Saturday, December 08, 2007

Winter of Our Discontent

Who loves his country more:
  • the man who says "My Country: Right or Wrong!" or
  • the man who weeps when he realizes that his country is wrong.

John Steinbeck described the moral degeneration of American culture in the 1960s in his novel, The Winter of Our Discontent. I'm no literary critic, but I understand the book is about is about a New Englander named Ethan Allen Hawley who is discontent with his lack of success in life, so he turns to the government to make things go a little more his way. The Government has no problem with this kind of discontent.

But what of those who are not content with the direction and deeds of the government?

They are clearly "terrorists," and Guidelines published by the Department of Homeland Security instruct firefighters to be alert for anyone “who is hostile, uncooperative, or expressing hate or discontent with the United States.” This information is then shared with the feds, according to William Norman Grigg.

The Raw Story
Firefighters asked to report people who express discontent with the government

Let it hereby be known that I am discontent with the government. If that makes me a "terrorist," I'm ready for waterboarding.

For a successful revolution it is not enough that there is discontent. What is required is a profound and thorough conviction of the justice, necessity and importance of political and social rights.
B. R. Ambedkar

Resolved, that the women of this nation in 1876, have greater cause for discontent, rebellion and revolution than the men of 1776.
Susan B. Anthony

Unlimited economic growth has the marvelous quality of stilling discontent while maintaining privilege, a fact that has not gone unnoticed among liberal economists.
Noam Chomsky

Religion promotes the divine discontent within oneself, so that one tries to make oneself a better person and draw oneself closer to God.
Cyril Cusack

Restlessness is discontent and discontent is the first necessity of progress. Show me a thoroughly satisfied man and I will show you a failure.
Thomas A. Edison (1847-1931)

Healthy discontent is the prelude to progress.
Mohandas Gandhi (disciple of Edison?)

If necessity is the mother of invention, discontent is the father of progress.
David Rockefeller (disciple of Gandhi?)

The splendid discontent of God
With chaos made the world.
And from the discontent of man
The world's best progress springs.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox (1850-1919)

The essence of man is, discontent, divine discontent; a sort of love without a beloved, the ache we feel in a member we no longer have.
Jose Ortega y Gasset

There are many ways of showing your protest and discontent without the actions of Kremlin.
Garry Kasparov

On the other hand, those who are discontent with "the blessings of liberty" are often content to use the machinery of the State to show God how it should have been done. Libertarians should avoid this discontent.

As might be supposed, my parents were quite poor, but we somehow never seemed to lack anything we needed, and I never saw a trace of discontent or a failure in cheerfulness over their lot in life, as indeed over anything. I have always been singularly free of envy, jealousy, covetousness; I but vaguely understand them. Having no ambition, I have always preferred the success of others to my own, and had more pleasure in it. I never had the least desire for place or prominence, least of all for power; and this was fortunate for me because the true individualist must regard power over others as preeminently something to be loathed and shunned.
Albert J. Nock, author of Our Enemy the State.

When I go to farms or little towns, I am always surprised at the discontent I find. And New York, too often, has looked across the sea toward Europe. And all of us who turn our eyes away from what we have are missing life.
Norman Rockwell

Content makes poor men rich; discontent makes rich men poor.
Benjamin Franklin

We are, perhaps, uniquely among the earth's creatures, the worrying animal. We worry away our lives, fearing the future, discontent with the present, unable to take in the idea of dying, unable to sit still.
Lewis Thomas

Nought nobler is, than to be free:
The stars of heaven are free because
In amplitude of liberty
Their joy is to obey the laws.
From servitude to freedom's name
Free thou thy mind in bondage pent;
Depose the fetich, and proclaim
The things that are more excellent.

The grace of friendship--mind and heart
Linked with their fellow heart and mind;
The gains of science, gifts of art;
The sense of oneness with our kind;
The thirst to know and understand--
A large and liberal discontent:
These are the goods in life's rich hand,
The things that are more excellent.
William Watson

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