The history of the world is the world's court of justice.
Thus the scene of the tragedy of Liberty world over must be suffering and discontent among the people. The drama moves swiftly in a torrent of words in which real purposes are disguised in portrayals of Utopia; idealism without realism; slogans, phrases and statements destructive to confidence in existing institutions; demands for violent action against slowly curable ills; unfair representation that sporadic wickedness is the system itself; searing prejudice against the former order; dismay and panic in the economic organization which feeds on its own despair. Emotions rise above reason. The man on horseback, ascending triumphantly to office on the steps of constitutional process, demands and threatens the parliament into the delegation of its sacred power. Then follows consolidation of authority through powerful propaganda in the pay of the state to transform the mentality of the people. Resentment of criticism, denunciation of all opposition, moral terrorization, all follow in sequence. The last scene is the suppression of freedom. Liberty dies of the water from her own well- free speech- poisoned by untruth. In the Epilogue the dreams of those who saw Utopia are shattered and the people find they are marching backward toward the Middle Ages- as regimented men.
NARCISSUS:A republican is a man who strives to create equality among all classes. At the core he's a man who believes in doing what's right.GAIUS: The trouble is defining exactly what 'right' is.NARCISSUS:We all know what right is, Senator.COMMODUS:I would say there's nothing more dangerous than a man who knows what 'right' is.NARCISSUS:The dangerous man, Caesar, is the man who doesn't care.http://have-dog.com/gladiator/gladiator01.html
God is intelligent; but in what manner? Man is intelligent by the act of reasoning, but the supreme intelligence lies under no necessity to reason. He requires neither premise nor consequences; nor even the simple form of a proposition. His knowledge is purely intuitive. He beholds equally what is and what will be. All truths are to Him as one idea, as all places are but one point, and all times one moment.
Behind him lay the gray Azores, Behind the gates of Hercules;Before him not the ghost of shores,Before him only shorless seas.The good Mate said, Now we must pray,For lo! the very stars are gone.Brave Admiral, speak, what shall I say?Why say, 'Sail on! sail on! and on!My men grow mutinous day by day;My men grow ghastly wan and weak!The stout Mate thought of home; a sprayOf salt wavewashed his swarthy cheek.What shall I say, brave Admiral, say,If we sight naught but seas at dawn?Why, you shall say at break of day,'Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!'They sailed. They sailed. Then spake the Mate;This mad sea shows its teeth tonight.He curls his lip, he lies in wait,With lifted teeth, as if to bite!Brave Admiral, say but one good word;What shall we do when hope is gone?The words leapt like a leaping sword;Sail on! sail on! sail on! and on!Then, pale and worn, he kept his deckAnd peered through darkness. Ah! that nightOf all dark nights! And then a speck --A light! A light! A light! A light!It grew, a starlit flag unfurled!It grew to be Time's burst of dawn.He gained a world; he gave that worldIts greatest lesson: On! sail on!based on the courageous determination of Christopher Columbus
How hard to realize that every camp of men or beast has this glorious starry firmament for a roof! In such places standing alone on the mountaintop it is easy to realize that whatever special nests we make---leaves and moss like the marmots and birds, or tents or piled stone---we all dwell in a house of one room---the world with a firmament for its roof---and are sailing the celestial spaces without leaving any track.
The worth of men consists in their liability to persuasion. . . . Civilisation is the maintenance of social order, by its own inherent persuasiveness as embodying the nobler alternative. The recourse to force, however unavoidable, is a disclosure of the failure of civilisation, either in the general society or in a remnant of individuals. Thus in a live civilisation there is always an element of unrest. For sensitiveness to ideas means curiosity, adventure, change. Civilised order survives on its merits, and is transformed by its power of Recognizing its imperfections.
The vigour of civilised societies is preserved by the widespread sense that high aims are worth while. Vigorous societies harbour a certain extravagance of objectives, so that men wander beyond the safe provision of personal gratifications. All strong interests easily become impersonal, the love of a good job well done. There is a sense of harmony about such an accomplishment, the Peace brought by something worth while. Such personal gratification arises from aim beyond personality.
There are two principles inherent in the very nature of things, recurring in some particular embodiments whatever field we explore - the spirit of change, and the spirit of conservation. There can be nothing real without both. Mere change without conservation is a passage from nothing to nothing. . . . Mere conservation without change cannot conserve. For after all, there is a flux of circumstance, and the freshness of being evaporates under mere repetition.
It is the first step in sociological wisdom, to recognize that the major advances in civilisation are processes which all but wreck the societies in which they occur: like unto an arrow in the hand of a child. The art of free society consists first in the maintenance of the symbolic code; and secondly in fearlessness of revision, to secure that the code serves those purposes which satisfy an enlightened reason. Those societies which cannot combine reverence to their symbols with freedom of revision, must ultimately decay either from anarchy, or from the slow atrophy of a life stifled by useless shadows.
Other nations of different habits are not enemies: they are godsends. Men require of their neighbours something sufficiently akin to be understood, something sufficiently different to provoke attention, and something great enough to command admiration. We must not expect, however, all the virtues.
But Oh! The blessing it is to have a friend to whom one can speak fearless on any subject; with whom one's deepest as well as one's most foolish thoughts come out simply and safely. Oh, the comfort - the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person - having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pouring them all right out, just as they are, chaff and grain together; certain that a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and then with the breath of kindness blow the rest away.http://www.indiana.edu/%7Eletrs/vwwp/craik/craik-poem1866.html
In view of all this, I have no doubt that Cambyses was completely out of his mind; it is the only possible explanation of his assault upon, and mockery of, everything which ancient law and custom have made sacred in Egypt. If anyone, no matter who, were given the opportunity of choosing from amongst all the nations in the world the set of beliefs which he thought best, he would inevitably, after careful consideration of their relative merits, choose that of his own country. Everyone without exception believes his own native customs, and the religion he was brought up in, to be the best; and that being so, it is unlikely that anyone but a madman would mock at such things. There is abundant evidence that this is the universal feeling about the ancient customs of one's country. One might recall, in particular, an anecdote of Darius. When he was king of Persia, he summoned the Greeks who happened to be present in his court, and asked them what they would take to eat the dead bodies of their fathers. They replied that they would not do it for any money in the world. Later, in the presence of the Greeks, and through an interpreter, so that they could understand what was said, he asked some Indians, of the tribe called the Callatiae, who do in fact eat their parents' dead bodies, what they would take to burn them. They uttered a cry of horror and forbade him to mention such a dreadful thing. One can see by this what custom can do, and Pindar, in my opinion, was right when he called it king of all.(Herodotus is expressing his own feelings about the story of the madness of Cambyses)
What wreath for Lamia? What for Lycius?What for the sage, old Apollonius?Upon her aching forehead be there hungThe leaves of willow and of adder's tongue;And for the youth, quick, let us strip for himThe thyrsus, that his watching eyes may swimInto forgetfulness; and, for the sage,Let spear-grass and the spiteful thistle wageWar on his temples. Do not all charms flyAt the mere touch of cold philosophy?There was an awful rainbow once in heaven:We know her woof, her texture; she is givenIn the dull catalogue of common things.Philosophy will clip an Angel's wings,Conquer all mysteries by rule and line,Empty the haunted air, and gnomed mine -Unweave a rainbow, as it erewhile madeThe tender-person'd Lamia melt into a shade.http://www.classicreader.com/read.php/sid.4/bookid.1076/sec.2/
Much have I travell'd in the realms of gold, And many goodly states and kingdoms seen; Round many western islands have I been Which bards in fealty to Apollo hold. Oft of one wide expanse had I been told That deep-brow'd Homer ruled as his demesne; Yet did I never breathe its pure serene Till I heard Chapman speak out loud and bold: Then felt I like some watcher of the skies When a new planet swims into his ken; Or like stout Cortez when with eagle eyes He star'd at the Pacific--and all his men Look'd at each other with a wild surmise-- Silent, upon a peak in Darien.
The war, therefore, if we judge it by the standards of previous wars, is merely an imposture. It is like the battles between certain ruminant animals whose horns are set at such an angle that they are incapable of hurting one another. But though it is unreal it is not meaningless. It eats up the surplus of consumable goods, and it helps to preserve the special mental atmosphere that a hierarchical society needs. War, it will be seen, is now a purely internal affair. In the past, the ruling groups of all countries, although they might recognize their common interest and therefore limit the destructiveness of war, did fight against one another, and the victor always plundered the vanquished. In our own day they are not fighting against one another at all. The war is waged by each ruling group against its own subjects, and the object of the war is not to make or prevent conquests of territory, but to keep the structure of society intact. The very word 'war', therefore, has become misleading. It would probably be accurate to say that by becoming continuous war has ceased to exist. The peculiar pressure that it exerted on human beings between the Neolithic Age and the early twentieth century has disappeared and been replaced by something quite different. The effect would be much the same if the three super-states, instead of fighting one another, should agree to live in perpetual peace, each inviolate within its own boundaries. For in that case each would still be a self-contained universe, freed for ever from the sobering influence of external danger. A peace that was truly permanent would be the same as a permanent war. This
Derived from this celebrated society for propagating the faith, the name propaganda is applied in modern political language as a term of reproach to secret associations for the spread of opinions and principles which are viewed by most governments with horror and aversion.
Marriage has for women many equivalents of joining a mass movement. It offers them a new purpose in life, a new future and a new identity (a new name). The boredom of spinsters and of women who can no longer find joy and fulfillment in marriage stems from an awareness of a barren, spoiled life. By embracing a holy cause and dedicating their energies and substance to its advancement, they find a new life full of purpose and meaning.
There is perhaps no more reliable indicator of a society's ripeness for a mass movement than the prevalence of unrelieved boredom. In most all the descriptions of the periods preceding the rise of mass movements there is reference to vast ennui; and in their earliest stages mass movements are more likely to find sympathizers and support among the bored than among the exploited and oppressed. To a deliberate fomenter of mass upheavals, the report that people are bored stiff should be at least as encouraging as that they are suffering from intolerable economic or political abuses.When people are bored, it is primarily with their own selves that they are bored. The consciousness of a barren, meaningless existence is the main fountainhead of boredom. People who are not conscious of their individual separatedness, as is the case with those who are members or a compact tribe, church, party, etcetera, are not accessible to boredom. The differentiated individual is free of boredom only when he is engaged either in creative work or some absorbing occupation or when he is wholly engrossed in the struggle for existence. Pleasure-chasing and dissipation are ineffective palliatives. Where people live autonomous lives and are not badly off, yet are without abilities or opportunities for creative work or useful action, there is no telling to what desperate and fantastic shifts they might resort in order to give meaning and purpose to their lives.
I'm a big kid, I'm a kid at heart, so I still love the classic family films, such as the great Warner Bros film 'Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory' - not the remake, but the original. It's still one of the best movies, hands down, ever made, and of course that goes back to the ingenuity of the characters and the storyline.