Society Magazine

Live Long and Prosper

Posted on the 27 February 2015 by Russellarbenfox

"[T]he press was still the last resource of the educated poor who could not be artists and would not be tutors. Any man who was fit for nothing else could write an editorial or a criticism....The press was an inferior pulpit; an anonymous schoolmaster; a cheap boarding-school; but it was still the nearest approach to a career for the literary survivor of a wrecked education."

(Henry Adams, The Education of Henry Adams [Mariner Books, 2000], 211)

"Mailer was a Left Conservative. So he had his own point of view. To himself he would suggest that he tried to think in the style of [Karl] Marx in order to attain certain values suggested by Edmund Burke."

(Norman Mailer, The Armies of the Night [The New American Library, 1968], 185)

"The tendency, which is too common in these days, for young men to get a smattering of education and then think themselves unsuited for mechanical or other laborious pursuits is one that should not be allowed to grow up among us...Every one should make it a matter of pride to be a producer, and not a consumer alone."

(Wilford Woodruff, Millennial Star [November 14, 1887], 773)

"We are parts of the world; no one of us is an isolated world-whole. We are human beings, conceived in the body of a mother, and as we stepped into the larger world, we found ourselves immediately knotted to a universe with the thousand bands of our senses, our needs and our drives, from which no speculative reason can separate itself."

(J.G. Herder, Metacritique of the Critique of Pure Reason in Werke in zehn Bänden [Deutsche Klassiker Verlag, 1985-2000], 8:508, translated by Sonia Sikka)

"'Business!' cried the Ghost, wringing its hands again. 'Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were all my business. The dealings of my trade were but a drop of water in the comprehensive ocean of my business!'"

(Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol [Candlewick Press, 2006], 35)

"The Master said, 'At fifteen, I set my mind upon learning; at thirty, I took my place in society; at forty, I became free of doubts; at fifty, I understood Heaven's Mandate; at sixty, my ear was attuned; and at seventy, I could follow my heart's desires without overstepping the bounds of propriety.'"

(Confucius, Analects [translated by Edward Slingerland, Hackett, 2003], 2.4)

"Lack of experience diminishes our power of taking a comprehensive view of the admitted facts. Hence those who dwell in intimate association with nature and its phenomena grow more and more able to formulate, as the foundations of their theories, principles which admit a wide and coherent development: while those whom devotion to abstract discussions has rendered unobservant of the facts are too ready to dogmatize on the basis of a few observations."

(Aristotle, On Generation and Corruption [translated by H.H. Joachim, Oxford, 1922], lines 316a5-9)

"The man who has gone through college or university easily becomes psychically unemployable in manual occupations without necessarily acquiring employability in, say, professional work."

(Joseph Schumpeter, Capitalism, Socialism, and Democracy [Harper Perennial, 1975], 152)

"[God] does not want men to give the Future their hearts, to place their treasure in it. . . . His ideal is a man who, having worked all day for the good of posterity (if that is his vocation), washes his mind of the whole subject, commits the issue to Heaven, and returns at once to the patience or gratitude demanded by the moment that is passing over him."

(C.S. Lewis, The Screwtape Letters, revised paperback edition [Macmillan, 1982], 69)

"Money is simply a tool. We use money as a proxy for our time and labor--our life energy--to acquire things that we cannot (or care not to) procure or produce with our own hands. Beyond that, it has limited actual utility: you can't eat it; if you bury it in the ground, it will not produce a crop to sustain a family; it would make a lousy roof and a poor blanket. To base our understanding of economy simply on money overlooks all other methods of exchange that can empower communities. Equating an economy only with money assumes there are no other means by which we can provide food for our bellies, a roof over our heads and clothing on our backs."

(Shannon Hayes, Radical Homemakers, [Left to Write, 2010], 57)

"Was du ererbt von deinen Vätern hast, / Erwirb es, um es zu besitzen. / Was man nicht nützt, ist eine schwere Last; / Nur was der Augenblick erschafft, das kann er nützen."

"What from your fathers you received as heir, / Acquire [anew] if you would possess it. / What is not used is but a load to bear; / But if today creates it, we can use and bless it."

(Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Faust [translated by Walter Kaufmann, Anchor Books, 1963], lines 682-685)

"A scholar's business is to add to what is known. That is all. But it is capable of giving the very greatest satisfaction, because knowledge is good. It does not have to look good or even sound good or even do good. It is good just by being knowledge. And the only thing that makes it knowledge is that it is true. You can't have too much of it and there is no little too little to be worth having. There is truth and falsehood in a comma."

(Tom Stoppard [spoken by A.E. Houseman], The Invention of Love [Grove Press, 1997], 37)

"I believe in democracy. I accept it. I will faithfully serve and defend it. I believe in it because it appears to me the inevitable consequence of what has gone before it. Democracy asserts the fact the masses are now raised to a higher intelligence than formerly. All our civilization aims at this mark. We want to do what we can to help it. I myself want to see the result. I grant that it is an experiment, but it is the only direction society can take that is worth its taking; the only conception of its duty large enough to satisfy its instincts; the only result that is worth an effort or a risk. Every other possible step is backward, and I do not care to repeat the past. I am glad to see society grapple with issues in which no one can afford to be neutral."

(Henry Adams, Democracy: An American Novel [Farrar, Straus, and Young, Inc., 1952], 53)

Live Long and Prosper


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