Gabriel Marcel, Noam Chomsky, Willa Cather, Samuel Gottlieb Bürde

De Franse filosoof en toneelauteur Gabriel Marcel werd geboren op 7 december 1889 in Parijs. Zie ook mijn blog van 7 december 2006 en ook mijn blog van 7 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 7 december 2009.


Uit: Journal métaphysique 


„Les autres ne sont pas « ma pensée des autres »

[…] Rien ne fera que les autres ne soient pas ma pensée des autres […]. Je crois que c’est précisément cette position qu’il faut refuser radicalement. Si j’admets que les autres ne sont que ma pensée des autres, mon idée des autres, il devient absolument impossible de briser un cercle qu’on a commencé par tracer autour de soi. – Si l’on pose le primat du sujet-objet – de la catégorie du sujet-objet – ou de l’acte par lequel le sujet pose des objets en quelque sorte au sein de lui-même, l’existence des autres devient impensable – et sans aucun doute n’importe quelle existence quelle qu’elle puisse être.


Par là s’éclairent mes formules de ce matin. L’autre en tant qu’autre n’existe pour moi qu’en tant que je suis ouvert à lui (qu’il est un toi), mais je ne suis ouvert à lui que pour autant que je cesse de former avec moi-même une sorte de cercle à l’intérieur duquel je logerais en quelque sorte l’autre, ou plutôt son idée ; car par rapport à ce cercle l’autre devient l’idée de l’autre – et l’idée de l’autre ce n’est plus l’autre en tant qu’autre, c’est l’autre en tant que rapporté à moi, que démonté, que désarticulé ou en cours de désarticulation.“



Gabriel Marcel (7 december 1889 – 8 oktober 1973)


De Amerikaanse taalkundige, mediacriticus en anarchistisch denker Noam Chomsky werd geboren in Philadelphia op 7 december 1928. Zie ook mijn blog van 7 december 2007 en ook mijn blog van 7 december 2008 en ook mijn blog van 7 december 2009.


Uit: Propaganda, American-style


Pointing to the massive amounts of propaganda spewed by government and institutions around the world, observers have called our era the age of Orwell. But the fact is that Orwell was a latecomer on the scene. As early as World War I, American historians offered themselves to President Woodrow Wilson to carry out a task they called “historical engineering,” by which they meant designing the facts of history so that they would serve state policy. In this instance, the U.S. government wanted to silence opposition to the war. This represents a version of Orwell’s 1984, even before Orwell was writing.

In 1921, the famous American journalist Walter Lippmann said that the art of democracy requires what he called the “manufacture of consent.” This phrase is an Orwellian euphemism for thought control. The idea is that in a state such as the U.S. where the government can’t control the people by force, it had better control what they think.. The Soviet Union is at the opposite end of the spectrum from us in its domestic freedoms. It’s essentially a country run by the bludgeon. It’s very easy to determine what propaganda is in the USSR: what the state produces is propaganda.

That’s the kind of thing that Orwell described in 1984 (not a very good book in my opinion). 1984 is so popular because it’s trivial and it attacks our enemies. If Orwell had dealt with a different problem– ourselves–his book wouldn’t have been so popular. In fact, it probably wouldn’t have been published.

In totalitarian societies where there’s a Ministry of Truth, propaganda doesn’t really try to control your thoughts. It just gives you the party line. It says, “Here’s the official doctrine; don’t disobey and you won’t get in trouble. What you think is not of great importance to anyone. If you get out of line we’ll do something to you because we have force.” Democratic societies can’t work like that, because the state is much more limited in its capacity to control behavior by force.“


Noam Chomsky (Philadelphia, 7 december 1928)




De Amerikaanse schrijfster Willa Cather werd geboren op 7 december 1873 in de buurt van Winchester, Virginia. Zie ook mijn blog van 7 december 2006   en ook mijn blog van 7 december 2009.


Uit: Eric Hermannson`s Soul


It was a great night at the Lone Star schoolhouse–a night when the Spirit was present with power and when God was very near to man. So it seemed to Asa Skinner, servant of God and Free Gospeller. The schoolhouse was crowded with the saved and sanctified, robust men and women, trembling and quailing before the power of some mysterious psychic force. Here and there among this cowering, sweating multitude crouched some poor wretch who had felt the pangs of an awakened conscience, but had not yet experienced that complete divestment of reason, that frenzy born of a convulsion of the mind, which, in the parlance of the Free Gospellers, is termed “the Light.” On the floor before the mourners` bench lay the unconscious figure of a man in whom outraged nature had sought her last resort. This “trance” state is the highest evidence of grace among the Free Gospellers, and indicates a close walking with God.

Before the desk stood Asa Skinner, shouting of the mercy and vengeance of God, and in his eyes shone a terrible earnestness, an almost prophetic flame. Asa was a converted train gambler who used to run between Omaha and Denver. He was a man made for the extremes of life; from the most debauched of men he had become the most ascetic. His was a bestial face, a. face that bore the stamp of Nature`s eternal injustice. The forehead was low, projecting over the eyes, and the sandy hair was plastered down over it and then brushed back at an abrupt right angle. The chin was heavy, the nostrils were low and wide, and the lower lip hung loosely except in his moments of spasmodic earnestness, when it shut like a steel trap. Yet about those coarse features there were deep, rugged furrows, the scars of many a hand-to-hand struggle with the weakness of the flesh, and about that drooping lip were sharp, strenuous lines that had conquered it and taught it to pray. Over those seamed cheeks there was a certain pallor, a greyness caught from many a vigil. It was as though, after Nature had done her worst with that face, some fine chisel had gone over it, chastening and almost transfiguring it. Tonight, as his muscles twitched with emotion, and the perspiration dropped from his hair and chin, there was a certain convincing power in the man.“



Willa Cather (7 december 1873 – 24 april 1947)



De Duitse dichter
Samuel Gottlieb Bürde werd geboren op 7 december 1753 in Breslau. In Breslau ging hij naar het Elisabethgymnasium waar de rector hem met poëzie in aanraking bracht. In Halle, studeerde hij rechten. 1776-1778 was hij leraar op een school in Breslau. Later reisde naar Zwitserland en Italië. In 1783 werd hij secretaris van de Poolse grenscommissie. In 1795 werd hij benoemd tot prive-secretaris bij het Silezische ministerie van Financiën en elf jaar later directeur van de kanselarij. Nog eens negen jaar later, in 1815, werd hij tot koninklijk Hofrat bevorderd.


Uit: Erzählung von einer gesellschaftlichen Reise durch einen Theil der Schweiz


„Tags drauf gegen Abend, passierten wir bey dustrer neblichter Wittrung, die wilden Gebirge des Böhmerwaldes. Es war eine angstliche Fahrt den Berg hinan; zu beyden Seiten sinstre Waldungen, und der Weg so abscheulich, daß wir Mannspersonen uns lieber entschlossen zu Fuss zu gehen. Wir kamen bey schon ganz sinstrer Nacht in den Bayerschen Flecken Waldmünchen, und den andern Morgen nach Regensburg.. Von hier aus ging der Weg eine Strecke ganz nah an steilen Felsenwanden, in einiger Entfernung sahn wir rechts die Donau fliessen, deren jenseitige Ufer einen angenehmen, abwechselnden Prospect von Schlössern und Klostern gaben. In den Dörfern hörten wir überall landliche Tanzmusic. Es war ein herbstlich schöner Sonntag. Des andern Morgens früh waren wir in Augsburg, wo wir über Mittag blieben, einige Gaffen durchliefen, einen schönen Springbrunnen, und an verschleimen Hausern die Ueberbleibsel von guten Fresco Mahlereien sahen. Wir begegneten auch Frauenzimmern, die eben den bisanen Anzug trugen, dergleichen man auf einigen Kupferstichen von Augsburg und Nürnberg findet. Gegen Abend setzten wir unsere Reise weiter fort, beugten aber seitwärts nach Ulm aus, das wir früh, als es noch dunkel war, erreichten. Wir hatten uns kaum im Wirthshause zum Frühstück nieder geswetzt als wir vom Herrn A. freundfchaftlich zum Mittagsessen geladen wurden.“



Samuel Gottlieb Bürde (7 december 1753 – 28 april 1831)

Breslau (Geen portret beschikbaar)