Not a Mere Juggling of Words

Literature is not a mere juggling of words; what matters is what is left unsaid, or what may be read between the lines. Were it not for this deep inner feeling, literature would be no more than a game, and we all know that it can be much more than that.

– Jorge Luis Borges

Extracted from the book “Borges on Writing” published by E. P. Dutton & Co., Inc. New York 1973, in an Appendix titled “The Writer’s Apprenticeship”.

The Art of Not Reading

The art of not reading is a very important one. It consists in not taking an interest in whatever may be engaging the attention of the general public at any particular time. When some political or ecclesiastical pamphlet, or novel, or poem is making a great commotion, you should remember that he who writes for fools always finds a large public. – A precondition for reading good books is not reading bad ones: for life is short.

– Arthur Schopenhauer

Extracted from the book ‘Arthur Schopenhauer Essays and Aphorisms‘ in a chapter titled ‘On Books and Writing’ section 16. Book published by Penguin Classic, translated by R. J. Hollingdale.

The Poet vs The Philosopher

The poet presents the imagination with images from life and human characters and situations, sets them all in motion and leaves it to the beholder to let these images take his thoughts as far as his mental powers will permit. That is why he is able to engage men of the most differing capabilities, indeed fools and sages together. The philosopher, on the other hand, presents not life itself but the finished thoughts which he has abstracted from it and then demands that the reader should think precisely as, and precisely as far as, he himself thinks. That is why his public is so small. The poet can thus be compared with one who presents flowers, the philosopher with one who presents their essence.

– Arthur Schopenhauer

Extracted from the book ‘Arthur Schopenhauer Essays and Aphorisms‘ in a chapter titled ‘Aphorisms On Philosophy and the Intellect’ section 4; book published by Penguin Classic, translated by R. J. Hollingdale.

Mises on Civil Service

From Mises’s Bureaucracy (1944),

On p. 79,

Most people joined the staff of the government offices because the salary and the pension offered were higher than what they could expect to earn in other occupations. They did not renounce anything in serving the government. Civil service was for them the most profitable job they could find.

On p. 81,

Representative democracy cannot subsist if a great part of the voters are on the government pay roll. If the members of parliament no longer consider themselves mandatories of the taxpayers but deputies of those receiving salaries, wages, subsidies, doles, and other benefits from the treasury, democracy is done for.

(both emphasis mine)

Manusia yang Bertindak dan Ekonomi (bhg ii)

syarahan Ludwig von Mises (1951)

terjemahan Hadi Jaafar

(sambungan dari bahagian pertama)

Aristotle menulis, di antara perkara-perkara yang lainnya, tentang kepelbagaian pencirian pada lelaki dan wanita. Betapa beliau seringkali tersilap. Sekiranya beliau bertanyakan pada Puan Aristotle tentang perihal wanita, pastinya beliau akan menyedari kesilapannya; langsung memahami perkara tersebut pada sudut pandang yang berbeza. Aristotle juga tersilap di dalam menyatakan bahawa jika dua barang mahu ditukarkan di dalam pasaran, harus keduanya ada sesuatu yang serupa di dalamnya, bahawa keduanya ditukar di sebabkan nilainya yang setara. Sekarang fikirkan, sekiranya keduanya adalah setara, apa perlunya proses pertukaran tersebut? Jika kamu memiliki satu syiling dan saya memiliki satu syiling, kita tidak akan menukarnya disebabkan keduanya adalah setara. Oleh yang demikian, sekiranya terdapat pertukaran, seharusnya yang terkandung pada barangan yang ditukar tersebut adalah ketaksetaraan, bukannya kesetaraan.

Continue reading “Manusia yang Bertindak dan Ekonomi (bhg ii)”

Manusia yang Bertindak dan Ekonomi (bhg i)

syarahan Ludwig von Mises (1951)*

terjemahan Hadi Jaafar

Manusia secara umumnya percaya bahawa ilmu ekonomi sekadar minat golongan niagawan, jurubank, dan yang seumpama dan bahawasanya terdapat ekonomi yang terpisah untuk setiap kumpulan, segmen masyarakat, ataupun negara. Oleh kerana ilmu ekonomi merupakan perkembangan sains yang paling terbaru, tidaklah menghairankan bahawa terdapat banyak idea-idea yang tersasar mengenai makna dan pengisian pada cabang pengetahuan ini.

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II. Wang Di Dalam Masyarakat Merdeka (bhg 1)

Petikan bersiri dari terjemahan “What has Government Done to Our Money” nukilan Murray N. Rothbard – Hadi Jaafar (penterjemah)

1. Nilai Pada Sebuah Pertukaran

Bagaimanakah penggunaan wang itu bermula? Terang-terangan, Robinson Crusoe tidak punya keperluan terhadap wang. Dia tidak dapat menjadikan syiling emas sebagai makanannya. Tidak pula bagi Crusoe dan Friday, yang mungkin di dalam pertukaran ikan untuk kayu-kayan, perlu memikirkan tentang penggunaan wang. Namun apabila masyarakat berkembang melangkaui hanya segelintir keluarga, pentas telah pun tersedia bagi kemunculan konsep wang di dalam urusniaga.

Continue reading “II. Wang Di Dalam Masyarakat Merdeka (bhg 1)”