Sunday, October 30, 2011

"The Soul of Man Under Socialism" by Oscar Wilde

Kindle edition here.

  • "The emotions of man are stirred more quickly than man’s intelligence"
  • "Most personalities have been obliged to be rebels.  Half their strength has been wasted in friction."
  • "The note of the perfect personality is not rebellion, but peace."
  • "it is much more easy to have sympathy with suffering than it is to have sympathy with thought"
  • "their remedies do not cure the disease: they merely prolong it.  Indeed, their remedies are part of the disease."

  • "in the present state of things in England, the people who do most harm are the people who try to do most good"
  • "These are the poets, the philosophers, the men of science, the men of culture—in a word, the real men, the men who have realised themselves, and in whom all Humanity gains a partial realisation. "
  • "the man who is poor is in himself absolutely of no importance.  He is merely the infinitesimal atom of a force that, so far from regarding him, crushes him: indeed, prefers him crushed, as in that case he is far more obedient."
  • "Why should they be grateful for the crumbs that fall from the rich man’s table? "
  • "Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue.  It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion. "
  • "a poor man who is ungrateful, unthrifty, discontented, and rebellious, is probably a real personality, and has much in him.  He is at any rate a healthy protest. "
  • "Misery and poverty are so absolutely degrading, and exercise such a paralysing effect over the nature of men"
  • "The true perfection of man lies, not in what man has, but in what man is."
  • "One’s regret is that society should be constructed on such a basis that man has been forced into a groove in which he cannot freely develop what is wonderful, and fascinating, and delightful in him—in which, in fact, he misses the true pleasure and joy of living."
  • "nothing should be able to harm a man except himself.  Nothing should be able to rob a man at all.  What a man really has, is what is in him.  What is outside of him should be a matter of no importance."
  • "With the abolition of private property, then, we shall have true, beautiful, healthy Individualism.  Nobody will waste his life in accumulating things, and the symbols for things.  One will live.  To live is the rarest thing in the world.  Most people exist, that is all."

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