Quotations about   irresponsibility

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The conflict between what one is and who one is expected to be touches all of us. And sometimes, rather than reach for what one could be, we choose the comfort of the failed role, preferring to be the victim of circumstance, the person who didn’t have a chance.

Merle Shain (1935-1989) Canadian journalist and author
(Attributed)
 
Added on 4-Mar-22 | Last updated 4-Mar-22
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Folly is a child of power. We all know, from unending repetitions of Lord Acton’s dictum, that power corrupts. We are less less aware that it breeds folly: that the power to command frequently causes failure to think: that the responsibility of power often fades as its exercise augments.

Barbara W. Tuchman (1912-1989) American historian and author
The March of Folly: From Troy to Vietnam, ch. 1 (1984)
    (Source)


See Acton.
 
Added on 3-Nov-21 | Last updated 3-Nov-21
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It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.

Josiah Stamp
Josiah Stamp (1880-1941) English industrialist, economist, statistician, banker
(Attributed)


First attributed to Stamp in "Gems of Thought," Kingston Daily Freeman [New York] (3 Jan 1928). More discussion here.
 
Added on 22-Jul-21 | Last updated 5-Aug-21
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In my defense, I was left unsupervised.

Sig Lines
 
Added on 9-Jan-20 | Last updated 9-Jan-20
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[W]hen we renounce the self and become part of a compact whole, we not only renounce personal advantage but are also rid of personal responsibility. There is no telling to what extremes of cruelty and ruthlessness a man will go when he is freed from the fears, hesitations, doubts and the vague stirrings of decency that go with individual judgement. When we lose our individual independence in the corporateness of a mass movement, we find a new freedom — freedom to hate, bully, lie, torture, murder and betray without shame and remorse. Herein undoubtedly lies part of the attractiveness of a mass movement.

Eric Hoffer (1902-1983) American writer, philosopher, longshoreman
The True Believer: Thoughts on the Nature of Mass Movements (1951)
 
Added on 28-Mar-17 | Last updated 28-Mar-17
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They were careless people, Tom and Daisy — they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness, or whatever it was that kept them together, and let other people clean up the mess they had made.

Fitzgerald - Tom and Daisy - wist_info quote

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) American writer [Francis Scott Key Fitzgerald]
The Great Gatsby, ch. 9 (1925)
 
Added on 27-May-16 | Last updated 27-May-16
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Don’t say that he’s hypocritical,
Say rather that he’s apolitical.
“Once the rockets are up, who cares where they come down?
That’s not my department,” says Wernher von Braun.

Tom Lehrer (b. 1928) American mathematician, satirist, songwriter
“Wernher Von Braun,” That Was the Year That Was (1965)
 
Added on 31-Mar-16 | Last updated 21-Oct-20
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The central belief of every moron is that he is the victim of a mysterious conspiracy against his common rights and true desserts. He ascribes all his failure to get on in the world, all of his congenital incapacity and damnfoolishness, to the machinations of werewolves assembled in Wall Street, or some other such den of infamy. If these villains could be put down, he holds, he would at once become rich, powerful and eminent. Nine politicians out of every ten, of whatever party, live and have their being by promising to perform
this putting down. In brief, they are knaves who maintain themselves by preying on the idiotic vanities and pathetic hopes of half-wits.

H.L. Mencken (1880-1956) American writer and journalist [Henry Lewis Mencken]
Baltimore Evening Sun (15 Jun 1936)
 
Added on 8-Mar-16 | Last updated 8-Mar-16
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No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.

[Żaden płatek śniegu nie czuje się odpowiedzialny za lawinę.]

Stanislaw Lec (1909-1966) Polish aphorist, poet, satirist
More Unkempt Thoughts [Myśli nieuczesane nowe] (1964) [tr. Gałązka (1969)]
    (Source)


Alternate translation: "Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty."

More discussion of this quotation here: No Snowflake in an Avalanche Ever Feels Responsible – Quote Investigator.
 
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 27-Apr-22
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