It is marvelous indeed to watch on television the rings of Saturn close; and to speculate on what we may yet find at galaxy's edge. But in the process, we have lost the human element; not to mention the high hope of those quaint days when flight would create one world. Instead of one world, we have star wars, and a future in which dumb dented human toys will drift mindlessly about the cosmos long after our small planet's dead.
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Eisenhower's career demonstrated how it is possible to fool all the people all the time...'I may be stupid,' he once said at a press conference, 'but at least I'm sincere!' Actually, he was neither, but it suited his purpose to play the part of the bumbling man of good will who was 'not an expert in these matters' but somehow would do his best.
The American press exists for one purpose only, and that is to convince Americans that they are living in the greatest and most envied country in the history of the world. The Press tells the American people how awful every other country is and how wonderful the United States is and how evil communism is and how happy they should be to have freedom to buy seven different sorts of detergent.
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Life will be wonderful when men no longer fear dying. When the last superstitions are thrown out and we meet death with the same equanimity as life. No longer will children's minds be twisted by evil gods whose fantastic origin is in those barbaric tribes who feared death and lightning, who feared life. That's it: life is the villain to to those who preach reward in death, through grace and eternal bliss, or through dark revenge.
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It is difficult to find a reputable American historian who will acknowledge the crude fact that a Franklin Roosevelt, say, wanted to be President merely to wield power, to be famed and to be feared. To learn this simple fact one must wade through a sea of evasions: history as sociology, leaders as teachers, bland benevolence as a motive force, when, finally, power is an end to itself, and the instinctive urge to prevail the most important single human trait, the necessary force without which no city was built, no city destroyed.
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When Ronald Reagan's career in show business came to an end, he was hired to impersonate, first, a California governor and then an American president who would reduce taxes for his employers, the Southern and Western New Rich, much of whose money came from the defence industries. There is nothing unusual about this arrangement. All recent presidents have had their price-tags.
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