Listen, Little Man! Quotes

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Listen, Little Man! Listen, Little Man! by Wilhelm Reich
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Listen, Little Man! Quotes Showing 1-30 of 83
“You differ from a great man in only one respect: the great man was once a very little man, but he developed one important quality: he recognized the smallness and narrowness of his thoughts and actions. Under the pressure of some task that meant a great deal to him, he learned to see how his smallness, his pettiness endangered his happiness. In other words, a great man knows when and in what way he is a little man. A little man does not know he is little and is afraid to know. He hides his pettiness and narrowness behind illusions of strength and greatness, someone else's strength and greatness. He's proud of his great generals but not of himself. He admires an idea he has not had, not one he has had. The less he understands something, the more firmly he believes in it. And the better he understands an idea, the less he believes in it.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“You'll have a good, secure life when being alive means more to you than security, love more than money, your freedom more than public or partisan opinion, when the mood of Beethoven's or Bach's music becomes the mood of your whole life … when your thinking is in harmony, and no longer in conflict, with your feelings … when you let yourself be guided by the thoughts of great sages and no longer by the crimes of great warriors … when you pay the men and women who teach your children better than the politicians; when truths inspire you and empty formulas repel you; when you communicate with your fellow workers in foreign countries directly, and no longer through diplomats...”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“It is the fate of great achievements, born from a way of life that sets truth before security, to be gobbled up by you and excreted in the form of shit. For centuries great, brave, lonely men have been telling you what to do. Time and again you have corrupted, diminished and demolished their teachings; time and again you have been captivated by their weakest points, taken not the great truth, but some trifling error as your guiding principal. This, little man, is what you have done with Christianity, with the doctrine of sovereign people, with socialism, with everything you touch. Why, you ask, do you do this? I don't believe you really want an answer. When you hear the truth you'll cry bloody murder, or commit it. … You had your choice between soaring to superhuman heights with Nietzsche and sinking into subhuman depths with Hitler. You shouted Heil! Heil! and chose the subhuman. You had the choice between Lenin's truly democratic constitution and Stalin's dictatorship. You chose Stalin's dictatorship. You had your choice between Freud's elucidation of the sexual core of your psychic disorders and his theory of cultural adaptation. You dropped the theory of sexuality and chose his theory of cultural adaptation, which left you hanging in mid-air. You had your choice between Jesus and his majestic simplicity and Paul with his celibacy for priests and life-long compulsory marriage for yourself. You chose the celibacy and compulsory marriage and forgot the simplicity of Jesus' mother, who bore her child for love and love alone. You had your choice between Marx's insight into the productivity of your living labor power, which alone creates the value of commodities and the idea of the state. You forgot the living energy of your labor and chose the idea of the state. In the French Revolution, you had your choice between the cruel Robespierre and the great Danton. You chose cruelty and sent greatness and goodness to the guillotine. In Germany you had your choice between Goring and Himmler on the one hand and Liebknecht, Landau, and Muhsam on the other. You made Himmler your police chief and murdered your great friends. You had your choice between Julius Streicher and Walter Rathenau. You murdered Rathenau. You had your choice between Lodge and Wilson. You murdered Wilson. You had your choice between the cruel Inquisition and Galileo's truth. You tortured and humiliated the great Galileo, from whose inventions you are still benefiting, and now, in the twentieth century, you have brought the methods of the Inquisition to a new flowering. … Every one of your acts of smallness and meanness throws light on the boundless wretchedness of the human animal. 'Why so tragic?' you ask. 'Do you feel responsible for all evil?' With remarks like that you condemn yourself. If, little man among millions, you were to shoulder the barest fraction of your responsibility, the world would be a very different place. Your great friends wouldn't perish, struck down by your smallness.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“Because you have no memory for things that happened ten or twenty years ago, you're still mouthing the same nonsense as two thousand years ago. Worse, you cling with might and main to such absurdities as 'race,' 'class,' 'nation,' and the obligation to observe a religion and repress your love.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“You don't believe that your friend could ever do anything great. You despise yourself in secret, even – no, especially – when you stand on your dignity; and since you despise yourself, you are unable to respect your friend. You can't bring yourself to believe that anyone you have sat at table with, or shared a house with, is capable of great achievement. That is why all great men have been solitary. It is hard to think in your company, little man. One can only think 'about' you, or 'for your benefit', not 'with' you, for you stifle all big, generous ideas.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“I know that what you call 'God' really exists, but not in the form you think; God is primal cosmic energy, the love in your body, your integrity, and your perception of the nature in you and outside of you.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“Build your house on granite. By granite I mean your nature that you are torturing to death, the love in your child's body, your wife's dream of love, your own dream of life when you were sixteen. Exchange your illusions for a bit of truth. Throw out your politicians and diplomats! Take your destiny into your own hands and build your life on rock. Forget about your neighbor and look inside yourself! Your neighbor, too, will be grateful. Tell you're fellow workers all over the world that you're no longer willing to work for death but only for life. Instead of flocking to executions and shouting hurrah, hurrah, make a law for the protection of human life and its blessings. Such a law will be part of the granite foundation your house rests on. Protect your small children's love against the assaults of lascivious, frustrated men and women. Stop the mouth of the malignant old maid; expose her publicly or send her to a reform school instead of young people who are longing for love. Don;t try to outdo your exploiter in exploitation if you have a chance to become a boss. Throw away your swallowtails and top hat, and stop applying for a license to embrace your woman. Join forces with your kind in all countries; they are like you, for better or worse. Let your child grow up as nature (or 'God') intended. Don't try to improve on nature. Learn to understand it and protect it. Go to the library instead of the prize fight, go to foreign countries rather than to Coney Island. And first and foremost, think straight, trust the quiet inner voice inside you that tells you what to do. You hold your life in your hands, don't entrust it to anyone else, least of all to your chosen leaders. BE YOURSELF! Any number of great men have told you that.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“I want you to stop being subhuman and become 'yourself'. 'Yourself,' I say. Not the newspaper you read, not your vicious neighbor's opinion, but 'yourself.' I know, and you don't, what you really are deep down. Deep down, you are what a deer, your God, your poet, or your philosopher is. But you think you're a member of the VFW, your bowling club, or the Ku Klux Klan, and because you think so, you behave as you do. This too was told you long ago, by Heinrich Mann in Germany, by Upton Sinclair and John Dos Passos in the United States. But you recognized neither Mann nor Sinclair. You recognize only the heavyweight champion and Al Capone. If given your choice between a library and a fight, you'll undoubtedly go to the fight.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“You think the end justifies the means, however vile. I tell you: the end is the means by which you achieve it. Today's step is tomorrow's life. Great ends cannot be attained by base means. You've proved that in all your social upheavals. The meanness and inhumanity of the means make you mean and inhuman and make the end unattainable.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“Mistaking insolence for freedom has always been the hallmark of the slave.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“Those who are truly alive are kindly and unsuspecting in their human relationships and consequently endangered under present conditions. They assume that others think and act generously, kindly and helpfully, in accordance with the laws of life. This natural attitude, fundamental to healthy children as well as primitive man, inevitably represents a great danger in the struggle for a rational way of life as long as the emotional plague subsists, because the plague-ridden impute their own manner of thinking and acting to their fellow men. A kindly man believes that all men are kindly, while one infected with the plague believes that all men lie and cheat and are hungry for power. In such a situation, the living are at an obvious disadvantage. When they give to the plague-ridden they are sucked dry, then ridiculed or betrayed.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“For twenty-five years I've been speaking and writing in defense of your right to happiness in this world, condemning your inability to take what is your due, to secure what you won in bloody battles on the barricades of Paris and Vienna, in the American Civil War, in the Russian Revolution. Your Paris ended with Petain and Laval, your Vienna with Hitler, your Russia with Stalin, and your America may well end in the rule of the Ku Klux Klan! You've been more successful in winning your freedom than in securing it for yourself and others. This I knew long ago. What I did not understand was why time and again, after fighting your way out of a swamp, you sank into a worse one. Then groping and cautiously looking about me, I gradually found out what has enslaved you: YOUR SLAVE DRIVER IS YOU YOURSELF. No one is to blame for your slavery but you yourself. No one else, I say!”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“The less he understands something, the more firmly he believes in it.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“It is high time for the living to get tough, for toughness is indispensable in the struggle to safeguard and develop the life-force; this will not detract from their goodness, as long as they stand courageously by the truth. There is ground for hope in the fact that among millions of decent, hard-working people there are only a few plague-ridden individuals, who do untold harm by appealing to the dark, dangerous drives of the armored average man and mobilizing him for political murder. There is but one antidote to the average man's predisposition to plague: his own feelings for true life. The life force does not seek power but demands only to play its full and acknowledged part in human affairs. It manifests itself through love, work and knowledge.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“You have no sense of your true duty, which is to be a man and preserve humanity. You imitate wise men so badly and bandits so well. Your movies and radio programs are full of murder.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“It is said culture requires slaves. I say that no cultured society can be built with slaves. This terrible Twentieth Century has made all cultural theories from Plato down seem ridiculous. Little man, there has never been a human culture.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“I observe to the letter all laws that make sense but combat those that are obsolete or absurd.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“I do not believe that to be religious in the best, authentic sense a man has to destroy his love life and mummify himself, body and soul.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“Because I'm a man who works, who knows what a human being is like inside, who knows that every human being has his worth, and who wants the world to be governed by work and not by opinions about work.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
tags: work
“How, then,' I hear you ask, 'shall I attain my end, whether it be Christian love, socialism, or American democracy?' Your Christian love and your socialism and your American democracy are what you do each day, your manner of thinking each hour, of embracing your life companion and loving your child; they are your attitude of social responsibility towards your work, and your determination not to become like the crushers of life you so hate.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“What would you think of an engineer who expounded the art of flying without revealing the secrets of the engine and propeller? That's what you do, you engineer of the human soul. Just that. You're a coward. You want the raisins out of my cake but you don't want the thorns of my roses. Haven't you too, little psychiatrist, been cracking silly jokes about me? Haven't you ridiculed me as "the prophet of bigger and better orgasms"? Have you never heard the whimpering of a young wife whose body has been desecrated by an impotent husband? Or the anguished cry of an adolescent bursting with unfulfilled love? Does your security still mean more to you than your patient? How long will you go on valuing your respectability above your medical mission? How long will you refuse to see that your pussyfooting procrastination is costing millions their lives?”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“تعتقد بأن الغاية تبرر الوسيلة, حتى أحقر الوسائل. أما أنا فإني أفول لك:الغاية هي الطريق و كل خطوة هذا اليوم هي حياتك غدا. الأهداف الكبيرة لا يمكنك أن تحققها بالوسائل الوضيعة . لقد أثبت ذلكفي كل انقلاب اجتماعي كبير وضاعة ولا انسانية الوسيلة تصيرك حقيرا ولا انسانيا و تجعل من الهدف مستحيلا.”
فيلهلم رايش, خطاب إلى الرجل الصغير
“Love, work, and knowledge are the wellsprings of our lives, they should also govern it.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“«Κλέφτης, σταματήστε τον! Είναι αλλοδαπός, μετανάστης. Ενώ εγώ είμαι Γερμανός, Αμερικάνος, Δανός, Νορβηγός.»
Κόφ' το Ανθρωπάκο. Είσαι και θα είσαι αιώνια ο μετανάστης. Τυχαία βρέθηκες σ’ αυτό τον κόσμο και σιωπηλά θα τον αφήσεις. Κραυγάζεις επειδή φοβάσαι θανάσιμα.”
Wilhelm Reich , Listen, Little Man!
“I do not believe that, in order to be religious in the good and genuine sense of the word, one has to ruin one’s love life and has to become rigid and shrunken in body and soul.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“The future of the human race depends on your thoughts and actions. But your teachers and masters don't tell you how you really think and what you really are; no one dares to confront you with the one truth that might make you the unswerving master of your fate. You are "free" in only one respect: free from the self-criticism that might help you to govern your own life.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“الحقيقة قد تشكل خطراً على الحياة، إذا ما تعلق الأمر بك.
الحقيقة هي منقذة للحياة، لكنها تتحول أحياناً إلى ضحية لكل اللصوص!”
فيلهلم رايش, Listen, Little Man!
“I'm afraid of you, little man, very much afraid, because the future of mankind depends on you. I'm afraid of you because your main aim in life is to escape--from yourself.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“Birinci Dünya Savaşı'ndan önce, uluslararası gezmelerde pasaport aranmıyordu; dilediğin yere gidebilirdin. "Özgürlük ve barış" sağlamak için yapılan savaş, pasaport denen şeyi çıkardı.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!
“Önemli olan tek bir şey vardır: Sakıngan ve korkak kimselerin yürüdüğü yoldan başka bir yönü gösterse, seni sürüden ayırsa bile, yüreğinden gelen sesi dinle. Yaşam, zaman zaman sana dayanılmaz acılar verse de, küsme, kaba davranma ona karşı.”
Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!

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