Favorite Quotes

The continuance of social evils is not due to the fact that we do not know what is right, but that we prefer to continue doing what is wrong. Those who have the power to remove them do not have the will, and those who have the will have not, as yet, the power. ~Richard Henry Tawney

 

A new problem appears: devices that optimize the performance of the human body for the purpose of producing proof require additional expenditures. No money, no proof – and that means no verification of statements and no truth. The games of scientific language become the games of the rich, in which whoever is the wealthiest has the best chance of being right. An equation between wealth, efficiency, and truth is thus established. ~ Jean-François Lyotard

 

The insistence on the primacy of a kind of simplistic, essentialist psychology-of the personal as ultimate precondition for all human activity is, as everyone from Marx to Brecht to Roland Barthes tells us, a pronouncement from the heart of the great historical project of capitalist myth-making: the transformation of that which is social, cultural, and political, and hence changeable, into nature, which is immutable and eternal. ~ Tony Kushner

 

Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer. ~Rainer Maria Rilke

 

The situation is not simply contradictory or irrational—it is paradoxical state—the state of too much reality, too much positivity, too much information. In this state of paradox, faced with extreme phenomena, we do not know exactly what is taking place. ~Jean Baudrillard

 

An intellectual is fundamentally about knowledge and freedom… An intellectual is like a shipwrecked person who learns how to live in a certain sense with the land, not on it, not like Robinson Crusoe whose goal is to colonize his little island, but more like Marco Polo, whose sense of the marvelous never fails him, and who is always a traveler, a provisional guest, not a freeloader, conqueror, or raider… The exilic intellectual does not respond to the logic of the conventional but to the audacity of daring, and to representing change, to moving on, not standing still. ~ Edward W. Said

 

For a man who no longer has a homeland, writing becomes a place to live. ~ Theodor Adorno

 

Nothing conclusive has yet taken place in the world, the ultimate word of the world and about the world has not yet spoken, the world is open and free, everything is still in the future and will always be in the future. ~ Mikhail Bakhtin

 

On a beam which supports the ceiling of Brecht’s study are painted the words: “Truth is concrete.” On a window-sill stands a small wooden donkey which can nod its head. Brecht has hung a little sign round its neck on which he has written: “Even I must understand it.” ~ Walter Benjamin

 

A progressive explicator is first of all an explicator, that is to say, a defender of inequality. It’s very true that the social order doesn’t require anyone to believe in inequality, nor does it prevent anyone from announcing emancipation to individuals and families. But that simple announcement – which there are never enough police to prevent – is also the one that meets the most impenetrable resistance: that of the intellectual hierarchy that has no other power except the rationalization of inequality. ~ Jacques Ranciere

 

Both the dominant and the subordinate must jointly rethink themselves as intended or interpellated by planetary alterity, albeit articulating the task of thinking and doing from different ‘cultural’ angles. What is new here is that the dominant is educated, persistently to attempt, at last, to suspend appropriation in its own interest in order to learn to learn from ‘below,’ to learn to mean to say – not just deliberatively non-hierarchically, as the U.S. formula goes – I need to learn from you what you practice; I need it even if you didn’t want to share a bit of my pie; but there’s something I want to give you, which will make our shared practice flourish. You don’t know, and I didn’t know, that civility requires your practice of responsibility as pre-originary right. ~ Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak