Servility Quotes (displaying: 1 - 17 of 17 quotes )
Now as I climb this mountain, from the top of which I shall see Africa, my mind is printed with brown-paper parcels and your faces. I have been stained by you and corrupted. You smelt so unpleasant, too, lining up outside doors to buy tickets. All were dressed in indeterminate shades of grey and brown, never even a blue feather pinned to a hat. None had the courage to be one thing rather than another. What dissolution of the soul you demanded in order to get through one day, what lies, bowings, scrapings, fluency and servility! How you chained me to one spot, one hour, one chair, and sat yourselves down opposite! How you snatched from me the white spaces that lie between hour and hour and rolled them into dirty pellets and tossed them into the wastepaper basket with your greasy paws. Yet those were my life.
In private life do we not see hypocrisy, servility, selfishness, folly, and impudence succeed, while modesty shrinks from the encounter, and merit is trodden under foot? How often is 'the rose plucked from the forehead of a virtuous love to plant a blister there!' What chance is there of the success of real passion? What certainty of its continuance? Seeing all this as I do, and unravelling the web of human life into its various threads of meanness, spite, cowardice, want of feeling, and want of understanding, of indifference towards others, and ignorance of ourselves,? seeing custom prevail over all excellence, itself giving way to infamy? mistaken as I have been in my public and private hopes, calculating others from myself, and calculating wrong; always disappointed where I placed most reliance; the dupe of friendship, and the fool of love;? have I not reason to hate and to despise myself? Indeed I do; and chiefly for not having hated and despised the world enough.
When society is made up of men who know no interior solitude it can no longer be held together by love: and consequently it is held together by a violent and abusive authority. But when men are violently deprived of the solitude and freedom which are their due, then society in which they live becomes putrid, it festers with servility, resentment and hate.
The major western democracies are moving towards corporatism. Democracy has become a business plan, with a bottom line for every human activity, every dream, every decency, every hope. The main parliamentary parties are now devoted to the same economic policies? socialism for the rich, capitalism for the poor? and the same foreign policy of servility to endless war. This is not democracy. It is to politics what McDonalds is to food.
The man who attempts to live for others is a dependent. He is a parasite in motive and makes parasites of those he serves. The relationship produces nothing but mutual corruption. It is impossible in concept. The nearest approach to it in reality -- the man who lives to serve others -- is the slave. If physical slavery is repulsive, how much more repulsive is the concept of servility of the spirit. The conquered slave has a vestige of honor. He has the merit of having resisted and of considering his condition evil. But the man who enslaves himself voluntarily in the name of love is the basest of creatures. He degrades the dignity of man, and he degrades the conception of love. But that is the essence of altruism
Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.... During almost fifteen centuries has the legal establishment of Christianity been on trial. What have been its fruits? More or less, in all places, pride and indolence in the clergy; ignorance and servility in laity; in both, superstition, bigotry, and persecution.
Only yesterday I was no different than them, yet I was saved. I am explaining to you the way of life of a people who say every sort of wicked thing about me because I sacrificed their friendship to gain my own soul. I left the dark paths of their duplicity and turned my eyes toward the light where there is salvation, truth, and justice. They have exiled me now from their society, yet I am content. Mankind only exiles the one whose large spirit rebels against injustice and tyranny. He who does not prefer exile to servility is not free in the true and necessary sense of freedom.
One more impression I gathered from that work of my boyhood, an impression which I did not formulate till afterward, and which will probably astonish many a reader. It is the spirit of equality which is highly developed in the Russian peasant, and in fact in the rural population everywhere. The Russian peasant is capable of much servile obedience to the landlord and the police officer; he will bend before their will in a servile manner; but he does not consider them superior men, and if the next moment that same landlord or officer talks to the same peasant about hay or ducks, the latter will reply to him as an equal to an equal. I never saw in a Russian peasant that servility, grown to be a second nature, with which a small functionary talks to one of high rank, or a valet to his master. The peasant too easily submits to force, but he does not worship it.
There are two kinds of patriotism -- monarchical patriotism and republican patriotism. In the one case the government and the king may rightfully furnish you their notions of patriotism; in the other, neither the government nor the entire nation is privileged to dictate to any individual what the form of his patriotism shall be. The gospel of the monarchical patriotism is: "The King can do no wrong." We have adopted it with all its servility, with an unimportant change in the wording: "Our country, right or wrong!" We have thrown away the most valuable asset we had:-- the individual's right to oppose both flag and country when he (just he, by himself) believed them to be in the wrong. We have thrown it away; and with it all that was really respectable about that grotesque and laughable word, Patriotism.
Your favourite virtue ... Simplicity. Your favourite virtue in man ... Strength. Your favourite virtue in woman ... Weakness. Your chief characteristic ... Singleness of purpose. Your idea of happiness ... To fight. Your idea of misery ... Submission. The vice you excuse most ... Gullibility. The vice you detest most ... Servility. Your aversion ... Martin Tupper. Favourite occupation ... Book-worming. Favourite poet ... Shakespeare, Aeschylus, Goethe. Favourite prose-writer ... Diderot. Favourite hero ... Spartacus, Kepler. Favourite heroine ... Gretchen [Heroine of Goethe's Faust]Favourite flower ... Daphne. Favourite colour ... Red. Favourite name ... Laura, Jenny. Favourite dish ... Fish. Favourite maxim ... Nihil humani a me alienum puto [Nothing human is alien to me]Favourite motto ... De omnibus dubitandum [Everything must be doubted].