Monday, October 31, 2011

On the US President

In our system it is hard to overstate the centrality of the president.  Others advise.  The Congress can block.  But he is the initiator and he key decision maker.  I've seen presidents who didn't fully realize this even as they were entering office.  And often when I read commentaries about what is happening in our government, they underplay the responsibility the president has either through his actions or through his decisions not to intervene.
Source:  Colin Powell, Former Secretary of State (USA)
Taken From: Superclass, David Rothkpf, 2008, pg 146

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Justice and Sovereignty

In the absence of justice, what is sovereignty but organized robbery?
Source: St. Augustine, Unsourced
Taken From: Superclass, David Rothkpf, 2008, pg 145

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Words Change Lives

Words can change people’s lives.
Source: Craig Ballantyne
Taken From:, How To Write Great Emails, 10/4/2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Traditional Values

The state, ceasing to express man's inner qualifications, turns into a vast bureaucracy designed to promote economic activity.  It is little wonder that traditional values, however much they may be eulogized on commemorative occasions, today must dodge about and find themselves nooks and crannies if they are to survive at all.
Source: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948

Thursday, October 27, 2011

American Hires

Intel can thrive today and never hire another American.  It is not our desire, not is not our intention, but we can do that.
Source: Craig Barrett, Intel CEO
Taken From: Superclass, David Rothkpf, 2008, pg 120

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

On Education

But all hinges on the interpretation of needs; if the primary need of man is to perfect his spiritual being and prepare for immortality, then education of the mind and the passions will take precedence over all else.  The growth of materialism, however, has made this a consideration remote and even incomprehensible to the majority.  Those who maintain that education should prepare one for living successfully in this world have won a practically complete victory.
Source: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Slavery to Freedom

... knowledge is the pathway from slavery to freedom.
Source: Frederick Douglass, see Wikipedia entry for source
Taken From:, Blog post by Charles Burris, 2011/09/11

Monday, October 24, 2011

Absoulte power is kind of neat

Power corrupts.  Absolute power is kind of neat. 
Source:  John Lehman, former US Secretary of the Navy
Taken From: Superclass, David Rothkpf, 2008

Sunday, October 23, 2011

On Working for the Lord and for Others

Much of the effort of modern politicians is devoted to convincing us that men serve best when they are serving one another.  But the one consideration which would make this true is left out; service to others is the best service when the effort of all is subsumed under a transcendental conception.  Material gratification does not provide this, and here one has the reason why a secularized state finally breeds an intense hatred of politicians, who are trying to get men to accept one another as taskmasters.  Work is not to be performed "as ever in my great Taskmaster's eye," but for my neighbor, whom I despise.
Source: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948 

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Political Finance

The real truth ... is, as you know and I know, that a financial element in the larger centers has owned the Government ever since he days of Andrew Jackson - and I am not wholly excepting the Administration of W.W. [Woodrow Wilson]
Source: Franklin Roosevelt in a letter to one of Woodrow Wilson's top advisors
Taken From: Superclass, David Rothkpf, 2008, pg 152

Friday, October 21, 2011

Education and Direction

Yet the prevailing conception is that education must be such as will enable one to acquire enough wealth to live on the plain of the bourgeoisie [middle class].  That kind of education does not develop the aristocratic virtues.  It neither encourages reflection nor inspires a reverence for the good.
Source: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Secret Cabal

The only way I can get to sleep at night is by imagining a secret cabal of highly competent puppetmasters who are handling the important decisions while our elected politicians debate flag burning and the definition of marriage.
Source:  Scott Adams, unsourced
Taken From: Superclass, David Rothkpf, 2008, pg254

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I’m not anti-capitalist. I actually support capitalism, I think it’s a good thing. I just think you can have capitalism without corruption, 
Source: Alessio Rastani, October, 2011
Taken From: Huffington Post, "Alessio Rastani: I Just Want To Help People", 2011/10/11

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


Where we once thought ourselves collectively strong, we now regard ourselves as individually entitled.  
Source: Strauss and Howe, The Fourth Turning, 1997, pg 1

Monday, October 17, 2011


The enforced irresponsibility has itself become a factor in pathology, for a burden of responsibility is, after all, the best means of getting anyone to think straight.
Source: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Friends and Chocolate

There is nothing better than a friend, unless it is a friend with chocolate.
Source: Charles Dickens, Unsourced
Taken From: Unknown

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Nature and Purpose

... a look at the nature of things is imperative, for our conception of metaphysical reality finally governs our conception of everything else, and, if we feel that creation does not express purpose, it is impossible to find an authorization for purpose in our lives.  Indeed, the assertion of purpose in a world we felt to be purposeless would be a form of sentimentality.
Source: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948

Friday, October 14, 2011


I only ask to be free. The butterflies are free.
Source: Charles Dickens, Bleak House, 1853
Taken From: Unknown

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dreams and Logic

It must be apparent that logic depends upon the dream, and not the dream upon it.
Source: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Free and Equal

An American political writer of the last century, confronted with the statement that all men are created free and equal, asked whether it would not be more accurate to say that no man was ever created free and no two men ever created equal.
Source: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948

Monday, October 10, 2011

Life's Racecourse

Life's racecourse is fixed ... Nature has only a single path and that path is run but once
Source: Cicero, Unsourced
Taken From: Strauss and Howe, The Fourth Turning, 1997

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Of the Ox and the Lion

It is generally assumed that the erasing of all distinctions will usher in the reign of pure democracy.  But the inability of pure democracy to stand for something intelligible leaves it merely a verbal deception.  If it promises equality before the law, it does no more than empires and monarchies have done and cannot use this as a ground to assert superiority.  If it promises equality of condition, it promises injustice, because one law for the ox and the lion is tyranny.
Source: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

On the Fall of Education

... it is precisely because we have lost our grasp of the nature of knowledge that we have nothing to educate with for the salvation of our order. Americans certainly cannot be reproached for failing to invest adequately in the hope that education would prove a redemption.  They have built numberless high schools, lavish in equipment, only to see them, under the prevailing scheme of values, turned into social centers and institutions for improving the personality, where teachers, living in fear of constituents, dare not enforce scholarship.  They have built colleges on an equal scale, only to see them turned into playgrounds for grown-up children or centers of vocationalism, and professionalism.  Finally, they have seen pragmatists, as if in peculiar spite against the very idea of hierarchy, endeavoring to turn classes into democratic forums, where the teacher is only a moderator, and no one offends by presuming to speak with superior knowledge.
Source: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948

Friday, October 7, 2011


The politicians and the businessmen are not interested in saving souls, but they are interested in preserving a minimum of organization, for upon that depend their posts and their incomes.
 Source: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Nation Founding

...a nation can be born in a day if the ideals of the people can be changed.
Source: Vachel Lindsay, Bryan, Bryan, Bryan, Bryan Collected Works, 1925
Taken From: Strauss and Howe, The Fourth Turning, 1997 pg231

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Temporally Temporary

The worship of comfort, then, is only another aspect of our decision to live wholly in this world.  Yet here man encounters an anomaly: the very policy of living wholly in this world, of having no traffic with that other world which cannot be "proved," turns one's attention wholly to the temporary and so actually impairs his effectiveness.
 Source: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The Prophet

...the mark of the prophet is to speak the truth in love with courage - come what may.
Source: Cornel West, The American evasion of philosophy: a genealogy of pragmatism, 1989
Taken From: Strauss and Howe, The Fourth Turning, 1997 pg231

Monday, October 3, 2011

Poetic Life

From a biological standpoint, human life almost reads like a poem.  It has its own rhythm and beat, its internal cycles of growth and decay.
Source: Lin Yutang, Unsourced
Taken From: Strauss and Howe, The Fourth Turning, 1997

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Plato's Cave

Seen from another point of view, the "monopoly of mainstream media" is a translation into actuality of Plato's celebrated figure of the cave.  The defect of the prisoners, let us recall, is that they cannot perceive the truth.  The wall before them, on which the shadows play, is the screen on which press, motion picture, and radio project their account of life.  The chains which keep the prisoners from turning their heads are the physical monopoly which the engines of publicity naturally possess.  And is it not pathetically true that these victims, with their limited vision, are "in the habit of conferring honors among themselves to those who are the quickest to observe the passing shadows and to remark which of them went before and which followed after, and which were together"?
 Source: Richard Weaver, Ideas Have Consequences 1948

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Primitive Religions and Environmentalism

Is there a primitive religion that can match 'environmentalism' for attributing natural calamity to the transgressions of man?
Source: Charls Krauthammer, Jan 22nd, 1996; Environmentalists Testing The Limits Of Our Credulity Chicago Tribune
Taken From: Strauss and Howe, The Fourth Turning, 1997 pg231