Archive for the ‘freedom’ Category

The steel of Brutus burst the grosser bonds but still remained the soft-enchanting fetters of the mind

April 19, 2014

All true lasting freedom, political
or ecclesiastical, is intellectual in its origin and
guarantee.

“The steel of Brutus burst the grosser bonds
By Caesar cast o’er Rome; but still remain’d
The soft-enchanting fetters of the mind,
And other Caesars rose.”

Warriors, statesmen, reformers burst the “grosser
bonds” which are very probably soon imposed again
by some other tyrant if the silken fetter on the mind
be not also burst.

W.L. Watkinson, John Wicklif, 1924, p.25 quoting James Thomson (1700-1748)

 

 

 

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The Poison of Subjectivism

June 12, 2013

If “good” means only the local ideology, how can those who invent the local ideology be guided by any idea of good themselves? The very idea of freedom presupposes some objective moral law which overarches rulers and ruled alike. Subjectivism about values is eternally incompatible with democracy. We and our rulers are of one kind only so long as we are subject to one law. But if there is no Law of Nature, the ethos of any society is the creation of its rulers, educators and conditioners; and every creator stands above and outside his creation.

Unless we return to the crude and nursery-like belief in objective values, we perish. If we do, we may live, and such a return might have one minor advantage. If we believed in the absolute reality of elementary moral platitudes, we should value those who solicit our votes by other standards than have recently been in fashion. While we believe that good is something to be invented, we demand of our rulers such qualities as “vision,” “dynamism,” “creativity,” and the like. If we returned to the objective view we should demand qualities much rarer, and much more beneficial – virtue, knowledge, diligence and skill.

The Poison of Subjectivism, C.S. Lewis

Men of intemperate minds cannot be free

April 7, 2013

It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters.

Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France

The self-restraint of genuine Christianity provides the conditions of a truly free society. Conversely, as society degenerates into licence, restraint must be imposed by the state. Ultimately this leads to totalitarianism.

Truth and freedom are inextricably linked. We must speak the truth, because otherwise we lose our freedom

June 16, 2011

Truth and freedom are inextricably linked. We must speak the truth, because otherwise we lose our freedom.

Geert Wilders (final remarks at his Amsterdam show trial)

Papillon’s New Birth

November 11, 2009

(When escaped convict Henri Charrière arrived on Trinidad an English lawyer opened his house to him. Indeed, the next day Mr Bowen left them alone in his house with his wife and daughter.)

“By leaving his house to three escaped convicts like this he gave us a lesson that couldn’t have been bettered: it was as though he were saying: ‘You are normal decent human beings…now that I have talked to you, I see that you are perfectly trustworthy-so much so that I leave you here in my home like old friends, not supposing for a moment that you could possibly do or say anything wrong.'”

Reader-supposing this book has readers some day-I am not clever and I don’t possess the vivid style, the living power, that is needed to describe this immense feeling of self-respect- no, of rehabilitation, or even of a new life. This figurative baptism, this bath of cleanliness, this raising of me above the filth I had sunk in…quite simply changed my whole being. I had been a convict, a man who could hear his chains even when he was free and who always felt that someone was watching over him…but all that vanished.

Henri Charrière, Papillon (Butterfly), p.116

The south Indians have a monkey trap which consists of a hollowed out coconut chained to a stake. The coconut has some rice inside which can be grabbed through the small hole

October 16, 2009

The south Indians have a monkey trap which consists of a hollowed out coconut chained to a stake. The coconut has some rice inside which can be grabbed through the small hole. The hole is big enough so the monkey’s hand can go in, but too small for his fist with rice to come out. The monkey reaches in and is suddenly trapped — by nothing more than his own rigidity. He can’t revalue the rice. He cannot see that freedom without rice is more valuable than capture with it.

Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, p.316

We hold on to sin and are destroyed by its (hidden) consequences. But there is an escape – to let go of the sin.

I’m free to do what I want any old time

October 11, 2009

I’m free to do what I want any old time

Rolling Stones


Im free to do what I want any old timeI said Im free to do what I want any old timeI say love me, hold me…’Cause Im free to do what I want any old time …And Im free to be who I choose any old time

Soup Dragons

Faith of Communism

August 28, 2009

Arise, you prisoners of starvation!
Arise, you wretched of the earth!
For justice thunders condemnation:
A better world’s in birth!
No more tradition’s chains shall bind us,
Arise you slaves, no more in thrall!
The earth shall rise on new foundations:
We have been nought, we shall be all!
‘Tis the final conflict,
Let each stand in his place.
The international soviet
Shall be the human race
‘Tis the final conflict,
Let each stand in his place.
The international working class
Shall be the human race

We want no condescending saviors
To rule us from their judgment hall,
We workers ask not for their favors
Let us consult for all:
To make the thief disgorge his booty
To free the spirit from its cell,
We must ourselves decide our duty,
We must decide, and do it well.
‘Tis the final conflict,
Let each stand in his place.
The international soviet
Shall be the human race
‘Tis the final conflict,
Let each stand in his place.
The international working class
Shall be the human race

The Internationale, American Version

Note the faith – “a better world’s in birth”  and “The earth shall rise on new foundations” (really? How do you know?)

In light of history (Pol Pot, Mao etc.) the idea that the only human race is the ‘international working class’ is truly disturbing. And it presupposes, indeed glorifies conflict in eschatological terms – tis the fianl conflict (as if the battle is something like the Christ and the anti-Christ – no wonder Marxism is described as a Christian heresy)

Lest we forget

August 26, 2009

The nature of political doublespeak never changes and its agenda is always the same: Obliteration of historical memory in the service of power “The struggle of man against power,” wrote the Czech writer, Milan Kundera, “is the struggle of memory against forgetting.” Only a restored memory can demolish totalitarian myths and make men free.

(David Horowitz, in Big Lies, Center for the Study of Popular Culture, 2005)

I have a dream

August 23, 2009

This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with a new meaning, “My country, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring.” And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York. Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania! Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado! Let freedom ring from the curvaceous peaks of California! But not only that; let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia! Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee! Let freedom ring from every hill and every molehill of Mississippi. From every mountainside, let freedom ring.
When we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old negro spiritual, “Free at last! free at last! thank God Almighty, we are free at last!

MLK, August 28th 1963