Decades Party Quotes

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I'll drink your champagne. I'll drink every drop of it, I don't care if it kills me.
F. Scott Fitzgerald (Gatsby Girls)
How often since then has she wondered what might have happened if she'd tried to remain with him; if she’d returned Richard's kiss on the corner of Bleeker and McDougal, gone off somewhere (where?) with him, never bought the packet of incense or the alpaca coat with rose-shaped buttons. Couldn’t they have discovered something larger and stranger than what they've got. It is impossible not to imagine that other future, that rejected future, as taking place in Italy or France, among big sunny rooms and gardens; as being full of infidelities and great battles; as a vast and enduring romance laid over friendship so searing and profound it would accompany them to the grave and possibly even beyond. She could, she thinks, have entered another world. She could have had a life as potent and dangerous as literature itself. Or then again maybe not, Clarissa tells herself. That's who I was. This is who I am--a decent woman with a good apartment, with a stable and affectionate marriage, giving a party. Venture too far for love, she tells herself, and you renounce citizenship in the country you've made for yourself. You end up just sailing from port to port. Still, there is this sense of missed opportunity. Maybe there is nothing, ever, that can equal the recollection of having been young together. Maybe it's as simple as that. Richard was the person Clarissa loved at her most optimistic moment. Richard had stood beside her at the pond's edge at dusk, wearing cut-off jeans and rubber sandals. Richard had called her Mrs. Dalloway, and they had kissed. His mouth had opened to hers; (exciting and utterly familiar, she'd never forget it) had worked its way shyly inside until she met its own. They'd kissed and walked around the pond together. It had seemed like the beginning of happiness, and Clarissa is still sometimes shocked, more than thirty years later to realize that it was happiness; that the entire experience lay in a kiss and a walk. The anticipation of dinner and a book. The dinner is by now forgotten; Lessing has been long overshadowed by other writers. What lives undimmed in Clarissa's mind more than three decades later is a kiss at dusk on a patch of dead grass, and a walk around a pond as mosquitoes droned in the darkening air. There is still that singular perfection, and it's perfect in part because it seemed, at the time, so clearly to promise more. Now she knows: That was the moment, right then. There has been no other.
Michael Cunningham (The Hours)
[T]he enduring problem for liberals, as for everyone else, is not whether history will judge them wise or foolish regarding the war on terrorism; it is, rather, the way that the past decade has splintered them away from other Americans. This fracture comes with a steep price: in today's toxic atmosphere, liberals are no less cynical, shortsighted, and parochial than anyone else, and they understand their fellow-Americans just as badly as they themselves are understood. When liberals look at red-state voters, they see either a mob of pious know-nothings or the insensible victims of militarism and class warfare. Yet.... [such people] defy fixed categories, which means that they have to be figured out the hard way--on their own terms.
George Packer
With modern technology it is the easiest of tasks for a media, guided by a narrow group of political manipulators, to speak constantly of democracy and freedom while urging regime changes everywhere on earth but at home. A curious condition of a republic based roughly on the original Roman model is that it cannot allow true political parties to share in government. What then is a true political party: one that is based firmly in the interest of a class be it workers or fox hunters. Officially we have two parties which are in fact wings of a common party of property with two right wings. Corporate wealth finances each. Since the property party controls every aspect of media they have had decades to create a false reality for a citizenry largely uneducated by public schools that teach conformity with an occasional advanced degree in consumerism.
Gore Vidal
You didn’t tell him how, one by one over the decades, you’d lost all your good girlfriends to marriage and motherhood, your friendships reduced to children’s birthday parties and the rare Girls’ Night Out.
Deesha Philyaw (The Secret Lives of Church Ladies)
It was fun. Sort of. The reason it was only sort of fun was that my life had collapsed. Unlike the people at the party, with their homes full of spouses and children, I was as alone and unmoored as I’d been twenty years ago, in these same suburbs, hanging out with the same boys. In the intervening decades, I’d thought I was going somewhere. But I had just been driving around.
Ariel Levy (The Rules Do Not Apply)
Relationships never provide you with everything. They provide you with some things. You take all the things you want from a person - sexual chemistry, let's say, or good conversation, or financial support, or intellectual compatibility, or niceness, or loyalty - and you get to pick three of those things. Three - that's it. Maybe four, if you're very lucky. The rest you have to look for elsewhere. It's only in the movies that you find someone who gives you all of those things. But this isn't the movies. In the real world, you have to identify which three qualities you want to spend the rest of your life with, and then you look for those qualities in another person. That's real life. Don't you see it's a trap? If you keep trying to find everything, you'll wind up with nothing.' ...At the time, he hadn't believed these words, because at the time, everything really did seem possible: he was twenty-three, and everyone was young and attractive and smart and glamorous. Everyone thought they would be friends for decades, forever. But for most people, of course, that hadn't happened. As you got older, you realized that the qualities you valued in the people you slept with or dated weren't necessarily the ones you wanted to live with, or be with, or plod through your days with. If you were smart, and if you were lucky, you learned this and accepted this. You figured out what was most important to you and you looked for it, and you learned to be realistic. They all chose differently: Roman had chosen beauty, sweetness, pliability; Malcolm, he thought, had chosen reliability, and competence...and aesthetic compatibility. And he? He had chosen friendship. Conversation. Kindness, Intelligence. When he was in his thirties, he had looked at certain people's relationships and asked the question that had (and continued to) fuel countless dinner-party conversations: What's going on there? Now, though, as an almost-forty-eight-year-old, he saw people's relationships as reflections of their keenest yet most inarticulable desires, their hopes and insecurities taking shape physically, in the form of another person. Now he looked at couples - in restaurants, on the street, at parties - and wondered: Why are you together? What did you identify as essential to you? What's missing in you that you want someone else to provide? He now viewed a successful relationship as one in which both people had recognized the best of what the other person had of offer and had chosen to value it as well.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
It is no coincidence that as the Supreme Court has been removing the last constraints on the legalized corruption of politicians, the American standard of living has been falling at the fastest rate in decades.
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
Over the last four decades, the Republican Party has transformed from a loyal opposition into an insurrectionary party that flouts the law when it is in the majority and threatens disorder when it is the minority.
Mike Lofgren (The Party Is Over: How Republicans Went Crazy, Democrats Became Useless, and the Middle Class Got Shafted)
He hadn’t come to see her. He’d arrived by mistake and wanted to get far away without further ado. Once upon a time, they’d shared a rare, special love. She remembered it and regretted losing it, even if he didn’t.
Sara Daniel (One Night With the Groom (One Night with the Bridal Party, #3))
My view of writing "Coldest Girl in Coldtown" was to take every single thing that I loved from every vampire book I had ever read and dump it into one book--everything I like--trying to evoke some of the decadence… Vampires are a high-class monster: They want to dress up. They want to drink a lot of absinthe, or force their victims to drink a lot of absinthe. They have big parties and have elegant rituals. I think that's a thing we associate with vampires--they are the royalty of our monsters. We expect them to be rich, we expect them to be well-dressed. I wanted to have some of that be true because I like it, and have some of it not be true because it's kind of weird. I wanted to put in the idea of infection, which I was really interested in and which was a big feature of the vampire books I read growing up. And, the fear and desire for infection--the way in which our urge towards loving vampires is nihilistic. Our fear of them is our survival instincts kicking in.
Holly Black
In eighteenth-century England, a fad swept the upper class. Several families felt their estate needed a hermit, and advertisements were placed in newspapers for “ornamental hermits” who were slack in grooming and willing to sleep in a cave. The job paid well, and hundreds of hermits were hired, typically on seven-year contracts, with one meal a day included. Some would emerge at dinner parties and greet guests. The English aristocracy of this period believed hermits radiated kindness and thoughtfulness, and for a couple of decades it was deemed worthy to keep one around.
Michael Finkel (The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit)
Until relatively recently, and with a very few exceptions, cannibalism would have been regarded as anything but normal. As a result, until the last two decades of the 20th century, few scientists spent time studying a topic thought to have little, if any, biological significance. Basically, the party line was that cannibalism, when it did occur, was either the result of starvation to the stresses related to captive conditions. It was as simple as that. Or so we thought.
Bill Schutt (Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History)
The site of the whale fall turns into a decades-long version of “Be Our Guest” from Beauty and the Beast, a debauched, celebratory party where creatures devour the whale “course by course, one by one.” The whale is the epitome of a postmortem benefactor, part of an arrangement as beautiful as it is sensible—an animal dying and donating its body so that others may thrive. “Try the grey stuff, it’s delicious,” the carcass seems to say. The whale, in short, is a valuable necrocitizen.
Caitlin Doughty (From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death)
His mind filled with visions of a decadent kleptocracy in rapid decline, abetted by both political parties. America's masses, fed on processed poison bought with a food stamp swipe card. Low-skill workers, structurally unable to ever contribute again and too dumb to know their old jobs weren't coming back. The banks in Gotham leaching the last drops of wealth out of the country. Corporations unrestrained by any notion of national interest. The system of property law in shambles. The world drowning in debt.
George Packer (The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America)
Did you know about the Democratic president who is the founder of modern progressivism—and also responsible for the revival of the Ku Klux Klan? What about the most popular Democratic president of the twentieth century—who blocked anti-lynching laws and for more than a decade cut deals with racists to exclude blacks from government programs? Then there is the president who is the hero of the Civil Rights laws—the same fellow that called blacks “niggers” and said he wanted to keep them confined to the Democratic plantation.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
That decades had to pass before a mistake with obvious negative consequences began to be corrected is one sign of the problems of decisions by third parties who pay no price for being wrong.
Thomas Sowell (Economic Facts and Fallacies)
Like most people, I acquired my initial sense of the era from books and photographs that left me with the impression that the world of then had no color, only gradients of gray and black. My two main protagonists, however, encountered the fl esh-and-blood reality, while also managing the routine obligations of daily life. Every morning they moved through a city hung with immense banners of red, white, and black; they sat at the same outdoor cafés as did the lean, black-suited members of Hitler’s SS, and now and then they caught sight of Hitler himself, a smallish man in a large, open Mer-cedes. But they also walked each day past homes with balconies lush with red geraniums; they shopped in the city’s vast department stores, held tea parties, and breathed deep the spring fragrances of the Tier-garten, Berlin’s main park. They knew Goebbels and Göring as social acquaintances with whom they dined, danced, and joked—until, as their fi rst year reached its end, an event occurred that proved to be one of the most signifi cant in revealing the true character of Hitler and that laid the keystone for the decade to come. For both father and daughter it changed everything.
Erik Larson (In the Garden of Beasts: Love, Terror, and an American Family in Hitler's Berlin)
After years—decades, almost—of these parties, the two of them had worked out their own sign language, a pantomime whose every gesture meant the same thing—save me—albeit with varying levels of intensity.
Hanya Yanagihara (A Little Life)
Most people who wonder why our politics are so corrupt can’t draw the line from racist theories of limited democracy to today’s system, but the small group of white men who are funding the effort to turn back the clock on political equality can lay claim to a long ideological pedigree: from the original property requirement to people like John C. Calhoun, who advocated states’ rights and limited government in defense of slavery, to the Supreme Court justices who decided Shelby County and Citizens United. Over the past few decades, a series of money-in-politics lawsuits, including Citizens United, have overturned anticorruption protections, making it possible for a wealthy individual to give more than $3.5 million to a party and its candidates in an election cycle, for corporations and unions to spend unlimited sums to get candidates elected or defeated, and for secret money to sway elections. The result is a racially skewed system of influence and electoral gatekeeping that invalidates the voices of most Americans.
Heather McGhee (The Sum of Us: What Racism Costs Everyone and How We Can Prosper Together)
Her nomination for vice president in 2008 represents the most desperate inclinations of the Republican Party. In two hundred years, I suspect historians will use Palin as an example of how insane America became in the decade following the destruction of the World Trade Center, and her origin story will seem as extraterrestrial and eccentric as Abe Lincoln jumping out of a window to undermine a voting quorum in 1840.
Chuck Klosterman (I Wear the Black Hat: Grappling with Villains (Real and Imagined))
The internet, although beloved by all including Al Qaeda, went straight from barbarism to decadence without ever encountering a civilisation. It was never utopian, although it was free. Its lawyers are patent trolls. Its political parties are flash mobs in the streets. Its wealthy are nouveau-rich cranks. Its poor are a tidal wave of Third World young people. The Twenty-Teens are quite an interesting cultural period.
Bruce Sterling (The Epic Struggle of the Internet of Things)
[Free trade agreements] are trade agreements that don't stick to trade…they colonize environmental labor, and consumer issues of grave concern (in terms of health safety, and livelihoods too) to many, many hundreds of millions of people - and they do that by subordinating consumer, environmental, and labor issues to the imperatives and the supremacy of international commerce. That is exactly the reverse of how democratic societies have progressed, because over the decades they've progressed by subordinating the profiteering priorities of companies to, say, higher environmental health standards; abolition of child labor; the right of workers to have fair worker standards…and it's this subordination of these three major categories that affect people's lives, labor, environment, the consumer, to the supremacy and domination of trade; where instead of trade getting on its knees and showing that it doesn't harm consumers - it doesn't deprive the important pharmaceuticals because of drug company monopolies, it doesn't damage the air and water and soil and food (environmentally), and it doesn't lacerate the rights of workers - no, it's just the opposite: it's workers and consumers and environments that have to kneel before this giant pedestal of commercial trade and prove that they are not, in a whole variety of ways, impeding international commerce…so this is the road to dictatorial devolution of democratic societies: because these trade agreements have the force of law, they've got enforcement teeth, and they bypass national courts, national regulatory agencies, in ways that really reflect a massive, silent, mega-corporate coup d'etat…that was pulled off in the mid-1990's.
Ralph Nader
For most of us insist that somewhere in the past there was a golden age. But people who are forever dreaming of a mythical past are merely saying that they are afraid of the future. The past which men create for themselves is a place where thought is unnecessary and happiness is inevitable. The American temperament leans generally to a kind of mystical anarchism. In 1976 the Republicans were not yet the party of unhinged mystical anarchism they became over the next four decades. Rather, after the unhappiness, unfriendliness, cynicism, paranoia, and finally the high crimes of Richard Nixon, Americans were eager to install Mr. Rogers
Kurt Andersen (Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America)
For decades, conservatives attacked liberals for living by “situational ethics,” but the ease with which Republican leaders abandoned any pretense of being more than a whites-only party is the ultimate situational ethic.
Stuart Stevens (It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump)
opposing party was an offshoot of the Libertarians. They were called the Eliminationist Party, and their platform was predicated on the belief that corporate society had evolved beyond the need for government at all. For decades the Eliminationists remained a fringe party because of their shortsighted insistence on scrapping all government everywhere. Because corporate society was inherently conservative, and the party’s platform too radical, the Eliminationist movement never got off the ground.
Dani Kollin (The Unincorporated Man)
Americans unhappy with the reflexively polarized politics of the first decades of the twenty-first century will find the presidency of George H. W. Bush refreshing, even quaint. He embraced compromise as a necessary element of public life, engaged his political foes in the passage of important legislation, and was willing to break with the base of his own party in order to do what he thought was right, whatever the price. Quaint, yes: But it happened, in America, only a quarter of a century ago.
Jon Meacham (Destiny and Power: The American Odyssey of George Herbert Walker Bush)
He says, "It's just a hat." But it's not just a hat. It makes Jess think of racism and hatred and systemic inequality, and the Ku Klux Klan, and plantation-wedding Pinterest boards, and lynchings, and George Zimmerman, and the Central Park Five, and redlining, and gerrymandering and the Southern strategy, and decades of propaganda and Fox News and conservative radio, and rabid evangelicals, and rape and pillage and plunder and plutocracy and money in politics and the dumbing down of civil discourse and domestic terrorism and white nationalists and school shootings and the growing fear of a nonwhite, non-English-speaking majority and the slow death of the social safety net and conspiracy theory culture and the white working class and social atomism and reality television and fake news and the prison-industrial complex and celebrity culture and the girl in fourth grade who told Jess that since she--Jess--was "naturally unclean" she couldn't come over for birthday cake, and executive compensation, and mediocre white men, and the guy in college who sent around an article about how people who listen to Radiohead are smarter than people who listen to Missy Elliott and when Jess said "That's racist" he said "No,it's not," and of bigotry and small pox blankets and gross guys grabbing your butt on the subway, and slave auctions and Confederate monuments and Jim Crow and fire hoses and separate but equal and racist jokes that aren't funny and internet trolls and incels and golf courses that ban women and voter suppression and police brutality and crony capitalism and corporate corruption and innocent children, so many innocent children, and the Tea Party and Sarah Palin and birthers and flat-earthers and states' rights and disgusting porn and the prosperity gospel and the drunk football fans who made monkey sounds at Jess outside Memorial Stadium, even though it was her thirteenth birthday, and Josh--now it makes her think of Josh.
Cecilia Rabess (Everything's Fine)
The job of the Federal Reserve is “to know when to remove the punch bowl at the party.” Under Alan Greenspan’s leadership its motto became “let’s all get drunk and see what happens.” It is now the morning after and the world will be dealing with Greenspan’s hangover for the next several decades.
Said Elias Dawlabani (MEMEnomics: The Next Generation Economic System)
There's no evidence from decades of Pew Research surveys that public opinion, in the aggregate, is more extreme now than in the past. But what has changed -- and pretty dramatically -- is the growing tendency of people to sort themselves into political parties based on their ideological differences.
Pew Research Center (The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown)
Political identities aren't about tax cuts. They are about tribes... This is the result of the incredible rise in political polarization in recent decades. It used to be that both the Republican and Democratic parties included both liberals and conservatives. Since parties contained ideological multitudes, it was hard for them to be the basis of strong, personal identities. A liberal Democrat in New Jersey didn't have a lot in common with a conservative Democrat in Alabama. But now that's changed. The parties are sharply sorted by ideology. What were once fractious coalitions have become unified tribes.
Ezra Klein
But when they had to form a particular judgment on the men of their own party, they recognized their defects, and decided that individually no one of them was deserving of what, collectively, they seemed entitled to; and being ashamed of them, turned to bestow their honours on those who deserved them. Of
Niccolò Machiavelli (Greatest Works of Niccolò Machiavelli: The Prince, The Art of War, Discourses on the First Decade of Titus Livius & History of Florence)
When some bigoted white people heard the message of Donald Trump and others in the GOP that their concerns mattered, that the fear generated by their own biases had a target in Mexican and Muslim immigrants, many embraced the GOP to their own detriment. We talk at length about the 53 percent of white women who supported the Republican candidate for president, but we tend to skim past the reality that many white voters had been overtly or passively supporting the same problematic candidates and policies for decades. Researchers point to anger and disappointment among some whites as a result of crises like rising death rates from suicide, drugs, and alcohol; the decline in available jobs for those who lack a college degree; and the ongoing myth that white people are unfairly treated by policies designed to level the playing field for other groups—policies like affirmative action. Other studies have pointed to the appeal of authoritarianism, or plain old racism and sexism. Political scientist Diana Mutz said in an interview in Pacific Standard magazine that some voters who switched parties to vote for Trump were motivated by the possibility of a fall in social status: “In short, they feared that they were in the process of losing their previously privileged positions.
Mikki Kendall (Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women White Feminists Forgot)
Let’s say our Republican overlords can convince us that these were just personal quirks of a “black swan” leader who kept us from the horror of…a former secretary of state, U.S. senator, and First Lady becoming president. To avoid the nightmare of having a president who had actually spent decades preparing for the job, it was necessary to nominate a reality-TV figure who talked openly of his desire to have sex with his own daughter and lectured Republican members of Congress on Article XII of the Constitution, which exists only in his mind. This positions Donald Trump as the Necessary Monster history demanded to save the Republican Party.
Stuart Stevens (It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump)
Republican President Dwight D. Eisenhower created the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, an achievement that much of the Republican Party has been trying to undo over the past several decades. Richard Nixon signed into law four landmark federal bills: the Clean Air Act, the National Environmental Policy Act, the Environmental Pesticide Control Act, and the Endangered Species Act. He established the Environmental Protection Agency, and made many strong environmental appointments in his administration. As we saw in Section 2.2, it was when the Reagan administration came to power in 1980 that environmental concern began to become a partisan issue.
Dale Jamieson (Reason in a Dark Time: Why the Struggle Against Climate Change Failed -- and What It Means for Our Future)
Outgoing President Bush, who had served briefly as CIA director during the Ford administration, had been the agency’s most attentive White House patron in decades. He invited senior clandestine service officers to Christmas parties and to weekends at Camp David. He drew agency analysts and operators into key decision-making meetings.
Steve Coll (Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan & Bin Laden from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001)
Trina and her consultants will be here by four to start setting up.” “Joy and—what? Who? Trina? Why? What have you done?” “You said no silly games, and no strippers,” Peabody reminded her. “We’re doing the full-out girl party. Champagne, decadent food, body, hair, face treatments. Chick-vids, presents, gooey desserts. Big girl slumber party, followed by champagne brunch tomorrow.” “You mean . . .” The shock was sharp and cruel, a stunner blast against the heart. “Overnight? All night into tomorrow?” “Yeah.” Peabody grinned around her carrot. “Didn’t I mention that?” “I have to kill you now.” “Uh-uh. No games, no strippers. Those were your only rules.” “I’ll find a way to hurt you for this.
J.D. Robb (Promises in Death (In Death, #28))
As Michelle Alexander observes in The New Jim Crow, there are more black people under carceral control today than there were slaves in 1850. By 2000 the median white family owned ten times the assets of the median black family. Today, a decade and a half later, the median white family owns almost twenty times the assets of the median black family.
Joshua Bloom (Black against Empire: The History and Politics of the Black Panther Party (The George Gund Foundation Imprint in African American Studies))
As of the second decade in the twenty-first century, nearly all acts of terror around the world (as opposed to acts of terror confined to one country, as in the case of the Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka) have been committed by Muslims in the name of Islam. Of course the vast majority of Muslims are not terrorists. But this frequently noted fact is meaningless. The vast majority of Germans were not members of the Gestapo, nor were the vast majority of Russians members of the Communist Party, let alone the KGB. Not only is international terror overwhelmingly Muslim, but there are virtually no terrorists committing terror in the name of Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, or any other religion.
Dennis Prager (Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph)
faction warfare erupted in Victoria. They do politics differently there. Wars are fought in the name of peace. Explosives are packed under the foundations of the Labor Party in the name of stability. They call the wreckage left after these brawls rejuvenation. The wonder is that Victoria delivers any Labor talent to Canberra and remains, decade after decade, a stronghold of the party.
David Marr (Quarterly Essay 59 Faction Man: Bill Shorten's Path to Power)
I can remember when believing in conspiracies wasn’t cool. Now, in the second decade of the twenty-first century, more people are starting to sense that things may not be as they appear to be. The truth in Lord Acton’s classic axiom that “Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely” becomes more self-evident every day. Politicians from the only two parties we have to choose from break promises, are unresponsive to the will of the people, and opt for war, austerity measures, and state control over and over again. Gary Allen, author of the book None Dare Call It Conspiracy, defined things perfectly when he wrote, “It must be remembered that the first job of any conspiracy, whether it be in politics, crime or within a business office, is to convince everyone else that no conspiracy exists.
Donald Jeffries (Hidden History: An Exposé of Modern Crimes, Conspiracies, and Cover-Ups in American Politics)
Supreme Court Justice Hugo Black, another powerful Democratic leader, was known as a defender of civil rights during his three decades on the Supreme Court. But what many do not know is that Justice Black was a prominent and secretive member of the KKK. He supposedly resigned membership in 1925, but it was later discovered that he was subsequently welcomed back into the Klan and given a lifetime membership.
Horace Cooper (How Trump Is Making Black America Great Again: The Untold Story of Black Advancement in the Era of Trump)
Voters would long remember the obscene spectacle of Grover Cleveland and his lack of charity in a time of need. No Democrat would be elected president for the next sixteen years; Republicans would hold majorities in Congress for a solid three decades. Not until 1932 would a member of the Democratic party emerge with a different conception of the federal government and what it might do for the American people.
Caroline Fraser (Prairie Fires: The American Dreams of Laura Ingalls Wilder)
Ceauşescu and his cronies dominated 20 million Romanians for four decades because they ensured three vital conditions. First, they placed loyal communist apparatchiks in control of all networks of cooperation, such as the army, trade unions and even sports associations. Second, they prevented the creation of any rival organisations – whether political, economic or social – which might serve as a basis for anti-communist cooperation. Third, they relied on the support of sister communist parties in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe. Despite occasional tensions, these parties helped each other in times of need, or at least guaranteed that no outsider poked his nose into the socialist paradise. Under such conditions, despite all the hardship and suffering inflicted on them by the ruling elite, the 20 million Romanians were unable to organise any effective opposition.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
The president’s office, through the Justice Department, had committed the original sin of secretly issuing directives that authorized mass surveillance in the wake of 9/11. Executive overreach has only continued in the decades since, with administrations of both parties seeking to act unilaterally and establish policy directives that circumvent law—policy directives that cannot be challenged, since their classification keeps them from being publicly known.
Edward Snowden (Permanent Record)
The battle lines were now drawn: On one side, the elites of both parties, who had governed America for decades and supported big government and a globalist interventionist Foreign policy; On the other side were the populists—the ordinary Citizens who rarely got excited about politics, but were now mobilized in rebellion against a governing class they believed was arrogant, unresponsive, and unsuccessful. It was a revolt by the governed against the governing.
KT McFarland (Revolution: Trump, Washington and “We the People”)
The blitzkrieg, in short, had been perfected for a sleek, hard-muscled, superbly trained, and passionately motivated army, such as the German General Staff had fashioned during the decades between the wars. It was quite unsuited for a ponderous, top-heavy army of ill-trained soldiers led by timid officers, overseen by inexperienced party ideologues, and sent forth to conquer a country whose terrain consists of practically nothing but natural obstacles to military operations.
William R. Trotter (A Frozen Hell: The Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939-1940)
Catarina hooked her hand around Magnus’s elbow and hauled him away, like a schoolteacher with a misbehaving student. They entered a narrow alcove around the corner, where the music and noise of the party was muffled. She rounded on him. “I recently treated Tessa for wounds she said were inflicted on her by members of a demon-worshipping cult,” Catarina said. “She told me you were, and I quote, ‘handling’ the cult. What’s going on? Explain.” Magnus made a face. “I may have had a hand in founding it.” “How much of a hand?” “Well, both.” Catarina bristled. “I specifically told you not to do that!” “You did?” Magnus said. A bubble of hope grew within him. “You remember what happened?” She gave him a look of distress. “You don’t?” “Someone took all my memories around the subject of this cult,” said Magnus. “I don’t know who, or why.” He sounded more desperate than he would’ve liked, more desperate than he wanted to be. His old friend’s face was full of sympathy. “I don’t know anything about it,” she said. “I met up with you and Ragnor for a brief vacation. You seemed troubled, but you were trying to laugh it off, the way you always do. You and Ragnor said you had a brilliant idea to start a joke cult. I told you not to do it. That’s it.” He, Catarina, and Ragnor had taken many trips together, over the centuries. One memorable trip had gotten Magnus banished from Peru. He had always enjoyed those adventures more than any others. Being with his friends almost felt like having a home. He did not know if there would ever be another trip. Ragnor was dead, and Magnus might have done something terrible. “Why didn’t you stop me?” he asked. “You usually stop me!” “I had to take an orphan child across an ocean to save his life.” “Right,” said Magnus. “That’s a good reason.” Catarina shook her head. “I took my eyes off you for one second.” She had worked in mundane hospitals in New York for decades. She saved orphans. She healed the sick. She’d always been the voice of reason in the trio that was Ragnor, Catarina, and Magnus. “So I planned with Ragnor to start a joke cult, and I guess I did it. Now the joke cult is a real cult, and they have a new leader. It sounds like they’re mixed up with a Greater Demon.” Even to Catarina, he wouldn’t say the name of his father. “Sounds like the joke has gotten a little out of hand,” Catarina said dryly. “Sounds like I’m the punch line.
Cassandra Clare (The Red Scrolls of Magic (The Eldest Curses, #1))
The lesson of the last decades is that neither massive grass-roots protests (as we have seen in Spain and Greece) nor well-organized political movements (parties with elaborated political visions) are enough - we also need a narrow, striking force of dedicated 'engineers' (hackers, whistle-blowers...) organized as a disciplined conspiratorial group. Its task will be to 'take over' the digital grid, to rip it out of the hands of the corporations and state agencies that now de facto control it.
Slavoj Žižek (Like A Thief In Broad Daylight: Power in the Era of Post-Human Capitalism)
HillaryCare. He called it, with characteristic bluntness, The Project on Death in America.22 Its rationale was compassionate: to embed hospices and "palliative" care in U.S. health policy. But its basic objective was more pragmatic: rationing care to terminal and seriously ill patients for whom medical attention offered little payoff and who were thus a burden on the system. It was the direct forerunner of the "death panels" of ObamaCare that drew fire from the political right in the next decade.
John Perazzo (From Shadow Party to Shadow Government: George Soros and the Effort to Radically Change America)
Ceauşescu and his cronies dominated 20 million Romanians for four decades because they ensured three vital conditions. First, they placed loyal communist apparatchiks in control of all networks of cooperation, such as the army, trade unions and even sports associations. Second, they prevented the creation of any rival organisations – whether political, economic or social – which might serve as a basis for anti-communist cooperation. Third, they relied on the support of sister communist parties in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
Mrs. Alingsby was tall and weird and intense, dressed rather like a bird-of-paradise that had been out in a high gale, but very well connected. She had long straight hair which fell over her forehead, and sometimes got in her eyes, and she wore on her head a scarlet jockey-cap with an immense cameo in front of it. She hated all art that was earlier than 1923, and a considerable lot of what was later. In music, on the other hand, she was primitive, and thought Bach decadent: in literature her taste was for stories without a story, and poems without metre or meaning. But she had collected round her a group of interesting outlaws, of whom the men looked like women, and the women like nothing at all, and though nobody ever knew what they were talking about, they themselves were talked about. Lucia had been to a party of hers, where they all sat in a room with black walls, and listened to early Italian music on a spinet while a charcoal brazier on a blue hearth was fed with incense… Lucia’s general opinion of her was that she might be useful up to a point, for she certainly excited interest.
E.F. Benson (Complete Mapp and Lucia (The Mapp & Lucia Novels, #1-6))
Americans had become lazy and irresponsible, focused on the pursuit of sex, money, and pleasures, unwilling to sacrifice and prepare for the obvious threats all around them. What fools to think "Guns, Germs and Steel" would no longer shape human history. For decades they partied at the Coliseum, enjoying the games and government handouts, the illusion of a protected empire. Sedated with unconstitutional entitlements. Freed from responsibility by a pandering political system, a corrupt culture, and professional soldiers who kept the wolves at bay.
Drew Miller (Rohan Nation: Reinventing America after the 2020 Collapse)
He further explained, “We started a project to see if we could get better at suggesting groups that will be meaningful to you. We started building artificial intelligence to do this. And it works. In the first six months, we helped 50% more people join meaningful communities.” His ultimate goal is “to help 1 billion people join meaningful communities….If we can do this, it will not only turn around the whole decline in community membership we’ve seen for decades, it will start to strengthen our social fabric and bring the world closer together.” This is such an important goal that Zuckerberg vowed “to change Facebook’s whole mission to take this on.”3 Zuckerberg is certainly correct in lamenting the breakdown of human communities. Yet several months after Zuckerberg made this vow, and just as this book was going to print, the Cambridge Analytica scandal revealed that data entrusted to Facebook was harvested by third parties and used to manipulate elections around the world. This made a mockery of Zuckerberg’s lofty promises, and shattered public trust in Facebook. One can only hope that before undertaking the building of new human communities, Facebook first commits itself to protecting the privacy and security of existing communities.
Yuval Noah Harari (21 Lessons for the 21st Century)
Our way would seem quite familiar to the Romans, more by far than the Greek way. Socrates in the Symposium, when Alcibiades challenged him to drink two quarts of wine, could have done so or not as he chose, but the diners-out of Horace's day had no such freedom. He speaks often of the master of the drinking, who was always appointed to dictate how much each man was to drink. Very many unseemly dinner parties must have paved the way for that regulation. A Roman in his cups would've been hard to handle, surly, quarrelsome, dangerous. No doubt there had been banquets without number which had ended in fights, broken furniture, injuries, deaths. Pass a law then, the invariable Roman remedy, to keep drunkenness within bounds. Of course it worked both ways: everybody was obliged to empty the same number of glasses and the temperate man had to drink a great deal more than he wanted, but whenever laws are brought in to regulate the majority who have not abused their liberty for the sake of the minority who have, just such results come to pass. Indeed, any attempt to establish a uniform average in that stubbornly individual phenomenon, human nature, will have only one result that can be foretold with certainty: it will press hardest on the best.
Edith Hamilton (The Roman Way)
If the bottom of your pool is above sea level, connecting it to the ocean won’t work; water would just flow downhill to the sea. But what if you could bring the sea up to you? Well, you’re in luck; it’s happening whether you want it to or not. Thanks to the trapped heat caused by greenhouse gases, the seas have been rising for many decades now. Sea-level-rise is caused by a combination of melting ice and thermal expansion of the water. If you want to fill your pool, you could try accelerating sea-level rise. Sure, it would worsen the immeasurable ecological and human toll of climate change, but on the other hand, you could have a sweet pool party.
Randall Munroe (How To: Absurd Scientific Advice for Common Real-World Problems)
My family, all these people, the black community…they were both perpetrators and victims. They believed and spread the narrative that Jim Crow segregation was a Republican thing, and that rich white men were the lone and total group Republicans actually cared about. I, along with everyone else I knew, had been robbed of the right to find out what we truly believed. I had been denied that opportunity by my own family, neighbors, friends, teachers, and even pastors. What’s more, we had been encouraged to act in a particular way because of these lies, offering Democrats our votes and support. The Democrats had effectively influenced the black community for decades using this narrative. And they still are.
Gianno Caldwell (Taken for Granted: How Conservatism Can Win Back the Americans That Liberalism Failed)
Against this backdrop, the celebration that erupted among many—including me—when the Cold War reached its end has dissipated. In 2017, The Economist’s Democracy Index showed a decline in democratic health in seventy countries, using such criteria as respect for due process, religious liberty, and the space given to civil society. Among the nations scoring less well was the United States, which for the first time was rated a “flawed democracy,” not a “full” one. The analysts didn’t blame Donald Trump for this fall from grace but rather attributed his election to Americans’ loss of confidence in their institutions. “Popular trust in government, elected representatives, and political parties has fallen to extremely low levels,” the report concluded, adding, “This has been a long-term trend.” The number of Americans who say that they have faith in their government “just about always” or “most of the time” dropped from above 70 percent in the early 1960s to below 20 percent in 2016. Yes, there continue to be gains. In Africa, forty heads of state have relinquished power voluntarily in the past quarter century, compared with a mere handful in the three decades prior to that. However, progress there and in a select number of other countries has failed to obscure a more general leveling-off. Today, about half the nations on earth can be considered democracies—flawed or otherwise—while the remaining 50 percent tend toward authoritarianism.
Madeleine K. Albright (Fascism: A Warning)
Each has Republicans losing the Electoral College from 2024 to 2036.2 These trends have been evident for over two decades, and as someone who has sat in the room for five presidential campaigns and tried to figure out how to get a Republican candidate over the 270 mark, the math has been increasingly oppressive. The obvious choice for the party was to expand its appeal beyond white voters. That diagnosis was as obvious as telling a patient with lung cancer to quit smoking. But at the same time, Republicans were taking steps to change the electoral math by making it harder for nonwhites to vote. In this, they were continuing a long tradition of efforts by powerful white politicians to remain in power by suppressing votes.
Stuart Stevens (It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump)
When, then, the Social Democrat worker found himself in the economic crisis which degraded him to the status of a coolie, the development of his revolutionary sentiments was severely retarded by the conservative structuralization that had been taking shape in him for decades. Either he remained in the camp of the Social Democrats, notwithstanding his criticism and rejection of their policies, or he went over to the NSDAP [Nazi party] in search of a better replacement. Irresolute and indecisive, owing to the deep contradiction between revolutionary and conservative sentiments, disappointed by his own leadership, he followed the line of least resistance. Whether he would give up his conservative tendencies and arrive at a complete consciousness of his actual responsibility in the production process, i.e., at a revolutionary consciousness, depended solely on the correct or incorrect leadership of the revolutionary party. Thus the communist assertion that it was the Social Democrat policies that put fascism in the saddle was correct from a psychological viewpoint. Disappointment in Social Democracy, accompanied by the contradiction between wretchedness and conservative thinking, must lead to fascism if there are no revolutionary organizations. For example, following the fiasco of the Labor party's policies in England, in 1930–31, fascism began to infiltrate the workers who, then, in the election of 1931, cut away to the Right, instead of going over to communism.
Wilhelm Reich (The Mass Psychology of Fascism)
In the elaborate con that is American electoral politics, the Republican voter has long been the easiest mark in the game, the biggest dope in the room. Everyone inside the Beltway knows this. The Republican voters themselves are the only ones who never saw it. Elections are about a lot of things, but at the highest level, they’re about money. The people who sponsor election campaigns, who pay the hundreds of millions of dollars to fund the candidates’ charter jets and TV ads and 25-piece marching bands, those people have concrete needs. They want tax breaks, federal contracts, regulatory relief, cheap financing, free security for shipping lanes, antitrust waivers and dozens of other things. They mostly don’t care about abortion or gay marriage or school vouchers or any of the social issues the rest of us spend our time arguing about. It’s about money for them, and as far as that goes, the CEO class has had a brilliantly winning electoral strategy for a generation. They donate heavily to both parties, essentially hiring two different sets of politicians to market their needs to the population. The Republicans give them everything that they want, while the Democrats only give them mostly everything. They get everything from the Republicans because you don’t have to make a single concession to a Republican voter. All you have to do to secure a Republican vote is show lots of pictures of gay people kissing or black kids with their pants pulled down or Mexican babies at an emergency room. Then you push forward some dingbat like Michele Bachmann or Sarah Palin to reassure everyone that the Republican Party knows who the real Americans are. Call it the “Rove 1-2.” That’s literally all it’s taken to secure decades of Republican votes, a few patriotic words and a little over-the-pants rubbing. Policywise, a typical Republican voter never even asks a politician to go to second base. While we always got free trade agreements and wars and bailouts and mass deregulation of industry and lots of other stuff the donors definitely wanted, we didn’t get Roe v. Wade overturned or prayer in schools or balanced budgets or censorship of movies and video games or any of a dozen other things Republican voters said they wanted.
Matt Taibbi (Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus)
While the party of Obama has little in common with that of JFK, for a better comparison, try exploring the Communist Party USA’s website (, and you’ll be stunned at the resemblance between it and today’s Democratic Party. You might also take a moment to thoughtfully reflect on the Democrats’ candidates who in recent decades were either elected, or nearly elected, as president: Bill Clinton, a serial sexual predator; Al Gore, by many accounts a raving lunatic; John Kerry, who betrayed his fellow Vietnam vets and his country;10 Barack Obama, a deceitful, America-hating, Far-Left radical; and Hillary Clinton, accurately described by Pulitzer-winning New York Times columnist and Presidential Medal of Freedom recipient William Safire as “a congenital liar.”11 Whatever
David Kupelian (The Snapping of the American Mind: Healing a Nation Broken by a Lawless Government and Godless Culture)
He was a lawyer, journalist, chemical engineer, and president of the Nationalist Party. He was the first Puerto Rican to graduate from Harvard College and Harvard Law School and spoke six languages. He had served as a first lieutenant in World War I and led a company of two hundred men. He had served as president of the Cosmopolitan Club at Harvard and helped Éamon de Valera draft the constitution of the Free State of Ireland.5 One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . He would spend twenty-five years in prison—many of them in this dungeon, in the belly of La Princesa. He walked back and forth for decades, with wet towels wrapped around his head. The guards all laughed, declared him insane, and called him El Rey de las Toallas. The King of the Towels. His name was Pedro Albizu Campos.
Nelson A. Denis (War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America's Colony)
Today Hindu revivalists, pious Muslims, Japanese nationalists and Chinese communists may declare their adherence to very different values and goals, but they have all come to believe that economic growth is the key to realising their disparate goals. Thus in 2014 the devout Hindu Narendra Modi was elected prime minister of India thanks largely to his success in boosting economic growth in his home state of Gujarat, and to the widely held view that only he could reinvigorate the sluggish national economy. Analogous views have kept the Islamist Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in power in Turkey since 2003. The name of his party – the Justice and Development Party – highlights its commitment to economic development, and the Erdoğan government has indeed managed to maintain impressive growth rates for more than a decade.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: ‘An intoxicating brew of science, philosophy and futurism’ Mail on Sunday)
Raymond sent me an electronic mail message at work the next week—it was very odd, seeing his name in my in-box. As I’d expected, he was semiliterate. Hi E, hope all good with u. Got a wee favor to ask. Sammy’s son Keith has invited me to his 40th this Saturday (ended up staying late at that party BTW, it was a rite laugh). Fancy being my plus one? It’s at the golf club, there’s a buffet? No worries if not—let me no. R A buffet. In a golf club. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. And two parties in a month! More parties than I had been to in two decades. I hit reply: Dear Raymond, I should be delighted to accompany you to the birthday celebration. Kind regards, Eleanor Oliphant (Ms.) Moments later, I received a response: Twenty-first-century communication. I fear for our nation’s standards of literacy.
Gail Honeyman (Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine)
The thing many people don’t realize about corporate lawyers is that they are nothing like what you see on TV shows. Sherry, Aldridge, and I will never step foot in a courtroom. We’ll never argue a case. We do deals; we’re not litigators. We prepare documents and review every piece of paperwork for a merger or an acquisition. Or to take a company public. On Suits, Harvey does both paperwork and crushes it in court. In reality, the lawyers at our firm who argue cases don’t have a clue what we do in these conference rooms. Most of them haven’t prepared a document in a decade. People think our form of corporate law is the less ambitious of the two, and while in many ways it’s less glamorous—no closing arguments, no media interviews—nothing compares to the power of the paper. At the end of the day, law comes down to what is written, and we do the writing. I love the order of deal making, the clarity of language—how there is little room for interpretation and none for error. I love the black-and-white terms. I love that in the final stages of closing a deal—particularly those of the magnitude Wachtell takes on—seemingly insurmountable obstacles arise. Apocalyptic scenarios, disagreements, and details that threaten to topple it all. It seems impossible we’ll ever get both parties on the same page, but somehow we do. Somehow, contracts get agreed upon and signed. Somehow, deals get done. And when it finally happens, it’s exhilarating. Better than any day in court. It’s written. Binding. Anyone can bend a judge’s or jury’s will with bravado, but to do it on paper—in black and white—that takes a particular kind of artistry. It’s truth in poetry. I
Rebecca Serle (In Five Years)
John Isidore said, “I found a spider.” The three androids glanced up, momentarily moving their attention from the TV screen to him. “Let’s see it,” Pris said. She held out her hand. Roy Baty said, “Don’t talk while Buster is on.” “I’ve never seen a spider,” Pris said. She cupped the medicine bottle in her palms, surveying the creature within. “All those legs. Why’s it need so many legs, J. R.?” “That’s the way spiders are,” Isidore said, his heart pounding; he had difficulty breathing. “Eight legs.” Rising to her feet, Pris said, “You know what I think, J. R.? I think it doesn’t need all those legs.” “Eight?” Irmgard Baty said. “Why couldn’t it get by on four? Cut four off and see.” Impulsively opening her purse, she produced a pair of clean, sharp cuticle scissors, which she passed to Pris. A weird terror struck at J. R. Isidore. Carrying the medicine bottle into the kitchen, Pris seated herself at J. R. Isidore’s breakfast table. She removed the lid from the bottle and dumped the spider out. “It probably won’t be able to run as fast,” she said, “but there’s nothing for it to catch around here anyhow. It’ll die anyway.” She reached for the scissors. “Please,” Isidore said. Pris glanced up inquiringly. “Is it worth something?” “Don’t mutilate it,” he said wheezingly. Imploringly. With the scissors, Pris snipped off one of the spider’s legs. In the living room Buster Friendly on the TV screen said, “Take a look at this enlargement of a section of background. This is the sky you usually see. Wait, I’ll have Earl Parameter, head of my research staff, explain their virtually world-shaking discovery to you.” Pris clipped off another leg, restraining the spider with the edge of her hand. She was smiling. “Blowups of the video pictures,” a new voice from the TV said, “when subjected to rigorous laboratory scrutiny, reveal that the gray backdrop of sky and daytime moon against which Mercer moves is not only not Terran—it is artificial.” “You’re missing it!” Irmgard called anxiously to Pris; she rushed to the kitchen door, saw what Pris had begun doing. “Oh, do that afterward,” she said coaxingly. “This is so important, what they’re saying; it proves that everything we believed—” “Be quiet,” Roy Baty said. “—is true,” Irmgard finished. The TV set continued, “The ‘moon’ is painted; in the enlargements, one of which you see now on your screen, brush strokes show. And there is even some evidence that the scraggly weeds and dismal, sterile soil—perhaps even the stones hurled at Mercer by unseen alleged parties—are equally faked. It is quite possible in fact that the ‘stones’ are made of soft plastic, causing no authentic wounds.” “In other words,” Buster Friendly broke in, “Wilbur Mercer is not suffering at all.” The research chief said, “We at last managed, Mr. Friendly, to track down a former Hollywood special-effects man, a Mr. Wade Cortot, who flatly states, from his years of experience, that the figure of ‘Mercer’ could well be merely some bit player marching across a sound stage. Cortot has gone so far as to declare that he recognizes the stage as one used by a now out-of-business minor moviemaker with whom Cortot had various dealings several decades ago.” “So according to Cortot,” Buster Friendly said, “there can be virtually no doubt.” Pris had now cut three legs from the spider, which crept about miserably on the kitchen table, seeking a way out, a path to freedom. It found none.
Philip K. Dick (Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)
Today Hindu revivalists, pious Muslims, Japanese nationalists and Chinese communists may declare their adherence to very different values and goals, but they have all come to believe that economic growth is the key to realising their disparate goals. Thus in 2014 the devout Hindu Narendra Modi was elected prime minister of India thanks largely to his success in boosting economic growth in his home state of Gujarat, and to the widely held view that only he could reinvigorate the sluggish national economy. Analogous views have kept the Islamist Recep Tayyip Erdoğan in power in Turkey since 2003. The name of his party – the Justice and Development Party – highlights its commitment to economic development, and the Erdoğan government has indeed managed to maintain impressive growth rates for more than a decade. Japan’s prime minister, the nationalist Shinzō Abe, came to office in 2012 pledging to jolt the Japanese economy out of two decades of stagnation. His aggressive and somewhat unusual measures to achieve this have been nicknamed Abenomics. Meanwhile in neighbouring China the Communist Party still pays lip service to traditional Marxist–Leninist ideals, but in practice is guided by Deng Xiaoping’s famous maxims that ‘development is the only hard truth’ and that ‘it doesn’t matter if a cat is black or white, so long as it catches mice’. Which means, in plain language: do whatever it takes to promote economic growth, even if Marx and Lenin wouldn’t have been happy with it. In Singapore, as befits that no-nonsense city-state, they pursue this line of thinking even further, and peg ministerial salaries to the national GDP. When the Singaporean economy grows, government ministers get a raise, as if that is what their jobs are all about.2
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
Both fascism and communism were responses to globalization: to the real and perceived inequalities it created, and the apparent helplessness of the democracies in addressing them. Fascists rejected reason in the name of will, denying objective truth in favor of a glorious myth articulated by leaders who claimed to give voice to the people. They put a face on globalization, arguing that its complex challenges were the result of a conspiracy against the nation. Fascists ruled for a decade or two, leaving behind an intact intellectual legacy that grows more relevant by the day. Communists ruled for longer, for nearly seven decades in the Soviet Union, and more than four decades in much of eastern Europe. They proposed rule by a disciplined party elite with a monopoly on reason that would guide society toward a certain future according to supposedly fixed laws of history. We
Timothy Snyder (On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century)
In the Middle Ages, marriage was considered a sacrament ordained by God, and God also authorised the father to marry his children according to his wishes and interests. An extramarital affair was accordingly a brazen rebellion against both divine and parental authority. It was a mortal sin, no matter what the lovers felt and thought about it. Today people marry for love, and it is their inner feelings that give value to this bond. Hence, if the very same feelings that once drove you into the arms of one man now drive you into the arms of another, what’s wrong with that? If an extramarital affair provides an outlet for emotional and sexual desires that are not satisfied by your spouse of twenty years, and if your new lover is kind, passionate and sensitive to your needs – why not enjoy it? But wait a minute, you might say. We cannot ignore the feelings of the other concerned parties. The woman and her lover might feel wonderful in each other’s arms, but if their respective spouses find out, everybody will probably feel awful for quite some time. And if it leads to divorce, their children might carry the emotional scars for decades. Even if the affair is never discovered, hiding it involves a lot of tension, and may lead to growing feelings of alienation and resentment. The most interesting discussions in humanist ethics concern situations like extramarital affairs, when human feelings collide. What happens when the same action causes one person to feel good, and another to feel bad? How do we weigh the feelings against each other? Do the good feelings of the two lovers outweigh the bad feelings of their spouses and children? It doesn’t matter what you think about this particular question. It is far more important to understand the kind of arguments both sides deploy. Modern people have differing ideas about extramarital affairs, but no matter what their position is, they tend to justify it in the name of human feelings rather than in the name of holy scriptures and divine commandments. Humanism has taught us that something can be bad only if it causes somebody to feel bad. Murder is wrong not because some god once said, ‘Thou shalt not kill.’ Rather, murder is wrong because it causes terrible suffering to the victim, to his family members, and to his friends and acquaintances. Theft is wrong not because some ancient text says, ‘Thou shalt not steal.’ Rather, theft is wrong because when you lose your property, you feel bad about it. And if an action does not cause anyone to feel bad, there can be nothing wrong about it. If the same ancient text says that God commanded us not to make any images of either humans or animals (Exodus 20:4), but I enjoy sculpting such figures, and I don’t harm anyone in the process – then what could possibly be wrong with it? The same logic dominates current debates on homosexuality. If two adult men enjoy having sex with one another, and they don’t harm anyone while doing so, why should it be wrong, and why should we outlaw it? It is a private matter between these two men, and they are free to decide about it according to their inner feelings. In the Middle Ages, if two men confessed to a priest that they were in love with one another, and that they never felt so happy, their good feelings would not have changed the priest’s damning judgement – indeed, their happiness would only have worsened the situation. Today, in contrast, if two men love one another, they are told: ‘If it feels good – do it! Don’t let any priest mess with your mind. Just follow your heart. You know best what’s good for you.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
In 1963, Robert Novak had written that many Republican leaders were intent on converting the Party of Lincoln into the White Man’s Party. The following year, Goldwater went down in crushing defeat, winning only 36 percent of the white vote. Even so, less than a decade later, the racial transmogrification of the Republicans was well underway. In 1972, Nixon’s first full dog whistle campaign netted him 67 percent of the white vote, leaving his opponent, George McGovern, with support from less than one in three whites. Defeated by the Southern strategy, McGovern neatly summed it up: “What is the Southern Strategy? It is this. It says to the South: Let the poor stay poor, let your economy trail the nation, forget about decent homes and medical care for all your people, choose officials who will oppose every effort to benefit the many at the expense of the few—and in return, we will try to overlook the
Ian F. Haney-López (Dog Whistle Politics: How Coded Racial Appeals Have Reinvented Racism and Wrecked the Middle Class)
Kayne?” “Mmmm hmmm, Ellie?” He leans a little closer. “Are you going to Mark’s party tonight?” I ask, a little lightheaded from his scent and his proximity. A smile plays on his lips. “I was invited.” “And are you going?” “Will you be there?” he counters. “It depends.” “On what?” “If I’ll be spending the evening alone or not.” I stare straight up at him, trying not to waver. “Are you asking me out, Ellie?” Am I? “Maybe.” I bite my lip. “Then maybe I’ll be there.” Did he just accept? With that, Kayne picks up his phone from the table and drops it into his pocket. I just watch him like a dumbstruck fool. “Until tonight,” he says, then steps away from me and starts for the door. “Oh, and Ellie.” He stops short right next to me so we are shoulder to shoulder. “The next time you want to get my attention. Bend over. Your tits are nice, but I’m more of an ass man.” He then leaves. With me nailed to the floor.
M. Never (Owned (Decadence after Dark, #1))
Lincoln labored mightily in the political trenches of the Whig and Republican parties for nearly three decades on behalf of this economic agenda, but with only minor success. The Constitution stood in the way of the Whig economic agenda as one American president after another vetoed internal improvement and national bank bills. Beginning with Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe, Southern statesmen were always in the forefront of the opposition to this economic agenda. According to Lincoln scholar Mark Neely, Jr., Lincoln seethed in frustration for many years over how the Constitution stood in the way of his political ambitions. Lincoln thought of himself as the heir to the Hamiltonian political tradition, which sought a much more centralized governmental system, one that would plan economic development with corporate subsidies financed by protectionist tariffs and the printing of money by the central government. This
Thomas J. DiLorenzo (The Real Lincoln: A New Look at Abraham Lincoln, His Agenda, and an Unnecessary War)
The Restoration did not so much restore as replace. In restoring the monarchy with King Charles II, it replaced Cromwell's Commonwealth and its Puritan ethos with an almost powerless monarch whose tastes had been formed in France. It replaced the power of the monarchy with the power of a parliamentary system - which was to develop into the two parties, Whigs and Tories - with most of the executive power in the hands of the Prime Minister. Both parties benefited from a system which encouraged social stability rather than opposition. Above all, in systems of thought, the Restoration replaced the probing, exploring, risk-taking intellectual values of the Renaissance. It relied on reason and on facts rather than on speculation. So, in the decades between 1660 and 1700, the basis was set for the growth of a new kind of society. This society was Protestant (apart from the brief reign of the Catholic King James II, 1685-88), middle class, and unthreatened by any repetition of the huge and traumatic upheavals of the first part of the seventeenth century. It is symptomatic that the overthrow of James II in 1688 was called The 'Glorious' or 'Bloodless' Revolution. The 'fever in the blood' which the Renaissance had allowed was now to be contained, subject to reason, and kept under control. With only the brief outburst of Jacobin revolutionary sentiment at the time of the Romantic poets, this was to be the political context in the United Kingdom for two centuries or more. In this context, the concentration of society was on commerce, on respectability, and on institutions. The 'genius of the nation' led to the founding of the Royal Society in 1662 - 'for the improving of Natural Knowledge'. The Royal Society represents the trend towards the institutionalisation of scientific investigation and research in this period. The other highly significant institution, one which was to have considerably more importance in the future, was the Bank of England, founded in 1694.
Ronald Carter (The Routledge History of Literature in English: Britain and Ireland)
The communists didn’t release their grip until the late 1980s. Effective organisation kept them in power for eight long decades, and they eventually fell due to defective organisation. On 21 December 1989 Nicolae Ceaus¸escu, the communist dictator of Romania, organised a mass demonstration of support in the centre of Bucharest. Over the previous months the Soviet Union had withdrawn its support from the eastern European communist regimes, the Berlin Wall had fallen, and revolutions had swept Poland, East Germany, Hungary, Bulgaria and Czechoslovakia. Ceaus¸escu, who had ruled Romania since 1965, believed he could withstand the tsunami, even though riots against his rule had erupted in the Romanian city of Timis¸oara on 17 December. As one of his counter-measures, Ceaus¸escu arranged a massive rally in Bucharest to prove to Romanians and the rest of the world that the majority of the populace still loved him – or at least feared him. The creaking party apparatus mobilised 80,000 people to fill the city’s central square, and citizens throughout Romania were instructed to stop all their activities and tune in on their radios and televisions. To the cheering of the seemingly enthusiastic crowd, Ceauşescu mounted the balcony overlooking the square, as he had done scores of times in previous decades. Flanked by his wife, Elena, leading party officials and a bevy of bodyguards, Ceaus¸escu began delivering one of his trademark dreary speeches. For eight minutes he praised the glories of Romanian socialism, looking very pleased with himself as the crowd clapped mechanically. And then something went wrong. You can see it for yourself on YouTube. Just search for ‘Ceauşescu’s last speech’, and watch history in action.20 The YouTube clip shows Ceaus¸escu starting another long sentence, saying, ‘I want to thank the initiators and organisers of this great event in Bucharest, considering it as a—’, and then he falls silent, his eyes open wide, and he freezes in disbelief. He never finished the sentence. You can see in that split second how an entire world collapses. Somebody in the audience booed. People
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: A History of Tomorrow)
This was perhaps most or particularly true for Nelson Aldrich Rockefeller, New York’s governor since 1959, when he decided to get tougher on crime. Rockefeller had been a lifelong Republican, but he had routinely found himself in the liberal wing of his own party. Historically, this had benefited him mightily. He was, for example, one of the few of his party to survive the Lyndon Johnson landslide of 1964. But Rockefeller had ambitions beyond New York. A savvy politician, he increasingly realized that the liberal reputation that had earned him such a following in New York was fast becoming a liability—especially if he hoped to win his party’s nomination for the presidency. Throughout the 1960s he had watched Richard Nixon slowly but surely steal his political thunder across the nation. And so, by the close of the decade, Rockefeller had begun to craft a more conservative and more traditionally Republican image for himself. In 1970, Rockefeller made no bones about the fact that he too would be “tough on crime.” This had suddenly become the platform that could get a man elected.
Heather Ann Thompson (Blood in the Water: The Attica Prison Uprising of 1971 and Its Legacy)
decades. Why are revolutions so rare? Why do the masses sometimes clap and cheer for centuries on end, doing everything the man on the balcony commands them, even though they could in theory charge forward at any moment and tear him to pieces? Ceaus¸escu and his cronies dominated 20 million Romanians for four decades because they ensured three vital conditions. First, they placed loyal communist apparatchiks in control of all networks of cooperation, such as the army, trade unions and even sports associations. Second, they prevented the creation of any rival organisations – whether political, economic or social – which might serve as a basis for anti-communist cooperation. Third, they relied on the support of sister communist parties in the Soviet Union and eastern Europe. Despite occasional tensions, these parties helped each other in times of need, or at least guaranteed that no outsider poked his nose into the socialist paradise. Under such conditions, despite all the hardship and suffering inflicted on them by the ruling elite, the 20 million Romanians were unable to organise any effective opposition.
Yuval Noah Harari (Homo Deus: ‘An intoxicating brew of science, philosophy and futurism’ Mail on Sunday)
Because culture is a matter of ethical habit, it changes very slowly—much more slowly than ideas. When the Berlin Wall was dismantled and communism crumbled in 1989-1990, the governing ideology in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union changed overnight from Marxism-Leninism to markets and democracy. Similarly, in some Latin American countries, statist or nationalist economic ideologies like import substitution were wiped away in less than a decade by the accession to power of a new president or finance minister. What cannot change nearly as quickly is culture. The experience of many former communist societies is that communism created many habits—excessive dependence on the state, leading to an absence of entrepreneurial energy, an inability to compromise, and a disinclination to cooperate voluntarily in groups like companies or political parties—that have greatly slowed the consolidation of either democracy or a market economy. People in these societies may have given their intellectual assent to the replacement of communism with democracy and capitalism by voting for “democratic” reformers, but they do not have the social habits necessary to make either work.
Francis Fukuyama (Trust: The Social Virtues and the Creation of Prosperity)
In the United States, both of the dominant parties have shifted toward free-market capitalism. Even though analysis of roll call votes show that since the 1970s, Republicans have drifted farther to the right than Democrats have moved to the left, the latter were instrumental in implementing financial deregulation in the 1990s and focused increasingly on cultural issues such as gender, race, and sexual identity rather than traditional social welfare policies. Political polarization in Congress, which had bottomed out in the 1940s, has been rapidly growing since the 1980s. Between 1913 and 2008, the development of top income shares closely tracked the degree of polarization but with a lag of about a decade: changes in the latter preceded changes in the former but generally moved in the same direction—first down, then up. The same has been true of wages and education levels in the financial sector relative to all other sectors of the American economy, an index that likewise tracks partisan polarization with a time lag. Thus elite incomes in general and those in the finance sector in particular have been highly sensitive to the degree of legislative cohesion and have benefited from worsening gridlock.
Walter Scheidel (The Great Leveler: Violence and the History of Inequality from the Stone Age to the Twenty-First Century (The Princeton Economic History of the Western World Book 74))
Separated from everyone, in the fifteenth dungeon, was a small man with fiery brown eyes and wet towels wrapped around his head. For several days his legs had been black, and his gums were bleeding. Fifty-nine years old and exhausted beyond measure, he paced silently up and down, always the same five steps, back and forth. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . an interminable shuffle between the wall and door of his cell. He had no work, no books, nothing to write on. And so he walked. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . His dungeon was next door to La Fortaleza, the governor’s mansion in Old San Juan, less than two hundred feet away. The governor had been his friend and had even voted for him for the Puerto Rican legislature in 1932. This didn’t help much now. The governor had ordered his arrest. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . Life had turned him into a pendulum; it had all been mathematically worked out. This shuttle back and forth in his cell comprised his entire universe. He had no other choice. His transformation into a living corpse suited his captors perfectly. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . Fourteen hours of walking: to master this art of endless movement, he’d learned to keep his head down, hands behind his back, stepping neither too fast nor too slow, every stride the same length. He’d also learned to chew tobacco and smear the nicotined saliva on his face and neck to keep the mosquitoes away. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . The heat was so stifling, he needed to take off his clothes, but he couldn’t. He wrapped even more towels around his head and looked up as the guard’s shadow hit the wall. He felt like an animal in a pit, watched by the hunter who had just ensnared him. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . Far away, he could hear the ocean breaking on the rocks of San Juan’s harbor and the screams of demented inmates as they cried and howled in the quarantine gallery. A tropical rain splashed the iron roof nearly every day. The dungeons dripped with a stifling humidity that saturated everything, and mosquitoes invaded during every rainfall. Green mold crept along the cracks of his cell, and scarab beetles marched single file, along the mold lines, and into his bathroom bucket. The murderer started screaming. The lunatic in dungeon seven had flung his own feces over the ceiling rail. It landed in dungeon five and frightened the Puerto Rico Upland gecko. The murderer, of course, was threatening to kill the lunatic. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . The man started walking again. It was his only world. The grass had grown thick over the grave of his youth. He was no longer a human being, no longer a man. Prison had entered him, and he had become the prison. He fought this feeling every day. One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . He was a lawyer, journalist, chemical engineer, and president of the Nationalist Party. He was the first Puerto Rican to graduate from Harvard College and Harvard Law School and spoke six languages. He had served as a first lieutenant in World War I and led a company of two hundred men. He had served as president of the Cosmopolitan Club at Harvard and helped Éamon de Valera draft the constitution of the Free State of Ireland.5 One, two, three, four, five, and turn . . . He would spend twenty-five years in prison—many of them in this dungeon, in the belly of La Princesa. He walked back and forth for decades, with wet towels wrapped around his head. The guards all laughed, declared him insane, and called him El Rey de las Toallas. The King of the Towels. His name was Pedro Albizu Campos.
Nelson A. Denis (War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America's Colony)
One of the most striking observations emerging from our research in Burundi is the way people constantly maintain some form of relations across great chasms of violence, class, abuse, and absence. People have civil relations with the murderers of their families; husbands and wives, even after many years, can reconnect and share all again; refugees and IDPs return home, solving their own land conflicts in the process. And all of this happens against a background of stunning poverty. Burundi specialists decry the level of land conflicts, involving as many as 9 percent of all households in the province of Makamba, a center of return of refugees and IDPs: in many areas, as much as 80 percent of the current population consists of people who have just returned during the last few years. But this still means that an amazing 91 percent of the population is not party to any land conflict, and this in a country where every square foot of land is a matter of life and death.5 Let’s not forget: throughout the country, this means Hutu and Tutsi are living side by side again, for they were intermingled everywhere. How, then, do people manage to such an extent to reintegrate, after a decade of war, dislocation, and poverty?
Peter Uvin (Life after Violence: A People's Story of Burundi (African Arguments))
Lynum had plenty of information to share. The FBI's files on Mario Savio, the brilliant philosophy student who was the spokesman for the Free Speech Movement, were especially detailed. Savio had a debilitating stutter when speaking to people in small groups, but when standing before a crowd and condemning his administration's latest injustice he spoke with divine fire. His words had inspired students to stage what was the largest campus protest in American history. Newspapers and magazines depicted him as the archetypal "angry young man," and it was true that he embodied a student movement fueled by anger at injustice, impatience for change, and a burning desire for personal freedom. Hoover ordered his agents to gather intelligence they could use to ruin his reputation or otherwise "neutralize" him, impatiently ordering them to expedite their efforts. Hoover's agents had also compiled a bulging dossier on the man Savio saw as his enemy: Clark Kerr. As campus dissent mounted, Hoover came to blame the university president more than anyone else for not putting an end to it. Kerr had led UC to new academic heights, and he had played a key role in establishing the system that guaranteed all Californians access to higher education, a model adopted nationally and internationally. But in Hoover's eyes, Kerr confused academic freedom with academic license, coddled Communist faculty members, and failed to crack down on "young punks" like Savio. Hoover directed his agents to undermine the esteemed educator in myriad ways. He wanted Kerr removed from his post as university president. As he bluntly put it in a memo to his top aides, Kerr was "no good." Reagan listened intently to Lynum's presentation, but he wanted more--much more. He asked for additional information on Kerr, for reports on liberal members of the Board of Regents who might oppose his policies, and for intelligence reports about any upcoming student protests. Just the week before, he had proposed charging tuition for the first time in the university's history, setting off a new wave of protests up and down the state. He told Lynum he feared subversives and liberals would attempt to misrepresent his efforts to establish fiscal responsibility, and that he hoped the FBI would share information about any upcoming demonstrations against him, whether on campus or at his press conferences. It was Reagan's fear, according to Lynum's subsequent report, "that some of his press conferences could be stacked with 'left wingers' who might make an attempt to embarrass him and the state government." Lynum said he understood his concerns, but following Hoover's instructions he made no promises. Then he and Harter wished the ailing governor a speedy recovery, departed the mansion, slipped into their dark four-door Ford, and drove back to the San Francisco field office, where Lynum sent an urgent report to the director. The bedside meeting was extraordinary, but so was the relationship between Reagan and Hoover. It had begun decades earlier, when the actor became an informer in the FBI's investigation of Hollywood Communists. When Reagan was elected president of the Screen Actors Guild, he secretly continued to help the FBI purge fellow actors from the union's rolls. Reagan's informing proved helpful to the House Un-American Activities Committee as well, since the bureau covertly passed along information that could help HUAC hold the hearings that wracked Hollywood and led to the blacklisting and ruin of many people in the film industry. Reagan took great satisfaction from his work with the FBI, which gave him a sense of security and mission during a period when his marriage to Jane Wyman was failing, his acting career faltering, and his faith in the Democratic Party of his father crumbling. In the following years, Reagan and FBI officials courted each other through a series of confidential contacts. (7-8)
Seth Rosenfeld (Subversives: The FBI's War on Student Radicals, and Reagan's Rise to Power)
opportunities inherent in the logic of the system. The American system of government has never separated money from political power, and in the two decades before Trump’s election, the role of money in American politics had grown manifold. Elections are decided by money: unlike in many other democracies, where electoral campaigns last from several weeks to a few months, are financed by government grants and/or subjected to strict spending limits—in the United States, it is contributions from the private sector that allow campaigns to exist in the first place. National and state party machines reinforce this system by apportioning access to public debates on the basis of the amount of money a candidate has secured. Access to media, which is to say, access to voters, also costs money: where in many democracies media are bound by obligations to provide airtime to candidates, in America the primary vehicle for addressing voters is through paid advertisements. No one in the political mainstream seemed to think anything was wrong with the marriage of money and politics. Former elected officials went to work as lobbyists. Using campaign contributions and lobbying to create (or kill) laws was normal. Power begat more money, and money begat more power. We could call the system that preceded and precipitated Trump’s rise an oligarchy, and we would be right.
Masha Gessen (Surviving Autocracy)
...The gulag—with its millions of victims, if you listen to Solzehnitsyn and Sakharov—supposedly existed in the Soviet Union right down to the very last days of communism. If so—as I've asked before—where did it disappear to? That is, when the communist states were overthrown, where were the millions of stricken victims pouring out of the internment camps with their tales of torment? I'm not saying they don't exist; I'm just asking, where are they? One of the last remaining camps, Perm-35—visited in 1989 and again in '90 by Western observers—held only a few dozen prisoners, some of whom were outright spies, as reported in the Washington Post. Others were refuseniks who tried to flee the country. The inmates complained about poor-quality food, the bitter cold, occasional mistreatment by guards. I should point out that these labor camps were that: they were work camps. They weren't death camps that you had under Nazism where there was a systematic extermination of the people in the camps. So there was a relatively high survival rate. The visitors also noted that throughout the 1980s, hundreds of political prisoners had been released from the various camps, but hundreds are not millions. Even with the great fall that took place after Stalin, under Khrushchev, when most of the camps were closed down...there was no sign of millions pouring back into Soviet life—the numbers released were in the thousands. Why—where are the victims? Why no uncovering of mass graves? No Nuremburg-style public trials of communist leaders, documenting the widespread atrocities against these millions—or hundreds of millions, if we want to believe our friend at the Claremont Institute. Surely the new...anti-communist rulers in eastern Europe and Russia would have leaped at the opportunity to put these people on trial. And the best that the West Germans could do was to charge East German leader Erich Honecker and seven of his border guards with shooting persons who tried to escape over the Berlin Wall. It's a serious enough crime, that is, but it's hardly a gulag. In 1955[sic], the former secretary of the Prague communist party was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. 'Ah, a gulag criminal!' No, it was for ordering police to use tear gas and water cannons against demonstrators in 1988. Is this the best example of bloodthirsty communist repression that the capitalist restorationists could find in Czechoslovakia? An action that doesn't even qualify as a crime in most Western nations—water cannons and tear gas! Are they kidding? No one should deny that crimes were committed, but perhaps most of the gulag millions existed less in reality and more in the buckets of anti-communist propaganda that were poured over our heads for decades.
Michael Parenti
Fourteen years of sharing political power in the Republic, of making all the compromises that were necessary to maintain coalition governments, had sapped the strength and the zeal of the Social Democrats until their party had become little more than an opportunist pressure organization, determined to bargain for concessions for the trade unions on which their strength largely rested. It might be true, as some Socialists said, that fortune had not smiled on them: the Communists, unscrupulous and undemocratic, had split the working class; the depression had further hurt the Social Democrats, weakening the trade unions and losing the party the support of millions of unemployed, who in their desperation turned either to the Communists or the Nazis. But the tragedy of the Social Democrats could not be explained fully by bad luck. They had had their chance to take over Germany in November 1918 and to found a state based on what they had always preached: social democracy. But they lacked the decisiveness to do so. Now at the dawn of the third decade they were a tired, defeatist party, dominated by old, well-meaning but mostly mediocre men. Loyal to the Republic they were to the last, but in the end too confused, too timid to take the great risks which alone could have preserved it, as they had shown by their failure to act when Papen turned out a squad of soldiers to destroy constitutional government in Prussia.
William L. Shirer (The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich: A History of Nazi Germany)
We venerate centrists, moderates, independents. In a telling experiment, Samara Klara and Yanna Krupnikov cued subjects to think about political disagreements and then handed them photographs of strangers, some of whom were identified as independents and others of whom were said to be partisans. The independents were rated as more attractive, “even when, by objective standards, the partisans were actually more attractive.” In another test of the theory, Klar and Krupnikov found that Americans are nearly 60 percent more likely to call themselves “independents” when they’re told they need to make a good impression on a stranger. Being independent isn’t about whom you vote for. It’s about your personal brand. Our appreciation of independents reflects our denial of the substance of partisanship. We want to wish away the depths of our disagreements, and it is convenient to blame them instead on the maneuverings of misguided partisans. But partisans aren’t bad people perverting the political system through irrationality and self-interest. They’re normal people—you and me—reflecting the deep differences that define political systems the world over. And the more different the parties are, the more rational partisanship becomes. What has happened to American politics in recent decades is that the parties have become visibly, undeniably more different, and the country has rationally become more partisan in response.
Ezra Klein (Why We're Polarized)
The father of communism, Karl Marx, famously predicted the “withering away of the state” once the proletarian revolution had achieved power and abolished private property. Left-wing revolutionaries from the nineteeth-century anarchists on thought it sufficient to destroy old power structures without giving serious thought to what would take their place. This tradition continues up through the present, with the suggestion by antiglobalization authors like Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri that economic injustice could be abolished by undermining the sovereignty of states and replacing it with a networked “multitude.”17 Real-world Communist regimes of course did exactly the opposite of what Marx predicted, building large and tyrannical state structures to force people to act collectively when they failed to do so spontaneously. This in turn led a generation of democracy activists in Eastern Europe to envision their own form of statelessness, where a mobilized civil society would take the place of traditional political parties and centralized governments. 18 These activists were subsequently disillusioned by the realization that their societies could not be governed without institutions, and when they encountered the messy compromises required to build them. In the decades since the fall of communism, Eastern Europe is democratic, but it is not thereby necessarily happy with its politics or politicians.19 The fantasy of statelessness
Francis Fukuyama (The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution)
The history of another country, one Americans don’t much like comparing themselves with, illustrates the grave dangers of yoking political ideology to dubious science. In the 1930s under Joseph Stalin, the quack “scientist” Trofim Lysenko, who promoted himself through party newspapers rather than rigorous experiments, rose to prominence and took control of Soviet biological, medical, and agricultural research for several decades. Lysenko used his power to prosecute an ideologically driven crusade against the theory of genetics, which he denounced as a bourgeois affront to socialism. In short, his political presuppositions led him to embrace bogus scientific claims. In the purges that followed, many of Lysenko’s scientist critics lost their jobs and suffered imprisonment and even execution. By 1948 Lysenko had convinced Stalin to ban the study of genetics. Soviet science suffered immeasurable damage from the machinations of Lysenko and his henchmen, and the term “Lysenkoism” has since come to signify the suppression of, or refusal to acknowledge, science for ideological reasons. In a democracy like our own, Lysenkoism is unlikely to take such a menacing, totalitarian form. Nevertheless, the threat we face from conservative abuse of science—to informed policymaking, to democratic discourse, and to knowledge itself—is palpably real. And as the modern Right and the Bush administration flex their muscles and continue to battle against reliable, mainstream conclusions and sources of information, this threat is growing.
Chris C. Mooney (The Republican War on Science)
As Mae followed her, she had to remind herself that Annie had not always been a senior executive at a company like the Circle. There was a time, only four years ago, when Annie was a college student who wore men’s flannel housepants to class, to dinner, on casual dates. Annie was what one of her boyfriends, and there were many, always monogamous, always decent, called a doofus. But she could afford to be. She came from money, generations of money, and was very cute, dimpled and long-lashed, with hair so blond it could only be real. She was known by all as effervescent, seemed incapable of letting anything bother her for more than a few moments. But she was also a doofus. She was gangly, and used her hands wildly, dangerously, when she spoke, and was given to bizarre conversational tangents and strange obsessions—caves, amateur perfumery, doo-wop music. She was friendly with every one of her exes, with every hookup, with every professor (she knew them all personally and sent them gifts). She had been involved in, or ran, most or all of the clubs and causes in college, and yet she’d found time to be committed to her coursework—to everything, really—while also, at any party, being the most likely to embarrass herself to loosen everyone up, the last to leave. The one rational explanation for all this would have been that she did not sleep, but this was not the case. She slept decadently, eight to ten hours a day, could sleep anywhere—on a three-minute car ride, in the filthy booth of an off-campus diner, on anyone’s couch, at any time. Mae
Dave Eggers (The Circle)
These senators and representatives call themselves “leaders.” One of the primary principles of leadership is that a leader never asks or orders any follower to do what he or she would not do themselves. Such action requires the demonstration of the acknowledged traits of a leader among which are integrity, honesty, and courage, both physical and moral courage. They don’t have those traits nor are they willing to do what they ask and order. Just this proves we elect people who shouldn’t be leading the nation. When the great calamity and pain comes, it will have been earned and deserved. The piper always has to be paid at the end of the party. The party is about over. The bill is not far from coming due. Everybody always wants the guilty identified. The culprits are we the people, primarily the baby boom generation, which allowed their vote to be bought with entitlements at the expense of their children, who are now stuck with the national debt bill that grows by the second and cannot be paid off. These follow-on citizens—I call them the screwed generation—are doomed to lifelong grief and crushing debt unless they take the only other course available to them, which is to repudiate that debt by simply printing up $20 trillion, calling in all federal bills, bonds, and notes for payoff, and then changing from the green dollar to say a red dollar, making the exchange rate 100 or 1000 green dollars for 1 red dollar or even more to get to zero debt. Certainly this will create a great international crisis. But that crisis is coming anyhow. In fact it is here already. The U.S. has no choice but to eventually default on that debt. This at least will be a controlled default rather than an uncontrolled collapse. At present it is out of control. Congress hasn’t come up with a budget in 3 years. That’s because there is no way at this point to create a viable budget that will balance and not just be a written document verifying that we cannot legitimately pay our bills and that we are on an ever-descending course into greater and greater debt. A true, honest budget would but verify that we are a bankrupt nation. We are repeating history, the history we failed to learn from. The history of Rome. Our TV and video games are the equivalent distractions of the Coliseums and circus of Rome. Our printing and borrowing of money to cover our deficit spending is the same as the mixing and devaluation of the gold Roman sisteri with copper. Our dysfunctional and ineffectual Congress is as was the Roman Senate. Our Presidential executive orders the same as the dictatorial edicts of Caesar. Our open borders and multi-millions of illegal alien non-citizens the same as the influx of the Germanic and Gallic tribes. It is as if we were intentionally following the course written in The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. The military actions, now 11 years in length, of Iraq and Afghanistan are repeats of the Vietnam fiasco and the RussianAfghan incursion. Our creep toward socialism is no different and will bring the same implosion as socialism did in the U.S.S.R. One should recognize that the repeated application of failed solutions to the same problem is one of the clinical definitions of insanity. * * * I am old, ill, physically used up now. I can’t have much time left in this life. I accept that. All born eventually die and with the life I’ve lived, I probably should have been dead decades ago. Fate has allowed me to screw the world out of a lot of years. I do have one regret: the future holds great challenge. I would like to see that challenge met and overcome and this nation restored to what our founding fathers envisioned. I’d like to be a part of that. Yeah. “I’d like to do it again.” THE END PHOTOS Daniel Hill 1954 – 15
Daniel Hill (A Life Of Blood And Danger)
The chorus of criticism culminated in a May 27 White House press conference that had me fielding tough questions on the oil spill for about an hour. I methodically listed everything we'd done since the Deepwater had exploded, and I described the technical intricacies of the various strategies being employed to cap the well. I acknowledged problems with MMS, as well as my own excessive confidence in the ability of companies like BP to safeguard against risk. I announced the formation of a national commission to review the disaster and figure out how such accidents could be prevented in the future, and I reemphasized the need for a long-term response that would make America less reliant on dirty fossil fuels. Reading the transcript now, a decade later, I'm struck by how calm and cogent I sound. Maybe I'm surprised because the transcript doesn't register what I remember feeling at the time or come close to capturing what I really wanted to say before the assembled White House press corps: That MMS wasn't fully equipped to do its job, in large part because for the past thirty years a big chunk of American voters had bought into the Republican idea that government was the problem and that business always knew better, and had elected leaders who made it their mission to gut environmental regulations, starve agency budgets, denigrate civil servants, and allow industrial polluters do whatever the hell they wanted to do. That the government didn't have better technology than BP did to quickly plug the hole because it would be expensive to have such technology on hand, and we Americans didn't like paying higher taxes - especially when it was to prepare for problems that hadn't happened yet. That it was hard to take seriously any criticism from a character like Bobby Jindal, who'd done Big Oil's bidding throughout his career and would go on to support an oil industry lawsuit trying to get a federal court to lift our temporary drilling moratorium; and that if he and other Gulf-elected officials were truly concerned about the well-being of their constituents, they'd be urging their party to stop denying the effects of climate change, since it was precisely the people of the Gulf who were the most likely to lose homes or jobs as a result of rising global temperatures. And that the only way to truly guarantee that we didn't have another catastrophic oil spill in the future was to stop drilling entirely; but that wasn't going to happen because at the end of the day we Americans loved our cheap gas and big cars more than we cared about the environment, except when a complete disaster was staring us in the face; and in the absence of such a disaster, the media rarely covered efforts to shift America off fossil fuels or pass climate legislation, since actually educating the public on long-term energy policy would be boring and bad for ratings; and the one thing I could be certain of was that for all the outrage being expressed at the moment about wetlands and sea turtles and pelicans, what the majority of us were really interested in was having the problem go away, for me to clean up yet one more mess decades in the making with some quick and easy fix, so that we could all go back to our carbon-spewing, energy-wasting ways without having to feel guilty about it. I didn't say any of that. Instead I somberly took responsibility and said it was my job to "get this fixed." Afterward, I scolded my press team, suggesting that if they'd done better work telling the story of everything we were doing to clean up the spill, I wouldn't have had to tap-dance for an hour while getting the crap kicked out of me. My press folks looked wounded. Sitting alone in the Treaty Room later that night, I felt bad about what I had said, knowing I'd misdirected my anger and frustration. It was those damned plumes of oil that I really wanted to curse out.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Reading the transcript now, a decade later, I’m struck by how calm and cogent I sound. Maybe I’m surprised because the transcript doesn’t register what I remember feeling at the time or come close to capturing what I really wanted to say before the assembled White House press corps: That MMS wasn’t fully equipped to do its job, in large part because for the past thirty years a big chunk of American voters had bought into the Republican idea that government was the problem and that business always knew better, and had elected leaders who made it their mission to gut environmental regulations, starve agency budgets, denigrate civil servants, and allow industrial polluters do whatever the hell they wanted to do. That the government didn’t have better technology than BP did to quickly plug the hole because it would be expensive to have such technology on hand, and we Americans didn’t like paying higher taxes—especially when it was to prepare for problems that hadn’t happened yet. That it was hard to take seriously any criticism from a character like Bobby Jindal, who’d done Big Oil’s bidding throughout his career and would go on to support an oil industry lawsuit trying to get a federal court to lift our temporary drilling moratorium; and that if he and other Gulf-elected officials were truly concerned about the well-being of their constituents, they’d be urging their party to stop denying the effects of climate change, since it was precisely the people of the Gulf who were the most likely to lose homes or jobs as a result of rising global temperatures. And that the only way to truly guarantee that we didn’t have another catastrophic oil spill in the future was to stop drilling entirely; but that wasn’t going to happen because at the end of the day we Americans loved our cheap gas and big cars more than we cared about the environment, except when a complete disaster was staring us in the face; and in the absence of such a disaster,
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
Betsy didn’t want to be at the party any more than Cole did. She’d met the birthday girl in a spin class a couple of years earlier and had been declining her Evites ever since. In an effort to meet new people, however, this time Betsy replied “Yes.” She took a cab to the party, wondering why she was going at all. When Betsy met Cole there was a spark, but she was ambivalent. Cole was clearly smart and well educated, but he didn’t seem to be doing much about it. They had some nice dates, which seemed promising. Then, after sleeping over one night and watching Cole wake up at eleven a.m. and grab his skateboard, Betsy felt less bullish. She didn’t want to help another boyfriend grow up. What Betsy didn’t know was that, ever since he’d started spending time with her, Cole had regained some of his old drive. He saw the way she wanted to work on her sculptures even on the weekend, how she and her friends loved to get together to talk about their projects and their plans. As a result, Cole started to think more aspirationally. He eyed a posting for a good tech job at a high-profile start-up, but he felt his résumé was now too shabby to apply. As luck would have it—and it is often luck—Cole remembered that an old friend from high school, someone he bumped into about once every year or two, worked at the start-up. He got in touch, and this friend put in a good word to HR. After a handful of interviews with different people in the company, Cole was offered the position. The hiring manager told Cole he had been chosen for three reasons: His engineering degree suggested he knew how to work hard on technical projects, his personality seemed like a good fit for the team, and the twentysomething who vouched for him was well liked in the company. The rest, the manager said, Cole could learn on the job. This one break radically altered Cole’s career path. He learned software development at a dot-com on the leading edge. A few years later, he moved over and up as a director of development at another start-up because, by then, the identity capital he’d gained could speak for itself. Nearly ten years later, Cole and Betsy are married. She runs a gallery co-op. He’s a CIO. They have a happy life and gladly give much of the credit to Cole’s friend from high school and to the woman with the Evites.
Meg Jay (The Defining Decade: Why Your Twenties Matter—And How to Make the Most of Them Now)
I see many so-called conservative commentators, including some faith leaders, focusing on favorable policy initiatives or court appointments to justify their acceptance of this damage, while de-emphasizing the impact of this president on basic norms and ethics. That strikes me as both hypocritical and wrong. The hypocrisy is evident if you simply switch the names and imagine that a President Hillary Clinton had conducted herself in a similar fashion in office. I've said this earlier but it's worth repeating: close your eyes and imagine these same voices if President Hillary Clinton had told the FBI director, 'I hope you will let it go,' about the investigation of a senior aide, or told casual, easily disprovable lies nearly every day and then demanded we believe them. The hypocrisy is so thick as to be almost darkly funny. I say this as someone who has worked in law enforcement for most of my life, and served presidents of both parties. What is happening now is not normal. It is not fake news. It is not okay. Whatever your politics, it is wrong to dismiss the damage to the norms and traditions that have guided the presidency and our public life for decades or, in many cases, since the republic was founded. It is also wrong to stand idly by, or worse, to stay silent when you know better, while a president so brazenly seeks to undermine public confidence in law enforcement institutions that were established to keep our leaders in check...without these checks on our leaders, without those institutions vigorously standing against abuses of power, our country cannot sustain itself as a functioning democracy. I know there are men and women of good conscience in the United States Congress on both sides of the aisle who understand this. But not enough of them are speaking out. They must ask themselves to what, or to whom, they hold a higher loyalty: to partisan interests or to the pillars of democracy? Their silence is complicity - it is a choice - and somewhere deep down they must know that. Policies come and go. Supreme Court justices come and go. But the core of our nation is our commitment to a set of shared values that began with George Washington - to restraint and integrity and balance and transparency and truth. If that slides away from us, only a fool would be consoled by a tax cut or different immigration policy.
James Comey (A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership)
Such racist theories, prominent and respectable for many decades, have become anathema among scientists and politicians alike. People continue to conduct a heroic struggle against racism without noticing that the battlefront has shifted, and that the place of racism in imperial ideology has now been replaced by ‘culturism’. There is no such word, but it’s about time we coined it. Among today’s elites, assertions about the contrasting merits of diverse human groups are almost always couched in terms of historical differences between cultures rather than biological differences between races. We no longer say, ‘It’s in their blood.’ We say, ‘It’s in their culture.’ Thus European right-wing parties which oppose Muslim immigration usually take care to avoid racial terminology. Marine le Pen’s speechwriters would have been shown the door on the spot had they suggested that the leader of France’s Front National party go on television to declare that, ‘We don’t want those inferior Semites to dilute our Aryan blood and spoil our Aryan civilisation.’ Instead, the French Front National, the Dutch Party for Freedom, the Alliance for the Future of Austria and their like tend to argue that Western culture, as it has evolved in Europe, is characterised by democratic values, tolerance and gender equality, whereas Muslim culture, which evolved in the Middle East, is characterised by hierarchical politics, fanaticism and misogyny. Since the two cultures are so different, and since many Muslim immigrants are unwilling (and perhaps unable) to adopt Western values, they should not be allowed to enter, lest they foment internal conflicts and corrode European democracy and liberalism. Such culturist arguments are fed by scientific studies in the humanities and social sciences that highlight the so-called clash of civilisations and the fundamental differences between different cultures. Not all historians and anthropologists accept these theories or support their political usages. But whereas biologists today have an easy time disavowing racism, simply explaining that the biological differences between present-day human populations are trivial, it is harder for historians and anthropologists to disavow culturism. After all, if the differences between human cultures are trivial, why should we pay historians and anthropologists to study them?
Yuval Noah Harari (Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind)
THE PARTY And at last the police are at the front door, summoned by a neighbor because of the noise, two large cops asking Peter, who had signed the rental agreement, to end the party. Our peace can’t be disturbed, one of the officers states. But when we receive a complaint we act on it. The police on the front stoop wear as their shoulder patch an artist’s palette, since the town likes to think of itself as an art colony, and indeed, Pacific Coast Highway two blocks inland, which serves as the main north-south street, is lined with commercial galleries featuring paintings of the surf by moonlight —like this night, but without anybody on the sand and with a bigger moon. And now Dennis, as at every party once the police arrive at the door, moves through the dancers, the drinkers, the talkers, to confront the uniforms and guns, to object, he says, to their attempt to stop people harmlessly enjoying themselves, and to argue it isn’t even 1 a.m. Then Stuart, as usual, pushes his way to the discussion happening at the door and in his drunken manner tries to justify to the cops Dennis’ attitude, believing he can explain things better to authority, which of course annoys Dennis, and soon those two are disputing with each other, tonight exasperating Peter, whose sole aim is to get the officers to leave before they are provoked enough to demand to enter to check ID or something, and maybe smell the pot and somebody ends up arrested with word getting back to the landlord and having the lease or whatever Peter had signed cancelled, and all staying here evicted. The Stones, or Janis, are on the stereo now, as the police stand firm like time, like death—You have to shut it down—as the dancing inside continues, the dancers forgetting for a moment a low mark on a quiz, or their draft status, or a paper due Monday, or how to end the war in Asia, or some of their poems rejected by a magazine, or the situation in Watts or of Chavez’s farmworkers, or that they wish they had asked Erin rather than Joan to dance. That dancing, that music, the party, even after the cops leave with their warning Don’t make us come back continues, the dancing has lasted for years, decades, across a new century, through the fear of nuclear obliteration, the great fires, fierce rain, Main Beach and Forest Avenue flooded, war after war, love after love, that dancing goes on, the dancing, the party, the night, the dancing
Tom Wayman
Perceptive and valuable personal explorations of time alone include A Book of Silence by Sara Maitland, Party of One by Anneli Rufus, Migrations to Solitude by Sue Halpern, Journal of a Solitude by May Sarton, The Point of Vanishing by Howard Axelrod, Solitude by Robert Kull, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek by Annie Dillard, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly by Jean-Dominique Bauby, A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit, The Story of My Heart by Richard Jefferies, Thoughts in Solitude by Thomas Merton, and the incomparable Walden by Henry David Thoreau. Adventure tales offering superb insight into solitude, both its horror and its beauty, include The Long Way by Bernard Moitessier, The Strange Last Voyage of Donald Crowhurst by Nicholas Tomalin and Ron Hall, A Voyage for Madmen by Peter Nichols, Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer, and Alone by Richard E. Byrd. Science-focused books that provided me with further understanding of how solitude affects people include Social by Matthew D. Lieberman, Loneliness by John T. Cacioppo and William Patrick, Quiet by Susan Cain, Neurotribes by Steve Silberman, and An Anthropologist on Mars by Oliver Sacks. Also offering astute ideas about aloneness are Cave in the Snow by Vicki Mackenzie, The Life of Saint Anthony by Saint Athanasius, Letters to a Young Poet by Rainer Maria Rilke, the essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson (especially “Nature” and “Self-Reliance”) and Friedrich Nietzsche (especially “Man Alone with Himself”), the verse of William Wordsworth, and the poems of Han-shan, Shih-te, and Wang Fan-chih. It was essential for me to read two of Knight’s favorite books: Notes from the Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Very Special People by Frederick Drimmer. This book’s epigraph, attributed to Socrates, comes from the C. D. Yonge translation of Diogenes Laërtius’s third-century A.D. work The Lives and Opinions of Eminent Philosophers. The Hermitary website, which offers hundreds of articles on every aspect of hermit life, is an invaluable resource—I spent weeks immersed in the site, though I did not qualify to become a member of the hermit-only chat groups. My longtime researcher, Jeanne Harper, dug up hundreds of reports on hermits and loners throughout history. I was fascinated by the stories of Japanese soldiers who continued fighting World War II for decades on remote Pacific islands, though none seemed to be completely alone for more than a few years at a time. Still, Hiroo Onoda’s No Surrender is a fascinating account.
Michael Finkel (The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit)
Power is seeping away from autocrats and single-party systems whether they embrace reform or not. It is spreading from large and long-established political parties to small ones with narrow agendas or niche constituencies. Even within parties, party bosses who make decisions, pick candidates, and hammer out platforms behind closed doors are giving way to insurgents and outsiders—to new politicians who haven’t risen up in the party machine, who never bothered to kiss the ring. People entirely outside the party structure—charismatic individuals, some with wealthy backers from outside the political class, others simply catching a wave of support thanks to new messaging and mobilization tools that don’t require parties—are blazing a new path to political power. Whatever path they followed to get there, politicians in government are finding that their tenure is getting shorter and their power to shape policy is decaying. Politics was always the art of the compromise, but now politics is downright frustrating—sometimes it feels like the art of nothing at all. Gridlock is more common at every level of decision-making in the political system, in all areas of government, and in most countries. Coalitions collapse, elections take place more often, and “mandates” prove ever more elusive. Decentralization and devolution are creating new legislative and executive bodies. In turn, more politicians and elected or appointed officials are emerging from these stronger municipalities and regional assemblies, eating into the power of top politicians in national capitals. Even the judicial branch is contributing: judges are getting friskier and more likely to investigate political leaders, block or reverse their actions, or drag them into corruption inquiries that divert them from passing laws and making policy. Winning an election may still be one of life’s great thrills, but the afterglow is diminishing. Even being at the top of an authoritarian government is no longer as safe and powerful a perch as it once was. As Professor Minxin Pei, one of the world’s most respected experts on China, told me: “The members of the politburo now openly talk about the old good times when their predecessors at the top of the Chinese Communist Party did not have to worry about bloggers, hackers, transnational criminals, rogue provincial leaders or activists that stage 180,000 public protests each year. When challengers appeared, the old leaders had more power to deal with them. Today’s leaders are still very powerful but not as much as those of a few decades back and their powers are constantly declining.”3
Moisés Naím (The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being In Charge Isn't What It Used to Be)
Jamie guessed he wasn’t sure if calling it a homeless shelter when it was filled with homeless people was somehow offensive. He’d had two complaints lodged against him in the last twelve months alone for the use of ‘inappropriate’ language. Roper was a fossil, stuck in a by-gone age, struggling to stay afloat. He of course wouldn’t have this problem if he bothered to read any of the sensitivity emails HR pinged out. But he didn’t. And now he was on his final warning. Jamie left him to flounder and scanned the crowd and the room for anything amiss.  People were watching them. But not maliciously. Mostly out of a lack of anything else to do. They’d been there overnight by the look of it. Places like this popped up all over the city to let them stay inside on cold nights. The problem was finding a space that would house them. ‘No, not the owner,’ Mary said, sighing. ‘I just rent the space from the council. The ceiling is asbestos, and they can’t use it for anything, won’t get it replaced.’ She shrugged her shoulders so high that they touched the earrings. ‘But these people don’t mind. We’re not eating the stuff, so…’ She laughed a little. Jamie thought it sounded sad. It sort of was. The council wouldn’t let children play in there, wouldn’t let groups rent it, but they were happy to take payment and let the homeless in. It was safe enough for them. She pushed her teeth together and started studying the faded posters on the walls that encouraged conversations about domestic abuse, about drug addiction. From when this place was used. They looked like they were at least a decade old, maybe two. Bits of tape clung to the paint around them, scraps of coloured paper frozen in time, preserving images of long-past birthday parties. There was a meagre stage behind the coffee dispenser, and to the right, a door led into another room. ‘Do you know this boy?’ Roper asked, holding up his phone, showing Mary a photo of Oliver Hammond taken that morning. The officers who arrived on scene had taken it and attached it to the central case file. Roper was just accessing it from there. It showed Oliver’s face at an angle, greyed and bloated from the water.  ‘My God,’ Mary said, throwing a weathered hand to her mouth. It wasn’t easy for people who weren’t exposed to death regularly to stomach seeing something like that.  ‘Ms Cartwright,’ Roper said, leaning a little to his left to look in her eyes as she turned away. ‘Can you identify this person? I know it’s hard—’ ‘Oliver — Ollie, he preferred. Hammond, I think. I can check my files…’ She turned and pointed towards the back room Jamie had spotted. ‘If you want—’ Roper put the phone away.
Morgan Greene (Bare Skin (DS Jamie Johansson #1))
That was the whole trouble with police work. You come plunging in. a jagged Stone Age knife, to probe the delicate tissues of people's relationships, and of course you destroy far more than you discover. And even what you discover will never be the same as it was before you came; the nubbly scars of your passage will remain. At the very least. you have asked questions that expose to the destroying air fibers that can only exist and fulfill their function in coddling darkness. Cousin Amy, now, mousing about in back passages or trilling with feverish shyness at sherry parties—was she really made all the way through of dust and fluff and unused ends of cotton and rusty needles and unmatching buttons and all the detritus at the bottom of God's sewing basket? Or did He put a machine in there to tick away and keep her will stern and her back straight as she picks out of a vase of brown-at-the-edges dahlias the few blooms that have another day's life in them? Or another machine, one of His chemistry sets, that slowly mixes itself into an apparently uncaused explosion, poof!, and there the survivors are sitting covered with plaster dust among the rubble of their lives. It's always been the explosion by the time the police come stamping in with ignorant heels on the last unbroken bit of Bristol glass; with luck they can trace the explosion back to harmless little Amy, but as to what set her off—what were the ingredients of the chemistry set and what joggled them together—it was like trying to reconstruct a civilization from three broken pots and a seven-inch lump of baked clay which might, if you looked at its swellings and hollows the right way, have been the Great Earth Mother. What's more. people who've always lived together think that they are still the same—oh, older of course and a bit more snappish, but underneath still the same laughing lad of thirty years gone by. "My Jim couldn't have done that." they say. "I know him. Course he's been a bit depressed lately, funny like. but he sometimes goes that way for a bit and then it passes off. But setting fire to the lingerie department at the Army and Navy, Inspector—such a thought wouldn't enter into my Jim's head. I know him." Tears diminishing into hiccuping snivels as doubt spreads like a coffee stain across the threadbare warp of decades. A different Jim? Different as a Martian, growing inside the ever-shedding skin? A whole lot of different Jims. a new one every seven years? "Course not. I'm the same. aren't I, same as I always was—that holiday we took hiking in the Peak District in August thirty-eight—the same inside?" Pibble sighed and shook himself. You couldn't build a court case out of delicate tissues. Facts were the one foundation.
Peter Dickinson (The Glass Sided Ant's Nest (Jimmy Pibble #1))
In Andhra, farmers fear Naidu’s land pool will sink their fortunes Prasad Nichenametla,Hindustan Times | 480 words The state festival tag added colour to Sankranti in Andhra Pradesh this time. But the hue of happiness was missing in 29 villages along river Krishna in Guntur district. The villagers knew it was their last Sankranti, a harvest festival celebrated to seek agricultural prosperity. For in two months, more than 30,000 acres of fertile farmland would be acquired for a brand new capital planned in collaboration with Singapore. The Nara Chandrababu Naidu government went about the capital project by setting aside the Centre’s land acquisition act and drawing up a compensation package for land-owning and tenant farmers and labourers. Many are opposed to it, and are not keen on snapping their centuries-old bond with their land and livelihood. In Penumaka village, Nageshwara Rao, 50, fears the future as he does not possess a tenancy certificate that could have brought some relief under the compensation package. “The entire village is against land-pooling but we hear the government is adamant,” Rao says, referring to municipal minister P Narayana’s alleged assertion that land would be taken with or without the farmers’ consent. Narayana is supervising the land-pooling process. “Naidu says he would give us Rs 50,000 per year in lieu of annual crops. We earn that much in a month here,” villager Meka Koti Reddy says. To drive home the point, locals in Undavalli village nearby have put up a board asking officials to keep off their lands that produce three crops a year. Unlike other parts of Andhra Pradesh, the water-rich land here is highly productive yielding 200 varieties of crops. Some farmers are also suspicious about the compensation because Naidu is yet to deliver on the loan-waiver promise. They are now weighing legal options besides seeking Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intervention to retain their land. While the villagers opposing land-pooling are allegedly being backed by Jaganmohan Reddy’s YSR Congress Party, those belonging to the Kamma community — the support base for Naidu’s Telugu Desam Party — are said to be cooperative.  It is also believed that Naidu chose this location over others suggested by experts to primarily benefit the Kamma industrialists who own large swathes of land in Krishna and Guntur districts. But even the pro-project villagers cannot help feel insecure. “We are clueless about where our developed area would be. What if the project is not executed within Naidu’s tenure? Is there a legal recourse?” Idupulapati Rambabu of Mandadam says. This is despite Naidu’s assurance on January 1 at nearby Thulluru, where he launched the land-pooling process, asking farmers to give land without any apprehension. He said the deal in its present form would make them richer than him in a decade. “We are not building a mere city but a hub of economic activity loaded with superior infrastructure that is aimed at generating wealth. This would be a win-win situation for all,” Naidu tells HT. As of now, villages like Nelapadu struggling with low soil fertility seem to be winning from the package.
Late in the nineteenth century came the first signs of a “Politics in a New Key”: the creation of the first popular movements dedicated to reasserting the priority of the nation against all forms of internationalism or cosmopolitanism. The decade of the 1880s—with its simultaneous economic depression and broadened democratic practice—was a crucial threshold. That decade confronted Europe and the world with nothing less than the first globalization crisis. In the 1880s new steamships made it possible to bring cheap wheat and meat to Europe, bankrupting family farms and aristocratic estates and sending a flood of rural refugees into the cities. At the same time, railroads knocked the bottom out of what was left of skilled artisanal labor by delivering cheap manufactured goods to every city. At the same ill-chosen moment, unprecedented numbers of immigrants arrived in western Europe—not only the familiar workers from Spain and Italy, but also culturally exotic Jews fleeing oppression in eastern Europe. These shocks form the backdrop to some developments in the 1880s that we can now perceive as the first gropings toward fascism. The conservative French and German experiments with a manipulated manhood suffrage that I alluded to earlier were extended in the 1880s. The third British Reform Bill of 1884 nearly doubled the electorate to include almost all adult males. In all these countries, political elites found themselves in the 1880s forced to adapt to a shift in political culture that weakened the social deference that had long produced the almost automatic election of upper-class representatives to parliament, thereby opening the way to the entry of more modest social strata into politics: shopkeepers, country doctors and pharmacists, small-town lawyers—the “new layers” (nouvelles couches) famously summoned forth in 1874 by Léon Gambetta, soon to be himself, the son of an immigrant Italian grocer, the first French prime minister of modest origins. Lacking personal fortunes, this new type of elected representative lived on their parliamentarians’ salary and became the first professional politicians. Lacking the hereditary name recognition of the “notables” who had dominated European parliaments up to then, the new politicians had to invent new kinds of support networks and new kinds of appeal. Some of them built political machines based upon middle-class social clubs, such as Freemasonry (as Gambetta’s Radical Party did in France); others, in both Germany and France, discovered the drawing power of anti-Semitism and nationalism. Rising nationalism penetrated at the end of the nineteenth century even into the ranks of organized labor. I referred earlier in this chapter to the hostility between German-speaking and Czech-speaking wage earners in Bohemia, in what was then the Habsburg empire. By 1914 it was going to be possible to use nationalist sentiment to mobilize parts of the working class against other parts of it, and even more so after World War I. For all these reasons, the economic crisis of the 1880s, as the first major depression to occur in the era of mass politics, rewarded demagoguery. Henceforth a decline in the standard of living would translate quickly into electoral defeats for incumbents and victories for political outsiders ready to appeal with summary slogans to angry voters.
Robert O. Paxton (The Anatomy of Fascism)
For two days, Welch outlined the danger at hand. Communist Party membership in the United States had expanded eightfold in the past two decades. (That was unlikely.) The Reds had a secret plan to devalue the dollar to cause economic collapse and societal chaos. The communists were sneaky bastards, he noted. They tended not to use force. They subverted their targets, creeping into political parties, churches, schools, labor unions, other institutions, and governments and
David Corn (American Psychosis: A Historical Investigation of How the Republican Party Went Crazy)
Enter, therefore, a new and ingenious variant of Ultimatum, this one called Dictator. Once again, a small pool of money is divided between two people. But in this case, only one person gets to make a decision. (Thus the name: the “dictator” is the only player who matters.) The original Dictator experiment went like this. Annika was given $20 and told she could split the money with some anonymous Zelda in one of two ways: (1) right down the middle, with each person getting $10; or (2) with Annika keeping $18 and giving Zelda just $2. Dictator was brilliant in its simplicity. As a one-shot game between two anonymous parties, it seemed to strip out all the complicating factors of real-world altruism. Generosity could not be rewarded, nor could selfishness be punished, because the second player (the one who wasn’t the dictator) had no recourse to punish the dictator if the dictator acted selfishly. The anonymity, meanwhile, eliminated whatever personal feeling the donor might have for the recipient. The typical American, for instance, is bound to feel different toward the victims of Hurricane Katrina than the victims of a Chinese earthquake or an African drought. She is also likely to feel different about a hurricane victim and an AIDS victim. So the Dictator game seemed to go straight to the core of our altruistic impulse. How would you play it? Imagine that you’re the dictator, faced with the choice of giving away half of your $20 or giving just $2. The odds are you would . . . divide the money evenly. That’s what three of every four participants did in the first Dictator experiments. Amazing! Dictator and Ultimatum yielded such compelling results that the games soon caught fire in the academic community. They were conducted hundreds of times in myriad versions and settings, by economists as well as psychologists, sociologists, and anthropologists. In a landmark study published in book form as Foundations of Human Sociality, a group of preeminent scholars traveled the world to test altruism in fifteen small-scale societies, including Tanzanian hunter-gatherers, the Ache Indians of Paraguay, and Mongols and Kazakhs in western Mongolia. As it turns out, it didn’t matter if the experiment was run in western Mongolia or the South Side of Chicago: people gave. By now the game was usually configured so that the dictator could give any amount (from $0 to $20), rather than being limited to the original two options ($2 or $10). Under this construct, people gave on average about $4, or 20 percent of their money. The message couldn’t have been much clearer: human beings indeed seemed to be hardwired for altruism. Not only was this conclusion uplifting—at the very least, it seemed to indicate that Kitty Genovese’s neighbors were nothing but a nasty anomaly—but it rocked the very foundation of traditional economics. “Over the past decade,” Foundations of Human Sociality claimed, “research in experimental economics has emphatically falsified the textbook representation of Homo economicus.
Steven D. Levitt (SuperFreakonomics, Illustrated edition: Global Cooling, Patriotic Prostitutes, and Why Suicide Bombers Should Buy Life Insurance)
We spent countless dinner conversations talking about a move away from whiteness, away from country clubs and catered dinner parties and classrooms with fifteen students discussing literature around large wooden tables. A group of Peter’s closest friends from college had moved to a predominantly African American, low-income neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia, and we thought we might join them. Those friends—a multiracial group that included white men as well as men with families from Haiti, Sri Lanka, and India—had all been involved in efforts to acknowledge the historical racial divides within the church in America, and they wanted to participate in building bridges of reconciliation. They also had wanted to live near each other, and they had prayed for an inner-city community where people of color invited them into the neighborhood. Now, a decade later, two friends worked as doctors in the city, one served as a copastor of a multiethnic church, two taught school, one ran a nonprofit to connect kids in the neighborhood to the outdoors. We took our family to Richmond to visit those friends one summer.
Amy Julia Becker (White Picket Fences: Turning toward Love in a World Divided by Privilege)
Yet another subset of Protestants was skewing even more quickly to the right than Catholics were, and that sect was also growing in numbers. The Supreme Court’s decisions on school prayer and abortion woke evangelical Protestantism from a decades-long political slumber. With Ronald Reagan promising to fight these decisions, evangelicals became the backbone of the new Republican Party.
Marc Hetherington (Prius Or Pickup?: How the Answers to Four Simple Questions Explain America's Great Divide)
The decline of American democracy did not begin with Trump, and it will not end with his departure from the White House. Our republic’s sickness has its roots in decades of rising political polarization that has turned our two parties into something akin to warring tribes,
Larry Diamond (Ill Winds: Saving Democracy from Russian Rage, Chinese Ambition, and American Complacency)
This novel deals with the rise of the new right across Europe. It’s a troubling issue, one that continues to escalate (chapter 64). Incidents of violence and how local courts and law enforcement turn a blind eye (chapter 18) are not fiction. Anger toward Jews and immigrants is steadily increasing (chapter 57). Nationalistic parties across the Continent are gaining more and more followers. Why is this happening? A number of factors are contributing. The greatest mass movement of humanity since the beginning of the 20th century, refugees from Eastern Europe, Turkey, Africa, and the Middle East, has placed an enormous strain on resources. A decade of little to no European economic growth has only added to the frustration, as has the failure of the old social welfare state. A generation of strong leaders are aging and dying off, their places taken by less competent populists who have a growing disillusionment with the European Union. They argue that the EU is no longer a place of peace, prosperity, cooperation, and harmony.
Steve Berry (The Kaiser's Web (Cotton Malone, #16))
Consensus was the world was ending, or would begin to end soon, if not by exponential environmental catastrophe then by some combination of nuclear war, the American two-party system, patriarchy, white supremacy, gentrification, globalization, data breaches, and social media. People looked sad on the subway, in the bars; decisions were questioned, opinions rearranged. The same grave epiphany was dragged around everywhere: We were transitioning from an only retrospectively easy past to an inarguably more difficult future; we were, it could no longer be denied, unstoppably bad. Although the death of any hope for humanity had surely been decades in the making, the result of many intersecting systems described forbiddingly well, it was only that short period—between the election of a new president and his holding up a hand to swear to serve the people—that made clear what had happened, and showed that we were too late.
Lauren Oyler (Fake Accounts)
Although Democrats fractured into hostile Northern and Southern factions, they maintained their outward unity until 1858. The Democrats were a nominal national party, but their losses in 64 of 88 Northern districts in the 1854 elections made them a regional party dominated by their proslavery Southern wing. The election cost the Democrats 74 of their 157 seats in the House. In New England only 1 of 13 Democrats survived. Many prominent Northern Democrats found a home in the Republican Party, including William Seward, Salmon Chase, Thaddeus Stevens, and Schuyler Colfax.11 As the parties that had dominated American politics for decades fell apart, the Union’s fabric began to fray. The Whigs and Democrats were an important part of the bond that held the Union together. In them Northern and Southern leaders mingled, became friends, and worked together, but slavery destroyed that relationship. The Whig collapse and Democratic split boded ill for the entire country.
Steven Dundas
By now, though, it had been a steep learning curve, he was fairly well versed on the basics of how clearing worked: When a customer bought shares in a stock on Robinhood — say, GameStop — at a specific price, the order was first sent to Robinhood's in-house clearing brokerage, who in turn bundled the trade to a market maker for execution. The trade was then brought to a clearinghouse, who oversaw the trade all the way to the settlement. During this time period, the trade itself needed to be 'insured' against anything that might go wrong, such as some sort of systemic collapse or a default by either party — although in reality, in regulated markets, this seemed extremely unlikely. While the customer's money was temporarily put aside, essentially in an untouchable safe, for the two days it took for the clearing agency to verify that both parties were able to provide what they had agreed upon — the brokerage house, Robinhood — had to insure the deal with a deposit; money of its own, separate from the money that the customer had provided, that could be used to guarantee the value of the trade. In financial parlance, this 'collateral' was known as VAR — or value at risk. For a single trade of a simple asset, it would have been relatively easy to know how much the brokerage would need to deposit to insure the situation; the risk of something going wrong would be small, and the total value would be simple to calculate. If GME was trading at $400 a share and a customer wanted ten shares, there was $4000 at risk, plus or minus some nominal amount due to minute vagaries in market fluctuations during the two-day period before settlement. In such a simple situation, Robinhood might be asked to put up $4000 and change — in addition to the $4000 of the customer's buy order, which remained locked in the safe. The deposit requirement calculation grew more complicated as layers were added onto the trading situation. A single trade had low inherent risk; multiplied to millions of trades, the risk profile began to change. The more volatile the stock — in price and/or volume — the riskier a buy or sell became. Of course, the NSCC did not make these calculations by hand; they used sophisticated algorithms to digest the numerous inputs coming in from the trade — type of equity, volume, current volatility, where it fit into a brokerage's portfolio as a whole — and spit out a 'recommendation' of what sort of deposit would protect the trade. And this process was entirely automated; the brokerage house would continually run its trading activity through the federal clearing system and would receive its updated deposit requirements as often as every fifteen minutes while the market was open. Premarket during a trading week, that number would come in at 5:11 a.m. East Coast time, usually right as Jim, in Orlando, was finishing his morning coffee. Robinhood would then have until 10:00 a.m. to satisfy the deposit requirement for the upcoming day of trading — or risk being in default, which could lead to an immediate shutdown of all operations. Usually, the deposit requirement was tied closely to the actual dollars being 'spent' on the trades; a near equal number of buys and sells in a brokerage house's trading profile lowered its overall risk, and though volatility was common, especially in the past half-decade, even a two-day settlement period came with an acceptable level of confidence that nobody would fail to deliver on their trades.
Ben Mezrich (The Antisocial Network: The GameStop Short Squeeze and the Ragtag Group of Amateur Traders That Brought Wall Street to Its Knees)
But Spain in the immediate post-war period remained a place of frighteningly separate social worlds. Alongside savage poverty and widespread terror, there existed other milieux of ease, security, and order regained. As Republican women were shaved and dosed with castor oil by the ‘victors’ of their villages, or transported with their children across Spain in cattletrucks, or raped in police stations, women of the southern landed aristocracy or from affluent provincial middle-class families in Spain’s conservative heartland celebrated the redemption of their private family sphere and revelled in the upsurge of public Catholic ceremonial. As one woman who had been close to the conservative Catholic party, CEDA, commented resonantly many decades later: there was an absence of freedom, but logically for those of us who had well-ordered lives, those of us who were professionals and saw things from the personal viewpoint only, we felt very much at ease and happy.
Helen Graham (The Spanish Civil War: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions))
To say it's the poor quality of the paint under socialism is correct, but it is not enough. To say it's soft-coal exploitation and air pollution, bad gasoline and bad cars, or lack of money - that again would be correct. But not the whole story. All these reasons (and probably many more) are not enough to explain the decrepitude. I think the reason is in us. The cities have been killed by our decades of indifference, by our conviction that somebody else - the government, the party, those 'above' - is in charge of it. Not us. How can it be us, if we are not in charge of our own lives?
Slavenka Drakulić (How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed)
BILLY GRAHAM WAS A LIFELONG REGISTERED Democrat. This may come as a surprise, given the close alliance between white evangelicals and the Republican Party that has come to define the American political landscape in recent decades, but in the middle of the twentieth century it would have been hard to find a Southern Baptist from North Carolina who didn’t identify as a Democrat.
Kristin Kobes Du Mez (Jesus and John Wayne: How White Evangelicals Corrupted a Faith and Fractured a Nation)
Carl Schmitt was a member of the Nazi Party and based at Berlin University (now Humboldt University) from 1933 to 1945. He has been described as the “crown jurist of the Third Reich” and for decades after the defeat of Nazism, his ideas were widely regarded as beyond the pale. But in recent years, there has been a global revival of interest in Schmitt’s work. Chinese legal scholars, Russian nationalists, thinkers of the far right in the US and Europe are all drawing upon the work of the premier legal theorist of Nazi Germany.
Gideon Rachman (The Age of the Strongman: How the Cult of the Leader Threatens Democracy Around the World)
Trump likewise had a keen feel for how the Republican Party had moved far to the right over the previous decade, with a formidable media infrastructure to broadcast right-wing messaging. Politics was polarized; Republicans were radicalized. From attacking Mexican immigrants to railing against a corrupt, biased media, Trump played directly into this modern reality.
Julian E. Zelizer (The Presidency of Donald J. Trump: A First Historical Assessment)
A home is the only space that aspires to be a constant. But a home is also a space that always represents everything we can be, and because of this, the perfect home is an insatiable thirst. Buoyed by a façade of stability, you start accumulating things. The strategically placed bookshelf in your study behind you during online meetings as a nod to your intellect. The scented candles and artwork on the wall that guests compliment you on at dinner parties. A portrait of a smiling family casually sitting on top of the piano, to flaunt domestic bliss. The instruments and amps scattered across a carpeted floor, a cabinet full of jazz records. You want to leave your past behind, a decade of putting roses in a beer can in lieu of a vase. You want an ever-expanding place that deserves these things. But what if you live in a city where there was never any space for this to begin with, where permanence can never be promised?
Karen Cheung (The Impossible City: A Hong Kong Memoir)
The inaction in response to Antifa certainly helped take the pressure off Biden, who never had to answer for the bricks flying through windows, rampant looting, toppling of statues, and assaults on innocent business owners that defined urban life throughout the summer of 2020. To do so would have been to confront an uncomfortable truth- the Democratic Party and its allies have been tolerating, encouraging, and mainstreaming political violence for decades.
Mollie Ziegler Hemingway (Rigged: How the Media, Big Tech, and the Democrats Seized Our Elections)
Her fall traumatized the Conservative Party for decades to follow – a final lesson on leadership from Margaret Thatcher’s long reign. There are times when parties become trapped. They need to remove a leader to have any hope of winning an election, but in doing so they are inevitably deeply troubled for a long time to come.
Steve Richards (The Prime Ministers: Reflections on Leadership from Wilson to May)
Musharraf told Wendy Chamberlin at Army House that a postwar government in Afghanistan, in addition to being “pro-Pakistan,” should also be “Pashtun dominated.”15 For two decades, I.S.I. had tried to control Islamist Pashtun parties to influence Afghan politics; it was not about to stop now.
Steve Coll (Directorate S: The C.I.A. and America's Secret Wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, 2001-2016)
The psychological techniques used by the CCP in united front work have been developed and refined over decades and are taught to cadres with the help of classified manuals. James To observes that the techniques are effective for ‘intensive behavioural control and manipulation’ while appearing to be ‘benign, benevolent and helpful’.9 Speaking to the Central United Front Work Conference in 2015, Xi Jinping emphasised that the art of ‘making friends’ must be practised because it is ‘an important method of carrying out united front work’.
Clive Hamilton (Hidden Hand: Exposing How the Chinese Communist Party is Reshaping the World)
Over the past few decades it seems like we can only move in one direction politically. Toward more polarization—more demonization—rather than less. If a resident of the White House is caught torturing babies, his own side gives him a pass. But, conversely, if a resident of the White House walks on water, the out-party scorns him for not knowing how to swim.
Douglas E. Richards (Veracity)
Whether these politicians lack understanding of the law or simply seek to circumvent it by using corporate regulations instead is unclear. But in the case of both Hamas and Hezbollah, we need to ask: What is the impact in Palestine and Lebanon, where these groups are powerful players in local politics—local politics that have no shortage of violent actors? Azza El Masri is a media researcher from Lebanon who, for the past several years, has studied content moderation. “Is Hezbollah’s involvement in Syria, Iraq, Yemen and its participation in the Iran-KSA proxy war tantamount to terrorist activities? Yes,” she told me in a text message. “However, this doesn’t absolve the fact that Hezbollah today is the most powerful political actor in Lebanon.” Lebanon’s political scene is, to the outsider, messy and difficult to parse. After the fifteen-year civil war that killed hundreds of thousands, the country’s parliament instituted a law that pardoned all political crimes prior to its enactment, allowing the groups that were formerly militias to form political parties. Only Hezbollah—an Iran-sponsored creation to unify the country’s Shia population during the war—was allowed by the postwar Syrian occupation to retain its militia. The United States designated Hezbollah (which translates to “Party of God”) a foreign terrorist organization in 1995, more than a decade after the group bombed US military barracks in Beirut.
Jillian York (Silicon Values: The Future of Free Speech Under Surveillance Capitalism)
[The Social Democrat] Official party literature was not very useful... Its flamboyant sentences, its obscure and incomprehensible phrases, pretended to contain great thoughts, but they were devoid of thought, and meaningless. One would have to be a decadent urban Bohemian in order to be comfortable in that maze of aberrant reasoning, so that he might discover an 'inner experience' amid this dung-heap of literary Dadaism. They were obviously counting on the proverbial humility of certain of our people, who believe that incomprehensibility equals wisdom.
Adolf Hitler (Mein Kampf Volume I)
was here on the backs of generations who had struggled through hardship and sacrifice—the blessed recipient in a long lineage of striving African Americans to have a stable, educated, middle-class life in America. Mom-Mom and Daddio’s generation grew up in the throes of segregation and immense poverty. Gigi’s family had escaped the Jim Crow South. My mother had fought through decades of school district bureaucracies, financial uncertainty, and Daddio’s bullshit to get me to this point. And she was going to be damned if I didn’t go to college because of some music I was doing at basement parties with homeboys named Jazz and Ready Rock.
Will Smith (Will)
Like other ingredients of the Slow Fix, collaboration takes time. You have to find and marshal the right people and then manage the creative collisions that ensue. But it works even in the fastest-moving sectors of the economy. Steve Jobs once observed that Apple’s revolutionary Macintosh computer “turned out so well because the people working on it were musicians, artists, poets, and historians who also happened to be excellent computer scientists.” Nearly three decades later, the company is still thrashing the competition with the same recipe. “It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough,” Jobs declared after the launch of the world-conquering iPad. “It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our heart sing.” Bottom line: the more people who come to your problem-solving party, and the more varied their backgrounds, the more likely it is that ideas will collide, combine, and cross-pollinate to spawn the Promethean flashes of insight that pave the way for the best Slow Fixes.
Carl Honoré (The Slow Fix: Solve Problems, Work Smarter, and Live Better In a World Addicted to Speed)
What are we taking away from England, what from France, what from America? Nothing at all! How many times did I offer them peace?! What else should I be offering them? They are men who say, like Churchill, “I want war.” With them, there is a certain clique. And behind these corrupt, drunk creatures, there are the paying forces of international Jewry. On the other side, there is an old Freemason who believes that through a war he can win time for stabilizing his bankrupt economy again. And so, both states again confront the same enemies for the very same reasons. And they are forced to fight together, to lead the same struggle, which ties them in life and in death. And there is a fourth element: in both cases, there are two men who come from the people, who have kindled the revolutions and have uplifted their states. In the few free hours I have had these last weeks, I read a lot about the Fascist revolution in Italy. It seemed to me as though I had before me the history of my own party: everything so similar, so much the same. The same struggle, the same enemies, the same opponents, the same arguments-it really is a miracle. And now, we fight in the same theaters of war: Germans in Africa, Italians in the east. We fight together, and nobody should deceive himself: This struggle will be seen through to our joint victory! And finally, a third state joined us. For many years, I have wanted to have good relations with this state-Japan-as you know from Mein Kampf. And so, the three great have-nots are now united. We will see who will be stronger in this struggle: those who have nothing to lose and everything to win, or those who have everything to lose and who cannot win anything. What does England want to win? What does America want to win? They have so much that they do not know what to do with all they own. They need to feed only a few people per square kilometer. They do not have all those worries that trouble us. For us, a single bad harvest is a national disaster. They have the whole world at their disposal. For decades now, they have robbed us, exploited us, bled us white, and still they have not eliminated their own economic misery. They have more raw materials than they could possibly need, and still they have not managed to find a reasonable solution to their problems. We will see on whom Providence will bestow the victor’s laurels in this struggle: on the man who has everything and wants to take even the last bit from the man who has almost nothing, or on the man, who defends the last bit he owns. And when a British archbishop prays to the Lord that He might strike Germany and Europe with Bolshevism as a punishment-then I can only say, it will not come to Germany. But whether or not He will strike England, that is another question. Speech in the Sportpalast Berlin, January 30, 1942
Adolf Hitler (Collection of Speeches: 1922-1945)
The mainstream wings of both the Democratic and Republican parties had agreed on a free-trade approach for decades. Both Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders were able to exploit frustrations among huge swaths of the electorate who did not believe free trade had been a boon for every American.
Sarah Stewart Holland (I Think You're Wrong (But I'm Listening): A Guide to Grace-Filled Political Conversations)
Using the “party of Lincoln” label as protective cover, Republicans could pursue discriminatory policies in one breath while debunking allegations thereof in the next by insisting that their ideological forebears had freed the slaves. Of course, nothing could be farther from the truth: Southern segregationists fled the Democratic Party following Lyndon B. Johnson’s signing of the Civil Rights Act in 1964, sparking a decades-long realignment that, with the aid of the “Southern Strategy” employed by Barry Goldwater and Richard Nixon, turned the GOP into the champion of the old Confederacy’s states-rights, small-government creed.
Tim Alberta (American Carnage: On the Front Lines of the Republican Civil War and the Rise of President Trump)
Deep State”—the Invisible Government The terms “invisible government,” “shadow government,” and more recently “Deep State” have been used to describe the secretive, occult, and international banking and business families that control financial institutions, both political parties, and cabals within various intelligence agencies in Britain and America. Edward L. Bernays, a pioneer in the field of propaganda, spoke of the “invisible government” as the “true ruling power of our country.” He said, “We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of.”40 “The political process of the United States of America [is] under attack by intelligence agencies and individuals in those agencies,” U.S. representative Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) said. “You have politicization of agencies that is resulting in leaks from anonymous, unknown people, and the intention is to take down a president. Now, this is very dangerous to America. It’s a threat to our republic; it constitutes a clear and present danger to our way of life.”41 Emotional Contagion One of the reasons why the Deep State has been able to hide in plain sight is because it controls the mainstream media in the United States. Despite the growing evidence of its existence, the media largely denies this reality. David Remnick, editor of the New Yorker, wrote an article titled, “There Is No Deep State: The Problem in Washington Is Not a Conspiracy Against the President; It’s the President Himself.” Like the “thought police” in George Orwell’s 1984—a classic book about a dystopian future where critical thought is suppressed by a totalitarian regime—the Deep State uses the media to program the population according to the dictates of Big Brother and tell people in effect that “WAR IS PEACE,” “FREEDOM IS SLAVERY,” and “IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH.”42 Many of the largest social media platforms are used by the Deep State for surveillance and to influence the masses. Many people think social media is just for personal fun and networking with friends, family, and business associates. However, this innocent activity enables powerful computer networks to create detailed profiles of people’s political and moral beliefs and buying habits, as well as a deep analysis of their psychological conflicts, emotional problems, and pretty much anything Big Brother wants to know. Most people don’t understand the true extent of surveillance now occurring. For at least a decade, digital flat-screen televisions, cell phones and smartphones, laptop computers, and most devices with a camera and microphone could be used to spy on you without your knowledge. Even if the power on one of these devices was off, you could still be recorded by supercomputers collecting “mega-data” for potential use later. These technologies are also used to transform
Paul McGuire (Trumpocalypse: The End-Times President, a Battle Against the Globalist Elite, and the Countdown to Armageddon (Babylon Code))
the Democratic Party, and decades of Democratic control of Congress, the schools have continued to fail minority children? Big-city schools have become increasingly segregated by race and class in the last thirty years. Their academic performance has declined. In addition, the black middle class has joined whites in moving out to the suburbs to get their children away from those schools.
Juan Williams (Enough: The Phony Leaders, Dead-End Movements, and Culture of Failure That Are Undermining Black America--and What We Can Do About It)
In political contests in most parts of America, the candidate who captures this refusal of deference is, more often than not, the candidate who wins. This is a crude and sweeping simplification, but nevertheless it is usually true. Understood the way I have defined it, populist protest against the economic elite is what made the Democrats the majority party for so many decades. Another reason we know that anti-elitism works is because we have seen it working against us for fifty years. The Republican Party owes its successful hold on power to adopting—you might say “stealing”—the anti-elitist themes I have described. From the days of Nixon to those of Trump, the conservative revolution happened not because Americans love polluters and disease but because Republicans sold themselves as a party of protest against the elite. Most of the time it was the cultural elite that was the target: the prideful people who make movies and write newspapers; who love blasphemy but hate the flag. The point is so easy and so obvious that it’s hard to understand why it’s been so difficult for Democratic politicians to get it: Populism is the supreme rhetorical weapon in the arsenal of American politics. On the other hand, the impulse to identify your goals with the elite—with any elite, even a moral one—is a kind of political death wish. In a democracy, a faction that chooses to go about its business by admiring its own moral goodness and scolding average voters as insensitive clods is a faction that is not interested in winning.
Thomas Frank (The People, No: The War on Populism and the Fight for Democracy)
The instinctual response today is to sue. This is so ingrained in our culture that our pop media mocked the knee-jerk reaction of litigation decades ago. To call in the sanctioned arbiters of fault and justice is the modern man's immediate response to challenge or a severe offense. No one dares knock down the doors of the offending party and seek immediate justice. That is barbaric. We are a nation of laws forgetting to check the men behind those laws. Men have been domesticated so quickly to shun all instincts and cry barbaric at the thought of beating someone who has wronged them. A child is stomped in school. Out of nowhere and for no reason. Eyewitness accounts from other students support the victim. What were the monitors and teachers on watch doing? The school gives poor excuses for not preventing it or breaking up the assault earlier. Parents are angry and the school-assigned cop even states that the family is making a big deal.
Ryan Landry (Masculinity Amidst Madness)
If one political party or a family keeps on ruling a nation for decades continuously, it simply means – the ruler is corrupt at its core and the subjects are born with a slave-mentality and greed syndrome.
Dr. Ashok Anand
The truth is that most people probably don’t know. They don’t know that socialism—especially this new, hip version of it that’s being pushed by the Democrats—is all just a bunch of nice-sounding lies. They’re happy to buy the rosy picture that the current Democrat Party is pushing. When Democrats tell them that what they’re proposing isn’t “real socialism,” they’re happy to go along with that, too. But socialism has been lurking on the left of the US political system for decades, spreading like a crack in the foundation a few inches every election cycle.
Donald Trump Jr. (Triggered: How the Left Thrives on Hate and Wants to Silence Us)
Left-wing parties had performed very strongly in the Reichstag elections of May 1928, while the National Socialist Party had dropped to a 2.59 percent share of the vote. Something was under way here, as the communist camp—essentially living in a state of revolutionary eschatological expectation—clearly thought it discerned.
Wolfram Eilenberger (Time of the Magicians: Wittgenstein, Benjamin, Cassirer, Heidegger, and the Decade That Reinvented Philosophy)
Now a member of the National Socialist Party, he addressed the German student body in a newspaper article accompanying his appointment: “Let not theoretical principles and ‘ideas’ be the rules of your Being. The Führer himself and he alone is the German reality and its law today and in the future.”1
Wolfram Eilenberger (Time of the Magicians: Wittgenstein, Benjamin, Cassirer, Heidegger, and the Decade That Reinvented Philosophy)
Fall River, an old mill town fifty miles south of Boston. Median household income in that city is $33,000, among the lowest in the state; unemployment is among the highest, 15 percent in March 2014, nearly five years after the recession ended. Twenty-three percent of Fall River’s inhabitants live in poverty. The city lost its many fabric-making concerns years ago and with them it lost its reason for being. People have been deserting the place for decades.14 Many of the empty factories in which their ancestors worked are still standing, however. Solid nineteenth-century structures of granite or brick, these huge boxes dominate the city visually—there always seems to be one or two of them in the vista, contrasting painfully with whatever colorful plastic fast-food joint has been slapped up next door. Most of these old factories are boarded up, unmistakable emblems of hopelessness right up to the roof. But the ones that have been successfully repurposed are in some ways even worse, filled as they often are with enterprises offering cheap suits or help with drug addiction. A clinic in the hulk of one abandoned mill has a sign on the window reading, simply, “Cancer & Blood.” The effect of all this is to remind you with every prospect that this is a place and a way of life from which the politicians have withdrawn their blessing. Like so many other American scenes, this one is the product of decades of deindustrialization, engineered by Republicans and rationalized by Democrats. Fifty miles away, Boston is a roaring success, but the doctrine of prosperity that you see on every corner in Boston also serves to explain away the failure you see on every corner in Fall River. This is a place where affluence never returns—not because affluence for Fall River is impossible or unimaginable, but because our country’s leaders have blandly accepted a social order that constantly bids down the wages of people like these while bidding up the rewards for innovators, creatives, and professionals. Even the city’s one real hope for new employment opportunities—an Amazon warehouse that is in the planning stages—will serve to lock in this relationship. If all goes according to plan, and if Amazon sticks to the practices it has pioneered elsewhere, people from Fall River will one day get to do exhausting work with few benefits while being electronically monitored for efficiency, in order to save the affluent customers of nearby Boston a few pennies when they buy books or electronics.15
Thomas Frank (Listen, Liberal: Or, What Ever Happened to the Party of the People?)
The day I sat down to write this chapter, The New York Times broke the story that Donald Trump for over a decade had managed to lose more money than any other American and, in some years, twice as much as any other American. This is the man Republicans chose because of his business smarts and success:
Stuart Stevens (It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump)
The massive breakdown of disaster relief with Hurricane Katrina was rooted in state and local governmental agencies’ and elected officials’ lying to the public for decades. Read the Brookings Institution’s list “Government’s Most Visible Failures, 2001–2014”; it is a heartbreaking accumulation of avoidable tragedies and misery in just that short period, almost all rooted in some large, fundamental miscalculation.
Stuart Stevens (It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump)
From denials of child molesting and sexual harassment to the overwhelming science of global warming, an element of American conservatism has grown over decades in an environment distinct from the rest of the country (and reality), nurtured by an ever-growing ecosphere of alternative truth.
Stuart Stevens (It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump)
Politics was always centrally about identity and belonging and meaning, but in the decades following World War II, democracy operated within constraints with regard to a shared set of institutional statements about reality.
Stuart Stevens (It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump)
Over the last decades, Republicans have been conducting an experiment to determine how many control rods of truth could be taken out of a civil society’s core reactor of truth without creating a meltdown. It didn’t start with Trump, but Trump may prove to be the meltdown.
Stuart Stevens (It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump)
Here are the ominous parallels. Our universities are strongholds of German philosophy disseminating every key idea of the post-Kantian axis, down by now to old-world racism and romanticist technology-hatred. Our culture is modernism worn-out but recycled, with heavy infusions of such Weimarian blends as astrology and Marx, or Freud and Dada, or “humanitarianism” and horror-worship, along with five decades of corruption built on this kind of base. Our youth activists, those reared on the latest viewpoints at the best universities, are the pre-Hitler youth movement resurrected (this time mostly on the political left and addicted to drugs). Our political parties are the Weimar coalition over again, offering the same pressure-group pragmatism, and the same kind of contradiction between their Enlightenment antecedents and their statist commitments. The liberals, more anti-ideological than the moderate German left, have given up even talking about long-range plans and demand more controls as a matter of routine, on a purely ad hoc basis. The conservatives, much less confident than the nationalist German right, are conniving at this routine and apologizing for the remnants of their own tradition, capitalism (because of its clash with the altruist ethics)—while demanding government intervention in or control over the realms of morality, religion, sex, literature, education, science. Each of these groups, observing the authoritarian element in the other, accuses it of Fascist tendencies; the charge is true on both sides. Each group, like its Weimar counterpart, is contributing to the same result: the atmosphere of chronic crisis, and the kinds of controls, inherent in an advanced mixed economy. The result of this result, as in Germany, is the growth of national bewilderment or despair, and of the governmental apparatus necessary for dictatorship. In America, the idea of public ownership of the means of production is a dead issue. Our intellectual and political leaders are content to retain the forms of private property, with public control over its use and disposal. This means: in regard to economic issues, the country’s leadership is working to achieve not the communist version of dictatorship, but the Nazi version. Throughout its history, in every important cultural and political area, the United States, thanks to its distinctive base, always lagged behind the destructive trends of Germany and of the rest of the modern world. We are catching up now. We are still the freest country on earth. There is no totalitarian (or even openly socialist) party of any size here, no avowed candidate for the office of Führer, no economic or political catastrophe sufficient to make such a party or man possible—so far—and few zealots of collectivism left to urge an ever faster pursuit of national suicide. We are drifting to the future, not moving purposefully. But we are drifting as Germany moved, in the same direction, for the same kind of reason.
Leonard Peikoff (Ominous Parallels)
But partisans aren’t bad people perverting the political system through irrationality and self-interest. They’re normal people—you and me—reflecting the deep differences that define political systems the world over. And the more different the parties are, the more rational partisanship becomes. What has happened to American politics in recent decades is that the parties have become visibly, undeniably more different, and the country has rationally become more partisan in response.
Ezra Klein (Why We're Polarized)
built up over four decades of ‘real socialism’. In this part of the continent they claim their filiation with the dictatorships of the 1930s, like Jobbik in Hungary, which has taken up the legacy of the ‘arrowed cross’ and cultivates the memory of Admiral Horthy; they exhume an old revanchist and expansionist mythology, as with the Greater Romania Party or the Croat Party of the Right (HSP), which continues the Ustachi movement of Ante Pavelic. In western Europe, however, fascism is practically non-existent as an organized political force, at least in those countries that were its historic birthplace. In
Enzo Traverso (The End of Jewish Modernity)
In other families, the answer to the question of how an elder kept a three-decades-long love alive might be "he was a good man" or "he always provided for us," maybe "he made me laugh." In my family, the answer is a sort of insanity. A man holds your interest because he's completely nuts: capricious, unpredictable, unsparing with affection and with everything else. Love is a party that lasts into the small hours of the night, a party you should probably leave but it's so fun you can't. Love is navigating together various forms of precariousness and prevailing not by establishing stability, but by evading debt and death, surviving to eat and drink and fuck at the end of it all.
Nina Renata Aron (Good Morning, Destroyer of Men's Souls: A Memoir of Women, Addiction, and Love)
In 1976 the Republicans were not yet the party of unhinged mystical anarchism they became over the next four decades. Rather, after the unhappiness, unfriendliness, cynicism, paranoia, and finally the high crimes of Richard Nixon, Americans were eager to install Mr. Rogers in the White House—that is, sincere, low-key, straightforward Jimmy Carter, a devoutly Protestant goody-goody complete with toothy smile and cardigan sweater whom Reston hadn’t even mentioned as a contender in his New Year’s election preview.
Kurt Andersen (Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America)
Construing populist protest as either malevolent or misdirected absolves governing elites of responsibility for creating the conditions that have eroded the dignity of work and left many feeling disrespected and disempowered. The diminished economic and cultural status of working people in recent decades is not the result of inexorable forces; it is the result of the way mainstream political parties and elites have governed.
Michael J. Sandel (The Tyranny of Merit: What's Become of the Common Good?)
Mexico border can be understood as a vast zone of exception, a place where laws and rights are applied differently than in any other part of the nation. Since 9/11, presidents of both parties have deployed National Guard troops there in response to ill-defined crises. When troops were deployed to the border by President Trump, for example, in April 2018, crossings were at historic lows, and the U.S. border was, by almost any measure, more secure than at any point in recent decades—though we might ask, secure for whom?
Francisco Cantú (The Line Becomes a River: Dispatches from the Border)
She read about their descent into decadence, their lavish lifestyles, their fashions, their affairs, their huge gambling debts, their war debts, their parties, their illegitimate children. Then she read about their demise. The trials. The executions. She read about all the chances they were given by the revolutionaries to save themselves, and about how they squandered those chances. She read about their unquenchable belief in their own rights, their total ignorance of or refusal to believe what was happening right in front of their eyes.
Fiona Mozley (Hot Stew)
our feeling and our thinking about our national political landscape have become more simplistic, dichotomized, and tribal. Emotionally, Americans are feeling much colder toward and contemptuous of those on the other side of our political divide than in past decades, and they are feeling a much greater sense of warmth and loyalty for members of their own in-group.20 For instance, the proportion of people who hold “very unfavorable views” of the opposite party has more than doubled since 1994.
Peter T Coleman (The Way Out: How to Overcome Toxic Polarization)
In his writing about communism’s insidiousness, Miłosz referenced a 1932 novel, Insatiability. In it, Polish writer Stanisław Witkiewicz wrote of a near-future dystopia in which the people were culturally exhausted and had fallen into decadence. A Mongol army from the East threatened to overrun them. As part of the plan to take over the nation, people began turning up in the streets selling “the pill of Murti-Bing,” named after a Mongolian philosopher who found a way to embody his “don’t worry, be happy” philosophy in a tablet. Those who took the Pill of Murti-Bing quit worrying about life, even though things were falling apart around them. When the Eastern army arrived, it surrendered happily, its soldiers relieved to have found deliverance from their internal tension and struggles. Only the peace didn’t last. “But since they could not rid themselves completely of their former personalities,” writes Miłosz, “they became schizophrenics.”7 What do you do when the Pill of Murti-Bing stops working and you find yourself living under a dictatorship of official lies in which anyone who contradicts the party line goes to jail? You become an actor, says Miłosz. You learn the practice of ketman. This is the Persian word for the practice of maintaining an outward appearance of Islamic orthodoxy while inwardly dissenting. Ketman was the strategy everyone who wasn’t a true believer in communism had to adopt to stay out of trouble. It is a form of mental self-defense. What is the difference between ketman and plain old hypocrisy? As Miłosz explains, having to be “on” all the time inevitably changes a person. An actor who inhabits his role around the clock eventually becomes the character he plays. Ketman is worse than hypocrisy, because living by it all the time corrupts your character and ultimately everything in society. Miłosz identified eight different types of ketman under communism. For example, “professional ketman” is when you convince yourself that it’s okay to live a lie in the workplace, because that’s what you have to do to have the freedom to do good work. “Metaphysical ketman” is the deepest form of the strategy, a defense against “total degradation.” It consists of convincing yourself that it really is possible for you to be a loyal opponent of the new regime while working with it. Christians who collaborated with communist regimes were guilty of metaphysical ketman. In fact, says Miłosz, it represents the ultimate victory of the Big Lie over the individual’s soul.
Rod Dreher (Live Not by Lies: A Manual for Christian Dissidents)
The authors of one study divided all 3,138 U.S. counties into two groups, Opportunity-Falling and Opportunity-Rising America, depending on whether each county lost or gained businesses between 2005 and 2015. In the two-thirds of counties that were Opportunity-Falling during that decade before the 2016 election, Trump won the two-party vote by 53 to 47 percent, while in the Opportunity-Rising counties he lost by 55 to 45 percent.
Kurt Andersen (Evil Geniuses: The Unmaking of America)
Decades of indoctrination, propaganda, violence and untruths have left the Chinese people so numb and confused, they have lost the ability to tell fact from fiction. They have swallowed the lie that the Party leaders are responsible for the country’s economic miracle, rather than the vast army of low-paid workers. The rabid consumerism encouraged in the last thirty years and which, along with inflated nationalism, lies at the heart of the China Dream is turning the Chinese into overgrown children who are fed, clothed and entertained, but have no right to remember the past or ask questions.
Ma Jian (China Dream)
The day I sat down to write this chapter, The New York Times broke the story that Donald Trump for over a decade had managed to lose more money than any other American and, in some years, twice as much as any other American.
Stuart Stevens (It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump)
Republicans had promised for decades to control spending, and when given a chance, they decided it was easier to just spend more.
Stuart Stevens (It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump)
The transition of the National Rifle Association is a perfect parable: over a couple of decades, it evolved from a gun-safety education organization to a thuggish gang that rewards those at the top with millions of dollars based on proven ability to muscle elected officials into doing what they mostly know is wrong.
Stuart Stevens (It Was All a Lie: How the Republican Party Became Donald Trump)
parties had given a guarantee that they would accept [the] Radcliffe award without any question, they had to keep quiet and accept whatever had been decreed by Radcliffe in what was by far the strangest, most illogical and arbitrarily drawn boundary line in history between two countries.11
Pranab Mukherjee (The Dramatic Decade : The Indira Gandhi Years)
The immediate cause of the Civil War lay in the derangement of the nation’s two political systems—the constitutional system of the 1780s and the party system of the 1830s—and in their interaction with each other. Both these systems rested on an intricate set of balances: the constitutional, on a balance between federal and state power and among the three branches of the federal government; the party, on a competitive balance between party organizations at the national and state levels. The genius of this double system lay in its ability to morselize sectional and economic and other conflicts before they became flammable, and then through incremental adjustment and accommodations to keep the great mobiles of ideological, regional, and other political energies in balance until the next adjustment had to be made. This system worked well for decades, as the great compromises of 1820 and 1850 attested. The system was flexible too; when a measure of executive leadership was needed—to make great decisions about the West, as with Jefferson, or to adjust and overcome a tariff rebellion, as with Jackson—enough presidential authority could be exerted within the system to meet the need. But the essence of the system lay in balances, adjustment, compromise. Then, in the 1850s, this system crumbled. The centrifugal forces besetting it were so powerful that perhaps no polity could have overcome them; yet European and other political systems had encountered enormously divisive forces and survived. What happened in the United States was a fateful combination: a powerful ideology of states’ rights, defense of slavery, and “southern way of life” arose in the South, with South Carolina as the cutting edge; this was met by a counter-ideology in the urbanizing, industrializing, modernizing states, with Illinois as the cutting edge in the West.
James MacGregor Burns (The American Experiment: The Vineyard of Liberty, The Workshop of Democracy, and The Crosswinds of Freedom)
When something in society goes so wrong, that something is often a product of one very large agreement instead of the various small disagreements that consume the political sphere. Looming over the fights about which administration is to blame for housing becoming so unstable and what percentage increase this or that program is entitled to sits the inconsistency of America spending about $70 billion a year subsidizing homeownership through tax breaks like deferred taxes on capital gains and the mortgage interest deduction (MID), which allows homeowners to deduct the interest on their home loan from their federal income taxes. Together these tax breaks amount to a vast upper-middle-class welfare program that encourages people to buy bigger and more expensive houses, but because their biggest beneficiaries are residents of high-cost cities in deep blue redoubts like New York and California, even otherwise liberal politicians fight any attempt to reduce them. These programs are also entitlements that live on budgetary autopilot, meaning people get the tax breaks no matter how much they cost the government. Contrast that with programs like Section 8 rental vouchers, which cost about $20 billion a year, have been shown to be highly effective at reducing homelessness, and cost far less than the morally repugnant alternative of letting people live in tents and rot on sidewalks, consuming police resources and using the emergency room as a public hospital. That program has to be continually re-upped by Congress, and unlike middle-class homeowner programs, when the money runs out, it’s gone. This is why many big cities either have decades-long lines for rental vouchers or have closed those lines indefinitely on account of excess demand. The message of this dichotomy, which has persisted for decades regardless of which party is in charge and despite the mountains of evidence showing just how well these vouchers work, is that America is willing to subsidize as much debt as homeowners can gorge themselves on but that poor renters, the majority of whom live in market-rate apartments, are a penny-ante side issue unworthy of being prioritized.
Conor Dougherty (Golden Gates: Fighting for Housing in America)
The monastic brotherhood was long gone, replaced by man-children fueled by what Lewis called the “eerie popular feeling that no job was worth taking outside investment banking.” John Gutfreund himself led the way; at a dinner party that year he reportedly looked his table partner in the eye and said, “Well, you’ve got the name, but you don’t have the money.” It was a question as to how long he’d have his own: a slipping bond market forced Salomon to fend off a hostile takeover by Ron Perelman. Everyone was a speculator: in 1987, $1 billion were spent on baseball cards; $350 million were spent on tickets to actual baseball games. Everyone was a gambler: State lotteries spread, Las Vegas and Atlantic City became family destinations, and Indian gaming would soon be legal. Easy credit was now a way of life—the pleasures of the ’80s had been charged to credit cards; $375 billion worth in 1987 alone—Robert Heilbroner predicted “a vast crisis” if the US continued to send industrial jobs to Mexico while it concentrated on “handicrafts.
Thomas Dyja (New York, New York, New York: Four Decades of Success, Excess, and Transformation)
The tide began to turn in Rudy’s favor when he endorsed Clinton’s crime bill and its funds for social programs he’d just gutted. “My city comes first,” said the mayor to congressional Republicans. “Political parties come second.” His approval rating broke 50%, something Mario Cuomo noticed as he ran for a fourth term, this time against D’Amato’s guy George Pataki. Despite giving signals that he’d sit this one out, Giuliani endorsed Cuomo on live television on October 25, a “Dirty Deal” Republicans packaged to represent everything they hated about New York City. Massive Upstate turnout gave Pataki an easy win, but Rudy had made himself look like the Fusion mayor he’d promised to be, transforming perceptions of his Reaganomic takeover into the rough but necessary medicine of Koch’s emergency budgets.
Thomas Dyja (New York, New York, New York: Four Decades of Success, Excess, and Transformation)
I live my Life like The Roarin' 20's in the 2020's
Kevin Kolenda
Some of that anger I understood, even if I considered it misdirected. Many of the working- and middle-class whites gravitating to the Tea Party had suffered for decades from sluggish wages, rising costs, and the loss of the steady blue-collar work that provided secure retirements. Bush and establishment Republicans hadn’t done anything for them, and the financial crisis had further hollowed out their communities. And so far, at least, the economy had gotten steadily worse with me in charge, despite more than a trillion dollars channeled into stimulus spending and bailouts. For those already predisposed toward conservative ideas, the notion that my policies were designed to help others at their expense—that the game was rigged and I was part of the rigging—must have seemed entirely plausible.
Barack Obama (A Promised Land)
The country as a whole is far too complex and poor compared to Gujarat, which has been business-friendly and advanced in both governance and physical infrastructure (like roads, ports, etc.) over many decades now. On top of this, Modi’s rather high-handed autocratic personal style (which is resented by many even within his own party) does not augur well for the intricate negotiations with diverse groups, state leaders and coalition partners he will necessarily have to work with at the all-India level. His polarising personality is not conducive to the tasks of compromise and consensus-building a leader inevitably faces in a highly fragmented polity like India’s.
When I’d RSVPed for tonight, I hadn’t expected to be the youngest by three-plus decades. To be honest, I hadn’t expected anything. I didn’t have the mental capacity. The excitement over my first house party overwhelmed me and kept my thoughts abuzz for three weeks. Jim and Valerie suggested Harry and Jackie invite me. Understandably, Harry and Jackie were skeptical about bringing a single male into their close-knit group, but Valerie vouched for me, which persuaded Jackie. I leapt at the invitation—any single male would have—but now, learning about the most recent medications to assist smooth menopausal transition, I was seriously rethinking my decision.
Daniel Stern (Swingland: Between the Sheets of the Secretive, Sometimes Messy, but Always Adventurous Swinging Lifestyle)
Dear KDP Author, Just ahead of World War II, there was a radical invention that shook the foundations of book publishing. It was the paperback book. This was a time when movie tickets cost 10 or 20 cents, and books cost $2.50. The new paperback cost 25 cents – it was ten times cheaper. Readers loved the paperback and millions of copies were sold in just the first year. With it being so inexpensive and with so many more people able to afford to buy and read books, you would think the literary establishment of the day would have celebrated the invention of the paperback, yes? Nope. Instead, they dug in and circled the wagons. They believed low cost paperbacks would destroy literary culture and harm the industry (not to mention their own bank accounts). Many bookstores refused to stock them, and the early paperback publishers had to use unconventional methods of distribution – places like newsstands and drugstores. The famous author George Orwell came out publicly and said about the new paperback format, if “publishers had any sense, they would combine against them and suppress them.” Yes, George Orwell was suggesting collusion. Well… history doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme. Fast forward to today, and it’s the e-book’s turn to be opposed by the literary establishment. Amazon and Hachette – a big US publisher and part of a $10 billion media conglomerate – are in the middle of a business dispute about e-books. We want lower e-book prices. Hachette does not. Many e-books are being released at $14.99 and even $19.99. That is unjustifiably high for an e-book. With an e-book, there’s no printing, no over-printing, no need to forecast, no returns, no lost sales due to out of stock, no warehousing costs, no transportation costs, and there is no secondary market – e-books cannot be resold as used books. E-books can and should be less expensive. Perhaps channeling Orwell’s decades old suggestion, Hachette has already been caught illegally colluding with its competitors to raise e-book prices. So far those parties have paid $166 million in penalties and restitution. Colluding with its competitors to raise prices wasn’t only illegal, it was also highly disrespectful to Hachette’s readers. The fact is many established incumbents in the industry have taken the position that lower e-book prices will “devalue books” and hurt “Arts and Letters.” They’re wrong. Just as paperbacks did not destroy book culture despite being ten times cheaper, neither will e-books. On the contrary, paperbacks ended up rejuvenating the book industry and making it stronger. The same will happen with e-books. Many inside the echo-chamber of the industry often draw the box too small. They think books only compete against books. But in reality, books compete against mobile games, television, movies, Facebook, blogs, free news sites and more. If we want a healthy reading culture, we have to work hard to be sure books actually are competitive against these other media types, and a big part of that is working hard to make books less expensive. Moreover, e-books are highly price elastic. This means that when the price goes down, customers buy much more. We've quantified the price elasticity of e-books from repeated measurements across many titles. For every copy an e-book would sell at $14.99, it would sell 1.74 copies if priced at $9.99. So, for example, if customers would buy 100,000 copies of a particular e-book at $14.99, then customers would buy 174,000 copies of that same e-book at $9.99. Total revenue at $14.99 would be $1,499,000. Total revenue at $9.99 is $1,738,000. The important thing to note here is that the lower price is good for all parties involved: the customer is paying 33% less and the author is getting a royalty check 16% larger and being read by an audience that’s 74% larger. The pie is simply bigger.
Amazon Kdp
Two opinion pieces written by local author Catherine Lim in The Straits Times in 1994 were good examples of the political climate in the early years of Goh’s administration. The first article was titled “The PAP and the People: A Great Affective Divide.” Her thesis was that while the people of Singapore recognized the effective job the party did in running Singapore and providing for its prosperity, many of them did not like their leaders very much. For instance, on National Day, many Singaporeans did not fly the national flag because of the close connection between it and the PAP. Somehow flying the flag indicated you were a PAP supporter or liked the party, which in many minds was different from respecting what the leaders had done. In her second article, Lim questioned whether any significant political change had taken place with the handover of power from Lee Kuan Yew to Goh Chok Tong. She argued that the large salary increase for government officials that had been approved was an example of the continuing top-down style of government. In a way, the government’s response to these articles proved her correct. Its immediate reaction was to state that local writers had no business being involved in political issues. If they wanted to do so, they should join a political party and not give opinions from the sidelines. The argument was the same one used almost a decade earlier against the law society and against the churches. While there had been an attempt to obtain more feedback from people, there was still a deep feeling among PAP leaders that public political debate must be limited. Even in the mid-1990s, there was still a belief that too broad a discourse would threaten Singapore’s success.
Mussolini and Hitler also felt that they were doing things along similar lines to FDR. Indeed, they celebrated the New Deal as a kindred effort. The German press was particularly lavish in its praise for FDR. In 1934 the Völkischer Beobachter—the Nazi Party’s official newspaper—described Roosevelt as a man of “irreproachable, extremely responsible character and immovable will” and a “warmhearted leader of the people with a profound understanding of social needs.” The paper emphasized that Roosevelt, through his New Deal, had eliminated “the uninhibited frenzy of market speculation” of the previous decade by adopting “National Socialist strains of thought in his economic and social policies.” After his first year in office, Hitler sent FDR a private letter congratulating “his heroic efforts in the interests of the American people. The President’s successful battle against economic distress is being followed by the entire German people with interest and admiration.” And he told the American ambassador, William Dodd, that he was “in accord with the President in the view that the virtue of duty, readiness for sacrifice, and discipline should dominate the entire people. These moral demands which the President places before every individual citizen of the United States are also the quintessence of the German state philosophy, which finds its expression in the slogan ‘The Public Weal Transcends the Interest of the Individual.’ ”38
Jonah Goldberg (Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning)
Now that the campaign is over and the returns are in, analysis of the latest Albanian election begins. The facts are clear: Communist Party chief Enver Hoxha’s slate of candidates for Parliament won by the comfortable margin of 1,627,959 to 1. The message seems to be: Stay the course. The party ran well in all regions and among all classes—worker, peasant and apparatchik. It swept the atheist vote. The much ballyhooed gender gap never developed. On the other hand, it failed to make any inroads on opposition support. (In the last Albanian election there was also one vote against.) Some observers had been predicting that opposition support might double, but that prospect dimmed last December when a potential leader of the movement, Prime Minister Mehmet Shehu, committed suicide.
Charles Krauthammer (Things That Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes, and Politics)
Between social mobilization and liberal democracy From Alexis de Tocqueville onward there has been a large body of democratic theory arguing that modern liberal democracy cannot exist without a vigorous civil society.29 The mobilization of social groups allows weak individuals to pool their interests and enter the political system; even when social groups do not seek political objectives, voluntary associations have spillover effects in fostering the ability of individuals to work with one another in novel situations—what is termed social capital. The correlation noted above linking economic growth to stable liberal democracy presumably comes about via the channel of social mobilization: growth entails the emergence of new social actors who then demand representation in a more open political system and press for a democratic transition. When the political system is well institutionalized and can accommodate these new actors, then there is a successful transition to full democracy. This is what happened with the rise of farmers’ movements and socialist parties in Britain and Sweden in the early decades of the twentieth century, and in South Korea after the fall of the military dictatorship in 1987. A highly developed civil society can also pose dangers for democracy and can even lead to political decay. Groups based on ethnic or racial chauvinism spread intolerance; interest groups can invest effort in zero-sum rent seeking; excessive politicization of economic and social conflicts can paralyze societies and undermine the legitimacy of democratic institutions. 30 Social mobilization can lead to political decay. The Huntingtonian process whereby political institutions failed to accommodate demands of new social actors for participation arguably happened in Bolivia and Ecuador in the 1990s and 2000s with the repeated unseating of elected presidents by highly mobilized social groups.31
Francis Fukuyama (The Origins of Political Order: From Prehuman Times to the French Revolution)
Now, I’m an apolitical person (which I realize is its own kind of misleading political posture, but I think you know what I mean). I do not have conventional political affiliations. I follow presidential elections the same way I follow the NFL playoffs: obsessively and dispassionately. But Sarah Palin was (and is) a real problem. Her nomination for vice president in 2008 represents the most desperate inclinations of the Republican Party. In two hundred years, I suspect historians will use Palin as an example of how insane America became in the decade following the destruction of the World Trade Center, and her origin story will seem as extraterrestrial and eccentric as Abe Lincoln jumping out of a window to undermine a voting quorum in 1840.
Chuck Klosterman
Voltaire was so engrossed in the struggle against ecclesiastical tyranny that during the later decades of his life he was compelled almost to withdraw from the war on political corruption and oppression. “Politics is not in my line: I have always confined myself to doing my little best to make men less foolish and more honorable.” He knew how complex a matter political philosophy can become, and he shed his certainties as he grew. “I am tired of all these people who govern states from the recesses of their garrets”;95 “these legislators who rule the world at two cents a sheet; . . . unable to govern their wives or their households they take great pleasure in regulating the universe.”96 It is impossible to settle these matters with simple and general formulae, or by dividing all people into fools and knaves on the one hand, and on the other, ourselves. “Truth has not the name of a party”; and he writes to Vauvenargues: “It is the duty of a man like you to have preferences, but not exclusions.”97
Will Durant (The Story of Philosophy)
It has been well documented that for a few decades MTV played music videos. VJs like J.J. Jackson, ‘Downtown’ Julie Brown (‘we saw your boobs’ – hat nod to Seth MacFarlane), and wet-fart Jesse Camp used to intro the freshest, hippest songs in all the land. Heck, they even introduced us to the musical side of Eddie Murphy with his immortal anthem ‘Party All The Time’. Nothing beats the cameo from Rick James in which he nods uncontrollably each time Murphy fails to hit a note.
Jon Chattman (Time Heels: Cheating, Stealing, Spandex and the Most Villainous Moments in the History of Pro Wrestling)
For decades, Billboard had to rely on record-store owners and radio stations to report the most-bought and most-played songs. Both parties lied, often because labels nudged or bribed them to plug certain records, or because store owners didn’t want to promote albums they no longer had in stock.
Al is the upside down man. Back home, you work all day and night to learn how to paint, learn linseed and cadmium and badger-hair and perspective, which is just math in art-school drag, you know? And maybe you still can't do anything worth phoning the Met over. But hey, getting a boy to fuck you is just the easiest thing since Sunday naps. Up top, getting drunk at a party is what you do when you're all out of art. But in...Canada? Are we calling it Canada now? Ok! Al's the King of Canada and he says: fuck that for a lark! The world feels like being a bastard-and-a-half this decade, let's play nine-pins on its grave. Down here it's all the same! Kiss a boy and books come out! Ralph up Parthenons into the upstairs toilet! Dance poems, shit showtunes! Art is easy! Pick up genius at the corner shop! Sell your soul and half your shoes for a glass of gin!' He looks up at Zelda Fair and his poor goblin face goes all twisted up and desperate. 'It's all fucked anyway, you see? The end of the world already happened. It's happening all the time. It's gonna happen again. And again after that. Just when you think it's done falling on its face, the world picks itself up and throws itself off a roof. Boom. Pavement. The world's ending forever and ever and we're not even allowed to toast at her funeral. So we gotta do something else or she won't know we ever loved her.
Catherynne M. Valente (Speak Easy)
Africa had free markets and a thriving entrepreneurial culture and tradition centuries before these became the animating ideas of the United States or Western Europe. Timbuktu, the legendary city in northern Mali, was a famous trading post and marketplace as far back as the twelfth century, as vital to the commerce of North and West Africa as ports on the Mediterranean were to Europe and the Levant. In Africa Unchained, George Ayittey offers myriad examples of industrial activity in precolonial Africa, from the indigo-dye cloth trade of fourteenth-century Kano, Nigeria, to the flourishing glass industry of precolonial Benin to the palm oil businesses of southern Nigeria to the Kente cotton trade of the Asante of Ghana in the 1800s: “Profit was never an alien concept to Africa. Throughout its history there have been numerous entrepreneurs. The aim of traders and numerous brokers or middlemen was profit and wealth.”2 The tragedy is what happened next. These skills and traditions were destroyed, damaged, eroded or forced underground, first during centuries of slave wars and colonialism and, later, through decades of corrupt postindependence rule, usually in service to foreign ideologies of socialism or communism. No postcolonial leader in Africa who fought for independence has ever adequately explained why liberation from colonial rule necessarily meant following the ideas and philosophies of Karl Marx, a gray-bearded nineteenth-century German academic who worked out of the British Library and never set foot in Africa. At the same time, neither should we have ever allowed ourselves to become beholden to paternalistic aid organizations that were sending their representatives to build our wells and plant our food for us. Nor, for that matter, should we have relied on the bureaucrats of the Western world telling us how to be proper capitalists or—as is happening now—to Party officials in Beijing telling us what they want in exchange for this or that project. It was this outside influence—starting with colonialism but later from our own terrible and corrupt policies and leaderships—that the stereotype of the lazy, helpless, unimaginative and dependent African developed. The point is that we Africans have to take charge of our own destiny, and to do this we can call on our own unique culture and traditions of innovation, free enterprise and free trade. We are a continent of entrepreneurs.
Ashish J. Thakkar (The Lion Awakes: Adventures in Africa's Economic Miracle)
A clearing of a gravelly throat pulled him from his thoughts. He turned and looked at Thomas, the boat captain, who was seventy if he was a day. “I think that’s your party there,” the older man said, nodding toward the gravel lot at the end of the dock. If he seemed a bit uncomfortable, Cooper chalked it up to the rather taciturn older man being thrust into what, based on the bits and pieces of the conversations Cooper had overheard while eating breakfast at the café that morning, was the biggest gossip story to hit the Cove in ages. Maybe the boat captain had been secretly hoping Kerry wouldn’t show and he’d be excused from chaperoning duties. Cooper was too relieved that Kerry had come to get distracted by what the captain was thinking or feeling. He turned around, a welcoming grin on his face, then went completely, utterly still. Even his heart seemed to have stuttered to a stop. Holy jumping mother of--what in the hell was she wearing? He’d just been hoping she’d show at all and assumed he’d have to cajole her out of being annoyed with him for his high-handedness. Again. Only she sure didn’t look annoyed. She looked…like an edible tray of ripe, luscious fruit. With him being the only guest invited to the bountiful buffet. Sweet Jesus. How was he supposed to keep his hands to himself with her wearing nothing more than a glorified bandana? She drew closer, and her smile turned a shade smug. She was clearly enjoying his all but cartoon character worthy, goggling reaction. And well, hell, what did she expect? He was a red-blooded male whose bed had remained strikingly empty since her departure. Since long before then, truth be told. “Hi, Thomas,” she called to the boat captain as she closed the remaining distance between them, still smiling brightly. If she was uncomfortable in her little getup in front of the older man--a man, Cooper supposed, she had to know, given everybody knew everyone in such a small village--she didn’t show it. Instead, she said, “Did they rook you into being our captain today?” The old man’s cheeks were beet red in a way that had nothing to do with decades of harsh weather. He nodded somewhat tensely. “Did indeed, Miss Kerry. Good to, uh, good to see ya,” he managed to choke out, trying to look anywhere but at the expanse of bare leg and curvy cleavage. Cooper would have felt sorry for the man, but he was too busy trying to get his own voice back.
Donna Kauffman (Starfish Moon (Brides of Blueberry Cove, #3))
Not everyone agrees with these descriptions of Buckley. Other writers on both the left and the right have suggested that contemporary conservatism is still pursuing Buckley’s goals and using his tactics. In American Spectator, a conservative magazine, Jeremy Lott argued that the Tea Party was using the same long-term strategy championed by Buckley, even when it meant sacrificing short-term partisan gains.106 Criticizing conservatism from the left, Rick Perlstein argued that it is a myth that Buckley, or anyone else, ever reined in the “crazier” impulses of the American right, and trends we see within the conservative movement today are merely a continuation of precedents set decades ago.
George Hawley (Right-Wing Critics of American Conservatism)
In more than a decade of psychotherapy practice, I have met thousands of people who refer to themselves as “shy.” Often, these people believe shyness is a fait accomplice, a matter of genetic predisposition that they must deal with as a fact of life. They say they were “born shy”—their parents, grandparents, or other relatives are shy too, and it’s just in their blood to be timid. Of course, behavior also can be handed down through conditioning—perhaps your mom always got nervous before a party so you learned to react the same way. Believing that “shyness” is an indelible component of the personality can be a real stumbling block to overcoming social fears. “That’s just the way I am” becomes an excuse for not taking responsibility for individual well-being. In order to change this mindset, it is important to understand that because shyness is learned, it can be unlearned. Anxiety can be controlled.
Jonathan Berent (Beyond Shyness: How to Conquer Social Anxieties)
This world is a strange madhouse,” he wrote to a friend three weeks after the rally. “Currently every coachman and every waiter is debating whether relativity theory is correct. Belief in this matter depends on political party affiliation.” His words would be echoed decades later by mystified climate scientists.
Shawn Lawrence Otto (The War on Science: Who's Waging It, Why It Matters, What We Can Do About It)
the United States has an impressive record of gatekeeping. Both Democrats and Republicans have confronted extremist figures on their fringes, some of whom enjoyed considerable public support. For decades, both parties succeeded in keeping these figures out of the mainstream. Until, of course, 2016.
Steven Levitsky (How Democracies Die)
It was only when a new single-party constituent assembly usurped the power of Congress in 2017, nearly two decades after Chávez first won the presidency, that Venezuela was widely recognized as an autocracy. This
Steven Levitsky (How Democracies Die)
On another occasion, Alinsky was working in his home base of Chicago to force Chicago’s department stores to give jobs to black activists who were Alinsky’s cronies. On this issue of course Alinsky was competing—or working in tandem, however we choose to view it—with Chicago’s number one racial shakedown man, Jesse Jackson. Jackson mastered a simple strategy of converting race into a protection racket. He would offer to “protect” Chicago businesses from accusations of racism—accusations that the businesses knew were actually fomented by Jackson himself. The businesses would then pay Jackson to make the trouble go away, and also to chase away other potential troublemakers. In return for his efforts, Jackson would typically receive hundreds of thousands in annual donations from the company, plus jobs and minority contracts that would go through his network, and finally other goodies such as free flights on the corporate airplane, supposedly for his “charitable work.” Later Jackson would go national with this blackmail approach. In New York, for example, Jackson opened an office on Wall Street where he extracted millions of dollars in money and patronage from several leading investment houses including Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, First Boston, Morgan Stanley, Paine Webber, and Prudential Securities. On the national stage, another race hustler, Al Sharpton, joined Jackson. For two decades these shakedown men in clerical garb successfully prosecuted their hustles. Jackson was the leader at first, but eventually Sharpton proved more successful than Jackson. While Jackson’s star has faded, Sharpton became President Obama’s chief advisor on race issues.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
To understand Hillary, we must solve the Hillary enigma. The Hillary enigma is why anyone—any American, any Democrat, even Bill—would consider voting for her. Yes, I know she wants to be the first woman president. But women across the country, in high positions and in low, are doing things, accomplishing things. This woman has been in public life for decades, and yet she has accomplished nothing.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
Nearly five decades before there was a tea party movement to oppose Obamacare, there was a coffee party movement. It began in the early 1960s when doctors rallied together to try to save their profession and their patients from a federal takeover of the medical system.
Ted Cruz (A Time for Truth: Reigniting the Promise of America)
These con artists are, just like their Boston counterparts, part of a crime network. This crime network is the Democratic Party, and its leaders are the progressives. For decades now the progressives have assailed theft in America, blaming it on the greedy capitalists. They have claimed a virtual monopoly on political virtue, declaring themselves the champions of justice and equality.
Dinesh D'Souza (Stealing America: What My Experience with Criminal Gangs Taught Me about Obama, Hillary, and the Democratic Party)
An indignant Jackson and his supporters formed the Democratic Party, while his opponents coalesced into a rival Whig Party. These were the two parties that dominated American politics for the next few decades, until the Whig Party collapsed and the Republican Party was founded. The Whigs, led by the stalwart Henry Clay, provided modest though largely ineffective resistance to Jackson. Until the founding of the Republican Party, however, there was no party in America strong enough to stop the thieving Democrats.
Dinesh D'Souza (Hillary's America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party)
Aung San spent the rest of 1940 in the Japanese capital, learning Japanese and apparently getting swept away in all the fascist euphoria surrounding him. “What we want is a strong state administration as exemplified in Germany and Japan. There shall be one nation, one state, one party, one leader . . . there shall be no nonsense of individualism. Everyone must submit to the state which is supreme over the individual . . . ,” he wrote in those heady days of the Rising Sun.8 He spoke Japanese, wore a kimono, and even took a Japanese name. He then sneaked back into Burma, landing secretly at Bassein. He changed into a longyi and then took the train unnoticed to Rangoon. He made contact with his old colleagues. Within weeks, in small batches and with the help of Suzuki’s secret agents in Rangoon, Aung San and his new select team traveled by sea to the Japanese-controlled island of Hainan, in the South China Sea. There were thirty in all—the Thirty Comrades—and they would soon be immortalized in nationalist mythology. Aung San at twenty-five was one of the three oldest. He took Teza meaning “Fire” as his nom de guerre. The other two took the names Setkya (A Magic Weapon) and Ne Win (the Bright Sun). All thirty prefixed their names with the title Bo. “Bo” meant an officer and had come to be the way all Europeans in Burma were referred to, signifying their ruling status. The Burmese were now to have their own “bo” for the first time since 1885. But six months of harsh Japanese military training still lay ahead. It wasn’t easy, and at one point some of the younger men were close to calling it quits. Aung San, Setkya, and Ne Win received special training, as they were intended for senior positions. But all had to pass through the same grueling physical tests, saluting the Japanese flag and learning to sing Japanese songs. They heard tales of combat and listened to Suzuki boasting of how he had killed women and children in Siberia.9 It was a bonding experience that would shape Burmese politics for decades to come.
Thant Myint-U (The River of Lost Footsteps: A Personal History of Burma)
The meanness that first bothered me, though, when I encountered it a decade ago, long before I was married, was in a short story in Pigeon Feathers in which a young husband returns with hamburgers and eats them happily with his family in front of the fire, and thinks lovingly of his wife’s Joyceanly “smackwarm” thighs, and then, in the next paragraph, says as narrator (the “you” directed at the narrator’s wife), “In the morning, to my relief, you are ugly.… The skin between your breasts is a sad yellow.” And a little later, “Seven years have worn this woman.” This hit me as inexcusably brutal when I read it. I couldn’t imagine Updike’s real, nonfictional wife reading that paragraph and not being made very unhappy. You never know, though; the internal mechanics of marriages are shielded from us, and maybe in the months after that story came out the two of them enjoyed a wry private joke whenever they went to a party and she wore a dress with a high neckline and they noticed some interlocutor’s gaze drop to her breasts and they saw together the little knowing look cross his unpleasantly salacious features as he thought to himself, Ho ho: high neckline to cover up all that canary-yellow, eh? Updike knows that people are going to assume that the fictional wife of an Updike-like male character corresponds closely with Updike’s own real-life wife — after all, Updike himself angered Nabokov by suggesting that Ada was Vera. How can Updike have the whatever, the disempathy, I used frequently to ask myself, and ask myself right now, to put in print that his wife appeared ugly to him that morning, especially in so vivid a way? It just oughtn’t to be done! It makes us readers imagine her speculating as she read it: “Which morning was he thinking that? He sat at the kitchen table eating breakfast and thinking I was ugly and worn! And I had no idea.
Nicholson Baker (U and I)
Today many people in America slavishly devote themselves to a political party without engaging in critical analysis of whether the philosophies of that party are really in sync with their true values and with the betterment of their position in society. If decades of such devotion leads to more broken families, more out-of-wedlock births, more involvement with the criminal justice system, more poverty and more dependency on government, maybe it is time to ask whether such devotion is warranted.
Ben Carson
Clay had been able, decade after decade, to quell rancor and bring opposing parties together in compromise. Time and again, he resisted “extremes of opinion” in both North and South. “Whatever he did, he did for the whole country.
Doris Kearns Goodwin (Leadership: In Turbulent Times)
What do we do in a hot cold war, when perhaps our reality was so detonated that we sense the surreal nature of this timeline, because it is, in fact, entirely different, and what has transpired here to create so absurdly alien a landscape as the alien city-change of atomized clouds, of the ideological equivalent of a nuclear bomb? But the weapon is crafted to meet the kind of warfare, and this decade’s weapon will not strike in one explosion, because mind is not like that, but slow and persistent and with a face we know, a face that is ourselves, and the most terrifying part is that we deeply suspect and not wrongly so and in no way explained by a foreign intent that, it is, in fact, ourselves we see? And does this opening-tool of a window, this channel and central stage of culture and freedom and self and things that is this internet through which I speak these words, necessarily succumb to one party’s control? Just as body and the things we touch are no longer separate, will self and weapon ever be?
Alice Minium
In the waning decades of the twentieth century, liberals and conservatives alike cast the lingering divisions of the 1960s less as matters of law and order than as matters of life and death. Either abortion was murder and guns meant freedom or guns meant murder and abortion was freedom. How this sorted out came to depend upon party affiliation.
Jill Lepore (These Truths: A History of the United States)
Looking back, what seems clear to him now is that while making choices that would affect millions of people, over decades, neither he nor those around him stopped to take a longer-term view. It’s especially upsetting, he says, to recall that he and his colleagues were aware of diesel’s dangers. Concerned enough to add a nominal premium into their tax overhaul, but not enough to rethink the system they were creating. More than any one decision, it’s that short-sightedness he regrets now: “It’s a horrible thing to say, but it almost didn’t seem relevant to ask what the long-term consequences were. Didn’t seem like that’s what my job was.” In his view—and I agree—that flaw wasn’t unique to one party, or one time. Nor even one country. It’s “bound up in the nature of our politics. You’re operating one budget to the next, one election to the next,” he says. “The mistake is the way we were doing the job.
Beth Gardiner (Choked: Life and Breath in the Age of Air Pollution)
The gloating continues, with the following sentence: “The illusion of world supremacy played a cruel joke on Washington.” Of course, illusions don’t play cruel jokes – only people play cruel jokes. It was, in fact, the secret structures of the Communist Party Soviet Union and KGB that facilitated the cruel joke. As Pravda noted, “The situation has been developing to the above-mentioned scenario for over two decades.” I have been anticipating this moment for 27 years; that is, the moment when the Russians would pull off their democratic Halloween mask and reveal their totalitarian face. I have never had the illusion that America or the West would “wake up” before the Kremlin leaders had gained a critical advantage. At the same time I do not believe they will prevail in the end. When nearly everyone realizes what has happened the whole world will crave an accounting. What is written here is a small attempt toward that goal. It is not a matter of blaming anyone, but of pulling ideas and people together at the eleventh hour. Whatever disaster befalls us, we are better equipped to face the odds when we possess a clear picture of what went wrong. This picture must include a detailed account of that fatal and seductive optimism which even now prevents a full understanding of the problem we face. The leaders of the West could not change course because the logic of our civilization is the logic of economic optimism. Of course, economic optimism is itself necessary to economic success. Such optimism is generally good except it completely fails when confronting an enemy. The fiasco was a quarter of a century in the making, and now it is time to replace economic optimism with political realism. Do not be fooled by the apparent strength of the enemy; for just as the enemy’s weakness was a partial façade, so is the enemy’s current strength. Politically organized psychopaths, however clever or ruthless they might be, can only succeed if we surrender to them. And we must never do such a thing. The psychopath under the bed has now come out to play; and although he has better toys, he is still an ineffectual being, a misfit and a failure. He can harm many people, but he cannot build anything of value. He dwells in a House of Lies atop a hill made of corpses. He promises only death, and not life. And this is a truth we must never forget.
J.R. Nyquist
Coursing through history like waves of panic, the conviction that civilization was hurtling toward an energy disaster has become embedded in the culture. Time after time, decade after decade, presidents, prime ministers, and politicians of every party have predicted that the world will soon run out of oil and gas. Time after time, decade after decade, new supplies have been found and old reservoirs extended. People forgot their apprehensions until the next alarm, the next prophecies of catastrophe.
Charles C. Mann (The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow's World)
When the more lurid popular newspapers in England mentioned men in women’s clothing ‘nigger-dancing’ at Chelsea parties, the ‘blame’ was laid on the frontline custom of soldiers donning dresses for troop shows.
Philip Hoare (Oscar Wilde's Last Stand: Decadence, Conspiracy, and the Most Outrageous Trial of the Century)
RBG firmly believed that for women to be equal, men had to be free. Decades later, an unnamed guest at a dinner party told the New York Times that RBG had fiercely interrupted another guest who mentioned she’d worked on behalf of “women’s liberation.” “She turned on him and said, ‘It is not women’s liberation; it is women’s and men’s liberation.’ I’d never seen her exercise such strength and vehemence.
Irin Carmon (Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg)