Connexions Quotations

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I always have a quotation for everything – it saves original thinking.
- Dorothy Sayers


I believe that when I die I shall rot, and nothing of my ego will survive. I am not young and I love life. But I should scorn to shiver with terror at the thought of annihilation. Happiness is nonetheless true happiness because it must come to an end, nor do thought and love lose their value because they are not everlasting.
- Bertrand Russell


I can resist everything except temptation.
- Oscar Wilde


I can understand pessimism, but I don’t believe in it. It’s not simply a matter of faith, but of historical evidence. Not overwhelming evidence, just enough to give hope, because for hope we don’t need certainty, only possibility.
- Howard Zinn


I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.
- Abraham Lincoln


I have learned over the years that when one’s mind is made up, this diminishes fear; knowing what must be done does away with fear.
- Rosa Parks


I have learnt silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.
- Kahlil Gibran
  The Prophet


I have learned silence from the talkative, toleration from the intolerant, and kindness from the unkind; yet strange, I am ungrateful to these teachers.
- Kahlil Gibran
  The Prophet


I like to have my news from different sources; How else find out the truth?
- Alexander Pushkin
  (from Boris Godonov)


I might seem to have a number of divergent interests – community planning, psychotherapy, education, politics – but they are all one concern: how to make it possible to grow up as a human being into a culture without losing nature. I simply refuse to acknowledge that a sensible and honorable community does not exist.
- Paul Goodman


I never met a picket line I didn’t like.
- Studs Terkel


I think we ought always to entertain our opinions with some measure of doubt. I shouldn’t wish people dogmatically to believe any philosophy, not even mine.
- Bertrand Russell


I want to praise activists through the years. I praise those of the past as well, to have them honored.
- Studs Terkel


The ideas of the ruling class are in every epoch the ruling ideas, i.e. the class which is the ruling material force of society, is at the same time its ruling intellectual force. The class which has the means of material production at its disposal, has control at the same time over the means of mental production, so that thereby, generally speaking, the ideas of those who lack the means of mental production are subject to it. The ruling ideas are nothing more than the ideal expression of the dominant material relationships, the dominant material relationships grasped as ideas.
- KarlMarx
  The German Ideology


If all nations would suddenly claim territories in which their forefathers lived two thousands years ago, this world would be a madhouse.
Erich Fromm


If it is plausible that ideology will in general serve as a mask for self-interest, then it is a natural presumption that intellectuals, in interpreting history or formulating policy, will tend to adopt an elitist position, condemning popular movements and mass participation in decision-making, and emphasizing rather the necessity for supervision by those who possess the knowledge and understanding that is required (so they claim) to manage society and control social change.
- Noam Chomsky


If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear.
George Orwell


If someone tells you he is going to make ‘a realistic decision,’ you immediately understand that he has resolved to do something bad.
Mary McCarthy


If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to treat everything as if it were a nail.
- Abraham Maslow


If the world was perfect, it wouldn’t be.
- Yogi Berra


If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don’t have to worry about answers.
- Thomas Pynchon
  Proverbs for Paranoids


If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; but if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.
- Abraham Lincoln


If those in charge of our society – politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television - can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves.
- Howard Zinn


If unions aren’t needed anymore, why do corporations spend billions to destroy them?


If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.
- Noam Chomksy


If we want things to stay as they are, they will have to change.
- Giuseppe di Lampedusa


If you board the wrong train, it is no use running along the corridor in the other direction.
- Dietrich Bonhoeffer


If you can control a people’s economy, you don’t need to worry about its politics; its politics have become irrelevant. If you control people’s choices as to whether or not they will work, and where they will work, and what they will do, and how well they will do it, and what they will eat and wear, and the genetic makeup of their crops and animals, and what they will do for amusement, then why should you worry about freedom of speech? In a totalitarian economy, any “political liberties” that the people might retain would simply cease to matter. If, as is often the case already, nobody can be elected who is not wealthy, and if nobody can be wealthy without dependence on the corporate economy, then what is your vote worth?
- Wendell Berry


If you can understand that your struggle is also somebody else’s struggle, or that your different concerns and problems are part of the same struggle, the potential is created for a stronger more effective movement. The working class movement has slogan: ‘An injustice to one is an injustice to all.’ If that is your approach you understand that solidarity, co-operation, mutual support, whatever you want to call it, is at one and the same time a duty to your fellow human beings and an act of rational self-interest.
- Ulli Diemer


If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.
- Albert Einstein


If you come to a fork in the road, take it.
- Yogi Berra


If you do not expect it, you will not find out the unexpected, for it is trackless and unexplored.
- Heraclitus


If you don’t know where you are going, you will wind up somewhere else.
- Yogi Berra


If you expect to see the final results of your work you have not asked a big enough question.
- I.F. Stone


If you fall in love with a machine there is something wrong with your love life. If you worship a machine there is something wrong with your religion.
- Lewis Mumford


If you want to privatize something and destroy it, a standard method is first to defund it, so it doesn’t work anymore, people get upset and accept privatization. This is happening in the schools. They are defunded, so they don’t work well. So people accept a form of privatization just to get out of the mess.
- Noam Chomsky


If you want truly to understand something, try to change it.
- Kurt Lewin


I’m called an oral historian, which is something of a joke. Oral history was here long before the pen, long before Gutenberg and the printing press. The difference is I have a tape recorder in my hand.
- Studs Terkel


In a higher phase of communist society ... only then can the narrow horizon of bourgeois right be crossed in its entirety and society inscribe on its banners: From each according to his ability, to each according to his needs!
- Karl Marx


In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.
- George Orwell


In democratic countries, the most important private organizations are economic. Unlike secret societies, they are able to exercise their terrorism without illegality, since they do not threaten to kill their enemies, but only to starve them.
- Bertrand Russell


In every stockjobbing swindle every one knows that some time or other the crash must come, but every one hopes that it may fall on the head of his neighbour, after he himself has caught the shower of gold and placed it in safety. Après moi le déluge! is the watchword of every capitalist and of every capitalist nation. Hence Capital is reckless of the health or length of life of the labourer, unless under compulsion from society.
- Karl Marx
  Capital, Volume I, Chapter 10


In everyone’s life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit.
Albert Schweitzer


In order to attain the impossible, one must attempt the absurd.
- Miguel de Cervantes


In place of the old bourgeois society, with its classes and class antagonisms, we shall have an association in which the free development of each is the condition for the free development of all.
- Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels
  The Communist Manifesto


In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.


In the real world it is rarely possible to draw political boundaries that correspond with nationality. Nearly every nation-state and aspiring nation-state contains its own national minorities with conflicting nationalist claims on the same territory. These national groups are usually intermingled and intermarried, sharing the same physical territory, the same cities and towns, the same streets, the same bedrooms... As a result ‘self-determination’ for the majority frequently amounts to denying minorities their ‘right to self-determination’.
- Ulli Diemer


In this country too, policy is insulated from politics. People can have their opinions; they can even vote if they like. But the policy goes on its merry way, determined by other forces. What the public wants is called ‘politically unrealistic.’ Translated into English, that means the major centers of power and privilege are opposed to it.
- Noam Chomsky


The issue that is not clear to organizers, missionaries, educators, or any outsider, is simply that if people feel they don’t have the power to change a bad situation,
then they do not think about it. Why start figuring out how you are going to spend a million dollars if you do not have a million dollars or are ever going to have a million dollars – unless you want to engage in fantasy? Once people are organized so that they have the power to make changes, then, when confronted with questions of change, they begin to think and to ask questions about how to make the changes.
- Saul Alinsky


It has always seemed strange to me. The things we admire in men – kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling – are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest are the traits of success.
- John Steinbeck


It is an easy thing for one whose foot is on the outside of calamity to give advice and to rebuke the sufferer.
- Aeschylus


It is better to die on your feet than to live on your knees.
- Emiliano Zapata
It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends on his not understanding it.
- Upton Sinclair


It is easy to be brave from a safe distance.
- Aesop


It is easy to be brave from a safe distance.
- Aesop


It is contrary to history to represent work for reforms as a long-drawn out revolution and revolution as a condensed series of reforms. A social transformation and a legislative reform do not differ according to their duration but according to their content... people who pronounce themselves in favour of the method of legislative reform in place of and in contradistinction to the conquest of political power and social revolution, do not really choose a more tranquil, calmer and slower road to the same goal, but a different goal. Instead of taking a stand for the establishment of a new society they take a stand for surface modifications of the old society. If we follow the political conceptions of revisionism, we arrive at the same conclusion that is reached when we follow the economic theories of revisionism. Our program becomes not the realisation of socialism, but the reform of capitalism.
- Rosa Luxemburg


It is not enough to think, one also has to breathe. Dangerous are the thinkers who have not breathed enough.
- Elias Canetti


It is part of the mechanism of domination to forbid recognition of the suffering it produces.
- Theodor Adorno


It is the duty of the press to come forward on behalf of the oppressed... the first duty of the press now is to undermine all the foundations of the existing political state of affairs.
- Karl Marx


It makes sense to keep a realistic grasp of the factors that limit and distort the media product, while at the same time recognizing the many opportunities the media offer to introduce new perspectives and understanding. Many fine journalists, commentators, and activists have shown how much can be achieved with dedication and commitment.
- Noam Chomsky


It may be true that the law cannot make a man love me, but it can keep him from lynching me, and I think that’s pretty important.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.


It seldom happens that any felicity comes so pure as not to be tempered and allayed by some mixture of sorrow.
- Miguel de Cervantes


It’s not enough to hold opinions like property. It’s not enough just to listen to opinions, as though the world were an all-night, call-in radio program. A true absence of censorship includes the right to make up our own minds, to change our minds, to act carefully on the basis of our judgment. All this takes time. It means putting up with a lot of nonsense, some of it dangerous nonsense, but refuted dangerous nonsense is less perilous than tolerantly ignored dangerous nonsense. And all this is inefficient. It makes taking other people seriously and expecting to be taken seriously in our turn. And all this might be too much to expect, given our system of censoring incoming information, ideas, and language.
- J. Kates


“I’ve noticed,” said Mr. Keuner, “that a lot of people are put off by our teaching because we know the answer to everything. Couldn’t we, in the interests of propaganda, draw up a list of questions which appear to us quite unresolved?”
- Bertholt Brecht
  Anecdotes of Mr. Keuner


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