For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realise that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchical society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance. Ignorance is Strength (to them). The Party seeks power entirely for its own sake. How does one man assert his power over another. By making him suffer. Obedience is not enough. Unless he is suffering, how can you be sure that he is obeying your will and not his own? Power is inflicting pain and humiliation. A world of fear and treachery and torment, a world of trampling and being trampled upon, a world which will grow not less but more merciless as it refines itself. If you want a picture of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face—for ever.
— 1984 (via mediaexposed)
I enjoy talking to you. Your mind appeals to me. It resembles my own mind except that you happen to be insane.
— 1984, George Orwell (via pacid)
Political language…is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
— Politics and the English Language; George Orwell (via modernwavefeminism)
For my part, when I enter most intimately into what I call myself, I always stumble on some particular perception or other, of heat or cold, light or shade, love or hatred, pain or pleasure. I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe any thing but the perception. When my perceptions are removed for any time, as by sound sleep, so long am I insensible of myself, and may truly be said not to exist. And were all my perceptions removed by death, and could I neither think, nor feel, nor see, nor love, nor hate, after the dissolution of my body, I should be entirely annihilated, nor do I conceive what is further requisite to make me a perfect nonentity. If any one, upon serious and unprejudiced reflection, thinks he has a different notion of himself, I must confess I can reason no longer with him.
— David Hume, Of Personal Identity (via man-of-prose)
We are habits, nothing but habits – the habit of saying ‘I’. Perhaps there is no more striking answer to the problem of the Self.
— Gilles Deleuze, 'Empiricism & Subjectivity' (via aidsnegligee)
“Add to that his sense, which I too feel, of rarely being able to communicate between two worlds: intellectuals and the poor, Colombia and the U.S.; city people and peasants-so many of these “two worlds’—such that mostly everything you write is fractured and incomplete searching for the in-between world, which, in the diary world, is that figment called yourself. This is another sort of imprisonment, not by love, so much, as by the impossibility of communicating experience.”
Michael Taussig, 2003. Law in a Lawless Land: Diary of a Limpieza in Colombia.
Color amounts to crime. Derived from the Latin celare, to conceal, color is another word for deceit, says my Webster’s. Benjamin agreed. Sharply distinguishing the child’s view of color from the adult’s, he suggested that adults understood color as a layer superimposed on matter to such a degree that they regard color “as a deceptive cloak.”
How strange, therefore, that my dictionary goes on to say that color also signifies authenticity or at least character and nature, as in the phrase, “he showed us his true colors.” Could this amount to what Benjamin thought of as the child’s view of color? Yet the dichotomy of child versus adult, deceit versus authenticity, unwinds itself and leaves us in a no-space that is, perhaps, the truer home of color, for does not the very phrase, “he showed us his true colors,” venerable with age and usage, also suggest the opposite, that color is both true and untrue precisely because of its claims to authenticity? How can you ever be sure with which variety you are dealing, his true colors or his false ones? Is this why we in the West are drawn to color yet made uneasy, even repelled, as by Mafia types in Hawaiian shirts? Who of you reading this text would even dream of painting the living room wall bright red or green, any color other than off-white? Then, safe in your whiteness, you can hang a wildly colored picture on the wall, secure in its framed being.
— Michael Taussig’s “What Color Is Sacred?” in Critical Inquiry (via reichsstadt)
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