Saturday Morning Wisdom — Quotable Quotes

Saturday morning seems like a good time to slow down from the week’s rush and feast on the wisdom to be found in some quotable quotes from the past and present. Soak it in:

Plus ca Change, plus c’est la meme chose — A little French for “The more things change the more they stay the same.” There is deep wisdom in those words, notwithstanding they come from the French.

Socialism is the philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy. — Winston Churchill

Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it — George Santayana

[OK, this one by Santayana has been repeated so many times it’s nigh impossible to find anyone who hasn’t heard it or read it somewhere several times. But it’s so absolutely accurate we have to remember it. The current cries for socialism demonstrate its wisdom so well.]

What is the definition of social justice? Thomas Sowell admonished that “social justice” is merely a fig leaf for wrongdoing.” Envy was once considered to be one of the seven deadly sins before it became one of the most admired virtues under its new name, social justice.”

Want to start a riot on a college campus? It’s easy, just post several sheets of this 1925 speech given by Supreme Court Justice Benjamin Cardozo at the Albany Law School:

“You will study the wisdom of the past, for in the wilderness of conflicting counsels, a trail has there been blazed. You will study the life of mankind, for this is the life you must order, and, to order with wisdom, must know. You will study the precepts of justice, for these are the truths that through you shall come to their hour of triumph. Here is the high emprise, the fine endeavor, the splendid possibility of achievement, to which I summon you and bid you welcome.”

People do not expect to find chastity in a whorehouse. Why, then, do they expect to find honesty and humanity in government, a congeries of institutions whose modus operandi consists of lying, cheating, stealing, and if need be, murdering those who resist? — H. L. Mencken

Regarding the rise of “Antifa” in the Democrat party one wonders why there aren’t any Democrat leaders who would want to cleanse their party of these fascists. But then one remembers that the Democrat party has been the home of slavery, the KKK, Jim Crow, the lynching of blacks, Bull Connor and his fire hoses, vote fraud, poll taxes, eugenics, illegal immigration, sanctuary cities for criminals, disarming law-abiding American citizens, “living” Constitution, men in women’s bathrooms, general hooliganism, and now suppression of free speech. Have I left anything out?

Intolerant vulgarians of the dirtbag left.

“Thou shouldst not have been old before thou hadst been wise.” — The Fool to King Lear

On listening to Richard Epstein: “It is sort of like walking up to Niagara Falls with a cork.” –James Lileks

That Marian Partington suffered terrible loss and its consequent pain, however, does not justify self-centeredness, self-absorption, and self-congratulation, or absolve her of the responsibility to think clearly, at least when she lays her thoughts before the public. Over and over again, Partington extols forgiveness, indiscriminately and without proper examination, as if to fail to forgive were necessarily to fall prey to insensate vengefulness and automatically to inflict cruelty, and as if compassion required forgiveness of wrong in every case. Her book is a description, often unctuous and syrupy, of her struggle to forgive Rosemary West. In the process, she ropes in as many different kinds of mysticism as she can—both Buddhist, from Tibetan and Chinese to Zen, and Christian, from Saint John of the Cross and Rowan Williams to Quaker. For her, a cloudy benevolence always trumps a hard-edged truth; her views are therefore a potpourri, minestrone, or Mickey Finn of religious—or rather, religiose—ethics; she is that very modern type, spiritual but not religious.  — Theodore Dalrymple, Sentimentalizing Serial Murder

An inventive mind can always amuse itself

Who ever thought that one need not guard Fort Knox after defeating an attack on it. We have always known that eternal vigilance is the price of freedom. It’s worse now, because capture of government is so much more important than it once was. There was a time when there was enough freedom that it hardly mattered which brand of crooks ran government. That has not been true for a long time — not during most of your lifetimes, and for much of mine — and it will probably never be true again.  — John Hinderaker

The nation needs a strong two party system. At the moment those who really don’t believe in freedom are in ascendancy. We face Depression. This is hardly the time to give up; nor is it the time to say, well, we will never take control of the Republican Party and keep it. The country club elites who feel entitled will always be there, ready —

Exactly. They will always be there, ready to compromise any principle to keep power. — Jerry Pournelle, 

And, of course, when you have a system of government so demanding at top levels that few normal people care to participate in it, you will get few normal people at the top levels.– Instapundit

Throughout history, poverty is the normal condition of man. Advances which permit this norm to be exceeded — here and there, now and then — are the work of an extremely small minority, frequently despised, often condemned, and almost always opposed by all right-thinking people. Whenever this tiny minority is kept from creating, or (as sometimes happens) is driven out of a society, the people then slip back into abject poverty.
This is known as “bad luck.”  — Lazarus Long in Time Enough For Love (1973), by Robert Heinlein.

As serendipity would have it, the entire episode coincided with my discovery of psychologist Steven Pinker’s latest book, The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined. There is a single gem of wisdom in Pinker’s book that seems particularly pertinent to this controversy. Pinker reports, on the basis of deep knowledge about human psychology, that people systematically overestimate their own grievances and underestimate the pain borne by others. This bias transcends the notion that the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence. It’s the regrettable tendency that we all have: believing that our grass alone is brown, and it’s the fault of all our neighbors. …

— Law Prof Blog, January 15, 2012

The man of system . . . is apt to be very wise in his own conceit; and is often so enamored with the supposed beauty of his own ideal plan of government, that he cannot suffer the smallest deviation from any part of it. He goes on to establish it completely and in all its parts, without any regard either to the great interests or to the strong prejudices which may oppose it. He seems to imagine that he can arrange the different members of a great society with as much ease as the hand arranges the different pieces upon a chess-board.  — Adam Smith 

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