Sunday, April 02, 2017

Many times I've wondered how much there is to know.

Jimmy Page/Robert Plant, Over the Hills and Far Away

Sunday, March 05, 2017

The Authoritarian Personality

• Rigid adherence to conventional, middle-class values.

• Submissive, uncritical attitude toward idealised moral authorities of the in-group.

• Opposition to the subjective, the imaginative, the tender-minded.

• Tendency to…condemn, reject, and punish people who violate conventional values.

• The belief in mystical determinants of the individual’s fate….

• Preoccupation with the dominance- submission, strong-weak, leader-follower dimension; identification with power figures….

• Generalized hostility, vilification of the human.

• The disposition to believe that wild and dangerous things go on in the world; the projection outwards of unconscious emotional impulses.

• Exaggerated concern with sexual “goings-on.”

From a March 23, 2017 New York Review piece on the Frankfurt School:

Friday, March 03, 2017

The real objective must always be the good life for all the people.  International machinery will mean something to the common man throughout the world only when it is translated into terms that he can understand: peace, bread, housing, clothing, education, good health, and above all, the right to walk with dignity on the world's great boulevards.

Ralph J. Bunche, Mont Tremblant, Canada (1942)

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Voices in My Head

[W]hat a meditative poem contributes to the history of consciousness is a reenactment in real time of the volatile inner life of a human being. Such a poem does not present itself as plot or character portrayal or argument, but rather ... as a hypothesis .... and include[s] waverings, self-contradictions, repudiations, aspirations, and doubts; they are not offered as a philosophical system.

Helen Vendler,  The New York Review of Books (February 23, 2017)

Monday, January 16, 2017

The first step in dealing with the madness of the political world is not to let it make you crazy.... Fanaticism always seems foolish until it locks you up.

Adam Gopnik, Mixed Up: Montaigne On Trial (New Yorker, Jan 16, 2017)