Quote Book – [28] – Political System & Society

From The World As I See It

“My political ideal is that of democracy.  Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolised.”  “I am quite aware that it is necessary for success of any complex undertaking that one man should do the thinking and directing and in general bear the responsibility.  But the led must not be compelled; they must be able to choose their leader.  Autocratic system of coercion, in my opinion, soon degenerates.  For force always attracts men of low morality, and I believe it to be an invariable rule that tyrants of genius are succeeded by scoundrels.”
“What I value in our political system is the more extensive provision that it makes for the individual in case of illness or need”

“The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the state but the creative, sentient individual, the personality; it alone creates the noble and the sublime, while the herd as such remains dull in thoughts and dull in feeling.”

“May I begin with an article of political faith? it runs as follows: The State is made for man, not the man for the State.  And is this respect science resembles the State.  There are old sayings, coined by men for whom human personality was the highest human good.  I should shrink from repeating them, were it not that they are forever threatening to fall into oblivion, particularly in these days of organisation and mechanisation.  I regard it as the chief duty of the State to protect the individual and give him the opportunity to develop into a creative personality.
That is to say, the State should be our servant and nor we is slaves.  The state transgresses this commandment when it compels us by force to engage in military and war service, the more so since the object and the effect if this slavish service is to kill people belonging to other countries or interfere with their freedom of development.
We are only to make such sacrifices to the State as will promote the free development of individual human beings.
“Political leaders or governments owe their position partly to force and partly to popular election.  They cannot be regarded as representative of the best elements, morally and intellectually, in their respective nations.

The intellectual elite have no direct influence on the history of nations in these days; their lack of cohesion prevents them from taking a direct part in the solution of contemporary problems.”

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