The broad liberal objective is a balanced and flexible "mixed economy," thus seeking to occupy that middle ground between capitalism and socialism whose viability has so long been denied by both capitalists and socialists.— Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.
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If we are to survive, we must have ideas, vision, and courage.
These things are rarely produced by committees. Everything that matters in our intellectual and moral life begins with an individual confronting his own mind and conscience in a room by himself.
Science and Technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response. Expelled from individual consciousness by the rush of change, history finds its revenge by stamping the collective unconscious with habits, values, expectations, dreams. The dialectic between past and future will continue to form our lives.
The genius of impeachment lay in the fact that it could punish the man without punishing the office.
The basic human rights documents-the American Declaration of Independence and the French Declaration of the Rights of Man-were written by political, not by religious, leaders.
What we need is a rebirth of satire, of dissent, of irreverence, of an uncompromising insistence that phoniness is phony and platitudes are platitudinous.
In view of the tide of religiosity engulfing a once secular republic it is refreshing to be reminded by Freethinkers that free thought and skepticism are robustly in the American tradition. After all the Founding Fathers began by omitting God from the American Constitution.
Those who are convinced they have a monopoly on The Truth always feel that they are only saving the world when they slaughter the heretics.
For most Americans the Constitution had become a hazy document, cited like the Bible on ceremonial occasions but forgotten in the daily transactions of life.
Anti-intellectualism has long been the anti-Semitism of the businessman.
I trust that a graduate student some day will write a doctoral essay on the influence of the Munich analogy on the subsequent history of the twentieth century. Perhaps in the end he will conclude that the multitude of errors committed in the name of Munich may exceed the original error of 1938.
Problems will always torment us because all important problems are insoluble: that is why they are important. The good comes from the continuing struggle to try and solve them, not from the vain hope of their solution.
For history is to the nation as memory is to the individual.
There is no more dangerous thing for a democracy than a foreign policy based on presidential preventive war.
Excellence is the eternal quest. We achieve it by living up to our highest intellectual standards and our finest moral intuitions. In seeking excellence, take life seriously-but never yourself!
Economists are about as useful as astrologers in predicting the future (and, like astrologers, they never let failure on one occasion diminish certitude on the next).
Righteousness is easy in retrospect.
The use of history as therapy means the corruption of history as history.
Total separation of church and state was considered the best safeguard for the health of each. As [Andrew] Jackson explained, in refusing to name a fast day, he feared to 'disturb the security which religion now enjoys in this country, in its complete separation from the political concerns of the General Government.'
Expelled from individual consciousness by the rush of change, history finds its revenge by stamping the collective unconsciousness with habits and values.
Liberalism regards all absolutes with profound skepticism, including both moral imperatives and final solutions... Insistence upon any particular solution is the mark of an ideologue.
Santayana's aphorism must be reversed: too often it is those who can remember the past who are condemned to repeat it.
Every President reconstructs the Presidency to meet his own psychological needs.
Almost all important questions are important precisely because they are not susceptible to quantitative answer.
Troubles impending always seem worse than troubles surmounted, but this does not prove that they really are.
History is full of surprises.
We are not going to achieve a new world order without paying for it in blood as well as in words and money.
Science and technology revolutionize our lives, but memory, tradition and myth frame our response.
The only President who clearly died of overwork was Polk, and that was a long time ago. Hoover, who worked intensely and humorlessly as President, lived for more than thirty years after the White House; Truman, who worked intensely and gaily, lived for twenty
Honest history is the weapon of freedom.
People who claw their way to the top are not likely to find very much wrong with the system that enabled them to rise.
To say that there is a case for heroes is not to say that there is a case for hero worship. The surrender of decision, the unquestioning submission to leadership, the prostration of the average man before the Great Man -- these are the diseases of heroism, and they are fatal to human dignity. History amply shows that it is possible to have heroes without turning them into gods. And history shows, too, that when a society, in flight from hero worship, decides to do without great men at all, it gets into troubles of its own.
There is far less to the Presidency, in terms of essential activity, than meets the eye.
I don't think I have made as much of my life as I should have. I should have written more books.
Few secret undertakings ever did any nation any good.
Man generally is entangled in insoluble problems;
history is consequently a tragedy in which we are all involved, whose keynote is anxiety and frustration, not progress and fulfilment.
Clarity in language depends on clarity in thought.
The first rule of democracy is to distrust all leaders who begin to believe their own publicity.
Self-righteousness in retrospect is easy--also cheap.
History, in the end, becomes a form of irony.
Television has spread the habit of instant reaction and stimulated the hope of instant results.
Politics in a democracy is, at the end, an educational process.
All wars are popular for the first 30 days.
It is useful to remember that history is to the nation as memory is to the individual. As a person deprived of memory becomes disorientated and lost, not knowing where they have been or where they are going , so a nation denied a conception of the past will be disabled in dealing with its present and its future.
What higher obligation does a President have than to explain his intentions to the people and persuade them that the direction he wishes to go is right?
The military struggle may frankly be regarded for what it actually was, namely a war for independence, an armed attempt to imposethe views of the revolutionists upon the British government and large sections of the colonial population at whatever cost to freedom of opinion or the sanctity of life and property.
History is, indeed, an argument without end.
The passion for tidiness is the historian's occupational disease.
Brave men earn the right to shape their own destiny.
In Defense of the World Order . . . U.S. soldiers would have to kill and die.