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Learned Hand

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The condition of our survival in any but the meagerest existence is our willingness to accommodate ourselves to the conflicting interests of others, to learn to live in a social world.
--
Address to Yale Law Graduates (1931); also in The Spirit of Liberty: Papers and Addresses (1952), p. 87.

 
Learned Hand

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In the elemental emotions of fear and rage associated with the most primitive parts of the brain, this swift response without conscious intervention or direction is a condition of survival: but something more than survival comes forth from it; for this very automatism freed the growing brain and ramifying nervous system for more important services, detached from the immediate pressure for survival, performed by the new brain. Here by his conscious symbolic activities man created a second realm that conforms more closely to his higher personal and social needs.

 
Lewis Mumford
 

Modern industrial civilization has developed within a certain system of convenient myths. The driving force of modern industrial civilization has been individual material gain, which is accepted as legitimate, even praiseworthy, on the grounds that private vices yield public benefits, in the classic formulation. Now, it has long been understood, very well, that a society that is based on this principle will destroy itself in time. It can only persist, with whatever suffering and injustice that it entails, as long as it is possible to pretend that the destructive forces that humans create are limited, that the world is an infinite resource, and that the world is an infinite garbage can. At this stage of history either one of two things is possible. Either the general population will take control of its own destiny and will concern itself with community interests, guided by values of solidarity, sympathy and concern for others, or alternatively there will be no destiny for anyone to control. As long as some specialized class is in a position of authority, it is going to set policy in the special interests that it serves. But the conditions of survival, let alone justice, require rational social planning in the interests of the community as a whole, and by now that means the global community. The question is whether privileged elite should dominate mass communication and should use this power as they tell us they must -- namely to impose necessary illusions, to manipulate and deceive the stupid majority and remove them from the public arena. The question in brief, is whether democracy and freedom are values to be preserved or threats to be avoided. In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than values to be treasured; they may well be essential to survival.

 
Noam Chomsky
 

I'd like to say two things. One intellectual and one moral. The intellectual thing I should want to say to them is this. "When you are studying any matter, or considering any philosophy, ask yourself only: What are the facts, and what is the truth that the facts bear out. Never let yourself be diverted, either by what you wish to believe, or what you think could have beneficent social effects if it were believed; but look only and solely at what are the facts." That is the intellectual thing that I should wish to say. The moral thing I should wish to say to them is very simple; I should say: "Love is wise ó Hatred is foolish." In this world, which is getting more and more closely interconnected, we have to learn to tolerate each other. We have to learn to put up with the fact, that some people say things we don't like. We can only live together in that way. But if we are to live together, and not die together, we must learn a kind of charity and a kind of tolerance which is absolutely vital, to the continuation of human life on this planet.

 
Bertrand Russell
 

There is an aspiration we all have which needs to be fulfilled. Thatís what Iím talking about. There is something that I can offer that fulfills that place, that fulfills that vacuum. It replaces that vacuum with a reality, with an experience of your own self. Because what you are is very beautiful. We need to learn to live with ourselves. When we canít learn to live with ourselves, we canít live with anybody. The world is too small.

 
Maharaji (Prem Rawat)
 

"It certainly brings to focus how utterly screwed up things have become in Fiji when we accept without question someone being jailed for stealing six buns and $200, yet try to justify legitimising treason, murder, rioting and looting through the bill. It is a sad reflection of just how far the greater interests of all our people has been ignored in order to accommodate the interests of a select few in our society." (27 July 2005)

 
Mick Beddoes
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