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 :: Famous Quotations Topic: Institutions (15 Quotations)

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An institution is the lengthened shadow of one man.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

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Every institution not only carries within it the seeds of its own dissolution, but prepares the way for its most hated rival.
~ Dean William R. Inge

 

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If you're treated a certain way you become a certain kind of person. If certain things are described to you as being real they're real for you whether they're real or not.
~ James Baldwin

 

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In any great organization it is far, far safer to be wrong with the majority than to be right alone.
~ John Kenneth Galbraith

 

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Institutions -- government, churches, industries, and the like -- have properly no other function than to contribute to human freedom; and in so far as they fail, on the whole, to perform this function, they are wrong and need reconstruction.
~ Charles Horton Cooley

 

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Monarchies, aristocracies, and religions are all based upon that large defect in your race -- the individual's distrust of his neighbor, and his desire, for safety's or comfort's sake, to stand well in his neighbor's eye. These institutions will always remain, and always flourish, and always oppress you, affront you, and degrade you, because you will always be and remain slaves of minorities. There was never a country where the majority of the people were in their secret hearts loyal to any of these institutions.
~ Mark Twain

 

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Power is not of a man. Wealth does not center in the person of the wealthy. Celebrity is not inherent in any personality. To be celebrated, to be wealthy, to have power requires access to major institutions.
~ C. Wright Mills

 

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The more rational an institution is the less it suffers by making concessions to others.
~ George Santayana

 

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The way in which men cling to old institutions after the life has departed out of them, and out of themselves, reminds me of those monkeys which cling by their tails -- aye, whose tails contract about the limbs, even the dead limbs, of the forest, and they hang suspended beyond the hunter's reach long after they are dead. It is of no use to argue with such men. They have not an apprehensive intellect, but merely, as it were a prehensile tail.
~ Henry David Thoreau

 

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The whole history of civilization is strewn with creeds and institutions which were invaluable at first, and deadly afterwards.
~ Walter Bagehot

 

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What are all political and social institutions, but always a religion, which in realizing itself, becomes incarnate in the world?
~ Edgar Quinet

 

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What is a wife and what is a harlot? What is a church and what is a theatre? are they two and not one? Can they exist separate? Are not religion and politics the same thing? Brotherhood is religion. O demonstrations of reason dividing families in cruelty and pride!
~ William Blake

 

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Wherever a man goes, men will pursue him and paw him with their dirty institutions, and, if they can, constrain him to belong to their desperate odd-fellow society.
~ Henry David Thoreau

 

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Whether lawyer, politician or executive, the American who knows what's good for his career seeks an institutional rather than an individual identity. He becomes the man from NBC or IBM. The institutional imprint furnishes him with pension, meaning, proofs of existence. A man without a company name is a man without a country.
~ Lewis H. Lapham

 

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Why has mankind had such a craving to be imposed upon? Why this lust after imposing creeds, imposing deeds, imposing buildings, imposing language, imposing works of art? The thing becomes an imposition and a weariness at last. Give us things that are alive and flexible, which won't last too long and become an obstruction and a weariness. Even Michelangelo becomes at last a lump and a burden and a bore. It is so hard to see past him.
~ D. H. Lawrence

 

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