Tendency Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 311 quotes )
There exists [a] word in German, Geschichte, which designates not accomplished history, but history in the present, doubtless determined in large part, yet only in part, by the already accomplished past; for a history which is present, which is living, is also open to a future that is uncertain, unforeseeable, not yet accomplished, and therefore aleatory. Living history obeys only a constant (not a law): the constant of class struggle. Marx did not use the term 'constant', which I have taken from Levi-Strauss, but an expression of genius: 'tendential law', capable of inflecting (but not contradicting) the primary tendential law, which means that a tendency does not possess the form or figure of linear law, but that it can bifurcate under the impact of an encounter with another tendency, and so on ad infinitum. At each intersection the tendency can take a path that is unforeseeable because it is aleatory.
The ultimate source is probably the tendency in some of us, part of our psychological inheritance from our far-distant ancestors, the tendency to look for extreme solutions, absolute truths, abstract answers. All fanatics and fundamentalists share this tendency, which is so alien and unpleasing to the rest of us. The theory says they must do such-and-such, so they do it, never mind the human consequences, never mind the social cost, never mind the terrible damage to the fabric of everything decent and humane. I’m afraid these fundamentalists of one sort or another will always be with us. We just have to keep them as far away as possible from the levers of power.
If there is one tendency of the day which more than any other is unhealthy and undesirable, it is the tendency to deify mere "smartness," unaccompanied by a sense of moral accountability. We shall never make our republic what it should be until as a people we thoroughly understand and put in practice the doctrine that success is abhorrent if attained by the sacrifice of the fundamental principles of morality.
Depending on the year or the therapist he was seeing, he'd learned to ascribe just about every facet of his character as a psychological reaction to his parents' fighting: his laziness, his overachieving, his tendency to isolate, his tendency to seduce, his hypochondria, his sense of invulnerability, his self-loathing, his narcissism.
Not long ago, having expressed some disagreements in print with an old comrade of long standing, I was sent a response that he had published in an obscure newspaper. This riposte referred to my opinions as ‘racist.’ I would obviously scorn to deny such an allegation on my own behalf. I would, rather, prefer to repudiate it on behalf of my former friend. He had known me for many years and cooperated with me on numerous projects, and I am quite confident that he would never have as a collaborator anyone he suspected of racial prejudice. But it does remind me, and not for the first time, that quarrels on the left have a tendency to become miniature treason trials, replete with all kinds of denunciation. There's a general tendency—not by any means confined to radicals but in some way specially associated with them—to believe that once the lowest motive for a dissenting position has been found, it must in some way be the real one.
If then this tendency toward collectivization is a mutation there is no reason to suppose it is for the better. It is a rule in paleontology that ornamentation and complication precede extinction. And our mutation, of which the assembly line, the collective farm, the mechanized army, and the mass production of food are evidences or even symptoms, might well correspond to the thickening armor of the great reptiles—a tendency that can end only in extinction.
At least one indication of unbelief is the tendency to measure life's challenges against our own adequacy instead of God's promises. To enter our Sabbath rest, we must put an end to self-reliance - trusting in our own abilities to overcome difficulties, rise above challenges, escape tragedies, or achieve personal greatness.
It is only through difference that progress can be made. What threatens us right now is probably what we may call over-communication--that is, the tendency to know exactly in one point of the world what is going on in all other parts of the world. In order for a culture to be really itself and to produce something, the culture and its members must be convinced of their originality and even, to some extent, of their superiority over the others; it is only under conditions of under-communication that it can produce anything. We are now threatened with the prospect of our being only consumers, able to consume anything from any point in the world and from any culture, but of losing all originality.
One of the less attractive aspects of human nature is our tendency to hate the people we haven't treated very well; it's much easier than accepting guilt. If we can convince ourselves that the people we betrayed or enslaved were subhuman monsters in the first place, then our guilt isn't nearly so black as we secretly know that it is. Humans are very, very good at shifting blame and avoiding guilt.
There is a tendency on the left, to think if someone in any way disagrees with the left it must be for the lowest possible reason and if you found the lowest possible motive you have found the right one. Theres this whole culture of no one would leave us or quarrel with us if they weren't a sellout. It is actually a very sick mentality and very widespread.
As a rule, you see, I'm not lugged into Family Rows. On the occasions when Aunt is calling Aunt like mastodons bellowing across premieval swamps and Uncle James's letter about Cousin Mabel's peculiar behaviour is being shot round the family circle ('Please read this carefully and send it on Jane') the clan has a tendency to ignore me. It's one of the advantages I get from being a bachelor - and, according to my nearest and dearest, practically a half-witted bachelor at that.
Or was he merely a mollycoddled favorite, enjoying capriciously prejudiced love? Schenback was inclined to believe the latter. Inborn in nearly every artist’s nature is a voluptuous, treacherous tendency to accept the injustice if it creates beauty and to grant sympathy and homage to aristocratic preferences.
A musician must make music, an artist must paint, an poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. This weed we call self-actualization….It refers to man’s desire for self-fulfillment, namely to the tendency for him to become actually in what he is potentially: to become everything one is capable of becoming.
Associated with this inner conflict is a tendency to become hypercritical: unhappy souls almost always blame everyone but themselves for their miseries. Shut up within themselves, they are necessarily shut off from all others except to criticize them. Since the essence of sin is opposition to God’s will, it follows that the sin of one individual is bound to oppose any other individual whose will is in harmony with God’s will. This resulting estrangement from one’s fellow man is intensified when one begins to live solely for this world, then the possessions of the neighbor are regarded as something unjustly taken from oneself. Once the material becomes the goal of life, a society of conflicts is born.
The tendency has always been strong to believe that whatever received a name must be an entity or being, having an independent existence of its own. And if no real entity answering to the name could be found, men did not for that reason suppose that none existed, but imagined that it was something peculiarly abstruse and mysterious.
For some time now the impression has been growing upon me that everyone is dead. It happens when I speak to people. In the middle of a sentence it will come over me: yes, beyond a doubt this is death. There is little to do but groan and make an excuse and slip away as quickly as one can. At such times it seems that the conversation is spoken by automatons who have no choice in what they say. I hear myself or someone else saying things like: "In my opinion the Russian people are a great people, but--" or "Yes, what you say about the hypocrisy of the North is unquestionably true. However--" and I think to myself: this is death. Lately it is all I can do to carry on such everyday conversations, because my cheek has developed a tendency to twitch of its own accord.