„We may make progress only by freeing ourselves from the rut of the past, but without this rut an orderly society would hardly be possible in the first place.“

—  Robert L. Heilbroner, Chapter IV, Part 6, The Inertia of History, p. 195
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Robert L. Heilbroner39
American historian and economist 1919 - 2005
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„There may be, and there ought to be, progress in the moral sphere. The moral truths which we have inherited from the past need to be expanded and restated.“

—  Felix Adler German American professor of political and social ethics, rationalist, and lecturer 1851 - 1933
Context: There may be, and there ought to be, progress in the moral sphere. The moral truths which we have inherited from the past need to be expanded and restated. In times of misfortune we require for our support something of which the truth is beyond all question, in which we can put an implicit trust, " though the heavens should fall." A merely borrowed belief is, at such time, like a rotten plank across a raging torrent. The moment we step upon it, it gives way beneath our feet. Section 9 : Ethical Outlook

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„By progressive and powerful I do not mean the most dreaded. A dreaded society is not a civilized society. The most progressive and powerful society in the civilized sense, is a society which has recognized its ethos, and come to terms with the past and the present, with religion and science, with modernism and mysticism, with materialism and spirituality; a society free of tension, a society rich in culture. Such a society cannot come with hocus-pocus formulas and with fraud. It has to flow from the depth of a divine search.“

—  Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Fourth President and ninth Prime Minister of Pakistan 1928 - 1979
Context: What gift can I give you from this cell out of which my hand cannot pass? I give you the hand of the people. What celebration can I hold for you? I give you the celebration of a celebrated memory and a celebrated name. You are the heir to and inheritor of the most ancient civilization. Please make your full contribution to making this ancient civilization the most progressive and the most powerful. By progressive and powerful I do not mean the most dreaded. A dreaded society is not a civilized society. The most progressive and powerful society in the civilized sense, is a society which has recognized its ethos, and come to terms with the past and the present, with religion and science, with modernism and mysticism, with materialism and spirituality; a society free of tension, a society rich in culture. Such a society cannot come with hocus-pocus formulas and with fraud. It has to flow from the depth of a divine search. In other words, a classless society has to emerge but not necessarily a Marxist society. The Marxist society has created its own class structure. p. 15.

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„We fret ourselves to reform life, in order that posterity may be happy, and posterity will say as usual: "In the past it used to be better, the present is worse than the past."“

—  Anton Chekhov Russian dramatist, author and physician 1860 - 1904
Alternate translation: We go to great pains to alter life for the happiness of our descendants and our descendants will say as usual: things used to be so much better, life today is worse than it used to be. Мы хлопочем, чтобы изменить жизнь, чтобы потомки были счастливы, а потомки скажут по обыкновению: прежде лучше было, теперешняя жизнь хуже прежней.

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„Secrecy as deep as this is past possibility without nonexistence as well.“

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„I believe our students must first seek to understand the conditions, as far as possible without national prejudices, which have led to past tragedies and should strive to determine the great fundamentals which must govern a peaceful progression toward a constantly higher level of civilization.“

—  George Marshall US military leader, Army Chief of Staff 1880 - 1959
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„A free culture has been our past, but it will only be our future if we change the path we are on right now.“

—  Lawrence Lessig American academic, political activist. 1961
Context: A free culture has been our past, but it will only be our future if we change the path we are on right now. Like Stallman's arguments for free software, an argument for free culture stumbles on a confusion that is hard to avoid, and even harder to understand. A free culture is not a culture without property; it is not a culture in which artists don't get paid. A culture without property, or in which creators can't get paid, is anarchy, not freedom. Anarchy is not what I advance here. Instead, the free culture that I defend in this book is a balance between anarchy and control. A free culture, like a free market, is filled with property. It is filled with rules of property and contract that get enforced by the state. But just as a free market is perverted if its property becomes feudal, so too can a free culture be queered by extremism in the property rights that define it. That is what I fear about our culture today. It is against that extremism that this book is written.

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