So Nothing Changes

Sunday, February 2, 2020 – So Nothing Changes

When an opinion has taken root in a democracy and established itself in the minds of the majority, it afterward persists by itself, needing no effort to maintain it, since no one attacks it. Those who at first rejected it as false come in the end to adopt it as accepted, and even those who still at the bottom of their hearts oppose it keep their views to themselves, taking great care to avoid a dangerous and futile contest. ~ Alexis de Tocqueville

Why shouldn’t things be largely absurd, futile, and transitory? They are so, and we are so, and they and we go very well together. ~ George Santayana

We assume that politicians are without honor. We read their statements trying to crack the code. The scandals of their politics: not so much that men in high places lie, only that they do so with such indifference, so endlessly, still expecting to be believed. We are accustomed to the contempt inherent in the political lie. ~ Adrienne Rich

What is the use of straining after an amiable view of things, when a cynical view is most likely to be the true one? ~ George Bernard Shaw

Life is full of infinite absurdities, which, strangely enough, do not even need to appear plausible, since they are true. ~ Luigi Pirandello

The irrationality of a thing is no argument against its existence, rather a condition of it. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

I reject the cynical view that politics is a dirty business. ~ Richard M. Nixon

In politics, an absurdity is not a handicap. ~ Napoleon Bonaparte

It’s time for the human race to enter the solar system. ~ Dan Quayle

You can tell a lot about a fellow’s character by his way of eating jellybeans. ~ Ronald Reagan

One of the surprising things in this world is the respect a worthless man has for himself. ~ Ed Howe

We are all tattooed in our cradles with the beliefs of our tribe; the record may seem superficial, but it is indelible. You cannot educate a man wholly out of the superstitious fears which were implanted in his imagination, no matter how utterly his reason may reject them. ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., The Poet at the Breakfast Table, 1872

Just as no one can be forced into belief no one can be forced into unbelief. ~ Sigmund Freud

Democracy is a pathetic belief in the collective wisdom of individual ignorance. ~ H. L. Mencken

The characteristic political attitude of today is not one of positive belief, but of despair. ~ Herbert Read

Optimism – the doctrine or belief that everything is beautiful, including what is ugly. ~ Ambrose Bierce

It has always been the prerogative of children and half-wits to point out that the emperor has no clothes. But the half-wit remains a half-wit, and the emperor remains an emperor. ~ Neil Gaiman

They were so strong in their beliefs that there came a time when it hardly mattered what exactly those beliefs were; they all fused into a single stubbornness. ~ Louise Erdrich

I confused things with their names: that is belief. ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

Man is a credulous animal, and must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisfied with bad ones. ~ Bertrand Russell

What a man believes upon grossly insufficient evidence is an index into his desires – desires of which he himself is often unconscious. If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way. ~ Bertrand Russell

You always admire what you really don’t understand. ~ Blaise Pascal

All money is a matter of belief. ~ Adam Smith

Every man who attacks my belief, diminishes in some degree my confidence in it, and therefore makes me uneasy; and I am angry with him who makes me uneasy. ~ Samuel Johnson

Every man has a right to utter what he thinks truth, and every other man has a right to knock him down for it. ~ Samuel Johnson

A wise man proportions his belief to the evidence. ~ David Hume

It is, I think, an indisputable fact that Americans are, as Americans, the most self-conscious people in the world, and the most addicted to the belief that the other nations of the earth are in a conspiracy to undervalue them. ~ Henry James

Belief is a moral act for which the believer is to be held responsible. ~ Lillian Hellman

The effect of the mass media is not to elicit belief but to maintain the apparatus of addiction. ~ Christopher Lasch

The goal of modern propaganda is no longer to transform opinion but to arouse an active and mythical belief. ~ Jacques Ellul

Capitalism has destroyed our belief in any effective power but that of self-interest backed by force. ~ George Bernard Shaw

There are no whole truths: all truths are half-truths. It is trying to treat them as whole truths that plays the devil. ~ Alfred North Whitehead

Most truths are so naked that people feel sorry for them and cover them up, at least a little bit. ~ Edward R. Murrow

The truth will set you free. But first, it will piss you off. ~ Gloria Steinem

Like all dreamers I confuse disenchantment with truth. ~ Jean-Paul Sartre

If you don’t read the newspaper, you are uninformed; if you do read the newspaper, you are misinformed. ~ Mark Twain

There are many more wrong answers than right ones, and they are easier to find. ~ Michael Friedlander

Truth always rests with the minority, and the minority is always stronger than the majority, because the minority is generally formed by those who really have an opinion, while the strength of a majority is illusory, formed by the gangs who have no opinion – and who, therefore, in the next instant (when it is evident that the minority is the stronger) assume its opinion while Truth again reverts to a new minority. ~ Soren Kierkegaard

I have come to believe that the whole world is an enigma, a harmless enigma that is made terrible by our own mad attempt to interpret it as though it had an underlying truth. ~ Umberto Eco

Truth has very few friends and those few are suicides. ~ Antonio Porchia

Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing ever happened. ~ Sir Winston Churchill

A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it. ~ Oscar Wilde

It is hard to believe that a man is telling the truth when you know that you would lie if you were in his place. ~ H. L. Mencken

There are only two ways of telling the complete truth – anonymously and posthumously. ~ Thomas Sowell

People who are brutally honest get more satisfaction out of the brutality than out of the honesty. ~ Richard J. Needham

If we were all given by magic the power to read each other’s thoughts, I suppose the first effect would be to dissolve all friendships. ~ Bertrand Russell

Reality is bad enough. Why should I tell the truth? ~ Patrick Sky

It is always the best policy to tell the truth, unless, of course, you are an exceptionally good liar. ~ Jerome K. Jerome

Solitaire is the only thing in life that demands absolute honesty. ~ Hugh Wheeler

Men are able to trust one another, knowing the exact degree of dishonesty they are entitled to expect. ~ Stephen Butler Leacock

It’s discouraging to think how many people are shocked by honesty and how few by deceit. ~ Noel Coward

Human beings are perhaps never more frightening than when they are convinced beyond doubt that they are right. ~ Laurens van der Post

Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand. ~ Kurt Vonnegut

There used to be a real me, but I had it surgically removed. ~ Peter Sellers

I always divide people into two groups. Those who live by what they know to be a lie and those who live by what they believe, falsely, to be the truth. ~ Christopher Hampton

I am so clever that sometimes I don’t understand a single word of what I am saying. ~ Oscar Wilde

Where I am not understood, it shall be concluded that something very useful and profound is couched underneath. ~ Jonathan Swift

There would be no society if living together depended upon understanding each other. ~ Eric Hoffer

Human speech is like a cracked tin kettle, on which we hammer out tunes to make bears dance when we long to move the stars. ~ Gustave Flaubert, Madame Bovary

I’ve seen a look in dogs’ eyes, a quickly vanishing look of amazed contempt, and I am convinced that basically dogs think humans are nuts. ~ John Steinbeck