Thursday, October 30, 2008

Randomly strung-together bits of New Jersualem 

And did those feet in ancient time
Walk upon England's mountains green?
And was the holy Lamb of God
On England's pleasant pastures seen?

And did the Countenance Divine
Shine forth upon our clouded hills?
And was Jerusalem builded here
Among these dark Satanic mills?

Bring me my bow of burning gold!
Bring me my arrows of desire!
Bring me my spear! O clouds unfold!
Bring me my chariot of fire!

I will not cease from mental fight,
Nor shall my sword sleep in my hand
Till we have built Jerusalem
In England's green and pleasant land.

William Blake.
CLEMENT ATTLEE: What kind of society do you want?

NARRATOR: Attlee promised his party that they would build a new Jerusalem.

CLEMENT ATTLEE: Let's go forward into this fight in the spirit of William Blake: "I will not cease from mental fight, nor shall the sword sleep in my hand, till we have built Jerusalem in England's green and pleasant land."

NARRATOR: William Blake's hymn "Jerusalem" became an anthem for the Labor movement.

BARBARA CASTLE: You know, it seemed to people who'd been through a war, it seemed to them natural justice. Why not pool your resources? And so we broke into the concept of the sacredness of private property.

NARRATOR: When Labor took power, private owners were compelled to sell their businesses. Labor created a "mixed economy" in which newly nationalized industries coexisted with private enterprise. Now government-owned industries like coal, rail, and steel no longer enriched owners and shareholders, but worked for the common good.

TONY BENN: So it was an act of regeneration, of renewal. That was the hope, and it was the hope that gave us the welfare state, gave us the National Health Service, gave us full employment, gave us trade union rights, really rebuilt the country from the bottom up.
From The Commanding Heights.
For many observers the years after 1950 were the period when the chickens came home to roost for British industry. The signs of industrial weakness seemed to abound. By the 1980s Britain's share of world industrial production was no more than half of its share in the inter-war period, manufacturing exports but a quarter. The cotton industry was in trouble before the war but had virtually disappeared as a world force by the 1960s. From being the world's leading car exporter in the late 1940s, Britain saw in 1994 the sale of its last car firm, Rover, to the German firm BMW.
Robert Millward, British Industry since the Second World War.
The journey will be difficult. The road will be long. I face this challenge with profound humility, and knowledge of my own limitations. But I also face it with limitless faith in the capacity of the American people. Because if we are willing to work for it, and fight for it, and believe in it, then I am absolutely certain that generations from now, we will be able to look back and tell our children that this was the moment when we began to provide care for the sick and good jobs to the jobless; this was the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal; this was the moment when we ended a war and secured our nation and restored our image as the last, best hope on earth. This was the moment�this was the time�when we came together to remake this great nation so that it may always reflect our very best selves and our highest ideals.
Barack Obama, June 3, 2008.
What Barack Obama is tapping into with the word "change" is nearly eight years of the left's constructing a description of an America that has been made so awful that "change" means changing America, not just changing policies.
Dennis Prager, Tuesday.
Policies that he proposes under the banner of "change" are almost all policies that have been tried repeatedly in other countries-- and failed repeatedly in other countries.

Politicians telling businesses how to operate? That's been tried in countries around the world, especially during the second half of the 20th century. It has failed so often and so badly that even socialist and communist governments were freeing up their markets by the end of the century.
Thomas Sowell, this morning.

I was showing a class the first hour of Commanding Heights this morning, and that inspired this post.

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