theories, to which none of them would choose to trust the slightest of his private concerns. They make this difference, because in their desire of obtaining and securing power they are thoroughly in earnest; there they travel in the beaten road. The public interests, because about them they have no real solicitude, they abandon wholly to chance: I say to chance, because their schemes have nothing in experience to prove their tendency beneficial.

C.S. LEWIS:
The greatest evil is not done now in those sordid ‘dens of crime’ that Dickens loved to paint. It is not even done in concentration camps and labor camps. In those we see its final result. But it is conceived and ordered (moved, seconded, carried and minuted) in clear, carpeted, warmed, and well-lighted offices, by quiet men with white collars and cut fingernails and smooth-shaven cheeks who do not need to raise their voice.

JOHN WAYNE:
I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a-hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them.

JOHN WAYNE:
Republic. I like the sound of the word. It means people can live free, talk free, go or come, buy or sell, be drunk or sober, however they choose. Some words give you a feeling. Republic is one of those words that makes me tight in the throat – the same tightness a man gets when his baby takes his first step or his first baby shaves and makes his first sound as a man. Some words can give you a feeling that makes your heart warm. Republic is one of those words.

CHRIS SMITH [SMITTY]:
In a bureaucracy, people are rewarded for talking about solving problems. This must be seen as distinct from problem solving. Bureaucracy thrives on maintaining a problem. Bona fide solutions are permitted only in cases where they breed at least two follow-on problems.

JAMES OTIS:
It is a clear truth that those who every day barter away other men’s liberty will soon care little for their own.

M.E. BRADFORD:
To attempt to abstract from the Preamble to the Constitution a lever for transforming it into an instrumental document is . . . to invent powers that do not exist. And it is also a transparent attempt to import the second paragraph of the Declaration — as a mandate for national self-creation, refounding — into our fundamental law. A contemporary point of reference for all such nonsense as follows from an activist view of the Preamble and Declaration is Mortimer Adler’s We Hold These Truths, a book `about’ the Constitution whose weaknesses are specificed by its very title. After Adler identifies the Declaration as a `preface’ to the Constitution, we know how his argument will tend: that in the end that Declaration will, if allowed, swallow up the Constitution – except for the Preamble, as ideologically construed.

JEFF GOLDSTEIN:
They can’t kill the TEA Party. Because the TEA Party can disband only as a descriptor. The attitude and beliefs that give it its most visible shapes, from time to time — be it as the revolutionaries who broke from a King, or as the Reagan Revolution, or as teh TEA Party — cannot be disgraced or marginalized. Because the attitude and beliefs that give rise to iterations like the TEA Party are the attitudes and beliefs that in a very real sense are this country and, insofar as we really do believe in the words of our own Declaration of Independence, are the beliefs and attitudes shared by all men and women who wish to break free of tyranny and live their lives not as subjects, but rather under a set of natural rights that governments exist solely to protect.

The TEA Party the establishment ruling class is hoping to marginalize and destroy here is a kind of mist: it can disperse and then reappear in new forms, under new names and descriptions, but it is always the same, and it always has the same goals and desires. It is, in that sense, the very atmosphere of this country.

ANNETTE KIRK:
It may also be helpful to reflect at this point in our historical journey that among conservatism’s unique and distinguishing characteristics is its concern—not only for the mind—but for the heart and the hearth, for the moral imagination, for “the sublime and the beautiful”—from the title of the treatise on aesthetics that Edmund Burke wrote at the age of nineteen, long before he became a statesman.

While such humane and cultural concerns may not lend themselves to sound bites on the nightly news, they relate to the deeper longings of humanity and are the premises upon which most conservatives agree—even if they don’t always give them as much attention as they might.

ROBERT HEINLEIN:
Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.

AYN RAND:
Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think that you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.

AYN RAND:
There’s no way to rule innocent men. The only power government has is the power to crack down on criminals. When there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.

AYN RAND:
They (Native Americans) didn’t have any rights to the land, and there was no reason for anyone to grant them rights which they had not conceived and were not using. What was it that they were fighting for, when they opposed white men on this continent? For their wish to continue a primitive existence, their ‘right’ to keep part of the earth untouched, unused and not even as property, but just keep everybody out so that you will live practically like an animal, or a few caves above it. Any white person who brings the element of civilization has the right to take over this continent.

JOHN GALT:
In the name of the best within you, do not sacrifice this world to those who are its worst. In the name of the values that keep you alive, do not let your vision of man be distorted by the ugly, the cowardly, the mindless in those who have never achieved his title. Do not lose your knowledge that man’s proper estate is an upright posture, an intransigent mind and a step that travels unlimited roads. Do not let your fire go out, spark by irreplaceable spark, in the hopeless swamps of the approximate, the not-quite, the not-yet, the not-at-all. Do not let the hero in your soul perish, in lonely frustration for the life you deserved, but have never been able to reach. Check your road and the nature of your battle. The world you desired can be won, it exists, it is real, it is possible, it’s yours.

AYN RAND:
If you ask me to name the proudest distinction of Americans, I would choose- because it contains all the others- the fact that they were the people who created the phrase “to make money”. No other language or nation had ever used these words before; men had always thought of wealth as a static quantity- to be seized, begged, inherited, shared, looted or obtained as a favor. Americans were the first to understand that wealth has to be created.

AYN RAND:
So you think that money is the root of all evil? Have you ever asked what is the root of money? Money is a tool of exchange, which can’t exist unless there are goods produced and men able to produce them. Money is the material shape of the principle that men who wish to deal with one another must deal by trade and give value for value. Money is not the tool of the moochers, who claim your product by tears or of the looters, who take it from you by force. Money is made possible only by the men who produce. Is this what you consider evil?

AYN RAND:
…the person who loves everybody and feels at home everywhere is the true hater of mankind. He expects nothing of men, so no form of depravity can outrage him.

AYN RAND:
An artist reveals his naked soul in his work.

ROBERT BELVEDERE:
I do wish people would stop using the term ‘liberal’ to describe the Leftists.  They are anti-liberal with every fiber of their being.  ‘Liberal’ is a term they appropriated [something they're good at doing at the point of a gun] when the term ‘Progressive’ became a dirty word.  ‘Progressive’ is a term, in turn, they swiped when ‘Socialist’ and ‘Communist’ became associated with terrorism and revolution.  A is A and a Lefty is just a Totalitarian; they can call themselves B or C or L, but they’ll always be a the life-hating bastards they are.

SIR CHARLES NAPIER…
The best way to quiet a country is a good thrashing, followed by great kindness afterwards. Even the wildest chaps are thus tamed.

SIR CHARLES NAPIER…
So perverse is mankind that every nationality prefers to be misgoverned by its own people than to be well ruled by another.

ROBERT STACY MCCAIN:
Remember: You should never accuse liberals of not having any standards. They’ve got exactly two standards: One for them and one for everybody else.

EDMUND BURKE:
The effect of liberty to individuals is that they may do what they please; we ought to see what it will please them to do, before we risk congratulations which may be soon turned into complaints.

ROBERT BELVEDERE:
I do not think that we have witnessed the death of Liberalism/Leftism/Progressivism over the past number of years.  The core ideas behind whatever you want to call it were an abortion of humanity from the get-go.  Leftism has always being about destroying, concerned with tearing down and crushing into rubble all of that which is good in life.  It is a deadly delusion that has brought nothing — absolutely nothing — but pain and suffering, wherever and whenever it has held sway.  It is the dark parent of The Culture Of Death.  Adherence to it’s malignant philosophy demands that its precepts not be questioned, that it’s human hosts morph into zombie-like creatures that roam the countryside feeding on the marrow of tradition, morality, and Right Reason.  Leftism seeks nothing less than to turn the world into a massive Atrocity Exhibition in a global Sideshow of Horror.  It never lived — Leftism has always been the undead.

ROBERT BELVEDERE:
We are in the Second American Age. The first was when the Rule Of Law and Right Reason governed enough men that baser urges were restrained most of the time and overlaying all was a belief in The Permanent Things. In this second one, the Rule Of Law has been replaced by the Rule Of Man…. Right Reason has been replaced by Willful Whim, which revels in it’s abandonment to the temptations of relativity and the narcissistic impulse. Reverence and respect for The Permanent Things have been replaced by a naked Will To Power, clothed in a cancerous Nihilism.

EDMUND BURKE:
People will not look forward to posterity, who will not look backward to their ancestors…. We know that we have made no discoveries, and we think that no discoveries are to be made, in morality; nor many in the great principles of government; nor in the ideas of liberty, which were understood long before we were born, altogether as they will be after the grave has heaped its mould upon our presumption, and the silent tomb shall have imposed its law on our pert loquacity.

SAMUEL ADAMS:
The Salvation of our Souls is interested in the Event: For wherever Tyranny is established, Immorality of every Kind comes in like a Torrent. It is in the interest of Tyrants to reduce the people to Ignorance and Vice. For they cannot live in any Country where Virtue and Knowledge prevail. The Religion and public Liberty of a People are intimately connected; their Interests are interwoven, they cannot subsist separately; and therefore they rise and fall together. For this Reason, it is always observable, that those who are combined to destroy People’s Liberties, practice every Art to poison their Morals. How greatly then does it concern us, at all Events, to put a Stop to the Progress of Tyranny.

MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO:
A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.

CALVIN COOLIDGE:
If ever the citizen comes to feel that our government does not protect him in the free and equal assertion of his rights at home and abroad, he will withdraw his allegiance from that government, as he ought to, and bestow it on some more worthy object.

CALVIN COOLIDGE:
Men do not make laws. They do but discover them. Laws must be justified by something more than the will of the majority. They must rest on the eternal foundation of righteousness. You can display no greater wisdom than by resisting proposals for needless legislation. It is much more important to kill bad bills than to pass good ones.

RAN:
“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need” is the finest, most eloquent definition of slavery I’ve ever read.

PACO:
Liberals are big on treating people like hapless nitwits, forever needing the intrusion of government in every aspect of their lives. Unfortunately, the totalitarian temptation inherent in modern liberalism creates a very small gap between viewing people as recalcitrant children, and as enemies of the state, with punishments varying accordingly.

EDMUND BURKE:
You see, Sir, that in this enlightened age I am bold enough to confess, that we are generally men of untaught feelings; that instead of casting away all our old prejudices, we cherish them to a very considerable degree, and, to take more shame to ourselves, we cherish them because they are prejudices; and the longer they have lasted, and the more generally they have prevailed, the more we cherish them. We are afraid to put men to live and trade each on his own private stock of reason; because we suspect that this stock in each man is small, and that the individuals would do better to avail themselves of the general bank and capital of nations and of ages. Many of our men of speculation, instead of exploding general prejudices, employ their sagacity to discover the latent wisdom which prevails in them. If they find what they seek, and they seldom fail, they think it more wise to continue the prejudice, with the reason involved, than to cast away the coat of prejudice, and to leave nothing but the naked reason; because prejudice, with its reason, has a motive to give action to that reason, and an affection which will give it permanence. Prejudice is of ready application in the emergency; it previously engages the mind in a steady course of wisdom and virtue, and does not leave the man hesitating in the moment of decision, sceptical, puzzled, and unresolved. Prejudice renders a man’s virtue his habit; and not a series of unconnected acts. Through just prejudice, his duty becomes a part of his nature.

Your literary men, and your politicians, and so do the whole clan of the enlightened among us, essentially differ in these points. They have no respect for the wisdom of others; but they pay it off by a very full measure of confidence in their own. With them it is a sufficient motive to destroy an old scheme of things, because it is an old one. As to the new, they are in no sort of fear with regard to the duration of a building run up in haste; because duration is no object to those who think little or nothing has been done before their time, and who place all their hopes in discovery. They conceive, very systematically, that all things which give perpetuity are mischievous, and therefore they are at inexpiable war with all establishments. They think that government may vary like modes of dress, and with as little ill effect: that there needs no principle of attachment, except a sense of present conveniency, to any constitution of the state. They always speak as if they were of opinion that there is a singular species of compact between them and their magistrates, which binds the magistrate, but which has nothing reciprocal in it, but that the majesty of the people has a right to dissolve it without any reason, but its will. Their attachment to their country itself is only so far as it agrees with some of their fleeting projects; it begins and ends with that scheme of polity which falls in with their momentary opinion.

ALICE COOPER:
If you’re listening to a rock star in order to get your information on who to vote for, you’re a bigger moron than they are. Why are we rock stars? Because we’re morons. We sleep all day, we play music at night and very rarely do we sit around reading the Washington Journal.

MARK STEYN:
When you pass something at the federal level, it just grows and grows and grows until it swallows everything in sight — and what it mainly swallows is individual liberty and human judgment.

ROBERT BELVEDERE:
Have you ever noticed that every program the Progressives advocate, when implemented, ends up causing a regression?

CHRIS SMITH:
The Tea Party is a restoration, not a revolution, you nitwit.

ROBERT BELVEDERE:
There’s never been a better time to stand athwart history and yell ‘STOP!’

GROVER CLEVELAND:
I can find no warrant for such an appropriation in the Constitution and I do not believe that the power and duty of the general government ought to be extended to the relief of individual suffering which is in no manner properly related to the public service or benefit. A prevalent tendency to disregard the limited mission of this power and duty should I think be steadfastly resisted to the end that the lesson should be constantly enforced that though the people support the government the government should not support the people.

ANDREW MCCARTHY:
This is not a nice, ivory tower, Oxford debate. This is gut-check time about whether we are going to maintain the bedrock American relationship between the citizen and the state. We are in the battle against ruthless, radical ideologues who have the media and the daunting numbers on their side. On our side, we have the further burden of wavering moderates and in-Washington-too-long types who define success as making a deal – any deal – that they think they can sell as a bipartisan compromise that staved off something extreme (but what in reality would be a sell-out that is 3/4 extreme, with Obama simply coming back in 2010 or 2011 to get the remaining 1/4 … plus).

If our side’s approach lacks passion: (a) the brass-knuckled Rahmbo/Pelosi/Reid leadership will easily succeed in showing the potential Democrat convincables (without whom we cannot win) that they better stay on the team if they know what’s good for them, and (b) the GOP moderates and old Washington hands will interpret civility as a greenlight to do the dealing they’re dying to do.

I am not endorsing, and would not endorse, criminal mob behavior. But exhibitions of anger and spirit when one is justifiably angry and spirited are entirely appropriate. Making clear to a pol who is trying to insult your intelligence that you don’t appreciate it is entirely appropriate.

I just don’t get the detachment from the real world here. We’re not talking trivia here. We’re talking about what kind of country we’re going to be from here on out. That’s something worth getting whipped up about. If we’re not whipped up, we lose. If we are whipped up and the Democrats try to use that fact as an excuse to ram this through, then they were going to ram it through anyway.

We are a heavy underdog. To prevail, the needle we have to thread is to convince enough Dems and RINOs that there will be electoral hell to pay if this monstrosity is enacted. That requires an authentic demonstration of fervor. It’s unfortunate that some people will go overboard – as happens in any human endeavor – but that’s no reason to treat this as if it were an academic exercise. If that’s the approach, the game – like the country as we know it – is lost.

DR. JOHNSON:
All theory is against the freedom of the will; all experience for it.

CHARLES GRASSLEY:
When you have the government running something, the government is not a fair competitor. The government is a predator, not a competitor.

LESZEK KOLAKOWSKI:
A modern philosopher who has never once suspected himself of being a charlatan must be such a shallow mind that his work is probably not worth reading.

GEORGE WASHINGTON:
Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master.

MICHAEL TODD:
The very essence of government is violent force. It is evil. All throughout history, government has served as the oppressor, an organization of hate, and as a tool of the most brutal tyrants.

Government corrupts, abuses everything in its path, and wastes the wealth of its citizens. It sponsors inequality, confiscates private property, regulates the behavior of individuals, and persucutes crimes a mere pittance to its own. Then just for kicks, it debases the currency so it can steal yet more of its citizens wealth.

Yes, certain governments are worse than others, and America has been the best! But it’s quickly changing in front of our eyes, rapidly too, as we continue to be blinded by love for the State.

ROBERT STACY MCCAIN:
Along the way, I’ve discovered the amazing professional value of a bad reputation. Being notorious is not the same as being famous, but it’s better than being anonymous. The harm to my career and my reputation was more than recompensed by the acquisition of virtuous character attributed to A Man Who Has The Right Enemies — the same parasitical assassins who attack me have also attacked inter alia Michelle Malkin, Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, David Horowitz, Mark Steyn, Kathy Shaidle and other worthy souls more eminent than myself.

At this point, if it pleases anyone to think of me as a neo-Confederate white supremacist xenophobic bigoted nativist hatemonger, the accusation is too delicious to deny and if anyone wants the full explanation, they can pay me for it. (I write for money.)

ANDREW KLAVAN:
Once, when I was a lad, I was verbally assaulted on the streets of New York by a paranoid schizophrenic. This raving lunatic came at me waving his hands wildly in the air with spittle and shrill curses spewing from his mouth in equal measure. I had been walking along lost in my own meditations and was so startled by the attack that for a moment, I couldn’t process it. I wondered: had I unwittingly done something wrong? It took me a moment to understand that, no, it had nothing to do with me, really. I had simply violated the borders of the poor fellow’s internal world. The abuse was, in some sense, his way of defending his fantasies from the threat of my reality.

Arguing with a leftist is something like that. Used to civilized debate with liberals and conservatives alike, you can’t quite take in what’s happening at first. Your ideas and observations are met with screeching venomous diatribes and personal attacks and you think, oh my goodness, have I said something untoward? It takes a moment before you realize, no, not at all. You have simply disturbed a cherished fantasy world and the resultant rage is a form of recognition that your ideas, if not always right, at least relate to reality and thus threaten to undermine the leftist’s chimerical sense of personal virtue.

Having nary a philosophical leg to stand on, the arguing leftist, to borrow a phrase from Ken Kesey’s One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, “wants to win by making you weaker instead of making himself stronger.” So, instead of facts and observations to support his side, it’s all ad hominem attacks meant to shame, frighten or delegitimize you. We’re all wearily familiar with their insults by now: you’re a racist, you’re a sexist, you’re homophobe, you’re a fascist. A man can’t support his nation’s war effort because he’s not a veteran. A woman can’t write in favor of at-home Moms because then she’s not an at-home Mom at all but a professional journalist. And heaven forfend you should point out that certain feminists are just shrews with a fancy philosophical excuse-then they unleash the worst insult they can think of: you must be gay. And all of this is usually accompanied by a shrill steady blast of four letter words and other verbal savagery-anything to scare away nasty reality and keep their discredited worldview intact.

GEORGE ORWELL:
This age makes me so sick that sometimes I am almost impelled to stop at a corner and start calling down curses from Heaven.

GEORGE ORWELL:
Within the last few decades, in countries like Britain or the United States, the literary intelligentsia has grown large enough to constitute a world in itself. One important result of this is that the opinions which a writer feels frightened of expressing are not those which are disapproved of by society as a whole. To a great extent, what is still loosely thought of as heterodoxy has become orthodoxy. It is nonsense to pretend, for instance, that at this date there is something daring and original in proclaiming yourself an anarchist, an atheist, a pacifist, etc. The daring thing, or at least the unfashionable thing, is to believe in God or to approve of the capitalist system.

CALVIN COOLIDGE:
Under a system of popular government there will always be those who will seek for political preferment by clamoring for reform. While there is very little of this which is not sincere, there is a large portion that is not well informed. In my opinion very little of just criticism can attach to the theories and principles of our institutions. There is far more danger of harm than there is hope of good in any radical changes.

THEODORE DALRYMPLE:
Anti-Semitism, someone once said, is the socialism of fools: but he might just as well have said that socialism is anti-Semitism with the Jews left out, for both doctrines appeal to the same resentments, hatreds, and style of thought. It was no accident, as the Marxists used to put it, that Marx himself, though Jewish, was a ferocious anti-Semite who accepted the ancient stereotype of the Jew as a bloodsucking usurer. Socialist and anti-Semite alike seek an all-encompassing explanation of the imperfection of the world, and for the persistence of poverty and injustice: and each thinks he has found an answer.

There are other connections between left-wing thought and anti-Semitism (usually believed to be a disease of the Right alone). The liberal intellectual who laments the predominance of dead white males in the college syllabus or the lack of minority representation in the judiciary uses fundamentally the same argument as the anti-Semite who objects to the prominence of Jews in the arts, sciences, professions, and in commerce. They both assume that something must be amiss-a conspiracy-if any human group is over- or under-represented in any human activity, achievement, or institution.

WHITTAKER CHAMBERS:
When, in 1936, General Emilio Mola announced that he would capture Madrid because he had four columns outside the city and a fifth column of sympathizers within, the world pounced on the phrase with the eagerness of a man who has been groping for an important word. The world might better have been stunned as by a tocsin of calamity. For what Mola had done was to indicate the dimension of treason in our time.

Other ages have had their individual traitors — men who from faint-heartedness or hope of gain sold out their causes. But in the 20th century, for the first time, man banded together by millions, in movements like Fascism and Communism, dedicated to the purpose of betraying the institutions they lived under. In the 20th century, treason became a vocation whose modern form was specifically the treason of ideas.

The horror of treason is its sin against the spirit. And for him who violates this truth there rises inevitably Bukarin’s “absolutely black vacuity,” which is in reality a circle of absolute loneliness into which neither father, wife, child nor friend, however compassionate, can bring the grace of absolution. For this loneliness is a penalty inflicted by a justice that transcends the merely summary justice of men. It is the retributive meaning of treason because it is also one of the meanings of Hell.

ALBERT JAY NOCK [1943]:
Liberals generally,—there may have been exceptions, but I do not know who they were,—joined in the agitation for an income-tax, in utter disregard of the fact that it meant writing the principle of absolutism into the Constitution. Nor did they give a moment’s thought to the appalling social effects of an income-tax; I never once heard this aspect of the matter discussed. Liberals were also active in promoting the “democratic” movement for the popular election of senators. It certainly took no great perspicacity to see that these two measures would straightway ease our political system into collectivism as soon as some Eubulus, some mass-man overgifted with sagacity, should manoeuvre himself into popular leadership; and in the nature of things, this would not be long.

EDMUND BURKE:
[On the French Government emerging out of the Revoltion] It is systematic; it is simple in its principle; it has unity and consistency in perfection. In that country entirely to cut off a branch of commerce, to extinguish a manufacture, to destroy the circulation of money, to violate credit, to suspend the course of agriculture, even to burn a city, or to lay waste a province of their own, does not cost them a moment’s anxiety. To them, the will, the wish, the want, the liberty, the toil, the blood of individuals is as nothing. Individuality is left out of their scheme of Government. The state is all in all.

ROBERT BELVEDERE:
Standard Leftist propaganda writing: outright lies and distortions wrapped in a cloak of fake patriotism enclosed in a sludge of sarcasm.

EVEYLN WAUGH [1938]:
Barbarism is never finally defeated; given propitious circumstances, men and women who seem quite orderly will commit every conceivable atrocity. The danger does not come merely from habitual hooligans; we are all potential recruits for anarchy. Unremitting effort is needed to keep men living together at peace; there is only a margin of energy left over for experiment however beneficent. Once the prisons of the mind have been opened, the orgy is on. There is no more agreeable position than that of dissident from a stable society. Theirs are all the solid advantages of other people’s creation and preservation, and all the fun of detecting hypocrisies and inconsistencies. There are times when dissidents are not only enviable but valuable. The work of preserving society is sometimes onerous, sometimes almost effortless. The more elaborate the society, the more vulnerable it is to attack, and the more complete its collapse in case of defeat. At a time like the present it is notably precarious. If it falls we shall see not merely the dissolution of a few joint-stock corporations, but of the spiritual and material achievements of our history.

FYODOR DOSTOYEVSKY:
If God does not exist, everything is permitted.

CATHOLIC BISHOP WALTER MIXA:
Wherever God is denied or fought against, there people and their dignity will soon be denied and held in disregard. …In the last century, the godless regimes of Nazism and Communism, with their penal camps, their secret police and their mass murder, proved in a terrible way the inhumanity of atheism in practice.

JAMES BOWMAN:
Though I know that the notorious description by John Stuart Mill of the 19th Century British Conservative Party as “the stupid party” could hardly be said to apply to conservatives in general, I have never minded very much accepting the description for my own party. I even regard it is as being something of a badge of honor — since most of the world’s troubles and sorrows during the last century have been directly traceable to those who describe themselves as “intellectuals.” The bitter irony of David Halberstam’s title to his book about the Kennedy administration, The Best and the Brightest was owing to the mistaken assumption that government by brainiacs should somehow be expected to produce better results than it ever actually has produced and much better results than government by those of only average or moderately above-average intelligence.

ARTHUR VANDENBERG:
…the government of the United States is a representative republic and not a pure democracy. The difference is as profound today as it was when the foundations of the Constitution were set in the ages…. We are a representative republic. We are not a pure democracy…. Yet we are constantly trying to graft the latter on the former, and every effort we make in this direction, with but a few exceptions, is a blow aimed at the heart of the Constitution.

ERIK VON KUEHNELT-LEDDIHN:
But bear in mind that only leftists produce “movements”; rightists, at best, only “organize” in a relatively hieratchic fashion. Spengler has said correctly that the concept of the “party” is itself leftist.

WILLIAM ANTHONY HAY:
Conservatives before 1848 failed to implement the reforms that the most imaginative of them had envisioned to create a more flexible political order — one that would draw local elites and subjects into closer cooperation. (British leaders had managed to do just that decades before.) After 1848, the backlash against revolution brought an insistence on authority that made politics less flexible. Even where some liberal reforms survived, they operated to consolidate state power. The experience demonstrated that change with continuity works much better than revolution.

RONALD REAGAN:
One of the traditional methods of imposing statism or socialism on a people, has been by way of medicine. It’s very easy to disguise a medical program as a humanitarian project. Most people are a little reluctant to oppose anything that suggests medical care for people who possibly can’t afford it.

MARK STEYN:
Sustained constitutional evolution over the generations is a phenomenon mainly of the anglophone half of “the west”: America, Britain, Canada, Australia, New Zealand. It remains to be seen whether that will continue.

MARGARET THATCHER:
The problem with socialism is that you eventually, run out of other people’s money.

WILLIAM D. GAIRDNER:
Structurally, we are endangered because many of the Western democracies are becoming tripartite states in which one-third of all taxpayers are employed by government at some level, one-third of the people are crucially dependent in some way on government support (welfare, Medicare, Medicaid, farm subsidies, and a gazillion other untrackable support programs), and one-third produces the income (the tax base) paid out in supports for the first two-thirds. Anyone can see that, as this develops in a mass “democratic” system, the first two-thirds will always gang up on the last.

VICTOR DAVIS HANSON:
The conservative, as the custodian of ancient morality, must remind the populace of the thriftiness of our ancestors that explains the bounty we inherited. If not he, who will say that life is not fair, that human nature is predictable and thus tragic, that in our brief corporal lives we can guarantee an equality of rough opportunity but hardly mandate an equality of absolute result—since we are mere mortals, not gods?

CLINT EASTWOOD:
People have lost their sense of humour. In former times we constantly made jokes about different races. You can only tell them today with one hand over your mouth or you will be insulted as a racist. I find that ridiculous. In those earlier days every friendly clique had a ‘Sam the Jew’ or ‘Jose the Mexican’ – but we didn’t think anything of it or have a racist thought. It was just normal that we made jokes based on our nationality or ethnicity. That was never a problem. I don’t want to be politically correct. We’re all spending too much time and energy trying to be politically correct about everything.

MARCUS TULLIUS CICERO:
When politicians, enthusiastic to pose as the people’s friends, bring forward bills providing for the distribution of property, they intend that the existing owners shall be driven from their homes. Or they propose to excuse borrowers from paying back their debts.

Men with those views undermine the very foundations on which our commonwealth depends. In the first place, they are shattering the harmony between one element in the State and another, a relationship which cannot possibly survive if debtors are excused from paying their creditor back the sums of money he is entitled to. Furthermore, all politicians who harbour such intentions are aiming a fatal blow at the whole principle of justice; for once rights of property are infringed, this principle is totally undermined.

The real answer to the problem is that we must make absolutely certain that private debts do not ever reach proportions which will constitute a national peril. There are various ways of ensuring this. But just to take the money away from the rich creditors and give the debtors something that does not belong to them is no solution at all. For the firmest possible guarantee of a country’s security is sound credit…

So the men in charge of our national interests will do well to steer clear of the kind of liberality which involves robbing one man to give to another.

CALVIN COOLIDGE:
The people cannot look to legislation generally for success. Industry, thrift, character, are not conferred by act of resolve. Government cannot relieve from toil.

ARNOLD KLING:
My point is that sooner or later the U.S. government is going to have to get serious about stripping the assets of those of us who have tried to live within our means. Sooner or later, the profligate are going to take from the prudent, the grasshopper is going to confiscate the property of the ants.

EDMUND BURKE:
Men are qualified for civil liberty in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites,—in proportion as their love to justice is above their rapacity,—in proportion as their soundness and sobriety of understanding is above their vanity and presumption,—in proportion as they are more disposed to listen to the counsels of the wise and good, in preference to the flattery of knaves. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere; and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.

BENJAMIN DISRAELI:
In a progressive country change is constant; and the great question is not whether you should resist change which is inevitable, but whether that change should be carried out in deference to the manners, the customs, the laws and the traditions of a people, or whether it should be carried out in deference to abstract principles, and arbitrary and general doctrines.

JAMES BOWMAN:
Honor is what you have left when you take away partisanship. It is what even your enemies will say about you if they are themselves honorable, just as Grant would not have dreamed of impugning the honor of Lee, or vice versa. True disgrace, by contrast, can only come from your friends — those who share the same honor group with you and therefore share the same culture, the same obligations of sympathy and trust. That’s why shame and dishonor are — or were — such powerful things if ever they were incurred.

HAL G.P. COLEBATCH:
Further, and as is not emphasized enough, not only Western art and thought, but also Western sciences and technology, are the products of Judaism and Christianity, the one religious tradition which welcomed and exalted reason, as it exalted art, for the greater glory of God….

One of the great ironies of atheism is that by denying God it insults man. Atheists often call themselves “humanists,” but it is religious belief that is the only true humanism, for it is only religious belief which holds that man is something more than dust, and holds the human brain to be more than a chance assembly of atoms. For another odd thing is that if you believe in God, you get belief in man added in.

RICHARD DOERFLINGER:
I wish people realized how many times the Catholic Church has been proved right in its predictions about various directions being bad for us as a society. We said the widespread distribution of contraception would increase temptations to abortion and divorce, mislead people into thinking they could have sex without consequences, and threaten to trivialize sexuality. Is it possible to deny this has happened? We said depersonalizing reproduction through technologies such as in vitro fertilization would lead us to experiment on human embryos and tempt us to try human cloning. We said embryonic-stem-cell research was not only immoral but was being used to make promises of “miracle cures” that people couldn’t keep.

ABRAHAM LINCOLN:
I take it that it is best for all to leave each man free to acquire property as fast as he can. Some will get wealthy. I don’t believe in a law to prevent a man from getting rich; it would do more harm than good.

Free society is such that [a man] knows he can better his condition; he knows that there is no fixed condition of labor his whole life. I am not ashamed to confess that twenty-five years ago I was a hired laborer, mauling rails, at work on a flatboat — what might happen to any poor man’s son. I want every man to have the chance — and I believe a black man is entitled to it — in which he can better his condition — when he may look forward and hope to be a hired laborer this day and the next, work for himself, and finally to hire men to work for him. That is the true system.

And so it may go on and on in one ceaseless round so long as man exists on the face of the earth.

JAMES BOWMAN:
…all newspapers are fictional now, or they might as well be. Certainly, they need to be treated as such.

FATHER RICHARD JOHN NEUHAUS:
[Responding to a New York Times editorial] The editors are also exercised that religious institutions are exempt from regulations having to do with religious and gender discrimination in hiring and promotion. But the key point, invoked over the years by opponents of free exercise, is that tax exemption is actually a government subsidy.

The underlying, and nascently totalitarian, assumption is that everything in the society belongs to the state and should be under state control. Government exemptions from tax and control are a privilege granted, not a right respected. From which it follows that an exemption is, in fact, a subsidy. This is a long way from the Founders’ understanding of the independent sovereignty of religion that the government is bound to respect.

ANDREW MCCARTHY:
As the government spreads its tentacles ever further into the private economy, business will be under ever greater pressure to accept the political class’s prevailing pieties. Not only can government squeeze business more if it’s now effectively running the businesses; CEOs will further see accepting the political class’s premises as the best way (the lesser evil) of controlling damage on the remedial end. Thus, business accepts that (a) the planet is undeniably warming (questionable), (b) this warming is proximately and principally caused by human activity (dubious, to say the least), and (c) even during a financial melt-down, this warming is worth the cost of — and is likely to be cured by — heavy regulations and taxes on business activity (preposterous) … all for the lesser evil of easing (and, for the big guys, teeing it up to profit from) the curative measures taken to address the “crisis.”

It’s the express train to bad policy and social unrest: a system that moves straight to radical surgery before there is a credible diagnosis or a consensus about how bad the disease is.

ANTHONY TROLLOPE
[speaking through his character Lord Nidderdale]:If one wants to keep oneself straight, one has to work hard at it, one way of the other. I suppose it all comes from the fall of Adam.

EDMUND BURKE:
When I see the spirit of liberty in action, I see a strong principle at work; and this, for a while, is all I can possibly know of it. The wild gas, the fixed air is plainly broke loose: but we ought to suspend our judgment until the first effervescence is a little subsided, till the liquor is cleared, and until we see something deeper than the agitation of a troubled and frothy surface. I must be tolerably sure, before I venture publicly to congratulate men upon a blessing, that they have really received one. Flattery corrupts both the receiver and the giver; and adulation is not of more service to the people than to kings. I should therefore suspend my congratulations on the new liberty of France, until I was informed how it had been combined with government; with public force; with the discipline and obedience of armies; with the collection of an effective and well-distributed revenue; with morality and religion; with the solidity of property; with peace and order; with civil and social manners. All these (in their way) are good things too; and, without them, liberty is not a benefit whilst it lasts, and is not likely to continue long. The effect of liberty to individuals is, that they may do what they please: We ought to see what it will please them to do, before we risque congratulations, which may be soon turned into complaints. Prudence would dictate this in the case of separate insulated private men; but liberty, when men act in bodies, is power. Considerate people, before they declare themselves, will observe the use which is made of power; and particularly of so trying a thing as new power in new persons, of whose principles, tempers, and dispositions, they have little or no experience, and in situations where those who appear the most stirring in the scene may possibly not be the real movers.

THEODORE DALRYMPLE:
Intimidation of the aged and contempt for age itself are an essential part of the youth culture: no wonder aging rock stars are eternal adolescents, wrinkled and arthritic but trapped in the poses of youth. Age for them means nothing but indignity.

H.L. MENCKEN:
Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want and deserve to get it good and hard.

JEAN RASPAIL:
The rats won’t give up that cheese called “The West” until they have devoured it to the very last crumb. Big and thick as it is, that will take some time. They’re at it even now.

ROGER SCRUTON:
Female beauty is a powerful social force — more powerful than money, more powerful than physical strength or intellectual acumen. The Trojans were destroyed by the beauty of Helen, Dante redeemed by the beauty of Beatrice, post-war Britain restored by the beauty of the young Queen Elizabeth. Hence we are in awe of female beauty and reluctant to see it as a physical asset, or to allow it to be marketed for its financial worth. Beauty is a symbol of the ideal. It cannot be possessed or consumed, any more than a melody in music can be possessed or consumed by the listener. It is forever unassimilable, a mark of the inherent meaning and purposefulness of human life. In the presence of beauty, therefore, we are inclined to adore, to worship, to sacrifice. For this reason beauty is a powerful stimulus to marriage, and beautiful women who marry do a lasting service to their sex. They cease to be competitors, and at the same time set an example. All women can take hope from them, knowing that, in the light that shines from a face that is both beautiful and devoted, they too may exhibit some reflected glow.

EDWARD GIBBON:
In the end, more than freedom, they wanted security. They wanted a comfortable life, and they lost it all – security, comfort, and freedom. When the Athenians finally wanted not to give to society but for society to give to them, when the freedom they wished for most was freedom from responsibility, then Athens ceased to be free and was never free again.

JOHN DERBYSHIRE:
Randall Parker wonders why we are such pussies about these Somali pirates. Well, why wouldn’t we be? We’re pussies about everything else.

We’re pussies about capital punishment. Instead of speedily dispatching psychopaths who commit beastly murders, we give them 15 years of free gym time and cable TV while we wring our hands about their rights. Then, if we finally decide to give the swine what they deserve, we make their exit as hygienic and painless as possible. Why? Because we’re squealing, simpering girlies, that’s why.

We’re pussies about enemy nations, embarking on decades-long, trillion-dollar campaigns to make them love us, instead of quick ten-million-dollar lessons in why they should fear us. Why? Because we seek love and approval, like the furrowed-brow, teary-eyed, compassionate pansies we are.

We’re pussies about people who come to our country without permission, stay here without permission, work without permission, and leech on our school, hospital, and welfare systems. Eisenhower rounded them up and expelled them, but we’re assured we can’t do that. We can’t, we can’t. Why can’t we? Because we are timid, cringing, mincing, driveling, sniveling, weeping, moaning, soft, flabby, PC pussies, that’s why.

THEODORE DALRYMPLE:
So thoroughly have we drunk at the wells of collectivism that we see the state always as the solution to any problem, never as an obstacle to be overcome. One can gauge how completely collectivism has entered our soul -so that we are now a people of the government, for the government, by the government.

ROBERT BELVEDERE:
If you want to know what the those on the Left are doing in a particular situation, just look and see what they’re accusing the Right of doing. You’ve heard of ‘The Big Lie’, this is ‘The Big Deception’.

ELIE WIESEL:
When He created man, God gave him a secret — and that secret was not how to begin, but how to begin again. It is not given to man to begin; that privilege is God’s alone. But it is given to man to begin again — and he does so every time he chooses to defy death and side with the living.

THEODORE DALRYMPLE:
…Modern conservatives tend to see the locus of appropriate moral concern more in personal behavior than in social structure (I am not here concerned with whether they are right or wrong). They believe in personal responsibility rather than causation by abstract social forces. They do not believe in entitlement, their own or anyone else’s, or in an indefinite extension of rights. They do not believe in perfection, and they think that even improvement usually comes at a cost.

Modern liberals, by contrast, tend to focus their moral concern more distantly from themselves, on the more abstract political and economic sphere. For example, the personal sexual code does not concern or worry them much unless it is restrictive. They believe that bad behavior finds its origin in social forces rather than in man’s soul. They believe in everyone’s entitlements, which are never met quite sufficiently and need to be extended endlessly. For them, the perfect society will result in perfect people.

LESZEK KOLAKOWSKI:
Utopians, once they attempt to convert their visions into practical proposals, come up with the most malignant project ever devised: they want to institutionalize fraternity, which is the surest way to totalitarian despotism.

TONY BLANKLEY:
Conservatism always has been and always will be a force to reckon with because it most closely approximates the reality of the human condition, based, as it is, on the cumulative judgment and experience of a people. It is the heir, not the apostate, to the accumulated wisdom, morality and faith of the people.

As a force in electoral politics in any given season, conservatism, like all ideas and causes, is hostage to the effectiveness of the party that carries its banner, the candidates and leaders who articulate its principles and programs, and the engagement and spirit of the people who are its natural adherents.

JOHN HOOD:
Government is not charity. It is not persuasion, or cooperation, or sharing. Government is a fist, a shove, a gun.

JONATHAN MAYHEW:
History, one may presume to say, affords no example of any nation, country or people long free, who did not take some care of themselves; and endeavour to guard and secure their own liberties. Power is of a grasping, encroaching nature, in all beings, except in him, to whom it emphatically “belongeth”; and who is the only King that, in a religious or moral sense, “can do no wrong.” Power aims at extending itself, and operating according to mere will, where-ever it meets with no ballance, check, controul or opposition of any kind. For which reason it will always be necessary, as was said before, for those who would preserve and perpetuate their liberties, to guard them with a wakeful attention; and in all righteous, just and prudent ways, to oppose the first encroachments on them. “Obsta principiis.” After a while it will be too late. For in the states and kingdoms of this world, it happens as it does in the field or church, according to the well-known parable, to this purpose; That while men sleep, then the enemy cometh and soweth tares, which cannot be rooted out again till the end of the world, without rooting out the wheat with them.

EDMUND BURKE:
To provide for us in our necessities is not in the power of Government. It would be a vain presumption in statesmen to think they can do it. The people maintain them, and not they the people. It is in the power of Government to prevent much evil; it can do very little positive good in this, or perhaps in any thing else.

C.S. LEWIS:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

ROBERT HEINLEIN:
The America of my time line is a laboratory example of what can happen to democracies, what has eventually happened to all perfect democracies throughout all histories. A perfect democracy, a “warm body” democracy in which every adult may vote and all votes count equally, has no internal feedback for self-correction…. [O]nce a state extends the franchise to every warm body, be he producer or parasite, that day marks the beginning of the end of the state. For when the plebs discover that they can vote themselves bread and circuses without limit and that the productive members of the body politic cannot stop them, they will do so, until the state bleeds to death, or in its weakened condition the state succumbs to an invader — the barbarians enter Rome.

G.K. CHESTERTON:
It’s the first effect of not believing in God that you lose your common sense, and can’t see things as they are.

JAMES BOWMAN:
On my occasional visits to Starbucks, the ubiquitous coffee merchants, I try to refuse to use the private language the company has thoughtfully provided for the convenience of its patrons. Sometimes I forget and ask for Tall, Grande or Venti, but usually I ask, defiantly but with some embarrassment, for small, medium or large, because I resent being forced into a greater intimacy than I desire with the Starbucks corporate culture. I want to be a customer, not a member of the Starbucks Club who validates his membership along with his entry on the premises by speaking the Starbucks idiolect. Doubtless the marketing department in Seattle has tested it to a fare-thee-well and found that most people are not like me; most people are happy to use the special, European-sounding jargon — the Stargot, as we might call it — because it flatters them into the belief that, along with their coffee, they have purchased at a very reasonable price admission to an exclusive circle of coffee-drinkers who are socially a cut or two above those who drink from the caffeine-springs of Dunkin Donuts or Ma’s Diner, where they use ordinary English.

RONALD REAGAN:
…”the full power of centralized government”–this was the very thing the Founding Fathers sought to minimize. They knew that governments don’t control things. A government can’t control the economy without controlling people. And they know when a government sets out to do that, it must use force and coercion to achieve its purpose. They also knew, those Founding Fathers, that outside of its legitimate functions, government does nothing as well or as economically as the private sector of the economy.

JONAH GOLDBERG:
One definition of fascism might be onomatopoetic: “fascist!” is simply the sound liberals make when they stub their toes on the hard corner of reality.

JAMES BOWMAN:
Congratulations, then, to whichever of his survivors declined to furnish the obituarist with either piece of information — or to the obituarist for not publishing it — and so making it possible for him to have a wholly admiring and even inspirational obituary. It’s not just that the additional information would have been a violation of P.C. Johnson’s privacy — though I think many people would probably still regard it as that — but because in some measure it would have been to define him as his disease, and to make the story of his life the story of his death. Who wants that? Actually, there are some people who do. They are the ones who have made a living out of their deaths before they die: the cancer sufferers, for instance, who write about their battles with the disease. But would they feel the same way if they thought they had other accomplishments worthy of note before they were taken ill?

As it happened, the same day that P.C. Johnson’s obituary appeared in the Telegraph, our own New York Times ran the obituary of Leroy Sievers, a man who died at almost the same age (53) but who made of his dying what was almost the only thing worth recording about his life. It was mentioned that he was a television news producer for “Nightline” and a contributor to NPR, but nothing in that part of his obituary suggested any reason why the Times would have noticed his passing to the tune of nearly 500 words. No, his claim on the attention of that paper’s readers was pretty clearly limited to the fact that his contributions to NPR had all been about his battle with colon cancer. He had even produced a daily blog titled “My Cancer.” You can go to the website (www.npr.org) and read it. It is very poignant. But it might also make you feel, at least if you’re anything like me, just a bit resentful at having such an unwanted and unnecessary intimacy with a stranger thrust upon you. You can’t be quite unaware that it was by turning his own death into a journalistic property that he won his slot on The Times’s obituary page.

ROBERT BELVEDERE…
Debauchery is something that should only be practiced by those who understand the limits to which it can be taken, who appreciate it is not the grant of full license. Anything straying beyond these limits is depravity and this can lead to madness. The practitioner must also realize, both by instinct and by reasoning, that debauchery must be kept in the shadows, kept away from those, the vast majority, who lack the necessary and proper understandings, least these souls be tempted beyond their limits. For if they are, they will pass directly into depravity.

JAMES BOWMAN:
This is the reality of “media bias”: not so much a twisting of reality as an inability to imagine any other reality than the one they have learned – through the intellectual slackness of a culture which routinely pretends that dissenting views either don’t exist or, if they do exist, are so illegitimate as not to be worth a moment’s consideration – to take for granted.

ALEKSANDR SOLZHENITSYN…
To do evil, a human being must first of all believe that what he’s doing is good.

ROGER KIMBALL…
What is the essence, the core, of conservative wisdom? One part is that when it comes to the real-world, the choices we face are often not between good and bad but between bad and worse. This is particularly true in times of war. A difficult lesson. But crucial for those who wish to do good as well emit good-sounding slogans.

MICHAEL KNOX BERAN…
Dostoyevsky implied that it was precisely when the devil became a wit that the intellectual classes of the West succumbed to the most familiar form of diabolic temptation: the belief that men can transcend the limits of their condition and “be as gods”—demiurges with the power to heal the world’s pain and reshape it in accordance with a beautiful idea.

MARK STEYN…
…I think jokes are one of the absolutely critical things that distinguish free societies from unfree societies. I love that line of the Ayatollah Khomeini’s – “There are no jokes in Islam.” He says, you know, if you think you’re down here to have fun, have a laugh, have a good time, have a big giggle, a chuckle, split your sides, forget it. There are no jokes in Islam. And I think one of the differences between our side and the fellows in the caves is that we do have a sense of humor.

DIANA WEST…
After all, if clothes make the man, they also reveal what the man makes of manhood.

LIBBY PURVES…
To succeed in modern politics you should take care to be a bland, self-preserving, sober, drugless, funless, dull-witted bore for years beforehand.

SIR CHARLES NAPIER…
You say that it is your custom to burn widows. Very well. We also have a custom: when men burn a woman alive, we tie a rope around their necks and we hang them. Build your funeral pyre; beside it, my carpenters will build a gallows. You may follow your custom. And then we will follow ours.

RUSSELL KIRK…
There is an order which holds all things in their places: …it is made for us, and we are made for it. The thinking conservative, far from denying the existence of this eternal order, endeavors to ascertain its nature and to conform to that order, which is the source of the Permanent Things.

From a post by PETER ROBINSON at NRO on 12 April 2006…

… [ENOCH] POWELL explained that he could never join the Reform Club…. The exchange that followed went like this:

INTERVIEWER: Never join the Reform Club? But why ever not?

POWELL: All members of the Reform Club must assent to the Reform Act of 1867 [which extended the vote]. That I cannot do.

INTERVIEWER: (Astonished) Do you mean to say that you object to the Reform Act of 1867?

POWELL: That is precisely what I mean to say.

INTERVIEWER: My goodness, Mr. Powell, what is the most recent reform of which you do approve?

POWELL: (Long pause) With some reservations, Magna Carta.

The First Sign You See as you enter the Baghdad Military Passenger Terminal, Inbound…
BE POLITE AND PROFESSIONAL, BUT BE PREPARED TO KILL ANYONE YOU MEET

JOE QUEENAN…
[writing about Madonna's movie Swept Away, but it could apply to so many others and, besides, it is so well done, it deserves quoting]  …it seems more amateurish on each viewing, like a morass that starts our as a quagmire, then morphs into a cesspool and finally turns into a slime pit on the road to its ultimate destination in the bowels of Hell.

ROBERT SERVICE…
[Excerpt from The Concert Singer]

I’m one of these haphazard chaps
Who sit in cafes drinking;
A most improper taste, perhaps,
Yet pleasant, to my thinking.
For, oh, I hate discord and strife;
I’m sadly, weakly human;
And I do think the best of life
Is wine and song and woman.

TACTIUS…
Corruptissima republica, plurimae leges.
[When the state was at its most corrupt, laws were most numerous.]

CHARLES A. & MARY BEARD…
[America in Mid-Passage, Vol. 3]  As was said long afterward, the founders of the Republic in general, whether Federalist or Republican, feared democracy more than they feared original sin.

JOHN DERBYSHIRE…
I’m an old Tory. I don’t want anyone telling me how to live, and I think society will keep its shape well enough if we all cleave to some common, traditional understandings, support a strong executive leadership on the rare occasions it’s called for, give over our minds to communal religious observances for an hour or two per month, and mind our own businesses the rest of the time. I don’t want anything to do with the law, unless I get mugged and need to stand witness, or my neighbor starts dumping his garbage in my yard. I think Congress should sit no more than ten days a year, 15 max. Leave us alone, for Pete’s sake. The purpose of law is (a) to suppress private feuds, and (b) to identify and punish criminals. It’s not to tell me how or where to live, or when to die. Let me figure that stuff out for myself. Otherwise, leave me alone. This used to be bedrock Americanism. Nowadays it’s come to sound eccentric. We can’t blow our damn noses nowadays without permission from three lawyers, five accountants, and a couple of divinity professors. I hate the modern world.

THEODORE DALRYMPLE…
The coarsening of our culture is written in our gestures, in our expressions and on our faces. Anger, suspicion and chronic resentment etch themselves on to our very features, that now require a Breughel, or perhaps even a Bosch, to depict. As you walk down the street, remember what the good Sir Thomas [More] said, and tremble: ‘Since the brow speaks often true, since eyes and noses have tongues… the countenance proclaims the heart and inclinations.’

8 Comments leave one →
  1. 05 January 2012 @ 02:15 02:15

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    • 21 September 2013 @ 12:15 12:15

      Oh oh. The same automated drivel I often get. Apart from that, a wonderful and massive collection. I thank you. No, really. Colonel Neville.

      • 21 September 2013 @ 15:58 15:58

        Ah!…but does it effect you so much that you don’t feel like dressing for dinner tonight????

        [By the way: You're welcome.]

        • 21 September 2013 @ 21:31 21:31

          Hey, I’m reading them over dinner and breakfast and supper! Yes, actually I cannot, NAY, CANNOT stop reading them. They are a most excellent collection on the empirical nature and reality of liberty, prosperity etc, and…of right now. I’ve used this link for the link in most of my blog side boxes..

          Live Free or Die says it, eh. It’s on the New Hampshire number plate and Mark Steyn rightfully says it’s the best and ONLY plate line worth a damn.

          In Victoria Australia, the state plate line is wait for it, “Victoria: the place to be”. Er? Not if you want to be in Texas.

          All the best from Colonel Neville. No, really. Sempre Fi.

  2. 01 January 2013 @ 16:34 16:34

    What a fantastic pile of jumbled, disconnected quotes.

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