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Walter Lippmann Quotes

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Walter Lippmann
September 23, 1889 - December 14, 1974
Nationality: American
Category: Journalist
Subcategory: American Journalist

Ages when custom is unsettled are necessarily ages of prophecy. The moralist cannot teach what is revealed; he must reveal what can be taught. He has to seek insight rather than to preach.


When men can no longer be theists, they must, if they are civilized, become humanists.


When philosophers try to be politicians they generally cease to be philosophers.


Unless the reformer can invent something which substitutes attractive virtues for attractive vices, he will fail.


What we call a democratic society might be defined for certain purposes as one in which the majority is always prepared to put down a revolutionary minority.


Most men, after a little freedom, have preferred authority with the consoling assurances and the economy of effort it brings.


The study of error is not only in the highest degree prophylactic, but it serves as a stimulating introduction to the study of truth.


We are all captives of the picture in our head - our belief that the world we have experienced is the world that really exists.


It requires wisdom to understand wisdom: the music is nothing if the audience is deaf.


Men who are orthodox when they are young are in danger of being middle-aged all their lives.


Only the consciousness of a purpose that is mightier than any man and worthy of all men can fortify and inspirit and compose the souls of men.


Where all men think alike, no one thinks very much.


A long life in journalism convinced me many presidents ago that there should be a large air space between a journalist and the head of a state.


The great social adventure of America is no longer the conquest of the wilderness but the absorption of fifty different peoples.


There is no arguing with the pretenders to a divine knowledge and to a divine mission. They are possessed with the sin of pride, they have yielded to the perennial temptation.


Private property was the original source of freedom. It still is its main ballpark.


People that are orthodox when they are young are in danger of being middle-aged all their lives.


The opposition is indispensable. A good statesman, like any other sensible human being, always learns more from his opposition than from his fervent supporters.


When distant and unfamiliar and complex things are communicated to great masses of people, the truth suffers a considerable and often a radical distortion. The complex is made over into the simple, the hypothetical into the dogmatic, and the relative into an absolute.


In a free society the state does not administer the affairs of men. It administers justice among men who conduct their own affairs.


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