„All those whom history calls great
Left only empty names for us to venerate.“
问古来将相可还存,也只是虚名儿与后人钦敬。

—  Cao Xueqin, Chapter 5
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Cao Xueqin
1724 - 1763
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„When speaking of the new testament that you should read all the histories of Christ, as well of those whom a council of ecclesiastics have decided for us to be Pseudo-evangelists, as those they named Evangelists.“

—  Thomas Jefferson 3rd President of the United States of America 1743 - 1826
Context: When speaking of the new testament that you should read all the histories of Christ, as well of those whom a council of ecclesiastics have decided for us to be Pseudo-evangelists, as those they named Evangelists. Because these Pseudo-evangelists pretended to inspiration as much as the others, and you are to judge their pretensions by your own reason, & not by the reason of those ecclesiastics. Most of these are lost. There are some however still extant, collected by Fabricius which I will endeavor to get & send you.

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„The wall belongs to history. But we have history to make as well. And the heroes that came before us now call to us to live up to those highest ideals“

—  Barack Obama 44th President of the United States of America 1961
Context: The wall belongs to history. But we have history to make as well. And the heroes that came before us now call to us to live up to those highest ideals -- to care for the young people who can't find a job in our own countries, and the girls who aren't allowed to go to school overseas; to be vigilant in safeguarding our own freedoms, but also to extend a hand to those who are reaching for freedom abroad. This is the lesson of the ages. This is the spirit of Berlin. And the greatest tribute that we can pay to those who came before us is by carrying on their work to pursue peace and justice not only in our countries but for all mankind.

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G. K. Chesterton photo

„The last hundred years has seen a general decline in the democratic idea. If there be anybody left to whom this historical truth appears a paradox, it is only because during that period nobody has been taught history, least of all the history of ideas.“

—  G. K. Chesterton English mystery novelist and Christian apologist 1874 - 1936
Context: The last hundred years has seen a general decline in the democratic idea. If there be anybody left to whom this historical truth appears a paradox, it is only because during that period nobody has been taught history, least of all the history of ideas. If a sort of intellectual inquisition had been established, for the definition and differentiation of heresies, it would have been found that the original republican orthodoxy had suffered more and more from secessions, schisms, and backslidings. The highest point of democratic idealism and conviction was towards the end of the eighteenth century, when the American Republic was 'dedicated to the proposition that all men are equal.' It was then that the largest number of men had the most serious sort of conviction that the political problem could be solved by the vote of peoples instead of the arbitrary power of princes and privileged orders. "The Future of Democracy" http://www.online-literature.com/chesterton/what-i-saw-in-america/19/

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„Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of all those acts will be written the history of this generation.“

—  Robert F. Kennedy American politician and brother of John F. Kennedy 1925 - 1968
Day of Affirmation, address delivered at the University of Cape Town, South Africa (June 6, 1966); reported in the Congressional Record (June 6, 1966), vol. 112, p. 12430

Lyndon B. Johnson photo

„This was the first nation in the history of the world to be founded with a purpose. The great phrases of that purpose still sound in every American heart, North and South: "All men are created equal" — "government by consent of the governed" — "give me liberty or give me death." Well, those are not just clever words, or those are not just empty theories.“

—  Lyndon B. Johnson American politician, 36th president of the United States (in office from 1963 to 1969) 1908 - 1973
Context: This was the first nation in the history of the world to be founded with a purpose. The great phrases of that purpose still sound in every American heart, North and South: "All men are created equal" — "government by consent of the governed" — "give me liberty or give me death." Well, those are not just clever words, or those are not just empty theories. In their name Americans have fought and died for two centuries, and tonight around the world they stand there as guardians of our liberty, risking their lives. Those words are a promise to every citizen that he shall share in the dignity of man. This dignity cannot be found in a man's possessions; it cannot be found in his power, or in his position. It really rests on his right to be treated as a man equal in opportunity to all others. It says that he shall share in freedom, he shall choose his leaders, educate his children, and provide for his family according to his ability and his merits as a human being.

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„Leonardo is the Hamlet of art history whom each of us must recreate for himself.“

—  Kenneth Clark Art historian, broadcaster and museum director 1903 - 1983
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„The history of anarchism is a history of unparalleled defeat and martyrdom, yet anarchists venerate their victimized forebears with a morbid devotion which occasions suspicion that the anarchists, like everybody else, think that the only good anarchist is a dead one.“

—  Bob Black American anarchist 1951
Context: The history of anarchism is a history of unparalleled defeat and martyrdom, yet anarchists venerate their victimized forebears with a morbid devotion which occasions suspicion that the anarchists, like everybody else, think that the only good anarchist is a dead one. Revolution — defeated revolution — is glorious, but it belongs in books and pamphlets. In this century — Spain in 1936 and France in 1968 are especially clear cases — the revolutionary upsurge caught the official, organized anarchists flat-footed and initially non-supportive or worse. The reason is not far to seek. It's not that all these ideologues were hypocrites (some were). Rather, they had worked out a daily routine of anarchist militancy, one they unconsciously counted on to endure indefinitely since revolution isn't really imaginable in the here-and-now, and they reacted with fear and defensiveness when events outdistanced their rhetoric. In other words, given a choice between anarchism and anarchy, most anarchists would go for the anarchism ideology and subculture rather than take a dangerous leap into the unknown, into a world of stateless liberty.

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