Traditionalists are pessimists about the future and optimists about the past.

— Lewis Mumford

The most unbelievable Lewis Mumford quotes that may be undiscovered and unusual

What was once called the objective world is a sort of Rorschach ink blot, into which each culture, each system of science and religion, each type of personality, reads a meaning only remotely derived from the shape and color of the blot itself

53

Whereas Freud was for the most part concerned with the morbid effects of unconscious repression, Jung was more interested in the manifestations of unconscious expression, first in the dream and eventually in all the more orderly products of religion and art and morals.

49

Adding highway lanes to deal with traffic congestion is like loosening your belt to cure obesity.

32

A day spent without the sight or sound of beauty, the contemplation of mystery, or the search of truth or perfection is a poverty-stricken day; and a succession of such days is fatal to human life.

31

Only entropy comes easy.

28

Every generation revolts against its fathers and makes friends with its grandfathers.

27

A man of courage never needs weapons, but he may need bail.

25

Restore human legs as a means of travel.

Pedestrians rely on food for fuel and need no special parking facilities.

24

Forget the damned motor car and build the cities for lovers and friends.

23

To curb the machine and limit art to handicraft is a denial of opportunity.

20

When cities were first founded, an old Egyptian scribe tells us, the mission of the founder was to 'put gods in their shrines.' The task of the coming city is not essentially different: its mission is to put the highest concerns of man at the center of all his activities.

17

Modern Man is the victim of the very instruments he values most.

Every gain in power, every mastery of natural forces, every scientific addition to knowledge, has proved potentially dangerous, because it has not been accompanied by equal gains in self-understanding and self-discipline.

16

About Lewis Mumford

Quotes 127 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Sociologist
Birthday October 16

Our national flower is the concrete cloverleaf.

16

However far modern science and techniques have fallen short of their inherent possibilities, they have taught mankind at least one lesson; nothing is impossible.

15

The way people in democracies think of the government as something different from themselves is a real handicap. And, of course, sometimes the government confirms their opinion.

13

The city is a fact in nature, like a cave, a run of mackerel or an ant-heap.

But it is also a conscious work of art, and it holds within its communal framework many simpler and more personal forms of art. Mind takes form in the city; and in turn, urban forms condition mind.

12

Every new baby is a blind desperate vote for survival: people who find themselves unable to register an effective political protest against extermination do so by a biological act.

12

If there are favourable habitats and favorable forms of association for animalsand plants, as ecology demonstrates, why not for men? If each particular natural environment has has its own balance; is there not perhaps an equivalent of this in culture?

11

The ultimate gift of conscious life is a sense of the mystery that encompasses it.

11

The chief function of the city is to convert power into form, energy into culture, dead matter into the living symbols of art, biological reproduction into social creativity.

11

Today, the degradation of the inner life is symbolized by the fact that the only place sacred from interruption is the private toilet.

10

The last step in parental love involves the release of the beloved;

the willing cutting of the cord that would otherwise keep the child in a state of emotional dependence.

10

We have created an industrial order geared to automatism, where feeble-mindedness, native or acquired, is necessary for docile productivity in the factory; and where a pervasive neurosis is the final gift of the meaningless life that issues forth at the other end.

10

The right to have access to every building in the city by private motorcar in an age when everyone possesses such a vehicle is actually the right to destroy the city.

9

Misery, mutilation, destruction, terror, starvation and death characterize the process of war and form a principal part of the product.

9

When art seems to be empty of meaning, as no doubt some of the abstract painting of our own day actually does seem, what the painting says, indeed what the artist is shrieking at the top of his voice, is that life has become empty of all rational content and coherence, and that, in times like these, is far from a meaningless statement.

8

Without fullness of experience, length of days is nothing.

When fullness of life has been achieved, shortness of days is nothing. That is perhaps why the young have usually so little fear of death; they live by intensities that the elderly have forgotten.

8

We must give as much weight to the arousal of the emotions and to the expression of moral and esthetic values as we now give to science, to invention, to practical organization. One without the other is impotent.

6

Today, the notion of progress in a single line without goal or limit seems perhaps the most parochial notion of a very parochial century.

6

He who touches the soil of Manhattan and the pavement of New York, touches, whenever he knows or not, Walt Whitman.

6

The settlement of America had its origins in the unsettlement of Europe.

America came into existence when the European was already so distant from the ancient ideas and ways of his birthplace that the whole span of the Atlantic did not widen the gulf.

6

Nothing endures except life: the capacity for birth, growth, and renewal.

5

The timelessness of art is its capacity to represent the transformation of endless becoming into being.

5

The great city is the best organ of memory man has yet created.

5

Nothing is unthinkable, nothing impossible to the balanced person, provided it comes out of the needs of life and is dedicated to life's further development.

5

The vast material displacements the machine has made in our physical environment are perhaps in the long run less important than its spiritual contributions to our culture.

4

The artist has a special task and duty.

.. reminding people of their humanity and the promise of their creativity.

4

By fashion and built-in obsolescence the economies of machine production, instead of producing leisure and durable wealth, are duly cancelled out by the mandatory consumption on an even larger scale.

4

The fact that order and creativity are complementary has been basic to man's cultural development; for he has to internalize order to be able to give external form to his creativity.

4

By his very success in inventing labor-saving devices, modern man has manufactured an abyss of boredom that only the privileged classes in earlier civilizations have ever fathomed.

4

The earth is the Lord's fullness thereof: this is no longer a hollow dictum of religion, but a directive for economic action toward human brotherhood.

4

The wonder is not that so much cacophony appears in our actual individual lives, but that there is any appearance of harmony and progression.

4

As for the various kinds of montage photography, they are in reality not photography at all but a kind of painting in which photography is used - as pastiches of textiles are used in crazy-quilts - to form a mosaic. Whatever value the montage may have derives from painting rather than the camera.

4

Above all we need, particularly as children, the reassuring presence of a visible community, an intimate group that enfolds us with understanding and love, and that becomes an object of our spontaneous loyalty, as a criterion and point of reference for the rest of the human race.

4

For most Americans, progress means accepting what is new because it is new, and discarding what is old because it is old.

4

War is the supreme drama of a completely mechanized society.

3

Utopias rest on the fallacy that perfection is a legitimate goal of human existence.

3

The cities and mansions that people dream of are those in which they finally live.

3

Order and creativity are complementary.

3
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