Relevant

901 – Wisława Szymborska on Knowledge

“Rozmaici oprawcy, dyktatorzy, fanatycy, demagodzy walczący o władzę przy pomocy kilku byle głośno wykrzykiwanych haseł, także lubią swoją pracę i także wykonują ją z gorliwą pomysłowością. No tak, ale oni “wiedzą”. Wiedzą, a to, co wiedzą, wystarcza im raz na zawsze. Niczego ponad to nie są ciekawi, bo to mogłoby osłabić siłę ich argumentów. A wszelka wiedza, która nie wyłania z siebie nowych pytań, staje się w szybkim czasie martwa, traci temperaturę sprzyjającą życiu. W najskrajniejszych przypadkach, o czym dobrze wiadomo z historii dawnej i współczesnej, potrafi być nawet śmiertelnie groźna dla społeczeństw”.

“All sorts of torturers, dictators, fanatics, and demagogues struggling for power by way of a few loudly shouted slogans also enjoy their jobs, and they too perform their duties with inventive fervor. Well, yes, but they “know.” They know, and whatever they know is enough for them once and for all. They don’t want to find out about anything else, since that might diminish their arguments’ force. And any knowledge that doesn’t lead to new questions quickly dies out: it fails to maintain the temperature required for sustaining life. In the most extreme cases, cases well known from ancient and modern history, it even poses a lethal threat to society.”

-Wisława Szymborska

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892 – “I believe that it must be the policy of the United States to support free peoples who are resisting attempted subjugation by armed minorities or by outside pressures. I believe that we must assist free peoples to work out their own destinies in their own way.”

–Harry Truman, 33rd President of the United States of America

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831 – “The moment we no longer have a free press, anything can happen. What makes it possible for a totalitarian or any other dictatorship to rule is that people are not informed; how can you have an opinion if you are not informed? If everybody always lies to you, the consequence is not that you believe the lies, but rather that nobody believes anything any longer.”

–Hannah Arendt

Support journalism and a free press on World Press Freedom Day!

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825 – “History shows that no Administration from the time of Washington to the present has been free from … mistakes. I leave comparisons to history, claiming only that I have acted in every instance from a conscientious desire to do what was right, constitutional, within the law, and for the very best interests of the whole people. Failures have been errors of judgment, not of intent.”

–Ulysses S Grant, 18th President of the United States of America (more…)

725 – “The President is not only the leader of a party, he is the President of the whole people. He must interpret the conscience of America. He must guide his conduct by the idealism of our people.”

–Herbert Hoover, 31st President of the United States of America
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653 – Grover Cleveland’s Statue of Liberty Dedication

“We are not here today to bow before the representation of a fierce warlike god, filled with wrath and vengeance, but we joyously contemplate instead our own deity keeping watch and ward before the open gates of America and greater than all that have been celebrated in ancient song. Instead of grasping in her hand thunderbolts of terror and of death, she holds aloft the light which illumines the way to man’s enfranchisement. We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home, nor shall her chosen altar be neglected. Willing votaries will constantly keep alive its fires and these shall gleam upon the shores of our sister Republic thence, and joined with answering rays a stream of light shall pierce the darkness of ignorance and man’s oppression, until Liberty enlightens the world.”

–Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th President of the United States of America

Today is Election Day in the United States, and regardless of who you support it is important that you go vote. Don’t make excuses, as the fewer people who vote, the worse and more partisan our democratic republic becomes, so exercise the fundamental right and vote!

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