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 'Politics & Law'

Hemmed in

October 17th, 2018 · No Comments

“The modern State means, among other things, a progressively increasing monopoly on legitimate violence, a process whereby all other forms of violence are delegitimized. The modern State serves the general process of pacification which, since the end of the Middle Ages, only persists through its continuous intensification. It is not simply that during this evolution […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

Add only a dash of salt

October 14th, 2018 · No Comments

“Govern a big country as you would fry small fish: neither gut nor scale them.” – Lao Tzu, “How to Be in Office” (quoted in 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

No muzzle-loaders left

October 13th, 2018 · No Comments

“Those who do not know the right way to political order, always say, ‘Never change ancient traditions, never remove existing institutions.’ Change or no change, the sage does not mind. For he aims only at the rectification of government. Whether or not ancient traditions should be changed, whether or not existing institutions should be removed, […]

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

If

October 11th, 2018 · No Comments

“If all officials indulge in studies, sons of the family are fond of debate, peddlars and shopkeepers hide money in foreign countries, and poor people suffer miseries at home, then ruin is possible. If the ruler is fond of palatial decorations, raised kiosks, and embanked pools, is immersed in pleasures of having chariots, clothes, and […]

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

Indeed it is, and a rare thing at that

October 10th, 2018 · No Comments

“The sage is the one who scrutinizes the facts of right and wrong and investigates the conditions of order and chaos. Therefore, when governing the state he rectifies laws clearly and establishes penalties severely in order to rescue all living beings from chaos, rid All-Under-Heaven of misfortune, prohibit the strong from exploiting the weak and […]

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

Dating the death of god

October 9th, 2018 · No Comments

“In the West, the unity of the traditional world was lost with the Reformation and the ‘wars of religion’ that followed. The modern State then bursts on the scene with the task of reconstituting this unity—secularized, this time—no longer as an organic whole but instead as a mechanical whole, as a machine, as a conscious […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

The last thing it wants to do is win

October 8th, 2018 · No Comments

“The continuity of the modern State—from absolutism to the Welfare State—shall be that of an endlessly unfinished war, waged against civil war.” Tiqqun, Introduction to Civil War (emphasis in original)

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The Forever War · Tiqqun

The new and improved new and improved

October 7th, 2018 · No Comments

“The historicity specific to the fictions of ‘modernity’ is never that of a stability gained once and for all, of a threshold finally surpassed, but precisely that of a process of endless mobilization. Behind the inaugural dates of the official historiography, behind the edifying epic tale of linear progress, a continuous labor of reorganization, of […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Tiqqun

It’s obvious

October 6th, 2018 · No Comments

“We can recognize the fragile formations of power by their relentless attempts to posit fictions as self-evident. Throughout Modern Times, one of these fictions typically emerges as a neutral center, setting the scene for all the others. Reason, Money, Justice, Science, Man, Civilization, or Culture—with each there is the same phantasmagoric tendency: to posit the […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

The state of affairs

October 5th, 2018 · No Comments

“Because King Ling of Ch`u liked slender waists, the country became full of starvelings; because Duke Huan of Ch`i was by nature jealous and fond of women, Shu Tiao castrated himself in order to administer the harem; because Duke Huan liked different tastes, Yi-ya steamed the head of his son and served Duke Huan with […]

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

Long ago and far away

October 4th, 2018 · No Comments

“When the Grand Way was pursued, a public and common spirit ruled All-under-Heaven; they chose worthy and able men; their words were sincere, and what they cultivated was harmony. Thus men did not love their parents only, nor treat as children only their sons. A competent provision was secured for the aged till their death, […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The Ancients

Such wealth you should have

September 29th, 2018 · No Comments

“Old Jewish curse: May you be rich enough to own a house with 100 rooms, and may you be found dead in every one of them.” – Trump’s Potemkin Village, Wonkette, December 20, 2017

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Tags: Politics & Law

Gone with the wind

September 15th, 2018 · No Comments

”War’s not just only war; it’s years out of people’s lives that they’ve never had before and won’t have again.” – Elizabeth Bowen, “Mysterious Kôr”

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Tags: Politics & Law · The Forever War

Democracy in action

September 9th, 2018 · No Comments

“We voted constantly on everything—issues and offices of every kind. We were expected at every age to have an opinion on all matters . . . . We voted in fifth-grade physics that half a pound of feathers weighed more than half a pound of steel. We were adamant. Knowledge itself was a democracy. We […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Renata Adler

Classy

September 6th, 2018 · No Comments

“It is curious that in these republican countries where ‘Jack is as good as his master,’ and much better in his own estimation, there is a much wider gap between class and class than there is in England. There, at least in the old times, you would go an see your poorer neighbours and rather […]

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Tags: Politics & Law

Are you left-handed or right-handed

September 3rd, 2018 · No Comments

“There are times when every act, no matter how private or unconscious, becomes political. Whom you live with, how you wear your hair, whether you marry, whether you insist that your child take piano lessons, what are the brand names on your shelf; all these become political decisions. At other times, no act—no campaign or […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Renata Adler

Parking on the left is now parking on the right

August 27th, 2018 · No Comments

“So strong is this propensity of mankind to fall into mutual animosities, that where no substantial occasion presents itself, the most frivolous and fanciful distractions have been sufficient to kindle their unfriendly passions and excite their most violent conflicts.” – James Madison, “The Federalist 10”

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Tags: James Madison · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

The rowing or

August 26th, 2018 · No Comments

“There is a mystery in lawyers’ expressions. False and misleading statements, for instance. Always together. False and misleading. Can’t understand what the ‘misleading’ is doing there. It’s always there. And I’ve found, I think, the strongest ‘or’ in language anywhere. It’s the lawyers’ phrase: as he then well knew or should have known. Well knew […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Renata Adler

Statistically

August 23rd, 2018 · No Comments

“Most murder victims in America are black people shot dead by other black people. Blacks represent 13% of America’s population, yet in 2015 they represented 52% of the slain. . . . Criminologists have for decades argued about what makes young black men so much likelier to commit murder than young men of other ethnicities. […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law

The art of the deal

August 22nd, 2018 · No Comments

“It is not at all clear to me what a negotiation is. Union and management, say, terrorist and foreign minister, buyer and seller, kidnapper and F.B.I. agent, husband and wife, at least two parties anyway, disagree. They exchange views. A strike, perhaps, a war, a bankruptcy, a murder, a divorce impends. One side begins, and […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Renata Adler

How do we know this

August 17th, 2018 · No Comments

“Marine insurance is the granddaddy of all insurance. It predates written history. The ancient Phoenicians and Egyptians developed the concept of insurance to reduce their risks in commerce on the Tigris, Euphrates and Nile. Waterborne commerce offered huge rewards. A ship owner could realize a 300-percent profit on a single voyage. The risks, however, were […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law

Pulling a national rabbit from an imperial hat

August 15th, 2018 · No Comments

“A remarkable aspect of the Revolution is that for almost seven years, the war was conducted by a government that, strictly speaking, had no governing powers. The wonder of this becomes all the sharper when one reflects that the war was both a struggle with Britain and an internal or civil war. No one has […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution

And still do

August 13th, 2018 · No Comments

“The ‘Tidewater’—the broad coastal plain along the Atlantic—had spawned one kind of culture. The ‘upcountry’ beyond—the great central plateau or Piedmont and the mountains forming its western border—had engendered a far different one. Tidewater North Carolina was rich. Upcountry was poor. Tidewater was a land of rice and indigo plantations worked by armies of slaves. […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · The American Constitution

The ghosts that haunt us still

August 11th, 2018 · No Comments

“Colonial policy had always been to exclude Negroes from militia service, but more often than not a need for soldiers had dictated a contrary practice. Many blacks had fought in the French and Indian War. As the dispute with Parliament neared breaking point, Negroes volunteered for the New England militia. All were accepted. . . […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution · The Forever War

Same as it ever was

August 8th, 2018 · No Comments

“This is the age of crime. I’m sure we all grant that. It’s the age, of course, of other things as well. Of the great chance, for instance, and the loss of faith, of the bureaucrat, and of technology. But from the highest public matters to the smallest private acts, the mugger, the embezzler, the […]

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Tags: Economics · Lit & Crit · Politics & Law · Renata Adler · The American Constitution

And it burns, burns, burns

August 5th, 2018 · No Comments

“Having too many rules leads to a culture of non-compliance that is every bit as lethal as having too few.” – “The tower and the anger,” The Economist, June 24, 2017

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law

And can be led in chants

August 3rd, 2018 · No Comments

“The mind of a living public is quickly alarmed and easily tormented. It not only suffers by the stroke, but is frequently fretted by the cure, and ought therefore to be tenderly dealt with, and never ought to be trifled with. It feels first and reasons afterwards.” – Thomas Paine, “The Affair of Silas Deane” […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Thomas Paine

We can fix that

August 2nd, 2018 · No Comments

“There exists an order of social problem that appears to be insoluble, but is not. At least not in the terms in which resolution of it is represented as impossible. A problem of that sort has at least some of the following features: it appears immensely complicated, with a resolution of any part of it […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Renata Adler

We’ll always have Paris

August 1st, 2018 · No Comments

“There is nothing which sets the character of a nation in a higher or lower light with others, than the faithfully fulfilling, or perfidiously breaking, of treaties.” – Thomas Paine, “The American Crisis”

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Tags: Politics & Law · The American Constitution · Thomas Paine

The great balance

July 31st, 2018 · No Comments

“Detectives and prison guards need criminals, social workers require that people should continue to be poor; there are, in short, many workers with a vested interest in the failure of institutions that employ them, and in the insolubility of problems they are paid to solve. The perfect instance occurs in the narcotics laws. A substance, […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Renata Adler