„I finished by saying that it struck me that all the ethical systems I was discussing were after the fact. That is, that people act as they are disposed to, but they like to feel afterwards that they were right and so they invent systems that approve of their dispositions.“

Source: Rite of Passage (1968), Chapter 12 (p. 166).

Adopted from Wikiquote. Last update June 3, 2021. History
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Alexei Panshin13
American writer and critic 1940

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„From literature to ecology, from the escape velocity of galaxies to the greenhouse effect, from garbage disposal methods to traffic jams, everything is discussed in our world. But the democratic system, as if it were a given fact, untouchable by nature until the end of time, we don't discuss that.“

—  José Saramago Portuguese writer and recipient of the 1998 Nobel Prize in Literature 1922 - 2010

Intervention in the World Social Forum in Porto Alegre, February of 1992; quoted in Las leyes antidiscriminatorias en el Mercosur: Impactos de la III conferencia mundial contra el racismo, la discriminación racial, la xenofobia y las formas conexas de intolerancia, Durban, 2001: informe sobre el seminario realizado en Montevideo, 29 y 30 de abril de 2002. Published by Organizaciones Mundo Afro, 2002 163 pages.

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„The purpose of this book is to discuss and present evidence for the general thesis that the flow of energy through a system acts to organize that system.“

—  Harold J. Morowitz American biophysicist 1927 - 2016

Energy Flow in Biology: Biological Organization as a Problem in Thermal Physics (1968), p. 2.
Italics are in the original. Later quoted on the inside front cover of The Last Whole Earth Catalog.

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„Myself and the people close to me are all part of a social system, and we were being conditioned to accept the status quo.“

—  Seal (musician) British singer-songwriter 1963

As quoted in "Seal" profile at Victoria's Secret Fashion Show (CBS) (4 December 2007)
Context: Myself and the people close to me are all part of a social system, and we were being conditioned to accept the status quo. But on this album, I'm saying it's time for us to take charge. We can change it. We can take control of our emotional system and be happy. My point is don't just sit there and allow life to happen to you. Go out and take charge if you want change, but it begins closer to home.

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„They call, in fact, for the forfeiture, to a greater or less degree, of human liberty, to the point where, were I to attempt to sum up what socialism is, I would say that it was simply a new system of serfdom.“

—  Alexis De Tocqueville French political thinker and historian 1805 - 1859

Notes for a Speech on Socialism (1848). http://oll.libertyfund.org/pages/tocqueville-s-critique-of-socialism-1848
1840s

„The problem of systems improvement is the problem of the 'ethics of the whole system.“

—  C. West Churchman American philosopher and systems scientist 1913 - 2004

Source: 1960s - 1970s, The Systems Approach (1968), p. 4

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„Perhaps you think the Creator sent you here to dispose of us as you see fit. If I thought you were sent by the Creator, I might be induced to think you had a right to dispose of me.“

—  Chief Joseph Nez Percé Chieftain 1840 - 1904

Speech rejecting the demands that he lead his people onto a reservation. (1876)
Context: Perhaps you think the Creator sent you here to dispose of us as you see fit. If I thought you were sent by the Creator, I might be induced to think you had a right to dispose of me. Do not misunderstand me, but understand fully with reference to my affection for the land. I never said the land was mine to do with as I choose. The one who has a right to dispose of it is the one who has created it. I claim a right to live on my land and accord you the privilege to return to yours.

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„I always think, Look at how people were before they were pregnant. If you were a toned, healthy, energetic person, most likely you will be like that again. A lot of people come to me, and they’re like, "Will I look like you after I have the baby?" And I say, "Well, how were you before?"“

—  Heidi Klum German model, television host, businesswoman, fashion designer, television producer, and actress 1973

You can’t kid yourself.
Quoted by Chris Connelly in Marie Claire May 2008 http://www.marieclaire.com/hair/celebrity/behind-scenes/heidi-klum-interview.

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„I’m going to go obsessively run diagnostics on systems I know are solid so I can feel like I have control of something.“

—  Daniel Abraham speculative fiction writer from the United States 1969

Source: The Expanse, Tiamat's Wrath (2019), Chapter 30 (p. 319)

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„If the system of perfect liberty to industry and commerce were the prevailing system of nations,“

—  Alexander Hamilton, Report on Manufactures

Report on Manufactures (1791)
Context: If the system of perfect liberty to industry and commerce were the prevailing system of nations, the arguments which dissuade a country in the predicament of the United States, from the zealous pursuits of manufactures would doubtless have great force. (...) But the system which has been mentioned, is far from characterising the general policy of Nations. The prevalent one has been regulated by an opposite spirit. The consequence of it is, that the United States are to a certain extent in the situation of a country precluded from foreign Commerce. They can indeed, without difficulty obtain from abroad the manufactured supplies, of which they are in want; but they experience numerous and very injurious impediments to the emission and vent of their own commodities. (...) In such a position of things, the United States cannot exchange with Europe on equal terms, and the want of reciprocity would render them the victim of a system, which should induce them to confine their views to Agriculture and refrain from Manufactures. A constant and increasing necessity, on their part, for the commodities of Europe, and only a partial and occasional demand for their own, in return, could not but expose them to a state of impoverishment, compared with the opulence to which their political and natural advantages authorise them to aspire.

„One of the insidious facts about totalitarianism is its seeming "efficiency." …Democracy — with all of its inefficiency — is still the best system we have so far for enhancing the prospects of our mutual survival. The schools should begin to act as if this were so.“

—  Neil Postman American writer and academic 1931 - 2003

Teaching as a Subversive Activity (1969)
Context: Adminstrators are another curious consequence of a bureaucracy which has forgotten its reason for being. In schools, adminstrators commonly become myopic as a result of confronting all of the problems the "requirements" generate. Thus they cannot see (or hear) the constituents the system ostensibly exists to serve — the students. The idea that the school should consist of procedures specifically intended to help learners learn strikes many administrators as absurd — and "impractical." …Eichmann, after all, was "just an adminstrator." He was merely "enforcing requirements." The idea of "full time administrators" is palpably a bad one — especially in schools — and we say to hell with it. Most of the "administration" of the school should be a student responsibility. If schools functioned according to the democratic ideals they pay verbal allegience to, the students would long since have played a major role in developing policies and procedures guiding its operation. One of the insidious facts about totalitarianism is its seeming "efficiency." …Democracy — with all of its inefficiency — is still the best system we have so far for enhancing the prospects of our mutual survival. The schools should begin to act as if this were so.

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