Thursday, March 22, 2007

Perspectives on Ideas. March 22, 2007

64 If men had to earn [the right to vote] by some reasonably useful service to society, it would be much greater esteemed than it is now, and exercising it in a reckless or selfish way would become more or less shameful. Mencken, Minority Report.

1116 The majority of the people of that time paid no attention to the broad trend of the nation’s affairs, and were only influenced by their private concerns. Tolstoi, War and Peace

Civil Rights
873 MLK: “’Wait’ has always meant ‘Never.’” Schlesinger, A Thousand Days

531 Simple justice requires this program, he [Kennedy] would tell the Congress in concluding his Civil Rights message of June 19, 1963, “not merely for reasons of economic efficiency, world diplomacy and domestic tranquility—but, above all, because it is right.” Sorenson, Kennedy

Civil War
23 The men who fought for self-determination at Gettysburg were not the federals but the Confederates. Mencken, Minority Report.

277 JFK: ...civility is not a sign of weakness. Sorenson, Kennedy

89 [Civilization] a matter of imponderables, of delight in the things of the mind, of love of beauty, of honor, grace, courtesy, delicate feeling. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

113 “Here where there are only bones asleep in their million-year long rotting, where the events of the Pliocene seem more real than those of civilization--that overnight fungus….” Christianson, Fox at the Wood’s Edge: Loren Eiseley

354 Merlyn: What I meant by civilization when I invented it, was simply that people ought not to take advantage of weakness…. T. H. White, The Once and Future King.

3 certain epochs man has felt conscious of something about himself--body and spirit--which was outside the day-to-day struggle for existence and the night-to-night struggle with fear; and he has felt the need to develop these qualities of thought and feeling so that they might approach as nearly as possible to the ideal of perfection--reason, justice, physical beauty, all of them in equilibrium. Clark, Civilization.

3 ...however complex and solid [civilization] seems, it is actually quite fragile [and] can be destroyed. Clark, Civilization.

136 Sometimes of late years I find myself thinking the most beautiful sight in the world might be the birds taking over New York after the last man has run away to the hills. [civilization] Eiseley, The Immense Journey

315 Delacroix valued civilization all the more because he knew that it was fragile…. Clark, Civilization.

3 [Enemies of civilization]: Fear--fear of war, fear of invasion, fear of plague and famine, that makes it simply not worthwhile constructing things, or planting trees or even planning next year’s crops. Clark, Civilization.

4 ...[civilization] requires confidence--confidence in the society in which one lives, belief in its philosophy, belief in its laws, and confidence in one’s own mental powers. Clark, Civilization.

4 Vigor, energy, vitality: all the great civilizations...have had a weight of energy behind them. Clark, Civilization.

4 So if one asks why the civilization of Greece and Rome collapsed, the real answer was that it was exhausted. Clark, Civilization.

14 Civilization means something more than energy and will and creative power...a sense of permanence. Clark, Civilization.

18 All great civilizations, in their early stages, are based on success in war. Clark, Civilization.

163 …the first requisites of civilization are intellectual energy, freedom of mind, a sense of beauty and a craving for immortality…. Clark, Civilization.

167 [According to the Protestant critics of Catholicism]…no society based on obedience, repression and superstition can be really civilized. Clark, Civilization.

204 If, as I suppose, sympathy with all sorts and conditions of men and tolerance of human diversity can be an attribute of civilized life. Clark, Civilization.

212 All the greatest exponents of civilization, from Dante to Goethe, have been obsessed by light. Clark, Civilization.

251 I think it absolutely essential to civilization that the male and female principles be kept in balance. Clark, Civilization.

290 The periods in which men can work together happily inspired by a single aim last only a short time—it’s one of the tragedies of civilization. Clark, Civilization.

320 Balzac, with his prodigious understanding of human motives, scorns conventional values, defies fashionable opinion, as Beethoven did, and should inspire us to defy all those forces that threaten to impair our humanity: lies, tanks, tear-gas, ideologies, opinion polls, mechanization, planners, computers—the whole lot. Clark, Civilization.

346 I believe that order is better than chaos, creation better than destruction. Clark, Civilization.

347 I prefer gentleness to violence, forgiveness to vendetta. Clark, Civilization.

347 On the whole I think that knowledge is preferable to ignorance, and I am sure that human sympathy is more valuable than ideology. Clark, Civilization.

347 I believe that in spite of the recent triumphs of science, men haven’t changed much in the last two thousand years; and in consequence we must still try to learn from history [which is] ourselves. Clark, Civilization.

347 …I believe in courtesy, the ritual by which we avoid hurting other people’s feelings by satisfying our own egos. Clark, Civilization.

347 …I think we should remember that we are part of a great whole, which for convenience we call nature [and that] all living things are our brothers and sisters. Clark, Civilization.

347 Above all, I believe in the God-given genius of certain individuals, and I value a society that makes their existence possible. Clark, Civilization.

347 …it is lack of confidence, more than anything else, that kills a civilization[;] we can destroy ourselves by cynicism and disillusion, just as effectively as by bombs. Clark, Civilization.

3 …Rousseau…argued that nature is good, and civilization bad; that by nature all men are equal, becoming unequal only by class-made institutions; and that law is an invention of the strong to chain and rule the weak. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Plato.

284 Kant: …nations will not really be civilized until all standing armies are abolished. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

284 Kant: If we compare the barbarian instances of inhospitality…with the inhuman behavior of the civilized…and the injustice practiced by them even in their first contact with foreign lands and people fills with horror…America, the Negro lands…the Spice Islands, the Cape of Good Hope, etc., on being discovered, were treated as countries that belonged to nobody; for the aboriginal inhabitants were reckoned as nothing…and all this has been done by nations who make a great ado about their piety…. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Kant.

21 No one really cares what the private morals of the other fellow may be, but there must be some confidence that he will react in ordinary situations according to the familiar patterns and without too much aberration. Mencken, Minority Report.

145 ...fifth-century Greece and twelfth-century Chartres and early fifteenth-century Florence got on very well without [printing] and who shall say that they were less civilized than we are. Clark, Civilization.

323 I have tried throughout this series to define civilization in terms of creative power and the enlargement of human faculties; and from that point of view slavery is abominable. Clark, Civilization.

123 Civilizations…are transmitted from one generation to another in invisible puffs of air known as words…. Eiseley, The Star Thrower

380 Spencer: Until war is outlawed and overcome, civilization is a precarious interlude between catastrophes. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Herbert Spencer.

95 The society he [Plato] introduces us to is eminently civilized, of men delighting to use their minds, loving beauty and elegance...keenly alive to all the amenities of life, and, above all, ever ready for a talk on no matter how abstract and abstruse a subject. E. Hamilton. The Greek Way.

No comments:

Post a Comment