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I went to the Democratic Convention as a journalist, and returned a cold-blooded revolutionary.(referring to the... Video
I went to the Democratic Convention as a journalist, and returned a cold-blooded revolutionary.(referring to the 1968 convention in Chicago]])
Hunter S. Thompson
The greatest horrors in the history of mankind are not due to the ambition of the Napoleons or the vengeance of the Agamemnons, but to the doctrinaire philosophers. The theories of the sentimentalist Rousseau inspired the integrity of the passionless Robespierre. The cold-blooded calculations of Karl Marx led to the judicial and business-like operations of the Cheka.
It belongs to journalism â€” and to the millennial complex from which so many journalists and journalist intellectuals suffer in our day â€” that each new phase of Modernist art should be hailed as the start of a whole new epoch in art, marking a decisive break with all the customs and conventions of the past. Each time, a kind of art is expected so unlike all previous kinds of art, and so free from norms of practice or taste, that everybody, regardless of how informed or uninformed he happens to be, can have his say about it. And each time, this expectation has been disappointed, as the phase of Modernist art in question finally takes its place in the intelligible continuity of taste and tradition. Nothing could be further from the authentic art of our time than the idea of a rupture of continuity. Art is â€” among other things â€” continuity, and unthinkable without it. Lacking the past of art, and the need and compulsion to maintain its standards of excellence, Modernist art would lack both substance and justification.
A striking feature of moral and political argument in the modern world is the extent to which it is innovators, radicals, and revolutionaries who revive old doctrines, while their conservative and reactionary opponents are the inventors of new ones.
Macintyre, Alasdair Chalmers
The American doctrinaire is the converse of the American demagogue, and, in this way, is scarcely less injurious to the public. The first deals in poetry, the last in cant. He is as much a visionary on one side, as the extreme theoretical democrat is a visionary on the other.
Cooper, James F.
Fortune has dealt with me rather too well. I have known little struggle, not much poverty, many generosities. Now and then I have, for my books or myself, been somewhat warmly denouncedâ€” there was one good pastor in California who upon reading my Elmer Gantry desired to lead a mob and lynch me, while another holy man in the state of Maine wondered if there was no respectable and righteous way of putting me in jail. And, much harder to endure than any raging condemnation, a certain number of old acquaintances among journalists, what in the galloping American slang we call the "I Knew Him When Club", have scribbled that since they know me personally, therefore I must be a rather low sort of fellow and certainly no writer. But if I have now and then received such cheering brickbats, still I, who have heaved a good many bricks myself, would be fatuous not to expect a fair number in return.
I was probably the only revolutionary referred to as cute.
What we call a democratic society might be defined for certain purposes as one in which the majority is always prepared to put down a revolutionary minority.
I have been through a revolution, and I am convinced that I am no revolutionist. My childhood dreams of dying on the barricades will hardly be fulfilled, because I should hardly mount a barricade now that I know what they were like in reality. And so I know now what an illusion I lived in for so many years. I thought I was a revolutionary and was only an evolutionary. Yes, sometimes I do not know whether I am a socialist at all, whether I am not rather a democrat instead. How good it is when reality tests you to the guts and pins you relentlessly to the very position you always thought, so long as you clung to your illusion, was unspeakably wrong.
People who believe in libertarian communism can be grouped roughly under three general theories, each with its old masters, theoreticians, leaders, organizations, and literature. First there are the anarchists in a rather limited variety: communist-anarchists, mutualists, anarcho-syndicalists, individual anarchists, and a few minor groups and combinations. Second, the members of intentional communities, usually but by no means always religious in inspiration. The words â€œcommunalismâ€� and â€œcommunalistâ€� seem to have died out and it would be good to appropriate them to this group, although the by now too confusing word â€œcommunistâ€� actually fits them best of all. Third, there are the Left Marxists, who prior to 1918 had become a widespread movement challenging the Social Democratic Second International. It was to them the Bolsheviks appealed for support in the early days of their revolution. Leninâ€™s The State and Revolution is an authoritarian parody of their ideas. They in turn have called it â€œthe greatest pre-election pamphlet ever written: â€˜Elect us and we will wither awayâ€™.â€� Against them Lenin wrote Leftism: An Infantile Disorder. There is a story that, when the Communist International was formed, a delegate objected to the name. Referring to all these groups he said: â€œBut there are already communists.â€� Lenin answered: â€œNobody ever heard of them, and when we get through with them nobody ever will.â€� Today these ideas are more influential than they ever have been.
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