Tag Archives: Quote

Quote [71] : People – Self Interest vs Communism

  The communist think they have found the way to redeem mankind from evil.  Man is unequivocally good and well disposed to his neighbour, but his nature has been corrupted by the institution of private property.  Ownership of property gives the individual the power and so the temptation, to mistreat his neighbour; whoever is excluded from ownership is bound to be hostile to the oppressor and rebel against him.  When private property is abolished, when goods are held in common and enjoyed by all, ill will and enmity among human beings will cease.  Because all needs will be satisfied, no one will have any reason to see another person as his enemy; everyone will be glad to undertake whatever work is necessary.  I am not concerned with economic criticisms of the communist system; I have no way of knowing whether the abolition of private property is expedient and beneficial.*   But I can recognise the psychological presumption behind it as baseless illusion.  With the abolition of private property the human love of aggression is robbed of one of its tools, a strong one no doubt, but certainly not the strongest.  No change has been made in the disparities of power and influence that aggression exploits in pursuit of its end, or in nature.  Aggression was not created by property; it prevailed with almost no restriction in primitive times, when property was very scanty.

[* – Anyone who tasted the misery of poverty in his youth and experienced the indifference and arrogance of propertied people, should be safe from the suspicion that he has no sympathy with current efforts to combat inequalities of wealth and all that flows from them.  Of course, if this struggle seeks to appeal to the abstract demand, made in name of justice, for equality among all men, the objection is all too obvious: nature, by her highly unequal endowment of individuals with physical attributes and mental abilities, has introduced injustices that cannot be remedied.]

Communist Economics – Society Civilisation and its discontents – Sigmund Freud

 

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Quote [70] : Civilisation – Collective Achievement & Constraint

We acknowledge, then, that a country has a high level of civilisation if we find that in it everything can assist man in his exploitation of the land and protect him against the forces of nature – everything, in short that is of use to him – is attended to and properly ordered. Civilisation Civilisation and its discontents – Sigmund Freud
No feature, however, seems to us to characterise civilisation better than the appreciation and cultivation of the higher mental activities, of intellectual, scientific and artistic achievements, and the leading role accorded to idea in human life. Civilisation Civilisation and its discontents – Sigmund Freud
Communal life becomes possible only when a majority comes together that is stronger than any individual presents a untied front against every individual.  The power of the community then pits itself, in the name of ‘right’, against the power of the individual, which it condemned as ‘brute force’.  The replacement of the power of the individual by that of the community is the decisive step toward civilisation.

Its essence lies in the fact that the member of the community restrict themselves in the scope for satisfaction; whereas the individual knew no such restriction.

Civilisation Civilisation and its discontents – Sigmund Freud
Hence, the next requirement  of civilisation is justice, that us the assurance that the legal order, once established, shall not be violated again in favour of the individual.  This entails no judgement regarding the ethical value of such a system of law.  The subsequent development of civilisation seems to aim at a situation in which the law should no longer express the will of a small community – a caste, a social stratum or a tribe – that in its turn relates like a violent individual to other groups, which may be more comprehensive.  The ultimate outcome should be a system of law to which all – or at least all those who qualify as members of the community – have contributed by partly forgoing the satisfaction of their drives , and which allows no one – again subject to the same qualification 0 to become a victim of brute force. Judiciary (law) – Civilisation
Individual liberty is not an asset of civilisation.  It was greatest before there was any civilisation, though admittedly even then it was largely worthless, because the individual was hardly in a position to defend it.  With the development of civilisation it underwent restrictions, and justice requires than no one shall be spared these restrictions.
  It does not seem as though any influence can induce human beings to change their nature and become like termites; they will probably always defend their claim to individual freedom against the will of the mass.  Much of mankind’s struggle is taken up with the task of finding a suitable, that is to say happy accommodation, between the claims of the individual and the mass claims of civilisation.  One of the problems affecting the fate of mankind is whether such an accommodation can be achieved through particular moulding of civilisation or whether the conflict is irreconcilable. Civilisation Civilisation and its discontents – Sigmund Freud

Quote [69] – Advise From the Past .. To Governments Of The Day

  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. Politics – Government Make gentle the life of the world

Quote [68] – International Politics, Society .. Wars

At the outbreak of the First World War the ex-chancellor of Germany Prince von Bulow said to his successor, “How did it all happen?” “Ah, if only we knew,” was the reply. Make gentle the life of this world
In Africa, I tried to answer those who asked, “If the United States is fighting for self-determination in Vietnam, then how ca it not support the independence struggle of Angola and Mozambique?”   I answered unsatisfactory, for there is no real answer.  Yet to the questionnaires, it is less our intention than our pretension that Is objectionable.  Thus does false principle destroy the credibility of our wisdom and purpose that is the true foundation of influence as world power. Make gentle the life of the world
“But you and I know that this war will not have any real victors and that, once it is over, we shall have to go on living together forever on the same soil” – Albert Camus Make gentle the life of the world
“There is no such thing as inevitable war.  If war comes it will be from failure of human wisdom.”  – Bonar Law Make gentle the life of the world
It is better to suffer certain injustices than to commit them even to win wars, and that such deeds do us more harm than a hundred underground forces on the enemy’s side. – Albert Camus Make gentle the life of the world
Whatever the costs to us, let us think of the young men we have sent there: not just the killed, but those who have to kill; not just the maimed, but also those who must look upon the results of what they do. Make gentle the life of the world

 

Quote [67] – Commonality vs Diversity

We have treasured our educational system also as a firm pillar of the liberal community. This faith, however, is not unanimously shared. One critic has said: “Education (is) by its very nature an individual matter…not geared to mass production. It does not produce people who instinctively go the same way…(yet) our millions learn the same lessons and spend the same thing at exactly the same time. For one reason and another we are more and more ignoring differences, if not trying to obliterate them. We seem headed toward a standardization of the mind, what Goethe called ‘the deadly commonplace that fetters us all.’” This speaker was not part of a Berkeley rally; it was Edith Hamilton, one of our greatest classicists. Make gentle the life of this world

Quote [66] – International Community and Common Qualities

Each nation has different obstacles and different goals, shaped by the vagaries of history and of experience. Yet as I talk to young people around the world I am impressed not by the diversity but by the closeness of their goals, their desires and their concerns and their hope for the future. There is discrimination in New York, the racial inequality of apartheid in South Africa, and serfdom in the mountains of Peru. People starve in the streets of India, a former Prime Minister is summarily executed in the Congo, intellectuals go to jail in Russia, and thousands are slaughtered in Indonesia; wealth is lavished on armaments everywhere in the world. These are differing evils; but they are the common works of man. They reflect the imperfections of human justice, the inadequacy of human compassion, the defectiveness of our sensibility toward the sufferings of our fellows; they mark the limit of our ability to use knowledge for the well-being of our fellow human beings throughout the world. And therefore they call upon common qualities of conscience and indignation, a shared determination to wipe away the unnecessary sufferings of our fellow human beings at home and around the world.

It is these qualities which make of youth today the only true international community.

Our answer is the world’s hope; it is to rely on youth.  The cruelties and obstacles of this swiftly changing planet will not yield to obsolete dogmas and outworn slogans.  It cannot be  moved by those who cling to a present which is already dying, who prefer the illusion of security to the excitement and danger which comes with even the most peaceful progress.

Make gentle the life of this world

Quote [65] – Past Hopes For Future Of Collectivism Over Division

We learn, at the last, to look at out brothers as aliens, men with whom we share a city, but not a community; men bound to us in common dwelling, but not in common effort.  We learn to share only a common fear, only a common desire to retreat from each other, only a common impulse to meet disagreement with force.  We must admit the vanity of our false distinctions among men and learn to find our own advancement in the search for the advancement of others.  We must admit in ourselves that our own children’s future cannot be built on the misfortunes of others.  We must recognise that this short life can neither be ennobled or enriched by hatred or revenge.  Our lives on this plant are too short and the work to be done too great to let this spirit flourish any longer in our land.

Of course we cannot vanquish it with a program, nor with a solution.

But we can perhaps remember, if only for a time, that those who live with us as brothers, that they share with us the same short moment of life; that they seek, as do we, nothing but the chance to live out their lives in purpose and in happiness, winning what satisfaction and fulfillment they can.

Make gentle the life of this world

Quote [64] – Society, Dignity & Social Security

We must turn the power and resources of our private enterprise system to the underdeveloped nation within our midst.  This should be done by bringing into the ghettos themselves productive and profitable private industry – creating dignified jobs, not welfare handouts, for the men and youth who now languish in idleness. Make gentle the life of this world
The jobs have fled to the suburbs, or have been replaced by machines, or have moved beyond the reach of those with limited education and skills …

The fact is, if  we want to change these conditions – those of us here in this room, those of us who are in the establishment, whether it be business, or labour, or government – we must act.  The fact is that we can act.  And the fact is also that we are not acting.

Make gentle the life of this world
Our society – all our values, our views of each other, and our own self-esteem; the contribution we can make to ourselves, our families, and the community around us – all these things are built on the work we do.  But too many of the inhabitants of these areas are without the purpose, the satisfaction, or the dignity that we find in our work. Make gentle the life of this world
And there are others: on the back roads of Mississippi, where thousands of children slowly starve their lives away, their minds damaged beyond repair by the age of four or five; in the camps of the migrant workers, a half million nomads virtually unprotected by collective bargaining or social security, minimum wage or workmen’s compensation, exposed to the caprice of fate and the cruelty of their fellow man alike; and on Indian reservations where the unemployment rate is 80 percent, and where suicide is not a philosopher’s question but the leading cause of death among young people. Make gentle the life of this world
And the effects of the shortage of meaningful employment are reinforced by a welfare structure which is frequently destructive both of individuals and of the community in which they live.

More basically, welfare itself had done much to divide our people, to alienate us one from the other.  Partly this separation comes from the understandable resentment of the taxpayer, helplessly watching your welfare rolls and your property tax rise.  But there is greater resentment among the poor, the recipient s of our charity.  Some of it  comes from the brutality of the welfare system itself: from the prying bureaucrat, an all powerful administrator deciding at his desk who is deserving

Make gentle the life of this world

 

Quote [63] – Equality Of All Our People

We must recognise the full human equality of all our people – before God, before the law, and in the councils of government.  We must do this, not because it is economically advantageous, although it is; not because of the laws of God command it; although they do; not because people in other land wish it so.  We must do it for the single and fundamental reason that it is the right thing to do. Make gentle the life of this world

Quote [62] – Your Freedom and International Freedom

Freedom is not money, that I could enlarge mine by taking yours.  Our liberty can grow only when the liberties of all our fellow men are secure; and he who would enslave others ends only by chaining himself, for chains have two ends, and he who holds the chain is as securely bound as he whom it holds.  And as President Kennedy said at the Berlin Wall in 1963 ‘Freedom is indivisible, and when one man is enslaved, all are not free. Make gentle the life of this world