In my judgment, while it is the duty of Congress to respect to the uttermost the conscientious convictions and religious scruples of every citizen ... not any ecclesiastical organization can be safely permitted to usurp in the smallest degree the functions and powers of the national government.
James A. Garfield
Cryptocurrencies in general give us a stable medium through which we can communicate our information about values and prices in a way that no government mandarin can distort or usurp. For the predators who have used our central institutions to predate on the rest of humanity, it's a very bad development.
Patrick M. Byrne
You are now fixed at the mercy of no governor that comes to make his fortune great; you shall be governed by laws of your own making and live a free, and if you will, a sober and industrious life. I shall not usurp the right of any, or oppress his person. God has furnished me with a better resolution and has given me his grace to keep it.
Monarchy is an outrage which even the blind of an entire people cannot justify... all men hold from nature the secret mission to destroy wherever it my be found. No man can reign innocently. The folly is too evident. Every king is a rebel and a usurper. Do kings themselves treat otherwise those who seek to usurp their authority?
Louis Antoine de Saint-Just
However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.
When a republic's most venerable institutions no longer operate as they were intended, it becomes possible for small cabals to usurp power, and, while keeping the forms, corrupt the function of those institutions for their own ends. Looking at things that way, the George W. Bush presidency has been both result and symptom of the decadence of America's constitutional mechanisms.
T. D. Allman
The search for the new black is one of the most elusive quests known to man. It's rumored that Christopher Columbus once searched for the new black and simply gave up. Yet every season we are convinced that some magical chromatic fabric will usurp black as the king of fashion, only to realize later that black still reigns supreme.
Soviet-style communism failed, not because it was intrinsically evil, but because it was flawed. It allowed too few people to usurp too much power. Twenty-first century market capitalism, American-style, will fail for the same reasons. Both are edifices constructed by human intelligence, undone by human nature.
Excessive partiality for one foreign nation and excessive dislike of another cause those whom they actuate to see danger only on one side, and serve to veil and even second the arts of influence on the other. Real patriots who may resist the intrigues of the favorite are liable to become suspected and odious, while its tools and dupes usurp the applause and confidence of the people, to surrender their interests.
And if a minister shall usurp the supreme and absolute govern ment of America, and set up his instructions as laws in the colonies, and their Governors shall be so weak or so wicked, as for the sake of keeping their places, to be made the instruments in putting them in execu tion, who will presume to say that the people have not a right, or that it is not their indispensible duty to God and their Country, by all rational means in their power to RESIST THEM.
... Natural affections and instincts, my dear sir, are the most beautiful of the Almighty's works, but like other beautiful works of His, they must be reared and fostered, or it is as natural that they should be wholly obscured, and that new feelings should usurp their place, as it is that the sweetest productions of the earth, left untended, should be choked with weeds and briers.
America does not go abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She well knows that by enlisting under other banners than her own, were they even the banners of foreign independence, she would involve herself beyond the power of extrication in all the wars of interest and intrigue, of individual avarice, envy and ambition, which assume the colors and usurp the standards of freedom.
John Quincy Adams
The terrible error in the course of human civilization is undoubtedly the defective judgment that allowed religious authorities usurp the foundation of societal morality, in which all collective ethics of humankind must take a cause. This appalling blunder is comparable only to assigning the leper exclusive franchise to run beauty clinics in the society; this can only lead to cycles upon cycles of common infection syndrome.
Fashion, leader of a chatt'ring train,Whom man for his own hurt permits to reignWho shifts and changes all things but his shape,And would degrade her vot'ry to an ape,The fruitful parent of abuse and wrong,Holds a usurp'd dominion o'er his tongue,There sits and prompts him with his own disgrace,Prescribes the theme, the tone, and the grimace,And when accomplish'd in her wayward school,Calls gentleman whom she has made a fool.
The Greeks invented the idea of nemesis to show how any single virtue, stubbornly maintained gradually changes into a destructive vice. Our success, our industry, our habit of work have produced our economic nemesis. Work made modern men great, but now threatens to usurp our souls, to inundate the earth in things and trash, to destroy our capacity to love and wonder.
Human rights pale beside the rights of machines. In more and more cities, especially in the great metropolises of the South, people have been banned. Automobiles usurp human space, poison the air, and frequently murder the interlopers who invade their conquered territory -and no one lifts a finger to stop them. Is there a difference between violence that kills by car and that which kills by knife or bullet?" (p.231)
This was the shocking thing; that the slime of the pit seemed to utter cries and voices; that the amorphous dust gesticulated and sinned; that what was dead, and had no shape, should usurp the offices of life. And this again, that that insurgent horror was knit to him closer than a wife, closer than an eye; lay caged in his flesh, where he heard it mutter and felt it struggle to be born; and at every hour of weakness, and in the confidence of slumber, prevailed against him, and deposed him out of life.
Robert Louis Stevenson
Used with due abstinence, hope acts as a healthful tonic; intemperately indulged, as an enervating opiate. The visions of future triumph, which at first animate exertion, if dwelt upon too intently, will usurp the place of the stern reality; and, noble objects will be contemplated, not for their own inherent worth, but on account of the day-dreams they engender. Thus hope, aided by imagination, makes one man a hero, another a somnambulist, and a third a lunatic; while it renders them all enthusiasts.
James Fitzjames Stephen
Suttree surfaced from these fevered deeps to hear a maudlin voice chant latin by his bedside, what medieval ghost come to usurp his fallen corporeality. An oiled thumball redolent of lime and sage pondered his shuttered lids.Miserere mei, Deus ...His ears anointed, his lips ... omnis maligna discordia ... Bechrismed with scented oils he lay boneless in a cold euphoria. Japheth when you left your father's house the birds had flown. You were not prepared for such weathers. You'd spoke too lightly of the winter in your father's heart. We saw you in the streets. Sad.
What has happened to create this doubt is that a problem (such as a deep conflict or a bad experience) has been allowed to usurp God's place and become the controlling principle of life. Instead of viewing the problem from the vantage point of faith, the doubter views faith from the vantage point of the problem. Instead of faith sizing up the problem, the situation ends with the problem scaling down faith. The world of faith is upside down, and in the topsy-turvy reality of doubt, a problem has become god and God has become a problem.
When you ignore your belly, you become homeless. You spend your life trying to erase your own existence. Apologizing for yourself. Feeling like a ghost. Eating to take up space, eating to give yourself the feeling that you have weight here, you belong here, you are allowed to be yourself - but never quite believing it because you don't sense yourself directly... I started teaching a simple belly meditation in which I asked people to become aware of sensations in their belly (numbness and emptiness count as sensations). Every time their mind wandered... I asked them to begin counting their breaths so they could anchor their concentration. Starting with the number one and saying it on the out breath, they'd count to seven and begin again. If they were able to stay concentrated on the sensations in their belly centers, they didn't need to use counting as a concentration anchor... you begin the process of bringing yourself back to your body, to your belly, to your breath because they - not the mind medleys - are here now. And it is only here, only now that you can make a decision to eat or not eat. To occupy your own body or to vacate your arms and your legs while still breathing and go through your days as a walking head... Meditation is a tool to shake yourself awake. A way to discover what you love. A practice to return yourself to your body when the mind medleys threaten to usurp your sanity.
To begin with, there is the frightful debauchery of taste that has already been effected by a century of mechanisation. This is almost too obvious and too generally admitted to need pointing out. But as a single instance, take taste in its narrowest sense - the taste for decent food. In the highly mechanical countries, thanks to tinned food, cold storage, synthetic flavouring matters, etc., the palate it almost a dead organ. As you can see by looking at any greengrocer's shop, what the majority of English people mean by an apple is a lump of highly-coloured cotton wool from America or Australia; they will devour these things, apparently with pleasure, and let the English apples rot under the trees. It is the shiny, standardized, machine-made look of the American apple that appeals to them; the superior taste of the English apple is something they simply do not notice. Or look at the factory-made, foil wrapped cheeses and 'blended' butter in an grocer's; look at the hideous rows of tins which usurp more and more of the space in any food-shop, even a dairy; look at a sixpenny Swiss roll or a twopenny ice-cream; look at the filthy chemical by-product that people will pour down their throats under the name of beer. Wherever you look you will see some slick machine-made article triumphing over the old-fashioned article that still tastes of something other than sawdust. And what applies to food applies also to furniture, houses, clothes, books, amusements and everything else that makes up our environment. These are now millions of people, and they are increasing every year, to whom the blaring of a radio is not only a more acceptable but a more normal background to their thoughts than the lowing of cattle or the song of birds. The mechanisation of the world could never proceed very far while taste, even the taste-buds of the tongue, remained uncorrupted, because in that case most of the products of the machine would be simply unwanted. In a healthy world there would be no demand for tinned food, aspirins, gramophones, gas-pipe chairs, machine guns, daily newspapers, telephones, motor-cars, etc. etc.; and on the other hand there would be a constant demand for the things the machine cannot produce. But meanwhile the machine is here, and its corrupting effects are almost irresistible. One inveighs against it, but one goes on using it. Even a bare-arse savage, given the change, will learn the vices of civilisation within a few months. Mechanisation leads to the decay of taste, the decay of taste leads to demand for machine-made articles and hence to more mechanisation, and so a vicious circle is established.
In this book, we have briefly touched on what are considered adequate and inadequate tests in science. Introspection, personal experience, and testimonials are all considered inadequate tests of claims about the nature of human behavior. Thus, it should not be surprising that conflict arises because these are precisely the types of evidence that nonpsychologist commentators have been using to support their statements about human behavior since long before a discipline of psychology existed. However, it should not be thought that I am recommending a sour, spoilsport role for the science of psychology. Quite the contrary. The actual findings of legitimate psychology are vastly more interesting and exciting than the repetitious gee-whiz pseudoscience of the media. Furthermore, it should not be thought that scientists are against fantasy and imagination. However, we want fancy and fantasy when we go to the movies or the theater-not when we go to the doctor's office, buy insurance, register our children for child care, fly in an airplane, or have our car serviced. We could add to this list going to a psychotherapist, having our learning-disabled child tested by a school psychologist, or taking a friend to suicide-prevention counseling at the university psychology clinic. Psychology, like other sciences, must remove fantasy, unfounded opinion, 'common sense,' commercial advertising claims, the advice of gurus, testimonials, and wishful thinking from its search for the truth. It is difficult for a science to have to tell parts of society that their thoughts and opinions are needed-but not here. Psychology is the latest of the sciences to be in this delicate position. The difference in time period for psychology, however, is relevant. Most sciences came of age during periods of elite control of the structures of society, when the opinion of the ordinary person made no difference. Psychology, on the other hand, is emerging in a media age of democracy and ignores public opinion at its own peril. Many psychologists are now taking greater pains to remedy the discipline's lamentable record in public communication. As more psychologists take on a public communication role, the conflicts with those who confuse a personal psychology with scientific psychology are bound to increase. Not everyone is a physicist, even though we all hold intuitive physical theories. But in giving up the claim that our personal physical theories must usurp scientific physics, we make way for a true science of the physical universe whose theories, because science is public, will be available to us all. Likewise, everyone is not a psychologist. But the facts and theories uncovered by the science of psychology are available to be put to practical ends and to enrich the understanding of all of us.
Keith E. Stanovich