...What is at stake is civilization and humanity, nothing less. The idea that everything is permitted, as Nietzsche put it, rests on the premise of nihilism and has nihilistic implications. I will not pretend that the case against nihilism and for civilization is an easy one to make. We are here confronting the most fundamental of philosophical questions, on the deepest levels. In short, the matter of pornography and obscenity is not a trivial one, and only superficial minds can take a bland and untroubled view of it.
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Senator McGovern is very sincere when he says that he will try to cut the military budget by 30%. And this is to drive a knife in the heart of Israel... Jews don't like big military budgets. But it is now an interest of the Jews to have a large and powerful military establishment in the United States... American Jews who care about the survival of the state of Israel have to say, no, we don't want to cut the military budget, it is important to keep that military budget big, so that we can defend Israel.
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Neocons do not feel that kind of alarm or anxiety about the growth of the state in the past century, seeing it as natural, indeed inevitable ... People have always preferred strong government to weak government, although they certainly have no liking for anything that smacks of overly intrusive government.
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Somehow, the fact that more poor people are on welfare, receiving more generous payments, does not seem to have made this country a nice place to live - not even for the poor on welfare, whose condition seems not noticeably better than when they were poor and off welfare. Something appears to have gone wrong; a liberal and compassionate social policy has bred all sorts of unanticipated and perverse consequences.
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In comparison to the French Revolution, the American Revolution has come to seem a parochial and rather dull event. This, despitethe fact that the American Revolution was successful--realizing the purposes of the revolutionaries and establishing a durable political regime--while the French Revolution was a resounding failure, devouring its own children and leading to an imperial despotism, followed by an eventual restoration of the monarchy.
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There are different kinds of truths for different kinds of people. There are truths appropriate for children; truths that are appropriate for students; truths that are appropriate for educated adults; and truths that are appropriate for highly educated adults, and the notion that there should be one set of truths available to everyone is a modern democratic fallacy. It doesn't work.
If God does not exist, and if religion is an illusion that the majority of men cannot live without ... let men believe in the lies of religion since they cannot do without them, and let then a handful of sages, who know the truth and can live with it, keep it among themselves. Men are then divided into the wise and the foolish, the philosophers and the common men, and atheism becomes a guarded, esoteric doctrine - for if the illusions of religion were to be discredited, there is no telling with what madness men would be seized, with what uncontrollable anguish.
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After all, if you believe that no one was ever corrupted by a book, you also have to believe that no one was ever improved by a book (or a play or a movie). You have to believe, in other words, that all art is morally trivial and that, consequently, all education is morally irrelevant. No one, not even a university professor, really believes that.