Blogging the Bookshelf

Blogging my bookshelf – one book at a time

Blogging the Bookshelf header image 4

Entries Tagged as 'extremism'

Perhaps it was not suitable for a man to think every thought to its logical conclusion – “Darkness At Noon” – Arthur Koestler

July 31st, 2012 · No Comments · Communism, Extremism, Ideology, Politics, Totalitarianism

For forty years he had lived strictly in accordance with the vows of his order, the Party. He had held to the rules of logical calculation. He had burnt the remains of the old, illogical morality from his consciousness with the acid of reason. He had turned away from the temptations of the silent partner, […]

[Read more →]

Tags:····

TONIGHT POLITICAL DIFFERENCES ARE BEING SETTLED – “Darkness At Noon” – Arthur Koestler

July 23rd, 2012 · No Comments · Communism, Extremism, Politics, Quotes, Totalitarianism

FUNNY – THAT YOU FELT IT AT ONCE… . FELT WHAT? EXPLAIN! tapped Rubashov, sitting up on the bunk. No. 402 seemed to think it over. After a short hesitation he tapped: TONIGHT POLITICAL DIFFERENCES ARE BEING SETTLED… . Rubashov understood. He sat leaning against the wall, in the dark, waiting to hear more. But […]

[Read more →]

Tags:·executions····

Where would your good be if there were no evil and what would the world look like without shadow – “The Master and Margarita” – Mikhail Bulgakov

July 12th, 2012 · No Comments · Extremism, Morality, Quotes, Religion

‘As soon as you appeared on this roof you made yourself ridiculous. It was your tone of voice. You spoke your words as though you denied the very existence of the shadows or of evil. Think, now: where would your good be if there were no evil and what would the world look like without […]

[Read more →]

Tags:··idealism·morality··

The Lowest Imputed Motives is not Always the Correct One – “Arguably: Selected Essays” – Christopher Hitchens

July 6th, 2012 · No Comments · Extremism, Progressive Politics

It is a frequent vice of radical polemic to assert, and even to believe, that once you have found the lowest motive for an antagonist, you have identified the correct one.

[Read more →]

Tags:ad hominem·argument·Conflict·Debate··Motives··Rationale

Man Grows Beyond His Work – “The Grapes of Wrath” – John Steinbeck 

June 12th, 2012 · No Comments · Extremism, Humanism, Ideology, Philosophy, Politics

For man, unlike any other thing organic or inorganic in the universe, grows beyond his work, walks up the stairs of his concepts, emerges ahead of his accomplishments. This you may say of man—when theories change and crash, when schools, philosophies, when narrow dark alleys of thought, national, religious, economic, grow and disintegrate, man reaches, […]

[Read more →]

Tags:··Martyrdom·

The Search for Perfection is a Recipe for Bloodshed – “My Reading Life” – Bob Carr 

May 7th, 2012 · No Comments · Communism, Extremism, Humanism, Ideology, Philosophy, Policy, Politics, Progressive Politics, Quotes, Socialism

(Isaiah) Berlin takes his analysis a step further. He writes that such a “search for perfection does seem to me a recipe for bloodshed, no better even if it is demanded by the sincerest of idealists, the purest of heard… To force people into the neat uniforms demanded by dogmatically believed in schemes is almost […]

[Read more →]

Tags:······

We Made a Mistake – “Life and Fate” – Vasily Grossman

April 6th, 2012 · No Comments · Communism, Extremism, Ideology, Totalitarianism

A conversation between two Bolsheviks in a Siberian gulag: ‘Listen now,’ he said, sitting up in bed. ‘Listen, my friend. This will be the last time I call you like this.’ ‘Don’t talk like that,’ said Abarchuk. ‘You’re going to live!’ ‘I’d sooner undergo torture, but I have to say this… You listen too,’ he […]

[Read more →]

Tags:··Freedom··liberalism·

The Dangers of Maxims – “Recollections of a Bleeding Heart” – Don Watson

March 14th, 2012 · No Comments · Extremism, Ideology, Politics, Progressive Politics, Quotes

George Eliot reckoned all sensible people ‘early discern that the mysterious complexity of our life is not to be embraced by maxims’.

[Read more →]

Tags:·idealism···

Rebuilding the Gulag – “Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943” – Antony Beevor

March 1st, 2012 · No Comments · Communism, Extremism, Socialism, Totalitarianism, War, WW2

The NKVD’s grip on Stalingrad had not slackened. German prisoners working from both banks of the Volga had noticed that the first building in the city to be repaired was the NKVD headquarters, and almost immediately there were queues of women outside with foodparcels for relatives who had been arrested. Former Sixth Army soldiers guessed […]

[Read more →]

Tags:···

Obsessive Secrecy – “Stalingrad: The Fateful Siege: 1942-1943” – Antony Beevor

February 29th, 2012 · No Comments · Communism, Extremism, War, WW2

The obsession with secrecy meant that men not directly involved in Operation Uranus had not been told about it until up to five days after the start. At first sight, the most surprising aspect of this time of triumph is the number of deserters from the Red Army who continued to cross the lines to […]

[Read more →]

Tags:····