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To change our laws and culture, the green movement must attract and include the majority of all people, not just the majority of affluent people.

Van Jones
Anthony Kapel "Van" Jones (b. 1968) American news commentator, author, lawyer
The Green Collar Economy (2008)
Added on 17-Feb-22 | Last updated 17-Feb-22
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With waving opalescence in her gown,
Even when she walks along, you think she’s dancing.
Like those long snakes which charmers, while entrancing,
Wave with their wands, in cadence, up and down.

[Avec ses vêtements ondoyants et nacrés,
Même quand elle marche on croirait qu’elle danse,
Comme ces longs serpents que les jongleurs sacrés
Au bout de leurs bâtons agitent en cadence.]

Charles Baudelaire
Charles Baudelaire (1821-1867) French poet, essayist, art critic
Les Fleurs du Mal [The Flowers of Evil], Part 1, #28 “Avec ses vêtements ondoyants et nacrés,” st. 1 (1857) [tr. Campbell (1952)]

(Source (French)). Alternate translations:

Robed in a silken robe that shines and shakes,
She seems to dance whenever she treads the sod,
Like the long serpent that a fakir makes
Dance to the waving cadence of a rod.
[tr. Sturm (1905)]

With pearly robes that wave within the wind,
Even when she walks, she seems to dance,
Like swaying serpents round those wands entwined
Which fakirs wave in rhythmic elegance.
[tr. Scott (1909)]

with all her undulant pearly draperies,
she moves in measures lovelier than a dance,
as in the fakirs' Indian sorceries
tall cobras 'neath a moving rod advance
[tr. Shanks (1931)]

With her pearly, undulating dresses,
Even when she's walking, she seems to be dancing
Like those long snakes which the holy fakirs
Set swaying in cadence on the end of their staffs.
[tr. Aggeler (1954)]

With her dresses undulating, pearly,
Even walking one would think her dancing,
Like those long serpents which holy charmers
Move in harmony at the tips of their batons.
[tr. Wagner (1974)]

Even when she walks she seems to dance!
Her garments writhe and glisten like long snakes
obedient to the rhythm of the wands
by which a fakir wakens them to grace.
[tr. Howard (1982)]

With her undulating, iridescent clothes, even when she walks you would think she is dancing, like those long snakes that sacred jugglers shake rhythmically on the ends of their sticks.
[tr. Clark (1995), #17]

She doesn’t walk; she rather dances through salons
Within her buoyant gowns of glittering, silver nacre,
Curling like the snake of a turbaned Hindu fakir,
Unrolled from in between his undulant batons.
[tr. Eriksson]

Even when she walks one would believe that she dances.
[Common rendering]

Added on 31-Jan-22 | Last updated 31-Jan-22
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I hold it blasphemy to say that a man ought not to fight against authority: there is no great religion and no great freedom that has not done it, in the beginning.

George Eliot (1819-1880) English novelist [pseud. of Mary Ann Evans]
Felix Holt, the Radical, ch. 46 (1866)
Added on 16-Jun-21 | Last updated 16-Jun-21
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There are those in the industry who believe broadcasting can move men, and even some who believe it could move mountains, but they are outnumbered by those who believe all it has to do is move goods.

Alexander Kendrick (1910-1991) American journalist
Prime Time: The Life of Edward R. Murrow (1969)
Added on 29-Jan-21 | Last updated 29-Jan-21
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When a just cause reaches its flood-tide … whatever stands in the way must fall before its overwhelming power.

Carrie Chapman Catt (1859-1947) American women's suffrage activist
“Is Woman Suffrage Progressing?” speech, Sixth Convention of the International Woman Suffrage Alliance, Stockholm (13 Jun 1911)
Added on 17-Sep-20 | Last updated 17-Sep-20
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The art of leadership is a serious matter. One must not lag behind a movement, because to do so is to become isolated from the masses. But one must not rush ahead, for to rush ahead is to lose contact with the masses. He who wishes to lead a movement and at the same time keep touch with the vast masses, must conduct a fight on two fronts, against those who lag behind and against those who rush ahead.

Josef Stalin (1879-1953) Georgian revolutionary and Soviet dictator
Leninism, Vol. 2 (1926) [tr. Paul (1933)]

Often elided, "He who wishes to lead a movement must conduct a fight on two fronts, against those who lag behind and against those who rush ahead."
Added on 1-Sep-20 | Last updated 1-Sep-20
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The bearers of the myth of every decade seem to carry in their hands the ax and the spade to execute and inter the myth of the previous one.

Murray Kempton (1917-1997) American journalist.
Part of Our Time: Some Ruins & Monuments of the Thirties, Prelude (1955)
Added on 29-May-20 | Last updated 29-May-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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The conflict between the principle of liberty and the fact of slavery is coming gradually to an issue. Slavery has now the power, and falls into convulsions at the approach of freedom. That the fall of slavery is predetermined in the counsels of Omnipotence I cannot doubt; it is a part of the great moral improvement in the condition of man, attested by all the records of history. But the conflict will be terrible, and the progress of improvement perhaps retrograde before its final progress to consummation.

John Quincy Adams (1767-1848) US President (1825-29)
Journal (11 Dec 1838)
Added on 31-Oct-16 | Last updated 31-Oct-16
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What the tender poetic youth dreams, and prays, and paints to-day, but shuns the ridicule of saying aloud, shall presently be the resolutions of public bodies, then shall be carried as grievance and bill of rights through conflict and war, and then shall be triumphant law and establishment for a hundred years, until it gives place, in turn, to new prayers and pictures.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Politics,” Essays: Second Series (1844)

This quotation is more often given as the paraphrase used by another speaker of the era, the abolitionist Wendell Phillips:

What the tender and poetic youth dreams to-day, and conjures up with inarticulate speech, is to-morrow the vociferated result of public opinion, and the day after is the charter of nations.

Phillips used this phrase, prefixed with, "As Emerson says," and in quotation marks, at least twice. First in his lecture "Harper's Ferry" (1 Nov 1859), Brooklyn. Second, in a different context, in "The Scholar in a Republic" (30 Jun 1881), a famous speech at the centennial of the Phi Beta Kappa society at Harvard University.

Emerson did not use this shorter phrasing, however, in any of his written works, and frequent attributions of it to him are in error.

Added on 4-Aug-16 | Last updated 14-Mar-22
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Get action. Seize the moment. Man was never intended to become an oyster.

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919) US President (1901-1909)
Comment to Mrs. J. A. Roosevelt (25 Dec 1851)

Quoted in David McCullough, Mornings on Horseback (1981), sourced from the W. Sheffield Cowles, Jr. Collection (private). Usually given as a quote in full to his children, McCullough only notes the last sentence ("Man ... oyster") as an actual quotation.
Added on 27-Jul-16 | Last updated 27-Jul-16
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Not the cry, but the flight of a wild duck, leads the flock to fly and follow.

Chinese - fly and follow - wist_info quote

(Other Authors and Sources)
Chinese proverb

First recorded by Jean Paul [Johann Paul Friedrich Richter] (1763-1825), Levana, sec. 8 (1807): "Nicht das Geschrei, sagt ein chinesischer Autor, sondern der Ausflug einer wilden Ente treibt die Heerde zur Folge und zum Nachfliegen." (See H. A., A Book of Thoughts (1865))
Added on 7-Dec-15 | Last updated 7-Dec-15
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Once you begin to take yourself seriously as a leader or as a follower, as a modern or as a conservative, then you become a self-conscious, biting, and scratching little animal whose work is not of the slightest value or importance to anybody.

Virginia Woolf (1882-1941) English modernist writer [b. Adeline Virginia Stephen]
“A Letter to a Young Poet,” The Death of the Moth and Other Essays (1942)
Added on 18-Aug-14 | Last updated 18-Aug-14
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Rebels and dissidents challenge the complacent belief in a just world, and, as the theory would predict, they are usually denigrated for their efforts. While they are alive, they may be called “cantankerous,” “crazy,” “hysterical,” “uppity,” or “duped.” Dead, some of them become saints and heroes, the sterling characters of history. It’s a matter of proportion. One angry rebel is crazy, three is a conspiracy, fifty is a movement.

Carol Tavris (b. 1944) American social psychologist and author
“Anger in an Unjust World,” Anger: The Misunderstood Emotion (1982)
Added on 11-Mar-14 | Last updated 17-Jul-16
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The animosities of sovereigns are temporary, and may be allayed; but those which seize the whole body of people, and of a people too, dictate their own measures, produce calamities of long duration.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Letter to C. W. F. Dumas (6 May 1786)
Added on 22-May-13 | Last updated 8-Jul-22
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Some find activity only in repose, and others repose only in movement.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 18-Mar-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
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Mass movements can rise and spread without belief in a God, but never without belief in a devil.

Eric Hoffer (1902-1983) American writer, philosopher, longshoreman
The True Believer, Part 3, sec. 65, (1951)
Added on 25-Aug-11 | Last updated 19-Apr-18
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The world can only be grasped by action, not by contemplation. The hand is more important than the eye. We are active; and indeed we know, as something more than a symbolic accident in the evolution of man, that it is the hand that drives the subsequent evolution of the brain. We find tools today made by man before he became man. Benjamin Franklin in 1778 called man “a tool-making animal,” and that is right.

Jacob Bronowski (1908-1974) Polish-English humanist and mathematician
The Ascent of Man, ch. 3 (1973)
Added on 8-Dec-10 | Last updated 28-Aug-17
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A rolling stone gathers no moss.

Publilius Syrus (d. 42 BC) Assyrian slave, writer, philosopher [less correctly Publius Syrus]
Sententiae [Moral Sayings], # 524
Added on 5-Aug-09 | Last updated 20-Feb-17
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All things are in motion, and nothing is at rest. … You cannot step into the same [river] twice, for fresh waters are ever flowing in upon you.

[Πάντα ῥεῖ καὶ οὐδὲν μένει]

Heraclitus of Ephesus (c.540-c.480 BC) Greek philosopher [Ἡράκλειτος, Herákleitos, Heracleitus]

Paraphrased by Socrates in Plato, Cratylus, l. 402 [tr. B Jowett (1894)] and by Diogenes Laërtius in Lives of the Philosophers Bk 9, sec 8

Alt trans.:
  • Everything flows, nothing stays still
  • Everything flows and nothing stays.
  • Everything flows and nothing abides.
  • Everything gives way and nothing stays fixed.
  • Everything flows; nothing remains.
  • All is flux, nothing is stationary.
  • All is flux, nothing stays still.
  • You cannot step twice into the same river; for other waters are continually flowing in.
  • You cannot step twice into the same stream. For as you are stepping in, other waters are ever flowing on to you.
  • You cannot step twice into the same river.
  • It is impossible to step into the same river twice.
  • No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it's not the same river and he's not the same man.
Added on 23-Apr-09 | Last updated 14-Mar-17
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Most of the members of the convent were old-fashioned Satanists, like their parents and grandparents before them. They’d been brought up to it and weren’t, when you got right down to it, particularly evil. Human beings mostly aren’t. They just get carried away by new ideas, like dressing up in jackboots and shooting people, or dressing up in white sheets and lynching people, or dressing up in tie-dye jeans and playing guitars at people. Offer people a new creed with a costume and their hearts and minds will follow.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Good Omens, “Eleven Years Ago” (1990) [with Neil Gaiman]
Added on 12-Mar-09 | Last updated 8-Jun-21
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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)]

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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All change is not growth; all movement is not forward.

Glasgow - All change is not growth all movement is not forward - wist.info quote

Ellen Glasgow (1874-1945) American author
In Clifton Fadiman, I Believe: The Personal Philosophies of Certain Eminent Men and Women of Our Time (1939 ed.)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 4-Nov-22
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All movements go too far.

Bertrand Russell (1872-1970) English mathematician and philosopher
“On Being Modern-Minded,” The Nation (1937-01-09)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 27-Mar-23
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Nobody cares if you can’t dance well. Just get up and dance.

Dave Barry (b. 1947) American humorist
“25 Things I Have Learned In 50 Years,” #25 (1997)
Added on 1-Feb-04 | Last updated 20-Oct-14
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