W.H. Auden

Francis Bacon

Benjamin Barber

Jean Baudrillard

Ambrose Bierce

Daniel Boorstin

John Dewey


Thomas Gibbons

Hermann Hesse


Soren Kierkegaard

R.D. Laing

Ashley Montagu

Blaise Pascal

Charles Péguy


George Santayana

Henry David Thoreau

Alfred North Whitehead


















W.H. Auden, from "September 1, 1939":

I and the public know

What all schoolchildren learn,

Those to whom evil is done,

Do evil in return.


















Francis Bacon, "Of Superstition":

"It were better to have no opinion of God at all, than such an opinion as is unworthy of him. For the one is unbelief, the other is contumely; and certainly superstition is the reproach of the Deity.  Plutarch saith well to that purpose: Surely (saith he) I had rather a great deal men should say there was no such man at all as Plutarch, than they should say that there was one Plutarch that would eat children as soon as they were born..."


















Benjamin Barber, A Place For Us:

"Markets flatter our solitary egos but leave our yearnings for community unsatisfied. They advance individualistic, not social, goals, and they encourage us to speak the language of 'I want' not the language of 'we need.'



















Jean Baudrillard, America:

"No one keeps count of the mistakes made by the world's political leaders any more, mistakes which, in days gone by, would have brought about their downfall; no one much minds these now within our present system of simulation of government and of consensus through indifference. The people no longer take pride in their leaders and the leaders no longer pride themselves on their decisions. The tiniest bit of window-dressing is all that is needed to restore market confidence."



















Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary:

"Impiety, n. Your irreverence towards my deity."

















Daniel Boorstin, Democracy And Its Discontents:

"We are perhaps the first people in history to have a centrally organized mass-produced folk culture. Our kind of popular culture is here today and gone tomorrow -- or the day after tomorrow. Or whenever the next semi-annual model appears. And insofar as folk culture becomes advertising, and advertising becomes centralized, it becomes a way of depriving people of their opportunities for individual and small-community expression."














John Dewey, "Imperial Need: A New Radical Party":

"In order to restore democracy, one thing and one thing only is essential. The people will rule when they have power, and they will have power in the degree they own and control the land, banks, the producing and distributing agencies of the nation. Ravings about Bolshevism, communism, socialism are irrelevant to the axiomatic truth of this statement. They come either from complaisant ignorance or from the deliberate desire of those in possession of power and rule to perpetuate their privilege."

















Euripides, From a fragment ascribed to him:

"It is a loutish thing to be wealthy and to know nothing else."

















Thomas Gibbons, "When Jesus Dwelt In Mortal Clay":

That man may last, but never lives,

Who much receives but nothing gives,

Whom none can love, whom none can thank,

Creation's blot, creation's blank.


















Hermann Hesse, "All Deaths":

I have already died all deaths,

And I am going to die all deaths again,

Die the death of the wood in the tree,

Die the stone death in the mountain,

Earth death in the sand,

Leaf death in the crackling summer grass

And the poor bloody human death.























Jesus, quoted in The Gospel of Thomas:

"If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the kingdom is within you and it is outside you. When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty."



















Soren Kierkegaard, The Journals:

"The majority of men are subjective towards themselves and objective towards all others, terribly objective sometimes -- but the real task is in fact to be objective towards oneself and subjective towards all others."
















R.D. Laing, The Politics of Experience:

"As adults, we have forgotten most of our childhood, not only its contents but its flavor; as men of the world, we hardly know of the existence of the inner world: we barely remember our dreams, and make little sense of them when we do; as for our bodies, we retain just sufficient proprioceptive sensations to coordinate our movements and to ensure the minimal requirements for biosocial survival -- to register fatigue, signals for food, sex, defecation, sleep; beyond that, little or nothing."
















Ashley Montagu, The Elephant Man: A Study In Human Dignity:

"What is a human life? A pulse in the heartbeat of eternity? A cry that begins with birth and ends with death? A brief and tempestuous sojourn on an inhospitable shore, where there is really neither joy, nor love, nor light, nor certitude, nor peace, nor help for pain? Or is it, is it, something more?"















Blaise Pascal, Pensees:

"Can anything be more ridiculous than that a man should have the right to kill me because he lives on the other side of the water, and because his ruler has a quarrel with mine, though I have none with him?"
















Charles Péguy, Basic Verities: Prose And Poetry:

"He who does not bellow the truth when he knows the truth makes himself the accomplice of liars and forgers."














Pythagoras, quote ascribed to:

"Life is like the Olympic games; a few men strain their muscles to carry off a prize; others sell trinkets to the crowd for a profit; some just come to look and see how everything is done."















George Santayana, Poems:

To me the faiths of old are daily bread;
I bless their hope, I bless their will to save,
And my deep heart still meaneth what they said.















Henry David Thoreau, Walden:

"If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away."














Alfred North Whitehead, Religion In The Making:

"Religion is what the individual does with his own solitariness...and if you are never solitary, you are never religious. Collective enthusiasms, revivals, institutions, churches, rituals, bibles, codes of behaviour, are the trappings of religion, its passing forms. They may be useful, or harmful; they may be authoritatively ordained, or merely temporary expedients. But the end of religion is beyond all this."