Charles Murray: Tongue in Cheek

Well, he had much, much more to say in his American Enterprise Institute 2009 Irving Kristol lecture, but this comment from his introductory remarks is too sweet to pass up:

…I am so naïve about economics that I continue to think that we have a financial meltdown because the federal government, in its infinite wisdom, has for the last two administrations aggressively pushed policies that made it possible for clever people to get rich by lending money to people who were unlikely to pay it back.

Oh! *ROFL* (and hurting while I do… ) That’s rich.

Go read the rest.

h.t. Jerry Pournelle’s Chaos Manor

Reason #1,546,328 “Why I Love the Internet”

I’ve commented before about the availability of really high-quality reads on the internet–for free, no less.

There are things like Project Gutenberg, where one can freely read or download for offline reading any of thousands of public domain works–literally a lifetime of reading if one wishes.

Then there is “MIT OpenCourseWare [which] makes the course materials that are used in the … all MIT’s undergraduate and graduate subjects available on the Web, free of charge…” FREE courses. From MIT. Wonderful!

And I’ve also mentioned before that one can read many of the books available from the Chicago University Press for free online, books like The Founders’ Constitution which retails for $475 (and can be bought for anywhere from $80 for a not so good used copy all the way up to retail). For free, though… online. (And once again, I HIGHLY recommend The Founders’ Constitution for all American citizens and citizen wannabes. Highly recommended. Very highly. Seriously.)

Other books available there as well, such as biographies (a great book on Fred Hoyle, for example), history, and more, much more.

And then there are singular finds sprinkled all over the web. One such is find number 1,546,328 (approx. :-)): Revolt of the Masses by Jose Ortega y Gasset, an amazingly prescient work written in 1930 (from lectures/essays dating earlier). Consider this extremely short excerpt from Ortega y Gasset’s introduction to the work:

The characteristic of the hour is that the commonplace mind, knowing itself to be commonplace, has the assurance to proclaim the rights of the commonplace and to impose them wherever it will. As they say in the United States: “to be different is to be indecent.” The mass crushes beneath it everything that is different, everything that is excellent, individual, qualified and select. Anybody who is not like everybody, who does not think like everybody, runs the risk of being eliminated. And it is clear, of course, that this “everybody” is not “everybody.” “Everybody” was normally the complex unity of the mass and the divergent, specialised minorities. Nowadays, “everybody” is the mass alone. Here we have the formidable fact of our times, described without any concealment of the brutality of its features.

“…the brutality of its features” indeed.

May I seriously commend this book to your attention? Revolt of the Masses by Jose Ortega y Gasset may be a dense read for those not enamored of the rather pedantic tone it sometimes assumes, and Ortega y Gasset’s view of the accomplishments of the common man may shock contemporary American sensibilities, but in this day and age where the democratic urges the Founders rightly feared are wreaking havoc on our society as a whole, it’s a very important read.

And it’s available for free on the web. Amazing. Dontcha just love the internet?


Trackposted to Maggie’s Notebook, Shadowscope, The Pink Flamingo, The Amboy Times, Democrat=Socialist, , CORSARI D’ITALIA, Dumb Ox Daily News, Conservative Cat, and The Yankee Sailor, thanks to Linkfest Haven Deluxe.