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'

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

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

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

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

Anti-trust

October 22nd, 2018 · No Comments

“The State claims to assume the monopoly of the political, of which the well-known expression ‘monopoly on legitimate violence’ is merely the most vulgar indication. For the monopolization of the political requires the degradation of the differentiated unity of a world into a nation, then to degrade this nation into a population and a territory. […]

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

And so it is

October 21st, 2018 · No Comments

“If laws are distinct and clear, the worthy cannot over-run the unworthy, the strong cannot outrage the weak, and the many cannot violate the 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

Tyrants in private, dictators in the dark

October 20th, 2018 · No Comments

“The founding act of the modern State—that is, not the first act but the one it repeats over and over—is the institution of the fictitious split between public and private, between political and moral.” – Tiqqun, Introduction to Civil War

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Tags: Politics & Law · Tiqqun

Mandelbrot politics

October 19th, 2018 · No Comments

“The essential function of the representation each society gives of itself is to influence the way in which each body is represented to itself, and through this to influence the structure of the psyche. The modern State is therefore first of all the constitution of each body into a molecular State, imbued with bodily integrity […]

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Tags: Economics · Politics & Law · Tiqqun

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