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But the thing I must point out is that my despair is of the group itself, the group as it’s assembled. And I’ve never identified with the “local group,” no matter what it identifies itself as. But I do cherish, and love, and am thrilled by individuals. People, one by one as I meet them, I find are wondrous. When you have time to listen and watch them, when you look them in the eyes, you see all the potential of the whole thing, this whole species that has such a wonderful gift that was given by nature. The mind, the ability to objectify and to think abstractly. And we’ve wasted it by everyone wanting a fanny pack and to go to the mall and to be paying 18 percent interest on things that we don’t need, don’t want, don’t work, and can’t give back.

George Carlin (1937-2008) American comedian
Interview by Marc Cooper, The Progressive (Jul 2001)
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Added on 27-Jun-22 | Last updated 27-Jun-22
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It always demands a far greater degree of courage for an individual to oppose an organized movement than to let himself be carried along with the stream — individual courage, that is, a variety of courage that is dying out in these times of progressive organization and mechanization. During the war practically the only courage I ran across was mass courage, the courage that comes of being one of a herd, and anyone who examines this phenomenon more closely will find it to be compounded of some very strange elements: a great deal of vanity, a great deal of fear — yes, fear of staying behind, fear of being sneered at fear of independent action, and fear, above all, of taking up a stand against the mass enthusiasm of one’s fellows.

Stefan Zweig (1881-1942) Austrian novelist, playwright, journalist, biographer
Beware of Pity (1939)
 
Added on 9-Sep-21 | Last updated 9-Sep-21
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I do not hate in the plural.

P. G. Wodehouse (1881-1975) Anglo-American humorist, playwright and lyricist [Pelham Grenville Wodehouse]
(Attributed)


When asked, as a former WWII internee, whether he hate the Germans (or the Nazis).

George Orwell, writing in 1945 a defense of Wodehouse's actions while an internee, quoted him in a more complex version of this:

I never was interested in politics. I’m quite unable to work up any kind of belligerent feeling. Just as I’m about to feel belligerent about some country I meet a decent sort of chap. We go out together and lose any fighting thoughts or feelings.
 
Added on 20-May-21 | Last updated 20-May-21
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Remember, that the wit, humor, and jokes of most mixed companies are local. They thrive in that particular soil, but will not often bear transplanting. Every company is differently circumstanced, has its particular cant, and jargon; which may give occasion to wit and mirth, within that circle, but would seem flat and insipid in any other, and therefore will not bear repeating.

Lord Chesterfield (1694-1773) English statesman, wit [Philip Dormer Stanhope]
Letter to his son (29 Oct 1748)
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Added on 4-Mar-21 | Last updated 4-Mar-21
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In a courtroom there is no system on trial, no history or historical trend, no ism, anti-Semitism for instance, but a person, and if the defendant happens to be a functionary, he stands accused precisely because even a functionary is still a human being, and it is in this capacity that he stands trial.

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) German-American philosopher, political theorist
“Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship” (1964)
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Added on 25-Feb-21 | Last updated 25-Feb-21
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There is no such thing as collective guilt or collective innocence; guilt and innocence make sense only if applied to individuals.

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) German-American philosopher, political theorist
“Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship” (1964)
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Added on 18-Feb-21 | Last updated 18-Feb-21
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What is not good for the swarm is not good for the bee.

[Τὸ τῷ σμήνει μὴ συμφέρον οὐδὲ τῇ μελίσσῃ συμφέρει.]

Marcus Aurelius (AD 121-180) Roman emperor (161-180), Stoic philosopher
Meditations, Book 6, #54 (2nd C AD)


Original here. Alt. trans.:
  • "That which is not good for the beehive, cannot be good for the bee." [tr. Casaubon (1634); numbered 49]
  • "What does not benefit the hive is no benefit to the bee." [tr. Farquharson (1944)]
  • "That which is not for the interest of the whole swarm is not for the interest of the bee." [tr. Collier]
  • "What injures the hive injures the bee." [tr. Hays (2002)]
  • "What is not good for the hive is not good for the bee."
 
Added on 17-Apr-20 | Last updated 17-Apr-20
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Democracy postulates community of interest or loyal patriotism. When these are absent it cannot long exist.

Inge - democracy - wist_info

William Ralph Inge (1860-1954) English prelate [Dean Inge]
“Our Present Discontents,” Outspoken Essays: First Series (1919)
 
Added on 30-Nov-15 | Last updated 1-Jun-16
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If individuality has no play, society does not advance; if individuality breaks out of all bounds, society perishes.

T. H. Huxley (1825-1895) English biologist [Thomas Henry Huxley]
“Administrative Nihilism” (1871)
 
Added on 6-Oct-15 | Last updated 6-Oct-15
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A modern poet has characterized the personality of art and the impersonality of science as follows: Art is I: Science is We.

Claude Bernard (1813-1878) French physiologist, scientist
Bulletin of New York Academy of Medicine, Vol. IV (1928)


Often only the summary at the end is quoted.
 
Added on 9-Dec-14 | Last updated 9-Dec-14
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For the strength of the Pack is the Wolf, and the strength of the Wolf is the Pack.

Rudyard Kipling (1865-1936) English writer
“The Law of the Jungle,” The Second Jungle Book (1899)
 
Added on 8-Feb-08 | Last updated 21-Oct-14
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