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Mr Raccoon

Quote of the day – Aldous Huxley on the welfare state

Aldous Huxley in his 1958 assessment of his 1931 novel Brave New World – Brave New World Revisited said that :

“any bird that has learned how to grub up a good living without being compelled to use its wings will soon renounce the privilege of flight and remain forever grounded. If the bread is supplied regularly and copiously three times a day, many of them will be perfectly content to live by bread alone – or at least by bread and circuses alone. ‘In the end,’ says the Grand Inquisitor in Dostoevsky’s parable, ‘in the end they will lay their freedom at your feet and say to us, make us your slaves, but feed us.”

and on what happens when the handouts dry up in hard times :

“When things go badly, and the rations are reduced, the grounded do-dos will clamor again for their wings… The young people who now think so poorly of democracy may grow up to be fighters for freedom. The cry of ‘Give me television and hamburgers, but don’t bother me with the responsibilities of liberty,’ may give place, under altered circumstances to the cry of Give me liberty or give me death.”

While I am at it, a great one that captures the current financial turmoil :

Ernest Hemingway captures what is happening to the American Empire in one brief quote from his novel The Sun Also Rises:

“How did you go bankrupt?” “Two ways, gradually and then suddenly”

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