Hi, this is Bernard Fanning from Powderfinger. I'm in New York at the moment, and we've been walking around the city, it's pretty strange. I was walking along with Darren and Cogsy yesterday and we saw this guy playing cards, a little two up type swindle, and he ripped this guy off for like one hundred bucks in like, ten seconds, and the guy started complaining so he just packed up his shop and left! And it was the smoothest swindle any of us had ever seen. So that was probably the highlight of our trip here so far.
What changed these very ordinary men (who were such cowards that they did not dare stand too near the cross in case they got involved) into heroes who would stop at nothing? A swindle? Hallucination? Spooky nonsense in a darkened room? Or Somebody quietly doing what He said He'd do - walk right through death? What do you think?
John Bertram Phillips
The mere leader of fashion has no genuine claim to supremacy; at least, no abiding assurance of it. He has embroidered his title upon his waistcoat, and carries his worth in his watch chain; and, if he is allowed any real precedence for this it is almost a moral swindle,--a way of obtaining goods under false pretences.
Edwin Hubbel Chapin
Don't you find it striking? The personality is constantly dying and it feels like continuity. Meanwhile, we panic about death, which we cannot ever experience. Yet it is this illogical fear that motivates our lives. We gore each other and mutilate ourselves for victory and fame, as if these might swindle mortality and extend us somehow. Then, as death bears down, we agonize over how little we have achieved.
What matters to us is the revelation of the swindle, fraud, or defalcation. This makes known to the world that things have not been as they should have been, that it is time to stop and see how they truly are. The making known of malfeasance, whether by the arrest or surrender of the miscreant, or by one of those other forms of confession, flight or suicide, is important as a signal that the euphoria has been overdone. The stage of overtrading may well come to an end. The curtain rises on revulsion, and perhaps discredit.
Charles P. Kindleberger
By means of the banking system the distribution of capital as a special business, a social function, is taken out of the hands of the private capitalists and usurers. But at the same time, banking and credit become the most effective means of driving captialist production beyond its own limits and one of the most effective vehicles of crises and swindle.
To-day well, my Utopia, if ever I framed one, would be a land where the laws demanded that people should be vicious. Then one would be able to count at any rate on a little virtue. If no man might live with a woman in any but an irregular union, there would be at once quite a run on honest matrimony and the Law Courts would be full of desperately wicked monogamists; while if every one was expected to steal and swindle, there would soon be an extensive criminal class who respected property.
Edward Verrall Lucas
The phrase, the world wants to be deceived, has become truer than had ever been intended. People are not only, as the saying goes, falling for the swindle; if it guarantees them even the most fleeting gratification they desire a deception which is nonetheless transparent to them. They force their eyes shut and voice approval, in a kind of self-loathing, for what is meted out to them, knowing fully the purpose for which it is manufactured. Without admitting it they sense that their lives would be completely intolerable as soon as they no longer clung to satisfactions which are none at all.
Money, after all, is an abstract artifact, like language - merely symbolized by the paper or coin or whatever. If you can fully grasp its abstractedness, especially in the computer age, it becomes quite clear that no group can monopolize this abstraction, except through a series of swindle. If the usurers had been bolder, they might have monopolized language as well as currency, and people would be saying we can't write more books because we don't have enough words, the way they now say we can't build starships, because we don't have enough money.
Robert Anton Wilson
Towards the end of your life you have something like a pain schedule to fill out""a long schedule like a federal document, only it's your pain schedule. Endless categories. First, physical causes""like arthritis, gallstones, menstrual cramps. New category, injured vanity, betrayal, swindle, injustice. But the hardest items of all have to do with love. The question then is: So why does everybody persist? If love cuts them up so much....
A great swindle of our time is the assumption that science has made religion obsolete. All science has damaged is the story of Adam and Eve and the story of Jonah and the Whale. Everything else holds up pretty well, particularly lessons about fairness and gentleness. People who find those lessons irrelevant in the twentieth century are simply using science as an excuse for greed and harshness. Science has nothing to do with it, friends.
Envy said, 'Girl, I remember well, ye, who I flung from Hell, and not a day has passed, I haven't missed the loss of your soul that I mourned, I've been bereft and forlorn, for the sweet taste of your flesh I've yet to kiss. But no worries-bygones, that's the past-long gone, I don't hold a grudge, no, in no way. And though your family they did swindle my joy of flaying ye on a spindle, I begrudge ye not a little, so let's play. So, merely toss your token in my well, and all your dreams I will unveil, for ye alone, them I'll grant. Come closer, little Penny, your hands I know are not empty, ye have something I dreadfully want.
A. Lee Brock
What a blessing 'terrorism' is for the state! It's the ideal distraction from the day-to-day reality of the state's chief activity: wringing from its subjects the wealth they produce. Last September (2001) a handful of fanatics, armed only with box-cutters, provided a new rationale for the trillion -dollar swindle. A bonanza! I don't know what these 'terrorists' thought they were achieving: Making the infidel respect Allah? If so, they were wrong. You might as well try to make the U.S. government respect the U.S. Constitution.
Why didn't Jacob simply refuse to go along with this bold, obvious swindle? Again, Robert Alter's insights are invaluable. When Jacob asks, 'Why have you DECEIVED me?' the Hebrew word is the same one used in chapter 27 to describe what Jacob did to Isaac. Alter then quotes an ancient rabbinical commentator who imagines the conversation the next day between Jacob and Leah. Jacob says to Leah: 'I called out "Rachel" in the dark and you answered. Why did you do that to me?' And Leah says to him, 'Your father called out "Esau" in the dark and you answered. Why did you do that to him?' His fury dies on his lips. He sees what it is like to be manipulated and deceived, and he meekly complies with Laban's offer.
Before our white brothers arrived to make us civilized men, we didin't have any kind of prison. Because of this, we didn't have any delinquents. Without a prison, there can't be no delinquents. We had no locks nor keys therefore among us there were no thieves. When someone was so poor that he couldn't afford a horse, a tent or a blanket, he would, in that case, receive it all as a gift. We were too uncivilized to give great importance to private property. We didn't know any kind of money and consequently, the value of a human being was not determined by his wealth. We had no written laws laid down, no lawyers, no politicians, therefore we were not able to cheat and swindle one another. We were really in bad shape before the white man arrived and I don't know how to explain how we were able to manage without these fundamental things that (so they tell us) are so necessary for a civilized society.
John (Fire) Lame Deer
(H)ow many great noblemen rob their petty tradesmen, condescend to swindle their poor retainers out of wretched little sums, and cheat for a few shillings? When we read that a nobleman has left for the Continent, or that another noble nobleman has an execution in his house - that one or other owe six or seven millions, the defeat seems glorious even, and we respect the victim of the vastness of his ruin. But who pities a poor barber who can't get his money for powdering the footman's heads; or a poor carpenter who has ruined himself by fixing up ornaments and pavilions for my lady's dejeuner; or the poor devil of a tailor whom the steward patronizes, and who has pledged all he is worth, and more, to get the liveries ready, which my lord has done him the honor to bespeak? - When the great house tumbles down, these miserable wretches fall under it unnoticed: as they say in old legends, before a man goes to the devil himself, he sends plenty of other souls thither.
William Makepeace Thackeray
(Ivan) Hold your tongue, or I'll kill you! (The devil) You'll kill me? No, excuse me, I will speak. I came to treat myself to that pleasure. Oh, I love the dreams of my ardent young friends, quivering with eagerness for life! 'There are new men,' you decided last spring, when you were meaning to come here, 'they propose to destroy everything and begin with cannibalism. Stupid fellows! they didn't ask my advice! I maintain that nothing need be destroyed, that we only need to destroy the idea of God in man, that's how we have to set to work. It's that, that we must begin with. Oh, blind race of men who have no understanding! As soon as men have all of them denied God - and I believe that period, analogous with geological periods, will come to pass - the old conception of the universe will fall of itself without cannibalism, and, what's more, the old morality, and everything will begin anew. Men will unite to take from life all it can give, but only for joy and happiness in the present world. Man will be lifted up with a spirit of divine Titanic pride and the man-god will appear. From hour to hour extending his conquest of nature infinitely by his will and his science, man will feel such lofty joy from hour to hour in doing it that it will make up for all his old dreams of the joys of heaven. Everyone will know that he is mortal and will accept death proudly and serenely like a god. His pride will teach him that it's useless for him to repine at life's being a moment, and he will love his brother without need of reward. Love will be sufficient only for a moment of life, but the very consciousness of its momentariness will intensify its fire, which now is dissipated in dreams of eternal love beyond the grave'... and so on and so on in the same style. Charming! Ivan sat with his eyes on the floor, and his hands pressed to his ears, but he began trembling all over. The voice continued. (The devil) The question now is, my young thinker reflected, is it possible that such a period will ever come? If it does, everything is determined and humanity is settled for ever. But as, owing to man's inveterate stupidity, this cannot come about for at least a thousand years, everyone who recognises the truth even now may legitimately order his life as he pleases, on the new principles. In that sense, 'all things are lawful' for him. What's more, even if this period never comes to pass, since there is anyway no God and no immortality, the new man may well become the man-god, even if he is the only one in the whole world, and promoted to his new position, he may lightheartedly overstep all the barriers of the old morality of the old slaveman, if necessary. There is no law for God. Where God stands, the place is holy. Where I stand will be at once the foremost place... 'all things are lawful' and that's the end of it! That's all very charming; but if you want to swindle why do you want a moral sanction for doing it? But that's our modern Russian all over. He can't bring himself to swindle without a moral sanction. He is so in love with truth-.