29 September 2010

Quotes of the Day

Some wonderful quotes from the day's reading. These are in no particular order, and with no particular theme, but did in their own right inspire me.

George Santayana, The Irony Of Liberalism:

"But freeing the people from what? From the consequences of freedom."

"No one in office can be a true statesmen, because a true statesman is consistent, and public opinion will never long support consistent course."

Santayana, A Brief History of My Opinions:

"All is a tale told, if not by an idiot, at least a dreamer; but it is far from signifying nothing. Sensations are rapid dreams: perceptions are dreams sustained and developed at will; sciences are dreams abstracted, controlled, measured, and rendered scrupulously proportional to their occasions. Knowledge accordingly always remains a part of imagination in terms and in its seat; yet by virtue of its origin and intent it becomes a memorial and a guide to the fortunes of man in nature"

(How wonderfully Nietzsche)

Ralph Adams Cram, Why We do not Behave as Human Beings.

"....there never has been a time when out of the darkness did not flame into light bright figures of men and women who in character and capacity were a glory to the human race."

There was a theme of Sophrosyne today while reading, which I enjoyed immensely. It has served as a call to memory. The term rises, a spectre of former self, to confront my current life and ask: have you been living well? The answer, I'm sad to say, is almost. I feel quite satisfied with the majority of my actions. I hold myself to no one's standard but my own, I strive to better myself each day, and strive to love others as myself and learn about the teachings of Christ and Buddha. However, one glaring failure persists, always my failing. Luxury, always luxury. I have fallen into the ease, the seductive nature of the society in which we live, the nearly silent whispers of temptation to go against my inner voice, the blaring racket of consumerist enticement. God preserve me, help me to resist, always resist, the temptation that seems so against the nature of my soul yet comes so easily to practice.

Quite a paragraph there... so much philosophizing, so little actually accomplished. How easily words come to tongue, yet action always lags behind. Such a sad existence. So much power, motive force, yet it so rarely translates to the world. It is a shame.

27 September 2010

American Empire

A thought from last night, while watching 60 minutes...

In other wars, an Army has merely to destroy the will to fight from the enemy, usually through destruction of their combat arms. In doing so, we dictate the terms of surrender. Terms are reached because the physical strength of the victor outweighs that of the vanquished. The consequence of failure to meet the terms of the surrender is... what? Usually the vanquished have experienced widespread destruction of infrastructure, resources, and manpower. So what is it then, the threat of force behind the action? The answer is total annihilation. If war is the use of force to compel state action, then the ultimate penalty of non-compliance is total destruction; the endgame is death.

We pride ourselves in this country on a sense of impartiality when it comes to religion. The constitution forbids the establishment of religion, and a growing number of Americans no longer consider themselves religious. Why then do I see a religious motive in the sparing of the Afghani people? Because that is indeed what our war is, a suspension of the final threat. It is why the Afghan/Pakistani Pushtuns still have the will to fight. They have no fear of the final outcome of war, because we as a country no longer consider the threat behind war to be real. They know that we will eventually tire of this conflict and retreat without even considering this option.

The American Empire is ruled by love. Love towards our fellow man. This is the Genius of Osama Bin Laden, a visionary of what it takes to defeat the unassailable Empire. Our Combat Arms can take on any enemy and defeat them with ease. Our weakness is our moral. bin Laden has recognized that the country has suspended the worst punishment, and that is takes much more energy to build than it does to kill. To me, this represents a triumph of Jesus Christ in American culture. When Hume outlined the Natural History of Religion, I think he was visionary about the future. We are moving towards the Post Religious world. Perhaps this will mean the end of American Empire