Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries Tagged as 'Freedom'

People Came to This Country for Either Money or Freedom – “Freedom: A Novel”, Jonathan Franzen

October 27th, 2012 · Comments Off on People Came to This Country for Either Money or Freedom – “Freedom: A Novel”, Jonathan Franzen · Campaigning, Politics, US Politics, USA

People came to this country for either money or freedom. If you don’t have money, you cling to your freedoms all the more angrily. Even if smoking kills you, even if you can’t afford to feed your kids, even if your kids are getting shot down by maniacs with assault rifles. You may be poor, […]

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Self Interest – “On the Wealth of Nations”, P.J. O’Rourke

May 15th, 2012 · Comments Off on Self Interest – “On the Wealth of Nations”, P.J. O’Rourke · Economics, Policy, Politics

The law ought always to trust people with the care of their own interest, as…they must generally be able to judge better of it than the legislator can do.

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Liberty and Property – “On the Wealth of Nations”, P.J. O’Rourke

May 14th, 2012 · Comments Off on Liberty and Property – “On the Wealth of Nations”, P.J. O’Rourke · Economics, Philosophy, Policy

Any definition of liberty that is not based on a right to property and a right to the same rights as all other people have is meaningless. What we have is ours, and nobody can push us around. This is practically all we mean when we say we are free. Other rights derive from these, […]

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Thomas Jefferson: “Don’t Feed the Trolls” – “Mudslingers: The Twenty-Five Dirtiest Political Campaigns of All Time” – Kerwin Swint

May 2nd, 2012 · Comments Off on Thomas Jefferson: “Don’t Feed the Trolls” – “Mudslingers: The Twenty-Five Dirtiest Political Campaigns of All Time” – Kerwin Swint · Democracy, Politics, Quotes

The inauguration of Thomas Jefferson was the first held in the new capital city of Washington, D.C. In his inaugural address, Jefferson attempted to move beyond party distinctions and unify the country once again. “We are all Republicans; We are all Federalists,” he said. “If there be any among us who would wish to dissolve […]

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Yes, There Are Men in This Terrible World Who are Guilty – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman

April 9th, 2012 · Comments Off on Yes, There Are Men in This Terrible World Who are Guilty – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman · Genocide, Human Rights, Humanism, Morality, Philosophy, Totalitarianism

There is divine judgement, there is the judgement of a State and the judgement of society, but there is one supreme judgement: the judgement of one sinner over another. A sinner can measure the power of the totalitarian state and find it limitless: through propaganda, hunger, loneliness, infamy, obscurity, labour camps and the threat of […]

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Even Herod Did Not Shed Blood in the Name of Evil – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman

April 7th, 2012 · Comments Off on Even Herod Did Not Shed Blood in the Name of Evil – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman · Christianity, Humanism, Morality, Philosophy, Religion

People struggling for their particular good always attempt to dress it up as a universal good. They say: my good coincides with the universal good; my good is essential not only to me but to everyone; in achieving my good, I serve the universal good. And so the good of a sect, class, nation or […]

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The Greatest Enemy of Fascism is Man – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman

April 6th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Greatest Enemy of Fascism is Man – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman · Extremism, History, Human Rights, Totalitarianism, WW2

If Fascism should ever be fully assured of its final triumph, the world will choke in blood. If the day ever dawns when Fascism is without armed enemies, then its executioners will know no restraint: the greatest enemy of Fascism is man.

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We Made a Mistake – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman

April 6th, 2012 · Comments Off on We Made a Mistake – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman · Communism, Extremism, Ideology, Totalitarianism

A conversation between two Bolsheviks in a Siberian gulag: ‘Listen now,’ he said, sitting up in bed. ‘Listen, my friend. This will be the last time I call you like this.’ ‘Don’t talk like that,’ said Abarchuk. ‘You’re going to live!’ ‘I’d sooner undergo torture, but I have to say this… You listen too,’ he […]

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The Minds of Soldiers – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman

April 4th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Minds of Soldiers – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman · Humanism, Ideology, Philosophy

Linda Grant’s Introduction: Grossman takes us into the minds of a group of soldiers waiting in the forest: one is full of dire forebodings, one is singing, one is chewing bread and sausage and thinking about the sausage, one is trying to identify a bird, one worries about whether he’d offended his friend, one is […]

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What Endures is the Individual – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman

April 3rd, 2012 · Comments Off on What Endures is the Individual – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman · Communism, Humanism

From Linda Grant’s Introduction: For Grossman, communism and fascism are ephemera. What matters, what endures, is the individual and the ordinary act of human kindness, indeed the often senseless act of kindness, as when an old Russian woman, about to hoist a brick in the face of a captured German soldier, instead finds to her […]

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