Saturday, December 21, 2013

2013 Nefariology: America's Enemies of Freedom

An Ambrose Bierce Eleventary

Politics is the strife of interests masquerading as a contest of principles; the conduct of public affairs for private advantage.”

The lottery is tax on people who are bad at math.

The right to vote is the instrument and symbol of a freeman's power to make a fool of himself and a wreck of his country.

When publicly censured our first instinct is to make everybody a codefendant.

A fool is a natural proselyte, but he must be caught young, for his convictions, unlike those of the wise, harden with age.

A cheap and easy cynicism rails at everything. The master of the art accomplishes the formidable task of discrimination.

Truth is so good a thing that falsehood cannot afford to be without it.

Justice is a commodity which in a more or less adulterated condition the State sells to the citizen as a reward for his allegiance, taxes and personal service.

To dogmatism the Spirit of Inquiry is the same as the Spirit of Evil.

We submit to the majority because we have to. But we are not compelled to call our attitude of subjection a posture of respect.

He who thinks with difficulty believes with alacrity.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Chesterton on Timeless Virtues and Vices

“The act of defending any of the cardinal virtues has today all the exhilaration of a vice.” 

“A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.”

“Fallacies do not cease to be fallacies because they become fashions.”

“To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.”

“Progress should mean that we are always changing the world to fit the vision, instead we are always changing the vision.”

“Men invent new ideals because they dare not attempt old ideals. They look forward with enthusiasm, because they are afraid to look back.”

“Men do not differ much about what things they will call evils; they differ enormously about what evils they will call excusable.”

“It’s not that we don’t have enough scoundrels to curse; it’s that we don’t have enough good men to curse them.”

“The whole truth is generally the ally of virtue; a half-truth is always the ally of some vice.”

“It is not bigotry to be certain we are right; but it is bigotry to be unable to imagine how we might possibly have gone wrong.” 

“There are some desires that are not desirable.”