Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Aggression

"Man must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"Parenting: Affection without sentiment, authority without cruelty, discipline without aggression, humor without ridicule, sacrifice without obligation, companionship without possessiveness." - William E. Blatz, fully William Emet Blatz

"Peace is more than simply the absence of aggression and war. Peace transcends the end of a conflict or a statement of policy. While we may force the outward appearance of peace upon a people or a nation, it is the underlying thinking that must change to create a true and lasting peace." - Gregg Braden

"The occasions to which the concept of the just war can be rightly applied have become highly restricted. A war to “defend the victims of wanton aggression” where the demands of justice join the demands of order, is today the clearer case of a just war… The concept of a just war does not provide moral justification for initiating a war of incalculable consequences to end such oppression." - Angus Dun and Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr

"We are at ease with a moral judgment made against someone’s private sin - lust or greed. We are much less comfortable judging someone’s public ethic - those decisions that can lead to such outcomes as aggression, the abuse of the environment, the neglect of the needy." - Ellen Goodman

"Nonviolence is the answer to the crucial political and moral questions of our time; the need for mankind to overcome oppression and violence without resorting to oppression and violence. Mankind must evolve for all human conflict a method which rejects revenge, aggression, and retaliation. The foundation of such a method is love." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

"The truth is often a terrible weapon of aggression. It is possible to lie, and even to murder, for the truth." - Alfred Adler

"The "truth" is often a terrible weapon of aggression. It is possible to lie, and even to murder, for the truth." - Alfred Adler

"Appeasement invites aggression; reconciliation invites peace." - Author Unknown NULL

"In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms. The first freedom is speech and expression – everywhere in the world. The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way – everywhere in the world. The third is freedom from want – which, translated into world-terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants – everywhere in the world. The fourth is freedom from fear – which, translated into world-terms, means a worldwide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor – anywhere in the world. That is no vision of a distant millennium. It is a definite basis for a kind of world attainable in our own time and generation." - Franklin D. Roosevelt, fully Franklin Delano Roosevelt, aka FDR

"It is not the fact of alliance which deters aggression but the application it can be given in any concrete case." - Henry Kissinger, fully Henry Alfred Kissinger

"A society that presumes a norm of violence and celebrates aggression, whether in the subway, on the football field, or in the conduct of its business, cannot help making celebrities of the people who would destroy it." - Lewis H. Lapham

"Clinical experience has indicated that where a child has been exposed early in his live to episodes of physical violence, whether he himself is the victim or ... the witness, he will often later demonstrate similar outbursts of uncontrollable rage and violence of his own. Aggression becomes an easy outlet through which the child's frustrations and tensions flow, not just because of a simple matter of learning that can be just as simply unlearned, not just because he is imitating a bad behavior model and can be taught to imitate something more constructive, but because these traumatic experiences have overwhelmed him. His own emotional development is too immature to withstand the crippling inner effects of outer violence. Something happens to the child's character, to his sense of reality, to the development of his controls against impulses that may not later be changed easily but which may lead to reactions that in turn provoke more reactions - one or more of which may be criminal. Then society reacts against him for what he did, but more for what all of us have done - unpleasantly - to one another. Upon him is laid the iniquity of us all." - Karl Menninger, fully Karl Augustus Menninger

"It is a double-edged makeshift to entrust an individual or a group of individuals with the authority to resort to violence. The enticement implied is too tempting for a human being. The men who are to protect the community against violent aggression easily turn into the most dangerous aggressors. They transgress their mandate. They misuse their power for the oppression of those whom they were expected to defend against oppression. The main political problem is how to prevent the police power from becoming tyrannical. This is the meaning of all the struggles for liberty." - Ludwig von Mises, fully Ludwig Heinrich Edler von Mises

"If the U.S. monopoly capitalist groups persist in pushing their policies of aggression and war, the day is bound to come when they will be hanged by the people of the whole world. The same fate awaits the accomplices of the United States." - Mao Tse-tung, alternatively Zedong, Ze dong, aka Chairman Mao

"Aggression must be met with resistance, and non-violence of the brave is possible only for advanced souls, who have through rigorous discipline eradicated from their minds all forms of greed and hate. But so far as people in general are concerned, it is undesirable to ask them to observe the external formula of non-violence when it is their clear duty to resist aggression in self-defence or in the defence of weaker brothers. General insistence upon non-violence can only lead to people becoming cowardly, irresponsible, and inert, putting the responsibility upon others." - Meher Baba, born Merwan Sheriar Irani

"If the state is in disorder, then expound “elevating the worthy” and “conforming upward”; if the state is poor, then expound “thrift in utilization” and “thrift in funerals”; if the state overindulges in musical entertainment, then expound “rejecting music” and “rejecting fate”; if the state is dissolute and indecorous, expound “respecting Heaven” and “serving ghosts”; if the state is devoted to aggression and intimidation, then expound “inclusive care” and “rejecting aggression.”" - Mozi or Mo-tze, Mocius or Mo-tzu, original name Mo Di, aka Master Mo NULL

"The Ten Mohist Doctrines [paraphrase] As their movement developed, the Mohists came to present themselves as offering a collection of ten key doctrines, divided into five pairs. The ten doctrines correspond to the titles of the ten triads, the ten sets of three essays that form the core of the Mozi. Although the essays in each triad differ in detail, the gist of each doctrine may be briefly summarized as follows. “Elevating the Worthy” and “Conforming Upward.” The purpose of government is to achieve a stable social, economic, and political order (zhi, pronounced “jr”) by promulgating a unified conception of morality (yi). This task of moral education is to be carried out by encouraging everyone to “conform upward” to the good example set by social and political superiors and by rewarding those who do so and punishing those who do not. Government is to be structured as a centralized, bureaucratic state led by a virtuous monarch and managed by a hierarchy of appointed officials. Appointments are to be made on the basis of competence and moral merit, without regard for candidates' social status or origins. “Inclusive Care” and “Rejecting Aggression.” To achieve social order and exemplify the key virtue of ren (humanity, goodwill), people must inclusively care for each other, having as much concern for others' lives, families, and communities as for their own, and in their relations with others seek to benefit them. Military aggression is wrong for the same reasons that theft, robbery, and murder are: it harms others in pursuit of selfish benefit, while ultimately failing to benefit Heaven, the spirits, or society as a whole. “Thrift in Utilization” and “Thrift in Funerals.” To benefit society and care for the welfare of the people, wasteful luxury and useless expenditures must be eliminated. Seeking always to bring wealth to the people and order to society, the ren (humane) person avoids wasting resources on extravagant funerals and prolonged mourning (which were the custom in ancient China). “Heaven's Intention” and “Elucidating Ghosts.” Heaven is the noblest, wisest moral agent, so its intention is a reliable, objective standard of what is morally right (yi) and must be respected. Heaven rewards those who obey its intention and punishes those who defy it, hence people should strive to be humane and do what is right. Social and moral order (zhi) can be advanced by encouraging belief in ghosts and spirits who reward the good and punish the wicked. “Rejecting Music” and “Rejecting Fatalism.” The humane (ren) person opposes the extravagant musical entertainment and other luxuries enjoyed by rulers and high officials, because these waste resources that could otherwise be used for feeding and clothing the common people. Fatalism is not ren, because by teaching that our lot in life is predestined and human effort is useless, it interferes with the pursuit of economic wealth, a large population, and social order (three primary goods that the humane person desires for society). Fatalism fails to meet a series of justificatory criteria and so must be rejected." - Mozi or Mo-tze, Mocius or Mo-tzu, original name Mo Di, aka Master Mo NULL

"There are only two cases in which war is just: first, in order to resist the aggression of an enemy, and second, in order to help an ally who has been attacked." - Charles De Montesquieu, formally Charles-Louis de Secondat, Baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu

"To injure an opponent is to injure yourself. To control aggression without inflicting injury is Aikido. " - Morihei Ueshiba

"The most fundamental aggression to ourselves, the most fundamental harm we can do to ourselves, is to remain ignorant by not having the courage and the respect to look at ourselves honestly and gently. " - Pema Chödrön, born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown

"This leads to a bigger underlying issue for all of us: How are we ever going to change anything? How is there going to be less aggression in the universe rather than more? We can then bring it down to a more personal level: how do I learn to communicate with somebody who is hurting me or someone who is hurting a lot of people? How do I speak to someone so that some change actually occurs? How do I communicate so that the space opens up and both of us begin to touch in to some kind of basic intelligence that we all share? In a potentially violent encounter, how do I communicate so that neither of us becomes increasingly furious and aggressive? How do I communicate to the heart so that a stuck situation can ventilate? How do I communicate so that things that seem frozen, unworkable, and eternally aggressive begin to soften up, and some kind of compassionate exchange begins to happen? " - Pema Chödrön, born Deirdre Blomfield-Brown

"In the different voice of women lies the truth of an ethic of care, the tie between relationship and responsibility, and the origins of aggression in the failure of connection." - Carol Gilligan

"There are historic situations in which refusal to defend the inheritance of a civilization, however imperfect, against tyranny and aggression may result in consequences even worse than war." - Reinhold Niebuhr, fully Karl Paul Reinhold Niebuhr

"This interpretation of animal aggression as being restrained and formal can be disputed. In particular, it is certainly wrong to condemn poor old Homo Sapiens as the only species to kill his own kind, the only inheritor of the mark of Cain, and similar melodramatic charges." - Richard Dawkins

"Saying that spiritual practices train our minds, shape our consciousness and mold our character can sum this up. We undertake spiritual practice in order to change in some way, even if it is only a change of perspective. In more traditional language we undertake spiritual practices because they bring us closer to God’s will. How does this work? Spiritual practices including meditation (whether the object of attention is set at the breath, bodily sensations, a visualization, a mantra, a prayer or at floating open attention), and mitzvoth like Shabbat, Kashrut, and Torah study, and conscious non-harming speech share a similar technology. One commits to a particular action as the focus of one’s energy, attention, time, and behavior. One articulates this intention. Then one waits. Soon, the obstacles appear. In a sitting meditation practice we may intend to follow each in breath and each out breath. No sooner do we begin then thoughts rush in or we find ourselves nodding sleepily or in a state of anxiety regarding the pain in our knee or lower back. Or we have decided to observe the Sabbath and an invitation comes our way that is irresistible. Or we promise ourselves to observe kashruth and a strong desire arises to taste the forbidden. Often rationalizing thoughts obscuring the clarity of the original intention surround these temptations. The training occurs in the next step, the step of renunciation or returning. We see the temptation. We acknowledge it in a non-judgmental and non-personal way realizing that we are seeing forgetfulness in the human mind. As we bring attention to the temptation we see that it has no substance. Each time we do this, the ability to choose is strengthened. Each time we return from distraction or obstacle, the power of habit and unconsciousness is weakened. In this process we begin to see the nature of our minds and the nature of reality itself. We increase our ability to pay attention. And what do we begin to notice? We observe the arising and passing away of thoughts, sensations, sounds, desires, feelings, and moods just as daylight passes and evening comes. We see the consequences of various forms of contraction in the mind or body like fear, desire, suppression, judgment, anger, and aggression. We see the consequences of various forms of expansion like, trust, ease, relaxation, acceptance, generosity and gratitude." - Sheila Peltz Weinberg

"I cannot think of any need in childhood as strong as the need for a father's protection." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"I no longer count as one of my merits that I always tell the truth as much as possible; it has become my metier." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"It is easy to see that the ego is that part of the id which has been modified by the direct influence of the external world." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"The first human being who hurled an insult instead of a stone was the founder of civilization." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"The time comes when each one of us has to give up as illusions the expectations which, in his youth, he pinned upon his fellow-men, and when he may learn how much difficulty and pain has been added to his life by their ill-will." - Sigmund Freud, born Sigismund Schlomo Freud

"No man has greater confidence than I have in the spirit of the people, to a rational extent. Whatever they can, they will." - Thomas Jefferson

"Our liberty cannot be guarded but by the freedom of the press, nor that be limited without danger of losing it." - Thomas Jefferson

"Article 8 - The United Nations shall place no restrictions on the eligibility of men and women to participate in any capacity and under conditions of equality in its principal and subsidiary organs." - United Nations NULL

"Four Approaches to Growing into Silence - Be precise, accurate and totally present with everything that one does. Expose oneself as much as one can to nature, to the universe, all that is not man-made. Be a disciple of one's own understanding. Keep the body and brain sensitive, alert and sharp." - Vimala Thakar

"When awareness of the totality, of wholeness, dawns upon the heart, and there is awareness of the relationship of every being to every other, then there is no longer any possibility of taking an exclusive approach to a fragment and getting stuck there. As soon as there is awareness of wholeness, every moment becomes sacred, every movement is sacred. The sense of oneness is no longer an intellectual connection. We will in all our actions be whole, total, natural, without effort. Every action or nonaction will have the perfume of wholeness." - Vimala Thakar

"A bird will not fly with one wing." - Turkish Proverbs

"I can understand J. Edgar Hoover, because he wasn't inaccurate.… He said that we were the main threat. We were trying to be the main threat. We were trying to be the vanguard organization. J. Edgar Hoover was an adversary, but he had good information. We were plugged into all of the revolutionary groups in America, plus those abroad. We were working hand-in-hand with communist parties here and around the world, and he knew that." - Eldridge Cleaver, fully Leroy Eldridge Cleaver