Commerce

Honour sinks where commerce long prevails.

Commerce is of trivial import; love, faith, truth of character, the aspiration of man, these are sacred.

The labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce. You can’t weigh the soul of a man with a bar of pig iron.

The ICC [Interstate Commerce Commission] illustrates what might be called the natural history of government intervention. A real or fancied evil leads to demands to do something about it. A political coalition forms consisting of sincere, high-minded reformers and equally sincere interested parties. The incompatible objectives of the members of the coalition (e.g., low prices to consumers and high prices to producers) are glossed over by fine rhetoric about “the public interest,” “fair competition,” and the like. The coalition succeeds in getting Congress (or a state legislature) to pass a law. The preamble to the law pays lip service to the rhetoric and the body of the law grants power to government officials to “do something.” The high-minded reformers experience a glow of triumph and turn their attention to new causes. The interested parties go to work to make sure that the power is used for their benefit. They generally succeed. Success breeds its problems, which are met by broadening the scope of intervention. Bureaucracy takes its toll so that even the initial special interests no longer benefit. In the end the effects are precisely the opposite of the objectives of the reformers and generally do not even achieve the objectives of the special interests. Yet the activity is so firmly established and so many vested interests are connected with it that repeal of the initial legislation is nearly inconceivable. Instead, new government legislation is called for to cope with the problems produced by the earlier legislation and a new cycle begins.

Our spirits have their own private way of understanding each other, of becoming intimate, while our external persons are still trapped in the commerce of ordinary words, in the slavery of social rules. Souls have their own needs and their own ambitions, which the body ignores when it sees that it's impossible to satisfy them or achieve them.

Our politics, religion, news, athletics, education and commerce have been transformed into congenial adjuncts of show business, largely without protest or even much popular notice. The result is that we are a people on the verge of amusing ourselves to death.

Today, we must look to the city of Las Vegas, Nevada as a metaphor of our national character and aspiration, its symbol a thirty-foot high cardboard picture of a slot machine and a chorus girl. For Las Vegas is a city entirely devoted to the idea of entertainment, and as such proclaims the spirit of a culture in which all public discourse increasingly takes the form of entertainment. Our politics, our religion, news, athletics, education and commerce have been transformed into congenial adjuncts of show business, largely without protest or even much popular notice.

General disarmament being for the present entirely out of question, a proportionate reduction might be recommended. The safety of any country and of the world's commerce depending not on the absolute, but relative amount of war material, this would be evidently the first reasonable step to take towards universal economy and peace. But it would be a hopeless task to establish an equitable basis of adjustment. Population, naval strength, force of army, commercial importance, water-power, or any other natural resource, actual or prospective, are equally unsatisfactory standards to consider.

I am not able to instruct you. I can only tell that I have chosen wrong. I have passed my time in study without experience; in the attainment of sciences which can, for the most part, be but remotely useful to mankind. I have purchased knowledge at the expense of all the common comforts of life: I have missed the endearing elegance of female friendship, and the happy commerce of domestic tenderness.

I am here tonight for the purpose of defending your right to differ with me. I want to convince you that you are under no compulsion to accept my creed; that you are, so far as I am concerned, absolutely free to follow the torch of your reason according to your conscience; and I believe that you are civilized to that degree that you will extend to me the right that you claim for yourselves.
I admit, at the very threshold, that every human being thinks as he must; and the first proposition really is whether man has the right to think. It will bear but little discussion, for the reason that no man can control his thought. If you think you can, what are you going to think tomorrow? What are you going to think next year? If you can absolutely control your thought, can you stop thinking?
The question is, has the will any power over the thought? What is thought? It is the result of nature--of the outer world--first upon the senses--those impressions left upon the brain as pictures of things in the outward world, and these pictures are transformed into, or produce thought; and as long as the doors of the senses are open, thoughts will be produced. Whoever looks at anything in nature, thinks. Whoever hears any sound--or any symphony--no matter what--thinks. Whoever looks upon the sea, or on a star, or on a flower, or on the face of a fellow-man, thinks, and the result of that look is an absolute necessity. The thought produced will depend upon your brain, upon your experience, upon the history of your life.
One who looks upon the sea, knowing that the one he loved the best has been devoured by its hungry waves, will have certain thoughts; and he who sees it for the first time will have different thoughts. In other words, no two brains are alike; no two lives have been, or are, or ever will be the same. Consequently, nature cannot produce the same effect upon any two brains, or upon any two hearts.
The only reason why we wish to exchange thoughts is that we are different. If we were all the same, we would die dumb. No thought would be expressed after we found that our thoughts were precisely alike. We differ--our thoughts are different. Therefore the commerce that we call conversation.

Let friend and foe alike know that America has the muscle to back up its words.

To delight in art that is materialistic increases the difficulties of the Kamaloca state, whereas delight in spiritual art lightens them. Every noble, spiritual delight shortens the time in Kamaloca. Already during earthly life we must break ourselves of pleasures and desires which can be satisfied only by the physical instrument

When temptation overtakes the deceitful man, he does not have the presence of mind to call upon God, or to expect salvation from Him, since in the days of his ease he stood aloof from God's will.

If some of these millionaire faddists . . . would more keenly interest themselves in improving conditions, than trying to divert the attention of the workers to the millennium of the sweet by and by, they would be of more practical advantage to their fellows here, and now, as well as for the future.

Books have always a secret influence on the understanding; we cannot at pleasure obliterate ideas: he that reads books of science, though without any desire fixed of improvement, will grow more knowing; he that entertains himself with moral or religious treatises, will imperceptibly advance in goodness; the ideas which are often offered to the mind, will at last find a lucky moment when it is disposed to receive them.

I am a man of peace. I am longing and working and praying for peace, but I will not surrender the safety and security of the British constitution. You placed me in power eighteen months ago by the largest majority accorded to any party for many, many years. Have I done anything to forfeit that confidence? Cannot you trust me to ensure a square deal to secure even justice between man and man?

You and I toiling for earth may at the same time be toiling for heaven, and every day's work may be a Jacob's ladder reaching up nearer to God.

Surely such a union of indomitable resolution in the achievement of a given purpose, with patience and moderation in the policy pursued, and with kindly charity and consideration and friendliness to those of opposite belief, marks the very spirit in which we of to-day should approach the pressing problems of the present. These problems have to do .with securing a more just and generally wide spread welfare, so that there may be a more substantial measure of equality in moral and physical well-being among the people [...].

Above all things I hope the education of the common people will be attended to, convinced that on their good sense we may rely with the most security for the preservation of a due degree of liberty.

All authority belongs to the people.