Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Quote of the Day (George Orwell, on Power and Temporary Invincibility)

“Power worship blurs political judgement because it leads, almost unavoidably, to the belief that present trends will continue. Whoever is winning at the moment will always seem to be invincible. If the Japanese have conquered south Asia, then they will keep south Asia for ever, if the Germans have captured Tobruk, they will infallibly capture Cairo; if the Russians are in Berlin, it will not be long before they are in London: and so on. This habit of mind leads also to the belief that things will happen more quickly, completely, and catastrophically than they ever do in practice. The rise and fall of empires, the disappearance of cultures and religions, are expected to happen with earthquake suddenness, and processes which have barely started are talked about as though they were already at an end.”—British essayist/novelist George Orwell (1903-1950), “Second Thoughts on James Burnham,” in The Orwell Reader: Fiction, Essays, and Reportage (1961)

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