The belief that politics can be scientific must inevitably produce tyrannies. Politics cannot be a science, because in politics theory and practice cannot be separated, and the sciences depend upon their separation. Empirical politics must be kept in bounds by democratic institutions, which leave it up to the subjects of the experiment to say whether it shall be tried, and to stop it if they dislike it, because, in politics, there is a distinction, unknown to science, between Truth and Justice.
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- My deepest feeling about politicians is that they are dangerous lunatics to be avoided when possible and carefully humored; people, above all, to whom one must never tell the truth.
- The class distinctions proper to a democratic society are not those of rank or money, still less, as is apt to happen when these are abandoned, of race, but of age.
- I cannot accept the doctrine that in poetry there is a suspension of belief. A poet must never make a statement simply because it is sounds poetically exciting; he must also believe it to be true.
- Healing, Papa would tell me, is not a science, but the intuitive art of wooing nature.
- It is a sad fact about our culture that a poet can earn much more money writing or talking about his art than he can by practicing it.
- In a land which is fully settled, most men must accept their local environment or try to change it by political means; only the exceptionally gifted or adventurous can leave to seek his fortune elsewhere. In America, on the other hand, to move on and make a fresh start somewhere else is still the normal reaction to dissatisfaction and failure.