The Soul of Man Under Socialism Quotes

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The Soul of Man Under Socialism The Soul of Man Under Socialism by Oscar Wilde
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The Soul of Man Under Socialism Quotes (showing 1-30 of 78)
“The public have an insatiable curiosity to know everything, except what is worth knowing.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism, and Selected Critical Prose
“Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live. And unselfishness is letting other people's lives alone, not interfering with them. Selfishness always aims at creating around it an absolute uniformity of type. Unselfishness recognizes infinite variety of type as a delightful thing, accepts it, acquiesces in it, enjoys it. It is not selfish to think for oneself. A man who does not think for himself does not think at all. It is grossly selfish to require of one's neighbor that he should think in the same way, and hold the same opinions. Why should he? If he can think, he will probably think differently. If he cannot think, it is monstrous to require thought of any kind from him. A red rose is not selfish because it wants to be a red rose. It would be horribly selfish if it wanted all the other flowers in the garden to be both red and roses.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man and Prison Writings
“A map of the world that does not include Utopia is not worth even glancing at, for it leaves out the one country at which Humanity is always landing. And when Humanity lands there, it looks out, and, seeing a better country, sets sail. Progress is the realisation of Utopias.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
“The things people say of a man do not alter a man. He is what he is. Public opinion is of no value whatsoever. Even if people employ actual violence, they are not to be violent in turn. That would be to fall to the same low level. After all, even in prison, a man can be quite free. His soul can be free. His personality can be untroubled. He can be at peace. And, above all things, they are not to interfere with other people or judge them in any way. Personality is a very mysterious thing. A man cannot always be estimated by what he does. He may keep the law, and yet be worthless. He may break the law, and yet be fine. He may be bad, without ever doing anything bad. He may commit a sin against society, and yet realize through that sin his true perfection.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
“The true perfection of man lies not in what man has, but in what man is.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
“All authority is quite degrading. It degrades those who exercise it, and degrades those over whom it is exercised. When it is violently, grossly, and cruelly used, it produces a good effect by creating, or at any rate bringing out, the spirit of revolt and individualism that is to kill it. When it is used with a certain amount of kindness, and accompanied by prizes and rewards, it is dreadfully demoralising. People, in that case, are less conscious of the horrible pressure that is being put on them, and so go through their lives in a sort of coarse comfort, like petted animals, without ever realising that they are probably thinking other people's thoughts, living by other people's standards, wearing practically what one may call other people's second-hand clothes, and never being themselves for a single moment.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
“With the abolition of private property, then, we shall have true, beautiful, healthy Individualism. Nobody will waste his life in accumulating things, and the symbols of things. One will live. To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
“Know thyself' was written over the portal of the antique world. Over the portal of the new world, 'Be thyself' shall be written.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
“The emotions of man are stirred more quickly than man’s intelligence.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
“Disobedience, in the eyes of anyone who has read history, is man’s original virtue.  It is through disobedience that progress has been made, through disobedience and through rebellion. ”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism
“Man is complete in himself. When they go into the world, the world will disagree with them. That is inevitable. The world hates Individualism. But that is not to trouble them. They are to be calm and self-centred. If a man takes their cloak, they are to give him their coat, just to show that material things are of no importance. If people abuse them, they are not to answer back. What does it signify? The things people say of a man do not alter a man. He is what he is. Public opinion is of no value whatsoever. Even if people employ actual violence, they are not to be violent in turn. That would be to fall to the same low level. After all, even in prison, a man can be quite free. His soul can be free. His personality can be untroubled. He can be at peace. And, above all things, they are not to interfere with other people or judge them in any way. Personality is a very mysterious thing. A man cannot always be estimated by what he does. He may keep the law, and yet be worthless. He may break the law, and yet be fine. He may be bad, without ever doing anything bad. He may commit a sin against society, and yet realise through that sin his true perfection.”
Oscar Wilde, Der Sozialismus und die Seele des Menschen
“The note of the perfect personality is not rebellion, but peace.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
“Anybody can sympathise with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature – it requires, in fact, the nature of a true Individualist – to sympathise with a friend’s success.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
“Most personalities have been obliged to be rebels. Half their strength has been wasted in friction.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
“There is only one class in the community that thinks more about money than the rich, and that is the poor. The poor can think of nothing else. That is the misery of being poor.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
“The only thing that one really knows about human nature is that it changes. Change is the one quality we can predicate of it. The systems that fail are those that rely on the permanency of human nature, and not on its growth and development.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
“There are three kinds of despots. There is the despot who tyrannizes over the body. There is the despot who tyrannizes over the soul. There is the despot who tyrannizes over the soul and body alike. The first is called the Prince. The second is called the Pope. The third is called the People.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
“The systems that fail are those that rely on the permanency of human nature”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
“The pen is mightier than the paving-stone”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live. It is asking other people to live as one wishes to live.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
“Up to the present man has hardly cultivated sympathy at all. He has merely sympathy with pain, and sympathy with pain is not the highest form of sympathy. All sympathy is fine, but sympathy with suffering is the least fine mode. It is tainted with egotism. It is apt to become morbid. There is in it a certain element of terror for our own safety. We become afraid that we ourselves might be as the leper or as the blind, and that no man would have care of us. It is curiously limiting, too. One should sympathise with the entirety of life, not with life's sores and maladies merely, but with life's joy and beauty and energy and health and freedom.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
“For what are called criminals nowadays are not criminals at all.  Starvation, and not sin, is the parent of modern crime.  That indeed is the reason why our criminals are, as a class, so absolutely uninteresting from any psychological point of view.  They are not marvellous Macbeths and terrible Vautrins.  They are merely what ordinary, respectable, commonplace people would be if they had not got enough to eat. ”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism
“The majority of people spoil their lives by an unhealthy and exaggerated altruism – are forced, indeed, so to spoil them. They find themselves surrounded by hideous poverty, by hideous ugliness, by hideous starvation. It is inevitable that they should be strongly moved by all this. The emotions of man are stirred more quickly than man’s intelligence; and, as I pointed out some time ago in an article on the function of criticism, it is much more easy to have sympathy with suffering than it is to have sympathy with thought. Accordingly, with admirable, though misdirected intentions, they very seriously and very sentimentally set themselves to the task of remedying the evils that they see. But their remedies do not cure the disease: they merely prolong it. Indeed, their remedies are part of the disease.

They try to solve the problem of poverty, for instance, by keeping the poor alive; or, in the case of a very advanced school, by amusing the poor.

But this is not a solution: it is an aggravation of the difficulty. The proper aim is to try and reconstruct society on such a basis that poverty will be impossible. And the altruistic virtues have really prevented the carrying out of this aim. Just as the worst slave-owners were those who were kind to their slaves, and so prevented the horror of the system being realised by those who suffered from it, and understood by those who contemplated it, so, in the present state of things in England, the people who do most harm are the people who try to do most good; and at last we have had the spectacle of men who have really studied the problem and know the life – educated men who live in the East End – coming forward and imploring the community to restrain its altruistic impulses of charity, benevolence, and the like. They do so on the ground that such charity degrades and demoralises. They are perfectly right. Charity creates a multitude of sins.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism, the Socialist Ideal Art, and the Coming Solidarity. by Oscar Wilde, William Morris, W.C. Owen
“It is immoral to use private property in order to alleviate the horrible evils that result from the institution of private property. ”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism
“For the recognition of private property has really harmed Individualism, and obscured it, by confusing a man with what he possesses.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
“To call an artist morbid because he deals with morbidity as his subject-matter is as silly as if one called Shakespeare mad because he wrote ‘King Lear.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism
“For the recognition of private property has really harmed Individualism, and obscured it, by confusing a man with what he possesses.  It has led Individualism entirely astray.  It has made gain not growth its aim.  So that man thought that the important thing was to have, and did not know that the important thing is to be.  The true perfection of man lies, not in what man has, but in what man is.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man under Socialism
“It is safer to beg than to take, but it is finer to take than to beg.”
Oscar Wilde, The Soul of Man Under Socialism

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