" 'Nowadays the water main is my well, the trolley car is my carriage, the banker 's safe my old stocking, the policeman�s Billy my fist. My own eyes and nose and judgment defer to the inspector of food, or drugs, or gas , or Factories, or tenements, or insurance companies. I rely on others to look after my drains, invest my savings, nurse my sick, and teach my children, unfortunately, when all men are so interdependent and the web of connection is at once tight and far flung, the moral focus becomes blurred, and no one assumes responsibility for the evil he causes."
Sin & Society 1907
"Nowadays' is a civilization in which the prime emblems of poetry are dishonored. In which serpent, lion and eagle belong to the circus-tent; ox, salmon and boar to the cannery; racehorse and greyhound to the betting ring; and the sacred grove to the saw-mill. In which the Moon is despised as a burned-out satellite of the Earth and woman reckoned as 'auxiliary State Personnel'. In which money will buy almost anything but truth, and almost anyone but the truth possessed poet."
"Nowadays, presumably, they (the people) suppose the serious things are for the sake of the playful things, for it is held that the affairs pertaining to war, being serious matters, should be run well for the sake of peace. But the fact is that in war there is not and will not be by nature either play or, again, an education that is at any time worthy of our discussion; yet this is what we assert is for us, at least, the most serious thing. Each person should spend the greatest and best part of his life in peace. What then is the correct way? One should live out one's days playing at certain games-sacrificing, singing, and dancing."
"Nowadays they brag of gigantic enterprises, but when you come down to it these really are dwarf-enterprises, a couple of million dwarfs joined, and the crux is precisely their great number."
Soren Kierkeqaard 1854
'Nowadays they talk about executions, hangings, murders, bombs the way they used to speak of the weather....It is impossible to live like this.'
I Cannot be Silent
"We often read nowadays of the valor or audacity with which some rebel attacks a hoary tyranny or an antiquated superstition. There is not really any courage at all in attacking hoary or antiquated things, any more than in offering to fight one's grandmother. The really courageous man is he who defies tyrannies young as the morning and superstitions fresh as the first flowers. The only true free-thinker is he whose intellect is as much free from the future as from the past. He cares as little for what will be as for what has been; he cares only for what ought to be."
Whats Wrong with the World
"Nowadays, "public opinion" is more smoothly and easily ventriloquised. I am sure you have had the experience of making up your own mind on a question and then discovering, on the evening news of the same day, that only 23.6 percent of people agree with you. Ought you to be depressed or disconcerted by this alarmingly exact dissection of the collective brain? Only if you believe that a squadron of under talented but overpaid psuedo-scientists have truly and verifiably arrived at this conclusion. And perhaps-indeed I would argue, in any case-not even then."
letters to a young contrarian
"Now, the world' s decisions were made by smaller men; by gray, faceless bureaucrats without vision or wit; .committeemen who spoke committee speak and thought committee thought, men who knew more of dogma that destiny, men who understood production but were ignorant of pleasure, men more comfortable with a file full of papers than a fistful of gems; unsmiling men, unmannered men, undreaming men, men who believed they could guide humanity when they could not seduce a countess nor ride a horse.
Still Life With Woodpecker
"Thus, his whole life long, the man of to-day is exposed to influences which are bent on robbing him of all confidence in his own thinking. The spirit of spiritual dependence to which he is called on to surrender is in everything that he hears or reads; it is in the people whom he meets every day; it is in the parties and associations which have claimed him as their own; it pervades all the circumstances of his life. From every side and in the most varied ways it is dinned into him that the truths and convictions which he needs for life must be taken by him from the associations which have rights over him. The spirit of the age never lets him come to himself. Over and over again conventions are forced upon him in the same way as, by means of the electric advertisements which flare in the streets of every large town, any company which has sufficient capital to get itself securely established, exercises pressure on him at every step he takes to induce him to buy their boot polish or their soup tablets. By the spirit of the age, then, the man of to-day is forced into skepticism about his own thinking, in order to make him receptive to truth which comes to him from authority. To all this constant influence he cannot make the resistance that is desirable because he is an overworked and distracted being without power to concentrate. Moreover, the manifold material trammels which are his lot work upon his mentality in such a way that he comes at last to believe himself unqualified even to make any claim to thoughts of his own. His self-confidence is also diminished through the pressure exercised upon him by the huge daily increasing mass of Knowledge. He is no longer in a position to take in as something which he has grasped all the new discoveries that are constantly announced; he has to accept them as fact although he does not understand them. This being his relation to scientific truth he is tempted to acquiesce in the idea that in matters of thought also his judgment cannot be trusted. Thus do the circumstances of the age do their best to deliver us up to the spirit of the age. The seed of skepticism has germinated. In fact, the modern man has no longer any spiritual self-confidence at all. Behind a self-confident exterior he conceals a great inward lack of confidence. In spite of his great capacity in material matters he is an altogether stunted being, because he makes no use of his capacity for thinking. It will ever remain incomprehensible that our generation, which has shown itself so great by its achievements in discovery and invention, could fall so low spiritually as to give up thinking.
Out of my life and work
"Nowadays humans select each other mostly for possessions, or their potential for possessions; but animals are honest in their appreciation of strength and beauty, casting it before them as a carpet into the future, making the pheasant's feathers ever more and more shining, as lady pheasants time and time again fall for the dazzle. And now when I look at most humans, especially their possession- centered Ones, their bodies seem mere appendages to carry things on, and have lost their suppleness, usefulness, and grace."
"In the lightning flashes of our stormy age we see men and things in all their nakedness. Nations and individuals reveal their plans, strengths, Weaknesses, and passions. Routine is of no possible use in the rapidly changing conditions of life. The conventions fall like ripe ears of corn."
"Nowadays is, indeed, lit by lightning, a plague has stricken the
moths, and Blanche has been 'put away'.....
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