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Malcolm Muggeridge quotes (showing 1-27 of 27)

“Never forget that only dead fish swim with the stream.”
Malcolm Muggeridge
“So the final conclusion would surely be that whereas other civilizations have been brought down by attacks of barbarians from without, ours had the unique distinction of training its own destroyers at its own educational institutions, and then providing them with facilities for propagating their destructive ideology far and wide, all at the public expense. Thus did Western Man decide to abolish himself, creating his own boredom out of his own affluence, his own vulnerability out of his own strength, his own impotence out of his own erotomania, himself blowing the trumpet that brought the walls of his own city tumbling down, and having convinced himself that he was too numerous, labored with pill and scalpel and syringe to make himself fewer. Until at last, having educated himself into imbecility, and polluted and drugged himself into stupefaction, he keeled over--a weary, battered old brontosaurus--and became extinct.”
Malcolm Muggeridge, Vintage Muggeridge: Religion and Society
“Every happening, great and small, is a parable whereby God speaks to us, and the art of life is to get the message.”
Malcolm Muggeridge
“If God is dead, somebody is going to have to take his place. It will be megalomania or erotomania, the drive for power or the drive for pleasure, the clenched fist or the phallus, Hitler or Hugh Hefner.”
Malcolm Muggeridge
“The depravity of man is at once the most empirically verifiable reality but at the same time the most intellectually resisted fact.”
Malcolm Muggeridge
“People think of faith as being something that you don't really believe, a device in helping you believe simply it. Of course that is quite wrong. As Pascal says, faith is a gift of God. It is different from the proof of it. It is the kind of faith God himself places in the heart, of which the proof is often the instrument...
He says of it, too, that it is the heart which is aware of God, and not reason. That is what faith is: God perceived by the heart, not be reason.”
Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
“All new news is old news happening to new people”
Malcolm Muggeridge
“People do not believe lies because they have to, but because they want to

Malcolm Muggeridge
“The orgasm has replaced the Cross as the focus of longing and the image of fulfillment.”
Malcolm Muggeridge
“In the end, coming to faith remains for all a sense of homecoming, of picking up the threads of a lost life, of responding to a bell that had long been ringing, of taking a place at a table that had long been vacant.”
Malcolm Muggeridge
“I myself am convinced that the theory of evolution, especially to the extent to which it has been applied, will be one of the greatest jokes in the history books of the future. Posterity will marvel that so very flimsy and dubious an hypothesis could be accepted with the incredible credulity it has.”
Malcolm Muggeridge
“I beg you to believe that life is not a process, it's a drama”
Malcolm Muggeridge
“There is no such things as darkness, only a failure to see.”
Malcolm Muggeridge
“[Pascal] was the first and perhaps is still the most effective voice to be raised in warning of the consequences of the enthronement of the human ego in contradistinction to the cross, symbolizing the ego's immolation. How beautiful it all seemed at the time of the Enlightenment, that man triumphant would bring to pass that earthly paradise whose groves of academe would ensure the realization forever of peace, plenty, and beatitude in practice. But what a nightmare of wars, famines, and folly was to result therefrom.”
Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
“There's a large strain of irony in our human affairs... Interwoven with our affairs is this wonderful spirit of irony which prevents us from ever being utterly and irretrievably serious, from being unaware of the mysterious nature of our existence.”
Malcolm Muggeridge, The End of Christendom
“Against the new leviathan, whether in the guise of universal suffrage, democracy, or of an equally fraudulent triumphant proletariat, he (Kierkegaard) pitted the individual human soul made in the image of a God who was concerned about the fate of every living creature. In contrast with the notion of salvation through power, he held out the hope of salvation through suffering. The Cross against the ballot box or clenched fist; the solitary pilgrim against the slogan-shouting mob; the crucified Christ against the demagogue-dictators promising a kingdom of heaven on earth, whether achieved through endlessly expanding wealth and material well-being, or through the ever greater concentration of power and its ever more ruthless exercise.”
Malcolm Muggeridge
“I have never forgotten these visitors, or ceased to marvel at them, at how they have gone on from strength to strength, continuing to lighten our darkness, and to guide, counsel and instruct us; on occasion, momentarily abashed, but always ready to pick themselves up, put on their cardboard helmets, mount Rosinante, and go galloping off on yet another foray on behalf of the down-trodden and oppressed. They are unquestionably one of the wonders of the age, and I shall treasure till I die as a blessed memory the spectacle of them travelling with radiant optimism through a famished countryside, wandering in happy bands about squalid, over-crowded towns, listening with unshakeable faith to the fatuous patter of carefully trained and indoctrinated guides, repeating like schoolchildren a multiplication table, the bogus statistics and mindless slogans endlessly intoned to them. There, I would think, an earnest office-holder in some local branch of the League of Nations Union, there a godly Quaker who once had tea with Gandhi, there an inveigher against the Means Test and the Blasphemy Laws, there a staunch upholder of free speech and human rights, there an indomitable preventer of cruelty to animals; there scarred and worthy veterans of a hundred battles for truth, freedom and justice--all, all chanting the praises of Stalin and his Dictatorship of the Proletariat. It was as though a vegetarian society had come out with a passionate plea for cannibalism, or Hitler had been nominated posthumously for the Nobel Peace Prize.”
Malcolm Muggeridge
“Never forget," a Stranger said to me once in the lobby of the Midland Hotel in Manchester, "that only dead fish swim with the stream.”
Malcolm Muggeridge, The Very Best of Malcolm Muggeridge
“Christianity . . . sees the necessity for man to have spiritual values and it shows him how to get at those through physical sacraments.”
Malcolm Muggeridge
“Perhaps I should have been one [some sort of a professional religious]; I like to think a monk notable for his austerities, the voice of one crying in the wilderness; but more probably a tiresome Unitarian in Walsall who writes incessantly to the local paper.”
Malcolm Muggeridge
“All this was only, in my father's estimation, a means; the end was the Earthly Paradise, the translation of William Morris's 'News from Nowhere' into 'News from Somewhere.' Then Whitman's sense of abounding joy in his own and all creation's sensuality would sweep away the paltry backwaters of bourgeois morality; the horrors of industrial ugliness which Ruskin so eloquently denounced would dissolve, and die forgotten as a dream (phrases from hymns still washed about in my father's mind) as slums were transformed into garden cities, and the belching smoke of hateful furnaces into the cool elegance of electric power. As for the ferocious ravings of my namesake, Carlyle, about the pettifogging nature of modern industrial man's pursuits and expectations -- all that would be corrected as he was induced to spend ever more of his increasing leisure in cultural and craft activities; in the enjoyment of music, literature and art.

It was pefectly true -- a point that Will Straughan was liable to bring up at the Saturday evening gatherings -- that on the present form the new citizenry might be expected to have a marked preference for dog-racing over chamber music or readings from 'Paradise Lost,' but, my father would loftily point out, education would change all that. Education was, in fact, the lynchpin of the whole operation; the means whereby the Old Adam of the Saturday night booze-up, and fondness for Marie Lloyd in preference to Beatrice Webb, would be cast off, and the New Man be born as potential fodder for third Programmes yet to come.”
Malcolm Muggeridge, Chronicles of Wasted Time: An Autobiography
“Animistic savages prostrating themselves before a painted stone have always seemed to me to be nearer the truth than any Einstein or Bertrand Russell. As it might be pigs in a crowded sty, jostling and shoving to bury their snouts in the trough; until one of them momentarily lifts his snout upwards in the air, in so doing expressing the hope of all enlightenment to come; breaking off from his guzzling to point with his lifted snout to where the angels and archangels gather round God's throne.”
Malcolm Muggeridge
“As well as the [League of Nations] delegates themselves and their suites, there were innumerable campaigners of one sort and another, male and female, clerical and lay, young and old; all with some notion to publicise, some pet solution to offer, some organisation to promote. They gathered in droves, fanning out through the city, and settling in hotels and pensions, from the Lakeside ones down to tiny obscure back-street establishments. Ferocious ladies with moustaches, clergymen with black leather patches on the elbows of their jackets or cassocks and smelling of tobacco smoke, mad admirals who knew where to find the lost tribes of Israel, and scarcely saner generals who deduced prophetic warnings from the measurement of the pyramids; but one and all believers in the League's historic role to deliver mankind painlessly and inexpensively from the curse of war to the great advantage of all concerned.”
Malcolm Muggeridge
“As I see it, the only pleasure of living is that every joke should be made, every thought expressed, every line of investigation, irrespective of its direction, pursued to the uttermost limits that human ingenuity, courage and understanding can take it. The moment that limits are set... then the flavor is gone.”
Malcolm Muggeridge
“Toate veştile noi sunt veşti vechi care se întâmplă unor oameni noi.”
Malcolm Muggeridge
“Organized religion kills the living beauty of God.”
Malcolm Muggeridge
“For us humans, everything is permanent - until it changes, as we are immortal until we die”
Malcolm Muggeridge


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