“I went to the police like a good American. The two boys were arrested. They were brought to trial. The evidence was overwhelming and they pleaded guilty. The judge sentenced them to three years in prison and suspended the sentence. They went free that very day. I stood in the courtroom like a fool and those bastards smiled at me. And then I said to my wife: ‘We must go to Don Corleone for justice.’ ” - Amerigo Bonasera, The Godfather - Mario Puzo
"What we may be witnessing is not just the end of the Cold War, or the passing of a particular period of postwar history, but the end of history as such: that is, the end point of mankind's ideological evolution and the universalization of Western liberal democracy as the final form of human government." - Francis Fukuyama The End of History and the Last Man
The biggest criticism of democracy is that people are too ignorant and stupid to know how to govern. So sayeth the wealthy elite who insist that only they, the natural aristocracy, can rule and that they are the leaders, and we are the followers. The dynastical scions of the landed gentry will puff out their chests and point to their Ivy League credentials and gold plated resumes as irrefutable proof that the ordinary person is too stupid to have a say in how things go.
One of the most deeply embedded arguments against left wing politics is that it somehow doesn’t understand economics. Taxation is theft. The state is coercion. You’re robbing Peter to pay Paul. Won’t anyone think of the innovators? Socialism is great until you run out of other peoples’ money.
"The media is the most powerful entity on earth. They have the power to make the innocent guilty and the guilty innocent, and that's power. Because they control the minds of the masses." - Malcolm X
It is a clear sunny spring day. The Japanese festival of Hanami, the celebration of the beauty of flowers, is in full swing as people shake out of their heavy winter coats and enjoy the season of renewal and rebirth. Sakura petals drift gently down from promenades and parks onto the picnics of friends and families enjoying the warm weather. It is a time for new life to grow out of the long and harsh winter and the darkness of days. Along the river promenade is the endless hustle and pitter patter of people of all walks of life appreciating the flowers in bloom.
"Don't you see that the whole aim of Newspeak is to narrow the range of thought? In the end we shall make thoughtcrime literally impossible, because there will be no words in which to express it. Every concept that can ever be needed, will be expressed by exactly one word, with its meaning rigidly defined and all its subsidiary meanings rubbed out and forgotten." - George Orwell 1984
What is more dangerous – to be in a cage where you can see the bars, or one where you can’t. Is it more dangerous to know that you are being controlled or to believe that you are free to choose while being just as constrained?
This article first appeared in Critic Issue 3, 2017.
Our world is different to that of our parents. While they were the first generation to pioneer the internet and begin the information era, we were born citizens. While they were the generation that maintained tradition, we are increasingly challenging old ideas. Ideas about what constitutes love, what constitutes marriage, and even ideas about what constitutes ownership.
Born somewhere between the old world of Korea and the new world of New Zealand Isaac is an award winning writer, teacher of literature and nomad currently residing in Nanjing.