Of course, there may be corrupt men in sound institutions, but when institutions are corrupting, many of the men who live and work in them are necessarily corrupted. In the corporate era, economic relations become impersonal… and the executive feels less personal responsibility. Within the corporate worlds of business, war-making, and politics, the private conscience is attenuated… and the higher immorality is institutionalised. It is not merely a question of a corrupt administration in corporation, army, or state; it is a feature of the corporate rich, as a capitalist stratum, deeply intertwined with the politics of the military state.
A society that is in its higher circles and on its middle levels widely believed to be a network of smart rackets does not produce men with an inner moral sense; a society that is merely expedient does not produce men of conscience. A society that narrows the meaning of “success” to the big money and in its terms condemns failure as the chief vice, raising money to the plane of absolute value, will produce the sharp operator and the shady deal. Blessed are the cynical, for only they have what it takes to succeed.
America… a conservative country without any conservative ideology… appears now before the world a naked and arbitrary power, as, in the name of realism, its men of decision enforce their often crackpot definitions upon world reality. The second-rate mind is in command of the ponderously spoken platitude. In the liberal rhetoric, vagueness, and in the conservative mood, irrationality, are raised to principle. Public relations and the official secret, the trivialising campaign and the terrible fact clumsily accomplished, are replacing the reasoned debate of political ideas in the privately incorporated economy, the military ascendancy, and the political vacuum of modern America.
C Wright Mills
The Power Elite
(1956, Oxford University Press)
Today’s theologians have become scientists, like doctors, chemists, and engineers, because by presenting themselves as such, they will be honoured by the world. They go to Europe, a place of spiritual darkness, to receive a degree. They stuff their heads with a multitude of ungrounded and vain philosophies, and come to our land to transmit their unbelief instead of the Faith… They do not enter into the Heavenly Kingdom, and hinder others from entering, as our Lord said. Their punishment is that they do not see any of the wondrous things that the believers see, and, hence, they lack contrition and are cold. They are separated from God and His Kingdom, because they love the glory of men, instead of the glory of God.
They endeavour today, with the plight of the Church, to find its causes, and hold that the answer is to be found in scientific theological education. However, the evil is to be remedied only by education in piety… What will it benefit the Church if students go to (say) Geneva? They will return with Protestant principles. These same persons tell us that our Church has remained behind a whole century. How good it would have been if the members of the Church today had the piety of those who lived a century ago! External [secular] scientific education is fine only when it is joined to piety.
“Ah, that is different!” said Boxer. “If Comrade Napoleon says it, it must be right”.
ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL…
BUT SOME ANIMALS ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS.
But they had not gone twenty yards when they stopped short. An uproar of voices was coming from the farmhouse. They rushed back and looked through the window again. Yes, a violent quarrel was in progress. There were shoutings, bangings on the table, sharp suspicious glances, furious denials. The source of the trouble appeared to be that Napoleon and Mr Pilkington had each played an ace of spades simultaneously.
Twelve voices were shouting in anger, and they were all alike. No question, now, what had happened to the faces of the pigs. The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which.
I wanted to show people the real art world, a world of backstabbers, sharks, and con artists… not the salon world of tea-drinking aesthetes.
Former Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York NY USA
Benjamin, a donkey, is one of the longest-lived animals, has the worst temper, and is one of the few who can read. Benjamin is a very dedicated friend to Boxer, and does nothing to warn the other animals of the pigs’ corruption, which he secretly realises is steadily unfolding. When asked if he was happier post-Revolution than before the Revolution, Benjamin remarks, “Donkeys live a long time. None of you has ever seen a dead donkey”. He’s sceptical and pessimistic, his most-often-made statement being “Life will go on as it has always gone on… that is, badly”. But, he’s also one of the wisest animals on the farm, and is able to “read as well as any pig”.
2. Moses the Raven
An old crow who occasionally visits the farm, regaling its denizens with tales of a wondrous place beyond the clouds called Sugarcandy Mountain, where he avers that all animals go when they die… but only if they work hard. He’s interpreted as symbolising the Russian Orthodox Church, with Sugarcandy Mountain an allusion to Heaven for the animals. He spends his time turning the animals’ minds to thoughts of Sugarcandy Mountain (rather than their work), yet, does no work himself. He feels unequal in comparison to the other animals, so he leaves after the rebellion, for all animals were supposed to be equal. However, much later in the novel, he returns to the farm and continues to proclaim the existence of Sugarcandy Mountain. The other animals are confused by the pigs’ attitude towards Moses; they denounce his claims as nonsense, but allow him to remain on the farm. The pigs do this to keep any doubting animals in line with the hope of a happy afterlife, keeping their minds on Sugarcandy Mountain and not on possible uprisings. In the end, Moses is one of the few animals to remember The Rebellion, along with Clover, Benjamin, and the pigs.
3. The Cat
Never seen to carry out any work, the cat is absent for long periods, but she’s forgiven because her excuses are so convincing and she “purred so affectionately that was impossible not to believe in her good intentions”. She has no interest in the politics of the farm, and the only time she’s recorded as having participated in an election she was found to have actually “voted on both sides”.
Notes on Orwell’s “Animal Farm”
An intelligent, energetic, educated woman cannot be kept in four walls… even satin-lined, diamond-studded walls… without discovering sooner or later that they are still a prison cell.
Pearl S Buck
If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favour freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without ploughing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what a people will submit to, and you have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them; and these will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with both. The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress. Men may not get all they pay for in this world; but they must pay for all they get. If we ever get free from all the oppressions and wrongs heaped upon us, we must pay for their removal. We must do this by labour, by suffering, by sacrifice, and, if needs be, by our lives, and the lives of others.
When a great truth once gets abroad in the world, no power on earth can imprison it, or prescribe its limits, or suppress it. It is bound to go on till it becomes the thought of the world.
I am in earnest… I will not equivocate… I will not excuse… I will not retreat a single inch… AND I WILL BE HEARD.
William Lloyd Garrison
Ignorance is caused by the circumstances of one’s life, whereas stupidity is due to an attitude problem or mental deficiency in the person concerned.
From the Internet
This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased.
A Christmas Carol
Here are some things that I read over the past few months… I submit that you can learn as much about someone from what a person picks from another’s writing, as you can from studying their own work. They got my brain into gear… what about yours? Cheers to all of you… and smile… it’s a beautiful world that Our Lord made for us. Don’t be a “misery guts with a face three feet long”… after all, Our Lord invented the smile… it’s got His fingerprints all over it!