Resurrection: An American Journey
The Tao of Physics
The sleep of virtue. When virtue has slept, she will get up more refreshed.
Faust: A Fragment
Justice John P. Stevens
Excerpt of the dissenting opinion
Citizens United v. FEC 588 U.S. 310
A phenomenon noticeable throughout history regardless of place or period is the pursuit by governments of policies contrary to their own interests. Mankind, it seems, makes a poorer performance of government than almost any other activity. In this sphere, wisdom, which may be defined as the exercise of judgment acting on experience, common sense and available information, is less operative and more frustrated than it should be. …
The ultimate outcome of a policy is not what determines its qualification as folly. …It qualifies as folly when it is a perverse persistence in a policy demonstrably unworkable or counter- productive.
Justice Stevens, with whom Justice Ginsburg, Justice Breyer, and Justice Sotomayor join, concurring in part and dissenting in part:
In the context of election to public office, the distinction between corporate and human speakers is significant…The financial resources, legal structure, and instrumental orientation of corporations raise legitimate concerns about their role in the electoral process. Our lawmakers have a compelling constitutional basis, if not also a democratic duty, to take measures designed to guard against the potentially deleterious effects of corporate spending in local and national races.
The majority’s approach to corporate electioneering marks a dramatic break from our past…
The March of Folly
From Troy to Vietnam
That which does not meet with your acclaim; You have the right to cry indignant: Shame!
And, once for all, I don’t grudge you the pleasure of little self-deceptions at your leisure; But it can’t last indefinitely.
Already you are spent again. And soon you will be rent again, by madness and anxiety.
Most individuals are [only] aware of themselves as isolated egos existing “inside” their bodies. The mind has been separated from the body and given the futile task of controlling it, thus causing an apparent conflict between the conscious will and the involuntary instincts. Each individual has been split up further…[into]…activities, talents, feelings, beliefs…engaged in endless conflicts generating…confusion and frustration.
This inner fragmentation of man mirrors his view of the world “outside,” which is seen as a multitude of separate objects and events…[and] further extended to society, which is split into different nations, races, religious and political groups. The belief that all these fragments – in ourselves, in our environment, and in our society – are really separate can be seen as the essential reason for the present series of social, ecological, and cultural crises.
The American culture was founded upon the basic concept of free will – the belief that all individuals can…consciously determine for themselves their moral values, political and economic interests, and social environment. Indeed, free will is the foundation of all Western democratic and republican philosophical thought. Therefore, it is especially difficult for Americans to believe this treasured concept of free will has been subverted and appropriated in the interest of an efficient merchandising-consumer oriented economic system.
It may also be difficult to believe that a secret technology…in widespread use for years…channels basic value systems, and manages human motives in the interest of special power structures. This all reads much too much like the past half century of science fiction.
Americans still find it difficult to believe…[this technology is]…driving larger and larger segments of the population into pathological behaviors