Quote of the week

Trump’s electoral fiction floats free of verifiable reality. It is defended not so much by facts as by claims that someone else has made some claims. The sensibility is that something must be wrong because I feel it to be wrong, and I know others feel the same way. When political leaders such as Ted Cruz or Jim Jordan spoke like this, what they meant was: You believe my lies, which compels me to repeat them. Social media provides an infinity of apparent evidence for any conviction, especially one seemingly held by a president.

Timothy Snyder
The New York Times
28 January 2013

Most people have experienced some kind of recourse to instant tradition, whether from insecure teachers or peremptory bosses seeking to assert an unearned authority. Much of South African history might be summed up in that thoughtless and condescending attitude. For more than 350 years, the self-righteous, largely unquestioned trinity of culture, custom and tradition was stridently employed to justify not only rapacious European conquest, but white supremacy, which culminated in legislated white lordship. Many whites have still not grown out of this racial delusion. That tradition, of whatever hue or culture, is routinely invoked to sanctify power. Pallo Jordan pointed out on these pages that this year marks the centenary of the Natives Land Act. It was not only the infamous culmination of statutory robbery, but a triumph of invented “tradition”: white sovereignty wilfully destroying a long tradition of thriving peasant farming. – Bryan Rostron in Business Day

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