Politics includes all the activities and conflicts among people and parties to achieve power to implement policies. Politics is how people make decisions in public, together.
When will our consciences grow so tender that we will act to prevent human misery rather than avenge it?
Campaign behavior for wives: Always be on time. Do as little talking as humanly possible. Lean back in the parade car so everybody can see the president.
We women are callow fledglings as compared with the wise old birds who manipulate the political machinery, and we still hesitate to believe that a woman can fill certain positions in public life as competently and adequately as a man.
For instance, it is certain that women do not want a woman for President. Nor would they have the slightest confidence in her ability to fulfill the functions of that office.
Every woman who fails in a public position confirms this, but every woman who succeeds creates confidence.
It is essential to have the leadership of a young and energetic President if we are going to have a program of any validity, so let us look forward to a change in November and hope that youth and wisdom will be combined.
Too few of us think of the responsibility facing the man who will be President of the U.S. and of all its people on his inauguration, January 20. The crowds that have surrounded him during the past year, the feel he has had of the people who did support him — all this will now seem far away as he sits down to appraise the whole situation before him.
Just think — guns have a constitutional amendment protecting them and women don’t.
It may well be that our means are fairly limited and our possibilities restricted when it comes to applying pressure on our government. But is this a reason to do nothing? Despair is nor an answer. Neither is resignation. Resignation only leads to indifference, which is not merely a sin but a punishment
Feminism has led the way in demystifying personal relations, forcefully insisting they are political to the core.
Beware of capitalism’s politicians and preachers! They are the lineal descendants of the hypocrites of old who all down the ages have guarded the flock in the name of patriotism and religion and secured the choicest provender and the snuggest booths for themselves by turning the sheep over to the ravages of the wolves.
I never had much faith in leaders. I am willing to be charged with almost anything, rather than to be charged with being a leader. I am suspicious of leaders, and especially of the intellectual variety. Give me the rank and file every day in the week. If you go to the city of Washington, and you examine the pages of the Congressional Directory, you will find that almost all of those corporation lawyers and cowardly politicians, members of Congress, and mis-representatives of the masses — you will find that almost all of them claim, in glowing terms, that they have risen from the ranks to places of eminence and distinction. I am very glad I cannot make that claim for myself. I would be ashamed to admit that I had risen from the ranks. When I rise it will be with the ranks, and not from the ranks.
But why is democracy as against autocracy, or what we call freedom, so stringent in its appeal, its evocations? Certain conditions are indispensable to spiritual growth, the growth and heightening of human personality. Political freedom is one of them.
Political freedom, rightly understood, means that the will of every member of the commonwealth, guided by intelligence, shall be employed in deciding what is for the common good, that is, in creating those conditions on which the highest efflorescence of every human personality depends. This is the reason why autocracy is odious, and the ever wider extension of free political institutions is a dear and noble aim. This is the reason why those who have served the cause of freedom have served a great cause, and in serving it have themselves been greatened.
Control the coinage and the courts — let the rabble have the rest.
We had to struggle with the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.
They had begun to consider the Government of the United States as a mere appendage to their own affairs. We know now that Government by organized money is just as dangerous as Government by organized mob.
Never before in all our history have these forces been so united against one candidate as they stand today. They are unanimous in their hate for me–and I welcome their hatred.
I should like to have it said of my first Administration that in it the forces of selfishness and of lust for power met their match. I should like to have it said of my second Administration that in it these forces met their master.
The transmission from generation to generation of vast fortunes by will, inheritance, or gift is not consistent with the ideals and sentiments of the American people…. [I]nherited economic power is as inconsistent with the ideals of this generation as inherited political power was inconsistent with the ideals of the generation which established our government.
Once a reporter asked A.J. Muste, “Do you really think you are going to change the policies of
this country by standing out here alone at night in front of the White House with a candle?”
Muste replied softly: “Oh I don’t do this to change the country. I do this so the country won’t
At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could I reach the nation’s ear, I would, to-day, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.
The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.
Madness is rare in individuals – but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule.
The horrors which we have seen, and the still greater horrors we shall presently see, are not signs that rebels, insubordinate, untamable people are increasing in number throughout the world, but rather that there is a constant increase in the number of obedient, docile people.
Some see things as they are and say, ‘Why?’ I dream of things that never were and say, ‘Why not?’
Too bad that all the people who really know how to run the country are busy driving taxi cabs and cutting hair.
Political language–and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists–is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.
It’s frightful that people who are so ignorant should have so much influence.
The surest guide to the correctness of the path that women take is joy in the struggle.
Man made one grave mistake: in answer to vaguely reformist and humanitarian agitation he admitted women to politics and the professions. The conservatives who saw this as the undermining of our civilization and the end of the state and marriage were right after all; it is time for the demolition to begin.
In politics, strangely enough, the best way to play your cards is to lay them face upwards on the table.
Love, by its very nature, is unworldly, and it is for this reason rather than its rarity that it is not only apolitical but anti-political, perhaps the most powerful of all anti-political human forces.
Although the connections are not always obvious, personal change is inseparable from social and political change.
Honor is not the exclusive property of any political party.
Naturally the common people don’t want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.
When people don’t understand that the government doesn’t have their interests in mind, they’re more susceptible to go to war.
The challenge remains. On the other side are formidable forces: money, political power, the major media. On our side are the people of the world and a power greater than money or weapons: the truth. Truth has a power of its own. Art has a power of its own. That age-old lesson – that everything we do matters – is the meaning of the people’s struggle here in the United States and everywhere. A poem can inspire a movement. A pamphlet can spark a revolution. Civil disobedience can arouse people and provoke us to think. When we organize with one another, when we get involved, when we stand up and speak out together, we can create a power no government can suppress. We live in a beautiful country. But people who have no respect for human life, freedom or justice have taken it over. It is now up to all of us to take it back.
National events determine our ideals, as much as our ideals determine national events.
We can no longer tolerate anti-intellectualism. We can no longer tolerate liberal-bashing and we can no longer tolerate the politics of the dumb and the mean.
You cling so tightly to your purity, my lad! How terrified you are of sullying your hands. Well, go ahead then, stay pure! What good will it do, and why even bother coming here among us? Purity is a concept of fakirs and friars. But you, the intellectuals, the bourgeois anarchists, you invoke purity as your rationalization for doing nothing. Do nothing, don’t move, wrap your arms tight around your body, put on your gloves. As for myself, my hands are dirty. I have plunged my arms up to the elbows in excrement and blood. And what else should one do? Do you suppose that it is possible to govern innocently?
I see the day in our own lifetime that reverence for the natural systems, the oceans, the rainforests, the soil, the grasslands, and all other living things — will be so strong that no narrow ideology based upon politics or economics will overcome it.
For me, there is no separation between my spiritual and metaphysical beliefs and my ideological and political beliefs. When I’m trying to decide what direction to take in my life, for example, I go to a Quaker meeting and wait for direction — or perhaps it would be better to say search for direction.
There are three classes of men; the retrograde, the stationary and the progressive.
Science and art belong to the whole world, and before them vanish the barriers of nationality.
I must study politics and war that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history, naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry, and porcelain.
I must study Politicks and War that my sons may have liberty to study Mathematicks and Philosophy. My sons ought to study Mathematicks and Philosophy, Geography, natural History, Naval Architecture, navigation, Commerce and Agriculture, in order to give their Children a right to study Painting, Poetry, Musick, Architecture, Statuary, Tapestry, and Porcelaine.
In laying hands upon the sacred ark of absolute permanency, in treating the forms that had been regarded as types of fixity and perfection as originating and passing away, the Origin of Species introduced a mode of thinking that in the end was bound to transform the logic of knowledge, and hence the treatment of morals, politics, and religion.
We are not afraid to entrust the American people with unpleasant facts, foreign ideas, alien philosophies, and competitive values. For a nation that is afraid to let its people judge the truth and falsehood in an open market is a nation that is afraid of its people.
Politics has always been the art of the possible. Today it’s too often the art of the probable — tinkering around the edges without any greater vision, without a sense of optimism and imagination.
Political extremism involves two prime ingredients: an excessively simple diagnosis of the world’s ills, and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all.
Everyone cares about fairness, but there are two major kinds. On the left, fairness often implies equality, but on the right it means proportionality —people should be rewarded in proportion to what they contribute, even if that guarantees unequal outcomes.
We’re not short of movements proclaiming that a different world is possible, but unless we can coordinate them into an international movement, capitalism just laughs at all these little organisations.
Gratitude, like love, is never a dependable international emotion.
Bless the poets, the workers for justice, the dancers of ceremony, the singers of heartache, the visionaries, all makers and carriers of fresh meaning. We will all make it through, despite politics and wars, despite failures and misunderstandings. There is only love.