The gentlemen who wrote the Constitution were as suspicious of efficient government as they were wary of democracy, a turbulence and a folly that was associated with the unruly ignorance of an urban mob.
Unlike any other business in the United States, sports must preserve an illusion of perfect innocence.
The state of perpetual emptiness is, of course, very good for business.
Seeking the invisible through the imagery of the visible, the Americans never can get quite all the way to the end of the American dream.
At this late stage in the history of American capitalism I'm not sure I know how much testimony still needs to be presented to establish the relation between profit and theft.
We need not seek our own best selves, and in the meantime we inoculate ourselves against the viruses of age and idealism, which, as the advertising agencies well know, depress sales and sour the feasts of consumption.
Nobody wants to say, at least not for publication, that we live in a society that cares as much about the humanities as it cares about the color of the rain in Tashkent.
Leadership consists not in degrees of technique but in traits of character; it requires moral rather than athletic or intellectual effort, and it imposes on both leader and follower alike the burdens of self-restraint.
But the line of thought that I'd been chasing for several days was implicit in the ruins of the old Roman Empire, which gradually destroyed itself by substituting the faith in a legion of miraculous words for the strength of armies and the weight of walls.
Most American cities shop to their best advantage when seen from a height or from a distance, at a point where the ugliness of the buildings dissolves into the beauty of an abstraction.
Well aware of both the continuity and contingency of human affairs, Adams and Madison searched the works of Tacitus and Voltaire and Locke like carpenters rummaging through their assortment of tools, knowing that all the pediments were jury-rigged, all the provisional, all the alliances temporary.
But I had forgotten about the seven bowls of God's wrath stored in the minds of some of the unhappier prophets on the reactionary right,...
The pose of innocence is as mandatory as the ability to eat banquet food and endure the scourging of the press.
The playing field is more sacred than the stock exchange, more blessed than Capital Hill or the vaults of Fort Knox. The diamond and the gridiron - and, to a lesser degree, the court, the rink, the track, and the ring - embody the American dream of Eden.
By the word liberty they meant liberty for property, not liberty for persons.