January 18

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

2005
The danger is not that a particular class is unfit to govern. Every class is unfit to govern. The law of liberty tends to abolish the reign of race over race, of faith over faith, of class over class. ~ Lord Acton
2006
There is absolutely nothing that can be taken for granted in this world. ~ Robert Anton Wilson (born 18 January 1932)
2007
It's important to abolish the unconscious dogmatism that makes people think their way of looking at reality is the only sane way of viewing the world. My goal is to try to get people into a state of generalized agnosticism, not agnosticism about God alone, but agnosticism about everything. ~ Robert Anton Wilson
2008
The success of most things depends upon knowing how long it will take to succeed. ~ Charles de Montesquieu (born 18 January 1689)
2009
Beyond a certain point, the whole universe becomes a continuous process of initiation. ~ Robert Anton Wilson
2010
I have always observed that to succeed in the world one should appear like a fool but be wise. ~ Charles de Montesquieu
2011
"Elohim," the name for the creative power in Genesis, is a female plural, a fact that generations of learned rabbis and Christian theologians have all explained as merely grammatical convention. The King James and most other Bibles translate it as "God," but if you take the grammar literally, it seems to mean "goddesses." Al Shaddai, god of battles, appears later, and YHWH, mispronounced Jehovah, later still. ~ Robert Anton Wilson ~
2012

The force that makes the winter grow
Its feathered hexagons of snow,
and drives the bee to match at home
Their calculated honeycomb,
Is abacus and rose combined.

An icy sweetness fills my mind,
A sense that under thing and wing
Lies, taut yet living, coiled, the spring.

~ Jacob Bronowski ~

2013 
The worst that can happen under monarchy is rule by a single imbecile, but democracy often means the rule by an assembly of three or four hundred imbeciles.
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~
2014
"Is," "is." "is" — the idiocy of the word haunts me. If it were abolished, human thought might begin to make sense. I don't know what anything "is"; I only know how it seems to me at this moment.
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~
2015
Everyone has a belief system, B.S., the trick is to learn not to take anyone's B.S. too seriously, especially your own.
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~
2016
You simply cannot invent any conspiracy theory so ridiculous and obviously satirical that some people somewhere don't already believe it.
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~
2017
Most animals, including most domesticated primates (humans) show a truly staggering ability to "ignore" certain kinds of information — that which does not "fit" their imprinted/conditioned reality-tunnel. We generally call this "conservatism" or "stupidity", but it appears in all parts of the political spectrum, and in learned societies as well as in the Ku Klux Klan.
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~
2018

I can't find a word to say to you
I can't comprehend, I can't relate to you.

Plain to see your faith for me
Take me higher angel fire
Take me where I want to go
Teach me things I need to know.

~ Dolores O'Riordan ~
2019
Dr. Reich vastly offended many people by his sociological theory, which holds that fascism is just an exaggerated form of the basic structure of sex-negative societies and has existed under other names in every civilization based on sexual repression. In this theory, the character and muscular armor of the average citizen — a submissive and frightened attitude anchored in body reflexes — causes the average person to want a strong authority figure above them. Tyranny, in this model, is not created by tyrants alone but by neurotic masses who want tyrants.
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~

2020 : Rank or add further suggestions…


Ranking system:

4 : Excellent - should definitely be used. (This is the utmost ranking and should be used only for one quote at a time, per person, for each date.)
3 : Very Good - strong desire to see it used.
2 : Good - some desire to see it used.
1 : Acceptable - but with no particular desire to see it used.
0 : Not acceptable - not appropriate for use as a quote of the day.


Suggestions[edit]

There is only one thing that can form a bond between men, and that is gratitude...we cannot give someone else greater power over us than we have ourselves. ~ Charles de Montesquieu (born January 18, 1689)

  • 3 InvisibleSun 07:56, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 15:16, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 18:21, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Men, who are rogues individually, are in the mass very honorable people. ~ Charles de Montesquieu

  • 3 InvisibleSun 07:56, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 15:16, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
  • 3 Zarbon 18:21, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

Justice, sir, is the great interest of man on Earth. It is the ligament which holds civilized beings and civilized nations together. ~ Daniel Webster (born January 18, 1782)

  • 3 InvisibleSun 07:56, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 15:16, 19 January 2007 (UTC) with a lean toward 4.
  • 1 Zarbon 18:21, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

The law: It has honored us; may we honor it. ~ Daniel Webster

  • 3 InvisibleSun 07:56, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 15:16, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
  • 2 Zarbon 18:21, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

When tillage begins, other arts follow. The farmers therefore are the founders of human civilization. ~ Daniel Webster

  • 3 InvisibleSun 07:56, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
  • 3 Kalki 15:16, 19 January 2007 (UTC)
  • 1 Zarbon 18:21, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

War is an ugly thing, but not the ugliest of things. The decayed and degraded state of moral and patriotic feeling which thinks that nothing is worth war is much worse. The person who has nothing for which he is willing to fight, nothing which is more important than his own personal safety, is a miserable creature and has no chance of being free unless made and kept so by the exertions of better men than himself. ~ John Stuart Mill

  • Naglem 20:47, 17 January 2007 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 15:16, 19 January 2007 (UTC) (though I would rank it 3 or perhaps even a 4, if proposed for a date with which it had some clear correlation).
  • 1 Zarbon 18:21, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 InvisibleSun 23:31, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

I'm back. ~ Michael Jordan (Announcing his return to the Bulls, 03/18/1995).

  • Naglem 12:36, 18 January 2007 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 22:02, 18 January 2007 (UTC) This was originally proposed on the page for the 19th; I have moved it here to have a stronger relation to the date.
  • 1 Zarbon 18:21, 22 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 InvisibleSun 23:31, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Not to be loved is a misfortune, but it is an insult to be loved no longer. ~ Charles de Montesquieu

  • 3 Zarbon 05:45, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 03:53, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 23:31, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

The deterioration of a government begins almost always by the decay of its principles. ~ Charles de Montesquieu

  • 3 Zarbon 05:45, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 03:53, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
  • 3 InvisibleSun 23:31, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

You have to study a great deal to know a little. ~ Charles de Montesquieu

  • 3 Zarbon 05:45, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 03:53, 17 January 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 3.
  • 3 InvisibleSun 23:31, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

The tree is happy because it is scarcely sentient;
the hard rock is happier still, it feels nothing:
there is no pain as great as being alive,
no burden heavier than that of conscious life.
~ Rubén Darío

  • 4 Zarbon 05:45, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 03:53, 17 January 2009 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 23:31, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Liberty exists in proportion to wholesome restraint. ~ Daniel Webster

  • 2 Zarbon 05:45, 20 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 03:53, 17 January 2009 (UTC) with a lean toward 3.
  • 2 InvisibleSun 23:31, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

All phenomena are real in some sense, unreal in some sense, meaningless in some sense, real and meaningless in some sense, unreal and meaningless in some sense, and real and unreal and meaningless in some sense. ~ Robert Anton Wilson ~


We re-make nature by the act of discovery, in the poem or in the theorem. And the great poem and the deep theorem are new to every reader, and yet are his own experience, because he himself re-creates them. ~ Jacob Bronowski


Travellers like poets are mostly an angry race.
~ Richard Francis Burton ~
  • proposed by Spannerjam
  • 2 Kalki·· 13:20, 16 January 2014 (UTC) but I might rank it higher on Burton's birthday (19 March); this doesn't have clear relation to this particular date.

The AA must rank as the most secretive secret society in the world. Perhaps nobody, not even the few writers who have discussed it, knows for sure when the AA began, which group claiming to be the AA at present is the real AA, or even what the symbols AA stand for — although many claim to know these things of course. … Occult historians generally agree that V.V.V.V.V. signified Vi Veri Vniversum Vivus Vici ("By the force of truth I have conquered the universe"), one of the eleven magic mottoes of Aleister Crowley.
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~

There is no governor anywhere; you are all absolutely free. There is no restraint that cannot be escaped. We are all absolutely free. If everybody could go into dhyana at will, nobody could be controlled — by fear of prison, by fear of whips or electroshock, by fear of death, even. All existing society is based on keeping those fears alive, to control the masses. Ten people who know would be more dangerous than a million armed anarchists.
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~

I don't believe anything, but I have many suspicions.
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~

A lot of anarchists had a major roll in influencing my political thinking, especially the individualist anarchists. Benjamin Tucker and Lysander Spooner especially. But I've also been influenced by Leo Tolstoy's anarcho-pacifism. And I find a lot of Kropotkin compatible even though he was a communist anarchist. Nothing wrong with communist anarchism as long as it remains voluntary. Any one that wants to go make a commune, go ahead, do it. I got nothing against it. As long as there's room to the individualist to do his or her own thing.
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~

I think any government is dangerous no matter how small you make it. Instead of governments we should have contractual associations that you can opt out of if you don't like the way the association is going. Religions fought for hundreds of years over which one should dominate Europe and then they finally gave up and made a truce, and they all agreed to tolerate each other — at least in this part of the world... But I think government should be treated like religion, everyone should be able to pick the kind they like. Only it should be contractual not obligatory.
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~

I've concluded that anarchism is an impractical ideal. Nowadays, I regard myself as a libertarian. I suppose an anarchist would say, paraphrasing what Marx said about agnostics being "frightened atheists," that libertarians are simply frightened anarchists. Having just stated the case for the opposition, I will go along and agree with them: yes, I am frightened. I'm a libertarian because I don't trust the people as much as anarchists do. I want to see government limited as much as possible; I would like to see it reduced back to where it was in Jefferson's time, or even smaller. But I would not like to see it abolished. I think the average American, if left totally free, would act exactly like Idi Amin. I don't trust the people any more than I trust the government.
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~

I sometimes call myself a libertarian but that's only because most people don't know what anarchist means. Most people hear you're an anarchist and they think you're getting ready to throw a bomb at a building. They don't understand the concept of voluntary association, the whole concept of replacing force with voluntary cooperation or contractual arrangements and so on. So libertarian is a clearer word that doesn't arouse any immediate anxiety upon the listener. And then again, libertarians, if they were totally consistent with their principles would be anarchists.
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~

I am typical in the sense that ...a lot of people are on the same wave length as me. I get fan mail from people that are absolutely stunned that there's somebody else besides themselves who thinks this way. So, we're a minority, but there are a lot of us. On a planet this overcrowded, a minority can have a few million numbers. … More scientific than religious. More open than dogmatic. More optimistic than pessimistic. More future oriented than past oriented. And more humorous than serious. I really dread serious people. Especially serious, dogmatic people. I regard them as sort of what Reich called the emotional plague. I regard them as very dangerous.
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~

"Every national border in Europe," El Eswad added ironically, "marks the place where two gangs of bandits got too exhausted to kill each other anymore and signed a treaty. Patriotism is the delusion that one of these gangs of bandits is better than all the others."
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~

A true initiation never ends.
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~

Obviously, the faster we process information, the more rich and complex our models or glosses — our reality-tunnels — will become.
Resistance to new information, however, has a strong neurological foundation in all animals, as indicated by studies of imprinting and conditioning. Most animals, including most domesticated primates (humans) show a truly staggering ability to "ignore" certain kinds of information — that which does not "fit" their imprinted/conditioned reality-tunnel. We generally call this "conservatism" or "stupidity", but it appears in all parts of the political spectrum, and in learned societies as well as in the Ku Klux Klan.
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~
  • 3 Kalki·· 23:44, 17 January 2019 (UTC) but with a lean toward 2, because part of this was used in 2017.

If one can only see things according to one's own belief system, one is destined to become virtually deaf, dumb, and blind. It's only possible to see people when one is able to see the world as others see it. That's what guerrilla ontology is — breaking down this one-model view and giving people a multi-model perspective.
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~

The Western World has been brainwashed by Aristotle for the last 2,500 years. The unconscious, not quite articulate, belief of most Occidentals is that there is one map which adequately represents reality. By sheer good luck, every Occidental thinks he or she has the map that fits. Guerrilla ontology, to me, involves shaking up that certainty.
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~

It only takes 20 years for a liberal to become a conservative without changing a single idea.
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~

I first heard of the 23 Enigma from William S. Burroughs, author of Naked Lunch, Nova Express, etc. According to Burroughs, he had known a certain Captain Clark, around 1960 in Tangier, who once bragged that he had been sailing 23 years without an accident. That very day, Clark’s ship had an accident that killed him and everybody else aboard. Furthermore, while Burroughs was thinking about this crude example of the irony of the gods that evening, a bulletin on the radio announced the crash of an airliner in Florida, USA. The pilot was another Captain Clark and the flight was Flight 23.
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~

Most of our ancestors were not perfect ladies and gentlemen. The majority of them weren't even mammals.
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~

The fallacy is that one can judge the part in isolation from the whole is "the Lie that all men believe."
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~

There are periods of history when the visions of madmen and dope fiends are a better guide to reality than the common-sense interpretation of data available to the so-called normal mind. This is one such period, if you haven't noticed already.
~ Robert Anton Wilson ~

The political liberty of the subject is a tranquillity of mind, arising from the opinion each person has of his safety. In order to have this liberty, it is requisite the government be so constituted as one man need not be afraid of another.
~ Charles de Montesquieu ~

Democratic and aristocratic states are not in their own nature free. Political liberty is to be found only in moderate governments; and even in these it is not always found. It is there only when there is no abuse of power. But constant experience shows us that every man invested with power is apt to abuse it, and to carry his authority as far as it will go. Is it not strange, though true, to say that virtue itself has need of limits?
To prevent this abuse, it is necessary from the very nature of things that power should be a check to power. A government may be so constituted, as no man shall be compelled to do things to which the law does not oblige him, nor forced to abstain from things which the law permits.
~ Charles de Montesquieu ~

Society is the union of men and not the men themselves; the citizen may perish, but man remains.
~ Charles de Montesquieu ~

The principle of democracy is corrupted not only when the spirit of equality is extinct, but likewise when they fall into a spirit of extreme equality, and when each citizen would fain be upon a level with those whom he has chosen to command him. Then the people, incapable of bearing the very power they have delegated, want to manage everything themselves, to debate for the senate, to execute for the magistrate, and to decide for the judges. When this is the case, virtue can no longer subsist in the republic.
~ Charles de Montesquieu ~