23 Nov 2008

Each presses its own ends

Posted by jofr

John F. Kennedy said in a speech in the Pauls church (Paulskirche) in Frankfurt, Germany, 1963, a few months before his assassination:

..we reject the idea of one nation dominating another. The mission is to create a new social order, rounded on liberty and justice, in which men are the masters of their fate, in which states are the servants of their citizens, and in which all men and women can share a better life for themselves and their children. That is the object of our common policy.

Sounds nearly like Obama, or even like Confucius. He also cited Thucydides and the History of the Peloponnesian War:

Thucydides reported that the Peloponnesians and their allies were mighty in battle but handicapped by their policy-making body–in which, he related “each presses its own ends… which generally results in no action at all… they devote more time to the prosecution of their own purposes than to the consideration of the general welfare–each supposes that no harm will come of his own neglect, that it is the business of another to do this or that-and so, as each separately entertains the same illusion, the common cause imperceptibly decays.”

If you like him or not, he was certainly well-educated and smart, like Obama he graduated at Harvard University. Hopefully Obama will not share his fate. We need more politicians who are like him to cope with the current crisis and the coming ones.

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One Response to “Each presses its own ends”

  1. […] pains and fragility of the superorganism all around us.  We see the urgency.  And we also see the struggle of the lower level agents to keep their autonomy despite the  need of the superorganism to subjugate** the needs of its […]


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