|Cosmic religious feeling “The individual feels the nothingness of human desires and aims and the sublimity and marvelous order which reveal themselves both in nature and in the world of thought. He looks upon individual existence as a sort of prison and wants to experience the universe as a single significant whole. The beginnings of cosmic religious feeling already appear in earlier stages of development—e.g., in many of the Psalms of David and in some of the Prophets. Buddhism, as we have learnt from the wonderful writings of Schopenhauer especially, contains a much stronger element of it..”||The world as I see it|
|“Let us now consider the times in which we live. How does society fare, how the individual? The population of the civilised countries is extremely dense as compared with former times; Europe today contains about three times as many people as it did a hundred years ago. But the number of great men has decreased out of all proportion. Only a few individuals are known to the masses as personalities, through their creative achievements.
Organisation has to some extent taken the place of the great man, particularly in the technical sphere, but also to a very perceptible extent in the scientific.
The lack of outstanding figures is particularly striking in the domain of art. Painting and music have definitely degenerated and largely lost their popular appeal. In politics not only are leaders lacking, but the independence of spent and the sense of justice of the citizen have to a great extent declined. The democratic, parliamentarian regime, which is based on such independence, has in many places been shaken, dictatorships have sprung up and are tolerated, because men’s sense of the dignity and the rights of the individual is no longer strong enough.
|The world as I see it|
|In two weeks the sheep-like masses can be worked up by the newspapers into such a state of excited fury that the men are prepared to put on uniform and kill and be billed, for the sake of the worthless aims of a few interested parties. Compulsory military service seems to me the most disgraceful symptom of that deficiency in personal dignity from which civilised mankind is suffering today.||The world as I see it|
|No wonder there is no lack of prophets who prophesy the early eclipse of our civilisation. I am not one of these pessimists; I believe that better times are coming. Let me shortly state my reasons for such confidence.
In my opinion, the present symptoms of decadence are explained by the fact that the development of industry and machinery has made the struggle for existence very much more severe, greatly to the detriment of the free development of the individual. But the development of machinery means that less and less work is needed from the individual for the satisfaction of the community’s needs. A planned division of labour is becoming more and more of a crying necessity, and this division will lead to the material security of the individual. This security and the spare time and energy which the individual will have at his command can be made to further his development. In this way the community may regain its health, and we will hope that future historians will explain the morbid symptoms of present-day society as the childhood ailments of an aspiring humanity, due entirely to the excessive speed at which civilisation was advancing.”
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|“This topic brings me to that worst outcrop of the herd nature, the military system, which I abhor. That a man can take pleasure in marching in formation to the strains of a band is enough to make me despise him. He has only been given his big brain by mistake; a backbone was all he needed. This plague-spot of civilisation ought to be abolished with all possible speed. Heroism by order, senseless violence, and all in the pestilent nonsense that does by the name of patriotism – – how I hate them! War seems to me a mean, contemptible thing: I would rather be hacked to pieces than take part in such an abominable business. And yet so high, in spite of everything, is my opinion of the human race that I believe this bogey would have disappeared long ago, had the sound sense of the nations not been systematically corrupted by commercial and political interests acting though the schools and the press”||The world as I see it|
|“I am a citizen, not of Athens, nor of Greece, but the whole world. The world is my parish” – Socrates||Make gentle the life of the world|
|“If you get my message of greeting from all this distance, be thankful that ours is the first age in history to bring about friendly and understanding intercourse between people of different countries; in former times nations passed their lives in mutual ignorance, and in fact hated or feared on another. May the spirit of brotherly understanding gain ground more and more among them. With this in mind I, an old man, greet you Japanese schoolchildren from afar and hope that your generation may some day put mine to shame”||The world as I see it|
|I am today announcing my candidacy for the presidency of the United States.
I do not run for the presidency merely to oppose any man but to propose new policies. I run because I am convinced that this country is on a perilous course and because I have such strong feelings about what must be done, and I feel that I’m obliged to do all that I can.
I run to seek new policies – policies to end the bloodshed in Vietnam and in our cities, policies to close the gaps that now exist between black and white, between rich and poor, between young and old, in this country and around the rest of the world.
I run for the presidency because I want the Democratic Party and the United States of America to stand for hope instead of despair, for reconciliation of men instead of the growing risk of world war.
In His Own Words
Robert F Kennedy
|My brother need not be idealized, or enlarged in death beyond what he was in life; to be remembered simply as a good and decent man, who saw wrong and tried to right it, saw suffering and tried to heal it, saw war and tried to stop it.
Those of us who loved him and who take him to his rest today, pray that what he was to us and what he wished for others will some day come to pass for all the world.
As he said many times, in many parts of this nation, to those he touched and who sought to touch him:
“Some men see things as they are and say why.
In His Own Words
|To say that the future will be different from the present is, to scientists, hopelessly self-evident. I observe regretfully that in politics, however, it can be heresy. It can be denounced as radicalism or branded as subversion. There are people in every time and every land who want to stop history in its tracks. They fear the future, mistrust the present, and invoke the security of a comfortable past which, in fact, never existed.||Make gentle the life of the world|
|Wise policy is setting priorities – differentiating between that which is merely important and that which is truly essential. And it would be both callous and self-indulgent for those of us who sit comfortably at home to form policy without full knowledge and consciousness of the costs to others, young men and women and children, whose lives turn on the abstractions of our discussion.||Make gentle the life of the world|
|“The weaknesses of your plan lie, so it seems to me, in the sphere of psychology, or rather in your neglect of it. It is no accident that capitalism has brought with it progress not merely in production but also in knowledge. Egoism and competition are, alas, stronger forces than public spirit and sense of duty. In Russia, they say, it is impossible to get a decant piece of bread. Perhaps I am over-pessimistic concerning State and other forms of communal enterprise, but I expect little good from them. Bureaucracy is the death of all sound work. I have seen and experienced too many dreadful warnings, even in comparatively model Switzerland.”||The world as I see it|
|“I am inclined to the view that the state can only be of real use to industry as a limiting and regulative force. It must see to it that competition among the workers is kept within healthy limits, that all children are given a change to develop soundly, and that wages are high enough for the goods produced to be consumed. But it can exert a decisive influence through it regulative function if – – and there again you are right – – its measures are framed in an objective spirit by independent experts.”||The world as I see it|
|“Politics is the pursuit of the possible, not the ideal” – Herbert||Make gentle the life of the world|