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Irving Babbitt quotes

Act strenuously, would appear to be our faith, and right thinking will take care of itself.

For behind all imperialism is ultimately the imperialistic individual, just as behind all peace is ultimately the peaceful individual.

A person who has sympathy for mankind in the lump, faith in its future progress, and desire to serve the great cause of this progress, should be called not a humanist, but a humanitarian, and his creed may be designated as humanitarianism.

Tell him, on the contrary, that he needs, in the interest of his own happiness, to walk in the path of humility and self-control, and he will be indifferent, or even actively resentful.

Since every man desires happiness, it is evidently no small matter whether he conceives of happiness in terms of work or of enjoyment.

The democratic idealist is prone to make light of the whole question of standards and leadership because of his unbounded faith in the plain people.

The humanitarian would, of course, have us meddle in foreign affairs as part of his program of world service.

The industrial revolution has tended to produce everywhere great urban masses that seem to be increasingly careless of ethical standards.

The human mind, if it is to keep its sanity, must maintain the nicest balance between unity and plurality.

A man needs to look, not down, but up to standards set so much above his ordinary self as to make him feel that he is himself spiritually the underdog.

The humanitarian lays stress almost solely upon breadth of knowledge and sympathy.

An American of the present day reading his Sunday newspaper in a state of lazy collapse is one of the most perfect symbols of the triumph of quantity over quality that the world has yet seen.

Furthermore, America suffers not only from a lack of standards, but also not infrequently from a confusion or an inversion of standards.

A democracy, the realistic observer is forced to conclude, is likely to be idealistic in its feelings about itself, but imperialistic about its practice.

Anyone who thus looks up has some chance of becoming worthy to be looked up to in turn.

Inasmuch as society cannot go on without discipline of some kind, men were constrained, in the absence of any other form of discipline, to turn to discipline of the military type.

According to the new ethics, virtue is not restrictive but expansive, a sentiment and even an intoxication.

Democracy is now going forth on a crusade against imperialism.

If a man went simply by what he saw, he might be tempted to affirm that the essence of democracy is melodrama.

If quantitatively the American achievement is impressive, qualitatively it is somewhat less satisfying.