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Tolkien, on Government


"My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs) – or to ‘unconstitutional’ Monarchy. "I would arrest anybody who uses the word State (in any sense other than the inanimate realm of England and its inhabitants, a thing that has neither power, rights nor mind); and after a chance of recantation, execute them if they remained obstinate! If we could get back to personal names, it would do a lot of good. "Government is an abstract noun meaning the art and process of governing and it should be an offence to write it with a capital G or so as to refer to people. If people were in the habit of referring to ‘King George’s council, Winston and his gang’, it would go a long way to clearing thought, and reducing the frightful landslide into Theyocracy. "Anyway the proper study of Man is anything but Man; and the most improper job of any man, even saints (who at any rate were at least unwilling to take it on), is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity. And at least it is done only to a small group of men who know who their master is." — From a letter to Christopher Tolkien [from his father J.R.R. Tolkien] 29 November 1943 https://peacerequiresanarchy.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/the-letters-of-jrr-tolkien/

“My political opinions lean more and more to Anarchy (philosophically understood, meaning abolition of control not whiskered men with bombs) – or to ‘unconstitutional’ Monarchy. “I would arrest anybody who uses the word State (in any sense other than the inanimate realm of England and its inhabitants, a thing that has neither power, rights nor mind); and after a chance of recantation, execute them if they remained obstinate! If we could get back to personal names, it would do a lot of good. “Government is an abstract noun meaning the art and process of governing and it should be an offence to write it with a capital G or so as to refer to people. If people were in the habit of referring to ‘King George’s council, Winston and his gang’, it would go a long way to clearing thought, and reducing the frightful landslide into Theyocracy. “Anyway the proper study of Man is anything but Man; and the most improper job of any man, even saints (who at any rate were at least unwilling to take it on), is bossing other men. Not one in a million is fit for it, and least of all those who seek the opportunity. And at least it is done only to a small group of men who know who their master is.” — From a letter to Christopher Tolkien [from his father J.R.R. Tolkien] 29 November 1943 https://peacerequiresanarchy.wordpress.com/2012/09/21/the-letters-of-jrr-tolkien/

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Posted by on January 8, 2019 in Philosophy, Politics, society

 

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Your Right to Not Support Evil <— Thomas Jefferson


to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical"  — Thomas Jefferson, writing in a sister document to the First Amendment, expressing a principle that applies to Hobby Lobby's refusal to provide employees with services they consider immoral.

To compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves, is sinful and tyrannical

Thomas Jefferson, The Virginia Act for Establishing Religious Freedom (1779)
…writing in the First Amendment’s sister document, expressing a principle that applies to the modern refusal to provide employees with services they consider immoral

 
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Posted by on January 3, 2013 in Philosophy, Politics, Religion

 

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Many Laws = Corrupt Government <— Tacitus


When laws are carried out not only for the public good, but also to target and punish, it dos society great harm.

The more numerous the laws,
the more corrupt the government.

Publius Tacitus, Annals (117 AD)
(Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges)

 
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Posted by on November 19, 2012 in Philosophy, Politics

 

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Another’s Happiness, Equal to Your Own <— Heinlein


In the later novel, The Cat Who Walks Through Walls, a character refers to the earlier book’s comment: “Dr. Harshaw says that ‘the word ‘love’ designates a subjective condition in which the welfare and happiness of another person are essential to one’s own happiness.”

Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.

Robert Anson Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land (1961)

 
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Posted by on August 27, 2012 in People, Philosophy, society

 

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An Unjust Law is No Law at All <– St. Augustine <– MLK Jr.


“To put it in the terms of St. Thomas Aquinas: An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law.”

One may well ask: “How can you advocate breaking some laws and obeying others?” The answer lies in the fact that there are two types of laws: just and unjust. I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws.

One has not only a legal but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws. I would agree with St. Augustine that “an unjust law is no law at all”.

— Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail (1963)

 
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Posted by on July 11, 2012 in Philosophy, Politics

 

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Mandating Your Health is Tyranny <– Heinlein


“What I fear most are affirmative actions of sober and well-intentioned men, granting to government powers to do something that appears to need doing.”

There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.

— Robert Anson HeinleinThe Moon is a Harsh Mistress (1965)

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2012 in economic, Health, Philosophy, Politics

 

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Conservatism is Libertarian <– Ronald Reagan


Reagan appointee Ron Paul, sitting with The Gipper, himself

If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism.

I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals — if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories.

The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.

— Ronald Reagan, interview with Reason Magazine (1975)

 
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Posted by on February 22, 2012 in Liberty, Philosophy, Politics

 

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