The idea of personal salvation is intensely repugnant to me when it is not absurd. Imagine Roosevelt, the big brute, preserving his personality in a future state and swaggering about as a celestial Rough Rider!
Socialism never arises in the earlier phases of capitalism, as, for instance, among the pioneers of civilisation in a country where there is plenty of land available for private appropriation by the last comer.
It is a curious sensation: the sort of pain that goes mercifully beyond our powers of feeling. When your heart is broken, your boats are burned: nothing matters any more. It is the end of happiness and the beginning of peace.
In socialism, private property is anathema, and equal distribution of income the first consideration. In capitalism, private property is cardinal, and distribution left to ensue from the play of free contract and selfish interest on that basis, no matter what anomalies it may present.
If I own a large part of Scotland, I can turn the people off the land practically into the sea or across the sea. I can take women in child-bearing and throw them into the snow and leave them there. That has been done. I can do it for no better reason than I think it is better to shoot deer on the land than allow people to live on it.
Socialism, reduced to its simplest legal and practical expression, means the complete discarding of the institution of private property by transforming it into public property, and the division of the resultant public income equally and indiscriminately among the entire population.
A statesman who confines himself to popular legislation - or, for the matter of that, a playwright who confines himself to popular plays - is like a blind man's dog who goes wherever the blind man pulls him, on the ground that both of them want to go to the same place.
All classes in proportion to their lack of travel and familiarity with foreign literature are bellicose, prejudiced against foreigners, fond of fighting as a cruel sport -- in short, dog-like in their notions of foreign policy.[Quoted in Socialism and Foreign Policy and War and the Liberal Conscience]
When two people are under the influence of the most violent, most insane, most delusive, and most transient of passions, they are required to swear that they will remain in that excited, abnormal, and exhausting condition continuously until death do them part.
Tanner: My dear Tavy, your pious English habit of regarding the world as a moral gymnasium built expressly to strengthen your character in leads you to think about your own confounded principles when you should be thinking about other people's necessities.
I find that socialism is often misunderstood by its least intelligent supporters and opponents to mean simply unrestrained indulgence of our natural propensity to heave bricks at respectable persons."
Without danger I cannot be great. That is how I pay for Abel's blood. Danger and fear follow my steps everywhere. Without them courage would have no sense. And it is courage, courage, courage that raises the blood of life to crimson splendor.
We live in an atmosphere of shame. We are ashamed of everything that is real about us; ashamed of ourselves, of our relatives, of our incomes, of our accents, of our opinions, of our experience, just as we are ashamed of our naked skins.
People have pointed out evidences of personal feeling in my notices as if they were accusing me of a misdemeanor, not knowing that criticism written without personal feeling is not worth reading. It is the capacity for making good or bad art a personal matter that makes a man a critic.
I hope you have lost your good looks, for while they last any fool can adore you, and the adoration of fools is bad for the soul. No, give me a ruined complexion and a lost figure and sixteen chins on a farmyard of Crow's feet and an obvious wig. Then you shall see me coming out strong.
I believe in Michelangelo, Velasquez, and Rembrandt; in the might of design, the mystery of color, the redemption of all things by Beauty everlasting, and the message of Art that has made these hands blessed. Amen. Amen.
If a group of beings from another planet were to land on Earth - beings who considered themselves as superior to you as you feel yourself to be to other animals - would you concede them the rights over you that you assume over other animals?
I have always held the religion of Muhammad in high estimation because of its wonderful vitality. It is the only religion which appears to me to possess that assimilating capacity to the changing phase of existence which can make itself appeal to every age. I have studied him - the wonderful man and in my opinion far from being an anti-Christ, he must be called the Savior of Humanity.
But whether the risks to which liberty exposes us are moral or physical our right to liberty involves the right to run them. A man who is not free to risk his neck as an aviator or his soul as a heretic is not free at all; and the right to liberty begins, not at the age of 21 years but 21 seconds.
The great secret, Eliza, is not having bad manners or good manners or any other particular sort of manners, but having the same manner for all human souls: in short, behaving as if you were in Heaven, where there are no thirdclass carriages, and one soul is as good as another.
I have very carefully studied Islam and the life of its Prophet (PBUH). I have done so both as a student of history and as a critic. And I have come to conclusion that Muhammad (PBUH) was indeed a great man and a deliverer and benefactor of mankind which was till then writhing under the most agonising Pain.
Don't order any black things. Rejoice in his memory; and be radiant: leave grief to the children. Wear violet and purple. Be patient with the poor people who will snivel: they don't know; and they think they will live for ever, which makes death a division instead of a bond.
While browsing in a second-hand bookshop one day, George Bernard Shaw was amused to find a copy of one of his own works which he himself had inscribed for a friend: "To ----, with esteem, George Bernard Shaw." He immediately purchased the book and returned it to the friend with a second inscription: "With renewed esteem, George Bernard Shaw.
You are all fundamentalists with a top dressing of science. That is why you are the stupidest of conservatives and reactionists in politics and the most bigoted of obstructionists in science itself. When it comes to getting a move on you are all of the same opinion: stop it, flog it, hang it, dynamite it, stamp it out.
The medical profession (is) a conspiracy to hide its own shortcomings. No doubt the same may be said of all professions. They are all conspiracies against the laity... (U)ntil there is a practicable alternative to blind trust in the doctor, the truth about the doctor is so terrible that we dare not face it.
I do not waste my time writing pot-boilers: the pot must be boiled, and even my pot au feu has some chunks of fresh meat in it. ...I have no time to boil myself down; and anyhow I could not do so and preserve all the necessary nutriment and the flavoring on which the digestibility depends.
As long as you don't fly openly in the face of society, society doesn't ask any inconvenient questions; and it makes precious short work of the cads who do. There are no secrets better kept than the secrets everybody guesses.
Physically there is nothing to distinguish human society from the farm-yard except that children are more troublesome and costly than chickens and calves and that men and women are not so completely enslaved as farm stock.
Dogmatic toleration is nonsense: I would no more tolerate the teaching of Calvinism to children if I had power to persecute it than the British Raj tolerated suttee in India. Every civilized authority must draw a line between the tolerable and the intolerable.
All censorships exist to prevent anyone from challenging current conceptions and existing institutions. All progress is initiated by challenging current conceptions, and executed by supplanting existing institutions. Consequently, the first condition of progress is the removal of censorship.
The more ignorant men are, the more convinced are they that their little parish and their little chapel is an apex to which civilization and philosophy has painfully struggled up the pyramid of time from a desert of savagery.
If you lived in London, where the whole system is one of false good-fellowship, and you may know a man for twenty years without finding out that he hates you like poison, you would soon have your eyes opened. There we do unkind things in a kind way: we say bitter things in a sweet voice: we always give our friends chloroform when we tear them to pieces.
The American Constitution, one of the few modern political documents drawn up by men who were forced by the sternest circumstances to think out what they really had to face, instead of chopping logic in a university classroom.
The notion that Nature does not proceed by jumps is only one of the budget of plausible lies that we call classical education. Nature always proceeds by jumps. She may spend twenty thousand years making up her mind to jump; but when she makes it up at last, the jump is big enough to take us into a new age.
Nobody can live in society without conventions. The reason why sensible people are as conventional as they can bear to be is that conventionality saves so much time and thought and trouble and social friction of one sort or another that it leaves them much more leisure time for freedom than unconventionality does.
As I write, there is a craze for what is called psychoanalysis, or the cure of diseases by explaining to the patient what is the matter with him: an excellent plan if you happen to know what is the matter with him, especially when the explanation is that there is nothing the matter with him.
Nietzche . . . he was a confirmed Life Force worshipper. It was he who raked up the Superman, who is as old as Prometheus; and the 20th century will run after this newest of the old crazes when it gets tired of the world, the flesh, and your humble servant.
What is wrong with priests and popes is that instead of being apostles and saints, they are nothing but empirics who say I know instead of I am learning, and pray for credulity and inertia as wise men pray for skepticism and activity.
The epithet beautiful is used by surgeons to describe operations which their patients describe as ghastly, by physicists to describe methods of measurement which leave sentimentalists cold, by lawyers to describe cases which ruin all the parties to them, and by lovers to describe the objects of their infatuation, however unattractive they may appear to the unaffected spectators.
Every child has a right to its own bent. . . . It has a right to find its own way and go its own way, whether that way seems wise or foolish to others, exactly as an adult has. It has a right to privacy as to its own doings and its own affairs as much as if it were its own father.
In your Salvation shelter I saw poverty, misery, cold and hunger. You gave them bread and treacle and dreams of heaven. I give from thirty shillings a week to twelve thousand a year. They find their own dreams; but I look after the drainage.
Geniuses are horrid, intolerant, easily offended, sleeplessly self-conscious men, who expect their wives to be angels with no further business in life than to pet and worship their husbands. Even at the best they are not comfortable men to live with; and a perfect husband is one who is perfectly comfortable to live with.
During the last considerable epidemic at the turn of the century, I was a member of the Health Committee of London Borough Council, and I learned how the credit of vaccination is kept up statistically by diagnosing all the revaccinated cases (of smallpox) as pustular eczema, varioloid or what not---except smallpox.
A Native American elder once described his own inner struggles in this manner: Inside of me there are two dogs. One of the dogs is mean and evil. The other dog is good. The mean dog fights the good dog all the time. When asked which dog wins, he reflected for a moment and replied, The one I feed the most.
Man is unique in that he has plans, purpose and goals which require the need for criteria of choice. The need for ethical value is within man whose future may largely be determined by the choice he make
We should find ourselves committed to killing a great many people whom we now leave living, and to leave living a great many people whom we at present kill. We should have to get rid of all ideas about capital punishment ...
A part of eugenic politics would finally land us in an extensive use of the lethal chamber. A great many people would have to be put out of existence simply because it wastes other people's time to look after them.
The notion that persons should be safe from extermination as long as they do not commit willful murder, or levy war against the Crown, or kidnap, or throw vitriol, is not only to limit social responsibility unnecessarily, and to privilege the large range of intolerable misconduct that lies outside them, but to divert attention from the essential justification for extermination, which is always incorrigible social incompatibility and nothing else.
This is the true joy of life-the being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, the being thoroughly worn out before you are thrown to the scrap-heap; the being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish clod of ailments and grievances.
The wheels are turning, but the hamsters are all dead. Make it idiot-proof and someone will make a better idiot. I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig, you get dirty; and besides, the pig likes it.
I have never thought much of the courage of a lion tamer. Inside the cage he is at least safe from other men. There is not much harm in a lion. He has no ideals, no religion, no politics, no chivalry, no gentility; in short, no reason for destroying anything that he does not want to eat
A sensitive boy's humiliations may be very good fun for ordinary thick-skinned grown-ups; but to the boy himself theyareso acute, so ignominious, that he cannot confess themcannot but deny them passionately.
We are more gullible and superstitious today than we were in the Middle Ages, and an example of modern credulity is the widespread belief that the Earth is round. The average man can advance not a single reason for thinking that the Earth is round. He merely swallows this theory because there is something about it that appeals to the twentieth century mentality.
To endure the pain of living, we all drug ourselves more or less with gin, with literature, with superstitions, with romance, with idealism, political, sentimental, and moral, with every possible preparation of that universal hashish: imagination.
Life on board a pleasure steamer violates every moral and physical condition of healthy life except fresh air. . . . It is a guzzling, lounging, gambling, dog's life. The only alternative to excitement is irritability.
Your wits can't thicken in that soft moist air, on those white springy roads, in those misty rushes and brown bogs, on those hillsides of granite rocks and magenta heather. You've no such colours in the sky, no such lure in the distances, no such sadness in the evenings. Oh the dreaming! the dreaming! the torturing, heart-scalding, never satisfying dreaming, dreaming, dreaming, dreaming!
They tell me that So-and-So, who does not write prefaces, is no charlatan. Well, I am. I first caught the ear of the British public on a cart in Hyde Park, to the blaring of brass bands,and this . . . because . . . I am a natural-born mountebank.
Let a short Act of Parliament be passed, placing all street musicians outside the protection of the law, so that any citizen may assail them with stones, sticks, knives, pistols or bombs without incurring any penalties.
The Indian way of life provides the vision of the natural, real way of life. We veil ourselves with unnatural masks. On the face of India are the tender expressions which carry the mark of the Creators hand.
Eternal is the fact that the human creature born in Ireland and brought up in its air is Irish. I have lived for twenty years in Ireland and for seventy-two in England; but the twenty came first and in Britain I am still a foreigner and shall die one.
I believe that if a man like him were to assume the dictatorship of the modern world he would succeed in solving its problems in a way that would bring it the much needed peace and happiness: I have prophesied about the faith of Muhammad that it would be acceptable to the Europe of tomorrow as it is beginning to be acceptable to the Europe of today.
Instruction in sex is as important as instruction in food; yet not only are our adolescents not taught the physiology of sex, but never warned that the strongest sexual attraction may exist between persons so incompatible in tastes and capacities that they could not endure living together for a week much less a lifetime.
What is any respectable girl brought up to do but to catch some rich man's fancy and get the benefit of his money by marrying him?--as if a marriage ceremony could make any difference in the right or wrong of the thing!
Perhaps the greatest social service that can be rendered by anybody to the country and to mankind is to bring up a family. But here again, because there is nothing to sell, there is a very general disposition to regard a married woman's work as no work at all, and to take it as a matter of course that she should not be paid for it.
Money is the most important thing in the world. It represents health, strength, honor, generosity, and beauty as conspicuously as the want of it represents illness, weakness, disgrace, meanness, and ugliness.
It is a monstrous thing to force a child to learn Latin or Greek or mathematics on the ground that they are an indispensable gymnastic for the mental powers. It would be monstrous even if it were true.
Remember that you are a human being with a soul and the divine gift of articulate speech: that your native language is the language of Shakespeare and Milton and The Bible; and don't sit there crooning like a bilious pigeon.
As to spelling the very frequent word though with six letters instead of two, it is impossible to discuss it, as it is outside the range of common sanity. In comparison such a monstrosity as phlegm for flem is merely disgusting.
Every man to whom salvation is offered has an inalienable natural right to say 'No, thank you: I prefer to retain my full moral responsibility: it is not good for me to be able to load a scapegoat with my sins: I should be less careful how I committed them if I knew they would cost me nothing.
You are my inspiration and my folly. You are my light across the sea, my million nameless joys, and my day's wage. You are my divinity, my madness, my selfishness, my transfiguration and purification. You are my rapscallionly fellow vagabond, my tempter and star. I want you.
My own education has been entirely controversial: that is why I know what I am writing about; and appear eccentric to dogmatically educated Old School Ties whose heads are stuffed with obsolete shibboleths.
Am reserving two tickets for you for my premiere. Come and bring a friend - if you have one. Telegram inviting Winston Churchill to opening night of Pygmalion. Churchill wired back: Impossible to be present for the first performance. Will attend the second - if there is one.
Men get tired of everything, of heaven no less than of hell; and that all history is nothing but a record of the oscillations of the world between these two extremes. An epoch is but a swing of the pendulum; and each generation thinks the world is progressing because it is always moving.
Very nice sort of place, Oxford, I should think, for people that like that sort of place. They teach you to be a gentleman there. In the polytechnic they teach you to be an engineer or such like. See?
You have set up in New York Harbor a monstrous idol which you call Liberty. The only thing that remains to complete that monument is to put on its pedestal the inscription written by Dante on the gate of hell: All hope abandon ye who enter here.
The Anti-Vivisector does not deny that physiologists must make experiments and even take chances with new methods. He says that they must not seek knowledge by criminal methods, just as they must not make money by criminal methods. He does not object to Galileo dropping cannon balls from the top of the leaning tower of Pisa; but he would object to shoving off two dogs or American tourists.
A genius is a person who is seeing further and probing deeper than other people has a different set of ethical valuations from their and has energy enough to give effect to this extra vision and its valuations in whatever manner best suits his or her
I finished my first book seventy-six years ago. I offered it to every publisher on the English-speaking earth I had ever heard of. Their refusals were unanimous: and it did not get into print until, fifty years later; publishers would publish anything that had my name on it.
All industries are brought under the control of such people [film producers] by Capitalism. If the capitalists let themselves be seduced from their pursuit of profits to the enchantments of art, they would be bankrupt before they knew where they were. You cannot combine the pursuit of money with the pursuit of art.
Life at its noblest leaves mere happiness far behind; and indeed cannot endure it. Happiness is not the object of life: life has no object: it is an end in itself; and courage consists in the readiness to sacrifice happiness for an intenser quality of life.
The seven deadly sins... food, clothing, firing, rent, taxes, respectability and children. Nothing can lift those seven millstones from Man's neck but money; and the spirit cannot soar until the millstones are lifted.
What is both surprising and delightful is that the spectators are allowed, and even expected, to join in the vocal part of the game...There is no reason why the field should not try to put the batsman off his stroke at the critical moment by neatly timed disparagements of his wife's fidelity and his mother's respectability.
My schooling not only failed to teach me what it professed to be teaching, but prevented me from being educated to an extent which infuriates me when I think of all I might have learned at home by myself.
All classes in proportion to their lack of travel and familiarity with foreign literature are bellicose, prejudiced against foreigners, fond of fighting as a cruel sport -- in short, dog-like in their notions of foreign policy."[Quoted in Socialism and Foreign Policy and War and the Liberal Conscience]
Censorship ends in logical completeness when nobody is allowed to read any books except the books that nobody can read."[As quoted in Literary Censorship in England (in Current Opinion, Vol. 55, No. 5, November 1913)]
Schools and schoolmasters, as we have them today, are not popular as places of education and teachers, but rather prisons and turnkeys in which children are kept to prevent them disturbing and chaperoning their parent.
I shall always be a flower girl to Professor Higgins, because he always treats me as a flower girl, and always will; but I know I can be a lady to you, because you always treat me as a lady, and always will.
BRITANNUS (shocked).Caesar: this is not proper.THEODOTUS (outraged).How!CAESAR (recovering his self-possession).Pardon him. Theodotus: he is a barbarian, and thinks that the customs of his tribe and island are the laws of nature.
We call the one side [of humanity] religion, and we call the other science. Religion is always right. ... Science is always wrong; it is the very artifice of men. Science can never solve one problem without raising ten more problems.
After studying the Hungarian language for years, I can confidently conclude that had Hungarian been my mother tongue, it would have been more precious. Simply because through this extraordinary, ancient and powerful language it is possible to precisely describe the tiniest differences and the most secretive tremors of emotions.
It has taken me nearly twenty years of studied self-restraint, aided by the natural decay of my faculties, to make myself dull enough to be accepted as a serious person by the British public; and I am not sure that I am not still regarded as a suspicious character in some quarters.
Most of the money given by rich people in "charity" is made up of conscience money, "ransom," political bribery, and bids for titles.... One buys moral credit by signing a cheque, which is easier than turning a prayer wheel.
At present, intelligent people do not have their children vaccinated, nor does the law now compel them to. The result is not, as the Jennerians prophesied, the extermination of the human race by smallpox; on the contrary more people are now killed by vaccination than by smallpox.
Social progress takes effect through the replacement of all institutions by new ones; and since every institution involves the recognition of the duty of conforming to it, progress must involve the repudiation of an established duty at every step.
You have to choose between trusting to the natural stability of gold and the natural stability of the honesty and intelligence of the members of the government. And, with due respect to these gentlemen, I advise you, as long as the capitalist system lasts, to vote for gold.
I'm one of the undeserving poor: that's what I am. Think of what that means to a man. It means that he's up agen middle class morality all the time.... What is middle class morality? Just an excuse for never giving me anything.
If a woman can, by careful selection of a father and nourishment of herself, produce a citizen with efficient senses, sound organs and a good digestion, she should clearly be secured a sufficient reward for that natural service to make her willing to undertake and repeat it.
A critic recently described me, with deadly acuteness, as having 'a kindly dislike of my fellow-creatures.' Perhaps dread would have been nearer the mark than dislike; for man is the only animal of which I am thoroughly and cravenly afraid.
A dinner! How horrible! I am to be made the pretext for killing all those wretched animals and birds, and fish! Thank you for nothing. Now if it were to be a fast instead of a feast; say a solemn three days' abstention from corpses in my honour, I could at least pretend to believe that it was disinterested. Blood sacrifices are not in my line
A man of genius is not a man who sees more than other men do. On the contrary, it is very often found that he is absentminded andobserves much less than other people.... Why is it that the public have such an exaggerated respect for him--after he is dead? The reason is that the man of genius understands the importance of the few things he sees.
A man's interest in the world is only the overflow from his interest in himself. When you are a child your vessel is not yet full;so you care for nothing but your own affairs. When you grow up, your vessel overflows; and you are a politician, a philosopher, or an explorer and adventurer. In old age the vessel dries up: there is no overflow: you are a child again.
Affection between adults - if they are really adult in mind and not merely grown up children - and creatures so relatively selfish and cruel as children necessarily are without knowing it or meaning it, cannot be called natural.
All classes in proportion to their lack of travel and familiarity with foreign literature are bellicose, prejudiced against foreigners, fond of fighting as a cruel sport - in short, dog-like in their notions of foreign policy.
All the sweetness of religion is conveyed to the world by the hands of storytellers and image-makers. Without their fictions the truths of religion would for the multitude be neither intelligible nor even apprehensible; and the prophets would prophesy and the teachers teach in vain.
All this struggling and striving to make the world better is a great mistake. Not that it's wrong to try to improve the world if you know how but simply because struggling and striving are the worst possible ways to go about doing anything!
Always strive to find out what to do by thinking, without asking anybody. If you continually do this, you will soon act like a grown-up woman. For want of doing this, a very great number of grown-up people act like children.
An Irishman's imagination never lets him alone, never convinces him, never satisfies him; but it makes him that he can't face reality nor deal with it nor handle it nor conquer it: he can only sneer at them that do, and be 'agreeable to strangers', like a good-for-nothing woman on the streets.
As people get their opinions so largely from the newspapers they read, the corruption of the schools would not matter so much if the Press were free. But the Press is not free. As it costs at least a quarter of a million of money to establish a daily newspaper in London, the newspapers are owned by rich men. And they depend on the advertisements of other rich men. Editors and journalists who express opinions in print that are opposed to the interests of the rich are dismissed and replaced by subservient ones.
But a mother is like a broomstick or like the sun in the heavens, it does not matter which as far as one's knowledge of her is concerned: the broomstick is there and the sun is there; and whether the child is beaten by it or warmed and enlightened by it, it accepts it as a fact in nature, and does not conceive it as having had youth, passions, and weaknesses, or as still growing, yearning, suffering, and learning.
Capitalism drives the employers to do their worst to the employed, and the employed to do the least for them. And it boasts all the time of the incentive it provides to both to do their best! . . . The reason the Capitalist system has worked so far without jamming for more than a few months at a time, and then only in places, is that it has not yet succeeded in making a conquest of human nature so complete that everybody acts on strictly business principles.
Capitalism has destroyed our belief in any effective power but that of self interest backed by force. But even Capitalist cynicism will admit that however unconscionable we may be when our own interests are affected, we can be most indignantly virtuous at the expense of others.
Capitalism justified itself and was adopted as an economic principle on the express ground that it provides selfish motives for doing good, and that human beings will do nothing except for selfish motives
Christianity as a specific doctrine was slain with Jesus, suddenly and utterly. He was hardly cold in his grave, or high in his heaven (as you please), before the apostles dragged the tradition of him down to the level of the thing it has remained ever since.
Deep knowledge is not knowledge of the thing itself, but knowledge of a thing like the thing. Then, you gain not one knowledge, but two knowledges. Of the thing. And of the original thing with is like the thing. Which is the barbarism of the privileged class.
Do not mistake your objection to defeat for an objection to fighting, your objection to being a slave for an objection to slavery, your objection to not being as rich as your neighbor for an objection to poverty. The cowardly, the insubordinate, and the envious share your objections.
Don't lose faith. Promise yourself that you will be a success story, and I promise you that all the forces of the universe will unite to come to your aid; you might not feel today or for a while, but the longer you wait the bigger the prize.
During the Suffragette revolt of 1913 I[urged] that what was needed was not the vote, but a constitutional amendment enactingthat all representative bodies shall consist of women and men in equal numbers, whether elected or nominated or coopted or registered or picked up in the street like a coroner's jury. In the case of elected bodies the only way of effecting this is by the Coupled Vote. The representative unit must not be a man or a woman but a man and a woman.
Dying is a troublesome business: there is pain to be suffered, and it wrings one's heart; but death is a splendid thing -a warfare accomplished, a beginning all over again, a triumph. You can always see that in their faces.
Even to this day it is easier than it ought to be for me to get a rise out of an American by telling him something about himself which is equally true about every human being on the face of the globe. He at once resents this as a disparagement and an assertion on my part that people in other parts of the globe are not like that, and are loftily superior to such weaknesses.
Even under the most perfect Social Democracy we should, without Communism, still be living like hogs, except that each hog would get his fair share of grub.... Whilst we are hogs, let us at least be well-fed, healthy, reciprocally useful hogs, instead of--well, instead of the sort we are at present.
Fine art is the subtlest, the most seductive, the most effective instrument of moral propaganda in the world, excepting only the example of personal conduct; and I waive even this exception in favor of the art of the stage, because it works by exhibiting examples of personal conduct made intelligible and moving to crowds of unobservant unreflecting people to whom real life means nothing.
For the pre-Darwinian age had come to be regarded as a Dark Age in which men still believed that the book of Genesis was a standard scientific treatise, and that the only additions to it were Galileo'a demonstration of Leonardo da Vinci's simple remark that the earth is a moon of the sun, Sir Humphrey Davy's invention of the safety lamp, the discovery of electricity, the application of steam to industrial purposes, and the penny post.
Give me the artist who breathes it like a native, and goes about his work in it as quietly as a common man goes about his ordinary business. Mozart did so; and that is why I like him. Even if I did not, I should pretend to; for a taste in his music is a mark of caste among musicians, and should be worn, like a tall hat, by the amateur who wishes to pass for a true Brahmin.
Go on writing plays, my boy, One of these days one of these London producers will go into his office and say to his secretary, "Is there a play from Shaw this morning?" and when she says, "No," he will say, "Well, then we'll have to start on the rubbish." And that's your chance, my boy.
Heaven, as conventionally conceived, is a place so inane, so dull, so useless, so miserable that nobody has ever ventured to describe a whole day in heaven, though plenty of people have described a day at the seaside.
Here there is no hope, and consequently no duty, no work, nothing to be gained by praying, nothing to be lost by doing what you like. Hell, in short, is a place where you have nothing to do but amuse yourself.
Hollywood keeps before its child audiences a string of glorified young heroes, everyone of whom is an unhesitating and violent Anarchist. His one answer to everything that annoys him or disparages his country or his parents or his young lady or his personal code of manly conduct is to give the offender a "sock" in the jaw.... My observation leads me to believe that it is not the virtuous people who are good at socking jaws.
I also made it quite clear that Socialism means equality of income or nothing, and that under socialism you would not be allowed to be poor. You would be forcibly feed, clothed, lodged, taught, and employed whether you like it or not. If it were discovered that you had not character enough to be worth all this trouble, you might possibly be executed in a kindly manner; but whilst you were permitted to live you would have to live well.
I am giving you examples of the fact that this creature man, who in his own selfish affairs is a coward to the backbone, will fight for an idea like a hero. . . . I tell you, gentlemen, if you can shew a man a piece of what he now calls God's work to do, and what he will later call by many new names, you can make him entirely reckless of the consequences to himself personally.
I am sorry to have to introduce the subject of Christmas. It is an indecent subject; a cruel, gluttonous subject; a drunken, disorderly subject; a wasteful, disastrous subject; a wicked, cadging, lying, filthy, blasphemous and demoralizing subject. Christmas is forced on a reluctant and disgusted nation by the shopkeepers and the press: on its own merits it would wither and shrivel in the fiery breath of universal hatred; and anyone who looked back to it would be turned into a pillar of greasy sausages.
I don't know what to say about this book. The experience on which it is founded is so extraordinary, that an honest record of it should be preserved . . . But it would have driven me mad; and I am not sure that the author came out of it without a slight derangement.
I dread success. To have succeeded is to have finished one's business on earth, like the male spider who is killed by the female the moment he has succeeded in his courtship. I like the state of continual becoming, with a goal in front and not behind.
I feel nothing but the accursed happiness I have dreaded all my life long: the happiness that comes as life goes, the happiness of yielding and dreaming instead of resisting and doing, the sweetness of the fruit that is going rotten.
I find that the moment I let a woman make friends with me, she becomes jealous, exacting, suspicious, and a damned nuisance. I find that the moment I let myself make friends with a woman, I become selfish and tyrannical.
I fought linotype and montype for some time because it would not justify as well as handset could be made to do; but at last, as always happens, the machine outdid the hand, and got all the best types on it.
I lay my eternal curse on whomsoever shall now or at any time hereafter make schoolbooks of my works and make me hated as Shakespeare is hated. My plays were not designed as instruments of torture. All the schools that lust after them get this answer, and will never get any other.
I must remind you that our credulity is not to be measured by the truth of the things we believe. When men believed that the earthwas flat, they were not credulous: they were using their common sense, and, if asked to prove that the earth was flat, would have said simply, "Look at it." Those who refuse to believe that it is round are exercising a wholesome skepticism.
I myself have been particularly careful never to say a civil word to the United States. I have scoffed at their inhabitants as a nation of villagers. I have defined the 100 % American as 99 % an idiot. And they adore me.
I object to publishers: the one service they have done me is to teach me to do without them. They combine commercial rascality with artistic touchiness and pettishness, without being either good business men or fine judges of literature.
I talk democracy to these men and women. I tell them that they have the vote, and that theirs is the kingdom and the power and the glory. I say to them You are supreme: exercise your power. They say, That's right: tell us what to do; and I tell them. I say Exercise our vote intelligently by voting for me. And they do. That's democracy; and a splendid thing it is too for putting the right men in the right place.
I was taught when I was young that if people would only love one another, all would be well with the world. I found when I tried to put that into practice, not only were other people seldom lovable but I wasn't very lovable myself.
I was told that my diet was so poor that I could not repair the bones that were broken and operated on. So I have just had an Xradiograph taken; and lo! perfectly mended solid bone so beautifully white that I have left instructions that, if I die, a glove stretcher is to be made of me and sent to you as a souvenir
I wish to boast that Pygmalion has been an extremely successful play all over Europe and North America as well as at home. It is so intensely and deliberately didactic, and its subject is esteemed so dry, that I delight in throwing it at the heads of the wiseacres who repeat the parrot cry that art should never be didactic. It goes to prove my contention that art should never be anything else.
If all the Churches of Europe closed their doors until the drums ceased rolling they would act as a most powerful reminder that though the glory of war is a famous and ancient glory, it is not the final glory of God.
If I refuse to allow my leg to be amputated, its mortification and my death may prove that I was wrong; but if I let the leg go, nobody can ever prove that it would not have mortified had I been obstinate. Operation is therefore the safe side for the surgeon as well as the lucrative side.
If you demand my authorities for this and that, I must reply that only those who have never hunted up the authorities as I have believe that there is any authority who is not contradicted flatly by some other authority.
If you do things merely because you think some other fool expects you to do them, and he expects you to do them because he thinks you expect him to expect you to do them, it will end in everybody doing what nobody wants to do, which is in my opinion a silly state of things.
If you don't begin to be a revolutionist at the age of twenty, then at fifty you will be a most impossible old fossil. If you area red revolutionary at the age of twenty, you have some chance of being up-to-date when you are forty!
In an article on Bunyan lately published in the "Contemporary Review" - the only article on the subject worth reading on the subject I ever saw (yes, thank you, I am familiar with Macaulay's patronizing prattle about "The Pilgrim's Progress") etc.
In my dreams is a country where the State is the Church and the Church the people: three in one and one in three. It is a commonwealth in which work is play and play is life: three in one and one in three. It is a temple in which the priest is the worshiper and the worshiper the worshipped: three in one and one in three. It is a godhead in which all life is human and all humanity divine: three in one and one in three.
In the arts of life main invents nothing; but in the arts of death he outdoes Nature herself, and produces by chemistry and machinery all the slaughter of plague, pestilence and famine. ... There is nothing in Man's industrial machinery but his greed and sloth: his heart is in his weapons.
In the Middle Ages people believed that the earth was flat, for which they had at least the evidence of their senses: we believe it to be round, not because as many as 1 percent of us could give physical reasons for so quaint a belief, but because modern science has convinced us that nothing that is obvious is true, and that everything that is magical, improbable, extraordinary, gigantic, microscopic, heartless, or outrageous is scientific.
In truth , mankind cannot be saved from without, by schoolmasters or any other sort of masters: it can only be lamed and enslaved by them. It is said that if you wash a cat it will never again wash itself. This may or may not be true : what is certain is that if you teach a man anything he will never learn it; and if you cure him of a disease he will be unable to cure himself the next time it attacks him.
In your dread of dictators you established a state of society in which every ward boss is a dictator, every private employer a dictator, every financier a dictator, all with the livelihood of the workers at his mercy, and no public responsibility.
It exasperated her to think that the dungeon in which she had languished for so many unhappy years had been unlocked all the time, and that the impulses she had so carefully struggled with and stifled for the sake of keeping well with society, were precisely those by which alone she could have come into any sort of sincere human contact.
It is a noteworthy fact that kicking and beating have played so considerable a part in the habits which necessity has imposed on mankind in past ages that the only way of preventing civilized men from beating and kicking their wives is to organize games in which they can kick and beat balls.
It is monstrous that custom should force us to display our faces ostentatiously, however worn and wrinkled and mean they may be, whilst carefully concealing all our other parts, however shapely and well preserved.
It is necessary for the welfare of society that genius should be privileged to utter sedition, to blaspheme, to outrage good taste, to corrupt the youthful mind, and generally to scandalize one's uncles.
It is quite useless to declare that all men are born free if you deny that they are born good . Guarantee a man's goodness and his liberty will take care of itself. To guarantee his freedom on condition that you approve of his moral character is formally to abolish all freedom whatsoever, as every man's liberty is at the mercy of a moral indictment which any fool can trump up against everyone who violates custom, whether as a prophet or as a rascal.
It is said that every people has the Government it deserves. It is more to the point that every Government has the electorate it deserves; for the orator of the front bench can edify or debauch an ignorant electorate at will.
It's usually pointed out that women are not fit for political power, and ought not to be trusted with a vote because they are politically ignorant, socially prejudiced, narrow-minded, and selfish. True enough, but precisely the same is true of men!
Just as the historian can teach no real history until he has cured his readers of the romantic delusion that the greatness of a queen consists in her being a pretty woman and having her head cut off, so the playwright of the first order can do nothing with his audience until he has cured them of looking at the stage through the keyhole, and sniffing round the theatre as prurient people sniff round the divorce court.
Just as the liar 's punishment is, not in the least that he is not believed , but that he cannot believe any one else; so a guilty society can more easily be persuaded that any apparently innocent act is guilty than that any apparently guilty act is innocent.
Leisure may be defined as free activity, labor as compulsory activity. Leisure does what it likes, labor does what it must, the compulsion being that of Nature, which in these latitudes leaves men no choice between labor and starvation.
Live in contact with dreams and you will get something of their charm: live in contact with facts and you will get something of their brutality. I wish I could find a country to live in where the facts were not brutal and the dreams not real.
Marx's Kapital is not a treatise on socialism; it is a gerrymand against the bourgeoisie. It was supposed to be written for the working class, but the working man respects the bourgeoisie and wants to be a bourgeoisie. Marx never got a hold of him for a moment. It was the revolting sons of the bourgeoisie itself, like myself, that painted the flag red. The middle and upper classes are the revolutionary element in society. The proletariat is the conservative element.
Men trifle with their business and their politics but never trifle with their games. It brings truth home to them. They cannot pretend they have won when they have lost nor that they had a magnificent drive when they foozled it. The Englishman is at his best on the links and at his worst in the Cabinet.
My religious convictions and scientific views cannot at present be more specifically defined than as those of a believer in creative revolution. I desire that no public monument or work of art or inscription or sermon or ritual service commemorating me shall suggest that I accepted the tenets peculiar to any established church or denomination nor take the form of a cross or any other instrument of torture or symbol of blood sacrifice.
My situation is a solemn one: life is offered to me on the condition of eating beefsteaks. But death is better than cannibalism. My will contains directions for my funeral, which will be followed, not by mourning coaches, but by oxen, sheep, flocks of poultry, and a small traveling aquarium of live fish, all wearing white scarves in honor of the man who perished rather than eat his fellow creatures. It will be, without the exception of Noah's Ark, the most remarkable thing of its kind ever seen.
Nationalism must now be added to the refuse pile of superstitions. We are now citizens of the world, and the man who divides the race into elect Irishmen and reprobate foreign devils (especially Englishmen) had better live on the Blaskets where he can admire himself without disturbance.
No age or condition is without its heroes . The least incapable general in a nation is its CÃ¦sar, the least imbecile statesman its Solon , the least confused thinker its Socrates , the least commonplace poet its Shakespeare .
No child should be brought up to suppose that its food and clothes come down from heaven or are miraculously conjured from empty space by papa. Loathsome as we have made the idea of duty (like the idea of work) we must habituate children to a sense of repayable obligation to the community for what they consume and enjoy, and inculcate the repayment as a point of honor.
Nobody supposes that doctors are less virtuous than judges; but a judge whose salary and reputation depended on whether the verdict was for plaintiff or defendant, prosecutor or prisoner, would be as little trusted as a general in the pay of the enemy.
Not until he acquires European manners does the American anarchist become the gentleman who assures you that people cannot be mademoral by Act of Parliament (the truth being that it is only by Acts of Parliament that men in large communities can be made moral, even when they want to).
Nothing can save us from a perpetual headlong fall into a bottomless abyss but a solid footing of dogma; and we no sooner agree to that than we find that the only trustworthy dogma is that there is no dogma.
Only in the problem play is there any real drama, because drama is no mere setting up of the camera to nature: it is the presentation in parable of the conflict between Man's will and his environment: in a word, of problem.
Our laws make law impossible; our liberties destroy all freedom; our property is organized robbery; our morality an impudent hypocrisy; our wisdom is administered by inexperienced or mal-experienced dupes; our power wielded by cowards and weaklings; and our honour false in all its points. I am an enemy of the existing order for good reasons
Our way of getting an army able to fight the German army is to declare war on Germany just as if we had such an army, and then trust to the appalling resultant peril and disaster to drive us into wholesale enlistment.
Perhaps I had better inform my Protestant readers that the famous Dogma of Papal Infallibility is by far the most modest pretension of the kind in existence. Compared with our infallible democracies, our infallible medical councils, our infallible astronomers, our infallible judges, and our infallible parliaments, the Pope is on his knees in the dust confessing his ignorance before the throne of God, asking only that as to certain historical matters on which he has clearly more sources of information open to him than anyone else his decision shall be taken as final.
Perhaps you know some well-off families who do not seem to suffer from their riches. They do not overeat themselves; they find occupations to keep themselves in health; they do not worry about their position; they put their money into safe investments and are content with a low rate of interest; and they bring up their children to live simply and do useful work. But this means that they do not live like rich people at all, and might therefore just as well have ordinary incomes.
Popular Christianity has for its emblem a gibbet, for its chief sensation a sanginary execution after torture, for its central mystery is an insane vengeance bought off by a trumpery expiation. But there is a nobler and profounder Christianity which affirms the sacred mystery of equality and forbids the glaring futility and folly of vengeance.
Pothinus: "Is it possible that Caesar, the conqueror of the world, has time to occupy himself with such a trifle as our taxes?" Caesar: "My friend, taxes are the chief business of a conqueror of the world.
Schools must not become the agencies through which propaganda advocated by any section of society is spread. The method of control always a crucial problem should be in harmony with the fundamental values and principles of the states and the entire e
Social questions are too sectional, too topical, too temporal to move a man to the mighty effort which is needed to produce greatpoetry. Prison reform may nerve Charles Reade to produce an effective and businesslike prose melodrama; but it could never produce Hamlet, Faust, or Peer Gynt.
Such poverty as we have today in all our great cities degrades the poor, and infects with its degradation the whole neighborhood in which they live. And whatever can degrade a neighborhood can degrade a country and a continent and finally the whole civilized world, which is only a large neighborhood.
That is the injustice of a woman's lot. A woman has to bring up her children; and that means to restrain them, to deny them things they want, to set them tasks, to punish them when they do wrong, to do all the unpleasant things. And then the father, who has nothing to do but pet them and spoil them, comes in when all her work is done and steals their affection from her.
The apparent multiplication of gods is bewildering at the first glance, but you soon discover that they are the same GOD. There is always one uttermost God who defies personification. This makes Hinduism the most tolerant religion in the world, because its one transcendent God includes all possible gods. In fact Hinduism is so elastic and so subtle that the most profound Methodist, and crudest idolater, are equally at home with it.
The art of government is the organization of idolatry. The bureaucracy consists of functionaries; the aristocracy, of idols; the democracy, of idolaters. The populace cannot understand the bureaucracy: it can only worship the national idols.
The art of manipulating public opinion, which is a necessary art for the democratic politician, and, like other arts, is sometimespractised with greater virtuosity by knaves than by honest men (who are apt to disdain it), has a different technique in different countries. For instance, in England we excel in whitewashing: in America they excel in tarring and feathering. We strain our nerves and stretch our consciences to avoid a scandal: Americans do the same to make one.
The average age (longevity) of a meat eater is 63. I am on the verge of 85 and still work as hard as ever. I have lived quite long enough and am trying to die; but I simply cannot do it. A single beef-steak would finish me; but I cannot bring myself to swallow it. I am oppressed with a dread of living forever. That is the only disadvantage of vegetarianism.
The body was the slave of the vortex; but the slave has become the master; and we must free ourselves from that tyranny. It is this stuff [ indicating her body ], this flesh and blood and bone and all the rest of it, that is intolerable. Even prehistoric man dreamed of what he called an astral body, and asked who would deliver him from the body of this death.
The censorship method ... is that of handing the job over to some frail and erring mortal man, and making him omnipotent on the assumption that his official status will make him infallible and omniscient.
The danger of crippling thought, the danger of obstructing the formation of the public mind by specially suppressing ... representations is far greater than any real danger that there is from such representations.
The English have no respect for their language, and will not teach their children to speak it. They spell it so abominably that no man can teach himself what it soundslike.It isimpossible foran Englishmanto openhis mouth without making some other Englishman hate or despise him.
The great danger of conversion in all ages has been that when the religion of the high mind is offered to the lower mind, the lower mind, feeling its fascination without understanding it, and being incapable of rising to it, drags it down to its level by degrading it.
The law is equal before all of us; but we are not all equal before the law. Virtually there is one law for the rich and another for the poor, one law for the cunning and another for the simple, one law for the forceful and another for the feeble, one law for the ignorant and another for the learned, one law for the brave and another for the timid, and within family limits one law for the parent and no law at all for the child.
The medieval doctors of divinity who did not pretend to settle how many angels could dance on the point of a needle cut a very poor figure as far as romantic credulity is concerned beside the modern physicists who have settled to the billionth of a millimetre every movement and position in the dance of the electrons. Not for worlds would I question the precise accuracy of these calculations or the existence of electrons (whatever they may be). The fate of Joan is a warning to me against such heresy.
The moment we face it frankly we are driven to the conclusion that the community has a right to put a price on the right to live in it ... If people are fit to live, let them live under decent human conditions. If they are not fit to live, kill them in a decent human way. Is it any wonder that some of us are driven to prescribe the lethal chamber as the solution for the hard cases which are at present made the excuse for dragging all the other cases down to their level, and the only solution that will create a sense of full social responsibility in modern populations?
The notion that inspiration is something that happened thousands of years ago, and was then finished and done with. . . the theory that God retired from business at that period and has not been heard from since, is as silly as it is blasphemous.
The only way in which a nation can make itself wealthy and prosperous is by good housekeeping: that is, by providing for its wants in the order of their importance, and allowing no money to be wasted on whims and luxuries until necessities have been thoroughly served.
The ordinary man is an anarchist. He wants to do as he likes. He may want his neighbour to be governed, but he himself doesn't want to be governed. He is mortally afraid of government officials and policemen.
The policy of letting things alone, in the practical sense that the Government should never interfere with business or go into business itself, is called Laisser-faire by economists and politicians. It has broken down so completely in practice that it is now discredited; but it was all the fashion in politics a hundred years ago, and is still influentially advocated by men of business and their backers who naturally would like to be allowed to make money as they please without regard to the interest of the public.
The practical question, then, is what to do with the children. Tolerate them at home we will not. Let them run loose in the streets we dare not until our streets become safe places for children, which, to our utter shame, they are not at present, though they can hardly be worse than some homes and some schools.
The schoolmaster is the person who takes the children off the parents' hands for a consideration. That is to say, he establishes a child prison, engages a number of employee schoolmasters as turnkeys, and covers up the essential cruelty and unnaturalness of the situation by torturing the children if they do not learn, and calling this process, which is within the capacity of any fool or blackguard, by the sacred name of Teaching.
The secret of being miserable is to have leisure to bother about whether you are happy or not. The cure for it is occupation, because occupation means pre-occupation; and the pre-occupied person is neither happy nor unhappy, but simply alive and active. That is why it is necessary to happiness that one should be tired.
The shot Irishmen will now take their places beside Emmet and the Manchester Martyrs in Ireland, and beside the heroes of Poland and SÃ©rbia and Belgium in Europe; and nothing in heaven or earth can prevent it.
The technical history of modern harmony is a history of growth of toleration by the human ear of chords that at first sounded discordant and senseless to the main body of contemporary professional musicians.
The thief who is in prison is not necessarily more dishonest than his fellows at large, but mostly one who, through ignorance or stupidity [or racism or poverty! - Draffan] steals in a way that is not customary. He snatches a loaf from the baker's counter and is promptly run into gaol. Another man snatches bread from the table of hundreds of widows and orphans and similar credulous souls who do not know the ways of company promoters; and, as likely as not, he is run into Parliament.
The universal regard for money is the one hopeful fact in our civilization. Money is the most important thing in the world. It represents health, strength, honor, generosity and beauty . . . . Not the least of its virtues is that it destroys basic people as certainly as it fortifies and dignifies noble people.
The writer who aims at producing the platitudes which are "not for an age, but for all time" has his reward in being unreadable inall ages.... The man who writes about himself and his own time is the only sort of man who writes about all people and about all time.
There have been summits of civilization at which heretics like Socrates , who was killed because he was wiser than his neighbors, have not been tortured, but ordered to kill themselves in the most painless manner known to their judges. But from that summit there was a speedy relapse into our present savagery.
There is nothing on earth more exquisite than a bonny book, with well-placed columns of rich black writing in beautiful borders, and illuminated pictures cunningly inset. But nowadays, instead of looking at books, people read them. A book might as well be one of those orders for bacon and bran.
There is nothing so bad or so good that you will not find Englishmen doing it; but you will never find an Englishman in the wrong. He does everything on principle. He fights you on patriotic principles; he robs you on business principles; he enslaves you on imperial principles; he bullies you on manly principles; he supports his king on loyal principles and cuts off his king's head on republican principles.
There is, on the whole, nothing on earth intended for innocent people so horrible as a school. To begin with, it is a prison. But in some respects more cruel than a prison. In a prison, for instance, you are not forced to read books written by the warders and the governor. . . .In the prison you are not forced to sit listening to turnkeys discoursing without charm or interest on subjects that they don't understand and don't care about, and therefore incapable of making you understand or care about. In a prison they may torture your body; but they do not torture your brains.
This is the true joy in life: Being used for a purpose recognized by yourself as a mighty one, being a force of nature instead of a feverish, selfish little clod of ailments and grievances, complaining that the world will not devote itself to making you happy. I am of the opinion that my life belongs to the whole community and as long as I live, it is my privilege to do for it what I can. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations.
Those who talk most about the blessings of marriage and the constancy of its vows are the very people who declare that if the chain were broken and the prisoners left free to choose, the whole social fabric would fly asunder. You cannot have the argument both ways. If the prisoner is happy, why lock him in? If he is not, why pretend that he is?
To me the sole hope of human salvation lies in teaching Man to regard himself as an experiment in the realization of God, to regard his hands as God's hand, his brain as God's brain, his purpose as God's purpose. He must regard God as a helpless Longing, which longed him into existence by its desperate need for an executive organ.
Unbounded hopes were placed on each successive extension of the electoral franchise, culminating in the enfranchisement of women.These hopes have been disappointed, because the voters, male and female, being politically untrained and uneducated, have (a) no grasp of constructive measures; (b) loathe taxation as such; (c) dislike being governed at all; and (d) dread and resent any extension of official interference as an encroachment on their personal liberty.
Unless the people can choose their leaders and rulers, and can revoke their choice at intervals long enough to test their measuresby results, the government will be a tyranny exercised in the interests of whatever classes or castes or mobs or cliques have this choice.
War can so easily be gilt with romance and heroism and solemn national duty and patriotism and the like by persons whose superficial literary and oratorical talent covers an abyss of Godforsaken folly.
We all have--to put it as nicely as I can--our lower centres and our higher centres. Our lower centres act: they act with terriblepower that sometimes destroys us; but they don't talk.... Since the war the lower centres have become vocal. And the effect is that of an earthquake. For they speak truths that have never been spoken before--truths that the makers of our domestic institutions have tried to ignore.
We are compelled by the theory of God's already achieved perfection to make Him a devil as well as a god, because of the existenceof evil. The god of love, if omnipotent and omniscient, must be the god of cancer and epilepsy as well.... Whoever admits that anything living is evil must either believe that God is malignantly capable of creating evil, or else believe that God has made many mistakes in His attempts to make a perfect being.
We cut the throat of a calf and hang it up by the heels to bleed to death so that our veal cutlet may be white; we nail geese to a board and cram them with food because we like the taste of liver disease; we tear birds to pieces to decorate our women's hats; we mutilate domestic animals for no reason at all except to follow an instinctively cruel fashion; and we connive at the most abominable tortures in the hope of discovering some magical cure for our own diseases by them.
We must not stay as we are, doing always what was done last time, or we shall stick in the mud. Yet neither must we undertake a new world as catastrophic Utopians, and wreck our civilization in our hurry to mend it.
We're human beings we are - all of us - and that's what people are liable to forget. Human beings don't like peace and goodwill and everybody loving everybody else. However much they may think they do, they don't really because they're not made like that. Human beings love eating and drinking and loving and hating. They also like showing off, grabbing all they can, fighting for their rights and bossing anybody who'll give them half a chance.
What a heartbreaking job it is trying to combine authors for their own protection... the first lesson I learned was that when you take the field for the authors you will be safer without a breastplate than without a backplate.
What I say today everybody will say tomorrow, though they will not remember who put it into their heads. Indeed they will be right for I never remember who puts things into my head : it is the Zeitgeist.
What is really important in Man is the part of him that we do not understand. Of much of it we are not even conscious, just as we are not normally conscious of keeping up our circulation by our heart-pump, though if we neglect it we die.
What, or who, led you to take up photography, and about what date ? George Bernard Shaw " I always wanted to draw and paint. I had no literary ambition. I aspired to be a Michelangelo, not a Shakespeare. But I could not draw well enough to satisfy myself; and the instruction I could get was worse than useless. So when dry plates and push buttons came into the market I bought a box camera and began pushing the button. It was in 1898.
When a bishop at the first shot abandons the worship of Christ and rallies his flock round the altar of Mars, he may be acting patriotically... but that does not justify him in pretending...that Christ is, in effect, Mars.
When a man of normal habits is ill, everyone hastens to assure him that he is going to recover. When a vegetarian is ill (which fortunately very seldom happens), everyone assures him that he is going to die, and that they told him so, and that it serves him right. They implore him to take at least a little gravy, so as to give himself a chance of lasting out the night
When I see that the nineteenth century has crowned the idolatry of Art with the deification of Love, so that every poet is supposed to have pierced to the holy of holies when he has announced that Love is the Supreme, or the Enough, or the All, I feel that Art was safer in the hands of the most fanatical of Cromwell's major generals than it will be if ever it gets into mine.
When the horrors of anarchy force us to set up laws that forbid us to fight and torture one another for sport, we still snatch at every excuse for declaring individuals outside the protection of law and torturing them to our hearts content.
When you loved me I gave you the whole sun and stars to play with. I gave you eternity in a single moment, strength of the mountains in one clasp of your arms, and the volume of all the seas in one impulse of your soul.
When you want to put something into your part that is not in the play, you must ask the author-or some other author-to lead up to the interpolation for you. Never forget that the effect of a line may depend not on its delivery, but on something said earlier in the play, either by somebody else or by yourself, and that if you change it, it may be necessary to change the whole first act as well.
Whenever an obviously well founded statement is made in England by a person specially well acquainted with the facts, that unlucky person is instantly and frantically contradicted by all the people who obviously know nothing about it.
With the single exception of Homer, there is no eminent writer, not even Sir Walter Scott, whom I can despise so entirely as I despise Shakespeare when I measure my mind against his. . . . It would positively be a relief to me to dig him up and throw stones at him.
Women are not angels. They are as foolish as men in many ways; but they have had to devote themselves to life whilst men have had to devote themselves to death; and that makes a vital difference in male and female religion. Women have been forced to fear whilst men have been forced to dare: the heroism of a woman is to nurse and protect life, and of a man to destroy it and court death.
Worst of all, there is no sign of any relaxation of antisemitism. Logically it has nothing to do with Fascism. But the human raceis imitative rather than logical; and as Fascism spreads antisemitism spreads.
Ye poor posterity, think not that ye are the first. Other fools before ye have seen the sun rise and set, and the moon change her shape and her hour. As they were so ye are; and yet not so great; for the pyramids my people built stand to this day; whilst the dustheaps on which ye slave, and which ye call empires, scatter in the wind even as ye pile your dead sons' bodies on them to make yet more dust.
You are all alike, you respectable people. You can't tell me the bursting strain of a ten-inch gun, which is a very simple matter;but you all think you can tell me the bursting strain of a man under temptation. You daren't handle high explosives; but you're all ready to handle honesty and truth and justice and the whole duty of man, and kill one another at that game. What a country! What a world!
You can be a thorough-going Neo-Darwinian without imagination, metaphysics, poetry, conscience, or decency. For 'Natural Selection' has no moral significance: it deals with that part of evolution which has no purpose, no intelligence, and might more appropriately be called accidental selection, or better still, Unnatural Selection, since nothing is more unnatural than an accident. If it could be proved that the whole universe had been produced by such Selection, only fools and rascals could bear to live.
You can feel nothing but a torment, and believe nothing but a lie. You will not raise your head to look at all the miracles of life that surround you; but you will run ten miles to see a fight or a death.
You do not settle whether an argument is justified by merely showing that it is of some use. The distinction is not between useful and useless experiments but between barbarous and civilized behaviour. Vivisection is a social evil because if it advances human knowledge, it does so at the expense of human character.
You have no right to say that I am not sincere. I have found a happiness in art that real life has never given me. I am intensely in earnest about art. There is is a magic and mystery in art that you know nothing of.
You must all know half a dozen people at least who are no use in this world, who are more trouble than they are worth. Just put them there and say Sir, or Madam, now will you be kind enough to justify your existence? If you can't justify your existence, if you're not pulling your weight in the social boat, if you're not producing as much as you consume or perhaps a little more, then, clearly, we cannot use the organizations of our society for the purpose of keeping you alive, because your life does not benefit us and it can't be of very much use to yourself.
As you say, I am honoured and famous and rich. But as I have to do all the hard work, and suffer an increasing multitude of fools gladly, it does not feel any better than being reviled, infamous and poor, as I used to be.
Girls, like men, want to be petted, pitied, and made much of, when they are diffident, in low spirits, or in unrequited love. These are services which the weak cannot render to the strong and which the strong will not render to the weak, except when there is also a difference of sex.
I sing, not arms and the hero, but the philosophic man: he who seeks in contemplation to discover the inner will of the world, ininvention to discover the means of fulfilling that will, and in action to do that will by the so-discovered means.
If we have come to think that the nursery and the kitchen are the natural sphere of a woman, we have done so exactly as English children come to think that a cage is the natural sphere of a parrot: because they have never seen one anywhere else.