Civilization

783 – James Madison on Factionalism and Partisanship

“The latent causes of faction are thus sown in the nature of man; and we see them everywhere brought into different degrees of activity, according to the different circumstances of civil society. A zeal for different opinions concerning religion, concerning government, and many other points, as well of speculation as of practice; an attachment to different leaders ambitiously contending for pre-eminence and power; or to persons of other descriptions whose fortunes have been interesting to the human passions, have, in turn, divided mankind into parties, inflamed them with mutual animosity, and rendered them much more disposed to vex and oppress each other than to co-operate for their common good. So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, that where no substantial occasion presents itself, the most frivolous and fanciful distinctions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts. But the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold, and those who are without property, have ever formed distinct interests in society.”

–James Madison, 4th President of the United States of America

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765 – “I believe that dreams — day dreams, you know, with your eyes wide open and your brain machinery whizzing — are likely to lead to the betterment of the world. The imaginative child will become the imaginative man or woman most apt to create, to invent, and therefore to foster civilization. A prominent educator tells me that fairy tales are of untold value in developing imagination in the young.”

–L Frank Baum

Today is Tell a Fairy Tale Day, so go out and reread your favorite or tell a new one!

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761 – Washington on the State of the World and Its Future

“On these occasions I consider how mankind may be connected like one great family in fraternal ties—I endulge a fond, perhaps an enthusiastic idea, that as the world is evidently much less barbarous than it has been, its melioration must still be progressive—that nations are becoming more humanized in their policy—that the subjects of ambition & causes for hostility are daily diminishing—and in fine, that the period is not very remote when the benefits of a liberal & free commerce will, pretty generally, succeed to the devastations & horrors of war.”

–George Washington, 1st President of the United States of America

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727 – “Since the fall of the Roman Empire, there has rarely been more interesting times than these. Whenever history becomes unstable and destinies hang in the balance, then magicians and messiahs appear everywhere. Our own civilization has moved into an epoch of permanent crisis and upheaval, and we are beset with a plague of wizards. They serve an historic purpose, for whenever a society undergoes radical change, alternative spiritualities proliferate, and from among these a culture will select a new world view.”

–Peter J Carroll

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692 – Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society Quote

“The challenge of the next half century is whether we have the wisdom to use that wealth to enrich and elevate our national life, and to advance the quality of our American civilization.

Your imagination, your initiative, and your indignation will determine whether we build a society where progress is the servant of our needs, or a society where old values and new visions are buried under unbridled growth. For in your time we have the opportunity to move not only toward the rich society and the powerful society, but upward to the Great Society.

The Great Society rests on abundance and liberty for all. It demands an end to poverty and racial injustice, to which we are totally committed in our time. But that is just the beginning.

The Great Society is a place where every child can find knowledge to enrich his mind and to enlarge his talents. It is a place where leisure is a welcome chance to build and reflect, not a feared cause of boredom and restlessness. It is a place where the city of man serves not only the needs of the body and the demands of commerce but the desire for beauty and the hunger for community.

It is a place where man can renew contact with nature. It is a place which honors creation for its own sake and for what it adds to the understanding of the race. It is a place where men are more concerned with the quality of their goals than the quantity of their goods.

But most of all, the Great Society is not a safe harbor, a resting place, a final objective, a finished work. It is a challenge constantly renewed, beckoning us toward a destiny where the meaning of our lives matches the marvelous products of our labor.”

–Lyndon B Johnson, 36th President of the United States of America

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682 – “We are not isolationists. Intelligent people are not isolationists. We are a part of the great civilization of this world at this moment, and every part of the world where a similar civilization prevails is a part of us.”

–Dwight Eisenhower, 34th President of the United States of America

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637 – “I trust the time is nigh when, with the universal assent of civilized people, all international differences shall be determined without resort to arms by the benignant processes of civilization.”

–Chester A Arthur, 21st President of the United States of America
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576 – “General education is the best preventive of the evils now most dreaded. In the civilized countries of the world, the question is how to distribute most generally and equally the property of the world. As a rule, where education is most general the distribution of property is most general…. As knowledge spreads, wealth spreads. To diffuse knowledge is to diffuse wealth. To give all an equal chance to acquire knowledge is the best and surest way to give all an equal chance to acquire property.”

–Rutherford B Hayes, 19th President of the United States of America
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