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In the totality of human history across all cultures and ages, the wise have always said generally the same thing, and the idiots, namely, the immeasurable majority, have always also done the same, namely just the opposite; and nothing we do will ever change this. And this is why Voltaire writes: nous laisserons ce monde-ci aussi sot et aussi méchant que nous l’avons trouvé en y arrivant.
–Arthur Schopenhauer, Aphorismen zur Lebensweisheit (1850) in: Schopenhauers sämtliche Werke in fünf Bänden, vol. 4, p. 374 (Insel ed.)(S.H. transl.)
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
Mark Denbeaux on the NCIS cover-up of three “suicides” at Guantánamo Bay Detention Camp
From the June 2014 issue
Acres of hemp grown by “patriotic‚” U.S. farmers in 1942 at the behest of the U.S. government:
A study suggested that the health effects of exposure to nuclear radiation at Chernobyl were no worse than ill health resulting from smoking and normal urban air pollution.
Greenpeace apologized after activists accidentally defaced the site of Peru’s 2,000-year-old Nazca Lines when they unfurled cloth letters reading “time for change” near the ancient sand drawings. “We fully understand,” the group wrote in a statement, “that this looks bad.”
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“I hope that after reading the following pages the leaders of the Y. M. C. A. will start a campaign to induce good young men to do nothing. If so, I shall not have lived in vain.”