„The fate of a single man can be rich with significance, that of a few hundred less so, but the history of thousands and millions of men does not mean anything at all, in any adequate sense of the word.“

—  Stanisław Lem, book Solaris

Source: Solaris (1961), Ch. 8 "The Monsters", p. 120

Last update June 4, 2020. History
Stanisław Lem photo
Stanisław Lem74
Polish science fiction author 1921 - 2006

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Miyamoto Musashi photo

„To master the virtue of the long sword is to govern the world and oneself, thus the long sword is the basis of strategy. The principle is "strategy by means of the long sword". If he attains the virtue of the long sword, one man can beat ten men. Just as one man can beat ten, so a hundred men can beat a thousand, and a thousand men can beat ten thousand. In my strategy, one man is the same as ten thousand, so this strategy is the complete warrior's craft.“

—  Miyamoto Musashi Japanese martial artist, writer, artist 1584 - 1645

Go Rin No Sho (1645), The Ground Book
Context: To master the virtue of the long sword is to govern the world and oneself, thus the long sword is the basis of strategy. The principle is "strategy by means of the long sword". If he attains the virtue of the long sword, one man can beat ten men. Just as one man can beat ten, so a hundred men can beat a thousand, and a thousand men can beat ten thousand. In my strategy, one man is the same as ten thousand, so this strategy is the complete warrior's craft.
The Way of the warrior does not include other Ways, such as Confucianism, Buddhism, certain traditions, artistic accomplishments and dancing. But even though these are not part of the Way, if you know the Way broadly you will see it in everything. Men must polish their particular Way.

Andrea Dworkin photo
Carl Sagan photo

„The amount of organic matter that could have been produced in the first few hundred million years of Earth history“

—  Carl Sagan American astrophysicist, cosmologist, author and science educator 1934 - 1996

The Varieties of Scientific Experience: A Personal View of the Search for God (2006)
Context: The amount of organic matter that could have been produced in the first few hundred million years of Earth history was sufficient to have produced in the present ocean a several-percent solution of organic matter. This is just about the dilution of Knorr's chicken soup, and not that different from the composition either. And chicken soup is widely known to be good for life.

Lyndon B. Johnson photo

„At times history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man's unending search for freedom.“

—  Lyndon B. Johnson American politician, 36th president of the United States (in office from 1963 to 1969) 1908 - 1973

1960s, The American Promise (1965)
Context: At times history and fate meet at a single time in a single place to shape a turning point in man's unending search for freedom. So it was at Lexington and Concord. So it was a century ago at Appomattox. So it was last week in Selma, Alabama. There, long-suffering men and women peacefully protested the denial of their rights as Americans. Many were brutally assaulted. One good man, a man of God, was killed.

Howard Thurman photo

„He will know that for all men to be alike is the death of life in man, and yet perceive harmony that transcends all diversities and in which diversity finds its richness and significance.“

—  Howard Thurman American writer 1899 - 1981

The Search For Common Ground : An Inquiry Into The Basis Of Man's Experience Of Community (1971), p. 6
Context: In the conflicts between man and man, between group and group, between nation and nation, the loneliness of the seeker for community is sometimes unendurable. The radical tension between good and evil, as man sees it and feels it, does not have the last word about the meaning of life and the nature of existence. There is a spirit in man and in the world working always against the thing that destroys and lays waste. Always he must know that the contradictions of life are not final or ultimate; he must distinguish between failure and a many-sided awareness so that he will not mistake conformity for harmony, uniformity for synthesis. He will know that for all men to be alike is the death of life in man, and yet perceive harmony that transcends all diversities and in which diversity finds its richness and significance.

„You want me to defend the riches reaped from the super-exploitation of the darker races of mankind by a few white, rich, super-monopolists who control the most vast empire that has ever existed in man's one million years of History--all in the name of "Freedom!"“

—  General Baker 1941 - 2014

General G. Baker, Jr., "Letter to Draft Board 100, Wayne County, Detroit, Michigan," SOULBOOK, II, (Spring 1965), 133-134, in Black nationalism in America, John H. Bracey (Indianapolis: Bobbs-Merrill, 1970), 506-8. ( page scan from another source http://speakersforanewamerica.com/gendraft.html)

Theodore Roosevelt photo
Miguel de Unamuno photo

„What difference does it make whether it be a book that is infallible — the Bible, or a society of men — the Church, or a single man? Does it make any essential change in the rational difficulty?“

—  Miguel de Unamuno 19th-20th century Spanish writer and philosopher 1864 - 1936

The Tragic Sense of Life (1913), IV : The Essence of Catholicism
Context: And why be scandalized by the infallibility of a man, of the Pope? What difference does it make whether it be a book that is infallible — the Bible, or a society of men — the Church, or a single man? Does it make any essential change in the rational difficulty? And since the infallibility of a book or of a society of men is not more rational than that of a single man, this supreme offense to the eyes of reason has to be postulated.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson photo
Bhagat Singh photo

„One should not interpret the word “Revolution” in its literal sense. Various meanings and significances are attributed to this word, according to the interests of those who use or misuse it.“

—  Bhagat Singh Indian revolutionary 1907 - 1931

Letter published in The Tribune (25 December 1929) http://naxalrevolution.wordpress.com/2007/03/23/bhagat-singh-on-the-slogan-of-‘long-live-revolution’/
Context: One should not interpret the word “Revolution” in its literal sense. Various meanings and significances are attributed to this word, according to the interests of those who use or misuse it. For the established agencies of exploitation it conjures up a feeling of blood stained horror. To the revolutionaries it is a sacred phrase.

Gertrude Stein photo
Eugene V. Debs photo

„I am opposing a social order in which it is possible for one man who does absolutely nothing that is useful to amass a fortune of hundreds of millions of dollars, while millions of men and women who work all the days of their lives secure barely enough for a wretched existence.“

—  Eugene V. Debs American labor and political leader 1855 - 1926

"Statement to the Court Upon Being Convicted of Violating the Sedition Act" (18 September 1918) http://www.marxists.org/archive/debs/works/1918/court.htm
Federal Court statement (1918)

„For surely a king is first a man. And so it must follow that a king does as all men do: the best he can.“

—  Cameron Dokey American writer 1956

Source: The Storyteller's Daughter: A Retelling of the Arabian Nights

Leo Tolstoy photo
Lydia Maria Child photo

„Flowers have spoken to me more than I can tell in written words. They are the hieroglyphics of angels, loved by all men for the beauty of the character, though few can decypher even fragments of their meaning.“

—  Lydia Maria Child American abolitionist, author and women's rights activist 1802 - 1880

1840s, Letters from New York (1843)
Source: Letters from New York http://www.bartleby.com/66/58/12260.html, vol. 1, letter 26

Vladimir Lenin photo

„Hang (hang without fail, so the people see) no fewer than one hundred known kulaks, rich men, bloodsuckers.“

—  Vladimir Lenin Russian politician, led the October Revolution 1870 - 1924

"Lenin's Hanging Order" (11 August 1918), an order for the execution of kulaks, as translated in The Unknown Lenin : From the Secret Archive (1996) by Richard Pipes, p. 50
Variant translation: Hang (and make sure that the hanging takes place in full view of the people) no fewer than one hundred known landlords, rich men, bloodsuckers. … Do it in such a fashion that for hundreds of kilometres around the people might see, tremble, know, shout: "they are strangling, and will strangle to death, the bloodsucking kulaks".
As translated in Lenin : A Biography (2000) by Robert Service, p. 365.
1910s

Robertson Davies photo

„Now, very few [physicians] are men of science in any very serious sense; they're men of technique.“

—  Robertson Davies Canadian journalist, playwright, professor, critic, and novelist 1913 - 1995

"You Should Face Up to Your Death, Says Author".

Gerhard Richter photo
Anne Applebaum photo

„Given the right conditions, any society can turn against democracy. Indeed, if history is anything to go by, all societies eventually will.“

—  Anne Applebaum journalist 1964

A Warning From Europe: The Worst is Yet to Come https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2018/10/poland-polarization/568324/ (October 2018), The Atlantic.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“