Quote of the day

A party is not a person. It does not have beliefs; it cannot be persuaded by philosophical arguments. To say that a party holds certain views is an abbreviated way of describing the outcome of the internal political processes of that party — the processes that determine what positions are published as the party’s platform and, often more important, what positions are pushed by the party’s candidates and acted upon if they gain office.

— David Friedman from The Machinery of Freedom

Quote of the day

“But property rights are not the rights of property; they are the rights of humans with regard to property. They are a particular kind of human right”

The Machinery of Freedom – David Friedman

Individualism from Friedrich Hayek, The Road To Serfdom

This is the fundamental fact on which the whole philosophy of individualism is based. It does not assume, as is often asserted, that man is egoistic or selfish or ought to be.

It merely starts from the indisputable fact that the limits of our powers of imagination make it impossible to include in our scale of values more than a sector of the needs of the whole society, and that, since, strictly speaking, scales of value can exist only in individual minds, nothing but partial scales of values exist – scales which are inevitably different and often inconsistent with each other. It is this recognition of the individual as the ultimate judge of his ends, the belief that as far as possible his own views ought to govern his actions, that forms the essence of the individualist position.


“Peter Kropotkin”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Kropotkin :

bq. Russian has shown us the way in which Socialism cannot be realized…The idea of workers’ councils for the control of the political and economic life of the country is, in itself, of extraordinary importance…but so long as the country is dominated by the dictatorship of a party, the workers’ and peasants’ councils naturally lose their significance. They are degraded to the same passive role which the representatives of the Estates used to play in the time of the absolute Monarchy.

“Rudolf Rocker”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rudolf_Rocker :

bq. the dictatorship of the proletariat paved the way not for a socialist society but for the most primitive type of bureaucratic state capitalism and a reversion to political absolutism which was long ago abolished in most countries by bourgeois revolutions.

via “American Power: and the new mandarins” by Noam Chomsky

Reading List: Totochan

“Totto-Chan Little Girl at Window”:http://www.amazon.com/Totto-Chan-Little-Girl-at-Window/dp/4770020678

Everyone has some good moments in the past, and reading this book will likely bring you a moment of nostalgia. It tells a story of a little girl went to a _perfect_ primary school, that to say it does not suck. The little girl is weird in a cute way, and the head of school has a very modern and liberal method of teaching. It sounds like a dream for most of readers. Yet this story was based on the childhood of the author just before WWII happened. This book, like The Little Prince, is for everyone, children and adults. I just wish every educators in the world has a copy, and reads it once a year.

The limitation of this book, IMHO, is that it does not have a strong story line. The story was based on real life events of the author, but it reads like a non-fiction. Regardless of which genre the book is, the story does not “flow”. The second half is more like a collection of very short stories than a book. The author, in fact, wrote a series of stories for a magazine; the series are so well received which led the author edit them into book. I noticed this kind of snags in other books done that way too.

Quote of the day

bq. The wedding is the culmination of youth, a fulfillment of its aim. It is a public disavowal of selfishness. The true consummation of the wedding is the birth of the first child.


Philosophy for kids

bq. Teaching children the art of collaborative philosophical inquiry brings them persistent, long-term cognitive benefits, according to psychologists in Scotland.

“Link”:http://bps-research-digest.blogspot.com/2007/11/philosophy-for-kids.html via “TED”:http://blog.ted.com/2007/12/why_we_should_t.php.

repost: Quote of the day

“Emma Jung”:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emma_Jung:

bq. The real thinking of woman … is pre-eminently practical and applied. It is something we describe as sound common sense, and is usually directed to what is close at hand and personal…. In general, it can be said that feminine mentality manifests an undeveloped, childlike, or primitive character; instead of the thirst for knowledge, curiosity; instead of judgment, prejudice; instead of thinking, imagination or dreaming; instead of will, wishing. Where a man takes up objective problems, a woman contents herself with solving riddles; where he battles for knowledge and understanding, she contents herself with faith or superstition, or else she makes assumptions.

Btw, this does not represent my opinion on the topic.