„Ignorance and obscurantism have never produced anything other than flocks of slaves for tyranny.“

Remarks in regard to Pancho Villa, as quoted in The Unknown Lore of Amexem's Indigenous People : An Aboriginal Treatise (2008) by Noble Timothy Myers-El, p. 158

Last update Nov. 21, 2020. History
Emiliano Zapata photo
Emiliano Zapata5
Mexican Revolutionary 1879 - 1919

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Honoré de Balzac photo

„Tyranny produces two results, exactly opposite in character, and which are symbolized in those two great types of the slave in classical times — Epictetus and Spartacus. The one is hatred with its evil train, the other meekness with its Christian graces.“

—  Honoré de Balzac, book Une fille d'Ève

La tyrannie produit deux effets contraires dont les symboles existent dans deux grandes figures de l'esclavage antique: Epictète et Spartacus, la haine et ses sentiments mauvais, la résignation et ses tendresses chrétiennes.
Source: A Daughter of Eve (1839), Ch. 3: The Story of a Happy Woman.

Joseph Priestley photo
Kim Stanley Robinson photo

„This vain presumption, of understanding everything, can have no other basis than never understanding anything.“

—  Kim Stanley Robinson, book Galileo's Dream

For anyone who had experienced just once the understanding of one single thing, thus truly tasting how knowledge is accomplished, would then recognize that of the infinity of other truths, he understands nothing.
Source: Galileo's Dream (2009), Ch. 15, p. 354; note: though this statement is incorporated into the story as one Galileo spoke, it is actually a quotation of one he historically made in his Dialogue Concerning The Two Chief World Systems http://www4.ncsu.edu/~kimler/hi322/Dialogue-extracts.html as translated by Stillman Drake.

David Hume photo

„Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.“

—  David Hume, book A Treatise of Human Nature

Part 3, Section 3
Part 3, Section 3
Source: A Treatise of Human Nature (1739-40), Book 2: Of the passions
Context: We speak not strictly and philosophically when we talk of the combat of passion and of reason. Reason is, and ought only to be the slave of the passions, and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.
Context: What may at first occur on this head, is, that as nothing can be contrary to truth or reason, except what has a reference to it, and as the judgments of our understanding only have this reference, it must follow, that passions can be contrary to reason only so far as they are accompany'd with some judgment or opinion. According to this principle, which is so obvious and natural, `tis only in two senses, that any affection can be call'd unreasonable. First, When a passion, such as hope or fear, grief or joy, despair or security, is founded on the supposition or the existence of objects, which really do not exist. Secondly, When in exerting any passion in action, we chuse means insufficient for the design'd end, and deceive ourselves in our judgment of causes and effects. Where a passion is neither founded on false suppositions, nor chuses means insufficient for the end, the understanding can neither justify nor condemn it. `Tis not contrary to reason to prefer the destruction of the whole world to the scratching of my finger. `Tis not contrary to reason for me to chuse my total ruin, to prevent the least uneasiness of an Indian or person wholly unknown to me. `Tis as little contrary to reason to prefer even my own acknowledge'd lesser good to my greater, and have a more ardent affection for the former than the latter. A trivial good may, from certain circumstances, produce a desire superior to what arises from the greatest and most valuable enjoyment; nor is there any thing more extraordinary in this, than in mechanics to see one pound weight raise up a hundred by the advantage of its situation. In short, a passion must be accompany'd with some false judgment. in order to its being unreasonable; and even then `tis not the passion, properly speaking, which is unreasonable, but the judgment.

Herbert Spencer photo

„The tyranny of Mrs. Grundy is worse than any other tyranny we suffer under.“

—  Herbert Spencer English philosopher, biologist, sociologist, and prominent classical liberal political theorist 1820 - 1903

On Manners and Fashion
Essays on Education (1861)

Donald J. Trump photo

„It's hard to explain. I don't care about anything having to do with anything having to do with anything other than the country.“

—  Donald J. Trump 45th President of the United States of America 1946

2010s, 2016, November, New York Times Interview (November 23, 2016)

Frank Chodorov photo
Karl Popper photo

„Those who promise us paradise on earth never produced anything but a hell.“

—  Karl Popper Austrian-British philosopher of science 1902 - 1994

As quoted in In Passing: Condolences and Complaints on Death, Dying, and Related Disappointments (2005) by Jon Winokur, p. 144

H.L. Mencken photo

„I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than be ignorant.“

—  H.L. Mencken American journalist and writer 1880 - 1956

"What I Believe" in The Forum 84 (September 1930), p. 139; some of these expressions were also used separately in other Mencken essays.
1930s
Context: I believe that religion, generally speaking, has been a curse to mankind — that its modest and greatly overestimated services on the ethical side have been more than overcome by the damage it has done to clear and honest thinking.
I believe that no discovery of fact, however trivial, can be wholly useless to the race, and that no trumpeting of falsehood, however virtuous in intent, can be anything but vicious.
I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war upon liberty and the democratic form is as bad as any of the other forms.
I believe that the evidence for immortality is no better than the evidence of witches, and deserves no more respect.
I believe in the complete freedom of thought and speech — alike for the humblest man and the mightiest, and in the utmost freedom of conduct that is consistent with living in organized society.
I believe in the capacity of man to conquer his world, and to find out what it is made of, and how it is run.
I believe in the reality of progress.
I —But the whole thing, after all, may be put very simply. I believe that it is better to tell the truth than to lie. I believe that it is better to be free than to be a slave. And I believe that it is better to know than be ignorant.

Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan photo

„We must respect our own dignity as rational beings and thus diminish the power of fraud. It is better to be free than be a slave, better to know than to be ignorant.“

—  Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan Indian philosopher and statesman who was the first Vice President and the second President of India 1888 - 1975

Eminent Indians (1947)
Context: We must respect our own dignity as rational beings and thus diminish the power of fraud. It is better to be free than be a slave, better to know than to be ignorant. It is reason that helps us to reject what is falsely taught and believed about God, that He is a detective officer or a capricious despot or a glorified schoolmaster. It is essential that we should subject religious beliefs to the scrutiny of reason.

Maximilien Robespierre photo

„The secret of liberty is to enlighten men, as that of tyranny is to keep them in ignorance.“

—  Maximilien Robespierre French revolutionary lawyer and politician 1758 - 1794

As quoted in Human Rights and Freedoms in the USSR (1981) by Fedor Eliseevich Medvedev and Gennadiĭ Ivanovich Kulikov, p. 221
Original: Le secret de la liberté est d'éclairer les hommes, comme celui de la tyrannie est de les retenir dans l'ignorance
Variant: The secret of freedom lies in educating people, whereas the secret of tyranny is in keeping them ignorant.
Source: Public statement (November 1792), quoted in Oeuvres de Maximilien Robespierre (1840), Volume 2, p. 253 http://books.google.com/books?id=iSMVAAAAQAAJ

George D. Prentice photo

„Some people seem as if they can never have been children, and others seem as if they could never be anything else.“

—  George D. Prentice American newspaper editor 1802 - 1870

Prenticeana http://books.google.com/books?id=4P0gAAAAMAAJ&q=%22SOME+people+seem+as+if+they+can+never+have+been+children+and+others+seem+as+if+they+could+never+be+any+thing+else%22&pg=PA100#v=onepage (1860)

Thucydides photo

„Ignorance produces rashness, reflection timidity“

—  Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War

Book II, 40.3
History of the Peloponnesian War, Book II
Original: (el) Ἀμαθία μὲν θράσος, λογισμὸς δὲ ὄκνον φέρει

Oliver Cromwell photo

„I would have been glad to have lived under my wood side, to have kept a flock of sheep, rather than undertook such a Government as this is.“

—  Oliver Cromwell English military and political leader 1599 - 1658

Statement to Parliament (4 February 1658) quoted in The Diary of Thomas Burton, esq., volume 2: April 1657 - February 1658 (1828), p. 466

Robert G. Ingersoll photo
Allen C. Guelzo photo

„Never eat anything bigger than your head.“

—  B. Kliban American cartoonist 1935 - 1990

Never Eat Anything Bigger Than Your Head & Other Drawings http://books.google.com/books?id=tUCpngEACAAJ (1976)

Bill Bryson photo
Koenraad Elst photo

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