The Art of Tetman Callis

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

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Faking the news

November 21st, 2018 · No Comments

“An unreal thing, if its existence is asserted by ten men, is still subject to doubt; if its existence is asserted by one hundred men, its reality becomes probable; and if its existence is asserted by one thousand men, it becomes undoubtable. Again, if spoken about by stammerers, it is susceptible to doubt; if spoken […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · The Ancients

But who shall rule the ruler

November 20th, 2018 · No Comments

“What parents desire of children is safety and prosperity in livelihood and innocence in conduct. What the ruler requires of his subjects, however, is to demand their lives in case of emergency and exhaust their energy in time of peace. Now, parents, who love their children and wish them safety and prosperity, are not listened […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Slight of many hands

November 19th, 2018 · No Comments

“Imperialism and totalitarianism mark the two ways in which the modern State tried to leap beyond its own impossibility, first by slipping forward beyond its borders into colonial expansion, then by an intensive deepening of the penetration inside its own borders. In both cases, these desperate reactions from the State—which claimed to encompass everything just […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

Get in under the hood

November 18th, 2018 · No Comments

“In general, the principal way of government does not solely mean the justice of reward and punishment. Much less does it mean to reward men of no merit and punish innocent people. However, to reward men of merit, punish men of demerit, and make no mistake in so doing but affect such persons only, can […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

There are no atheists in rehab

November 17th, 2018 · No Comments

“Those over whom their desires are victorious do not find it difficult to believe in the gods. Desires are true gods so long as they rule; they are proved to be false only when the unity of despotic reason has already supplanted them. It was the invention of morals that turned Olympus into a desert. […]

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Tags: André Gide · Lit & Crit

The unwatched watcher

November 16th, 2018 · No Comments

“The State that ‘wishes to govern just enough so that it can govern the least’ must in fact know everything, and it must develop a set of practices and technologies to do it. The police and publicity are the two agencies through which the liberal State gives transparency to the fundamental opacity of the population. […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

Setting elements freely against one another

November 15th, 2018 · No Comments

“The liberal State is a frugal State, which claims to exist only to ensure the free play of individual liberties, and to this end it begins by extorting interests from each body, so that it can attach them to these bodies and reign peacefully across this new abstract world.” – Tiqqun, Introduction to Civil War

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Tiqqun

The comedy of pomposity

November 14th, 2018 · No Comments

“There is something so essentially grotesque about gendarmes that I cannot help laughing at them; these upholders of the law always produce the same comic effect on me, and so do attorneys for the king, magistrates, and professors of literature.” – Gustave Flaubert, “Over Strand and Field” (trans. unknown)

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Tags: Gustave Flaubert · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law

Just a tad

November 13th, 2018 · No Comments

“Man was made to enjoy each day only a small potion of food, colours, sounds, sentiments and ideas. Anything above the allotted quantity tires or intoxicates him; it becomes the idiocy of the drunkard or the ravings of the ecstatic.” – Gustave Flaubert, “Over Strand and Field” (trans. unknown)

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Tags: Economics · Gustave Flaubert · Lit & Crit

Powered up

November 12th, 2018 · No Comments

“At each moment of its existence, the police reminds the State of the violence, the banality, and the darkness of its beginnings.” – Tiqqun, Introduction to Civil War

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

Running the tables

November 11th, 2018 · No Comments

“The police is that force that intervenes ‘wherever things are amiss,’ that is to say, wherever antagonism appears between forms-of-life—wherever there is a jump in political intensity. Using the arm of the police ostensibly to protect the ‘social fabric,’ while using another arm to destroy it, the State then offers itself as the existentially neutral […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

Divided and conquered

November 10th, 2018 · No Comments

“The inability of the State’s juridico-formal offensive to reduce civil war is not a marginal detail rooted in the fact that there is always a pleb to pacify, but appears centrally in the pacification procedure itself. Organizations modeled after the State characterize as ‘formless’ that which within them derives in fact from the play of […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

So don’t

November 9th, 2018 · No Comments

“If you let one demon in the front door, he will let all of his friends in the back door.” – Patrick Glenn Jeffries, “A Mother’s Earth”

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Patrick Glenn Jeffries · Verandah

Try it and see what happens

November 8th, 2018 · No Comments

“To be truly hospitable you don’t ask someone if they’re thirsty or hungry—you offer them food, you offer them drink. They will not turn down what you put in front of them if they’re hungry and thirsty.” – Patrick Glenn Jeffries, “A Mother’s Earth”

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Tags: Economics · Patrick Glenn Jeffries · Verandah

No more and no less

November 7th, 2018 · No Comments

“Always look a man in his eyes. Even when you are afraid of him. After a while you will see he is only a man.” – Patrick Glenn Jeffries, “A Mother’s Earth”

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Patrick Glenn Jeffries · Politics & Law · Verandah

And carry a big stick

November 6th, 2018 · No Comments

“Never talk tough before a fight. Losing a fight is one thing. Looking foolish and losing a fight is another.” – Patrick Glenn Jeffries, “A Mother’s Earth”

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Tags: Patrick Glenn Jeffries · Politics & Law · Verandah

Taking care of business

November 5th, 2018 · No Comments

“If in doing any kind of work people look after the harmony of the positive and negative factors; if in planting trees they follow the suitable periods of the four seasons; and if at dawn and at dusk there is no suffering from cold or heat; then revenue will be enormous. If important duties are […]

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Tags: Economics · Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

The equivalences

November 4th, 2018 · No Comments

“Punishments equivalent to crimes are never too many; punishments not equivalent to crimes are never too few.” – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu (trans. and ed. W. K. Liao)

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

An ancient dilemma

November 3rd, 2018 · No Comments

“Once there was a man of Ch`u selling shields and halberds. In praising his shields he said, ‘My shields are so solid that nothing can penetrate them.’ Again, in praising his halberds, he said, ‘My halberds are so sharp that they can penetrate anything.’ In response to his words somebody asked, ‘How about using your […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Lit & Crit · The Ancients

Hence the emoluments clause

November 2nd, 2018 · No Comments

“Kung-yi Hsiu, Premier of Lu, was fond of fish. Therefore, people in the whole country contentiously bought fish, which they presented to him. However, Kung-yi Tzŭ would not accept the presents. Against such a step his younger brother remonstrated with him and said: ‘You like fish, indeed. Why don’t you accept the present of fish?’ […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

The ruler can have no friends

November 1st, 2018 · No Comments

“Order and strength are due to the law; weakness and disorder, to its crookedness. If the ruler understands this principle, he must rectify reward and punishment but never assume humanity towards his inferiors. Rank and emolument are due to meritorious services; censure and punishment, to criminal offences.” – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

What is it good for

October 31st, 2018 · No Comments

“What is primitive society? It is a multiplicity of undivided communities which all obey the same centrifugal logic. What institution at once expresses and guarantees the permanence of this logic? It is war, as the truth of relations between communities, as the principal sociological means of promoting the centrifugal force of dispersion against the centripetal […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The Forever War · Tolstoy

What is what

October 30th, 2018 · No Comments

“Are hardness and whiteness two distinct qualities in objective existence or are they the same thing perceived by different senses? If neither the hands nor the eyes can solve this problem, who can solve it?” – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu (trans. and ed. W. K. Liao)

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · The Ancients

It’s logical

October 29th, 2018 · No Comments

1. ‘The white horse is not the horse’—true. 2. ‘A white horse is not a horse’—false. 3. ‘The white horse is not a horse’—false. 4. ‘A white horse is not the horse’—true. – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu (trans. and ed. W. K. Liao; emphases in original)

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · The Ancients

Easily delineated, our fears

October 28th, 2018 · No Comments

“Once upon a time there was a traveller drawing for the King of Ch`i. ‘What is the hardest thing to draw?’ asked the King. ‘Dogs and horses are the hardest.’ ‘Then what is the easiest?’ ‘Devils and demons are the easiest. Indeed, dogs and horses are what people know and see at dawn and dusk […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · The Ancients

Cart before the horse

October 27th, 2018 · No Comments

“Once there were men of Chêng contending for seniority in age. One man said, ‘My age is the same as Yao’s.’ Another man said, ‘I am as old as the elder brother of the Yellow Emperor.’ They brought the dispute to the court, but the judge could not make any decision. Finally he ruled that […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Mulling it over

October 26th, 2018 · No Comments

“When one experiences thought in its barest form, the interval between a question and its answer can sometimes span centuries.” – Tiqqun, Introduction to Civil War

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Tags: Lit & Crit · Tiqqun

The tie that binds

October 25th, 2018 · No Comments

“The State found it in its political interest to overturn, during the last few decades of the seventeenth century, the traditional ethics, to elevate avarice, the economic passion, from the rank of private vice to that of social virtue.” – Tiqqun, Introduction to Civil War (emphases in original)

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Tiqqun

Drink up and listen up

October 24th, 2018 · No Comments

“Drugged wine and useful advice are what wise men and enlightened sovereigns ought to appreciate in particular.” – The Complete Works of Han Fei Tzu (trans. and ed. W. K. Liao)

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients

And other misfortunes

October 23rd, 2018 · No Comments

“If the sovereign does not allow the humble to criticize the noble and the inferior to denounce the superior, but always expects the powers of high and low to balance, then ministers on equal footing will dare to conspire with each other. In so doing he will increase the number of delusive and deceitful officials.” […]

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Tags: Han Fei Tzu · Politics & Law · The Ancients