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

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.

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.

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