Great Throughts Treasury

This site is dedicated to the memory of Dr. Alan William Smolowe who gave birth to the creation of this database.


"Suffering is a great teacher. Suffering teaches you the limitations of your power; it reminds you of the frailty of your health, the instability of your possessions, and the inadequacy of your means which have only been lent to you and must be returned as soon as the Owner desires it. Suffering visits you and teaches you the nothingness of your false greatness. It teaches you modesty." - Samson Raphael Hirsch

"The country’s largest media institutions operate on a basis of enormous respect for presidential power. Overall, mass media outlets restrain the momentum of denunciations lest they appear to create instability for the Republic." - Norman Solomon

"The common character of all evil is that its realization in fact involves that there is some concurrent realization of a purpose towards elimination. The purpose is to secure the avoidance of evil. The fact of the instability of evil is the moral order in the world." - Alfred North Whitehead

"The fact of instability of evil is the moral order of the world." - Alfred North Whitehead

"Wisdom means keeping a sense of the fallibility of all our views and opinions, and of the uncertainty and instability of the things we most count on." - Gerald Brenan, fully Edward FitzGerald "Gerald" Brenan

"The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy." -

"Modern men, anxious as we are, uncertain of ourselves, lost without a map, may be better equipped to survive than our more solid and unquestioning forebears. Paradoxically, our instability may be the key to our strength." - Sam Keen

"The phenomenon of emergence takes place at critical points of instability that arise from fluctuations in the environment, amplified by feedback loops" - Fritjof Capra

"When we violate the law ourselves, whatever short-term advantage may be gained, we are obviously encouraging others to violate the law; we thus encourage disorder and instability and thereby do incalculable damage to our own long-term interests." - J. W. Fulbright, fully James William Fulbright

"The Great Depression, like most other periods of severe unemployment, was produced by government mismanagement rather than by any inherent instability of the private economy. " - Milton Friedman, fully John Milton Friedman

"The stock of money, prices and output was decidedly more unstable after the establishment of the Reserve System than before. The most dramatic period of instability in output was, of course, the period between the two wars, which includes the severe (monetary) contractions of 1920-1, 1929-33, and 1937-8. No other 20 year period in American history contains as many as three such severe contractions. This evidence persuades me that at least a third of the price rise during and just after World War I is attributable to the establishment of the Federal Reserve System and that the severity of each of the major contractions—1920-1, 1929-33 and 1937-8 is directly attributable to acts of commission and omission by the Reserve authorities. Any system which gives so much power and so much discretion to a few men, so that mistakes—excusable or not—can have such far reaching effects, is a bad system. It is a bad system to believers in freedom just because it gives a few men such power without any effective check by the body politic—this is the key political argument against an independent central bank. To paraphrase Clemenceau, money is much too serious a matter to be left to the central bankers." - Milton Friedman, fully John Milton Friedman

"I sometimes states that if they lose time. You do not know - or do not remember - when they started, what has unleashed such changes. And yet, so afraid of bliss sometimes emerges a word, a cry, a song or a single musical note, that you remain constantly present, without getting instability or even slightly surprised them. " - Mircea Eliade

"Never depend on the multitude, full of instability and whims; always take precautions against it." - Napoleon Bonaparte, Napoleon I

"Some benefit has not failed to flow from the imperfect attempts which have been made to erect a system of equal rights to property and power upon the basis of arbitrary institutions. They have undoubtedly, in every case, from the instability of their foundation, failed. Still, they constitute a record of those epochs at which a trite sense of justice suggested itself to the understandings of men, so that they consented to forego all the cherished delights of luxury, all the habitual gratifications arising out of the possession or the expectation of power, all the superstitions with which the accumulated authority of ages had made them dear and venerable. They are so many trophies erected in the enemy's land, to mark the limits of the victorious progress of truth and justice." - Percy Bysshe Shelley

"Promotion should not be more important than accomplishment, or avoiding instability more important than taking the right risk." - Peter F. Drucker, fully Peter Ferdinand Drucker

"I rejoiced in my progress, mourned my weaknesses, and commiserated the universal instability of human conduct." - Petrarch, anglicized from Italian name Francesco Petrarca NULL

"“According to one’s abilities” is the essential rule in the service of Hashem. And our abilities are limited. Each pathway into self-growth which we endeavor to present throughout this work is built upon this important foundation: We must always move slowly with our work, never overburdening ourselves or being extreme with what we try to do. “One who grabs much, will not attain, and one who grabs little will attain.” (Tractate Kiddushin 17a) And even regarding the little we can do, we will fail not once or twice, nevertheless we can never despair. Rather, we must persevere and stubbornly begin anew until, with Hashem’s help, we succeed." - Shlomo Wolbe, aka Wilhelm Wolbe

"We must carefully consider whether our conscience has ceased to accuse us, not because we are good, but because it is immersed in evil. A sign of deliverance from our falls is the continual acknowledgment of our indebtedness." - John Climacus, fully Saint John Climacus, aka John of the Ladder, John Scholasticus and John Sinaites

"It is interesting to notice that in discussing the mechanism of psychoanalysis in liberating the ‘abnormal’ patient from his symptoms, Freud repeatedly lays stress on the fact that the efficient factor in the process is not the actual introduction of the suppressed experiences into the conscious field, but the overcoming of the resistances to such an endeavor. I have attempted to show that these resistances or counter-impulses are of environmental origin, and owe their strength to the specific sensitiveness of the gregarious mind. Resistances of similar type and identical origin are responsible for the formation of the so-called normal type of mind. It is a principal thesis of an earlier essay in this book that this normal type is far from being psychologically healthy, is far from rendering available the full capacity of the mind for foresight and progress, and being in exclusive command of directing power in the world, is a danger to civilization." - Wilfred Trotter, fully Wilfred Batten Lewis Trotter