Quotations by Stanley, Jason


It is often said that governing is the art of compromise. But this is not a statement about governing; it is rather about the values of democracy. Legislating in the common interest means not confusing one’s own values with the common values. It requires giving equal weight to values that one does not share. But too often, commitment to this principle appears weak — a failure to stand by one’s principles.

Jason Stanley (b. 1969) American philosopher, epistemologist, academic
“Democracy and the Demagogue,” New York Times (12 Oct 2015)
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Added on 10-May-21 | Last updated 10-May-21
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To describe someone as a “criminal” is both to mark that person with a terrifying permanent character trait and simultaneously to place the person outside the circle of “us.” They are criminals. We make mistakes.

Jason Stanley (b. 1969) American philosopher, epistemologist, academic
How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them, ch. 7 (2018)
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Added on 21-Oct-21 | Last updated 21-Oct-21
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The nature of liberal democracy prevents propagandistic statements from being banned, since among the liberties it permits is the freedom of speech. But since humans have characteristic rational weaknesses and are susceptible to flattery and manipulation, allowing propaganda has a high likelihood of leading to tyranny, and hence to the end of liberal democracy.

Jason Stanley (b. 1969) American philosopher, epistemologist, academic
How Propaganda Works, ch. 1 (2015)
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Added on 14-Oct-21 | Last updated 14-Oct-21
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Allegiance to the group identity forged by political party affiliation renders Americans blind to the essential similarities between the agendas of the two parties, similarities that can be expected to be exactly the ones that run counter to public interest, in other words, those interests of the deep-pocketed backers of elections to which any politician must be subservient in order to raise the kind of money necessary to run for national office.

Jason Stanley (b. 1969) American philosopher, epistemologist, academic
How Propaganda Works, Introduction (2015)
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Added on 7-Oct-21 | Last updated 7-Oct-21
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