Crazier Quotes

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That Reagan shaped mechanical gadget in the metal box that made you jump like a little sissy boy, Joe, that is the heart and soul of what the flag'n'Jebus crowd is scared of so bad they can't even think about him existing.' He looked at Joe, waiting for an aha! that didn't come. 'That whole wing of modern conservatism lives for, on, about, with, in, and by the idea that everything is happening via supernatural powers and that the devil is powerful and has to be fought. Modern science totally spoils that because it gives people so much power but not from supernatural sources. No God in the instruments, you know? 'So with modern tech we can make Ronald Reagan appear to come back from the grave, but to do it with modern tech leaves no need for spirits or sacred words or miracles or any other flavor of magic. Which only re emphasizes what they're most afraid of: living in a world where nobody paints the sky blue every morning, or leaves quarters for teeth, or made platypi as a joke, or decided to sculpt the Grand Canyon, or took granny to heaven to make chocolate chip cookies for the angels. Nobody, nobody, nobody. So since their theology won't let me bring in a Robo Jesus to call forth Robo Reagan, like sort of a Robo Lazarus, and they really want this, like so many people do... well, it can't come from nobody, it has to come from somebody, and the somebody can't be God. 'Well, if the devil is anything, he's somebody.' Joe was still sputtering. 'But it... I mean, they're going to think it's coming out of Hell! Literal capital H real place Hell!' 'Well, exactly. Think about how much that proves. If there's a Hell and a Devil, there's also a Heaven and a God. Once they have their Reagan back all they have to do is pray over him a little, drive the devil out, accept the blessing of a restored Reagan on behalf of God, and they're good to go. God forgives crazier shit than that all the time.

John Barnes
Religion, with its metaphysical error of absolute guilt, dominated the broadest, the cosmic realm. From there, it infiltrated the subordinate realms of biological, social and moral existence with its errors of the absolute and inherited guilt. Humanity, split up into millions of factions, groups, nations and states, lacerated itself with mutual accusations. "The Greeks are to blame, " the Romans said, and "The Romans are to blame, " the Greeks said. So they warred against one another. "The ancient Jewish priests are to blame, " the early Christians shouted. "The Christians have preached the wrong Messiah, " the Jews shouted and crucified the harmless Jesus. "The Muslims and Turks and Huns are guilty, " the crusaders screamed. "The witches and heretics are to blame, " the later Christians howled for centuries, murdering, hanging, torturing and burning heretics. It remains to investigate the sources from which the Jesus legend derives its grandeur, emotional power and perseverance. Let us continue to stay outside this St. Vitus dance. The longer we look around, the crazier it seems. Hundreds of minor patriarchs, self-proclaimed kings and princes, accused one another of this or that sin and made war, scorched the land, brought famine and epidemics to the populations. Later, this became known as "history." And the historians did not doubt the rationality of this history. Gradually the common people appeared on the scene. "The Queen is to blame, " the people's representatives shouted, and beheaded the Queen. Howling, the populace danced around the guillotine. From the ranks of the people arose Napoleon. "The Austrians, the Prussians, the Russians are to blame, " it was now said. "Napoleon is to blame, " came the reply. "The machines are to blame!" the weavers screamed, and "The lumpenproletariat is to blame, " sounded back. "The Monarchy is to blame, long live the Constitution!" the burgers shouted. "The middle classes and the Constitution are to blame; wipe them out; long live the Dictatorship of the Proletariat, " the proletarian dictators shout, and "The Russians are to blame, " is hurled back. "Germany is to blame, " the Japanese and the Italians shouted in 1915. "England is to blame, " the fathers of the proletarians shouted in 1939. And "Germany is to blame, " the self-same fathers shouted in 1942. "Italy, Germany and Japan are to blame, " it was said in 1940. It is only by keeping strictly outside this inferno that one can be amazed that the human animal continues to shriek "Guilty!" without doubting its own sanity, without even once asking about the origin of this guilt. Such mass psychoses have an origin and a function. Only human beings who are forced to hide something catastrophic are capable of erring so consistently and punishing so relentlessly any attempt at clarifying such errors.

Wilhelm Reich
To begin with, we have to be more clear about what we mean by patriotic feelings. For a time when I was in high school, I cheered for the school athletic teams. That's a form of patriotism - group loyalty. It can take pernicious forms, but in itself it can be quite harmless, maybe even positive. At the national level, what "patriotism" means depends on how we view the society. Those with deep totalitarian commitments identify the state with the society, its people, and its culture. Therefore those who criticized the policies of the Kremlin under Stalin were condemned as "anti-Soviet" or "hating Russia". For their counterparts in the West, those who criticize the policies of the US government are "anti-American" and "hate America"; those are the standard terms used by intellectual opinion, including left-liberal segments, so deeply committed to their totalitarian instincts that they cannot even recognize them, let alone understand their disgraceful history, tracing to the origins of recorded history in interesting ways. For the totalitarian, "patriotism" means support for the state and its policies, perhaps with twitters of protest on grounds that they might fail or cost us too much. For those whose instincts are democratic rather than totalitarian, "patriotism" means commitment to the welfare and improvement of the society, its people, its culture. That's a natural sentiment and one that can be quite positive. It's one all serious activists share, I presume; otherwise why take the trouble to do what we do? But the kind of "patriotism" fostered by totalitarian societies and military dictatorships, and internalized as second nature by much of intellectual opinion in more free societies, is one of the worst maladies of human history, and will probably do us all in before too long. With regard to the US, I think we find a mix. Every effort is made by power and doctrinal systems to stir up the more dangerous and destructive forms of "patriotism"; every effort is made by people committed to peace and justice to organize and encourage the beneficial kinds. It's a constant struggle. When people are frightened, the more dangerous kinds tend to emerge, and people huddle under the wings of power. Whatever the reasons may be, by comparative standards the US has been a very frightened country for a long time, on many dimensions. Quite commonly in history, such fears have been fanned by unscrupulous leaders, seeking to implement their own agendas. These are commonly harmful to the general population, which has to be disciplined in some manner: the classic device is to stimulate fear of awesome enemies concocted for the purpose, usually with some shreds of realism, required even for the most vulgar forms of propaganda. Germany was the pride of Western civilization 70 years ago, but most Germans were whipped to presumably genuine fear of the Czech dagger pointed at the heart of Germany (is that crazier than the Nicaraguan or Grenadan dagger pointed at the heart of the US, conjured up by the people now playing the same game today?), the Jewish-Bolshevik conspiracy aimed at destroying the Aryan race and the civilization that Germany had inherited from Greece, etc. That's only the beginning. A lot is at stake.

Noam Chomsky
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