Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Voltaire – the TYRANT, TYRANNY

On such abuses of power, Voltaire,
The sovereign is called a tyrant who knows no laws but his caprice; who takes the property of his subjects, and afterwards enlists them to go and take that of his neighbors.
To what (form) of TYRANNY do you tolerate, prefer? 
I should less detest the tyranny of a single one, than that of many. A despot has always some good moments; an assemblage of despots, never.
Better to face one than more...many, a cabal or cartel. 

Be ye warned that,
So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves I the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men. 
From another, not French but English, G. K. Chesterton: 
Of all tyrannies, one sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive.
And as it is, long predicated by James Madison,
The means of defense against foreign danger has always been the instrument of tyranny at home. 
And he believed that there are more instances of the "abridgment of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden [abuses]." 
Heard in silence lately, seen in encroachments, gradual or grandiose? 

For, as I hear and see (again, Mr. Madison), 
The accumulation of all powers, legislative, executive, and judiciary, in the same hands [ ] may justly be pronounced the very definition of tyranny.
 Beware and be weary of those centrists of power who parade as parliamentarians.  

Voltaire – Seeing POWER

POWER is everything; it is the means and the end. 

Does power beget power, abuses?  See Declaration of Independence for historical examples and any public or private action for current ones. 

Power is not necessarily discrete, discretionary.  
Power does not have to hide its actions though it may be more effective when doing so (the element of surprise…shock).   

State power is described as “the long arm” and “the heavy hand”, to mean that its reach is far and its blow, serious and severe.  State or similar forms of power depend on money as a means; first by using force to take others’ money and then additionally by printing and/or issuing money well beyond its base value—if it any has such.  

The more money, the more power. 

Voltaire writes,
Everywhere the weak [loath] the powerful, before whom they cringe; and the powerful beat them like sheep whose wool and flesh they sell.
Are you a sheep…led by a sinister shepherd or worse, a wolf in sheep’s clothing?  

You may know the kind; those who fain victimization but indeed are the perpetrator. 
It is bad enough to face evident powers but worse to go up against those hiding behind a fleece; they who attempt pull the wool over the less than perceptive eye.

Still, and from Voltaire once again,
It is difficult to free fools from the chains they revere.
If it’s not bad enough that some are fooled,  it can only get worse when want to be chained. 

Tyrants are clever and calculated to do some good (or intend to…) amid all the bad as Voltaire describes: 
Tyrants have always some slight shade of virtue; they support the laws before destroying them. 
More to come on the tyrant. 

Saturday, June 1, 2019

Voltaire – made for a purpose

In much messages of life is that all things happen for a purpose; whether a thing or somethings, each and all are purposed as a thing or for something. 

Voltaire seems to believe that,
It is proved...that things cannot be other than they are, for since everything was made for a purpose, it follows that everything is made for the best purpose.
In this frame-of-mind or point-of-view is not only do things happen for a purpose but that 

“...that everything is made for the best purpose.” 

  • What is really meant…? 
  • Was he (or did he) consider the things tragic or tumultuous, death and destruction of one form or another? 
  • Is or was there nothing in his life that came without a purpose, determine and then decided? 

Most likely not….   For life always has mystery where their remains questions as to the basic question, “Why?”  

  • Why did it happen (or why didn’t it)?  
  • Why did (or do) I have to endure pain, sorrow, grief and all sundry of other things that are hard—maybe impossible!”

Among the many through time, much have endured the things righteously undeserving and rightfully undesirable. 

Yes, many suffer much while some seem to skirt the ills of the world through their wealth as power.  Whereas the many suffer, a relative few succeed by some semblance.   

Voltaire – the right question(s)

Voltaire said,
Judge a man by his questions rather than by his answers. 
What does he mean; that questions, inquiry and indecision, are better than answers?  
In keeping with attention and accolade on wonder (rather than perhaps even wisdom, depending…) is the continued desire and determination to learn, to grow and even grapple with knowledge; yet, the reality that,
The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.
What keeps us on this journey to learn, this never ending and expanding endeavor but to think and believe,
There is so much out there and perhaps true tunes amid all this noise.
To Voltaire, “I don’t know where I am going, but I am on my way.”
After all,
Common sense is not so common.

Voltaire – to be or not to be, good

What is “good”; what represents "a good thing”?  

  • When we share with others (something of value), is this a good thing?
  • When we consider and act-on someone’s needs above our own, is this a good thing? 

Voltaire said,
Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.
It is when we know what is good (think about it) but fail to act on it given the opportunity; this is perhaps the guilt that Voltaire describes in and among all mankind—whether we actually have guilt or not. 

Sometimes it is the small things that count, if not one than perhaps a series.   

  • For a child or someone with a strong sense of gratitude, small things matter.  
  • For those however who lack gratitude or who are otherwise indulged, such small things go unnoticed if they matter at all.  

A man gives a woman a bouquet of roses and she, for whatever reason, does not in the least appreciate or admire them.  

Another man offers another woman a single flower that he picked amid a field of wildflowers and she is taken, momentarily consumed in this kind, considerate action with all its meaning. 

Why does one appreciate one and the other, not?  

A good thing is not always for good, great, but is finally measured in how well it is received, registered. 

Better to try “good” and be good than to not, presuming rejection and even ridicule.  

Do this good for you—because your heart is good—and not for them alone. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Voltaire – for those who venture

Again, Voltaire: 
Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.
Are we, wretched?  Is wretched measured by our resistance to and defiance of new ideas, other ways? 

To begin on this thought, this concept, is to consider that some and maybe most seldom understand—or want to understand—before commencing with rock throwing.  They would rather just let the rocks fly rather than take the time to understand, so it seems. 

But there is more to the masses than individual ideas, thoughts and belief, and all that makes for our thinking, feeling and doing. Sometimes and maybe more times, the individual is persuaded by pressures, the media and the state. 

Take for example the campaign some years ago, recognized as “The Deadbeat Dad”:  the man who fails to pay child support, no matter the reason; the worthless pile of shit.  
For all such men out there (including me), does anyone ever wonder or go so far as to ask,
            Does he get to see his children?
Maybe not; because to do so, one would have to break from the established idea, the well-trodden path, and see the matter as a parent—rather than as one who accepts this one-side of the matter and as the whole of it or worse yet, presumes all men are Deadbeats. 

For those who brave to venture, the realities of life await; not what one hears or even sees in the media and the state—their agendas—but evidence to the contrary, your own as one with a mind and heart and more, the courage for truth.

Voltaire – show me the terms

Terms are rules, conditions and such. 

Disobey or violate the terms and the deal is off.   

To agree with and abide by terms, one must understand them. If one does not understand the terms—or even that “the terms” are terms—what good does it do?

It is reasonable that to violate the rules one must know the rules, acknowledging their understanding and abiding accordingly—but this reasonable condition is not always so. 
Sometimes one is accused, even convicted, of breaking rules when if truth they did not know about them if the first place. 

Can or should one be accountable for terms they do not know about because the terms are (or were) not made available? 

Could it be that terms (critical details) are knowingly and purposely withheld from that one as a measure to dis-empower the one or take advantage?  The answer is, “Of course.”   
It, this tactic, happens all the time; the one purposely misled or ill-formed…dis-empowered.  
On this word, terms, and subject, Voltaire said,
If you wish to converse with me, define your terms. 
Paradoxically, one must have some level of power to make and maintain such a stated demand; else, like “the one” described, they simply do not know to know....

Principles are important here; that one thinks enough of themselves and basic fairness to demand the terms, the rules of engagement and any other details of relevance.

But without power what use are principles?   Without a force to meet force how might one overcome forces?   Consider these words by Charles Spurgeon: 
When you see no present advantage, walk by faith and not by sight. Do the honor to trust Him when it comes to mattes of loss for the sake of principle. 
It seems that in one’s weakness is the opportunity to see God’s strength, that the one may find peace aside the humility of his powerlessness. 

For the powerless, to include those dis-empowered by injustice and cruelty, faith is there, the terms to trust and obey.