Thursday, October 18, 2007

Quotes: Reform.

A collection of quotes on various topics. The sentence in bold face is a plain statement of the quote that follows.

Behind every reform is the desire to make money.
Reform 236 ...every reform, Hawthorne suggests, will have its commercial opportunities. Mellow, Hawthorne in His Times.

We must rid ourselves of stereotypes and old habits.
Reform 147 It is necessary…to rid ourselves of stereotypes, of old habits. Pope John Paul II, Threshold

Reforms produce institutions and institutions inevitably produce abuses.
Reform 505 Santayana: A thousand reforms have left the world as corrupt as ever, for each successful reform has founded a new institution, and this institution has bred its new...abuses. Will Durant, The Story of Philosophy, Santayana.

The problem with reforms is that they do not reflect the nature of real people.
Reform 26 It collides, like the Russian system, with certain irremovable facts of human nature. Mencken, Minority Report.

The desire to save humanity is a mask for the desire to govern it.
Reform 247 The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false face for the urge to rule it. Mencken, Minority Report.

Messiahs seek power, not the chance to serve.
Reform 247 Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve. Mencken, Minority Report.

The problem with reform is that human nature abhors system and system-makers. People will not be molded.
Reform 1207 [Of Fourierism]: …criticism which we apply to so many projects for reform with which the brain of our age teems: our feeling…that Fourier had skipped no fact but one, namely Life…treats man as a plastic thing, something that may be put up or down, ripened or retarded, molded, polished, made into solid, or fluid, or gas, at the will of the leader…but skips the faculty of life, which spawns and scorns system and system-makers. Emerson, Uncollected Prose.

Superior minds are at odds with society’s evils and with projects designed to do away with them.
Reform 702 The superior mind will find itself equally at odds with the evils of society, and with the projects that are offered to relieve them. Emerson, Representative Men: Montaigne, or The Skeptic.

People are not afraid to act; they are just uncertain about what to do.
Reform 165 It is not that men do not wish to act; they pine to be employed, but are paralyzed by the uncertainty what they should do. Emerson, Lecture on the Times.

Reforms mask the desire to put new people into power.
Reform 152 “You never hear of a reform, but it means some trick to put in new men.” George Eliot, Middlemarch.

The problem with your reform is that it does not understand human nature.
Reform 748 Hollingsworth: I see through the system…there is not human nature in it. Hawthorne, The Blithedale Romance.

Reformers cannot believe that they might be wrong.
Reformer 113 Of all varieties of men, the one who is least comprehensible to me is…the reformer, the uplifter, the man, so-called, of public spirit…am chiefly unable to understand…his oafish certainty that he is right--his almost pathological inability to grasp the notion that, after all, he may be wrong. Mencken, Minority Report.

People have reforms for everything, even dealing with insects.
Reformers 592 Even the insect world was to be defended…and a society for the protection of ground-worms, slugs, and mosquitoes was to be incorporated without delay. Emerson, New England Reformers.

If I thought someone were coming to my house to do me good, I would run for my life.
Reformers 381 If I knew for a certainty that a man was coming to my house with the conscious design of doing me good, I should run for my life…. Thoreau, Walden.

The biggest bores of all are reformers.
Reformers 445 …reformers, the greatest bores of all…. Thoreau, Walden.

Reformers are moral bullies.
Reformers 23 The moral bully is the worst of all; Puritanism is completely merciless. Mencken, Minority Report.

The people behind reforms are not themselves renovated; they may be tediously good in some particular virtue, but lagging in others.
Reformers 596 The criticism and attack on institutions which we have witnessed, has made one thing plain, that society gains nothing whilst a man, not himself renovated, attempts to renovate things around him: He has become tediously good in some particular, but negligent or narrow in the rest; hypocrisy and vanity are often the disgusting result. Emerson, New England Reformers.

No comments:

Post a Comment