Quote of the Day

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In a real revolution, the best characters do not come to the front. A violent revolution falls into the hands of narrow-minded fanatics and of tyrannical hypocrites at first. Afterwards come the turn of all the pretentious intellectual failures of the time. Such are the chiefs and the leaders. You will notice that I have left out the mere rogues. The scrupulous and the just, the noble, humane and devoted natures, the unselfish and the intelligent may begin a movement, but it passes away from them. They are not the leaders of a revolution. They are its victims: the victims of disgust, disenchantment–often of remorse. Hopes grotesquely betrayed, ideals caricatured–that is the definition of revolutionary success. There have been in every revolution hearts broken by such successes.

Joseph Conrad, Under Western Eyes (1911)

17 thoughts on “Quote of the Day”

  1. “Hopes grotesquely betrayed, ideals caricatured–that is the definition of revolutionary success. There have been in every revolution hearts broken by such successes.”

    Sounds like the Tea Party – hearts broken, energy exhausted, and caricatured as ignorant racists all the way by the establishment press and institutional political uni-party.

  2. I see Trump as Danton. Crude but well meaning.

    There is still Robespierre in waiting.

    If Trump goes down, I fear the consequences. We were in rural Oregon this week checking out refuges.

  3. Mike do you really believe a violent revolution is in the cards for this country? I think Trump is a symbol of a lot of anger and frustration. I can understands it.

    But I don’t believe a violent revolution is in the near future here.

    As far as the quote is concerned most revolutions end up eating those who originated them.

    The American Revolution was almost unique.

  4. I see America as being similar to Tudor England. Henry was able to obliterate English history and culture with the majority of his subjects severely in opposition, because their deference to the institution of the monarchy as embodied by the king was so great that they were paralyzed into acquiescence. Similarly for the US and the Constitution. The plain meaning of the document has been twisted and perverted beyond all recognition at an ever accelerating rate and yet we’re frozen into submission because of our own deference to the document that is being so gleefully shredded by our rulers.

    Obama rules as a king, treating the legislature with complete and total contempt. Hillary has pledged to rule even more unilaterally. And any hints that the legislature attempt to assert its constitutional role is met with shrieking hysterics that a constitutional crisis will result.


  5. “to obliterate English history and culture”: oh come now. He nationalised the property of the Roman Catholic church because he wanted to be his own Pope.

  6. After the Hildabeast makes a couple of supreme court appointments, the constitution will soon cease to have any substantive meaning. The omnibus funding mechanism of the congress will provide the funding to feed whatever the executive wills to do. That will be the only significant governmental role of the legislative branch. In the absence of funding, debt will be issued without legislative authorization. The role of the judicial branch will be to construe all “progressive” actions of the executive as implied by the constitution. “We the people” will have accepted a deal we can not refuse as we traveled the road to serfdom.


  7. When Ingress and Pokemon Go are replaced by AR games that game out coups, we’ll be near the end game. The mob will be ready.

  8. Bill Brandt’s comment (and the comments thus far in response to Sgt Mom’s post) assumes an analysis nearly never questioned. Bill assumed the American war against Britain was a revolution. Instead, however, we should recognize it as a war of independence. France did the revolution thing. Not so the Colonists.

    The Colonists did revolt against the King. But they did so not to overturn the reigning paradigm interpreting reality, the then-accepted worldview. That happened in the French Revolution. In the aftermath of military success the powers ruling the Revolution worked at redefining everything to create (via force) a new order. As Mike observed, Robespierre. The Reign of Terror. (And, eventually, Napoleon.)

    In America the revolt flowed from demanding the King accept the centuries old reigning paradigm with its insistence on the rule of law, its reliance upon God-given rights. Hence the repeated appeals to those ideas in the Declaration of Independence. The Colonists insisted the King was the revolutionist, that he had rejected the reigning paradigm, that he acted contrary to law, contract, and custom. In the aftermath of military success, something very different happened in the Colonies than in France. Instead of the originators getting “eaten”, they got the opportunity to hammer out a system maintaining the rule of law and protecting rights.

    I’m not sure how to apply my point to the current election. But I think one consideration might apply. The election of Hillary Clinton almost certainly will result in a SCOTUS change that will extend the rest of this century or longer. That change will continue and complete the process of removing any semblance of the rule of law as maintained by the checks and balances supposed to be inherent to the system. Hillary and her ilk will use that removal with a vengeance. They are, after all, the revolutionists (cf, eg, Jonah Goldberg, “Liberal Fascism”). Perhaps that would eventually lead to revolt against their tyranny. But I think history suggests it might not: people tend to attempt going along with the flow rather than risking all to oppose something, especially if that something gets imposed incrementally.

    On the other hand, Don Trump’s election does not mean the same sequence won’t occur. But I think the odds change from “almost certain” to at least “perhaps not”, maybe even “more likely won’t”. Trump’s election could preserve SCOTUS as a defender of the Constitution and the rule of law for perhaps the next half century.

  9. When Gavin Newsom is elected governor of Califailia in 2018, he will happily sign off on whatever anti-firearms legislation the blue-fascist legislature sends him. This will almost certainly include universal retroactive gun registration. After all, we already register all firearms at point of sale and private sales are banned. There’s just that one last icky loophole to close…. And most suburban Americans, nevermind Californians, will think this sounds quite reasonable.

    The point of danger comes when he tries to enforce it. And he will. Newsom is an anti-gun pro-pot pro-queer marriage Jesus freak. No one north of Sacramento will comply with his edicts, and that is where the California DOJ SWAT team will go, possibly backed up by state troopers, and possibly with Federal aid. Even a single Fed from a single agency would make any attempt to resist them Interfering With A Federal Agent In The Performance Of His Imperial Duties, which is a FEDERAL FELONY, and FEDERAL FELONS go to FEDERAL PRISON along with the 27 open-carry demonstrators at the Bundy ranch. They may wait for years, as they did with those 27, to issue those warrants once they ID you.

    Going into San Jose or Oakland or Compton would upset the hoi polloi. They will virtue-signal by going into rural areas instead. And the tenth or fiftieth time there is some sort of standoff between a frightened angry crowd of armed locals — possibly with the backing, or at least the presence, of a rural county sheriff — and the big-city jannissaries with full auto weapons and no knock warrants, someone will fup uck.

    This is all sadly predictable, and it will happen no matter who is in the White House. And you know how the sheeple will receive this, and how the victims will be portrayed as the aggressors, and how the press coverage will proceed, and what code words the politicians will use to sooth their constituencies on the one hand and signal their determination to Crack Down On This Violent Disorder with the other. The sides are drawn up just as clearly and the sequence of events as pro-programmed as the First World War.

    The approach of danger, as Abe Lincoln phrased it, comes when the bastards try to enforce their edicts with the mailed fist of armed and coercive government. It came the first time when the British army sent troops into Boston to disarm the locals; it came the second time when the Confederates formed their own government and opened fire on a Federal installation. If our new totalitarians are smart, they will settle for continuing to boil us in our own pot with new and ever-more intrusive laws every year on everything from Gay Rights to Gun Control, complete with Soviet-style agitprop campaigns to denounce any dissenters, and make them feel isolated and alone. That is what is happening here in California, and increasingly in Oregon and Washington. They have cracked the code.

    Gavin Newsom is not smart. He is a True Believer. And Hillary will do whatever the hell she thinks is good for Hillary, without an ounce of hesitation or remorse or reflection.

    Two years.

  10. “the big-city jannissaries with full auto weapons and no knock warrants, someone will fup uck.”

    The local grand jury in northern Idaho wanted to indict the FBI sniper. The local jury acquitted Randy Weaver. That didn’t bring his wife back but it made it unlikely there will be a repeat there,

    I’m reading Charles Murray’s Without Permission.

    Maybe we should be looking at Sandpoint Idaho instead of Oregon.

  11. Phil, that is why people need to start supporting the environmental movement, specifically the parts that want to ensure rivers run their natural course. Especially in dry years like these California would have some problems with out the waters diverted from out of state. California would have much less pull and be much less of a problem if they had 10% of their population.

  12. Most amusing. If Hillary appoints a judge you don’t like “the constitution will soon cease to have any substantive meaning.” That’s the short version.

    This is very rich, the angst displayed by both sides, in this election.

    I suspect a steady diet of American TV, and the plethora of hero movies, may have something to do with the sturm and drang.

  13. Usually I attempt beginning with the assumption a debater has done their homework. Ie, they defend their choice based upon reasoned analysis of fact, albeit possibly with different starting assumptions than mine. That means I attempt to learn from them, not only to confront potential error in my own reasoning, but even to leave open for consideration all but my most foundational convictions.

    PG hasn’t done his homework. I don’t observe this in order to persuade him. The posts I’ve read over the years convince me his starting assumptions filter out or even modify facts he does not like. But some readers might find his in-quotes short version persuasive because of its succinctness.


  14. PenGun contributes nothing of substance and functions a bit like a dog in the manger of Aesop’s story.

  15. Both the right and the left are ridiculous in this election.

    Hillary will end the US as a constitutional republic because of her appointments to the Supreme Court. Trump will destroy NATO and become Putin’s BFF.

    Just dumb really, but TV does that, to a person/nation.

    Roy, I’m not on anyone’s side. Hi Mike K, I am a Fire Dog, born in 1946. ;)

  16. ” Trump will destroy NATO and become Putin’s BFF.”

    NATO is the modern equivalent of the 1938 British-French alliance,

    Putin has much more influence on Hillary. She of the “Reset Button” that was bad Russian.

    You may not like Trump. I cringe when he talks but there is no reasonable alternative. The establishment GOP are destroying the party,

    The foolishness of people like Stephens who says he supports Hillary to “take back” the party.

    “What Party ?”

  17. In a real revolution, the best characters do not come to the front

    Thucydides wrote the same thing at greater length in “Civil War in Corcyra” 2,5000 years ago. No one paid attention to him either.

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