Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

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Entries Tagged as 'idealism'

Where would your good be if there were no evil and what would the world look like without shadow – “The Master and Margarita” – Mikhail Bulgakov

July 12th, 2012 · Comments Off on Where would your good be if there were no evil and what would the world look like without shadow – “The Master and Margarita” – Mikhail Bulgakov · Extremism, Morality, Quotes, Religion

‘As soon as you appeared on this roof you made yourself ridiculous. It was your tone of voice. You spoke your words as though you denied the very existence of the shadows or of evil. Think, now: where would your good be if there were no evil and what would the world look like without […]

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The Deep Peace of Being In Opposition – “Arguably: Selected Essays” – Christopher Hitchens

July 5th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Deep Peace of Being In Opposition – “Arguably: Selected Essays” – Christopher Hitchens · Electoralism, Ideology, Means and Ends, Politics, Quotes

I happen to like Stanislas/Constantine. When dealing with an incensed young Bosnian who accused him of being a government stooge, he responds with some gravity by saying: “Yes. For the sake of my country, and perhaps a little for the sake of my soul, I have given up the deep peace of being in opposition.” […]

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Smith on ‘Theorisers’ – “On the Wealth of Nations”, P.J. O’Rourke

May 16th, 2012 · Comments Off on Smith on ‘Theorisers’ – “On the Wealth of Nations”, P.J. O’Rourke · Communism, Extremism, Ideology, Policy, Politics

The danger of theoretical systems was something that Smith addressed with his own theory in part 6 of The Theory of Moral Sentiments. This section of the book was actually written after The Wealth of Nations. Moral Sentiments had been published in 1759 when Smith was teaching at Glasgow. But Smith revised it in 1789. […]

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LBJ and the Civil Rights Act – “My Reading Life” – Bob Carr 

May 9th, 2012 · Comments Off on LBJ and the Civil Rights Act – “My Reading Life” – Bob Carr  · Politics, Progressive Politics

The Civil Rights Act of 1957, not in itself as revolutionary as its supporters hoped or its detractors feared, opened the door to later, more substantial legislative reparation to Blacks. Not until the next decade could Southern Black Children share a classroom with white Americans; not until the next decade could Southern Black adults eat […]

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Leadership in the Environment Movement – “Recollections of a Bleeding Heart” – Don Watson

March 18th, 2012 · Comments Off on Leadership in the Environment Movement – “Recollections of a Bleeding Heart” – Don Watson · Environmental Policy, Ideology, Means and Ends, Politics, Progressive Politics, Uncategorized

(Keating) said the environment movement no longer had leaders, just people ‘matching press release for release’. The lobbies thought they had a ‘moral lien’ over the environment, but they had no such thing, he said—the issue belonged to the nation.

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The Dangers of Maxims – “Recollections of a Bleeding Heart” – Don Watson

March 14th, 2012 · Comments Off on The Dangers of Maxims – “Recollections of a Bleeding Heart” – Don Watson · Extremism, Ideology, Politics, Progressive Politics, Quotes

George Eliot reckoned all sensible people ‘early discern that the mysterious complexity of our life is not to be embraced by maxims’.

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Gandhi and Extreme Pacifism – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James

October 4th, 2011 · Comments Off on Gandhi and Extreme Pacifism – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James · Extremism, History, Ideology, India, Non-Violence, Pacifism, Policy, Politics, War, WW2

Moorehead also recorded an unsettling insight into the intransigence of Gandhi. Challenged about the possible effects of relying on passive resistance to dissuade the Japanese, Gandhi was forced into his fallback position of averring that not even the Japanese could kill every Indian. Moorehead, who already had some idea of what Nazi Germany and the […]

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Ends and Means – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James

October 3rd, 2011 · Comments Off on Ends and Means – “Cultural Amnesia” – Clive James · Ideology, Leadership, Means and Ends, Politics, Power

Montesquieu, less emotionally involved, saw a point about Tiberius that extended to all mankind. “Like most men, he wanted contradictory things; his general politics were nowhere in accord with his particular passions. He would have liked a Senate free and capable of making its government respected, but he also wanted a Senate to satisfy, at […]

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Politics and Motivation – “All too Human” – George Stephanopoulos

September 6th, 2011 · Comments Off on Politics and Motivation – “All too Human” – George Stephanopoulos · Complexity, Electoralism, Ideology, Means and Ends, Philosophy, Policy, Politics, US Politics

Citing T.S. Eliot: “The last temptation is the greatest treason: To do the right deed for the wrong reason.”

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The Real Truth – “The Prince” – Niccolo Machiavelli

August 9th, 2011 · Comments Off on The Real Truth – “The Prince” – Niccolo Machiavelli · Ideology, Means and Ends, Morality, Philosophy, Politics

But since it is my object to write what shall be useful to whosoever understands it, it seems to me better to follow the real truth of things than an imaginary view of them. For many Republics and Princedoms have been imagined that were never seen or known to exist in reality. And the manner […]

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