„People with no morals often considered themselves more free, but mostly they lacked the ability to feel hate or love.“

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Charles Bukowski150
1920 - 1994
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„And if people lose their ability to feed themselves, how can they be said to be free?“

—  Wendell Berry author 1934
Context: The issue here really is not whether international trade shall be free but whether or not it makes any sense for a country — or, for that matter, a region — to destroy its own capacity to produce its own food. How can a government, entrusted with the safety and health of its people, conscientiously barter away in the name of an economic idea that people’s ability to feed itself? And if people lose their ability to feed themselves, how can they be said to be free? "A Bad Big Idea".

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„I also suspect that what purports to be public opinion in most countries that consider themselves to have popular government is often not really the consensus of the feelings of the mass of the people at all, but rather the expression of the interests of special highly vocal minorities — politicians, commentators, and publicity-seekers of all sorts: people who live by their ability to draw attention to themselves and die, like fish out of water, if they are compelled to remain silent.“

—  George F. Kennan American advisor, diplomat, political scientist and historian 1904 - 2005
Context: There are certain sad appreciations we have to come to about human nature on the basis of these recent wars. One of them is that suffering does not always make men better. Another is that people are not always more reasonable than governments; that public opinion, or what passes for public opinion, is not invariably a moderating force in the jungle of politics. It may be true, and I suspect it is, that the mass of people everywhere are normally peace-loving and would accept many restraints and sacrifices in preference to the monstrous calamities of war. But I also suspect that what purports to be public opinion in most countries that consider themselves to have popular government is often not really the consensus of the feelings of the mass of the people at all, but rather the expression of the interests of special highly vocal minorities — politicians, commentators, and publicity-seekers of all sorts: people who live by their ability to draw attention to themselves and die, like fish out of water, if they are compelled to remain silent. These people take refuge in the pat and chauvinistic slogans because they are incapable of understanding any others, because these slogans are safer from the standpoint of short-term gain, because the truth is sometimes a poor competitor in the market place of ideas — complicated, unsatisfying, full of dilemma, always vulnerable to misinterpretation and abuse. The counsels of impatience and hatred can always be supported by the crudest and cheapest symbols; for the counsels of moderation, the reasons are often intricate, rather than emotional, and difficult to explain. And so the chauvinists of all times and places go their appointed way: plucking the easy fruits, reaping the little triumphs of the day at the expense of someone else tomorrow, deluging in noise and filth anyone who gets in their way, dancing their reckless dance on the prospects for human progress, drawing the shadow of a great doubt over the validity of democratic institutions. And until people learn to spot the fanning of mass emotions and the sowing of bitterness, suspicion, and intolerance as crimes in themselves — as perhaps the greatest disservice that can be done to the cause of popular government — this sort of thing will continue to occur.

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„The soul that is from mundane error free
More deeply feels as happier it grows,
And loves the more, the more it understands.“

—  Giusto de' Conti Italian poet 1390 - 1449
La Bella Mano (Ed. Vinegia, 1531), p. 19. Translation reported in Harbottle's Dictionary of quotations French and Italian (1904), p. 330.

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„When there is a lack of honor in government, the morals of the whole people are poisoned.“

—  Herbert Hoover 31st President of the United States of America 1874 - 1964
Quoted in the New York Times (9 August 1964)

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„There are some who lack confidence in the integrity and capacity of the people to govern themselves.“

—  Andrew Johnson American politician, 17th president of the United States (in office from 1865 to 1869) 1808 - 1875
Context: There are some who lack confidence in the integrity and capacity of the people to govern themselves. To all who entertain such fears I will most respectfully say that I entertain none... If a man is not capable, and is not to be trusted with the government of himself, is he to be trusted with the government of others... Who, then, will govern? The answer must be, Man — for we have no angels in the shape of men, as yet, who are willing to take charge of our political affairs. Statement (1853) as quoted in Andrew Johnson, Plebeian and Patriot (1928) by Robert Watson Winston.

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