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.
- As a poet there is only one political duty, and that is to defend one’s language against corruption. When it is corrupted, people lose faith in what they hear and this leads to violence.