Michael Harrington, fully Edward Michael "Mike" Harrington

Harrington, fully Edward Michael "Mike" Harrington

American Democratic Socialist, Writer, Social Critic and Professor of Political Science

Author Quotes

There was a succession of technological floods, and each new generation looked back to its youth like Father Noah.

Throughout the nineteenth century, there was a conservative existentialism which protested against the rationalization of life in a machine society.

To be a Negro is to participate in a culture of poverty and fear that goes far deeper than any law for or against discrimination.

To talk of capitalism as an economic system is the first step away from fatalism.

Today is always partly tomorrow and can only be understood in movement, futuristically, speculatively.

With man more and more ubiquitous, with nature transformed from a mysterious given into a product of the human will, divinity is in crisis.

With the appearance of the modern working class, driven to economic and political organization by the necessities of daily life, a social force had come into being that would be impelled toward the theory and practice of justice.

There is only one institution in the society capable of acting to abolish poverty. That is the Federal Government.

There is the fundamental paradox of the welfare state: that it is not built for the desperate, but for those who are already capable of helping themselves.

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 the society

The American poor are pessimistic and defeated, and they are victimized by mental suffering to a degree unknown in Suburbia.

The growing chasm between private and social cost, the corporate control of a technology which is essentially public, called into question a most basic assumption of Western thought: that man frees himself through reason.

The millions who are poor in the United States tend to become increasingly invisible.

The miraculousness of technology is a popular article of Western faith.

The private decision of real-estate developers to ring a city with carefully zoned, relatively expensive suburbs exacerbates racial tensions, segregates education on the basis of color and class, modifies the urban tax base and consequently the political order, and embitters the experience of old age for those who are left behind.

The profound revolution manifest in Megalopolis came into existence without the intervention of the masses in the streets.

The teenager, an afterthought of social history, became a more genuine example of the "new man" than any of the calculated personalities which the Communists held up for emulation.

The various aspects of decadence cannot be turned into functions of the economy and neither can they be grasped without relating them to this dynamic part of contemporary life.

The very development of the American city has removed poverty from the living, emotional experience of millions upon millions of middle-class Americans.

There is a familiar America. It is celebrated in speeches and advertised on television and in the magazines. It has the highest mass standard of living the world has ever known.

For the middle class, the police protect property, give directions, and help old ladies. For the urban poor, the police are those who arrest you.

How can one defend the sober virtues of Protestant individualism by disaffiliating from the world?

In the Protestant version of the capitalist morality, riches were the reward of the righteously ascetic.

Once man understands that he is caught up in a blind energy, he transcends it. There is light in the darkness.

One cannot raise the bottom of a society without benefiting everyone above.

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Harrington, fully Edward Michael "Mike" Harrington
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American Democratic Socialist, Writer, Social Critic and Professor of Political Science