If you think, you might not act, and if you don’t act, how can you be an activist?
Your friends will generally put up with whatever hideous thing you say to them, as long as it isn’t true.
A regular reviewer, whose fodder must by its nature be mostly mediocre or worse, can discharge his responsibilities to his readers only by continual pans, often of his friends and acquaintances; and this is more than human nature can bear.
Revolutions are staffed by those who expect to gain from the coming order, but led by those who expect to suffer, whose negligence of personal considerations betokens their righteousness, and whose zeal is commensurate with their expectation.
Humans always segregate — on their most observable characteristics, when left to themselves; when interfered with, on characteristics less observable.
Great geniuses, Emerson said, have the shortest biographies. They do not: but for most of us our personal history is all that we are and for them it is next to nothing.
Aesthetics trumps not just politics but ethics.
To prefer the strange to the familiar, the far to the near, is in an adolescent a pretentious and mildly endearing tic; in an adult, a disease.
America Pays for Everything: A Brief History of the 20th Century
Behind every man who believes human nature can be remade at will stands a volunteer for the job.