„I think opinions should be judged of by their influences and effects; and if a man holds none that tend to make him less virtuous or more vicious, it may be concluded that he holds none that are dangerous, which I hope is the case with me.“

—  Benjamin Franklin, Epistles, Letter to his father, 13 April 1738, printed in Memoirs of Benjamin Franklin (Philadelphia, 1834), volume 1, p. 233. Also quoted in Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003) by Walter Isaacson
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Benjamin Franklin23
scienziato e politico statunitense 1706 - 1790
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„If thinking men are few, they are for that reason all the more powerful. Let no man imagine that he has no influence. Whoever he may be, and wherever he may be placed, the man who thinks becomes a light and a power.“

—  Henry George American economist 1839 - 1897
Social Problems (1883), Context: Many there are, too depressed, too embruted with hard toil and the struggle for animal existence, to think for themselves. Therefore the obligation devolves with all the more force on those who can. If thinking men are few, they are for that reason all the more powerful. Let no man imagine that he has no influence. Whoever he may be, and wherever he may be placed, the man who thinks becomes a light and a power. That for every idle word men may speak they shall give an account at the day of judgment, seems a hard saying. But what more clear than that the theory of the persistence of force, which teaches us that every movement continues to act and react, must apply as well to the universe of mind as to that of matter? Whoever becomes imbued with a noble idea kindles a flame from which other torches are lit, and influences those with whom he comes in contact, be they few or many. How far that influence, thus perpetuated, may extend, it is not given to him here to see. But it may be that the Lord of the Vineyard will know. Ch. 21 : Conclusion

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„I think the United States should be a leader. A country as rich and powerful as this which bears so many burdens and responsibilities, which has so many opportunities, should be second to none.“

—  John F. Kennedy 35th president of the United States of America 1917 - 1963
1963, Context: I think the United States should be a leader. A country as rich and powerful as this which bears so many burdens and responsibilities, which has so many opportunities, should be second to none. And in December, while I do not regard our mastery of space as anywhere near complete, while I recognize that there are still areas where we are behind — at least in one area, the size of the booster — this year I hope the United States will be ahead. And I am for it. We have a long way to go. Many weeks and months and years of long, tedious work lie ahead. There will be setbacks and frustrations and disappointments. There will be, as there always are, pressures in this country to do less in this area as in so many others, and temptations to do something else that is perhaps easier. But this research here must go on. This space effort must go on. The conquest of space must and will go ahead. That much we know. That much we can say with confidence and conviction.

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„It is to be hoped that such legislation may be another step toward the great consummation to be reached, when no man shall be permitted, directly or indirectly, under any guise, excuse, or form of law, to hold his fellow-man in bondage. I am of opinion also that it is the duty of the United States, as contributing toward that end, and required by the spirit of the age in which we live, to provide by suitable legislation that no citizen of the United States shall hold slaves as property in any other country or be interested therein.“

—  Ulysses S. Grant 18th President of the United States 1822 - 1885
1870s, Seventh State of the Union Address (1875), Context: I am happy to announce the passage of an act by the General Cortes of Portugal, proclaimed since the adjournment of Congress, for the abolition of servitude in the Portuguese colonies. It is to be hoped that such legislation may be another step toward the great consummation to be reached, when no man shall be permitted, directly or indirectly, under any guise, excuse, or form of law, to hold his fellow-man in bondage. I am of opinion also that it is the duty of the United States, as contributing toward that end, and required by the spirit of the age in which we live, to provide by suitable legislation that no citizen of the United States shall hold slaves as property in any other country or be interested therein.

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„Must I shoot a simple-minded soldier boy who deserts, while I must not touch a hair of a wiley agitator who induces him to desert? This is none the less injurious when effected by getting a father, or brother, or friend, into a public meeting, and there working upon his feeling, till he is persuaded to write the soldier boy, that he is fighting in a bad cause, for a wicked administration of a contemptable government, too weak to arrest and punish him if he shall desert. I think that in such a case, to silence the agitator, and save the boy, is not only constitutional, but, withal, a great mercy.“

—  Abraham Lincoln 16th President of the United States 1809 - 1865
1860s, Context: Long experience has shown that armies can not be maintained unless desertion shall be punished by the severe penalty of death. The case requires, and the law and the constitution, sanction this punishment. Must I shoot a simple-minded soldier boy who deserts, while I must not touch a hair of a wiley agitator who induces him to desert? This is none the less injurious when effected by getting a father, or brother, or friend, into a public meeting, and there working upon his feeling, till he is persuaded to write the soldier boy, that he is fighting in a bad cause, for a wicked administration of a contemptable government, too weak to arrest and punish him if he shall desert. I think that in such a case, to silence the agitator, and save the boy, is not only constitutional, but, withal, a great mercy. Letter to Erastus Corning and Others https://quod.lib.umich.edu/l/lincoln/lincoln6/1:569?rgn=div1;view=fulltext (12 June 1863) in "The Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 6" (The Abraham Lincoln Association, 1953), p. 266

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„Patriotism requires less and less of making the eagle scream, but more and more of making him think.“

—  Aldo Leopold American writer and scientist 1887 - 1948
1920s, "The Home Builder Conserves" [1928]; Published in The River of the Mother of God and Other Essays by Aldo Leopold, Susan L. Flader and J. Baird Callicott (eds.) 1991, p. 147.

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„I think he imagined the Politburo would hold up his letter and say, "Hold everything, Kenneth Hockney has written again!"“

—  David Hockney British artist 1937
2000s, Context: He [Hockney's father] hardly ever left Bradford. He was a member of CND and a socialist with a rather romantic and naive idea of what Soviet Russia was like, all cornfields and ballet. He would have gone mad for email because he was always sending letters to world leaders — Eisenhower, Mao, Stalin — telling them what was what. I think he imagined the Politburo would hold up his letter and say, "Hold everything, Kenneth Hockney has written again!" Interview with Nigel Farndale, "The talented Mr. Hockney," The Telegraph, (15 November 2001)

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„Vanquisht men's safety is to hope for none.“

—  John Ogilby Scottish academic 1600 - 1676
The Works of Publius Virgilius Maro (2nd ed. 1654), Virgil's Æneis

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