Quote of the day

Bill Moyers:

The late scholar Cleanth Brooks of Yale thought there were three great enemies of democracy. He called them “The Bastard Muses”: Propaganda, which pleads sometimes unscrupulously, for a special cause at the expense of the total truth; sentimentality, which works up emotional responses unwarranted by, and in excess of, the occasion; and pornography, which focuses upon one powerful human drive at the expense of the total human personality.

The poet Czeslaw Milosz identified another enemy of democracy when, upon accepting the Noble Prize for Literature, he said “Our planet that gets smaller every year, with its fantastic proliferation of mass media, is witnessing a process that escapes definition, characterized by a refusal to remember.” Memory is crucial to democracy; historical amnesia, its nemesis.

One thought on “Quote of the day

  1. That’s a very facile statement… but it’s the right who look at Egypt and see the fall of the Shah instead of fall of the Berlin Wall… or buy gold because of German hyperinflation…

    No, it’s the refusal to cast today in the mold of yesterday that makes tomorrow possible…

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