Since Dec 10, 1998
Posterity: you will never know how much it has cost my generation to preserve your freedom. I hope you will make good use of it.
--John Quincy Adams
Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
-- Nazi Reich Marshal Hermann Göring (during the Nuremberg Trials)
The pattern is as old as human life. The new rulers use more and more force, more police, more soldiers, trying to enforce more efficient control, trying to make the planned economy work by piling regulations on regulations, decree on decree. The people are hungry and hungrier. And how does a man on this earth get butter? Doesnt the government give butter? But government does not produce food from the earth; Government is guns. It is one common distinction of all civilized peoples, that they give their guns to the Government. Men in Government monopolize the necessary use of force; they are not using their energies productively; they are not milking cows. To get butter, they must use guns; they have nothing else to use.
--Rose Wilder Lane
Each of you, for himself, by himself and on his own responsibility, must speak. And it is a solemn and weighty responsibility, and not lightly to be flung aside at the bullying of pulpit, press, government, or the empty catchphrases of politicians. Each must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, and which course is patriotic and which isn't. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your convictions is to be an unqualified and inexcusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let man label you as they may. If you alone of all the nation shall decide one way, and that way be the right way according to your convictions of the right, you have done your duty by yourself and by your country- hold up your head! You have nothing to be ashamed of.
The basic test of freedom is perhaps less in what we are free to do than in what we are free not to do.
-- Eric Hoffer
And now a musical interlude:
in a sluggish economy
hits the land of the free
standing in unemployment lines
blame the government for hard times
we just get by
however we can
we all gotta duck
when the shit hits the fan
10 kids in a cadillac
stand in lines for welfare checks
let's all leach off the state
gee!the money's really great!
free loaves of bread
5lb blocks of cheese
bags of groceries
has run out on you and me
we do whatever we can
gotta duck when the shit hits the fan
the circle jerks, when the shit hits the fan
"There will be no loyalty, except loyalty toward the Party. There will be no love, except the love of Big Brother. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of triumph over a defeated enemy. There will be no art, no literature, no science. When we are omnipotent we shall have no more need of science. There will be no distinction between beauty and ugliness. There will be no curiosity. No employment of the process of life. All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always--do not forget this, Winston--always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face--forever."
-- Big Brother's agent O'Brien, in George Orwell's novel 1984
If the government has its boot on my neck, it does not matter if it is the left boot or the right boot.
The trouble with fighting for human freedom is that one spends most of one's time defending scoundrels. For it is against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first aimed, and oppression must be stopped at the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.
- HL Mencken