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Irving Babbitt Quotes


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The democratic idealist is prone to make light of the whole question of standards and leadership because of his unbounded faith in the plain people.
 

The human mind, if it is to keep its sanity, must maintain the nicest balance between unity and plurality.
 

The humanitarian lays stress almost solely upon breadth of knowledge and sympathy.
 

The humanitarian would, of course, have us meddle in foreign affairs as part of his program of world service.
 

The humanities need to be defended to-day against the encroachments of physical science, as they once needed to be against the encroachment of theology.
 

The industrial revolution has tended to produce everywhere great urban masses that seem to be increasingly careless of ethical standards.
 

The papacy again, representing the traditional unity of European civilization, has also shown itself unable to limit effectively the push of nationalism.
 

The result of the attempt to deal with evil socially rather than at its source in the individual, to substitute an outer for an inner control of appetite, has been a monstrous legalism, of which the Eighteenth Amendment is only the most notable example.
[Law]
 

The standards of a genuinely liberal education, as they have been understood, more or less from the time of Aristotle, are being progressively undermined by the utilitarians and the sentimentalists.
[Education]
 

The true humanist maintains a just balance between sympathy and selection.
 

The ultimate binding element in the medieval order was subordination to the divine will and its earthly representatives, notably the pope.
 

To harmonize the One with the Many, this is indeed a difficult adjustment, perhaps the most difficult of all, and so important, withal, that nations have perished from their failure to achieve it.
 

To say that most of us today are purely expansive is only another way of saying that most of us continue to be more concerned with the quantity than with the quality of our democracy.
 

Unless there is a recovery of the true dualism or, what amounts to the same thing, a reaffirmation of the truths of the inner life in some form - traditional or critical, religious or humanistic - civilization in any sense that has been attached to that term hitherto is threatened at its base.
[Truth]
 

Very few of the early Italian humanists were really humane.
 

We may affirm, then, that the main drift of the later Renaissance was away from a humanism that favored a free expansion toward a humanism that was in the highest degree disciplinary and selective.
 

We must not, however, be like the leaders of the great romantic revolt who, in their eagerness to get rid of the husk of convention, disregarded also the humane aspiration.
 

Yet Aristotle's excellence of substance, so far from being associated with the grand style, is associated with something that at times comes perilously near jargon.
 


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