- WIST is my personal collection of quotations, curated for thought, amusement, turn of phrase, historical significance, or sometimes just (often-unintentional) irony. Please feel free to browse and borrow.
- 17,287 quotes and counting ...
Topic Cloudaction age America argument beauty belief change character courage death democracy education ego evil faith fear freedom future God government happiness history humanity integrity leadership liberty life love morality perspective politics poverty power reality religion science society success truth tyranny virtue war wealth wisdom writing
- I've been adding topics/tags since 2014, so not all quotes have been given one. Full topic list.
- * Visual quotes (graphics, memes) only
- “Wealth and Poverty,” speech, National… (6,589)
- “The Lesson for Today,” A Witness Tree (1942) (5,797)
- Agamemnon, ll. 175-183 [tr. Johnston (2007)] (5,686)
- Nobel prize acceptance speech (10 Dec 1962) (4,868)
- “The Triumph of Stupidity” (10 May 1933) (4,807)
- “On The Conduct of Life” (1822) (3,903)
- “In Search of a Majority,” Speech,… (3,807)
- “Get a Knife, Get a Dog, but Get Rid of… (3,662)
- “Hallowed Ground” (1825) (3,056)
- “The Historian as Participant,” Daedalus… (3,056)
Most Quoted Authors
Author CloudAdams, John • Bacon, Francis • Bible • Bierce, Ambrose • Billings, Josh • Butcher, Jim • Chesterton, Gilbert Keith • Churchill, Winston • Einstein, Albert • Eisenhower, Dwight David • Emerson, Ralph Waldo • Franklin, Benjamin • Fuller, Thomas (1654) • Gaiman, Neil • Galbraith, John Kenneth • Gandhi, Mohandas • Goethe, Johann von • Hazlitt, William • Heinlein, Robert A. • Hoffer, Eric • Huxley, Aldous • Ingersoll, Robert Green • James, William • Jefferson, Thomas • Johnson, Lyndon • Johnson, Samuel • Kennedy, John F. • King, Martin Luther • La Rochefoucauld, Francois • Lewis, C.S. • Lincoln, Abraham • Mencken, H.L. • Orwell, George • Pratchett, Terry • Roosevelt, Eleanor • Roosevelt, Theodore • Russell, Bertrand • Seneca the Younger • Shakespeare, William • Shaw, George Bernard • Stevenson, Adlai • Stevenson, Robert Louis • Twain, Mark • Watterson, Bill • Wilde, Oscar
- Only the 45 most quoted authors are shown above. Full author list.
- 6-Jul-20 - (Attributed) | WIST on Quoted in Plutarch, Parallel Lives, “The Life of Solon,” sec. 18.5 [tr. Perrin (1914)].
- 6-Jul-20 - Agamemnon, l. 928 | WIST on Oedipus Rex, l. 1529 (concluding words).
- 20-May-20 - Introduction to the Art of Thinking, ch. 1, "Friendship" (1761) | WIST on John 15:13 (KJV).
- 18-May-20 - Chamblee54 on Clouds, ll. 998-999 (423 BC) [tr. Athenian Soc. (1912)].
- 18-May-20 - Chamblee54 on Mills E. Godwin, Governor of Virginia (Dec 1966).
- 11-May-20 - Chamblee54 on “Indian Summer,” Enough Rope (1926).
A mixture of gullibility and cynicism had been an outstanding characteristic of mob mentality before it became an everyday phenomenon of masses. In an ever-changing, incomprehensible, world the masses had reached the point where they would, at the same time, believe everything and nothing, think that everything is possible and that nothing was true. The mixture in itself was remarkable enough, because it spelled the end of the illusion that gullibility was a weakness of unsuspecting primitive souls and cynicism the vice of superior and refined minds. Mass propaganda discovered that its audience was ready at all times to believe the worst, no matter how absurd, and did not particularly object to being deceived because it held every statement to be a lie anyhow. The totalitarian mass leaders based their propaganda on the correct psychological assumption that, under such conditions, one could make people believe the most fantastic statements one day, and trust if the next day they were given irrefutable proof of their falsehood, they would take refuge in cynicism; instead of deserting the leaders who had lied to them, they would protest that they had known all along the statement was a lie and would admire the leaders for their superior tactical cleverness.
The Origins of Totalitarianism, Part 3, ch. 2 (1951)
Added on 6-Feb-20 | Last updated 6-Feb-20