WALTER LIPPMANN QUOTES

American writer, reporter & political commentator (1889-1974)

Walter Lippmann quote

Where all think alike, no one thinks very much.

WALTER LIPPMANN, The Stakes of Diplomacy

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Whenever we accept an idea as authority instead of as instrument, an idol is set up. We worship the plough, and not the fruit.

WALTER LIPPMANN, A Preface to Politics

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The unions are the first feeble effort to conquer the industrial jungle for democratic life. They may not succeed, but if they don't their failure will be a tragedy for civilization, a loss of cooperative effort, a baulking of energy, and the fixing in American life of a class-structure.

WALTER LIPPMANN, Drift and Mastery

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The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on.

WALTER LIPPMANN, The Essential Lippmann

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There is no arguing with the pretenders to a divine knowledge and to a divine mission. They are possessed with the sin of pride. They have yielded to the perennial temptation.

WALTER LIPPMANN, The Public Philosophy

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Success makes men rigid and they tend to exalt stability over all the other virtues; tired of the effort of willing they become fanatics about conservatism.

WALTER LIPPMANN, A Preface to Politics

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Liberty may be an uncomfortable blessing unless you know what to do with it. That is why so many freed slaves returned to their masters, why so many emancipated women are only too glad to give up the racket and settle down. For between announcing that you will live your own life, and the living of it lie the real difficulties of any awakening.

WALTER LIPPMANN, Drift and Mastery

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It requires wisdom to understand wisdom: The music is nothing if the audience is deaf.

WALTER LIPPMANN, A Preface to Morals

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Though it is disguised by the illusion that a bureaucracy accountable to a majority of voters, and susceptible to the pressure of organized minorities, is not exercising compulsion, it is evident that the more varied and comprehensive the regulation becomes, the more the state becomes a despotic power as against the individual. For the fragment of control over the government which he exercises through his vote is in no effective sense proportionate to the authority exercised over him by the government.

WALTER LIPPMANN, Good Society

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Private property was the original source of freedom. It still is its main bulwark.

WALTER LIPPMANN, The Method of Freedom

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It is perfectly true that that government is best which governs least. It is equally true that that government is best which provides most.

WALTER LIPPMANN, A Preface to Politics

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What we call a democratic society might be defined for certain purposes as one in which the majority is always prepared to put down a revolutionary minority.

WALTER LIPPMANN, Men of Destiny

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The radical novelty of modern science lies precisely in the rejection of the belief, which is at the heart of all popular religion, that the forces which move the stars and atoms are contingent upon the preferences of the human heart.

WALTER LIPPMANN, A Preface to Morals

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Unless our ideas are questioned, they become part of the furniture of eternity.

WALTER LIPPMANN, The Stakes of Diplomacy

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Ages when custom is unsettled are necessarily ages of prophecy. The moralist cannot teach what is revealed; he must reveal what can be taught. He has to seek insight rather than to preach.

WALTER LIPPMANN, A Preface to Morals

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The best servants of the people, like the best valets, must whisper unpleasant truths in the master's ear. It is the court fool, not the foolish courtier, whom the king can least afford to lose.

WALTER LIPPMANN, A Preface to Politics

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It is better to catch the idol-maker than to smash each idol.

WALTER LIPPMANN, A Preface to Politics

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Advertising, in fact, is the effort of business men to take charge of consumption as well as production. They are not content to supply a demand, as the text-books say; they educate the demand as well. In the end, advertising rests upon the fact that consumers are a fickle and superstitious mob, incapable of any real judgment as to what it wants or how it is to get what it thinks it would like. A bewildered child in a toy shop is nothing to the ultimate consumer in the world market of today. To say, then, that advertising is merely a way of calling attention to useful goods is a gorgeous piece of idealization. Advertising is in fact the weed that has grown up because the art of consumption is uncultivated.

WALTER LIPPMANN, Drift and Mastery

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Where there is no danger of overt action there is rarely any interference with freedom. That is why there has so often been amazing freedom of opinion within an aristocratic class which at the same time sanctioned the ruthless suppression of heterodox opinion among the common people. When the Inquisition was operating most effectively against the bourgeois who had lapsed into heresy, the princes of the Church and the nobles enjoyed the freedom of the Renaissance.

WALTER LIPPMANN, Men of Destiny

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The private citizen, beset by partisan appeals for the loan of his Public Opinion, will soon see, perhaps, that these appeals are not a compliment to his intelligence, but an imposition on his good nature and an insult to his sense of evidence.

WALTER LIPPMANN, Public Opinion

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