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Gizmotude Quotation Archives



No one would talk much in society, if he knew how often he misunderstood others. ~~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Every society has a tendency to reduce its opponents to caricatures. ~~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche


The Great Society is a place … where men are more concerned with the quality of their goals than the quantity of their goods. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


What's done to children, they will do to society. ~~ Dr. Karl Menninger


Both optimists and pessimists contribute to our society. The optimist invents the airplane and the pessimist the parachute. ~~ Gil Stern


He who throws a bomb and kills a pedestrian, declares that as a victim of society he has rebelled against society. But could not the poor victim object: "Am I society?" ~~ Enrico Malatesta


Has there ever been a society which has died of dissent? Several have died of conformity in our lifetime. ~~ Jacob Bronowski


As society is now constituted, a literal adherence to the moral precepts scattered throughout the Gospels would mean sudden death. ~~ Alfred North Whitehead


To give up the task of reforming society is to give up one's responsibility as a free man. ~~ Alan Paton


It seems rather incongruous that in a society of super-sophisticated communication, we often suffer from a shortage of listeners. ~~ Erma Bombeck


Habit is the enormous flywheel of society, its most precious conservative agent. There is no more miserable human being than one in whom nothing is habitual but indecision. Full half the time of such a man goes to the deciding, or regretting, of matters which ought to be so ingrained in him as practically not to exist for his consciousness at all. ~~ William James


Social science affirms that a woman's place in society marks the level of civilization. ~~ Elizabeth Cady Stanton


I love tranquil solitude
And such society
As is quiet, wise, and good. ~~ Percy Bysshe Shelley


I knew from the start if I left a woman I really loved--the Great Society -- in order to fight that bitch of a war [in Vietnam] … then I would lose everything at home. My hopes … my dreams. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


Censorship reflects a society's lack of confidence in itself. ~~ Potter Stewart


Absolute truth is incompatible with an advanced state of society. ~~ Joaquim Maria Machado de Assis


The art of living is to function in society without doing violence to one's own needs or to the needs of others. The art of mothering is to teach the art of living to children. ~~ Elaine Heffner


There are only two classes in society: those who get more than they earn, and those who earn more than they get. ~~ Holbrook Jackson


We must not overlook the role that extremists play. They are the gadflies that keep society from being too complacent. ~~ Abraham Flexner


Once a doctrine, however irrational, has gained power in a society, millions of people will believe in it rather than feel ostracized and isolated. ~~ Erich Fromm


Society is always trying in some way or other to grind us down to a single flat surface. ~~ Oliver Wendell Holmes


Intuition becomes increasingly valuable in the new information society precisely because there is so much data. ~~ John Naisbitt


Civilization is the progress toward a society of privacy. The savage's whole existence is public, ruled by the laws of his tribe. Civilization is the process of setting man free from men. ~~ Ayn Rand [The Fountainhead]


The example of efficiency that economists usually give is guns and butter. A society can produce both guns and butter, they say, but if the society wants to produce more guns, it will have to--because of allocation of resources, capital, and labor--produce less butter. Using this example you'll notice that at the far reaches of gun-producing efficiency, howitzers are being manufactured by cows. And this is just one of the reasons why we can't take economists too seriously. ~~ P. J. O'Rourke [Eat the Rich]


We won't have a society if we destroy the environment. ~~ Margaret Mead


The imperatives of technology and organization, not the images of ideology, are what determine the shape of economic society. ~~ John Kenneth Galbraith


If crimes and misdemeanors increase, this is proof that misery is on the rise and that society is badly governed. ~~ Napoleon


Eccentricity has always abounded when and where strength of character has abounded; and the amount of eccentricity in a society has generally been proportional to the amount of genius, mental vigor, and moral courage it contained. That so few dare to be eccentric marks the chief danger of the time. ~~ John Stuart Mill


You can't fool all of the people all of the time, but you can fool enough of them all of the time to hold your head up in society. ~~ Kin Hubbard


America would be a better place if leaders would do more long-term thinking. In Iroquois society, leaders are encouraged to remember seven generations in the past and consider seven generations in the future when making decisions that affect the people. ~~ Wilma Mankiller


America is not just a power: it is a promise. It is not enough for our country to be extraordinary in might; it must be exemplary in meaning. Our honor and our role in the world finally depend on the living proof that we are a just society. ~~ Nelson A. Rockefeller


We are not a cynical people. The will to believe lingers on. We like to think that heroes can emerge from obscurity, as they sometimes do; that elections do matter, even though the process is at least part hokum; that through politics we can change our society and maybe even find a cause to believe in. ~~ Ronald Steel


There may be many who will gladly face death in the battlefield, but few who will face a hostile society. ~~ Thiruvalluvar


The first person who, having enclosed a piece of ground… said, "This is mine," and found people simple enough to believe him, was the real founder of civil society. ~~ Rousseau


Society punishes not the vices of its members, but their detection. ~~ Countess of Blessington [Desultory Thoughts and Reflections]


Whenever you take a step forward, you are bound to disturb something. You disturb the air as you go forward, you disturb the dust, the ground. You trample upon things. When a whole society moves forward, this trampling is on a much bigger scale; and each thing that you disturb, each vested interest which you want to remove, stands as an obstacle. ~~ Indira Gandhi


With a concession of responsibility … we have entrusted our lives and futures to professionals and experts who convince us that we have too little knowledge or wit to make any decisions of importance about the management of society. ~~ Dean Koontz [Fear Nothing]


Our society allows people to be absolutely neurotic and totally out of touch with their feelings and everyone else's feelings, and yet be very respectable. ~~ Ntozake Shange


My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular. ~~ Adlai Stevenson


All people interested in their work are liable to overrate their vocation. There may be makers of dolls' eyes who wonder how society would go on without them. ~~ Harriet Martineau


Hate for an outsider checks and deflects the hate and aggression each man feels toward his own group and toward himself. The more fear there is in a society, the more guilt each individual member of the society feels, the more need there is for internal scapegoats and external enemies. Internal confusion looks for discharge in outside wars. ~~ Joost A. M. Meerloo


In almost any society, I think, the quality of the nonconformists is likely to be just as good as and no better than that of the conformists. ~~ Margaret Mead


It is in the interest of society to put the Pill into vending machines and to place cigarettes on prescription. ~~ Malcolm Potts


Life itself, however, flows and is sequential and punishes those who try to compartmentalize it. Thus if, for any reason whatsoever, moral standards are conspicuously and unprecedentedly breached in one area of society, such as the political, it will follow as the night the day that those standards will start collapsing all down the line -- in sports, entertainment, education, the armed forces, business, and government. ~~ Margaret Halsey


Society… is tolerant of crimes, and long suffering with dullness, but it shows no mercy to those who are different from other people. ~~ Geraldine Jewsbury


What makes a multitude of individuals a society rather than a crowd is a commonly held ideal. While such an ideal is always a fiction,… it is men's ability to believe in such a fiction that enables them to act together as part of a group. ~~ Melvin Lyon


This society seems to have swallowed the notion that there is a chemical solution for all problems, including the problem of how to spend one's spare time. ~~ Joe Fort


Society is commonly too cheap. We meet at very short intervals, not having had time to acquire any new value for each other. We meet at meals three times a day, and give each other a new taste of that old musty cheese that we are. ~~ Henry David Thoreau


All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded to the individual. ~~ Albert Einstein


We are now at the point where we must decide whether we are to honor the concept of a plural society which gains strength through diversity or whether we are to have bitter fragmentation that will result in perpetual tension and strife. ~~ Justice Earl Warren


Society is a hospital of incurables. ~~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


Society comprises two classes: Those who have more food than appetite and those who have more appetite than food. ~~ Nicolas Chamfort


The writer is the Faust of modern society, the only surviving individualist in a mass age. To his orthodox contemporaries he seems a semi-madman. ~~ Boris Pasternak


Society is immoral and immortal; it can afford to commit any kind of folly, and indulge in any sort of vice; it cannot be killed, and the fragments that survive can always laugh at the dead. ~~ Henry Adams


The future cannot be predicted, but futures can be invented. It was man's ability to invent which has made human society what it is. ~~ Dennis Gabor


America should care more for its poor and reform itself in other ways; but even if it won't do those things, it remains the least constrained society on earth. ~~ Robert M. Adams


Necessity need not be the mother of invention, but today invention becomes the mother of necessity. Our affluent society is preoccupied with the production and compulsive consumption of material goods we have been taught to want. ~~ Judith Groch


If you devote your time to study, you will avoid all the irksomeness of this life, nor will you long for the approach of night, being tired of the day; nor will you be a burden to yourself, nor your society insupportable to others. ~~ Seneca


In this cannibalistic society, the media feed off the politicians and the politicians feed off the media. We need each other. ~~ Gene Amole


Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another. ~~ G. K. Chesterton


Every gain made by individuals or society is almost instantly taken for granted. ~~ Aldous Huxley

Since society exists, we have to believe that man wants to live in it, but from the beginning he has used a fair share of his energy to fight against it. ~~ Georges Simenon


Any society that needs disclaimers has too many lawyers. ~~ Erik Pepke


To conclude that women are unfitted to the task of our historic society seems to me the equivalent of closing male eyes to female facts. ~~ Lyndon Baines Johnson


The typical political leader of the contemporary managerial society is a man of strong will, a high capacity to get himself elected, but has no very great conception of what he is going to do when he gets into office. ~~ Henry Kissinger (See Said Who?)


In a consumer society there are inevitably two kinds of slaves: the prisoners of addiction and the prisoners of envy. ~~ Ivan Illich


Power is not an institution, and not a structure; neither is it a certain strength we are endowed with; it is the name that one attributes to a complex strategical situation in a particular society. ~~ Michel Foucault


Mark my words, when a society has to resort to the lavatory for its humor, the writing is on the wall. ~~ Alan Bennett


Cruelty is the law pervading all nature and society; and we can't get out of it if we would. ~~ Thomas Hardy


The fact is that life had become a sweepstake. Millions of people who have lost the sense of being able to make anything of the collective effort of shaping their economic society, now expect fortune to descend like pie from the sky. ~~ Max Lerner


No Christian society has ever known what to do with people who go round taking the Bible literally. ~~ Desmond Cory


There is no society or conversation to be kept up in the world without good nature, or something which must bear its appearance and supply its place. For this reason, mankind have been forced to invent a kind of artificial humanity, which is what we express by the words Good Breeding. ~~ Joseph Addison


There is no greater mistake and no graver danger than not to see that in our own society we are faced with the same phenomenon that is fertile soil for the rise of Fascism anywhere: the insignificance and powerlessness of the individual. ~~ Erich Fromm


The chaos of our society is the product of the dishevelment of our ideas. ~~ Philip Wylie


There are four varieties in society; the lovers, the ambitious, observers, and fools. The fools are the happiest. ~~ Hippolyte Taine


What can you say about a society that says God is dead and Elvis is alive? ~~ Irv Kupcinet


America is just the country that shows how all the written guarantees in the world for freedom are no protection against tyranny and oppression of the worst kind. There the politician has come to be looked upon as the very scum of society. ~~ Peter Kropotkin


Society is now one polish'd horde,
Formed of two mighty tribes, the Bores and Bored. ~~ George Noel Gordon, Lord Byron


The manner in which women are treated is a good criterion to judge the true state of society. ~~ Benjamin Harrison


Every society gets the kind of criminal it deserves. What is equally true is that every community gets the kind of law enforcement it insists on. ~~ Robert F. Kennedy


At present we have a society based on having and owning; we need a society based around being and giving. ~~ Mike Scott


In the comparatively short time between my childhood and my daughter's, the business society has ceased urging people to produce and is now exerting its very considerable influence to get them to consume. ~~ Margaret Halsey [The Folks at Home]


This world of ours is a new world, in which the unit of knowledge, the nature of human communities, the order of society, the order of ideas, the very notions of society and culture have changed, and will not return to what they have been in the past. What is new is new, not because it has never been there before, but because it has changed in quality. ~~ J. Robert Oppenheimer


No society that feeds its children on tales of successful violence can expect them not to believe that violence in the end is rewarded. ~~ Margaret Mead


Life is precious to the old person. He is not interested merely in thoughts of yesterday's good life and tomorrow's path to the grave. He does not want his later years to be a sentence of solitary confinement in society. Nor does he want them to be a death watch. ~~ David Allman


Persons of genius… are, and are always likely to be, a small minority; but in order to have them, it is necessary to preserve the soil in which they grow. Genius can only breathe freely in an atmosphere of freedom. Persons of genius are more individual than any other people--less capable, consequently, of fitting themselves, without hurtful compression, into any of the small number of molds which society provides in order to save its members the trouble of forming their own character. ~~ John Stuart Mill


It is a fact of history that those who seek to withdraw from its [society's] great experiments usually end by being overwhelmed by them. ~~ Barbara Ward


Mob law is the most forcible expression of an abnormal public opinion; it shows that society is rotten to the core. ~~ Timothy Thomas Fortune


We are creating the kind of society where the criminal is out of jail before his victim is out of hospital. ~~ Richard Needham


We are only young once. That is all society can stand. ~~ Bob Bowen


Every society honors its live conformists and its dead troublemakers. ~~ Mignon McLaughlin


In our society … those who are in reality superior in intelligence can be accepted by their fellows only if they pretend they are not. ~~ Marya Mannes


I take it as a prime cause of the present confusion of society that it is too sickly and too doubtful frankly to use pleasure as a test of value. ~~ Rebecca West


… society is a complex and mysterious creation and … it's extremely imprudent to believe in the fact it presents you with at a given moment, let alone to consider it the one and only true face. ~~ Vaclav Havel


A reservoir of rage exists in each person, waiting to burst out. We fantasize about killing or humiliating our boss or the guy who took our parking space. It is only by growing up in a civilized society of law that we learn the idea of proportionate response. ~~ Ed Magnuson


When public men indulge themselves in abuse, when they deny others a fair trial, when they resort to innuendo and insinuation, to libel, scandal, and suspicion, then our democratic society is outraged, and democracy is baffled. It has no apparatus to deal with the boor, the liar, and the anti-democract in general. ~~ J. William Fulbright


Is it not possible that middle age can be looked upon as a period of second flowering, second growth, even a kind of second adolescence? It is true that society in general does not help one accept this interpretation of the second half of life. ~~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh


No drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we're looking for the sources of our troubles, we shouldn't test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power. ~~ P. J. O'Rourke


Society cares for the individual only insofar as he is profitable. ~~ Simone de Beauvoir [The Coming of Age]


There are many who lust for the simple answers of doctrine or decree. They are on the left and right. They are not confined to a single part of society. They are the terrorists of the mind. ~~ A. Bartlett Giamatti


Society can only exist on the basis that there is some amount of polished lying and that no one says exactly what he thinks. ~~ Lin Yu-tang


To be agreeable in society, you must consent to be taught many things which you already know. ~~ Talleyrand


Barney is a purely supportive, nurturing character. That makes him socially unacceptable. You wouldn't want to bring Barney to a party. But our society has gotten too intense for young kids. They need Barney. Leave Barney alone. ~~ Brian Henson


If a society is to preserve stability and a degree of continuity, it must learn how to keep its adolescents from imposing their tastes, values, and fantasies on everyday life. ~~ Eric Hoffer


No power in society, no hardship in your condition can depress you, keep you down, in knowledge, power, virtue, influence, but by your own consent. ~~ William Ellery Channing


There are people whose society I find delicious; but when I sit alone and think of them, I shudder. ~~ Logan Pearsall Smith


Almost all [Americans] are at odds with themselves; drink offers a remedy for this inner malady of which boredom is the most usual sign: as drinking is accepted by society, it does not appear as a sign of their inability to adapt themselves; it is rather the adapted form of inadaptability. ~~ Simone de Beauvoir [America Day by Day]


It is legitimate to have one's own point of view and political philosophy. But there are people who make anger, rather than a deeply held belief, the basis of their actions. They do not seem to mind harming society as a whole in the pursuit of their immediate objective. No society can survive if it yields to the demands of frenzy, whether of the few or the many. ~~ Indira Gandhi [Freedom is the Starting Point]


People who are much too sensitive to demand of cripples that they run races ask of the poor that they get up and act just like everyone else in society. ~~ Michael Harrington [The Other America]


The individual in any given society represses the awareness of those feelings and fantasies which are incompatible with the thought patterns of his society. The force affecting this repression is the fear of being isolated and of becoming an outcast through having thoughts and feelings which nobody will share. ~~ Erich Fromm


In a society that judges self-worth on productivity, it's no wonder we fall prey to the misconception that the more we do, the more we're worth. ~~ Ellen Sue Stern [The Indispensable Woman]


A society which practices death control must at the same time practice birth control. ~~ John Rock


You can tell all you need to about a society from how it treats animals and beaches. ~~ Frank DeFord


Lyndon Johnson came into office seeking a Great Society in America and found instead an ugly little war that consumed him. ~~ Tom Wicker


Concentration of wealth and power has been built upon other people's money, other people's business, other people's labor. Under this concentration, independent business … has been a menace to … American society. ~~ Franklin Delano Roosevelt


Even if society dictates that men and women should behave in certain ways, it is fathers and mothers who teach those ways to children--not just in the words they say, but in the lives they lead. ~~ Augustus Y. Napier


The most important lesson of American history is the promise of the unexpected. None of our ancestors would have imagined settling way over here on this unknown continent. So we must continue to have a society that is hospitable to the unexpected, which allows possibilities to develop beyond our own imaginings. ~~ Daniel J. Boorstin


Educate your children to self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future lives and crimes to society. ~~ Daniel Webster


A person who cannot live in society, or does not need to because he is self-sufficient, is either a beast or a god. ~~ Aristotle


But once gain his [the cat's] confidence, and he is a friend for life. He shares your hours of work, of solitude, of melancholy. He spends whole evenings on your knee, purring and dozing, content with your silence, and spurning for your sake the society of his kind. ~~ Theophile Gautier


Every generation is a secret society and has incommunicable enthusiasm, tastes and interests which are a mystery both to its predecessor and to posterity. ~~ Arthur Chapman


A civilized society is one that exhibits the five qualities of truth, beauty, adventure, art and peace. ~~ Alfred North Whitehead


We must reject the idea that every time a law is broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions. ~~ Ronald Reagan