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Sakmongkol ak 47

Tuesday 31 August 2010

Don't ask

I saw a posting on the Malaysian Insider re-quoting the speech Kennedy made in 1961. I thought it would be mentally stimulating to place what was written in a wider context. So that, we are not easily engulfed by our enthusiasm over that Kennedy speech which is also regarded by many as a mismatch of homilies and lots of little house on the  prairie wisdoms.
From the introduction to Milton Friedman's 1962 book " Capitalism and Freedom".

In a much quoted passage in his inaugural address, President Kennedy said, "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country." Neither half of the statement expresses a relation between the citizen and his government that is worthy of the ideals of free men in a free society. The paternalistic "what your country can do for you" implies that government is the patron, the citizen the ward, a view that is at odds with the free man's belief in his own responsibility for his own destiny. The organismic, "what you can do for your 'country" implies the government is the master or the deity, the citizen, the servant or the votary.

To the free man, the country is the collection of individuals who compose it, not something over and above them. He is proud of a common heritage and loyal to common traditions. But he regards government as a means, an instrumentality, neither a grantor of favors and gifts, nor a master or god to be blindly worshipped and served. He recognizes no national goal except as it is the consensus of the goals that the citizens severally serve. He recognizes no national purpose except as it is the consensus of the purposes for which the citizens severally strive.

The free man will ask neither what his country can do for him nor what he can do for his country. He will ask rather "What can I and my compatriots do through government" to help us discharge our individual responsibilities, to achieve our several goals and purposes, and above all, to protect our freedom?

And he will accompany this question with another: How can we keep the government we create from becoming a Frankenstein that will destroy the very freedom we establish it to protect?

Freedom is a rare and delicate plant. Our minds tell us, and history confirms, that the great threat to freedom is the concentration of power. Government is necessary to preserve our freedom, it is an instrument through which we can exercise our freedom; yet by concentrating power in political hands, it is also a threat to freedom. Even though the men who wield this power initially be of good will and even though they be not corrupted by the power they exercise, the power will both attract and form men of a different stamp.


bat8 31 August 2010 at 17:17  

Dato Sak,

1. Puak UMNO ni memang semuanya pengakum JFK Kenedi weh...depa setuju dan faham bebeno tang...." what you can do for the country".

Pasal tu la depa tanpa segan silu melakukan pelbagai rasuah, songlap sana, songlap sini....depa buktikan " what you can do for the country" - balun, plundered the nation wealth cukup-cukup. hahahaha


flyer168 1 September 2010 at 05:06  


"You want to know who you are? Don't ask. Act!
Action will delineate and define you" - Thomas Jefferson

"There is a natural aristocracy among men. The grounds of this are virtue and talents" - Thomas Jefferson

"Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude" - Thomas Jefferson

"Enlighten the people generally, and tyranny and oppressions of body and mind will vanish like evil spirits at the dawn of day" - Thomas Jefferson

"A wise and frugal government, which shall leave men free to regulate their own pursuits of industry and improvement, and shall not take from the mouth of labor the bread it has earned - this is the sum of good government" - Thomas Jefferson

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty" - Thomas Jefferson

"Experience demands that man is the only animal which devours his own kind, for I can apply no milder term to the general prey of the rich on the poor" - Thomas Jefferson

You be the judge.


flyer168 1 September 2010 at 05:19  


Compared to Bolehland's last two PeeM's "Walk with me" & 1Malaysia Rhetorics...NATO!

The power of "JFK's Inaugural Address" has lasted for nearly half a century. ... Given his now-famous "Acceptance Speech" in Chicago,

John F. Kennedy

Inaugural Address delivered 20 January 1961 -

"...We observe today not a victory of party, but a celebration of freedom -- symbolizing an end, as well as a beginning -- signifying renewal, as well as change. For I have sworn before you and Almighty God the same solemn oath our forebears prescribed nearly a century and three-quarters ago.

The world is very different now. For man holds in his mortal hands the power to abolish all forms of human poverty and all forms of human life. And yet the same revolutionary beliefs for which our forebears fought are still at issue around the globe -- the belief that the rights of man come not from the generosity of the state, but from the hand of God.

We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans -- born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage, and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

This much we pledge -- and more....

And so, my fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country.

My fellow citizens of the world, ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.

Finally, whether you are citizens of America or citizens of the world, ask of us here the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own..." Unquote.


Jordan Maxwell on JFK and Abe Lincoln assasinations -

Kennedy was shot on November 22, 1963...
There are strange syncronicities that connect JFKs death and Abraham Lincolns death. Just watch this vid, and it will make you wonder...

John Fitzgerald Kennedy Achievements for America -

You be the judge.


Anonymous,  1 September 2010 at 06:35  

My 15 year old kid suggested that I should apply for some APs.He read about Govt incentive programs to assist BUmis in business..and he reckon that importing cars is quite a glamorous option.

He did some research..checking out car prices in UK & Japan and he calculates that about 200 APs is about enough to set the family up for life.

As we are Bumiputra he thinks we should qualify.

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