Frasi di Charles A. Reich

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Charles A. Reich

Data di nascita: 20. Maggio 1928
Data di morte: 15. Giugno 2019

Charles A. Reich is an American legal and social scholar as well as writer who was a Professor at Yale Law School when he wrote the 1970 paean to the 1960s counterculture and youth movement, The Greening of America. Excerpts of the book first appeared in The New Yorker, and its seismic reception there helped the book to leading The New York Times Best Seller list.

Frasi Charles A. Reich

„They operate by administrative discretion and authority, not the rule of law: There is no legislature, no group lawmaking body.“

—  Charles A. Reich

The Liberals' Mistake (1987)
Contesto: Liberals placed an unreasonable amount of faith in large institutions: unions, foundations, big government, large corporations, and universities. These institutions are based on principles that are antithetical to democracy. They are not democratic, they are hierarchical: Someone is at the top and everybody else is at the bottom. Their policies are not made democratically, they are made at the top. These institutions are also not egalitarian. They operate by administrative discretion and authority, not the rule of law: There is no legislature, no group lawmaking body.
The individual in the large organization does not have the kind of constitutional rights that an individual in the society at large has. There are no protections of autonomy and free speech. Employees can be fired for many reasons. We need to constitutionalize large organizations to protect the people within them, to ensure that they can be politically outspoken.

„There are no protections of autonomy and free speech.“

—  Charles A. Reich

The Liberals' Mistake (1987)
Contesto: Liberals placed an unreasonable amount of faith in large institutions: unions, foundations, big government, large corporations, and universities. These institutions are based on principles that are antithetical to democracy. They are not democratic, they are hierarchical: Someone is at the top and everybody else is at the bottom. Their policies are not made democratically, they are made at the top. These institutions are also not egalitarian. They operate by administrative discretion and authority, not the rule of law: There is no legislature, no group lawmaking body.
The individual in the large organization does not have the kind of constitutional rights that an individual in the society at large has. There are no protections of autonomy and free speech. Employees can be fired for many reasons. We need to constitutionalize large organizations to protect the people within them, to ensure that they can be politically outspoken.

„One of the problems with fame … is they try to pigeonhole you“

—  Charles A. Reich

As quoted in Washington Post in (1987) and "Charles Reich’s Journey From the Yale Law Journal to the New York Times Best-Seller List: The Personal History of The Greening of America" by Rodger Citron, in The New York Law School Law Review, Vol. 52, (2007/2008), p. 416 http://www.nyls.edu/user_files/1/3/4/17/49/NLRvol52-307.pdf
Contesto: One of the problems with fame … is they try to pigeonhole you… like I’m stuck with The Greening of America for the rest of my life.

„Liberals placed an unreasonable amount of faith in large institutions: unions, foundations, big government, large corporations, and universities. These institutions are based on principles that are antithetical to democracy. They are not democratic, they are hierarchical: Someone is at the top and everybody else is at the bottom.“

—  Charles A. Reich

The Liberals' Mistake (1987)
Contesto: Liberals placed an unreasonable amount of faith in large institutions: unions, foundations, big government, large corporations, and universities. These institutions are based on principles that are antithetical to democracy. They are not democratic, they are hierarchical: Someone is at the top and everybody else is at the bottom. Their policies are not made democratically, they are made at the top. These institutions are also not egalitarian. They operate by administrative discretion and authority, not the rule of law: There is no legislature, no group lawmaking body.
The individual in the large organization does not have the kind of constitutional rights that an individual in the society at large has. There are no protections of autonomy and free speech. Employees can be fired for many reasons. We need to constitutionalize large organizations to protect the people within them, to ensure that they can be politically outspoken.

„There is a revolution coming. It will not be like revolutions of the past. It will originate with the individual and with culture, and it will change the political structure only as its final act. It will not require violence to succeed, and it cannot be successfully resisted by violence.“

—  Charles A. Reich, libro The Greening of America

Origine: The Greening of America (1970), Chapter I : The Coming American Revolution, p. 4
Contesto: There is a revolution coming. It will not be like revolutions of the past. It will originate with the individual and with culture, and it will change the political structure only as its final act. It will not require violence to succeed, and it cannot be successfully resisted by violence. It is now spreading with amazing rapidity, and already our laws, institutions and social structure are changing in consequence. It promises a higher reason, a more human community, and a new and liberated individual. Its ultimate creation will be a new and enduring wholeness and beauty — a renewed relationship of man to himself, to other men, to society, to nature, and to the land.
This is the revolution of the new generation.

„One cannot sell anything to a satisfied man.“

—  Charles A. Reich, libro The Greening of America

Origine: The Greening of America (1970), Chapter VII : "It's Just Like Living", p. 162
Contesto: One cannot sell anything to a satisfied man. Ergo, make him want something new, or take away something that he has and then sell him something to take its place.

„This is the revolution of the new generation.“

—  Charles A. Reich, libro The Greening of America

Origine: The Greening of America (1970), Chapter I : The Coming American Revolution, p. 4
Contesto: There is a revolution coming. It will not be like revolutions of the past. It will originate with the individual and with culture, and it will change the political structure only as its final act. It will not require violence to succeed, and it cannot be successfully resisted by violence. It is now spreading with amazing rapidity, and already our laws, institutions and social structure are changing in consequence. It promises a higher reason, a more human community, and a new and liberated individual. Its ultimate creation will be a new and enduring wholeness and beauty — a renewed relationship of man to himself, to other men, to society, to nature, and to the land.
This is the revolution of the new generation.

„When we get upset and angry about politics — whether it is conservative, liberal, or whatever — we tend to think in terms of right and wrong, not what we can learn.“

—  Charles A. Reich

The Liberals' Mistake (1987)
Contesto: The country we live in is a laboratory. We have one experiment after another. Unfortunately, it is not a laboratory where no one gets hurt: some lives are enhanced, others are ruined. We have to view our society with concern and passion, and see what we can learn from each of our experiments. When we get upset and angry about politics — whether it is conservative, liberal, or whatever — we tend to think in terms of right and wrong, not what we can learn.

„The liberals were wide-ranging in their interests, ready to question the orthodoxies of the time, and looking for new horizons. It is always difficult to find people like that, but it is even more difficult today.“

—  Charles A. Reich

The Liberals' Mistake (1987)
Contesto: The liberals were wide-ranging in their interests, ready to question the orthodoxies of the time, and looking for new horizons. It is always difficult to find people like that, but it is even more difficult today.
The liberals of the nineteen-thirties were diverse, but they had a common vision. They accepted democracy, the free market, and capitalism. However, they thought that unless the market was not corrected or ameliorated, there would be child labor, neglect of the elderly, dangerous and harmful consumer goods, monopolies squeezing people out of business and forcing down wages — in short, there would be the horror of Great Britain's Industrial Revolution before the British began passing social legislation.

„But we have managed to reverse that. Today, a great many people cannot find any work. People are dispossessed and cannot support themselves or their families. Many are homeless. For many others, work has become a rat race: something to be endured, not enjoyed.“

—  Charles A. Reich

The Liberals' Mistake (1987)
Contesto: The liberals were right when they insisted that we had enough food and goods for all of our people. But they did not — and we still do not — know how to distribute those goods in a rational way. We have failed to figure out how to turn this abundance into an advantage. The liberals were also right about labor-saving. If we evenly distributed the work that needs to be done, there ought to be a lot of time left over for everybody to have the leisure that people need. But we have managed to reverse that. Today, a great many people cannot find any work. People are dispossessed and cannot support themselves or their families. Many are homeless. For many others, work has become a rat race: something to be endured, not enjoyed.
Today we are witnessing an impoverishment: the apparent drying up of resources for all kinds of things that are badly needed. We seem to have no money for housing, for education, or for health and social services. And yet we have a deficit, and we are told by candidates for public office that we must cut the federal budget even more. This impoverishment is a mystery.

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„The liberals were right when they insisted that we had enough food and goods for all of our people. But they did not — and we still do not — know how to distribute those goods in a rational way.“

—  Charles A. Reich

The Liberals' Mistake (1987)
Contesto: The liberals were right when they insisted that we had enough food and goods for all of our people. But they did not — and we still do not — know how to distribute those goods in a rational way. We have failed to figure out how to turn this abundance into an advantage. The liberals were also right about labor-saving. If we evenly distributed the work that needs to be done, there ought to be a lot of time left over for everybody to have the leisure that people need. But we have managed to reverse that. Today, a great many people cannot find any work. People are dispossessed and cannot support themselves or their families. Many are homeless. For many others, work has become a rat race: something to be endured, not enjoyed.
Today we are witnessing an impoverishment: the apparent drying up of resources for all kinds of things that are badly needed. We seem to have no money for housing, for education, or for health and social services. And yet we have a deficit, and we are told by candidates for public office that we must cut the federal budget even more. This impoverishment is a mystery.

„Whether you're complaining about spiritual emptiness or material emptiness, you're ultimately complaining about the same system that's creating both kinds of emptiness.“

—  Charles A. Reich

The Greening of America turns 40 (2010)
Contesto: What is lacking today is that people are not in any way experimenting with a different way to live, a different way to feel, a different way to be.
The things that troubled young people in the '60s and the things that trouble young people today seem quite different, in the sense that the troubles today are mostly material trouble — I can't get a job; I can't support a family; whereas the complaints in the 1960s were more spiritual — I don't feel like a real person, or something like that. However, they are related.
Whether you're complaining about spiritual emptiness or material emptiness, you're ultimately complaining about the same system that's creating both kinds of emptiness. That's the link between The Greening of America of 40 years ago and the way young people are feeling today.

„Organizations are not really "owned" by anyone.“

—  Charles A. Reich, libro The Greening of America

Origine: The Greening of America (1970), Chapter V :, Anatomy Of The Corporate State, p. 107
Contesto: Organizations are not really "owned" by anyone. What formerly constituted ownership was split up into stockholders' rights to share in profits, management's power to set policy, employees' right to status and security, government's right to regulate. Thus older forms of wealth were replaced by new forms.

„What we need is a concept of "gross national cost." Life is a balance sheet, not simply economic growth. It is income and outgo. And until we know what the cost of growth is we will continue to operate under an illusion.“

—  Charles A. Reich

The Liberals' Mistake (1987)
Contesto: What we need is a concept of "gross national cost." Life is a balance sheet, not simply economic growth. It is income and outgo. And until we know what the cost of growth is we will continue to operate under an illusion. As long as we consider only the growth of goods and ignore the growth of personal and community well-being, we will be impoverished by growth. That is what is happening in our society today.

„The country we live in is a laboratory. We have one experiment after another. Unfortunately, it is not a laboratory where no one gets hurt: some lives are enhanced, others are ruined.“

—  Charles A. Reich

The Liberals' Mistake (1987)
Contesto: The country we live in is a laboratory. We have one experiment after another. Unfortunately, it is not a laboratory where no one gets hurt: some lives are enhanced, others are ruined. We have to view our society with concern and passion, and see what we can learn from each of our experiments. When we get upset and angry about politics — whether it is conservative, liberal, or whatever — we tend to think in terms of right and wrong, not what we can learn.

„To the American people of 1789, their nation promised a new way of life: each individual a free man; each having the right to seek his own happiness; a republican form of government in which the people would be sovereign; and no arbitrary power over people's lives.“

—  Charles A. Reich, libro The Greening of America

Origine: The Greening of America (1970), Chapter II : Consciousness I: Loss Of Reality, p. 21 (See also: Hunter S. Thompson)
Contesto: To the American people of 1789, their nation promised a new way of life: each individual a free man; each having the right to seek his own happiness; a republican form of government in which the people would be sovereign; and no arbitrary power over people's lives. Less than two hundred years later, almost every aspect of the dream has been lost.

„All of us are responding to the fact there is no system that can keep any promises. Everybody is fighting each other under the illusion that it is the "other people" that are causing the problem.“

—  Charles A. Reich

The Liberals' Mistake (1987)
Contesto: All of us are responding to the fact there is no system that can keep any promises. Everybody is fighting each other under the illusion that it is the "other people" that are causing the problem. We don't realize that we are all in the same boat. We are all suffering from the absence of a system that can pull us together and assure us that the results of each person's work will come back to him and enhance his life in some way.
Neither Democrats nor Republicans today offer any vision of how we can overcome our present difficulties and build a more satisfying life. Both offer merely palliatives and, at best, a holding pattern. We have to look beyond the politicians to see a different future.

„I see self-destruction now on a grand scale. That is, the unwillingness to pay for the things society needs. That's the most basic kind of self-destruction.“

—  Charles A. Reich

The Greening of America turns 40 (2010)
Contesto: I see self-destruction now on a grand scale. That is, the unwillingness to pay for the things society needs. That's the most basic kind of self-destruction. That we're not prepared to pay for schools, we're not prepared to pay for highways. That is self-destruction. What are we doing to ourselves? It is nuts.

„We have to look beyond the politicians to see a different future.“

—  Charles A. Reich

The Liberals' Mistake (1987)
Contesto: All of us are responding to the fact there is no system that can keep any promises. Everybody is fighting each other under the illusion that it is the "other people" that are causing the problem. We don't realize that we are all in the same boat. We are all suffering from the absence of a system that can pull us together and assure us that the results of each person's work will come back to him and enhance his life in some way.
Neither Democrats nor Republicans today offer any vision of how we can overcome our present difficulties and build a more satisfying life. Both offer merely palliatives and, at best, a holding pattern. We have to look beyond the politicians to see a different future.

„If there was any doubt about the need for social transformation in 1970, that need is clear and urgent today.“

—  Charles A. Reich

Preface to 1995 edition of The Greening of America
Contesto: If there was any doubt about the need for social transformation in 1970, that need is clear and urgent today. … I am now more convinced than ever that the conflict and suffering now threatening to engulf us are entirely unnecessary, and a tragic waste of our energy and resources. We can create an economic system that is not at war with human beings or nature, and we can get from here to there by democratic means.

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“

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