Quotations about   self-determination

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Just as most soldiers believe bullets will hit only others, not themselves, most citizens like to think that their own minds and thought processes are invulnerable. “Other people can be manipulated, but not me,” they declare. People like to think that their opinions, values and ideas are inviolate and totally self-regulated. They may admit grudgingly that they are influenced slightly by advertising. Beyond that, they want to preserve a myth in which other persons are weak-minded and easily influenced, but they are strong-minded.

Margaret Singer (1921-2003) American clinical psychologist and researcher
“The ‘Not Me’ Myth: Orwell and the Mind,” Idea (19 Jan 1996)
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Added on 25-Jun-21 | Last updated 25-Jun-21
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Let me point out to you that freedom is not something that anybody can be given; freedom is something people take and people are as free as they want to be. One hasn’t got to have an enormous military in order to be unfree when it’s simpler to be asleep, when it’s simpler to be apathetic, when it’s simpler, in fact, not to want to be free, to think that something else is more important.

James Baldwin (1924-1987) American novelist, playwright, activist
“Notes for a Hypothetical Novel,” speech, San Francisco College (22 Oct 1960)
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Later published in Nobody Knows My Name (1961).
Added on 6-Jan-20 | Last updated 6-Jan-20
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A respect for the rights of other people to determine their forms of government and their economy will not weaken our democracy. It will inevitably strengthen it. One of the first things we must get rid of is the idea that democracy is tantamount to capitalism.

Eleanor Roosevelt (1884-1962) First Lady of the US (1933-45), politician, diplomat, activist
Tomorrow Is Now (1963)
Added on 18-Feb-15 | Last updated 18-Feb-15
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