1108 – José Martí on Knowing the Truth

“En el periódico, en la cátedra, en la academia, debe llevarse adelante el estudio de los factores reales del país. Conocerlos basta, sin vendas ni ambages; porque el que pone de lado, por voluntad u olvido, una parte de la verdad, cae a la larga por la verdad que le faltó, que crece en la negligencia, y derriba lo que se levanta sin ella. Resolver el problema después de conocer sus elementos, es más fácil que resolver el problema sin conocerlos.”

“Newspapers, universities and schools should encourage the study of the country’s real factors. To know them is sufficient, without mincing words; for whoever brushes aside even a part of the truth, whether through intention or oversight, is doomed to fall. The truth he lacks thrives on negligence, and brings down whatever is built without it. It is easy to resolve our problem knowing its components than resolve them without knowing them.”

-José Martí


433 – “History will judge societies and governments — and their institutions — not by how big they are or how well they serve the rich and the powerful, but by how effectively they respond to the needs of the poor and the helpless.”

–César Chávez


292 – “The framers of our Constitution firmly believed that a republican government could not endure without intelligence and education generally diffused among the people. The Father of his Country, in his Farewell Address, uses this language: ‘Promote, then, as an object of primary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge. In proportion as the structure of a government gives force to public opinion, it is essential that public opinion should be enlightened.’”

–Ulysses S Grant, 18th President of the United States of America

Context for this quote shows a paternalistic, but somewhat progressive for that time, view arguing that African Americans, who had been enfranchised only a few years before, should be allowed to educate themselves in order to make them selves “worthy of their new privilege,” which was the vote. An educated and informed Public is a requirement of for any democratic form of government to function well.

202 – Quote from Inaugural Address

“This provident forecast has been verified by time. Half a century, teeming with extraordinary events, and elsewhere producing astonishing results, has passed along, but on our institutions it has left no injurious mark. From a small community we have risen to a people powerful in numbers and in strength; but with our increase has gone hand in hand the progress of just principles. The privileges, civil and religious, of the humblest individual are still sacredly protected at home, and while the valor and fortitude of our people have removed far from us the slightest apprehension of foreign power, they have not yet induced us in a single instance to forget what is right.”

–Martin Van Buren, 8th President of the United States of America