Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Perspectives on Ideas. March 27, 2007.

189 I admire the assurance and confidence everyone has in himself, whereas there is hardly anything that I am sure I know or that I dare give my word that I can do. Montaigne, Selected Essays.

279 ...[Kennedy] had called on Americans to renounce the proposition that ‘we should enter every military conflict as a moral crusade requiring the unconditional surrender of the enemy.’ Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

69 Arthur Koestler: Conflict thus always reveals a paradox in the human condition…each of the conflicting characters or ideas must be right within its own terms of reference [and]…the audience should be compelled to accept both conflicting fields as valid…. Hull, ed. The Writer’s Book.

23 …we were reaching a danger point of the spirit, when…a trifle becomes the occasion for the explosion…. Sevareid, Not So Wild a Dream.

767 At every stage he [Kennedy] gave his adversary time for reflection, and reappraisal, taking care not to force him into ‘spasm’ reactions or to cut off his retreat. Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

132 Faulkner: ...the three men in Moby Dick, who represent the trinity of conscience: knowing nothing, knowing but not caring, knowing and caring. Cowley, ed., Writers at Work.

473 Johnson: Conscience is nothing more than a conviction felt by ourselves of something to be done, or something to be avoided…. Boswell, Life of Johnson, Vol. 1.

507 …how much of seemingly rational life was controlled by the unconscious. Irving Stone, The Passions of the Mind (Life of Freud).

462 But many quite irrelevant and inappropriate thoughts sometimes occur even to a prisoner when he is being led out to execution. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

652 At the most terrible moments of man’s life, for instance when he is being led to execution, he remembers just such trifles…will forget anything but some green roof that has flashed past him on the road, or a jackdaw on a cross—that he will remember. Dostoevsky, The Brothers Karamazov.

92 …justifies the conservative in believing that all permanent change is gradual. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Aristotle.

274 Lincoln: “I do not mean to say we are bound to follow implicitly in whatever our Fathers did…to do so would be to discard all the lights of current experience—to reject all progress--all improvement.” Sandburg, Abraham Lincoln: The Prairie Years.

77 He [the conservative] goes to the past for reassurance about the present: “I wanted the sense of continuity, the assurance that our contemporary blunders were endemic in human nature, that our new fads were very ancient heresies….” John Buchan, Pilgrim’s Way. 1940. Hoffer, The True Believer

173 The two parties which divide the state, the party of conservatism and that of innovation, are very old, and have disputed the possession of the world ever since it was made. Emerson. The Conservative.

183 ...as...there is no pure reformer, so it is to be considered that there is no pure conservative, no man who from the beginning to the end of his life maintains the defective institutions. Emerson, The Conservative.

185 He [the radical] legislates for man as he ought to be...but he makes no allowance for friction.... Emerson, The Conservative.

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