Politics

In the past few decades American institutions have struggled with the temptations of politics. Professions and academic disciplines that once possessed a life and structure of their own have steadily succumbed, in some cases almost entirely, to the belief that nothing matters beyond politically desirable results, however achieved.

Nowhere are prejudices more mistaken for truth, passion for reason, and invective for documentation than in politics. That is a realm, peopled only by villains or heroes, in which everything is black or white and gray is a forbidden color.

The seven sins of the world. Wealth without work. Pleasure without conscience. Knowledge without character. Commerce without morality. Science without humanity. Worship without sacrifice. Politics without principle.

[Paraphrase] The most dangerous walls are not political or military boundaries but the walls that mutually divide individual people and that divide our own souls. My presidential agenda would be to bring spirituality, moral responsibility and humility into politics and, in that respect, to make clear that there is something higher above us.

There is a wholly mistaken zeal in politics as well as in religion. By persuading others, we convince ourselves.

Since human beings have a moral conscience, a spiritual self and a physical self, we can choose among various options. And we are responsible for the consequences of our choices. We can put the common interests of humankind above the conflicts of ideological, racial, religious and national groups. We can bring together thought and feeling, politics and moral values, women and men, the underprivileged and the privileged.... The essence of life is to search for happiness. To realize this end, we must become one with the human family, one with the universe... We should live as if we were to die today. We should die as if we live forever.

Compromise makes a good umbrella, but a poor roof; it is a temporary expedient, often wise in party politics, almost sure to be unwise in statesmanship.

Everything begins in mysticism and ends in politics.

The twin concepts of sin and vindictive punishment seem to be at the root of much that is most vigorous, both in religion and politics.

The premises of politics lie in the conclusions of the ethics.

If a man would register all his opinions upon love, politics, religion, learning, etc., beginning from his youth, and so go to old age, what a bundle of inconsistencies and contradictions would appear at last!

Politics, as a practice, whatever its professions, has always been the systematic organization of hatreds.

Practical politics consists in ignoring facts.

Recipe for success: Be polite, prepare yourself for whatever you are asked to do, keep yourself tidy, be cheerful, don't be envious, be honest with yourself so you will be honest with others, be helpful, interest yourself in your job, don't pity yourself, be quick to praise, be loyal to your friends, avoid prejudices, be independent, interest yourself in politics, and read the newspapers.

No great advance has ever been made in science, politics, or religion, without controversy.

Utopias are realizable, they are more realizable than what has been presented as 'realist politics' and what has simply been the calculated rationalism of armchair politicians. Life is moving towards utopias. But perhaps a new age is opening up before us, in which the intelligentsia and the cultured classes will dream of ways to avoid utopias and return to non-utopian society, to a less 'perfect', a freer society.

In politics, merit is rewarded by the possessor being raised, like a target, to a position to be fired at.

Protecting something as wide as this planet is still an abstraction for many. Yet I see the day in our own lifetimes that reverence for the natural systems - the oceans, the rain forests, the soil, the grasslands, and all other living beings - will be so strong that no narrow ideology based upon politics or economics will overcome it.

Politics is a place of humble hopes and strangely modest requirements, where all good who are not criminal and all are wise who are not ridiculously otherwise.

Truth isn’t outside power, or lacking in power: contrary to a myth whose history and functions would repay further study, truth isn’t the reward of free spirits, the child of protracted solitude, nor the privilege of those who have succeeded in liberating themselves. Truth is a thing of this world: it is produced only by virtue of multiple forms of constraint. And it induces regular effects of power. Each society has its regime of truth, its ‘general politics’ of truth: that is, the types of discourse which it accepts and makes function as true; the mechanisms and instances which enable one to distinguish true and false statements, the means by which each is sanctions; the techniques and procedures accorded value in the acquisition of truth; the status of those who are charged with saying what counts as true.