Distrust Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 167 quotes )
...innocence is not safe in a civilization like ours, where a man must practice a 'ruled undemonstrative distrustfulness' in order to defend himself against traps. This 'ruled undemonstrative distrustfulness' is not confined to business men, but exists everywhere. We all exercise it. I know I do, and I should be surprised if you, who are listening to me, didn't. All we can do (and Melville gives us this hint) is to exercise it consciously, as Captain Vere did. It is unconscious distrustfulness that corrodes the heart and destroys the heart's insight, and prevents it from saluting goodness.
And every historic effort to forge a democratic project has been undermined by two fundamental realities: poverty and paranoia. The persistence of poverty generates levels of despair that deepen social conflict the escalation of paranoia produces levels of distrust that reinforce cultural division. Rae is the most explosive issue in American life precisely because it forces us to confront the tragic facts of poverty and paranoia despair, and distrust. In short, a candid examination of race matters takes us to the core of the crisis of American democracy (p. 107).
Because today we live in a society in which spurious realities are manufactured by the media, by governments, by big corporations, by religious groups, political groups... So I ask, in my writing, What is real? Because unceasingly we are bombarded with pseudo-realities manufactured by very sophisticated people using very sophisticated electronic mechanisms. I do not distrust their motives; I distrust their power. They have a lot of it. And it is an astonishing power: that of creating whole universes, universes of the mind. I ought to know. I do the same thing.
The world was so beautiful when regarded like this, without searching, so simply, in such a childlike way. Moons and stas were beautiful, beautiful were bank and stream, forest and rocks, goat and gold-bug, flower and butterfly. So lovely, so delightful to go through the world this way, so like a child, awake, open to what is near, without distrust.
Perhaps the sexual life is the great test. If we can survive it with charity to those we love and with affection to those we have betrayed, we needn't worry so much about the good and the bad in us. But jealousy, distrust, cruelty, revenge, recrimination ... then we fail. The wrong is in that failure even if we are the victims and not the executioners. Virtue is no excuse.
From year to year, and from age to age, we see [biologists] at work, adding no doubt much to the unknown, and advancing many important interests, but, at the same time, doing little for the establishment of comprehensive views of nature. Experiments in however narrow a walk, facts of whatever minuteness, make reputations in scientific societies; all beyond is regarded with suspicion and distrust.
It can also be useful to politics, enabling that science to discover how much of it is no more than verbal construction, myth, literary tops. Politics, like literature, must above all know itself and distrust itself. As a final observation, I should like to add that it is impossible today for anyone to feel innocent, if in whatever we do or say we can discover a hidden motive - that of a white man, or a male, or the possessor of a certain income, or a member of a given economic system, or a sufferer from a certain neurosis - this should not induce in us either a universal sense of guilt or an attitude of universal accusation. When we become aware of our disease or of our hidden motives, we have already begun to get the better of them. What matters is the way in which we accept our motives and live through the ensuing crisis. This is the only chance we have of becoming different from the way we are - that is, the only way of starting to invent a new way of being.
I'm really not quite as frippery a fellow as you seem to think! I own that in my grasstime I committed a great many follies and extravagances, but, believe me, I've long since out-grown them! I don't think they were any worse than what nine out of ten youngsters commit, but unfortunately I achieved, through certain circumstances, a notoriety which most young men escape. I was born with a natural aptitude for the sporting pursuits you regard with so much distrust, and I inherited, at far too early an age, a fortune which not only enabled me to indulge my tastes in the most expensive manner imaginable, but which made me an object of such interest that everything I did was noted, and talked of. That's heady stuff for greenhorns, you know! There was a time when I gave the gossips plenty to talk about. But do give me credit for having seen the error of my ways!
As sci-fi writer Theodore Sturgeon said, 90 percent of everything is crap. But science fiction has not been forgiven for its crap. The reason is that science fiction inherently distrusts the 'eternal verities' on which literature graduates base their doctoral dissertations. Literature departments were uncomfortable with that. But things change.