„Indeed, the ideal for a well-functioning democratic state is like the ideal for a gentleman's well-cut suit — it is not noticed.“

—  Arthur Koestler, Context: Indeed, the ideal for a well-functioning democratic state is like the ideal for a gentleman's well-cut suit — it is not noticed. For the common people of Britain, Gestapo and concentration camps have approximately the same degree of reality as the monster of Loch Ness. Atrocity propaganda is helpless against this healthy lack of imagination. A Challenge to 'Knights in Rusty Armor, The New York Times, (14 February 1943).
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Arthur Koestler6
1905 - 1983
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„When the goal is to help others as well as oneself, we call that idealism.“

—  Richard Stallman American software freedom activist, short story writer and computer programmer, founder of the GNU project 1953
Context: Every decision a person makes stems from the person's values and goals. People can have many different goals and values; fame, profit, love, survival, fun, and freedom, are just some of the goals that a good person might have. When the goal is to help others as well as oneself, we call that idealism. My work on free software is motivated by an idealistic goal: spreading freedom and cooperation. I want to encourage free software to spread, replacing proprietary software that forbids cooperation, and thus make our society better.

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„The more there is a need to talk about the ideals of democracy, the less democratic the system usually is.“

—  Noam Chomsky american linguist, philosopher and activist 1928
Context: Because they don't teach the truth about the world, schools have to rely on beating students over the head with propaganda about democracy. If schools were, in reality, democratic, there would be no need to bombard students with platitudes about democracy. They would simply act and behave democratically, and we know this does not happen. The more there is a need to talk about the ideals of democracy, the less democratic the system usually is. Chomsky on Miseducation, 1999 http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~rgibson/rouge_forum/newspaper/fall2001/Chomsky.htm.

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„When you see all that rhetorical smoke billowing up from the Democrats, well ladies and gentleman, I'd follow the example of their nominee; don't inhale.“

—  Ronald Reagan American politician, 40th president of the United States (in office from 1981 to 1989) 1911 - 2004
Republican National Convention http://65.126.3.86/reagan/html/reagan08_17_92.shtml (17 August 1992)

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„I have had three personal ideals: One to do the day's work well and not to bother about tomorrow.“

—  William Osler Canadian pathologist, physician, educator, bibliophile, historian, author, cofounder of Johns Hopkins Hospital 1849 - 1919
Context: I have had three personal ideals: One to do the day's work well and not to bother about tomorrow. You may say that is not a satisfactory ideal. It is; and there is not one which the student can carry with him into practice with greater effect. To it more than anything else I owe whatever success I have had — to this power of settling down to the day's work and trying to do it well to the best of my ability, and letting the future take care of itself. The second ideal has been to act the Golden Rule, as far as in me lay, toward my professional brethren and toward the patients committed to my care. And the third has been to cultivate such a measure of equanimity as would enable me to bear success with humility, the affection of my friends without pride, and to be ready when the day of sorrow and grief came, to meet it with the courage befitting a man. What the future has in store for me, I cannot tell — you cannot tell. Nor do I care much, so long as I carry with me, as I shall, the memory of the past you have given me. Nothing can take that away. Remarks at a farewell dinner address in New York (20 May 1905), later published in Aequanimitas, and Other Addresses (1910 edition), p. 473.

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„Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground.“

—  Theodore Roosevelt American politician, 26th president of the United States 1858 - 1919
Context: You need a great many qualities to make a successful man on a nine or an eleven; and just so you need a great many different qualities to make a good citizen. In the first place, of course it is al most tautological to say that to make a good citizen the prime need is to be decent, clean in thought, clean in mind, clean in action; to have an ideal and not to keep that ideal purely for the study to have an ideal which you will in good faith strive to live up to when you are out in life. If you have an ideal only good while you sit at home, an ideal that nobody can live up to in outside life, then I advise you strongly to take that ideal, examine it closely, and then cast it away. It is not a good one. The ideal that it is impossible for a man to strive after in practical life is not the type of ideal that you wish to hold up and follow. Be practical as well as generous in your ideals. Keep your eyes on the stars, but remember to keep your feet on the ground. Be truthful; a lie implies fear, vanity or malevolence; and be frank; furtiveness and insincerity are faults incompatible with true manliness. Be honest, and remember that honesty counts for nothing unless back of it lie courage and efficiency. If in this country we ever have to face a state of things in which on one side stand the men of high ideals who are honest, good, well-meaning, pleasant people, utterly unable to put those ideals into shape in the rough field of practical life, while on the other side are grouped the strong, powerful, efficient men with no ideals: then the end of the Republic will be near. The salvation of the Republic depends the salvation of our whole social system depends upon the production year by year of a sufficient number of citizens who possess high ideals combined with the practical power to realize them in actual life.

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„This women's movement is a great movement of the sexes toward each other, with common ideals as to government, as well as common ideals in domestic life, where fully developed manhood must seek and find its real mate in the mother of his children, as well as the solace of his home.“

—  Rebecca Latimer Felton American politician 1835 - 1930
'Why I Am a Suffragist? Cornerstones of Georgia History, p. 169 http://books.google.com/books?id=0qdkKS2F42MC&pg=PA165&lpg=PA165&dq=rebecca+latimer+felton+why+i+am+a+suffragist&source=bl&ots=B1fM_lWjgv&sig=bOmSGdPp921qKNy3TlmDU3uWaEc#PPA169,M1.

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„Find the ideal in something not ideal.“

—  Robert Denning American interior designer 1927 - 2005
House & Garden (July 1991), p. 120.

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„The Roman Empire was a State in the real sense of the word. To this day it remains the legist's ideal.“

—  Peter Kropotkin Russian zoologist, evolutionary theorist, philosopher, scientist, revolutionary, economist, activist, geographer, writer 1842 - 1921
Context: The Roman Empire was a State in the real sense of the word. To this day it remains the legist's ideal. Its organs covered a vast domain with a tight network. Everything gravitated towards Rome: economic and military life, wealth, education, nay, even religion. From Rome came the laws, the magistrates, the legions to defend the territory, the prefects and the gods, The whole life of the Empire went back to the Senate — later to the Caesar, the all powerful, omniscient, god of the Empire. Every province, every district had its Capitol in miniature, its small portion of Roman sovereignty to govern every aspect of daily life. A single law, that imposed by Rome, dominated that Empire which did not represent a confederation of fellow citizens but was simply a herd of subjects. Even now, the legist and the authoritarian still admire the unity of that Empire, the unitarian spirit of its laws and, as they put it, the beauty and harmony of that organization. But the disintegration from within, hastened by the barbarian invasion; the extinction of local life, which could no longer resist the attacks from outside on the one hand nor the canker spreading from the centre on the other; the domination by the rich who had appropriated the land to themselves and the misery of those who cultivated it — all these causes reduced the Empire to a shambles, and on these ruins a new civilization developed which is now ours. I

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