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View Diary: Asperity, Austerity, and Control: Huxley, Orwell, and 1984 (87 comments)

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  •  Bertolt Brecht (4+ / 0-)

    "You gentlemen who think you have a mission
    To purge us of the seven deadly sins
    Must first work out the basic food position:
    That's where it begins. . .
    First make sure that those who are now starving
    Get proper helpings when we all start carving."

    Actually, one of More's near contemporaries, Thomas Hoby, wrote a nice little piece (it's quite readable, esp. if you can handle Utopia) called "The School Master." He makes the point that a gentleman will spend two hundred pounds on his horse and boast of it, but he will grow upset and spend as little as possible on the education of his son, but the son will be responsible for supporting him in his old age, and the horse will be long dead. (A rich guy with an $80,000 car complaining about paying taxes for public schools that spend $1,500/student.)

    Every reductio ad absurdum will seem like a good idea to some fool or another.

    by The Geogre on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 04:50:29 AM PDT

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    •  Thank you (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      The Geogre, helpImdrowning, ybruti

      This is the type of conversation that is so lacking.  Volumes have been so well written that, if read, could help humanity understand present day dilemmas and even expose the vileness of today's so-called political discourse.

      Example:  I would have had the Wisconsin's Congress and citizens read Sinclair's The Jungle immediately after Scott Walker attacked the unions.

      My eyes were opened by Leo Tolstoy, whose writing style has spoiled me forever.  So much of the hearts of men are revealed in his writings.

      I stepped over the disinformation about the evil of Machiavelli, and read a collection of his works.  I wish I had done so in my youth.

      What a brutally honest man.   And what a talent for being able to see the darkness of man's intent and write about it in a manner that is accessible to all who are willing to admit the truth.  

      I will look for your continued series.

      For those of you interested, there is free Machiavelli online.

      Niccolo Machiavelli, The Historical, Political, and Diplomatic Writings, vol. 1 (Life of Machiavelli, History of Florence) [1532]

      It's anyone's guess whose translation is an honest one.  I personally tip toed into Machiavelli with this book:

      The Essential Writings of Machiavelli (Modern Library Classics)

      It's difficult to be happy knowing so many suffer. We must unite.

      by War on Error on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 07:41:39 AM PDT

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      •  Discourses! Must read! (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        helpImdrowning

        Machiavelli's Discourses are fantastic. I read them in a class on the development of the essay (unofficially; officially, the class was on something like periodic literature of the 18th century, but we were all over Montesquieu and La Rochefoucauld and Machiavelli). Discourses is modern in its irony (or, rather, Modernism finally got back to the Renaissance in ironic sophistication).

        Every reductio ad absurdum will seem like a good idea to some fool or another.

        by The Geogre on Fri Jun 22, 2012 at 10:09:44 AM PDT

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