Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Timely quotes

Andrew Ferguson, in an article about Uncle Sam forgiving student loans:

"In common discourse, public service is already an elastic term, used mostly as a form of self-flattery..."

Leszek Kolakowski, Polish Philosopher, 1995:

"Capitalism developed spontaneously and organically from the spread of commerce. Nobody planned it, and it did not need an all-embracing ideology, whereas socialism was an ideological construction. Ultimately, capitalism is human nature at work--that is, man's greed allowed to follow its course--whereas socialism is an attempt to institutionalize and enforce fraternity. It seems obvious by now that a society in which greed is the main motivation of human action, for all of its repugnant and deplorable aspects, is incomparably better than a society based on compulsory brotherhood, whether in national or international socialism."

In a humorous reflection on social theory, Kolakowski also said:

"Those who hate gardening need a theory. Not to garden without a theory is a shallow, unworthy way of life."

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