Decline Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 215 quotes )
For years, I declined to fill in the form for my Senate press credential that asked me to state my 'race,' unless I was permitted to put 'human.' The form had to be completed under penalty of perjury, so I could not in conscience put 'white,' which is not even a color let alone a 'race,' and I sternly declined to put 'Caucasian,' which is an exploded term from a discredited ethnology. Surely the essential and unarguable core of King's campaign was the insistence that pigmentation was a false measure: a false measure of mankind (yes, mankind) and an inheritance from a time of great ignorance and stupidity and cruelty, when one drop of blood could make you 'black.
A decline in courage may be the most striking feature that an outside observer notices in the West today. The Western world has lost its civic courage . . . . Such a decline in courage is particularly noticeable among the ruling and intellectual elite, causing an impression of a loss of courage by the entire society.
Already he knew something of the history of the intervening years. He had heard now of the moral decay that had followed the collapse of supernatural religion in the minds of ignoble man, the decline of public honour, the ascendency of wealth. For men who had lost their belief in God had still kept their faith in property, and wealth ruled a venial world.
If you were a dear, good little wife, Janet,’ had said Lymond, ‘you’d fall into a mortal decline that day, or at least hide his boots.’ ‘Francis Crawford, are ye daft! What ever kept a Scott from a fight? Women? Boots? If yon one were deid, he’d spend his time in Heaven sclimming up and down the Pearly Gates peppering Kerrs.
At the still point of the turning world. Neither flesh nor fleshless; Neither from nor towards; at the still point, there the dance is, But neither arrest nor movement. And do not call it fixity, Where past and future are gathered. Neither movement from nor towards, Neither ascent nor decline. Except for the point, the still point, There would be no dance, and there is only the dance.
Now goes under, and I watch it go under, the sun. That will not rise again. Today has seen the setting, in your eyes cold and senseless as the sea, Of friendship better than bread, and of bright charity. That lifts a man a little above the beasts that run. That this could be! That I should live to see. Most vulgar Pride, that stale obstreperous clown, So fitted out with purple robe and crown. To stand among his betters! Face to face. With outraged me in this once holy place, Where Wisdom was a favoured guest and hunted. Truth was harboured out of danger, He bulks enthroned, a lewd, an insupportable stranger! I would have sworn, indeed I swore it: The hills may shift, the waters may decline, Winter may twist the stem from the twig that bore it, But never your love from me, your hand from mine. Now goes under the sun, and I watch it go under. Farewell, sweet light, great wonder! You, too, farewell,-but fare not well enough to dream. You have done wisely to invite the night before the darkness came.
He was directly invited to join their party, but he declined it, observing that he could imagine but two motives for their choosing to walk up and down the room together, with either of which motives his joining them would interfere. "What could he mean? She was dying to know what could be his meaning?"--and asked Elizabeth whether she could at all understand him? "Not at all," was her answer; "but depend upon it, he means to be severe on us, and our surest way of disappointing him will be to ask nothing about it.
Globalization makes it impossible for modern societies to collapse in isolation, as did Easter Island and the Greenland Norse in the past. Any society in turmoil today, no matter how remote ... can cause trouble for prosperous societies on other continents and is also subject to their influence (whether helpful or destabilizing). For the first time in history, we face the risk of a global decline. But we also are the first to enjoy the opportunity of learning quickly from developments in societies anywhere else in the world today, and from what has unfolded in societies at any time in the past. That's why I wrote this book.
A day, a livelong day, is not one thing but many. It changes not only in growing light toward zenith and decline again, but in texture and mood, in tone and meaning, warped by a thousand factors of season, of heat or cold, of still or multi winds, torqued by odors, tastes, and the fabrics of ice or grass, of bud or leaf or black-drawn naked limbs. And as a day changes so do its subjects, bugs and birds, cates, dogs, butterflies and people.
The “music of decline” had sounded, as in that wonderful Chinese fable; like a thrumming bass on the organ its reverberations faded slowly out over decades; its throbbing could be heard in the corruption of the schools, periodicals, and universities, in melancholia and insanity among those artists and critics who could still be taken seriously; it raged as untrammeled and amateurish overproduction in all the arts.
Like the Nazis, the cadres of jihad have a death wish that sets the seal on their nihilism. The goal of a world run by an oligarchy in possession of Teutonic genes, who may kill or enslave other 'races' according to need, is not more unrealizable than the idea that a single state, let alone the globe itself, could be governed according to the dictates of an allegedly holy book. This mad scheme begins by denying itself the talents (and the rights) of half the population, views with superstitious horror the charging of interest, and invokes the right of Muslims to subject nonbelievers to special taxes and confiscations. Not even Afghanistan or Somalia, scenes of the furthest advances yet made by pro-caliphate forces, could be governed for long in this way without setting new standards for beggary and decline.
Theology does not thrive in the world of action and reaction, change: it grows on calm, like the scum on a stagnant pool. And it flourishes, it prospers, on decline. Only in a world where everything is patently being lost can a priest stir men's hearts as a poet would by maintaining that nothing is in vain.
Haply for I am black, And have not those soft parts of conversation That chamberers have; or for I am declined Into the vale of years—yet that’s not much— She’s gone. I am abused, and my relief Must be to loathe her. O curse of marriage, That we can call these delicate creatures ours And not their appetites! I had rather be a toad And live upon the vapor of a dungeon Than keep a corner in the thing I love For others’ uses. Yet ’tis the plague of great ones; Prerogatived are they less than the base. ’Tis destiny unshunnable, like death.
The gunslinger turned his eyes up to the faces in the leaves. A play was being enacted there for his amusement Worlds rose and fell before him. Empires were built across shining sands where forever machines toiled in abstract electronic frenzies. Empires declined and fell. Wheels that had spun like silent liquid moved more slowly, began to squeak, began to scream, stopped. Sand choked the stainless steel gutters of concentric streets below dark skies full of stars like beds of cold jewels. And through it all, a dying wind of change blew, bringing with it the cinnamon smell of late October. The gunslinger watched as the world moved on.
It is customary to blame secular science and anti-religious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion--its message becomes meaningless.
The cat's asleep; I whisper "kitten" Till he stirs a little and begins to purr-- He doesn't wake. Today out on the limb (The limb he thinks he can't climb down from) He mewed until I heard him in the house. I climbed up to get him down: he mewed. What he says and what he sees are limited. My own response is even more constricted. I think, "It's lucky; what you have is too." What do you have except--well, me? I joke about it but it's not a joke; The house and I are all he remembers. Next month how will he guess that it is winter And not just entropy, the universe Plunging at last into its cold decline? I cannot think of him without a pang. Poor rumpled thing, why don't you see That you have no more, really, than a man? Men aren't happy; why are you?