Quotes Categories

Alexander Herzen Quotes

(1812-1870), Russian Journalist, Political Thinker

Every man who has lived for fifty years has buried a whole world or even two; he has grown used to its disappearance and accustomed to the new scenery of another act: but suddenly the names and faces of a time long dead appear more and more often on his way, calling up series of shades and pictures kept somewhere, ''just in case,'' in the endless catacombs of the memory, making him smile or sigh, and sometimes almost weep.

Category: Age And Aging

A generation which has passed through the shop has absorbed standards and ambitions which are not of those of spaciousness, and cannot get away from them. Everything with them is done as though for sale, and they naturally have in view the greatest possible benefit, profit and that end of the stuff that will make the best show.

Category: Business

We could hardly believe that after so many ordeals, after all the trials of modern skepticism, there was still so much left in our souls to destroy.

Category: Disillusion

Education at school continues what has been done at home: it crystallizes the optical illusion, consolidates it with book learning, theoretically legitimizes the traditional trash and trains the children to know without understanding and to accept denominations for definitions. Astray in his conceptions, entangled in words, man loses the flair for truth, the taste for nature. What a powerful intellect must you possess, to be suspicious of this moral carbon dioxide and with your head swimming already, to hurl yourself out of it into the fresh air, with which, into the bargain, everyone round is trying to scare you!

Category: Education

It is possible to lead astray an entire generation, to strike it blind, to drive it insane, to direct it towards a false goal. Napoleon proved this.

Category: Ideology

People who have realized that this is a dream imagine that it is easy to wake up, and are angry with those who continue sleeping, not considering that the whole world that environs them does not permit them to wake. Life proceeds as a series of optical illusions, artificial needs and imaginary sensations.

Category: Illusion

Liberalism, austere in political trifles, has learned ever more artfully to unite a constant protest against the government with a constant submission to it.

Category: Liberals

Life has taught me to think, but thinking has not taught me to live.

Category: Life And Living

I am truly horrified by modern man. Such absence of feeling, such narrowness of outlook, such lack of passion and information, such feebleness of thought.

Category: Modern And Modernism

If nations always moved from one set of furnished rooms to another -- and always into a better set -- things might be easier, but the trouble is that there is no one to prepare the new rooms. The future is worse than the ocean -- there is nothing there. It will be what men and circumstances make it.

Category: Nations

Would it be possible to stand still on one spot more majestically -- while simulating a triumphant march forward -- than it is done by the two English Houses of Parliament?

Category: Parliament

You can no more bridle passions with logic than you can justify them in the law courts. Passions are facts and not dogmas.

Category: Passion

Human development is a form of chronological unfairness, since late-comers are able to profit by the labors of their predecessors without paying the same price.

Category: Progress

No one is to blame. It is neither their fault nor ours. It is the misfortune of being born when a whole world is dying.

Category: Reform

All religions have based morality on obedience, that is to say, on voluntary slavery. That is why they have always been more pernicious than any political organization. For the latter makes use of violence, the former -- of the corruption of the will.

Category: Religion