The principle of equity first came into evidence in Roman jurisprudence and was derived by analogy from the physical meaning of the word.— Herbert Read
The most memorable Herbert Read quotes that are easy to memorize and remember
I am not going to claim that modern anarchism has any direct relation to Roman jurisprudence; but I do claim that it has its basis in the laws of nature rather than in the state of nature.
A man of personality can formulate ideals, but only a man of character can achieve them.
I can imagine no society which does not embody some method of arbitration.
The most general law in nature is equity-the principle of balance and symmetry which guides the growth of forms along the lines of the greatest structural efficiency.
The sensitive artist knows that a bitter wind is blowing.
Love works miracles in stillness.
Progress is measured by richness and intensity of experience - by a wider and deeper apprehension of the significance and scope of human existence.
Art is pattern informed by sensibility.
Great changes in the destiny of mankind can be effected only in the minds of little children.
Spontaneity is not enough - or, to be more exact, spontaneity is not possible until there is an unconscious coordination of form, space and vision.
But all categories of art, idealistic or realistic, surrealistic or constructivist (a new form of idealism) must satisfy a simple test (or they are in no sense works of art): they must persist as objects of contemplation.
The work of art... is an instrument for tilling the human psyche, that it may continue to yield a harvest of vital beauty.
The modern work of art, as I have said, is a symbol.
Freud has shown one thing very clearly: that we only forget our infancy by burying it in the unconscious; and that the problems of this difficult period find their solution under a disguised form in adult life.
That is why I believe that art is so much more significant than either economics or philosophy. It is the direct measure of man's spiritual vision.
Revolt, it will be said, implies violence;
but this is an outmoded, an incompetent conception of revolt. The most effective form of revolt in this violent world we live in is non-violence.
What I do deny is that you can build any enduring society without some such mystical ethos.
I have not the slightest doubt that this form of individuation represents a higher stage in the evolution of mankind.
Art is an indecent exposure of the consciousness.
Art is always the index of social vitality, the moving finger that records the destiny of a civilization. A wise statesman should keep an anxious eye on this graph, for it is more significant than a decline in exports or a fall in the value of a nation's currency.
In order to create it is necessary to destroy;
and the agent of destruction in society is the poet. I believe that the poet is necessarily an anarchist, and that he must oppose all organized conceptions of the State, not only those which we inherit from the past, but equally those which are imposed on people in the name of the future.
My own early experiences in war led me to suspect the value of discipline, even in that sphere where it is so often regarded as the first essential for success.
I call religion a natural authority, but it has usually been conceived as a supernatural authority.
The sense of historical continuity, and a feeling for philosophical rectitude cannot, however, be compromised.
The farther a society progresses, the more clearly the individual becomes the antithesis of the group.
There are a few people, but a diminishing number, who still believe that Marxism, as an economic system, off era a coherent alternative to capitalism, and socialism has, indeed, triumphed in one country.
You might think that it would he the natural desire of every man to develop as an independent personality, but this does not seem to be true.
Intellect begins with the observation of nature, proceeds to memorize and classify the facts thus observed, and by logical deduction builds up that edifice of knowledge properly called science But admittedly we also know by feeling, and we can combine the two faculties, and present knowledge in the guise of art.
Once we become conscious of a feeling and attempt to make a corresponding form, we are engaged in an activity which, far from being sincere, is prepared (as any artist if he is sincere will tell you) to moderate feelings to fit the form. The artist's feeling for form is stronger than a formless feeling.
Creeds and castes, and all forms of intellectual and emotional grouping, belong to the past.
In general, modern art... has been inspired by a natural desire to chart the uncharted.
Works of art must persist as objects of contemplation.
But the further step, by means of which a civilization is given its quality or culture, is only attained by a process of cellular division, in the course of which the individual is differentiated, made distinct from and independent of the parent group.
The characteristic political attitude of today is not one of positive belief, but of despair.
I know of no better name than Anarchism.
The assumption is that the right kind of society is an organic being not merely analogous to an organic being, but actually a living structure with appetites and digestions, instincts and passions, intelligence and reason.
In the evolution of mankind there has always been a certain degree of social coherence.
If modern art has produced symbols that are unfamiliar, that was only to be expected.
It does not seem that the contradiction which exists between the aristocratic function of art and the democratic structure of modern society can ever be resolved.
The point I am making is that in the more primitive forms of society the individual is merely a unit; in more developed forms of society he is an independent personality.
Progress is measured by the degree of differentiation within a society.
If the individual is a unit in a corporate mass, his life is not merely brutish and short, but dull and mechanical.
If we persist in our restless desire to know everything about the universe and ourselves, then we must not be afraid of what the artist brings back from his voyage of discovery.
To realize that new world we must prefer the values of freedom and equality above all other values - above personal wealth, technical power and nationalism.
The worth of a civilization or a culture is not valued in the terms of its material wealth or military power, but by the quality and achievements of its representative individuals - its philosophers, its poets and its artists.
Poetry is creative expression; Prose is constructive expression... by creative I mean original. In Poetry the words are born or reborn in the act of thinking... There is no time interval between the words and the thought when a real poet writes, both of them happen together, and both the thought and the word are Poetry.
We may be sure that out of the ruins of our capitalist civilization a new religion will emerge, just as Christianity emerged from the ruins of the Roman civilization.
The depths modern art has been exploring are mysterious depths, full of strange fish.
The modern artist, by nature and destiny, is always an individualist.