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There is no such thing as a self-made man. Every businessman has used the vast American infrastructure, which the taxpayers paid for, to make his money. He did not make his money alone.

George Lakoff (b. 1941) American cognitive linguist and philosopher
Don’t Think of an Elephant! (2004)
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Added on 5-Apr-21 | Last updated 19-Apr-21
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For when the water is up to your neck you must be truly stubborn not to cry for help.

[Che chi ne l’acqua sta fin’alla gola
Ben’e ostinato se merce non grida.]

Ludovico Ariosto (1474-1533) Italian poet
Orlando Furioso, Canto 1, st. 50, l. 353 (1532) [tr. Waldman]

Alt. trans.:
  • "For who, when circling waters round him spread / And menace present death, impores not aid?" [tr. Hoole (1807)]
  • "For the poor drowning caitiff, who, chin-deep, / Implores not help, is obstinate indeed." [tr. Rose (1831)]
  • "The drowning man who waits to be exhorted / To cry for help must be a man of pride!" [tr. Reynolds (2006)]
Added on 16-Mar-20 | Last updated 16-Mar-20
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There’s a brave fellow! There’s a man of pluck!
A man who’s not afraid to say his say,
Though a whole town’s against him.

Longfellow - brave pluck - wist_info quote

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) American poet
John Endicott, Act 2, sc. 2 (1868)
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Added on 8-Jan-16 | Last updated 8-Jan-16
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By your own soul, learn to live
And if men thwart you take no heed.
If men hate you have no care.
Sing your song, dream your dream,
Hope your hope and pray your prayer.

Pakenham Beatty (1855-1930) English poet
“Self Reliance”
Added on 15-Aug-14 | Last updated 15-Aug-14
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Literature is strewn with the wreckage of men who have minded beyond reason the opinions of others.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) English modernist writer [b. Adeline Virginia Stephen]
A Room of One’s Own, ch. 3 (1929)
Added on 21-Jul-14 | Last updated 21-Jul-14
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But he who is unable to live in society, or who has no need because he is sufficient for himself, must be either a beast or a god: he is no part of a state.

[εἰ γὰρ μὴ αὐτάρκης ἕκαστος χωρισθείς, ὁμοίως τοῖς ἄλλοις μέρεσιν ἕξει πρὸς τὸ ὅλον, ὁ δὲ μὴ δυνάμενος κοινωνεῖν ἢ μηθὲν δεόμενος δι᾿ αὐτάρκειαν οὐθὲν μέρος πόλεως, ὥστε ἢ θηρίον ἢ θεός.]

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Politics [Πολιτικά], Book 1, ch. 2, sec. 14 / 1253a.27 [tr. Jowett (1885)]
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Original Greek. Alternate translations:
  • "But the man who has not the capability of association, or requires nothing from outside through his own complete resources, is no part of a state; so that he must be either a brute (below the level of man), or a God (above it)." [tr. Bolland (1877)]
  • "He that is incapable of society, or so complete in himself as not to want it, makes no part of a city, as a beast or a god." [tr. Ellis (1912)]
  • "A man who is incapable of entering into partnership, or who is so self-sufficing that he has no need to do so, is no part of a state, so that he must be either a lower animal or a god." [tr. Rackham (1932)]
  • "One who is incapable of participating or who is in need of nothing through being self-sufficient is no part of a city, and so is either a beast or a god." [tr. Lord (1984)]
  • "Anyone who cannot live in a community with others, or who does not need to because of his self-sufficiency, is no part of a city, so that he is either a wild beast or a god." [tr. Reeve (2007)]
  • "If each person when separated is not sufficient on his own, just as other parts are to the whole while a person who is incapable of joining commonwealth or does not need any part of a state because of self-sufficiency is either a beast or a god." [tr. @sentantiq (2018)]
Added on 28-Dec-10 | Last updated 12-Feb-21
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All those who try to go it sole alone,
Too proud to be beholden for relief,
Are absolutely sure to come to grief.

Frost - go it sole alone - wist_info quote

Robert Frost (1874-1963) American poet
Haec Fabula Docet” (1947)
Added on 28-Oct-08 | Last updated 16-Feb-16
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