The army of Sherman was now exposing one of the great embarrassments of a chivalric, apartheid society: rhetoric, costumes, polite manners, titles, and arcane traditions among a privileged elite hide weakness rather than reflect strength. An egalitarian society of freeholding citizens that can draw on all members of its population, make them feel of equal value to the cause, and sanction their brutality by a true democratic consensus, needs no emblems of ferocity because it is intrinsically ferocious, even scary in war, both numerically and qualitatively. It was no accident that on surrender Grant looked shabby, slouchy, and muddy, Lee resplendent and sworded; Sherman was rumpled, Joe Johnston dapper in his military gray; as a rule, Southern horsemen were more privileged and adroit, Union cavalry workmanlike and more numerous; Southern infantry loud, brave, and bold in their charges, Union troops usually better armed, more plentiful, and in the end far more lethal.
-Victor Davis Hanson, The Soul of Battle, p. 174.
“My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to repeal old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden… And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituent’s ‘interests,’ I shall reply… that their main interest is liberty, and that in that cause I am doing the best I can.” -Barry Goldwater
“The more of the world I see, the less sense it makes. The more different people I meet, the less I believe in their humanity. The older I get, the less comfortable I am in my own skin. We are a world at war, sometimes quietly, often not. We are the cleverest monsters, and we deserve everything we’ve got coming.
“Everything falls apart. Everyone dies in time. In the great, slow reduction of our lives and history, the things we can believe in shrink into a space smaller than our own bodies. To preserve them, for as long as you might, arm yourself, and be afraid.”
“Power is the politician’s paycheck. Power gets politicians all the good things money can buy and plenty of other things as well. Businessmen work for money because money gives them mastery over their own lives. Politicians work for power because power gives them mastery over the lives of others.” -PJ O’Rourke
But are you familiar with these?
- Etorre’s Observation – The other line moves faster.
- Barth’s Distinction – There are two types of people in the world: those who divide people into types and those who don’t.
- Acton’s Law – Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely
- Boob’s Law – You always find something in the last place you look.
- Clarke’s Third Law – Any sufficiently advanced society is indistinguishable from magic.
- Franklin’s Rule – Blessed is he who expects nothing, for he will not be disappointed.
- Issawi’s Law of the Path of Progress – A shortcut is the longest distance between two points.
- Mencken’s Law – Those who can, do. Those who cannot, teach.
- Patton’s Law – A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow.
“[T]he mass of mankind has not been born with saddles on their backs, nor a favored few booted and spurred, ready to ride them legitimately, by the grace of god.” -Thomas Jefferson
‘Whoever lives for the sake of combating an enemy has an interest in the enemy’s staying alive.’ –Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
“[Christianity] tells me to love my enemies. And I don’t do that and I don’t want you doing it for me either. Go love your own enemies. Don’t be loving mine. I’ll get on with the business of destroying, isolating, and combating the enemies of civilization.” -Christopher Hitchens
“There is no man, and no place, without war…The only thing we can do is choose a side, and fight. That is the only choice we get – who we fight for, who we fight against. It is life.” -Gregory David Roberts, Shantaram
“You cannot qualify war in harsher terms than I will. War is cruelty, and you cannot refine it; and those who brought war into our country deserve all the curses and maledictions a people can pour out. I know I had no hand in making this war, and I know I will make more sacrifices to-day than any of you to secure peace.” -Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman