In the film Enemy of the State, Will Smith’s character is handed some sensitive information. He spends the rest of the movie being bugged, chased and set-up. Wikileak’s Julian Assange won’t be so lucky. He’s currently starring in Enemy of the States. Nation States. Plural. Continue reading →
Sometimes i wonder about humanity. Other times, i just sit in awe, getting all warm and fuzzy as my brain goes to sleep and something else wakes from a slumber.
Everything we get, outside the free gifts of nature, must in some way be paid for.
- Henry Hazlitt
Those who profess to favor freedom and yet depreciate agitation, are people who want crops without ploughing the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning; they want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. The struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, or it may be both. But it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand; it never has and it never will.
- Frederick Douglass
While at a house party a few months back, a girl cornered me with a nice bottle of wine, and started telling me about ‘The Secret’ – a bestselling book and film . I sat and listened, sipping my wine, as the well-educated City financier explained the principles of universal attraction, without any sense of irony .
It was a treat. A true dissertation on the worst kind of magical thinking . Essentially, this chick (and many of her friends) believe that they are telekinetic, and can receive whatever they want just by hoping for it. Needless to say, i re-filled my glass and excused myself. I’d heard about voodoo before.
@mparks says 48 Laws of Power = YUCK
Can’t say that i haven’t heard that reaction before. People tend to assume that any interest in human nature, strategy or power, is nefarious in some way. But these same people complain about the way that politicians manipulate and the media ‘controls’ us. They identify the symptoms, but are unwilling to understand the problem.
Some people like watching the magic trick. So do i. But i also like to understand how the trick was done. Not necessarily because i want to perform the trick, but because i’m curious.
Anyhow, so long as the Godfather is still voted the No.1 film of all-time, i don’t believe that people aren’t interested in the concepts of strategy and power. They are. They just don’t want to delve too deeply into the mind of a Don. Or a Pope. Or a President-Elect. It could shatter some of their dearly held illusions.
One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. The bamboozle has captured us. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.
- Carl Sagan
Here’s an excerpt from Obama’s first book – Dreams From My Father. I wonder whether his opinion has changed in any way, and whether people find the opinion offensive, accurate, or both?
I had begun to see a new map of the world, one that was frightening in its simplicity, suffocating in its implications. We were always playing on the white man’s court, Ray had told me, by the white man’s rules. Whatever he decided to do, it was his decision to make, not yours, and because of that fundamental power he held over you, because it preceded and would outlast his individual motives and inclinations, any distinction between good and bad whites held negligible meaning.
In fact, you couldn’t even be sure that everything you had assumed to be an expression of your black, unfettered self – the humour, the song, the behind-the-back pass – had been freely chosen by you. At best, these things were a refuge; at worst, a trap.
Following this maddening logic, the only thing you could choose as your own was withdrawal into a smaller and smaller coil of rage, until being black meant only the knowledge of your own powerlessness, of your own defeat. And the final irony: should you refuse this defeat and lash out at your captors, they would have a name for that, too, a name that could cage you just as good. Paranoid. Militant. Violent. Nigger.
- Barack Obama (from "Dreams From My Father")