Posts Tagged ‘Confucius’

On Utopia

August 1, 2009

When the perfect order prevails, the world is like a home shared by all. Leaders are capable and virtuous. Everyone loves and respects their own parents and children as well as the parents and children of others. The old are cared for, adults have jobs, children are nourished and educated. There is a means of support for all those who are disabled or find themselves alone in the world. Everyone has an appropriate role to play in the family and society. Devotion to public duty leaves no place for idleness. Scheming for ill gain is unknown. Sharing displaces selfishness and materialism.
— Confucius

“Without the Utopians of other times, men would still live in caves.…..Out of generous dreams come beneficial realities.
— Anatole France

“It is no longer enough to point out what we don’t like, we have to work out ‘What sort of society do we want?”
— Sheila Rowbotham

“The world is now too dangerous for anything less than utopia.
R. Buckminster Fuller

“The first arresting fact about the Utopians is that they were practical enough to try putting their ideas to the test of fact. Owing to the greater opportunities offered by a New Country, many of these trials were made in the United States. The familiar names of Brookfarm, New Hope, New Harmony, New Enterprise, record these efforts, and the personalities of Hawthorne, Horace Greeley, Ripley, Albert Brisbane, Henry James Sr., adorn a movement of ideas which continue to live, though in much modified form, in the modern world. Contrary to usual belief, the actual settlements did not all come to an end from incompetence or quarrels or unworkability. Some even grew rich and became the object of their nonsocialized neighbors’ envy…..”
— Jacques Barzun

Life without idealism is empty indeed.
Pearl S. Buck


Quotes on Money and the Economy

October 6, 2008

He tried to explain why men on Wall Street had jumped from skyscrapers……… because, why? Because all the businessmen realized at once, on the same morning, that paper money was only paper. What Terrible fools. What did they think it was? – Annie Dillard

When everything is worth money, then money is worth nothing.
— David Byrne

In any country where talent and virtue produce no advancement, money will be the national god. Its inhabitants will either have to possess money or make others believe that they do. Wealth will be the highest virtue, poverty the greatest vice. Those who have money will display it in every imaginable way. If their ostentation does not exceed their fortune, all will be well. But if their ostentation does exceed their fortune they will ruin themselves. In such a country, the greatest fortunes will vanish in the twinkling of an eye. Those who don’t have money will ruin themselves with vain efforts to conceal their poverty. That is one kind of affluence: the outward sign of wealth for a small number, the mask of poverty for the majority, and a source of corruption for all. —Denis Diderot

Economic development, more than any single issue, is the battle line between two competing world views. Tribal people’s fundamental value was sustainability, and they conducted their livelihoods in ways that sustained resources and limited inequalities in their society. What made traditional economies so radically different and so very fundamentally dangerous to Western economies were the traditional principles of prosperity of Creation versus scarcity of resources, of sharing and distribution versus accumulation and greed, of kinship usage rights versus individual exclusive ownership rights, and of sustainability versus growth.
— Revecca Adamson
For the economy I want workers and consumers to have control over their own economic lives. I want everyone to have fair conditions that fully utilize their talents and potentials. I want incomes that accord with the efforts people expend in their labors. I want what is produced, by whom, under what conditions, and with who consuming the result–all determined in accord with enhancing human well-being and development and all decided by the people involved and affected. I want an end to hierarchies of power and wealth and to class division with most actors subordinated to an elite few. To accomplish all these ends I favor the institutions of participatory economics — worker and consumer councils, remuneration for effort and sacrifice, balanced job complexes, and participatory planning. If someone should demonstrate that those institutions somehow fail to accomplish necessary economic functions or have social or personal by-products that outweigh their benefits — I would simply return to the drawing board. Exploitation, alienation, poverty, disempowerment, fragmenting and debilitating labor, production for the profit of a few — much less harsh homelessness, starvation, and degradation — are not like gravity. They arise from institutional relations established by human beings. New institutions, also established by human beings, can generate other vastly superior outcomes. Defining and working to attain those new institutions ought to be our economic agenda.
— Michael Albert

Economics has been incurably growth-oriented and addicted to everybody growing richer, even at the cost of exhaustion of resources and pollution of the environment.
–Kenneth Boulding

“If the corporations have their way, the Earth will be killed, and that’s in your lifetime. It’s revolting to me that students are being trained to work in corporations. It’s obscene to me that the corporations are running the world. We’ve got to get cross. Anger is an appropriate emotion.”
— Helen Caldicott

The superior person understands rightness; the inferior person understands profit
— Confucius

American consumerism is about buying things we don’t need, with money we don’t have, to impress friends we don’t have time for.
— Leo Horrigan