Undermine Quotes (displaying: 1 - 30 of 128 quotes )
Of an apartment-building manager who had killed himself I was told he had lost his daughter five years before, that he had changed greatly since, and that the experience had "undermined" him. A more exact word cannot be imagined. Beginning to think is beginning to be undermined. Society has but little connection with such beginnings. The worm is in man's heart - that is where it must be sought.
What may be learned from the rebuttals made by the defendants in New Jersey and from the protests that were sparked by the decision of the court? Much of the resistance, it appears, derives from a conservative anxiety that equity equates to "leveling." The fear that comes across in many of the letters and the editorials in the New Jersey press is that democratizing opportunity will undermine diversity and even elegance in our society and that the best schools will be dragged down to a sullen norm, a mediocre middle ground of uniformity. References to Eastern European socialism keep appearing in these letters.
Pain, too, comes from depths that cannot be revealed. We do not know whether those depths are in ourselves or elsewhere, in a graveyard, in a scarcely dug grave, only recently inhabited by withered flesh. This truth, which is banal enough, unravels time and the face, holds up a mirror to me in which I cannot see myself without being overcome by a profound sadness that undermines one's whole being. The mirror has become the route through which my body reaches that state, in which it is crushed into the ground, digs a temporary grave, and allows itself to be drawn by the living roots that swarm beneath the stones. It is flattened beneath the weight of that immense sadness which few people have the privilege of knowing. So I avoid mirrors.
Our contemporary Western society, in spite of its material, intellectual and political progress, is increasingly less conducive to mental health, and tends to undermine the inner security, happiness, reason and the capacity for love in the individual; it tends to turn him into an automaton who pays for his human failure with increasing mental sickness, and with despair hidden under a frantic drive for work and so called pleasure.
The place where french-postmodernism has been really harmful is the Third World. Because Third World intellectuals are badly needed in popular movements, they can make contributions. And a lot of them is drawn away from this: antropologists, sociologists and others. They are drawn away in this arcane, and in my view, mostly meaningless discourses and are disassociated from popular struggles. And you can see the impact. They really indicate that the level of irrationality that grows out of this undermines the oportunities for doing something really significant and important. It is like consumerism because it diverts people from concentrating in a serious way and doing something about their own problems.
It is feasible and easy everywhere to undermine administrative power and, in fact, it has been drastically weakened in all Western countries. The defense of individual rights has reached such extremes as to make society as a whole defenseless against certain individuals. It is time, in the West, to defend not so much human rights as human obligations.
...there is no such thing as a parttime partisan. Real partisans are partisans always and as long as they live. They put fallen governments back in power and overthrow governments that have just been put in power with the help of partisans. Mr Matzerath contended - and his thesis struck me as perfectly plausible - that among all those who go in for politics your incorrigible partisan, who undermines what he has just set up, is closest to the artist because he consistently rejects what he has just set up.
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).
To diminish the worth of women, men had to diminish the worth of the moon. They had to drive a wedge between human beings and the trees and the beasts and the waters, because trees and beasts and waters are as loyal to the moon as to the sun. They had to drive a wedge between thought and feeling...At first they used Apollo as the wedge, and the abstract logic of Apollo made a mighty wedge, indeed, but Apollo the artist maintained a love for women, not the open, unrestrained lust that Pan has, but a controlled longing that undermined the patriarchal ambition. When Christ came along, Christ, who slept with no female...Christ, who played no musical instrument, recited no poetry, and never kicked up his heels by moonlight, this Christ was the perfect wedge. Christianity is merely a system for turning priestesses into handmaidens, queens into concubines, and goddesses into muses.
Many of our problems are broadly similar to those that undermined ... Norse Greenland, and that many other past societies also struggled to solve. Some of those past societies failed (like the Greenland Norse) and others succeeded ... The past offers us a rich database from which we can learn in order that we may keep on succeeding.
Silence is a mirror. So faithful, and yet so unexpected, is the relection it can throw back at men that they will go to almost any length to avoid seeing themselves in it, and if ever its duplicating surface is temporarily wiped clean of modern life's ubiquitous hubbub, they will hasten to fog it over with such desperate personal noise devices as polite conversation, hummin, whistling, imaginary dialogue, schizophrenic babble, or, should it come to that, the clandestine cannonry of their own farting. Only in sleep is silence tolerated, and even there, most dreams have soundtracks. Since meditation is a deliberate descent into deep internal hush, a mute stare into the ultimate looking glass, it is regarded with suspicion by the nattering masses; with hostility by buisness interests (people sitting in silent serenity are seldom consuming goods); and with spite by a clergy whose windy authority it is seen to undermine and whose bombastic livelihood it is perceived to threaten.
I want to fulfill myself in one of the rarest of destinies. I have only a dim notion of what it will be. I want it to have not a graceful curve slightly bent toward evening but a hitherto unseen beauty lovely because of the danger which works away at it overwhelms it undermines it. Oh let me be only utter beauty I shall go quickly or slowly but I shall dare what must be dared. I shall destroy appearances the casings will burn away and one evening I shall appear there in the palm of your hand quiet and pure like a glass statuette. You will see me. Round about me there will be nothing left.
These, gentlemen, are my rules: if I don't succeed, I keep trying; if I do succeed, I keep quiet; and in any case I don't undermine anyone. I'm not an intriguer, and I'm proud of it. I wouldn't make a good diplomat. They also say, gentlemen, that the bird flies to the fowler. That's true, and I'm ready to agree: but who is the fowler here, and who is the bird? That's still a question, gentlemen!
McChrystal's defenders at the Pentagon were making the case Tuesday that the president and his men—(the McChrystal snipers spared Hillary)—must put aside their hurt feelings about being painted as weak sisters. Obama should not fire the serially insubordinate general, they reasoned, because that would undermine the mission in Afghanistan, and if that happens, then Obama would be further weakened. So the commander in chief can be bad-mouthed as weak by the military but then he can't punish the military because that would make him weak? It's the same sort of pass-the-Advil vicious circle reasoning the military always uses.
For the rest of history, for most of us, our bright promise will always fall short of being actualised; it will never earn us bountiful sums of money or beget exemplary objects or organisations....Most of us stand poised at the edge of brilliance, haunted by the knowledge of our proximity, yet still demonstrably on the wrong side of the line, our dealings with reality undermined by a range of minor yet critical psychological flaws (a little too much optimism, an unprocessed rebelliousness, a fatal impatience or sentimentality). We are like an exquisite high-speed aircraft which for lack of a tiny part is left stranded beside the runway, rendered slower than a tractor or a bicycle.
Communism is a hateful thing and a menace to peace and organized government; but the communism of combined wealth and capital, the outgrowth of overweening cupidity and selfishness, which insidiously undermines the justice and integrity of free institutions, is not less dangerous than the communism of oppressed poverty and toil, which, exasperated by injustice and discontent, attacks with wild disorder the citadel of rule.