„Ridicule is man's most potent weapon.“

—  Saul Alinsky, p. 128
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Saul Alinsky1
1909 - 1972
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Steve Biko photo

„The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.“

—  Steve Biko anti-apartheid activist in South Africa 1946 - 1977
White Racism and Black Consciousness

Maria Montessori photo

„Of all things love is the most potent.“

—  Maria Montessori Italian pedagogue, philosopher and physician 1870 - 1952

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Miguel de Unamuno photo

„Don Quixote made himself ridiculous; but did he know the most tragic ridicule of all, the inward ridicule, the ridiculousness of a man's self to himself, in the eyes of his own soul?“

—  Miguel de Unamuno 19th-20th century Spanish writer and philosopher 1864 - 1936
Context: Don Quixote made himself ridiculous; but did he know the most tragic ridicule of all, the inward ridicule, the ridiculousness of a man's self to himself, in the eyes of his own soul? Imagine Don Quixote's battlefield to be his own soul; imagine him to be fighting in his soul to save the Middle Ages from the Renaissance, to preserve the treasure of his infancy; imagine him an inward Don Quixote, with a Sancho at his side, inward and heroic too — and tell me if you find anything comic in the tragedy.

Steve Biko photo

„The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.
So as a prelude whites must be made to realise that they are only human, not superior. Same with Blacks. They must be made to realise that they are also human, not inferior.“

—  Steve Biko anti-apartheid activist in South Africa 1946 - 1977
Context: Even today, we are still accused of racism. This is a mistake. We know that all interracial groups in South Africa are relationships in which whites are superior, blacks inferior. So as a prelude whites must be made to realize that they are only human, not superior. Same with blacks. They must be made to realize that they are also human, not inferior. Statement quoted in the Boston Globe (25 October 1977)

Thomas Jefferson photo

„Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions.“

—  Thomas Jefferson 3rd President of the United States of America 1743 - 1826
Context: Ridicule is the only weapon which can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus. Letter to Francis Adrian Van der Kemp (30 July 1816), denouncing the doctrine of the Trinity.

„Nothing seems to me the most potent thing in the world.“

—  Robert Barry American artist 1936
Robert Barry, cited in: Lucy R. Lippard, Six Years: The Dematerialization of the Art Object from 1966 to 1972. New York, Praeger, 1973, p. 40.

 Vitruvius photo

„At Halicarnassus, the house of that most potent king Mausolus“

—  Vitruvius Roman writer, architect and engineer -80 - -15 a.C.
Context: At Halicarnassus, the house of that most potent king Mausolus, though decorated throughout with Proconnesian marble, has walls built of brick which are to this day of extraordinary strength, and are covered with stucco so highly polished that they seem to be as glistening as glass. That king did not use brick from poverty; for he was choke-full of revenues, being ruler of all Caria. Chapter VIII, Sec. 10

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Isaac Asimov photo

„Properly read, it is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.“

—  Isaac Asimov American writer and professor of biochemistry at Boston University, known for his works of science fiction and popular … 1920 - 1992
Context: If you suspect that my interest in the Bible is going to inspire me with sudden enthusiasm for Judaism and make me a convert of mountain‐moving fervor and that I shall suddenly grow long earlocks and learn Hebrew and go about denouncing the heathen — you little know the effect of the Bible on me. Properly read, it is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived. As quoted in Notes for a Memoir : On Isaac Asimov, Life, and Writing (2006) by Janet Jeppson Asimov, p. 58

Thomas Chandler Haliburton photo

„Nicknames stick to people, and the most ridiculous are the most adhesive.“

—  Thomas Chandler Haliburton Canadian-British politician, judge, and author 1796 - 1865
Wise-saws : or, Sam Slick in Search of a Wife (1856), p. 179.

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„And leaving the most powerful of weapons — thought and its expression — which move the world, each man employs the weapon of social activity, not noticing that every social activity is based on the very foundations against which he is bound to fight“

—  Leo Tolstoy Russian writer 1828 - 1910
Context: One free man will say with truth what he thinks and feels amongst thousands of men who by their acts and words attest exactly the opposite. It would seem that he who sincerely expressed his thought must remain alone, whereas it generally happens that every one else, or the majority at least, have been thinking and feeling the same things but without expressing them. And that which yesterday was the novel opinion of one man, to-day becomes the general opinion of the majority. And as soon as this opinion is established, immediately by imperceptible degrees, but beyond power of frustration, the conduct of mankind begins to alter. Whereas at present, every man, even, if free, asks himself, "What can I do alone against all this ocean of evil and deceit which overwhelms us? Why should I express my opinion? Why indeed possess one? It is better not to reflect on these misty and involved questions. Perhaps these contradictions are an inevitable condition of our existence. And why should I struggle alone with all the evil in the world? Is it not better to go with the stream which carries me along? If anything can be done, it must be done not alone but in company with others." And leaving the most powerful of weapons — thought and its expression — which move the world, each man employs the weapon of social activity, not noticing that every social activity is based on the very foundations against which he is bound to fight, and that upon entering the social activity which exists in our world every man is obliged, if only in part, to deviate from the truth and to make concessions which destroy the force of the powerful weapon which should assist him in the struggle. It is as if a man, who was given a blade so marvelously keen that it would sever anything, should use its edge for driving in nails. We all complain of the senseless order of life, which is at variance with our being, and yet we refuse to use the unique and powerful weapon within our hands — the consciousness of truth and its expression; but on the contrary, under the pretext of struggling with evil, we destroy the weapon, and sacrifice it to the exigencies of an imaginary conflict'. Ch. 17

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Samuel Gompers photo

„The trade union movement represents the organized economic power of the workers... It is in reality the most potent and the most direct social insurance the workers can establish.“

—  Samuel Gompers American Labor Leader[AFL] 1850 - 1924
Samuel Gompers, " Not Even Compulsory Benevolence Will Do http://books.google.com/books?id=3LVLAAAAYAAJ&dq=in%20reality%20the%20most%20potent%20and%20the%20most%20direct%20social%20insurance&pg=PA47#v=onepage&q=in%20reality%20the%20most%20potent%20and%20the%20most%20direct%20social%20insurance&f=false." The American Federationist. January 1917, p. 47.