Quote of the Week – September 8th, 2013

“The elegant beauty of capitalism lies in the fact that regardless of how global or interconnected the world becomes economically, it never loses sight of the importance of the individual. The genius of capitalism is that it is not a monolithic, centrally planned monstrosity, but rather a fluid system with millions of individual exchanges, resulting in the most efficient allocation of resources. The difference between centrally planned economies and free market capitalism is the difference between glaciers and the ocean.” – Economist and academic Gary Wolfram, pages 1-2 of A Capitalist Manifesto: Understanding the Market Economy and Defending Liberty, published in 2012.

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Quote of the Week – September 1st, 2013

“In disquisitions of every kind there are certain primary truths or first principles upon which all subsequent reasonings must depend. These contain an internal evidence, which antecedent to all reflection or combination commands the assent of the mind. Where it produces not this effect, it must proceed either from some defect or disorder in the organs of perception, or from the influence of some strong interest, or passion, or prejudice.” - U.S. Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, writing as Publius in Federalist No. 31, originally published on January 1st, 1788.

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Quote of the Week – August 25th, 2013

“The difficulty that democracy finds in defeating the passions and silencing the needs of the moment in view of the future is noticed in the United States in the least things.

The people, surrounded by flatterers, come to triumph over themselves only with difficulty. Each time that one wants to get them to impose deprivation or bother on themselves, even in a goal that their reason approves, they almost always begin by refusing it.” - French political philosopher and historian Alexis de Tocqueville, page 215 of volume 1, part 2 of Democracy in America from the 2002 Harvey C. Mansfield and Delba Winthrop edition, originally published in two volumes in 1835 and 1840.

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Quote of the Week – August 18th, 2013

This is a clear departure from the “classic” quotations I normally use for this series, but I don’t see any reason not to post contemporary quotations. Kutcher isn’t exactly a wordsmith, but I appreciate his effort to communicate an excellent message of hard work, perseverance, and optimism to a youthful audience. It’s worth repeating here.

“I believe that opportunity looks a lot like hard work. When I was 13, I had my first job with my dad carrying shingles up to the roof. And then I got a job washing dishes at a restaurant. And then I got a job in a grocery store deli. And then I got a job in a factory sweeping Cheerio dust off the ground. And I’ve never had a job in my life that I was better than. I was always just lucky to have a job. And every job I had was a stepping stone to my next job, and I never quit my job until I had my next job. And so opportunities look a lot like work.” – Actor and entrepreneur Chris “Ashton” Kutcher, acceptance speech given at the Teen Choice Awards on August 11, 2013.

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Quote of the Week – August 11th, 2013

“No policy that does not rest upon some philosophical public opinion can be permanently maintained.” – President Abraham Lincoln, speech at New Haven, Connecticut originally made on March 6, 1860 shortly before his selection as the Republican nominee for the presidency, preserved on page 136 of Abraham Lincoln: Speeches and Writings 1859-1865, edited by Roy P. Basler and published in 1989.

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Quote of the Week – August 4th, 2013

“…It is evident, then, that the city belongs among the things that exist by nature, and that man is by nature a political animal. He who is without a city through nature rather than chance is either a mean sort or superior to man; he is “without clan, without law, without hearth,” like the person reproved by Homer… That man is much more a political animal than any kind of bee or any herd animal is clear. For, as we assert, nature does nothing in vain; and man alone among the animals has speech. …But speech serves to reveal the advantageous and the harmful, and hence also the just and the unjust. For it is peculiar to man as compared to the other animals that he alone has a perception of good and bad and just and unjust and other things; and partnership in these things is what makes a household and a city.” – Aristotle, page 37 of Politics, from the 1984 University of Chicago edition translated by Carnes Lord.

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Quote of the Week – July 28th, 2013

“Every educational system has a moral goal that it tries to attain and that informs its curriculum. It wants to produce a certain kind of human being. …In some nations the goal was the pious person, in others the warlike, in others the industrious.  …Democratic education, whether it admits it or not, wants and needs to produce men and woman who have the tastes, knowledge, and character supportive of a democratic regime.

…The recent education of openness… pays no attention to natural rights or the historical origins of our regime, which are now thought to have been essentially flawed and regressive. It is progressive and forward-looking. It does not demand fundamental agreement or the abandonment of old or new beliefs in favor of the natural ones. It is open to all kinds of men, all kinds of life-styles, all ideologies. There is no enemy other than the man who is not open to everything. But when there are no shared goals or vision of the public good, is the social contract any longer possible?” – Classicist and academician Allan Bloom, pages 26-27 of The Closing of the American Mind from the original 1987 edition.

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