For those authors and personages herein about whom a brief paragraph is written concerning who they are/were and when they lived, please bear in mind that it is impossible to do justice to any person in a paragraph, and sometimes, not even in an entire tome. I have striven to relay that which is most pertinent about their life in principle and practice within a tiny space. The villainy of villains and the goodness of the saints may not be perfectly balanced, but in my defense, goodness and badness can never be balanced, nor should we try. Let us condemn the condemnable and praise the praiseworthy. Lifting up and casting down as is merited. This means that unless they are particularly relevant to their life, I have ignored curricula vitae, posts (honorific or otherwise), job titles, etc., and instead focused on what I could glean that was most important about each: what they believed to be true about God and man and how those beliefs were made manifest in their lives. Everything else is ancillary. I have also deigned to utter my opinion about a person from time to time. Facts only exist without opinion in a vacuum or within a vacuous mind. At the very least, they exist so that one may form reasonable opinions. A heifer grazing in a field has no opinions about anything. To be 'above' opinion is to be below a bovine. I am here speaking about and to those faux intellectuals and frauds who bandy about facts as a Pyrrhonist does. Of course, if one has neither investigated nor reflected upon a matter, it is perfectly acceptable, preferable, and advisable to simply state: 'I have no opinion about or on such and such as I have not looked into it.'

Robert H. Bork

From a speech given at the University of Michigan (1979)

The court tends to assume that there is not a problem if willing adults indulge a taste for pornography in a theater whose outside advertising does not offend the squeamish. The assumption is wrong….The attitudes, taste, and moral values inculcated do not stay behind in the theater. A change in moral environment—in social attitudes toward sex, marriage, duties toward children, and the like—may as surely be felt as harm as the possibility of physical violence.

G. K. Chesterton

All Things Considered - French and English (1915)

When I was in Paris a short time ago, I went with an English friend of mine to an extremely brilliant and rapid succession of French plays, each occupying about twenty minutes. They were all astonishingly effective; but there was one of them which was so effective that my friend and I fought about it outside, and had almost to be separated by the police. It was intended to indicate how men really behaved in a wreck or naval disaster, how they break down, how they scream, how they fight each other without object and in a mere hatred of everything. And then there was added, with all that horrible irony which Voltaire began, a scene in which a great statesman made a speech over their bodies, saying that they were all heroes and had died in a fraternal embrace. My friend and I came out of this theatre, and as he had lived long in Paris, he said, like a Frenchman: "What admirable artistic arrangement! Is it not exquisite?" "No," I replied, assuming as far as possible the traditional attitude of John Bull in the pictures in Punch - "No, it is not exquisite. Perhaps it is unmeaning; if it is unmeaning I do not mind. But if it has a meaning I know what the meaning is; it is that under all their pageant of chivalry men are not only beasts, but even hunted beasts. I do not know much of humanity, especially when humanity talks in French. But I know when a thing is meant to uplift the human soul, and when it is meant to depress it. I know that Cyrano de Bergerac (where the actors talked even quicker) was meant to encourage man. And I know that this was meant to discourage him."

All Things Considered - The Vote and the House (1915)

Anomalies do matter very much, and do a great deal of harm; abstract illogicalities do matter a great deal, and do a great deal of harm. And this for a reason that any one at all acquainted with human nature can see for himself. All injustice begins in the mind. And anomalies accustom the mind to the idea of unreason and untruth. Suppose I had by some prehistoric law the power of forcing every man in Battersea to nod his head three times before he got out of bed. The practical politicians might say that this power was a harmless anomaly; that it was not a grievance. It could do my subjects no harm; it could do me no good. The people of Battersea, they would say, might safely submit to it. But the people of Battersea could not safely submit to it, for all that. If I had nodded their heads for them for fifty years I could cut off their heads for them at the end of it with immeasurably greater ease. For there would have permanently sunk into every man’s mind the notion that it was a natural thing for me to have a fantastic and irrational power. They would have grown accustomed to insanity.

Joseph Conrad

The Nigger of the Narcissus: Preface - 1

A work that aspires, however humbly, to the condition of art should carry its justification in every line. And art itself may be defined as a single-minded attempt to render the highest kind of justice to the visible universe, by bringing to light the truth, manifold and one, underlying its every aspect. It is an attempt to find in its forms, in its colours, in its light, in its shadows, in the aspects of matter and in the facts of life what of each is fundamental, what is enduring and essential—their one illuminating and convincing quality—the very truth of their existence. The artist, then, like the thinker or the scientist, seeks the truth and makes his appeal. Impressed by the aspect of the world the thinker plunges into ideas, the scientist into facts—whence, presently, emerging they make their appeal to those qualities of our being that fit us best for the hazardous enterprise of living. They speak authoritatively to our common-sense, to our intelligence, to our desire of peace or to our desire of unrest; not seldom to our prejudices, sometimes to our fears, often to our egoism—but always to our credulity. And their words are heard with reverence, for their concern is with weighty matters: with the cultivation of our minds and the proper care of our bodies, with the attainment of our ambitions, with the perfection of the means and the glorification of our precious aims.

The Nigger of the Narcissus: Preface - 2

It is otherwise with the artist.

Confronted by the same enigmatical spectacle the artist descends within himself, and in that lonely region of stress and strife, if he be deserving and fortunate, he finds the terms of his appeal. His appeal is made to our less obvious capacities: to that part of our nature which, because of the warlike conditions of existence, is necessarily kept out of sight within the more resisting and hard qualities—like the vulnerable body within a steel armour. His appeal is less loud, more profound, less distinct, more stirring—and sooner forgotten. Yet its effect endures forever. The changing wisdom of successive generations discards ideas, questions facts, demolishes theories. But the artist appeals to that part of our being which is not dependent on wisdom; to that in us which is a gift and not an acquisition—and, therefore, more permanently enduring. He speaks to our capacity for delight and wonder, to the sense of mystery surrounding our lives; to our sense of pity, and beauty, and pain; to the latent feeling of fellowship with all creation—and to the subtle but invincible conviction of solidarity that knits together the loneliness of innumerable hearts, to the solidarity in dreams, in joy, in sorrow, in aspirations, in illusions, in hope, in fear, which binds men to each other, which binds together all humanity—the dead to the living and the living to the unborn.

The Nigger of the Narcissus: Preface - 3

It is only some such train of thought, or rather of feeling, that can in a measure explain the aim of the attempt, made in the tale which follows, to present an unrestful episode in the obscure lives of a few individuals out of all the disregarded multitude of the bewildered, the simple and the voiceless. For, if any part of truth dwells in the belief confessed above, it becomes evident that there is not a place of splendour or a dark corner of the earth that does not deserve, if only a passing glance of wonder and pity. The motive then, may be held to justify the matter of the work; but this preface, which is simply an avowal of endeavour, cannot end here—for the avowal is not yet complete. Fiction—if it at all aspires to be art—appeals to temperament. And in truth it must be, like painting, like music, like all art, the appeal of one temperament to all the other innumerable temperaments whose subtle and resistless power endows passing events with their true meaning, and creates the moral, the emotional atmosphere of the place and time. Such an appeal to be effective must be an impression conveyed through the senses; and, in fact, it cannot be made in any other way, because temperament, whether individual or collective, is not amenable to persuasion. All art, therefore, appeals primarily to the senses, and the artistic aim when expressing itself in written words must also make its appeal through the senses, if its highest desire is to reach the secret spring of responsive emotions. It must strenuously aspire to the plasticity of sculpture, to the colour of painting, and to the magic suggestiveness of music—which is the art of arts. And it is only through complete, unswerving devotion to the perfect blending of form and substance; it is only through an unremitting never-discouraged care for the shape and ring of sentences that an approach can be made to plasticity, to colour, and that the light of magic suggestiveness may be brought to play for an evanescent instant over the commonplace surface of words: of the old, old words, worn thin, defaced by ages of careless usage.

The Nigger of the Narcissus: Preface - 4

The sincere endeavour to accomplish that creative task, to go as far on that road as his strength will carry him, to go undeterred by faltering, weariness or reproach, is the only valid justification for the worker in prose. And if his conscience is clear, his answer to those who in the fulness of a wisdom which looks for immediate profit, demand specifically to be edified, consoled, amused; who demand to be promptly improved, or encouraged, or frightened, or shocked, or charmed, must run thus:—My task which I am trying to achieve is, by the power of the written word to make you hear, to make you feel—it is, before all, to make you see. That—and no more, and it is everything. If I succeed, you shall find there according to your deserts: encouragement, consolation, fear, charm—all you demand—and, perhaps, also that glimpse of truth for which you have forgotten to ask. To snatch in a moment of courage, from the remorseless rush of time, a passing phase of life, is only the beginning of the task. The task approached in tenderness and faith is to hold up unquestioningly, without choice and without fear, the rescued fragment before all eyes in the light of a sincere mood. It is to show its vibration, its colour, its form; and through its movement, its form, and its colour, reveal the substance of its truth—disclose its inspiring secret: the stress and passion within the core of each convincing moment. In a single-minded attempt of that kind, if one be deserving and fortunate, one may perchance attain to such clearness of sincerity that at last the presented vision of regret or pity, of terror or mirth, shall awaken in the hearts of the beholders that feeling of unavoidable solidarity; of the solidarity in mysterious origin, in toil, in joy, in hope, in uncertain fate, which binds men to each other and all mankind to the visible world. It is evident that he who, rightly or wrongly, holds by the convictions expressed above cannot be faithful to any one of the temporary formulas of his craft. The enduring part of them—the truth which each only imperfectly veils—should abide with him as the most precious of his possessions, but they all: Realism, Romanticism, Naturalism, even the unofficial sentimentalism (which like the poor, is exceedingly difficult to get rid of,) all these gods must, after a short period of fellowship, abandon him—even on the very threshold of the temple—to the stammerings of his conscience and to the outspoken consciousness of the difficulties of his work. In that uneasy solitude the supreme cry of Art for Art itself, loses the exciting ring of its apparent immorality. It sounds far off. It has ceased to be a cry, and is heard only as a whisper, often incomprehensible, but at times and faintly encouraging.

The Nigger of the Narcissus: Preface - 5

Sometimes, stretched at ease in the shade of a roadside tree, we watch the motions of a labourer in a distant field, and after a time, begin to wonder languidly as to what the fellow may be at. We watch the movements of his body, the waving of his arms, we see him bend down, stand up, hesitate, begin again. It may add to the charm of an idle hour to be told the purpose of his exertions. If we know he is trying to lift a stone, to dig a ditch, to uproot a stump, we look with a more real interest at his efforts; we are disposed to condone the jar of his agitation upon the restfulness of the landscape; and even, if in a brotherly frame of mind, we may bring ourselves to forgive his failure. We understood his object, and, after all, the fellow has tried, and perhaps he had not the strength—and perhaps he had not the knowledge. We forgive, go on our way—and forget.

The Nigger of the Narcissus: Preface - 6

And so it is with the workman of art. Art is long and life is short, and success is very far off. And thus, doubtful of strength to travel so far, we talk a little about the aim—the aim of art, which, like life itself, is inspiring, difficult—obscured by mists; it is not in the clear logic of a triumphant conclusion; it is not in the unveiling of one of those heartless secrets which are called the Laws of Nature. It is not less great, but only more difficult.

The Nigger of the Narcissus: Preface - 7

To arrest, for the space of a breath, the hands busy about the work of the earth, and compel men entranced by the sight of distant goals to glance for a moment at the surrounding vision of form and colour, of sunshine and shadows; to make them pause for a look, for a sigh, for a smile—such is the aim, difficult and evanescent, and reserved only for a very few to achieve. But sometimes, by the deserving and the fortunate, even that task is accomplished. And when it is accomplished—behold!—all the truth of life is there: a moment of vision, a sigh, a smile—and the return to an eternal rest.

Daniel Dennett

Consciousness Explained (1991)

The juvenile sea squirt wanders through the sea searching for a suitable rock or hunk of coral to cling to and make its home for life. For this task, it has a rudimentary nervous system. When it finds its spot and takes root, it doesn't need its brain anymore, so it eats it! It's rather like getting tenure.

Nikolaus Harnoncourt

Art isn't a pretty accessory - it's the umbilical cord that connects us with the divine. It insures our humanity.

Thomas Henry Huxley

"The School Boards: What They Can Do and What They May Do," The Contemporary Review 16 (Dec 1870): 1-15

I have always been strongly in favour of secular education, in the sense of education without theology; but I must confess I have been no less seriously perplexed to know by what practical measures the religious feeling, which is the essential basis of conduct, was to be kept up, in the present utterly chaotic state of opinion on these matters, without the use of the Bible. The Pagan moralists lack life and colour, and even the noble Stoic, Marcus Antonius, is too high and refined for an ordinary child. Take the Bible as a whole; make the severest deductions which fair criticism can dictate for shortcomings and positive errors; eliminate, as a sensible lay-teacher would do, if left to himself, all that it is not desirable for children to occupy themselves with; and there still remains in this old literature a vast residuum of moral beauty and grandeur. And then consider the great historical fact that, for three centuries, this book has been woven into the life of all that is best and noblest in English history; that it has become the national epic of Britain, and is as familiar to noble and simple, from John-o'-Groat's House to Land's End, as Dante and Tasso once were to the Italians; that it is written in the noblest and purest English, and abounds in exquisite beauties of mere literary form; and, finally, that it forbids the veriest hind who never left his village to be ignorant of the existence of other countries and other civilisations, and of a great past, stretching back to the furthest limits of the oldest nations in the world. By the study of what other book could children be so much humanised and made to feel that each figure in that vast historical procession fills, like themselves, but a momentary space in the interval between two eternities; and earns the blessings or the curses of all time, according to its effort to do good and hate evil, even as they also are earning their payment for their work?

"Science and the Bishops," The Nineteenth Century 22 (Nov 1887)

I repeat that it is not upon any à priori considerations that objections, either to the supposed efficacy of prayer in modifying the course of events, or to the supposed occurrence of miracles, can be scientifically based. The real objection, and, to my mind, the fatal objection, to both these suppositions, is the inadequacy of the evidence to prove any given case of such occurrences which has been adduced. It is a canon of common sense, to say nothing of science, that the more improbable a supposed occurrence, the more cogent ought to be the evidence in its favour. I have looked somewhat carefully into the subject, and I am unable to find in the records of any miraculous event evidence which even approximates to the fulfilment of this requirement.


I venture to warn this preacher and those who, with him, persist in identifying Christianity with the miraculous, that such forms of Christianity are not only doomed to fall to the ground, but that, within the last half-century, they have been driving that way with continually accelerated velocity.

"The Value of Witness to the Miraculous," The Nineteenth Century 24 (1887): 438-53

But it may be said that no serious critic denies the genuineness of the four great Pauline Epistles—Galatians, First and Second Corinthians, and Romans—and that in three out of these four Paul lays claim to the power of working miracles. Must we suppose, therefore, that the Apostle to the Gentiles has stated that which is false? But to how much does this so-called claim amount? It may mean much or little. Paul nowhere tells us what he did in this direction; and in his sore need to justify his assumption of apostleship against the sneers of his enemies, it is hardly likely that, if he had any very striking cases to bring forward, he would have neglected evidence so well calculated to put them to shame. And, without the slightest impeachment of Paul's veracity, we must further remember that his strongly-marked mental characteristics, displayed in unmistakable fashion by these Epistles, are anything but those which would justify us in regarding him as a critical witness respecting matters of fact, or as a trustworthy interpreter of their significance. When a man testifies to a miracle, he not only states a fact, but he adds an interpretation of the fact. We may admit his evidence as to the former, and yet think his opinion as to the latter worthless.

"Agnosticism and Christianity," The Nineteenth Century 25 (1889): 937-64

It was with the purpose of bringing this great fact into prominence; of getting people to open both their eyes when they look at Ecclesiasticism; that I devoted so much space to that miraculous story which happens to be one of the best types of its class. And I could not wish for a better justification of the course I have adopted, than the fact that my heroically consistent adversary has declared his implicit belief in the Gadarene story and (by necessary consequence) in the Christian demonology as a whole. It must be obvious, by this time, that, if the account of the spiritual world given in the New Testament, professedly on the authority of Jesus, is true, then the demonological half of that account must be just as true as the other half. And, therefore, those who question the demonology, or try to explain it away, deny the truth of what Jesus said, and are, in ecclesiastical terminology, "Infidels" just as much as those who deny the spirituality of God. This is as plain as anything can well be, and the dilemma for my opponent was either to assert that the Gadarene pig-bedevilment actually occurred, or to write himself down an "Infidel." As was to be expected, he chose the former alternative; and I may express my great satisfaction at finding that there is one spot of common ground on which both he and I stand. So far as I can judge, we are agreed to state one of the broad issues between the consequences of agnostic principles (as I draw them), and the consequences of ecclesiastical dogmatism (as he accepts it), as follows.

Ecclesiasticism says: The demonology of the Gospels is an essential part of that account of that spiritual world, the truth of which it declares to be certified by Jesus.

Agnosticism (me judice) says: There is no good evidence of the existence of a demoniac spiritual world, and much reason for doubting it.

"Agnosticism: A Rejoinder," The Nineteenth Century 25 (1889): 481-504

The Acts of the Apostles is hardly a very trustworthy history; it is certainly of later date than the Pauline Epistles, supposing them to be genuine.

"Possibilities and Impossibilities," Agnostic Annual (1892)

It may be urged, however, that there is, at any rate, one miracle certified by all three of the Synoptic Gospels which really does "imply a contradiction," and is, therefore, "impossible" in the strictest sense of the word. This is the well-known story of the feeding of several thousand men, to the complete satisfaction of their hunger, by the distribution of a few loaves and fishes among them; the wondrousness of this already somewhat surprising performance being intensified by the assertion that the quantity of the fragments of the meal, left over, amounted to much more than the original store.

Thomas Jefferson

From a letter to Nathaniel Burwell (March 14, 1818)

A great obstacle to good education is the inordinate passion prevalent for novels, and the time lost in that reading which should be instructively employed. When this poison infects the mind, it destroys its tone and revolts it against wholesome reading. Reason and fact, plain and unadorned, are rejected. Nothing can engage attention unless dressed in all the figments of fancy, and nothing so bedecked comes amiss. The result is a bloated imagination, sickly judgement, and disgust towards all the real businesses of life. This mass of trash, however, is not without some distinction; some few modeling their narratives although fictitious, on the incidents of real life, have been able to make them interesting and useful vehicles of a sound morality… For a like reason, too, much poetry should not be indulged. Some is useful for forming style and taste. Pope, Dryden, Thompson, Shakespeare, and of the French, Moliere, Racine, the Corneilles, may be read with pleasure and improvement.

C. S. Lewis

Democratic Education (1944): Equality Cannot be Reified

Equality (outside mathematics) is a purely social conception. It applies to man as a political and economic animal. It has no place in the world of the mind. Beauty is not democratic; she reveals herself more to the few than to the many, more to the persistent and disciplined seekers than to the careless. Virtue is not democratic; she is achieved by those who pursue her more hotly than most men. Truth is not democratic; she demands special talents and special industry in those to whom she gives her favours.

Democratic Education (1944): Hatred of Superiority

The demand for equality has two sources; one of them is among the noblest, the other is the basest of human emotions. The noble source is the desire for fair play. But the other source is the hatred of superiority1This explains why it is that with rare exception, the fanatical democrat is neither a Christian nor even a true theist: both entail a recognition of a being which is by definition superior to them in every way imaginable..

Mere Christianity (1952), Chapter 5: Sexual Morality

Finally, though I have had to speak at some length about sex, I want to make it as clear as I possibly can that the centre of Christian morality is not here. If anyone thinks that Christians regard unchastity as the supreme vice, he is quite wrong. The sins of the flesh are bad, but they are the least bad of all sins. All the worst pleasures are purely spiritual: the pleasure of putting other people in the wrong, of bossing and patronising and spoiling sport, and back-biting; the pleasures of power, of hatred. For there are two things inside me, competing with the human self which I must try to become. They are the Animal self, and the Diabolical self. The Diabolical self is the worse of the two. That is why a cold, self-righteous prig who goes regularly to church may be far nearer to hell than a prostitute. But, of course, it is better to be neither.

Mere Christianity (1952), Chapter 7: Let's Pretend

Some of you may feel that this is very unlike your own experience. You may say "I've never had the sense of being helped by an invisible Christ, but I often have been helped by other human beings." That is rather like the woman in the first war who said that if there were a bread shortage it would not bother her house because they always ate toast. If there is no bread there will be no toast.

John Stuart Mill

Considerations on Representative Government

It is not useful, but hurtful, that the constitution of the country should declare ignorance to be entitled to as much political power as knowledge.

Malcolm Muggeridge

From a talk entitled The True Crisis of Our Time (March 28, 1985).2Muggeridge's first use of the brontosaurus analogy appeared in Jesus: The Man Who Lives (San Francisco: Harper and Row, 1975, 1976)

Searching about in their minds for some explanation of this pursuit of happiness that became a death wish, the archaeologists, it seems to me, would be bound to hit upon the doctrine of “Progress”: probably the most deleterious fancy to ever take possession of the human heart. The liberal mind's basic dogma – the notion that human beings as individuals must necessarily get better and better – is even now considered by most people to be untenable in the light of their indubitably outrageous behavior towards one another. But the equivalent collective concept – that their social circumstances and conduct must necessarily improve – has come to seem almost axiomatic. On this basis, all change represents Progress, and is therefore good. To change anything is per se to improve or reform it. The archaeologists will also note how, with the abandonment of Christianity, the whole edifice of ethics, law, culture, and human relationships based upon it was likewise demolished; how sex and associated erotica and sterility rites provided the mysticism of the new religion of Progress; and education – a moral equivalent of conversion, whereby the old Adam of ignorance, superstition, and the blind acceptance of tradition was put aside, and the new Liberal Man born: enlightened, erudite, cultivated. So the bustling campuses multiplied and expanded, as did the facilities and buildings: more and more professors instructing more and more students in more and more subjects. As the astronauts soared into the vast eternity of space, on earth the garbage piled higher. As the groves of academe extended their domain, their alumni's arms reached lower. As the phallic cult spread, so did impotence. In great wealth, great poverty. In health, sickness. In numbers, deception. Gorging, left hungry. Sedated, left restless. Telling all, hiding all. In flesh united, but forever separate. So we pressed on, through the valley of abundance, that leads to the wasteland of satiety. Passing through the gardens of fantasy, seeking happiness ever more ardently, and finding boundless despair ever more surely.

So the final conclusion would surely be that whereas other civilizations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense. Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over—a weary, battered old brontosaurus—and became extinct.

Henry Fairfield Osborn

American paleontologist and museum administrator who lived from 1857 – 1935. He greatly influenced the art of museum display and the education of paleontologists in the United States and Great Britain. "In his day he was second only to Albert Einstein as the most popular and well-known scientist in America."3(Brian Regal, Henry Fairfield Osborn Race and the Search for the Origins of Man, [Surry, United Kingdom: Ashgate, 2018], xii)

Reminiscences of Huxley (1925): Supernaturalism

Thus Richard Owen, when the mantle of Cuvier fell on his shoulders, could not rid his mind of supernaturalism and of constant divine interference in the natural order of things; he could not fully accept our modern view that the natural order of things is entirely without divine interference. Owen inherited another cloak which was equally archaic and cumbersome, namely, of German transcendental anatomy, the chief exponent of which was Lorenzo Oken.

Reminiscences of Huxley (1925): Freedom

Now that we enjoy absolute freedom, if not license, of thought, now that men of all shades of scientific, religious, and philosophic belief may express their opinions without fear or favor, it is very difficult to imagine the state of things which prevailed all over western Europe during what we now perceive to be the dark intellectual ages of the close of the eighteenth century and the first half of the nineteenth. No one was free either to say what he believe or even to record freely what he observed without incurring a certain amount of social disfavor.

Preface to The Passing of the Great Race by Madison Grant (1923)

...race has played a far larger part than either language or nationality in moulding the destinies of men; race implies heredity and heredity implies all the moral, social and intellectual characteristics and traits which are the springs of politics and government...Thus conservation of that race which has given us the true spirit of Americanism is not a matter either of racial pride or of racial prejudice; it is a matter of love of country, of a true sentiment which is based upon knowledge and the lessons of history rather than upon the sentimentalism which is fostered by ignorance.

Theodore Roosevelt Jr.

Advice to Young Men

You cannot retain your self respect if you are loose and foul of tongue. A man who is to lead a clean and honorable life must inevitably suffer if his speech likewise is not clean and honorable. The future welfare of the nation depends upon the way in which we can combine in our young men—decency and strength. There is no good of your preaching to your boys to be brave if you run away; there is no good in your preaching to your boys to tell the truth if you do not. Unless there is a spirit of honesty in a man, unless there is a moral sense, his courage, his strength, his power but make him a dangerous creature in our life—a man, whether from the standpoint of our social or political systems, to be feared and to be hunted down. In civil life, the greater a man's ability, if it is not combined with the moral sense, the more dangerous that man as a citizen, the worse he is as a ctitizen.

Last Message: Letter Sent to Richard M. Hurd (January 3, 1919)

I cannot be with you ad so all I can do is to which you Godspeed. There must be no sagging back in the fight for Americanism, merely because the war is over. There are plenty of persons who have already made the assertion that they believe the American people have a short memory and that they intend to revive all the foreign associations which must directly interfere with the complete Americanization of our people.

Our principle in this matter should be absolutely simple. In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here does in good faith become an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin.

But this is predicated upon the man's becoming, in fact, an American, and nothing but an American. If he tries to keep segregated with men of his own origin and separate from the rest of America, then he isn't doing his part as an American.

There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag, and this excludes the red flag4i.e. communism/socialism, which symbolizes all wars against liberty and civilization, just as much as it excludes any foreign flag of a nation to which we are hostile.

We have room for but one language here and that is the English language, for we intend to see that the crucible turns our people out as Americans, of American nationality, and not as dwellers in a polyglot boarding house; and we have room for but one, soul loyalty, and that loyalty is to the American people.

“Citizenship in a Republic,” (aka “The Man in the Arena”) Speech at the Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910

Let the man of learning, the man of lettered leisure, beware of that queer and cheap temptation to pose to himself and to others as a cynic, as the man who has outgrown emotions and beliefs, the man to whom good and evil are as one. The poorest way to face life is with a sneer. There are many men who feel a kind of twisted pride in cynicism; there are many who confine themselves to criticism of the way others do what they themselves dare not even attempt. There is no more unhealthy being, no man less worthy of respect, than he who either really holds, or feigns to hold, an attitude of sneering disbelief toward all that is great and lofty, whether in achievement or in that noble effort which, even if it fails, comes to second achievement. A cynical habit of thought and speech, a readiness to criticize work which the critic himself never tries to perform, an intellectual aloofness which will not accept contact with life's realities—all these are marks, not as the possessor would fain to think, of superiority but of weakness. They mark the men unfit to bear their part painfully in the stern strife of living, who seek, in the affection of contempt for the achievements of others, to hide from others and from themselves in their own weakness. The role is easy; there is none easier, save only the role of the man who sneers alike at both criticism and performance.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Smart Successes

If there is one tendency of the day which more than any other is unhealthy and undesirable, it is the tendency to deify mere "smartness" unaccompanied by a sense of moral accountability. We shall never make our country what it should be until as a people we thoroughly understand and put in practice the doctrine that success is abhorrent if attained by the sacrifice of the fundamental principles of morality. The successful man, whether in business or in politics, who has risen by conscienceless swindling of his neighbors, by deceit and chicanery, by unscrupulous boldness and unscrupulous cunning, stands toward society as a dangerous wild beast. The mean and cringing admiration which such a career commands among those who think crookedly or not at all, makes this kind of success perhaps the most dangerous of all the influences that threaten our national life. Our standard of private and public conduct will never be raised to the proper level until we make the scoundrel who succeeds feel the weight of a hostile public opinion even more strongly than the scoundrel who fails.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Dictionnaire de Musique of 1768

To understand what all the tumult of sonatas might mean, we would have to follow the lead of the coarse artist who was obliged to write underneath that which he had drawn such statements as ‘This is a tree,’ or ‘This is a man,’ or ‘This is a horse.’ I shall never forget the exclamation of the celebrated Fontenelle, who, finding himself exhausted by these eternal symphonies, cried out in a fit of impatience: ‘Sonata, what do you want of me?’

Jean-Paul Sartre

Existentialism is a Humanism (1946)

The existentialist, on the contrary, finds it extremely embarrassing that God does not exist, for there disappears with Him all possibility of finding values in an intelligible heaven. There can no longer be any good a priori, since there is no infinite and perfect consciousness to think it. It is nowhere written that “the good” exists, that one must be honest or must not lie, since we are now upon the plane where there are only men. Dostoevsky once wrote: “If God did not exist, everything would be permitted”; and that, for existentialism, is the starting point. Everything is indeed permitted if God does not exist, and man is in consequence forlorn, for he cannot find anything to depend upon either within or outside himself. He discovers forthwith, that he is without excuse.

Huis Cloi (No Exit) (1944)

Hell is other people.

John Tyndall

1820 – 1893

Article in the Independent (ca. 1870)5Exact date is unknown, but given that Huxley's Lay Sermons was published in 1870, 1870 is a reasonable estimate.

There are those who hold the name of Professor Huxley as synonymous with irreverence and atheism. Plato's was so held, and Galileo's, and Descartes's, and Newton's, and Faraday's. There can be no greater mistake. No man has greater reverence for the Bible than Huxley. No one more acquaintance with the text of Scripture. He believes there is definite government of the universe; that pleasures and pains are distributed in accordance with law; and that the certain proportion of evil woven up in the life even of worms will help the man who thinks to bear his own share with courage.

Richard Weaver

Ideas Have Consequences (1948) - Naming Rightly

To discover what a thing is "called" according to some system is essential in knowing, and to say that all education is learning to name rightly, as Adam named the animals, would assert an underlying truth.

Ideas Have Consequences (1948) - Teleology

The fact that equalitarian democracy, to the extent that it makes leadership superfluous or impossible, is repudiating teleology must not be overlooked here. Teleology enjoins from above; equalitarian democracy takes its counsel without6Weaver is correct, but I think it would be even more correct to add the word 'fixed' here, for in actuality there is a point of reference which is utilized by every fanatical democrat: the self. This explains why chaos is ineluctable in such a scheme. point of reference.

Visions of Order (1964) - The Image of Culture - Distorted Democracy

When democracy is taken from its proper place and is allowed to fill the entire horizon, it produces an envious hatred not only of all distinction but even of all difference. The ensuing distortion conceals its very purpose, which is to keep natural inequalities from obtruding in the one area where equality has intelligible function. The reason we consent to treat men as equals in this area of activity is that we know they are not equals in other areas. The fanatical democrat insists upon making them equal in all departments, regardless of the type of activity and vocation.

Ludwig Wittgenstein

German Philosopher: 1889 – 1951

Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921)

I wanted to write that my work consists of two parts: of the one which is here, and of everything which I have not written. And precisely this second part is the important one.