Sunday, February 24, 2008

Beginning the week with a quotation

Propagating the view that my blog is like buses - nothing for a while and then several posts at once - I'm going to pop my head up again, for one last time this evening.

Whilst reading the comments beneath the Times article I referenced in my previous post, I came across this:

"It never ceases to surprise me that apparently intelligent people, who ought to know enough history to understand the nature of socialism, nevertheless keep getting fooled."


I rather liked it.

10 comments:

dave said...

I'm gunna keep unpolitical. Because we're human. A beautifully unifying thought.

A quote: "You and me, we're not that different you know."

It is my experience that most (all) people (regardless of political persuasion) yearn for a society where we need no governance, where we treat each other beautifully, the tranquil breeze of the trade winds is the only disturbance. No one is greedy, no one is proud and those who achieve, are congratulated, and in return they humbly accept congratulations.

We all just like to disagree about the best process to achieve this utopia.

Anonymous said...

Interesting quote, you could replace "socialism" with other political persuasions or with "religion", still just as accurate, though I doubt you would "like" so much.

Think Dave's sentiment is much better than the childish smugness of this post.

As has been said before James, you are better than this.

JP said...

You could of course accurately replace socialism with a multitude of things and the quotation would still make sense. Just because the practical implementation of socialism has been far from perfect does not imply that everything else is faultless.

However, let's not let this detract from the fact that perhaps rather sadly there is an element of truth to it.

Incidentally, I'd probably use the word 'nice' about Dave's statement. I think that it was slightly oblique in this context, and a little naive but it's an interesting sentiment nonetheless. Talking of being smug, though, I wonder how many people are looking at themselves through rose-tinted spectacles (if you can do such a thing) and feeling that they themselves have all the qualities needed to achieve such a utopia. "If only everyone else was the same"...

Anonymous said...

Presumably you include yourself as one of the people looking at themselves through rose-tinted spectacles.

dave said...

Luckily for you JP, your cynicism disguises your warm heart very badly.

JP said...

In answer to the anonymous comment, yes if I am honest I do don a pair of rose-tinted glasses in a bit of a smug way on occasion.

Thank you, Dave, for what I perceive to be a small compliment.

markc said...

Whenever anyone talks about achieveing a utopia, I reach for my pistol. What about those who do not wish to come along with you - or disagree with your method? That is where - at the point of practicality! - all utopian ambitions fall down, and the limitless tyranny of good intentions enters the fray.

Work on improving yourself - funnily enough here religion, rather than socialism, helps - and that's about all you should do. If everyone does: voila, we'll arrive at the closest thing to a utopia you can get.

Anonymous said...

I agree that reason should be about improving yourself. Sadly, in my experience that aspect is left at the way side and the worship of god becomes the sole mission and used in often destructive ways that can cause problems of intolerance, hatred and even division within a family.

So I disagree with Marc that religion helps in improving oneself, even though that is what it claims to do.

Religion has a place. But the problem is that those that embrace fall into the trap that it answers everything and some go further in justifying everything that they do.

Of course what is even more dangerous is when politics and religion mix too closely, either in an explicit way like a religious state, or a quasi religion such as the Nazi party.

As such I agree with Marc about the danger or attempting to define Utopia, but think that religion is will also have its "'utopian' ambitions fall down".

Anonymous said...

** First sentence above should read: I agree that religion should be about improving yourself.

MarkC said...

"Pure and undefiled religion before God the Father is this: to visit the orphans and widows in their trouble and to keep oneself unspotted by the world.”

James1:27

The Bible agrees with you, anonymous.