Michael Harrington, fully Edward Michael "Mike" Harrington

Michael
Harrington, fully Edward Michael "Mike" Harrington
1928
1989

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

Author Quotes

Beauty and myths are perennial masks of poverty.

Because the slums are no longer centers of powerful political organizations, the politicians need not really care about their inhabitants.

Capitalism is moving toward its end massively, imperceptibly, like a glacier. Its decadence is cold, not hot.

Capitalist man was accomplishing moral and political virtue as well as observing economic reason when he vigorously pursued his personal gain.

Even when the money finally trickles down, even when a school is built in a poor neighborhood, for instance, the poor are still deprived.

Every President of the United States since Harry Truman has proclaimed that it is the duty of the citizen to consume.

For more than fifty years, the Western world has haunted itself with rumors of its own death.

America has the best-dressed poverty the world has ever known.

Managers receiving hundreds of thousands a year—and setting their compensation for themselves—are not being paid wages, they are appropriating surplus value in the guise of wages.

Our affluent society contains those of talent and insight who are driven to prefer poverty, to choose it, rather than to submit to the desolation of an empty abundance. It is a strange part of the other America that one finds in the intellectual slums.

If there is technological advance without social advance, there is, almost automatically, an increase in human misery.

That the poor are invisible is one of the most important things about them. They are not simply neglected and forgotten as in the old rhetoric of reform; what is much worse, they are not seen.

It takes a certain level of aspiration before one can take advantage of opportunities that are clearly offered.

Clothes make the poor invisible. America has the best-dressed poverty the world has ever known.

We have one foot in genesis and the other in apocalypse, and annihilation is always one immediate option.

Our lives are meaningful to the degree that, as individuals or as participants in common action, we make this world the homeland of the human rather than its place of exile.

Democracy, it must be emphasized, is a practical necessity and not just a philosophic value.

Life is lived in common, but not in community.

Poverty is expensive to maintain.

There are tens of millions of Americans who are beyond the welfare state. Taken as a whole there is a culture of poverty... bad health, poor housing, low levels of aspiration and high levels of mental distress. Twenty per cent of a nation, some 32,000,000.

Author Picture
First Name
Michael
Last Name
Harrington, fully Edward Michael "Mike" Harrington
Birth Date
1928
Death Date
1989
Bio

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