„But you know as well as I, patriotism is a word; and one that generally comes to mean either, which is infamous, or, which is imbecile.“

—  Patrick O'Brian, livro Master and Commander, Context: “But you know as well as I, patriotism is a word; and one that generally comes to mean either my country, right or wrong, which is infamous, or my country is always right, which is imbecile.” Master and Commander (1970)
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Patrick O'Brian
1914 - 2000
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„You know, I found out recently that the word "heretic" comes from the Greek word "airetikós", meaning "able to choose" — which pretty much says it all, don't you think?“

—  Pat Condell Stand-up comedian, writer, and Internet personality 1949
2009, "The arrogance of clergy" (2 October 2009) http://youtube.com/watch?v=STlYN5KCiWg&feature=sub

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„As many of you know, I come from San Francisco. We don't have a lot of farms there. Well, we do have one—it's a mushroom farm, so you know what that means.“

—  Nancy Pelosi American politician, first female Speaker of the House of Representatives, born 1940 1940
2000s, To The Agribusiness Club of Washington (July 24, 2006)

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„Three generations of imbeciles are enough.“

—  Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. United States Supreme Court justice 1841 - 1935
1920s, Context: We have seen more than once that the public welfare may call upon the best citizens for their lives. It would be strange if it could not call upon those who already sap the strength of the State for these lesser sacrifices, often not felt to be such by those concerned, in order to prevent our being swamped with incompetence. It is better for all the world, if instead of waiting to execute degenerate offspring for crime, or to let them starve for their imbecility, society can prevent those who are manifestly unfit from continuing their kind.... Three generations of imbeciles are enough. U.S. Supreme Court rationale for sterilizing the "unfit." Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200, 207 (1927) (endorsing Virginia's eugenics program).

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„The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable". The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another.“

—  George Orwell, livro Politics and the English Language
"Politics and the English Language" (1946), Context: The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies "something not desirable". The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of regime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. Statements like Marshal Petain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality.

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„There is, in the institutions of this country, one principle, which, had they no other excellence, would secure to them the preference over those of all other countries. I mean — and some devout patriots will start — I mean the principle of change.“

—  Frances Wright American activist 1795 - 1852
Independence Day speech (1828), Context: There is, in the institutions of this country, one principle, which, had they no other excellence, would secure to them the preference over those of all other countries. I mean — and some devout patriots will start — I mean the principle of change. I have used a word to which is attached an obnoxious meaning. Speak of change, and the world is in alarm. And yet where do we not see change? What is there in the physical world but change? And what would there be in the moral world without change?

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„The cult of the masterpieces of art and thought is the only impulse of the soul which, by general consent, has always soared above patriotic littlenesses.“

—  Henri Barbusse French novelist 1873 - 1935
Light (1919), Ch. XX The Cult, Context: If, from the idea of motherland, you take away covetousness, hatred, envy and vainglory; if you take away from it the desire for predominance by violence, what is there left of it? It is not an individual unity of laws; for just laws have no colors. It is not a solidarity of interests, for there are no material national interests — or they are not honest. It is not a unity of race; for the map of the countries is not the map of the races. What is there left? There is left a restricted communion, deep and delightful; the affectionate and affecting attraction in the charm of a language — there is hardly more in the universe besides its languages which are foreigners — there is left a personal and delicate preference for certain forms of landscape, of monuments, of talent. And even this radiance has its limits. The cult of the masterpieces of art and thought is the only impulse of the soul which, by general consent, has always soared above patriotic littlenesses.

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„The Letheri are masters at corrupting words, their meanings. They call war peace, they call tyranny liberty. On which side of the shadow you stand decides a word's meaning.“

—  Steven Erikson, livro Reaper's Gale
Reaper's Gale (2007), Context: For Hood's sake,' the foreigner muttered. 'What's wrong with words?' 'With words,' said Redmask, turning away, 'meanings change.' 'Well,' Anaster Toc said, following as Redmask made his way back to his army's camp, 'that is precisely the point. That's their value — their ability to adapt -' 'Grow corrupt, you mean. The Letheri are masters at corrupting words, their meanings. They call war peace, they call tyranny liberty. On which side of the shadow you stand decides a word's meaning. Words are the weapons used by those who see others with contempt. A contempt which only deepens when they see how those others are deceived and made into fools because they choose to believe. Because in their naivety they thought the meaning of a word was fixed, immune to abuse.

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