The Art of Tetman Callis

Some of the stories and poems may be inappropriate for persons under 16

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Entries Tagged as 'George Scialabba'

Making art safe

June 23rd, 2017 · No Comments

“Contemporary society, and in particular contemporary criticism, has tamed the arts, gradually deprived them of their prophetic and subversive possibilities. There’s no place in modern life for the mystical or the unpredictable; the arts have been institutionalized and are now managed by a cultural bureaucracy of scholars, critics, patrons, businessmen, and publicists. . . . […]

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Lit & Crit

It’s a free country

June 22nd, 2017 · No Comments

“A four-letter word beginning with ‘f’ has tragically corrupted the minds of countless innocent Americans. I mean ‘free,’ in the expressions ‘free market’ and ‘free enterprise.’ It is a glorious word, of course, but its association with these morally neutral abstractions generally serves to obscure their often harsh and irrational consequences.” – George Scialabba, “The […]

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba

All you need is

June 21st, 2017 · No Comments

“Literature has always been about love; the modern novel has been about love as a problem. More precisely, about love as one instance of the fundamental modern problem: autonomy, individuality, selfhood. Enacting one’s identity, living up to one’s inherited role, offered premoderns plenty of scope for literary heroism; but devising one’s identity, choosing one’s role, […]

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Tags: George Scialabba · Lit & Crit

You’ve been warned

June 18th, 2017 · No Comments

“A little learning is a dangerous thing, though not nearly as dangerous as a lot of it.” – George Scialabba, “Errata”

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Tags: George Scialabba · Lit & Crit

Apples and oranges

June 14th, 2017 · No Comments

“The leading British conservative of the 19th century, Benjamin Disraeli, was a legendary wit and a successful novelist whose books are still worth reading. The leading American conservative of the 20th century, Ronald Reagan, was an amiable duffer with a head full of old movies and a shoebox full of old newspaper clippings. The leading […]

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Tags: George Scialabba · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

You can’t buy that

April 20th, 2017 · No Comments

“When Jefferson opposed the spread of manufacturing, Jackson opposed a centralized financial system, Lincoln criticized wage labor, the Progressives criticized the trusts, and numerous states tried to halt the spread of chain stores, they did so not only for reasons of distributive justice, but even more from a desire to preserve the material conditions of […]

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Tags: Abraham Lincoln · Economics · George Scialabba · Politics & Law · Thomas Jefferson

In theory

April 18th, 2017 · No Comments

“As a political theory, liberalism is systematically ambivalent. In its historically dominant version, it holds that maximum individual autonomy is the highest political good; that value preferences are purely subjective and arbitrary, hence none is more worthy of encouragement through social policy than any other, and that individual behavior is largely intentional rather than deterministic, […]

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Tags: George Scialabba · Politics & Law

Mox nix

April 14th, 2017 · No Comments

“If it can make no practical difference which of two statements be true, then they are really one statement in two verbal forms. If it can make no practical difference whether a given statement be true or false, then the statement has no real meaning.” – William James (quoted by George Scialabba in “Genuine Reality”)

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Tags: George Scialabba · Lit & Crit · William James

The house always wins

April 13th, 2017 · No Comments

“The romantic, reckless, very lucky Colonel John Charles Fremont stumbled down into northern Nevada from Oregon in 1843. Against all advice, he decided to cross the Sierras in winter. It was a mild winter, so he discovered Lake Tahoe and returned East in glory to write a best-selling account of the expedition. Three years later […]

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Lit & Crit

How that all turned out

April 4th, 2017 · No Comments

“In 1900 there were grounds for optimism about the coming century. Apart from bloody but brief contests between Prussia and Austria and Prussia and France, Europe had been at peace since Napoleon. The first great age of industrialization had vastly increased national wealth and standards of living throughout Western Europe and North America. A moderate […]

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

One and the same

March 28th, 2017 · No Comments

“The God of Plato and Aristotle, of Plotinus and Augustine, of Aquinas and Bonaventure, of Newman and C. S. Lewis; the eternal immutable, infinite, ubiquitous, omnipotent, omniscient Supreme Being, Unmoved Mover, ens realissimum, whose existence is identical with His essence and who is without body, parts, or passions, is one of the sublimest achievements of […]

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Tags: Aristotle · Friedrich Nietzsche · George Scialabba · Lit & Crit · Plato

The end of the world and we missed it

March 16th, 2017 · No Comments

“All too often ‘modernity’ has meant nothing more than the assault of capitalism on tradition, with enlightenment nowhere in view. Commodification, wage labor, and mass production have drastically undermined craft, regional, ethnic, religious, and even familial loyalties and virtues, substituting only the abstract disciplines of the market. Industrial capitalism may be readier than traditional societies […]

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Politics & Law

You’re a big boy now

March 15th, 2017 · No Comments

“The infant’s and child’s outsized fantasies — of omnipotence and terrified helplessness, of rage and undifferentiated union, and so on — must gradually be worn down, reduced to human scale. And this inward, intensive identification — different from the outward-turning, assimilative identification that enlarges our sympathies — is what gives us human shape, psychically speaking, […]

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Tags: George Scialabba

For others, it’s no so hard

March 3rd, 2017 · No Comments

“For an intellectual, it is the hardest thing in the world to be both passionate and disinterested, committed and open-minded, eager to convince and willing to listen: to be, in a word, fair.” – George Scialabba, “Why Orwell Matters”  

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Tags: George Orwell · George Scialabba · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

No matter how little sense they may make

March 2nd, 2017 · No Comments

“Because old beliefs are not simply displaced but persist within new ones, dominant ideologies cannot be merely refuted but must be demystified, which means that their plausibility must be acknowledged and accounted for.” – George Scialabba, “Moneybags Must Be So Lucky”

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Politics & Law

Turning to the hard work

February 23rd, 2017 · No Comments

“Perhaps some people believe that equality requires a strictly proportional number of doctors, lawyers and poets from every ethnic group. More to the point, it requires addressing the huge disparity in medical and educational dollars spent on fortunate and unfortunate children.” – George Scialabba, “In Defense of Elitism”

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Politics & Law

Getting it straight

February 1st, 2017 · No Comments

“The presence or absence of profit opportunities, not the presence or absence of freedom, is what has traditionally determined American policy toward other regimes.” – George Scialabba, “Gag Rule”

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Politics & Law

Good luck with all that

December 15th, 2016 · No Comments

“To make the United States an effective democracy – to shift control over the state from the centers of financial and industrial power, now global in reach, to broadly based, self-financed and self-governing groups of active citizens with only average resources – will take several generations, at least. This is a daunting prospect for just […]

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Politics & Law

Let those who have ears, hear

December 11th, 2016 · No Comments

“An America darkened by ignorant and bigoted religiosity cannot hear too often about the plucky, gloriously open-minded rationalists who launched Western civilization in 5th-century Athens.” – George Scialabba, “Apologies to Thucydides”

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Tags: George Scialabba · Politics & Law · The Ancients

The tired, the poor, the huddled masses

December 9th, 2016 · No Comments

“Who are the poor, and what do they need? 1.1 billion people have less than $1 a day of income. This is officially designated ‘extreme’ poverty. Another 1.6 billion have between $1 and $2 a day; this is ‘moderate’ poverty. This large slice of humankind either cannot, or can just barely, meet their basic needs. […]

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Politics & Law

Living the lie

December 8th, 2016 · No Comments

“It is often said these days that America is a Christian country. If that’s true, then a great many Americans should be worried about their eternal salvation. According to Jesus, when He returns to settle accounts at the Last Judgment, He will separate the sheep from the goats, telling the goats: ‘Go, you damned souls, […]

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Other Stuff · Politics & Law

This is for the good of all

October 27th, 2016 · No Comments

“Every imperial project—in fact, virtually every public undertaking of every modern state—is accompanied by declarations of benevolent intention, more or less frequent and elaborate according to the scale of the undertaking and the degree of skepticism anticipated. These declarations have no evidentiary value. They are part of the manufacture of consent in democratic, and even […]

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Tags: George Scialabba · Politics & Law

I shall wear my trousers rolled

October 26th, 2016 · No Comments

“My problem is: I’m a sheep. I’m afraid a lot. Not on the surface; I lead a quiet life and get through most days without any need to be brave. On the very rare occasions when a smidgen of courage is required, I can usually do the right thing – because I’m worried about what […]

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Tags: George Scialabba · Lit & Crit

Listen closely to the distant whisper

October 22nd, 2016 · No Comments

“More often than not, the still, small voice of our genius requires many decades to get our attention.” – George Scialabba, “Self-Reliance: A Syllabus”

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Tags: George Scialabba · Verandah

My bag, my bundle, my bone

October 21st, 2016 · No Comments

“Only very wise people know how much they can do without before wasting many years doing with.” – George Scialabba, “Self-Reliance: A Syllabus”

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Lit & Crit · Verandah

Try it sometime

October 16th, 2016 · No Comments

“Honesty is not only the best policy; it is a necessary condition of good prose style.” – George Scialabba, “Honesty: A Syllabus”

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Tags: George Scialabba · Lit & Crit

Free loaves at the circus tonight

October 12th, 2016 · No Comments

“The unrestricted movement of capital, the ultima ratio of American foreign and domestic policy, requires weak or corrupt—in any case, acquiescent—governments, since otherwise they might try to improve their bargaining position by combining with other governments and encouraging labor organization. Ineffectual governments and labor unions in turn require a weakening of impulses toward cooperation, solidarity, […]

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Politics & Law

Take it now and make payments

September 24th, 2016 · No Comments

“The deepest determinant of contemporary social psychology is not mass unbelief but mass production. Industrialism has decisively undermined the republican ideals of independence, self-sufficiency, and proprietorship—the ‘modest competence’ postulated by early democratic theorists as the basis of civic virtue and civil equality. It is the practice of demanding skills, rather than fragmented and routinized drudgery, […]

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Politics & Law

Storm force 7

September 23rd, 2016 · No Comments

“What can motivate ordinary men and women to behave decently most of the time and heroically in emergencies? Perhaps it might help to reduce the many temptations to behave otherwise. Chief among these in twenty-first-century America are the relentless sexualization of advertising and entertainment, the pervasive economic insecurity engineered by business and government (especially Republican) […]

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Tags: Economics · George Scialabba · Politics & Law

Something to believe in

September 22nd, 2016 · No Comments

“Prescribing religion in its generic form has become commonplace among social critics, particularly communitarians. They have a point. No society—for that matter, no individual—can flourish without a great deal of trust, devotion, solidarity, and self-discipline. Religion often fosters these things, and not only among co-religionists. But although untrammeled sexual freedom is not a requirement of […]

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Tags: George Scialabba · Politics & Law