Submissiveness to fate, the total abdication of your own will in the shaping of your life, the recognition that it was impossible to guess the best and the worst ahead of time but that it was easy to take a step you would reproach yourself for-all this freed the prisoner from any bondage, made him calmer, and even ennobled him.
That many if not most people... who want fresh leafy greens in January buy them at the supermarket after they've been bleached and plastic-bag shipped from California or beyond is not a tribute to modern technology; it's an unprecedented abdication of personal responsibility and a ubiquitous benchmark of abnormality.
"Next," said Mrs Wilfer with a wave of her gloves, expressive of abdication under protest from the culinary throne, "I would recommend examination of the bacon in the saucepan on the fire, and also of the potatoes by the application of a fork. Preparation of the greens will further become necessary if you persist in this unseemly demeanour."
In the past, the U.S. has shown its capacity to reinvent its gifts for leadership. During the 1970s, in the aftermath of the Nixon abdication and the Ford and Carter presidencies, the whole nation peered into the abyss, was horrified by what it saw and elected Ronald Reagan as president, which began a national resurgence.
No system of criminal justice can, or should, survive if it comes to depend for its continued effectiveness on the citizens' abdication through unawareness of their constitutional rights. No system worth preserving should have to fear that if an accused is permitted to consult with a lawyer, he will become aware of, and exercise, these rights.
This pervasive craving to be recognized as special amounted to an abdication of power, an outsourcing of your core responsibilities. I spurned the fawning of strangers, but I did feel special to myself. I had found that "feeling special" was a private experience, and no one else's projected fascination could substitute for quiet absorption in your own life.
The proper aim of giving is to put the recipient in a state where he no longer needs our gifts...Thus a heavy task is laid upon Gift-love. It must work toward its own abdication. We must aim at making ourselves superfluous. The hour when we can say 'They need me no longer' should be our reward. But the instinct, simply in its own nature, has no power to fulfill this law.
C. S. Lewis
But in the morning Lust is always furtive. It dresses as mechanically as it undressed and heads straight for the door, to return to its own solitude. Like all the sins, it also makes us solitary. It is self-abdication at the very core of one's own being, a surrender of our need and ability to give and receive. Lust does not come with open hands, certainly not with an open heart. It comes only with open legs.
Auschwitz is outside of us, but it is all around us, in the air. The plague has died away, but the infection still lingers and it would be foolish to deny it. Rejection of human solidarity, obtuse and cynical indifference to the suffering of others, abdication of the intellect and of moral sense to the principle of authority, and above all, at the root of everything, a sweeping tide of cowardice, a colossal cowardice which masks itself as warring virtue, love of country and faith in an idea.
Cruel and paradoxical though it undoubtedly is, the record shows that yje most succesful 20th century monarchs have been those who were not actually born to succeed. King George VI was 41 when the abdication of Edward VIII propelled him suddenly and unexpectedly to take up the crown; and Queen Elizabeth II spent her first decade with no inkling thay she herself might one day have to reign. Taken together, these examples suggest that the best preparation for the job of sovereign is not to be prepared for it at all, ir not to be too well prepared for it, or for too long.
I don't like the shrug. It's an abdication of responsibility for making sure that art keeps doing the things that art should do. If you shrug, that keeps the wheels turning the way they're turning. It lets corporations turn you into selfish consumers. It lets them fit you for a new pair of blinkers. And that means that predictability keeps getting prized over experimentation and product keeps getting prized over art.
Ahmir Questlove Thompson
Ignorance is king. Many would not profit by his abdication. Many enrich themselves by means of his dark monarchy. They are his Court, and in his name they defraud and govern, enrich themselves and perpetuate their power. Even literacy they fear, for the written word is another channel of communication that might cause their enemies to become united. Their weapons are keen-honed, and they use them with skill. They will press the battle upon the world when their interests are threatened, and the violence which follows will last until the structure of society as it now exists is leveled to rubble, and a new society emerges. I am sorry. But that is how I see it.
Walter M. Miller Jr.
It is important that Miers not be confirmed unless, in her 61st year, she suddenly and unexpectedly is found to have hitherto undisclosed interests and talents pertinent to the court's role. Otherwise the sound principle of substantial deference to a president's choice of judicial nominees will dissolve into a rationalization for senatorial abdication of the duty to hold presidents to some standards of seriousness that will prevent them from reducing the Supreme Court to a private plaything useful for fulfilling whims on behalf of friends.
The truly and deliberately evil men are a very small minority; it is the appeaser who unleashes them on mankind; it is the appeaser's intellectual abdication that invites them to take over. When a culture's dominant trend is geared to irrationality, the thugs win over the appeasers. When intellectual leaders fail to foster the best in the mixed, unformed, vacillating character of people at large, the thugs are sure to bring out the worst. When the ablest men turn into cowards, the average men turn into brutes.
People think that a liar gains a victory over his victim. What I've learned is that a lie is an act of self-abdication, because one surrenders one's reality to the person to whom one lies, making that person one's master, condemning oneself from then on to faking the sort of reality that person's view requires to be faked... The man who lies to the world, is the world's slave from then on... There are no white lies, there is only the blackest of destruction, and a white lie is the blackest of all.
The task of all Christian scholarship-not just biblical studies-is to study reality as a manifestation of God's glory, to speak and write about it with accuracy, and to savor the beauty of God in it, and to make it serve the good of man. It is an abdication of scholarship when Christians do academic work with little reference to God. If all the universe and everything in it exist by the design of an infinite, personal God, to make his manifold glory known and loved, then to treat any subject without reference to God's glory is not scholarship but insurrection.
The task of all Christian scholarship""not just biblical studies""is to study reality as a manifestation of God's glory, to speak and write about it with accuracy, and to savor the beauty of God in it, and to make it serve the good of man. It is an abdication of scholarship when Christians do academic work with little reference to God. If all the universe and everything in it exist by the design of an infinite, personal God, to make his manifold glory known and loved, then to treat any subject without reference to God's glory is not scholarship but insurrection.
The ruinous abdication by philosophy of its rightful domain is the consequence of the oblivion of philosophers to a great insight first beheld clearly by Socrates and re-affirmed by Kant as by no other philosopher. Science, concerned solely and exclusively with objective existents, cannot give answers to questions about meanings and values. Only ideas engendered by the mind and to be found nowhere but in the mind (Socrates), only the pure transcendental forms supplied by reason (Kant), can secure the ideals and values and put us in touch with the realities that constitute our moral and spiritual life. Twenty-four centuries after Socrates, two centuries after Kant, we badly need to re-learn the lesson.
"Judge not, that ye be not judge"... is an abdication of moral responsibility: it is a moral blank check one gives to others in exchange for a moral blank check one expects for oneself. There is no escape from the fact that men have to make choices; so long as men have to make choices, there is no escape from moral values; so long as moral values are at stake, no moral neutrality is possible. To abstain from condemning a torturer, is to become an accesory to the torture and murder of his victims. The moral principle to adopt... is: "Judge, and be prepared to be judged."
For moderns - for us - there is something illicit, it seems, about wasted time, the empty hours of contemplation when a thought unfurls, figures of speech budding and blossoming, articulation drifting like spent petals onto the dark table we all once gathered around to talk and talk, letting time get the better of us. _Just taking our time_, as we say. That is, letting time take us. "Can you say, " I once inquired of a sixty-year old cloistered nun who had lived (vibrantly, it seemed) from teh age of nineteen in her monastery cell, "what the core of contemplative life is?" "Leisure, " she said, without hesitation, her china blue eyes cheerfully steady on me. I suppose I expected her to say, "Prayer." Or maybe "The search for God." Or "Inner peace." Inner peace would have been good. One of the big-ticket items of spirituality. She saw I didn't see. "It takes time to do this, " she said finally. Her "this" being the kind of work that requires abdication from time's industrial purpose (doing things, getting things). By choosing leisure she had bid farewell to the fevered enterprise of getting-and-spending whereby, as the poet said, we lay waste our powers.
You see, Monsieur, it's worth everything, isn't it, to keep one's intellectual liberty, not to enslave one's powers of appreciation, one's critical independence? It was because of that that I abandoned journalism, and took to so much duller work: tutoring and private secretaryship. There is a good deal of drudgery, of course; but one preserves one's moral freedom, what we call in French one's quant a soi. And when one hears good talk one can join in it without compromising any opinions but one's own; or one can listen, and answer it inwardly. Ah, good conversation-there's nothing like it, is there? The air of ideas is the only air worth breathing. And so I have never regretted giving up either diplomacy or journalism-two different forms of the same self-abdication." He fixed his vivid eyes on Archer as he lit another cigarette. "Voyez-vous, Monsieur, to be able to look life in the face: that's worth living in a garret for, isn't it? But, after all, one must earn enough to pay for the garret; and I confess that to grow old as a private tutor-or a `private' anything-is almost as chilling to the imagination as a second secretaryship at Bucharest. Sometimes I feel I must make a plunge: an immense plunge. Do you suppose, for instance, there would be any opening for me in America- in New York?
The modifications of the family structure by this state of affairs is important. The couple feels isolated, surrounded by children who cost them a great deal in many ways. Sometimes they live in harassing conditions. Work in the factory which increases nervous tension has replaced the more natural work in the fields which was perhaps more tiring physically and less remunerative. In seeking a means to reduce financial insecurity, the couple has created moral and affective insecurity. The woman is constantly in constantly in contact with other man and thus less dependent on her husband. She is in a situation where she can become deeply attached to another. The husband's insecurity can incite him to become jealous and aggressive, and the wife feeling this developing possessiveness may in turn become aggressive. The couple becomes a little universe of growing tension and latent hostility. The spirit of this new family is no longer conservative; the pater familias no longer exists, even the ties between parents and children are totally different. There is either a complete abdication of all authority and even of responsibility, or relations within the family may often take on a more fraternal, supple manner.
[And conversely, Woodrow Wilson finishes dead last.] Yes [... ] I think World War I was avoidable for the United States, certainly; we kind of look back on Germany as being 'evil' (because of World War II), but back in World War I it was much more ambiguous who was at fault - and the allies, including our French and British allies and the Russians also were at fault - and after World War I there was a revulsion because the Bolsheviks released their correspondences with Britain and France: Britain and France were trying to grab colonies, and so the American people said, 'We were fighting... we lost all these people in this massive war just to help these people grab territory?' So there was a revulsion at that time; we don't hear that now because we're distant from it. Woodrow Wilson has been elevated as one of the better presidents but I think if you go back and look at it, the war was avoidable... and of course Woodrow Wilson helped bring Hitler to power by insisting on the abdication of the Kaiser after World War I - which was totally unnecessary. Germany was a constitutional monarchy before the war, and was vilified. It was actually the most aggressive state in Europe [... ] and there were many things wrong with the Kaiser's personality, but I think Germany is unnecessarily vilified for that war.