"In a world of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act"
George Orwell (Eric Arthur Blair)
"In any war, the first casualty is common sense, and the second is free and open discussion."
James Reston, The New York Times, 1965
"In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured; they may well be essential for survival." 1
On Freedom and Resistance:
"There comes a time when the operation of the machine becomes so odious, makes you so sick at heart, that you can't take part, you can't even passively take part; and you've got to put your bodies upon the gears and upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus, and you've got to make it stop. And you've got to indicate to the people who run it, to the people who own it, that unless you're free the machine will be prevented from working at all." -Mario Savio (Dec.2nd,1964)
"All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed, second it is violently opposed, and third, it is accepted as self-evident."
Arthur Schopenhauer, Philosopher, 1788-1860
"[T]he ancient Greek philosopher Socrates taught his students that the pursuit of truth can only begin once they start to question and analyze every belief that they ever held dear. If a certain belief passes the tests of evidence, deduction, and logic, it should be kept. If it doesn't, the belief should not only be discarded, but the thinker must also then question why he was led to believe the erroneous information in the first place. Not surprisingly, this type of teaching didn't sit well with the ruling elite of Greece. Many political leaders throughout history have always sought to mislead the thinking of the masses. Socrates was tried for 'subversion' and for 'corrupting the youth'. He was then forced to take his own life by drinking poison. It's never easy being an independent thinker! Today, our ruling government/media complex doesn't [as a rule] kill people for pursuing the truth about the world. They simply label them as 'extremists' or 'paranoid', destroying careers and reputations in the process." 2
"The Lemming Effect"
"They will even deny that which they see with their own eyes. They are victims of a psychological affliction known as 'the lemming effect.'"
Lemmings are small rodents who have been known to follow each other as they charge to their deaths into raging rivers or off of cliffs. Lemminghood is an innate psychological phenomenon, present in most mammals and observable in common people as well the most sophisticated and educated elites. Lemminghood is not an intellectual phenomenon - it is psychological.
As such, no socio-economic class is immune to its strangulating effect. A grant-seeking university scientist can be a lemming just as much as a fashion obsessed teen-age girl. One blindly follows the latest trendy theory while the other blindly follows the latest trendy clothing style. What's the difference? Neither can resist the force of nature.
The power to fit in with one's social peers can be irresistible. To a human lemming, the logic behind an opinion doesn't count as much as the power and popularity behind an opinion.
Man, like lemming, behaves collectively. And it could be no other way. Naturally, the individual must be equipped with this trait. Otherwise, the smallest steps toward civilization could never have been made. Lemminghood is a survival trait, an inborn instinct in the majority of people. However, as with all natural phenomena, this tendency can be manipulated and used for harmful purposes.
It is this lemming effect which enables entire segments of a society to lose their sense of judgment all at the same time.
For lemmings, denial is a basic psychological defense mechanism used to not only shield themselves from unpleasant realities, but also to reassure themselves that they will still fit within the acceptable range of opinion held by their peer group. Lemmings are absolutely terrified at the thought of being labeled as an "extremist" or a "conspiracy theorist."
At all costs, their beliefs must always be on the "right" side of the issue and conform within the boundaries of their lemming peers. Lemmings simply cannot bear the burden of responsibility, or the discomfort, which comes with thinking independently. They'll resist any efforts to change their misguided beliefs with all their mental energy.
We can try to open their closed minds and free them from their self-imposed blindness, but it's not easy fighting the force of human nature. The chains of ideological conformity have too strong of a grip, and breaking them is a difficult task. With the limited resources at our disposal, it is next to impossible to compete with the media lemming-masters. Nevertheless, some of us must make the meager attempt, and thus lay the foundation upon which the truth might one day rise again.
And here we come to the vital distinction between the advocacy of temperance and the advocacy of prohibition. Temperance and self-control are convertible terms. Prohibition, or that which it implies, is the direct negation of the term self-control. In order to save the small percentage of men who are too weak to resist their animal desires, it aims to put chains on every man, the weak and the strong alike. And if this is proper in one respect, why not in all respects? Yet, what would one think of a proposition to keep all men locked up because a certain number have a propensity to steal? -- Felix Mendelsohn, 1915
John Stuart Mill
The only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not a sufficient warrant. -- John Stuart Mill
The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion. -Thomas Paine
"Those who sacrifice liberties for security deserve neither." -Benjamin Franklin
When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. -Sri Chinmoy Ghose