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From a psychological point of view, when people go under pressure in life, be it economically or otherwise, they seek support from the people closest to them, usually religious or ethnic groups. They also start blaming other groups who have more control over the national resources. If the gap of power is wide, this will eventually create deep divisions in the nation. The divisions can take on new forms of conflict such as class warfare, ethnic, religious, political unrest and sometime civil war. The only effective protection against national divisions is an open socioeconomic system with a large and growing middle class
Inflation is a force of pressure. If the socioeconomic system of a country is open and democratic, the pressure will dissipate via elections and peaceful change of government. On the other hand, if the system is closed, it might be able to contain the pressure for a while, but the pressure will continue to build up and at a certain point it will exceed the strength of the system causing it to crack. Rulers who learn from history and create a socioeconomic system that is open will achieve stability and continuity. Those who fight against these socioeconomic forces may win some battles in the short term, but they will lose the war.
Men decide far more problems by hate, love, lust, rage, sorrow, joy, hope, fear, illusion, or some other inward emotion, than by reality, authority, any legal standard, judicial precedent, or statute.
One main reason the US has been able to prevent its currency and economy from collapsing, despite the latest wars, huge debt and massive currency printing, is because the dollar is the de-facto standard for international trade and reserve currency.
Leadership is not magnetic personality--that can just as well be a glib tongue. It is not 'making friends and influencing people'--that is flattery. Leadership is lifting a person's vision to higher sights, the raising of a person's performance to a higher standard, the building of a personality beyond its normal limitations.
When we hate our enemies, we are giving them power over us: power over our sleep, our appetites, our blood pressure, our health, and our happiness. Our enemies would dance with joy if only they knew how they were worrying us, lacerating us, and getting even with us! Our hate is not hurting them at all, but our hate is turning our own days and nights into a hellish turmoil.
...as to moral feeling, this supposed special sense, the appeal to it is indeed superficial when those who cannot think believe that feeling will help them out, even in what concerns general laws: and besides, feelings which naturally differ infinitely in degree cannot furnish a uniform standard of good and evil, nor has any one a right to form judgments for others by his own feelings...
All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.
And what is a good citizen? Simply one who never says, does or thinks anything that is unusual. Schools are maintained in order to bring this uniformity up to the highest possible point. A school is a hopper into which children are heaved while they are still young and tender; therein they are pressed into certain standard shapes and covered from head to heels with official rubber-stamps.
Dr. Evil The details of my life are quite inconsequential... very well, where do I begin My father was a relentlessly self-improving boulangerie owner from Belgium with low grade narcolepsy and a penchant for buggery. My mother was a fifteen year old French prostitute named Chloe with webbed feet. My father would womanize, he would drink. He would make outrageous claims like he invented the question mark. Sometimes he would accuse chestnuts of being lazy. The sort of general malaise that only the genius possess and the insane lament. My childhood was typical. Summers in Rangoon, luge lessons. In the spring we'd make meat helmets. When I was insolent I was placed in a burlap bag and beaten with reeds- pretty standard really. At the age of twelve I received my first scribe. At the age of fourteen a Zoroastrian named Vilma ritualistically shaved my testicles. There really is nothing like a shorn scrotum... it's breathtaking- I highly suggest you try it.
Engineering is a great profession. There is the fascination of watching a figment of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper. Then it moves to realisation in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings homes to men or women. Then it elevates the standard of living and adds to the comforts of life. This is the engineer's high privilege.
He who is of calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a burden.
Hold yourself responsible for a higher standard than anybody else expects of you. Never excuse yourself. Never pity yourself. Be a hard master to yourself - and be lenient to everybody else.
If courage wasn't a standard result of aging, it meant that the young could somehow acquire it as well.
If our religion only proclaims a high standard of ethics, then our religion is a burden heavier than we can bear.
If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it's another nonconformist who doesn't conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity.
If you sincerely desire a _truly_ well-rounded education, you must study the extremists, the obscure and "nutty". You need the balance! Your poor brain is already being impregnated with middle-of-the-road crap, twenty-four hours a day, _no matter what_. Network TV, newspapers, radio, magazines at the supermarket... even if you never watch, read, listen, or leave your house, even if you are deaf and blind, the _telepathic pressure alone_ of the uncountable normals surrounding you will insure that you are automatically well- grounded in consensus reality.
It was not their irritating assumption of equality that annoyed Nicholai so much as their cultural confusions. The Americans seemed to confuse standard of living with quality of life, equal opportunity with institutionalized mediocrity, bravery with courage, machismo with manhood, liberty with freedom, wordiness with articulation, fun with pleasure - in short, all of the misconceptions common to those who assume that justice implies equality for all, rather than equality for equals.