Reactionary Politics Quotes

Quotes tagged as "reactionary-politics" Showing 1-13 of 13
Terry Eagleton
“What we have witnessed in our own time is the death of universities as centres of critique. Since Margaret Thatcher, the role of academia has been to service the status quo, not challenge it in the name of justice, tradition, imagination, human welfare, the free play of the mind or alternative visions of the future. We will not change this simply by increasing state funding of the humanities as opposed to slashing it to nothing. We will change it by insisting that a critical reflection on human values and principles should be central to everything that goes on in universities, not just to the study of Rembrandt or Rimbaud.”
Terry Eagleton

Corey Robin
“Every once in a while, however, the subordinates of this world contest their fates. They protest their conditions, write letters and petitions, join movements, and make demands. Their goals may be minimal and discrete — better safety guards on factory machines, an end to marital rape—but in voicing them, they raise the specter of a more fundamental change in power. They cease to be servants or supplicants and become agents, speaking and acting on their own behalf. More than the reforms themselves, it is this assertion of agency by the subject class—the appearance of an insistent and independent voice of demand — that vexes their superiors. Guatemala’s Agrarian Reform of 1952 redistributed a million and a half acres of land to 100,000 peasant families. That was nothing, in the minds of the country’s ruling classes, compared to the riot of political talk the bill seemed to unleash. Progressive reformers, Guatemala’s arch-bishop complained, sent local peasants “gifted with facility with words” to the capital, where they were given opportunities “to speak in public.” That was the great evil of the Agrarian Reform.”
Corey Robin, The Reactionary Mind: Conservatism from Edmund Burke to Sarah Palin

Wilhelm Reich
“More than economic dependency of the wife and children on the husband and father is needed to preserve the institution of the authoritarian family [and its support of the authoritarian state]. For the suppressed classes, this dependency is endurable only on condition that the consciousness of being a sexual being is suspended as completely as possible in women and in children. The wife must not figure as a sexual being, but solely as a child-bearer. Essentially, the idealization and deification of motherhood, which are so flagrantly at variance with the brutality with which the mothers of the toiling masses are actually treated, serve as means of preventing women from gaining a sexual consciousness, of preventing the imposed sexual repression from breaking through and of preventing sexual anxiety and sexual guilt-feelings from losing their hold. Sexually awakened women, affirmed and recognized as such, would mean the complete collapse of the authoritarian ideology. Conservative sexual reform has always made the mistake of merely making a slogan of "the right of woman to her own body," and not clearly and unmistakably regarding and defending woman as a sexual being, at least as much as it regards and defends her as a mother. Furthermore, conservative sexual reform based its sexual policies predominantly on the function of procreation, instead of undermining the reactionary view that equates sexuality and procreation.”
Wilhelm Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism

Wilhelm Reich
“Sentences like the following are found in many mystical and reactionary writings though not as clearly formulated as by Hutten:

''Kulturbolschewismus is nothing new. It is based on a striving which humanity has had since its earliest days: the longing for happiness. It is the eternal nostalgia for paradise on earth . . . The religion of faith is replaced by the religion of pleasure.''

We, on the other hand, ask: Why not happiness on earth? Why should not pleasure be the content of life? If one were to put this question to a general vote, no reactionary ideology could stand up.

The reactionary also recognizes, though in a mystical manner, the connection between mysticism and compulsive marriage and family:

''Because of this responsibility (for the possible consequences of pleasure), society has created the institution of marriage which, as a lifelong union, provides the protective frame for the sexual relationship.''

Right after this, we find the whole register of "cultural values" which, in the framework of reactionary ideology, fit together like the parts of a machine:

''Marriage as a tie, the family as a duty, the fatherland as value of its own, morality as authority, religion as obligation from eternity.''

It would be impossible better to describe the rigidity of human plasma!”
Wilhelm Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism

Wilhelm Reich
“The reactionary of any kind condemns sexual pleasure because it stimulates and repulses him at the same time. He is unable to solve the conflict within him between sexual demands and moralistic inhibitions. The revolutionary refutes the perverse, unhealthy kind of pleasure, because it is not his kind of pleasure, because it is not the sexuality of the future, but the sexuality which results from the conflict between instinct and morals, the sexuality of authoritarian society, a debased, smutty, pathological sexuality.”
Wilhelm Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism

Wilhelm Reich
“A third emotional source of the defense forces is the sadistic conception of sexuality that the children of all patriarchal cultural circles acquire in early childhood. Since every inhibition of genital gratification intensifies the sadistic impulse, the entire sexual structure becomes sadistic. Since, moreover, genital claims are replaced by anal claims, the reactionary sexual slogan that a woman is degraded by sexual intercourse strikes a chord in the adolescent structure. In short, it is owing to the already existing perversity in the adolescent structure that the slogan can be effective. It is from his own personal experience that the adolescent has developed a sadistic conception of sexual intercourse. Thus, here too we find a confirmation of the fact that man's compulsive moralistic defense forces constitute the basis of political reaction's power.”
Wilhelm Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism

Wilhelm Reich
“In terms of "quiet" bourgeois democracy two fundamental possibilities are open to the industrial worker: identification with the bourgeoisie, which holds a higher position in the social scale, or identification with his own social class, which produces its own anti-reactionary way of life. To pursue the first possibility means to envy the reactionary man, to imitate him, and, if the opportunity arises, to assimilate his habits of life. To pursue the second of these possibilities means to reject the reactionary man's ideologies and habits of life. Due to the simultaneous influence exercised by both social and class habits, these two possibilities are equally strong. The revolutionary movement also failed to appreciate the importance of the seemingly irrelevant everyday habits, indeed, very often turned them to bad account. The lower middle-class bedroom suite, which the "rabble" buys as soon as he has the means, even if he is otherwise revolutionary minded; the consequent suppression of the wife, even if he is a Communist; the "decent" suit of clothes for Sunday; "proper" dance steps and a thousand other "banalities," have an incomparably greater reactionary influence when repeated day after day than thousands of revolutionary rallies and leaflets can ever hope to counterbalance. Narrow conservative life exercises a continuous influence, penetrates every facet of everyday life; whereas factory work and revolutionary leaflets have only a brief effect.”
Wilhelm Reich, The Mass Psychology of Fascism

Christopher Hitchens
“Although war can bring with it great enthusiasm and solidarity, it also brings the reaction to these things.”
Christopher Hitchens, Blood, Class and Empire: The Enduring Anglo-American Relationship

Mark Lilla
“Narratives of progress, regress, and cycles all assume a mechanism by which historical change happens. It might be the natural laws of the cosmos, the will of God, the dialectical development of the human mind or of economic forces. Once we understand the mechanism, we are assured of understanding what really happened and what is to come. But what if there is no such mechanism? What if history is subject to sudden eruptions that cannot be explained by any science of temporal tectonics? These are the questions that arise in the face of cataclysms for which no rationalization seems adequate and no consolation seems possible. In response an apocalyptic view of history develops that sees a rip in time that widens with each passing year, distancing us from an age that was golden or heroic or simply normal. In this vision there really is only one event in history, the kairos separating the world we were meant for from the world we must live in. That is all we can know, and must know, about the past.”
Mark Lilla, The Shipwrecked Mind: On Political Reaction

“In the upper echelons of the Church, the authoritarian and anti-liberal elements within fascism resonated with those – and they included Pius XI – who had come to see the turmoil and conflict that had convulsed the world in recent decades as symptoms of the deep moral malaise that had afflicted Western society since the time of the Enlightenment, with its corrosive doctrines of rights and popular sovereignty.”
Christopher Duggan, Fascist Voices: An Intimate History of Mussolini's Italy

Mehmet Murat ildan
“When a nation chooses an oppressive and reactionary government in election, it does not only betray its own country, but also betray humanity because only free minds in a free country can make a good contribution to humanity!”
Mehmet Murat ildan

Sławomir Mrożek
“Tak długo byliście antykonformistami, aż wreszcie upadły ostatnie normy, przeciw którym można się było jeszcze buntować. Dla mnie nie zostawiliście już nic, nic! Brak norm stał się waszą normą. A ja mogę się buntować tylko przeciw wam, czyli przeciwko waszemu rozpasaniu.”
Sławomir Mrożek, Tango

Kyrie McCauley
“But some things should fall apart. They should burn themselves out, like a candle that's run its wick to the bottom. It's dangerous to wish for such a thing, though, because some flames are too selfish to extinguish themselves.
There are flames that would set the whole world on fire if it were the only way to kepp burning.”
Kyrie McCauley, If These Wings Could Fly