Society's Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 59 quotes )
They feed back exactly what is given them. Because they do not believe in words - words are for "typeheads," Chester Anderson tells them, and a thought which needs words is just one more of those ego trips - their only proficient vocabulary is in the society's platitudes. As it happens I am still committed to the idea that the ability to think for one's self depends upon one's mastery of the language, and I am not optimistic about children who will settle for saying, to indicate that their mother and father do not live together, that they come from "a broken home." They are sixteen, fifteen, fourteen years old, younger all the time, an army of children waiting to be given the words.
We have gone on too long blaming or pitying the mothers who devour their children, who sow the seeds of progressive dehumanization, because they have never grown to full humanity themselves. If the mother is at fault, why isn't it time to break the pattern by urging all these Sleeping Beauties to grow up and live their own lives? There never will be enough Prince Charmings or enough therapists to break that pattern now. It is society's job, and finally that of each woman alone. For it is not the strength of the mothers that is at fault but their weakness, their passive childlike dependency and immaturity that is mistaken for "femininity." Our society forces boys, insofar as it can, to grow up, to endure the pains of growth, to educate themselves to work, to move on. Why aren't girls forced to grow up - to achieve somehow the core of self that will end the unnecessary dilemma, the mistaken choice between femaleness and humanness that is implied in the feminine mystique?
Those of us who stand outside the circle of this society's definition of acceptable women; those of us who have been forged in the crucibles of difference - those of us who are poor, who are lesbians, who are black, who are older - know that survival is not an academic skill...For the master's tools will not dismantle the master's house. They will never allow us to bring about genuine change.
Valentine had long ago observed that in a society that expected chastity and fidelity, like Lusitania, the adolescents who controlled and channeled their youthful passions were the ones who grew up to be both strong and civilized. Adolescents in such a community who were either too weak to control themselves or too contemptuous of society's norms to try usually ended up being either sheep or wolves- either mindless members of the herd or predators who took what they could and gave nothing.
Thus, it is a political axiom that power follows property. But it is now a historical fact that the means of production are fast becoming the monopolistic property of Big Business and Big Government. Therefore, if you believe in democracy, make arrangements to distribute property as widely as possible. Or take the right to vote. In principle, it is a great privilege. In practice, as recent history has repeatedly shown, the right to vote, by itself, is no guarantee of liberty. Therefore, if you want to avoid dictatorship by referendum, break up modern society's merely functional collectives into self-governing, voluntarily co-operating groups, capable of functioning outside the bureaucratic systems of Big Business and Big Government.
As we peer into society's future, we -- you and I, and our government -- must avoid the impulse to live only for today, plundering for our own ease and convenience the precious resources of tomorrow. We cannot mortgage the material assets of our grandchildren without risking the loss also of their political and spiritual heritage. We want democracy to survive for all generations to come, not to become the insolvent phantom of tomorrow.
There was no singles problem until singles got so single-minded that they stopped wasting time with anyone ineligible. Before that, it was understood that one of society's main tasks was matchmaking. People with lifelong friendships and ties to local nonprofessional organizations did not have to fear that isolation would accompany retirement, old age, or losing a spouse. Overburdened householders could count on the assistance not only of their own extended families, but of the American tradition of neighborliness.
It is also essential that good men and women not be educated and propagandized into believing that real evil is a myth and that all malevolent behavior is merely the result of a broken family's or a failed society's shortcomings, amenable to cure by counseling and by the application of new economic theory.
Some people point to me as the cause of all society's problems, others as if I am the benefactor, responsible for everything good, but I am neither the former nor the latter. I am but a man in particular circumstances, and the most beautiful part is that an individual human life is capable of contributing to the growth, the awakening of the collective strength. That is what matters!
We think, sometimes, there's not a dragon left. Not one brave knight, not a single princess gliding through secret forests, enchanting deer and butterflies with her smile. What a pleasure to be wrong. Princesses, knights, enchantments and dragons, mystery and adventure ...not only are they here-and-now, they're all that ever lived on earth! Our century, they've changed clothes, of course. Dragons wear government-costumes, today, and failure-suits and disaster-outfits. Society's demons screech, whirl down on us should we lift our eyes from the ground, dare we turn right at corners we've been told to turn left. So crafty have appearances become that princesses and knights can be hidden from each other, can be hidden from themselves.
The proof that the One Stone Solution is political lies in what women feel when they eat 'too much': guilt. Why should guilt be the operative emotion, and female fat be a moral issue articulated with words like good and bad? If our culture's fixation on female fatness of thinness were about sex, it would be a private issue between a woman and her lover; if it were about health, between a woman and herself. Public debate would be far more hysterically focused on male fat than on female, since more men [40 percent] are medically overweight than women [32 percent] and too much fat is far more dangerous for men than for women......But female fat is the subject of public passion, and women feel guilty about female fat, because we implicitly recognize that under the myth, women's bodies are not our own but society's, and that thinness is not a private aesthetic, but hunger a social concession exacted by the community.
In real life during the last decade of the twentieth century, Rumpelstiltskin would probably get the queen's daughter. He would no doubt addict her to heroin, turn her out as a prostitute, confiscate her earnings, beat her for pleasure, hack her to pieces, and escape justice by claiming that society's intolerance for bad-tempered, evil-minded trolls had driven him temporarily insane.
People didn't realize it, but they needed myths to survive, just as much now as when their forebears were alive. Perhaps more. Mythology embodied the world's dreams, helped to make sense of the great human problems. Just as the dreams of individuals exist to give subconscious support to their conscious lives, so do myths serve as society's dreams. They uncover the dark, hidden places where mysteries dwell and can turn to nightmare if left untended. They make sense of injustice in archetypal terms. They give men and women a blueprint for how they may respond to success or failure, tragedy or joy.
To the Muslim world, we seek a new way forward, based on mutual interest and mutual respect. To those leaders around the globe who seek to sow conflict, or blame their society's ills on the West - know that your people will judge you on what you can build, not what you destroy. To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
A period of transition to a new quality in all spheres of society's life is accompanied by painful phenomena. When we were initiating perestroika we failed to properly assess and foresee everything. Our society turned out to be hard to move off the ground, not ready for major changes which affect people's vital interests and make them leave behind everything to which they had become accustomed over many years. In the beginning we imprudently generated great expectations, without taking into account the fact that it takes time for people to realize that all have to live and work differently, to stop expecting that new life would be given from above.
You've turned to wood, he observed, "you've not only renounced life, your own interests and society's, your duty as a citizen and a human being, your friends (all the same you did have them), you've not only renounced any goal whatsoever apart from winning, but you've even renounced your memories. I remember you in an ardent and strong moment of your life; but I'm sure you've forgotten all your best impressions then; your dreams, your most essential desires at present don't go beyond pair and impair, rouge, noir, the twelve middle numbers, and so on, and so forth--I'm sure of it!