Quote Discussion, Current quote: “Success consists of going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” page 6

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A comment on “Fine Hat” syndrome and the inevitability of corruption within power structures.

Let us speak no more of good men.

 
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“We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.”

A pretty good commentary on today’s politicians. It also indicates that the low level manipulators—those who do it impulsively and don’t put a lot of thought behind the action—tend to get caught and punished. The slicker ones (I’m talking a bit more dangerous here because of the power and influence they yield), who are morally bankrupt but able to appear at least on the surface as “good people”, stand more of a chance of rising to power.

 
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There is no difference between the likelihood people wish to steal from others. There is only a difference between the way it is covered up, and the reaction from the general public.

I really don’t think the government should always and only be the target of quotes of this. There are enough thieves out there that legally steal our money. Society rewards that behaviour.

 
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“The thing about quotes on the internet is that you cannot confirm their validity.” —Abraham Lincoln

Remember that, in Aesop’s time, man is thrown into the sea for proposing that root 2 is not a rational number.

 
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Originally posted by Darkruler2005:


I really don’t think the government should always and only be the target of quotes of this. There are enough thieves out there that legally steal our money. Society rewards that behaviour.

Well that’s true, and even though I mentioned politicians, I was also thinking of other people in certain positions of authority (college faculty/administrators, investigators, etc) who were morally bankrupt but acted in a way that was accepted by society and allowed that behavior. Politicians are just the easiest since their “corruption” seems to be such a cliche’.

 
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As a Dutch person I’ll pride myself with living in a country having one of the lowest corruption rates in politics. But yeah, generally.

 
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Originally posted by Darkruler2005:

As a Dutch person I’ll pride myself with living in a country having one of the lowest corruption rates in politics. But yeah, generally.

Maybe they’re just so good that they appear uncorrupt. ;)

 
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Originally posted by Darkruler2005:

As a Dutch person I’ll pride myself with living in a country having one of the lowest corruption rates in politics. But yeah, generally.

The official rate of corruption in China is surprisingly low because they seldom arrest the corrupted officials.

Also a quote from Zhuang Zi: Those who steal a buckle are executed. Those who steal a country become dukes.

Thinkers 5000 miles apart thought alike. Maybe this idea will survive for the next 5000 years?

 
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Time for a new quote:

“You don’t win the battle by doing what’s right. You win by doing what’s necessary.”

-source unknown (possibly Tom Clancy)

What I get from this is that sometimes, what you consider the right choice might not be the best option. You might have to overlook your own personal morals for the good of others or for your own well-being when faced with a difficult situation.

 
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“You don’t win the battle by doing what’s right. You win by doing what’s necessary.”

Tell me about it.

 
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A harsh reality.

Might does not make right, but it does make reality.

If Tyson punches you in the jaw you’ll be right on the floor.

 
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Originally posted by Dartval:

Time for a new quote:

“You don’t win the battle by doing what’s right. You win by doing what’s necessary.”

-source unknown (possibly Tom Clancy?)

That’s my foreign policy.

 
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“You don’t win the battle by doing what’s right. You win by doing what’s necessary.”

Truer words were never spoken. There are countless examples when people did what was right- and ended up screwing over the world (the most infamous example, of course, being the policy of appeasement undertaken by the Allies post WWI), and countless examples of when people did what had to be done but were damned by later generations (the most infamous example being the nuclear bombing of Japan in WWII). I suppose how you look at it all depends on whether you think the ends justify the means or not- doing what must be done might not always be in line with current morals, but it could very well end up being better for all involved. Or it could all go horribly wrong. The trick is that we don’t know what will happen, so we have to make judgments based on what we think. Sometimes we do good, other times we screw up. I personally live a little both ways, and it is a bit two-faced, but it’s the best way to steer through life’s moral hazards for me.

 
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Originally posted by 1132:

“You don’t win the battle by doing what’s right. You win by doing what’s necessary.”

Truer words were never spoken. There are countless examples when people did what was right- and ended up screwing over the world (the most infamous example, of course, being the policy of appeasement undertaken by the Allies post WWI), and countless examples of when people did what had to be done but were damned by later generations (the most infamous example being the nuclear bombing of Japan in WWII). I suppose how you look at it all depends on whether you think the ends justify the means or not- doing what must be done might not always be in line with current morals, but it could very well end up being better for all involved. Or it could all go horribly wrong. The trick is that we don’t know what will happen, so we have to make judgments based on what we think. Sometimes we do good, other times we screw up. I personally live a little both ways, and it is a bit two-faced, but it’s the best way to steer through life’s moral hazards for me.

Only problem with that Nuclear Bombing part was that Eisenhower believed that an invasion wasn’t necessary, and the Admiral of the American Navy believed a nuclear bombing wasn’t necessary.

Oh, and on that topic what’s necessary? What’s unnecessary? What’s right? What’s wrong? Who said it was or wasn’t? Leaders can claim it’s necessary just as much as they can claim it’s right, and be lying on both accounts.

 
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Of course they can. A leader can say whatever they want and be accepted, but that would better be said in a thread or a quote about large-scale corruption.
What’s necessary is simply what conditions must exist and what actions must be applied to achieve goals.
Right and wrong is the tricky part. What can be seen in one leader’s mind as good can easily be the opposite in another’s. No one but you can say what’s right or wrong (unless you’re a total moral conformist).

Originally posted by 1132:

“You don’t win the battle by doing what’s right. You win by doing what’s necessary.”


Truer words were never spoken.


I can see what you’re saying, but I would disagree. A good leader is required to change their system of morals to one that allows them to protect their people at all costs. Without total peace in the world (which would render this quote irrelevant and likely nonexistent), leaders must sometimes cast aside their regard for the good of other people in order to insure that that of their people is not lost.

 
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Originally posted by Camoraz:

Only problem with that Nuclear Bombing part was that Eisenhower believed that an invasion wasn’t necessary, and the Admiral of the American Navy believed a nuclear bombing wasn’t necessary.

Oh, and on that topic what’s necessary? What’s unnecessary? What’s right? What’s wrong? Who said it was or wasn’t? Leaders can claim it’s necessary just as much as they can claim it’s right, and be lying on both accounts.

Except for the part where an admiral clearly knows so much about land invasions, and the director of European operations knows how the Imperial Japanese fight. They would have fought to death, including citizens- it would have been devastating to the Americans to invade Japan. Losses would have been extremely high, and there would have been no way around that. Almost all of the Japanese forces would have died- they had a very low surrender rate. Japan and America would have been severely hurt in the process. Granted, the second bombing was unnecessary- but the first was a needed thing.

Originally posted by johnthegenius:

Of course they can. A leader can say whatever they want and be accepted, but that would better be said in a thread or a quote about large-scale corruption.
What’s necessary is simply what conditions must exist and what actions must be applied to achieve goals.
Right and wrong is the tricky part. What can be seen in one leader’s mind as good can easily be the opposite in another’s. No one but you can say what’s right or wrong (unless you’re a total moral conformist).

The entire point of electing leaders is that we trust them to make the judgments like that. They get to decide what is right and wrong and what is necessary because we give them the power to.

I can see what you’re saying, but I would disagree. A good leader is required to change their system of morals to one that allows them to protect their people at all costs. Without total peace in the world (which would render this quote irrelevant and likely nonexistent), leaders must sometimes cast aside their regard for the good of other people in order to insure that that of their people is not lost.

That’s what the quote is saying- that you can only win by doing what has to be done.

 
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I’m starting to run out of quotes. Feel free to message me with suggestions.

 
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Maybe they’re just so good that they appear uncorrupt.

I know you’re joking, but quite frankly there is no way to be “less obviously corrupt”. That either means there is less corruption, or it is less substantial. Corruption should be noted, otherwise it might as well not even be there.

What I get from this is that sometimes, what you consider the right choice might not be the best option. You might have to overlook your own personal morals for the good of others or for your own well-being when faced with a difficult situation.

For every goal, it is important to realise the possibilities of getting there. If you have the goal “crossing the street”, you’re not going to go back home, get in your armoured truck, and be sure that every car will stop for you while you’re crossing, because it costs too much time (and the truck costs too much money). Maybe that’s not entirely related to the quote, but it gets the point across. When faced with a difficult decision the most personally moral option might not be the best option at all when going for other goals. Whatever you think is most important, I guess.

 
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Originally posted by Darkruler2005:

Maybe they’re just so good that they appear uncorrupt.

I know you’re joking, but quite frankly there is no way to be “less obviously corrupt”. That either means there is less corruption, or it is less substantial. Corruption should be noted, otherwise it might as well not even be there.

You are correct that I was joking, but you are incorrect about corruption. You can hide what you’re doing and be very corrupt while appearing honest. You can spin and and trick people into thinking your corruption is actually not corruption. The physical effects of your corruption will be felt whether you are linked to them or not. If your mechanic lies to you and charges you double for imaginary problems with your car, you’re still out the money even if you think he’s a saint.

 
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I think you’re getting confused on the terms, then. Is it really corruption if everybody in the country happily agrees to your prices? If a pack of milk costs a billion dollars and everyone pays for it, then apparently everybody agrees that is the right price. It doesn’t matter so much that they lie to you if the people accept the price for the actual job you did.

And you’re misreading what I said, too. If the physical effects of corruption are felt, then that’s exactly what I say is corruption. If corruption is not noted or felt, then we might as well state there is no corruption.

 
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Your statement was that it was not possible to be “less obviously corrupt” but that is false.

ob·vi·ous   [ob-vee-uhs] adjective
1. easily seen, recognized, or understood; open to view or knowledge; evident: an obvious advantage.
2. lacking in subtlety.

cor·rupt   [kuh-ruhpt] adjective
1. guilty of dishonest practices, as bribery; lacking integrity; crooked: a corrupt judge.
2. debased in character; depraved; perverted; wicked; evil: a corrupt society.

Please note that guilty only implies getting caught in strict legal terms. As this is not a law forum, the common definition is the correct definition.

Not knowing that a judge is accepting bribes from serial murders does not change the murder rate. Whether you are aware of a link between what you are experiencing and it’s cause does not change the cause. Corruption does not imply awareness by standard definitions.

Also, do you honestly not see lying as a morally negative activity? Is it only a bad thing if you get caught or is it ok even then? Really? Are you serious? Can you tell me where you work so that I never do business with you? Not that I’d believe you.

Please note that, according to dictionary.com, lie is part of the definition of dishonest. See corrupt above.

P.S. A person might pay a price they feel is unfair because the alternatives are considered worse. Like selling air to a suffocating man. If a majority of people are in the circumstance of suffocating, the majority might pay a price that they consider unfair. Or they might thug the seller and take it, which would make baby jeebus laugh.

Edit That post is actually a good example of someone spinning in an attempt to make lying appear to be acceptable behavior now that I think of it. /edit

 
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New quote:

“If you speak the truth, have one foot in the stirrup.”

-Turkish Proverb

Klatoo suggested this. I’m not entierely sure what it means, but I suppose it means that some people can’t face the truth, so you need to have “one foot in the stirrup” so you can… run away, so to speak, to escape from thier anger at learning the truth.

 
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Speaking your mind doesn’t tend to endear you to people. More than one person has been killed for speaking their mind. Before you speak your mind it’s wise understand the possible consequences, and be prepared to make a hasty retreat.

 
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Make sure you’re tied to a fast horse before you speak truth, before the ignorant villagers will lynch you and call you a witch if they getcha. That simple.

 
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Also, do you honestly not see lying as a morally negative activity?

You’ve completely missed the point of my post.

All the people in a country are capable of making up the demand for a good. Those who produce the good are capable of setting a price. This is completely irregardless of any corruption going on, accidents involved, or whatever you can think of. The end user requires a fixed price for it to be acceptable for that user. For some, it’s low, for some, it’s high. Everyone requiring a lower price than the one set will buy you product if they demand it. If your mechanic charges double, then you can expect a crapload of people to no longer accept your product, and move to another mechanic. If they don’t, then apparently the price is right. Again, this is completely irregardless of corruption. If corruption doubles the price, and everyone in the country still happily agrees on your price, then what is wrong? The corruption has only an effect on the price, not on the result. You pay for the result. If something is still unclear here, I’d like to hear it.

Your statement was that it was not possible to be “less obviously corrupt” but that is false.

So, again, you’re missing the point I’m trying to make. Is it really corruption if everybody agrees on your prices? The only difference between an expensive product and a high price due to corruption is the supposed “dishonest practices” behind the latter.

Not knowing that a judge is accepting bribes from serial murders does not change the murder rate.

What I’d like to point out is that I’ve never agreed there is something good about corruption. You seem to be implying I do, a lot.

But then again, I think we’re somewhat moving into the field of semantics here. If anything’s unclear, go ahead and ask, I’ll clarify. Of course, I’m not really assuming a stupid country here which doesn’t know the first thing about how prices work, how end products should come forth, and what processes could be considered “dishonest”.

EDIT: As for the new quote, the truth hurts. Always. If it isn’t for the horrifying things that are made known, it’s for the person being “corrected”.