General Quotations

Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.–Lao Tzu

Are human rights of less importance to an artist than to other men?… Who, indeed, should be more concerned than the artist with the defense of liberty and free inquiry which are essential to his very creativity? — Pablo Casals

It is an easy thing to triumph in the summers sun
And in the vintage & to sing on the waggon loaded with corn
It is an easy thing to talk of patience to the afflicted
To speak the laws of prudence to the houseless wanderer
To listen to the hungry ravens cry in wintry season
When the red blood is filled with wine & with the marrow of
lambs . . .

––William Blake

 

To experience pain is to have certainty; to hear about [others’] pain — is to have doubt.

Nietzsche


 

Throughout history, human beings … have been making the same mistakes … Why do we keep repeating ourselves? Mankind is in a desperate situation. How can we break out of it? Let’s think about this, that’s all I’m saying. That’s not pessimism. To avoid the subject and not face it directly is what I would call pessimism. — Akira Kurosawa


If you see things as they are here and now, you have seen everything that has

happened from all eternity. All things are an interrelated oneness.

––Marcus Aurelius


 …I see the Past, Present & Future existing all at once/ Before me.

—William Blake


Thucydides wrote the following about the Civil War in Corcyra 427 B.C. in The Pelopponnesian Wars:
To fit in with changes in events, words, too, had to change their usual meanings. What used to be described as a thoughtless act of aggression was now regarded as the courage one would expect to find in a party member; to think of the future and wait was merely another way of saying one was a coward; any idea of moderation was just an attempt to disguise one’s unmanly character; ability to understand a question from all sides meant that one was totally unfitted for action. Fanatical enthusiasm was the mark of a real man . Anyone who held violent opinions could always be trusted, and anyone who objected to them became suspect….It was equally praiseworthy to get one’s blow in first against someone who was going to do wrong and to denounce someone who had no intention of doing wrong at all. Family relations were a weaker tie than party membership since party members were more ready to go to any extreme for any reason whatever.


...the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is
easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and 
denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to
danger. It works the same in any country.
--Herman Goerhing.

 
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do 
nothing.
--Edmund Burke

What the mass media offers is not popular art, but entertainment which is intended to be consumed like food, forgotten, and replaced by a new dish. This is bad for everyone; the majority lose all genuine taste of their own, and the minority become cultural snobs. –W.H. Auden, “The Poet & The City”, p. 83

In all technologically “advanced” countries, fashion has replaced tradition, so that involuntary membership in a society can no longer provide a feeling of community.

–W.H. Auden, “Lame Shadows”, p. 410