Quotations about   norms

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Fascist politics lures its audiences with the temptation of freedom from democratic norms while masking the fact that the alternative proposed is not a form of freedom that can sustain a stable nation state and can scarcely guarantee liberty.

Jason Stanley (b. 1969) American philosopher, epistemologist, academic
How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them (2018)
Added on 4-May-22 | Last updated 1-Jun-22
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Men weren’t really the enemy — they were fellow victims suffering from an outmoded masculine mystique that made them feel unnecessarily inadequate when there were no bears to kill.

Betty Friedan (1921-2006) American writer, feminist, activist
The Feminine Mystique, Epilogue (1974 ed.)
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Sometimes paraphrased: "Man is not the enemy here, but the fellow victim."
Added on 10-Mar-22 | Last updated 10-Mar-22
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We can’t function as a society unless we have norms of how to behave. You can’t pass enough laws to take care of every human interaction.

Jerry Springer
Jerry Springer (b. 1944) Anglo-American broadcaster, actor, producer, politician
Interview by Stephanie Ruhle, MSNBC, @1:12 (1 Nov 2019)
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Added on 7-Jul-21 | Last updated 7-Jul-21
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The problem isn’t that our national character is too invested in civility. It’s that a certain segment of our population is desperate to be freed from it.

Lili Loofbourow (contemp.) American essayist, critic, author
“This Is America,” Slate (19 Aug 2018)
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Added on 22-Jun-21 | Last updated 22-Jun-21
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Perhaps the hardest thing for humans to do is to imagine the world as it is imagined by others. We tend to confuse acting in accordance with the goals and values of the society in which we live with rationality; we tend to confuse intelligence with thinking in accordance with those goals and values. And, of course, we are always inclined to see events as predetermined — and we are almost always wrong.

Masha Gessen (b. 1967) Russian-American journalist, author, translator, activist
“The Fundamental Uncertainty of Mueller’s Russia Indictments,” The New Yorker (20 Feb 2018)
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Added on 7-Jun-21 | Last updated 7-Jun-21
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The dividing line between those who want to think and therefore have to judge by themselves, and those who do not, strikes across all social and cultural or educational differences. In this respect, the total moral collapse of respectable society during the Hitler regime may teach us that under such circumstances those who cherish values and hold fast to moral norms and standards are not reliable: we now know that moral norms and standards can be changed overnight, and that all that then will be left is the mere habit of holding fast to something. Much more reliable will be the doubters and skeptics, not because skepticism is good or doubting wholesome, but because they are used to examine things and to make up their own minds. Best of all will be those who know only one thing for certain: that whatever else happens, as long as we live we shall have to live together with ourselves.

Hannah Arendt (1906-1975) German-American philosopher, political theorist
“Personal Responsibility Under Dictatorship” (1964)
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Added on 4-Aug-20 | Last updated 4-Aug-20
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All art is propaganda. It is universally and inescapably propaganda; sometimes unconsciously, but often deliberately, propaganda.

As commentary on the above, we add, that when artists or art critics make the assertion that art excludes propaganda, what they are saying is that their kind of propaganda is art, and other kinds of propaganda are not art. Orthodoxy is my doxy, and heterodoxy is the other fellow’s doxy.

Upton Sinclair (1878-1968) American writer, journalist, activist, politician
Mammonart, ch. 2 “Who Owns the Artists?” (1925)
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Added on 2-Jul-20 | Last updated 2-Jul-20
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In olden days, a glimpse of stocking
Was looked on as something shocking,
But now, God knows,
Anything goes.

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Cole Porter (1891-1964) American composer and songwriter
“Anything Goes” (1934)
Added on 19-Jan-17 | Last updated 19-Jan-17
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Conformity is the ape of harmony.

emerson-conformity-ape-harmon-wist_info-quote

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
Journal (10 May 1840)
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Added on 5-Dec-16 | Last updated 14-Mar-22
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The custom and fashion of to-day will be the awkwardness and outrage of to-morrow. So arbitrary are these transient laws.

Dumas - custom and fashion of today - wist_info quote

Alexandre Dumas, père (1802-1870) French novelist and dramatist
(Attributed)

Quoted in James Comper Gray, The Biblical Museum: Old Testament, vol. 3 (1878 ed.).
Added on 21-Jul-16 | Last updated 21-Jul-16
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Our public morality, then — the moral standards we maintain for everyone, not just the ones we insist on in our private lives — depends on a consensus view of right and wrong. The values derived from religious belief will not — and should not — be accepted as part of the public morality unless they are shared by the pluralistic community at large, by consensus. That values happen to be religious values does not deny them acceptability as a part of this consensus. But it does not require their acceptability, either.

Mario Cuomo (1932-2015) American politician
“Religious Belief and Public Morality,” John A. O’Brien Lecture, U. of Notre Dame (13 Sep 1984)
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Added on 4-May-15 | Last updated 4-May-15
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