2003 Quotes of the Week

TSS Directory


Rumsfeld and Saddam in "happier" days We're told a picture says more than a 1000 words...

12/21/03---None Selected


KOPPEL: When you hear some of your colleagues here -- you know, I get a little bit of a sense of sour grapes here, that if anyone else on this stage had gotten Al Gore's endorsement, he would have been happy to have it. What do you think?

KUCINICH: Well, I can't say I was really counting on it. (LAUGHTER) But let me say, Ted, let me say -- let me say that some of the best talent in American politics is on this stage right now. (APPLAUSE) And with all due respect to you, Ted Koppel, who I've admired over the years greatly...

KOPPEL: There's a zinger coming now, isn't there?

KUCINICH: Yes. (LAUGHTER) To begin this kind of a forum with a question about an endorsement, no matter by who, I think actually trivializes the issues that are before us. (APPLAUSE) For example, at this moment there are 130,000 troops in Iraq. I mean, I would like to hear you ask during this event what's the plan for getting out. This war is not over. I have a plan, which is on my Web site at kucinich.us, to get the United States out of Iraq.

KUCINICH: I want to talk about that tonight, and I hope we have a substantive discussion tonight and that we're not going to spend the night talking about endorsements. (APPLAUSE)

KOPPEL: Well, we've got... (APPLAUSE)


KOPPEL: This is a question to Ambassador Braun, Reverend Sharpton, Congressman Kucinich. You don't have any money, or at least not much. Reverend Sharpton has almost none. You don't have very much, Ambassador Braun.

KUCINICH: We've raised $4.5 million. I mean, that's not nothing. (LAUGHTER)

KOPPEL: You've got about $750,000 in the bank right now, and that's close to nothing when you're coming up against this kind of opposition. But let me finish the question. The question is, will there come a point when polls, money and then ultimately the actual votes that will take place here in places like New Hampshire, the caucuses in Iowa, will there come a point when we can expect one or more of the three of you to drop out? Or are you in this as sort of a vanity candidacy? Reverend Sharpton, you go first.


KOPPEL: When do you pull out?

KUCINICH: After I -- when I take the oath of office, when you're there to cover it... (LAUGHTER) (APPLAUSE) ... and I can tell you, Ted, you know, we started at the beginning of this evening, talking about an endorsement. Well, I want the American people to see where the media takes politics in this country. To start with endorsements... (APPLAUSE) We start talking about endorsements, now we're talking about polls, and then we're talking about money. Well, you know, when you do that, you don't have to talk about what's important to the American people. Ted, I'm the only one up here that actually... (APPLAUSE) ... I'm the only up here on the stage that actually voted against the PATRIOT Act and voted against the war -- the only one on this stage. I'm also... (APPLAUSE) ... I'm also one of the few candidates up here who's talking about taking our health-care system from this for-profit system to a not-for-profit, single-payer universal health care for all. (APPLAUSE) I'm also the only one who has talked about getting out of NAFTA and the WTO and going back to bilateral trade... (APPLAUSE) ... conditioned on workers' rights, human rights and the environment. Now...

KOPPEL: Congressman?

KUCINICH: ... I may be inconvenient for some of those in the media, but, you know, I'm sorry about that. (APPLAUSE) Kucinich and Koppel...from Democrat Candidates Debate...12/9/03

12/7/03---None Selected

11/30/03---None Selected


The people have given us the duty to defend them, and that duty sometimes requires the violent restraint of violent men. In some cases, the measured use of force is all that protects us from a chaotic world ruled by force. George W. Bush...as quoted in The New York Times on the Web on Thursday, November 20, 2003


Trying to outperform others is damaging--first of all, because most of us lose most of the time. Even winning doesn't help, because self-esteem is made to depend on the outcome of a contest, whereas psychologivcal health implies an unconditional sense of trust in oneself. Moreover, victory is never permenant. King of the Mountain is more than a child's game; it is the prototype for all competition, since winning promptly establishes one as the target for one's rivals. In any case, the euphoria of victory fades quickly. Both winners and losers find they need more, much like someone who has developed a tolerance to a drug. Alfie Kohn...from No Contest: The Case Against Competition...1986


They used me to symbolise all this stuff. It's wrong. I don't know why they filmed it, or why they say these things. Jessica Lynch...as quoted in "Private Jessica says President is misusing her 'heroism'" by Edward Helmore, New York, Saturday November 08 2003, The Guardian


The powers that have for centuries been engaged in enslaving the masses have made a thorough study of their psychology. They know that the people at large are like children whose despair, sorrow, and tears can be turned into joy with a little toy. And the more gorgeously the toy is dressed, the louder the colors, the more it will appeal to the million-headed child. Emma Goldman...from PATRIOTISM, A MENACE TO LIBERTY...1911


The total annual expenses of the legislative and judiciary branches and all the regulatory commissions combined constitute less than 1 percent of what the Pentagon spends. The $800 million that Congress saved in 1997 by cutting Supplementary Security Income for 150,000 disabled children amounts to less than one-third the cost of building and maintaining one B-2 bomber. The hundreds of billions spent on new fighter planes in the last few years could finance the construction of modern mass transit systems for most of our major cities. What the people of an average U.S. city give in a few weeks in taxes to the Pentagon would be enough to wipe out their municipal debts. Pensions for the top military brass (senior officers only) amount to more than the toal costs of federal welfare, the school lunch program, and all other child nutrition expenditures combined. The $5.5 trillion spent for nuclear weapons over the last half-century exceeded the combined federal spending on education, social services, job programs, the environmnet, general sciences, energy production, agriculture, law enforcement, and community and regional development. Michael Parenti...from Democracy for the Few, Seventh Edition, 2002...p. 84


But the most common and durable source of factions has been the various and unequal distribution of property. Those who hold and those who are without property have ever formed distinct interests in society. Those who are creditors, and those who are debtors, fall under a like discrimination. A landed interest, a manufacturing interest, a mercantile interest, a moneyed interest, with many lesser interests, grow up of necessity in civilized nations, and divide them into different classes, actuated by different sentiments and views. The regulation of these various and interfering interests froms the principal task of modern legislation, and involves the spirit of party and faction in the necessary and ordinary operations of the government. James Madison...from Federalist Paper #10, which can be found HERE. A critical commentary on what Madison said can be found HERE


RE: Rush admitting that he's addicted to pain medication and is checking himself into a 30 day rehab center...CAN YOU 'SMELL' THE HYPOCRISY?

There’s nothing good about drug use. We know it. It destroys individuals. It destroys families. Drug use destroys societies. Drug use, some might say, is destroying this country. And we have laws against selling drugs, pushing drugs, using drugs, importing drugs. And the laws are good because we know what happens to people in societies and neighborhoods which become consumed by them. And so if people are violating the law by doing drugs, they ought to be accused and they ought to be convicted and they ought to be sent up. What this says to me is that too many whites are getting away with drug use. Too many whites are getting away with drug sales. Too many whites are getting away with trafficking in this stuff. The answer to this disparity is not to start letting people out of jail because we’re not putting others in jail who are breaking the law. The answer is to go out and find the ones who are getting away with it, convict them and send them up the river, too. Rush Limbaugh...from The Rush Limbaugh Show, Oct. 5, 1995


It is in this connection that a moral code arises, which is a set of rules or behavior norms, regulating the expression of the wishes, and which is built up by successive definitions of the situation. In practice the abuse arises first and the rule is made to prevent its recurrence. Morality is thus the generally accepted definition of the situation, whether expressed in public opinion and the unwritten law, in a formal legal code, or in religious commandments and prohibitions.William I. Thomas..."The Definition of the Situation"...from The Unadjusted Girl 1923


When people complain that the curricula is biased against capitalism and demand "balance"--and especially when they attack sociologists-----I always ask if they would agree that all management courses should give fifty percent of their time to a leftist/pro-labor critique of management, and if they agree that all economics courses devote fifty percent of their coursework to Marxist economics, and that fifty percent of EACH AND EVERY ONE of the "criminal justice" courses be devoted to discussing prisoner rights, abuses by police, racism in the courts, etc.

In other words, would they complain about a professor who did not give a balanced course but rather was biased TOWARDS pro-capitalism? Even if you don't have the opportunity to confront these conservatives directly, it is a useful point to make in your classes in general when discussing the alleged leftist bias in college courses. Posting on Progressive Sociologist Network...23 September 2003...Re: Charge of "liberal" or "leftist" bias in college courses

9/21/03---No Quote Selected


Mills defined power in an unusual way, seeing it as the capacity to make decisions about the arrangements under which one lived (2000 [1959]: 40) rather than the ability to effect other people's arrangements (which was Weber's definition). It is not power to impose decisions on others but control over one's own life. This naturally led him to ask who is involved in making decisions that impact on ordinary people's lives if not they themselves. Power elites, the state, politics and political parties thus become central to Mills' understanding of the sociological imagination. He was particularly concerned to unravel how the social structure, history and the political state impact on the lives of ordinary people in their personal milieux in such a way as to denude them of power, freedom and choice. John D. Brewer...from C. Wright Mills and the Ending of Violence, pp. 32-33, July 2003.

9/7/03---No Quote Selected


Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration. Abraham Lincoln...from his Annual Message to Congress, December 3, 1861. For the entire text of what has been called "Capital is only the fruit of labour"...go HERE


As we look at the institutions of U.S. society we must not forget that institutions are made by people and can therefore be changed. We should be guided by the insight that even though institutions appear to have the quality of being sacred, they are not. They can be changed, but critical examination is imperative. Social scientists must look behind the facades. They must not accept the patterned ways as the only correct ways. This is in the U.S. heritage-as found in the Declaration of Independence. D. Stanley Eitzen and Maxine Baca-Zinn...from In Conflict and Order, 9th Edition, Allyn and Bacon, 2001 (Full excerpt from which quote is taken is HERE


Slow up! I don't "believe" in anything. I know certain things---little things, not the Nine Billion Names of God---from experience. But I have no beliefs. Belief gets in the way of learning. Robert A. Heinlein...from Time Enough for Love, 1973


London forsees: the creation of attractive suburbs for relatively privileged strata of the working class while the central cities are turned into what he calls "ghettos" for the masses of unemployed and menial laborers, shoved into the darkest depths of human misery; the deliberate economic subversion of public education in order to spread illiteracy and ignorance; adequate food, health care, and housing priced above the reach of more and more people; the ubiquitous secret police infiltrating all organizations opposing the government; the establishment of a permanent mercenary army; the government conspiring in real and phony bomb plots, in the suppression of books and the destruction of printing presses, in witch hunts aimed at dissident labor leaders, professors, and authors, in destroying the reputation of some of its opponents, imprisoning many others, and murdering the few it finds too formidable; spontaneous mass rebellions of the downtrodden people of the central cities; urban guerrillas battling the government's army of mercenaries and police in the canyons of the cities. H. Bruce Franklin...from the Introduction to The Iron Heel by Jack London (written in 1906)...Westport, Ct: Lawrence Hill and Company, 1980 edition. For a synopsis and commentary go HERE.


Why, for power! If you wish to lead men, you tell them that your power or religion or whatever will allow men to do just what they want to do. You want to rape women? Our God allows that. You want to kill homosexuals? Our God approves that. You want to force women to bear your children? Our God insists upon it, and upon your shooting anyone who would help her do otherwise! You want to have eight children? Or a dozen? Fine! Our God says that's just wonderful. And when the children die of hunger or neglect, when the very earth fails under the weight of humanity, why, that is God's will.

Also, to control men, one must unify them around some goal or symbol, something to stir them into hot blood and battle. To control men, one must give them a cause and an enemy! Yes?

It always helps, said Carolyn.

Of course. So if one wants to control men, one canonizes the ape nature of men. One makes one's cause the protection of apishness, or, as men would say, liberty! Let every ape be as apelike as he wants! Civil liberties means liberty for each ape to do as he pleases, and civility be hanged. As for the enemy, one provides men with the best enemy possible, an enemy so different it cannot be absorbed, so necessary it cannot be totally destroyed, and enough weaker than the alpha ape that she is easy to steal from, to disrespect, and to abuse.

Woman? breathed Jessamine.

Woman. Yes. Sheri S. Tepper....from Gibbon's Decline And Fall...Bantam Books, 1996...pp. 346-347


I think all foreigners should stop interfering in the internal affairs of Iraq. U.S. Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz...on July 21, 2003...while in Iraq touring the country to meet occupying U.S. troops and Iraqi officials.


Everything you do, everything you sense and say is experiment. No deduction final. Nothing stops until dead and perhaps not even then, because each life creates endless ripples. Induction bounces within and you sensitize yourself to it. Deduction conveys illusions of absolutes. Kick the truth and shatter it! Frank Herbert...from Chapterhouse: Dune, 1985


Remember this, Tyler said. The people you're trying to step on, we're everyone you depend on. We're the people who do your laundry and cook your food and serve your dinner. We make your bed. We guard you while you're asleep. We drive the ambulances. We direct your call. We are cooks and taxi drivers and we know everything about you. We process your insurance claims and credit card charges. We control every part of your life.

We are the middle children of history, raised by television to believe that someday we'll be millionaires and movie stars and rock stars, but we won't. And we're just learning this fact, Tyler said. So don't fuck with us. Chuck Palahniuk...from Fight Club...NY: Henry Holt and Company, Inc., 1996...p. 166


To conclude: social institutions (1) mobilize the forces of indoctrination and formal socialization in the direction of established interests and dominant values (our educational system being only one important example of this mobilization), (2) control the means of material and psychic reward and punishment and institutionally structured behavior (i.e. roles), (3) preempt competing behavioral forms and limit the definition of "reality" to ongoing interest arrangements, (4) lend, by the impact of their very existence, the legitimacy of substance and practice to those arrangements at the expense of ideational systems that challenge the prevailing "reality." Michael Parenti...from Power and the Powerless, NY: St. Martin's Press, 1978...p. 126


Here's a few "elocution sayings"...have fun...and for more, go HERE

One black bug bled blue-black blood while the other black bug bled blue

illuminated aluminum linoleum

We've no time to sit and dither while her withers wither with her

Cecil vexeth Essex Words & Stuff: e: An Eloquent Orator...2 February 1997


The ultimate problem of freedom is the problem of the cheerful robot, and it arises in this form today because today it has become evident to us that all men do not naturally want to be free; that all men are not willing or not able, as the case may be, to exert themselves to acquire the reason that freedom requires.

Under what conditions do men come to want to be free and capable of acting freely? Under what conditions are they willing and able to bear the burdens freedom does impose and to see these less as burdens than as gladly undertaken self-transformations? And on the negative side: Can men be made to want to become cheerful robots? C. Wright Mills...from The Sociological Imagination...page 175, 1959


As a citizen I don't like the consequences of this crusade, but you have to respect the conservatives for their successful strategy in gaining control of the national agenda. Their stated and open aim is to change how America is governed - to strip from government all its functions except those that reward their rich and privileged benefactors. They are quite candid about it, even acknowledging their mean spirit in accomplishing it. Their leading strategist in Washington - the same Grover Norquist – has famously said he wants to shrink the government down to the size that it could be drowned in a bathtub. More recently, in commenting on the fiscal crisis in the states and its affect on schools and poor people, Norquist said, "I hope one of them" – one of the states – "goes bankrupt." So much for compassionate conservatism. But at least Norquist says what he means and means what he says. The White House pursues the same homicidal dream without saying so. Instead of shrinking down the government, they're filling the bathtub with so much debt that it floods the house, water-logs the economy, and washes away services for decades that have lifted millions of Americans out of destitution and into the middle-class. And what happens once the public's property has been flooded? Privatize it. Sell it at a discounted rate to the corporations. Bill Moyers...from "This is Your Story - The Progressive Story of America. Pass It On" on Wednesday 04 June 2003. Full address can be read HERE


For if leisure and security were enjoyed by all alike, the great mass of human beings who are normally stupefied by poverty would become literate and would learn to think for themselves; and when once they had done this, they would sooner or later realize that the privileged minority had no function, and they would sweep it away. In the long run, a hierarchial society was only possible on a basis of poverty and ignorance. 6/8/03 George Orwell from 1984

6/1/03---No Quote Selected


It must be obvious, from the start, that there is a contradiction in wanting to be perfectly secure in a universe whose very nature is momentariness and fluidity. But the contradiction lies a little deeper that the mere conflict between the desire for security and the fact of change. If I want to be secure, that is, protected from the flux of life, I am wanting to be separate from life. Yet it is this very sense of separateness which makes me feel insecure. To be secure means to isolate and fortify the "I" which makes me feel lonely and afraid. In other words, the more security I can get, the more I shall want. Alan Watts...from "On Being Aware" in The Wisdom of Insecurity


"When someone is seeking," said Siddhartha, "it happens quite easily that he only sees the thing that he is seeking; that he is unable to find anything, unable to absorb anything, because he is only thinking of the thing he is seeking, because he has a goal, because he is obsessed with his goal. Seeking means: to have a goal; but finding means: to be free, to be receptive, to have no goal. You, O worthy one, are perhaps indeed a seeker, for in striving towards your goal, you do not see many things that are under your nose." Herman Hesse...from Siddhartha...1951


Very cute. War protesters have been hearing this a lot. Here's the problem. America is a country, not a political party. Exiling those who don't toe the perceived party line is not our way. History shows what happens when country and party become synonymous. Nazi Germany, Communist Cuba and Saddam Hussein's Iraq happen. Journalists like to talk about "balance," but it's the wrong word. "Inclusiveness" is better. There are almost always more than two sides to every story, and it's a reporter's duty to seek out those voices. The resulting free flow of news, information and opinion makes democracy work. Those trying to suppress anti-war viewpoints dishonor the very soldiers they would protect. They are, in fact, committing an unpatriotic act. Forrest Carr...News Director at WFLA-TV in Tampa...from "Unpatriotic Moments"...May 7, 2003. Full article HERE

5/4/03---No Quote Selected


Nationalism is our form of incest, is our idolatry, is our insanity. "Patriotism" is its cult. It should hardly be necessary to say, that by "patriotism" I mean that attitude which puts their own nation above humanity, above the principles of truth and justice; not the loving interest in one's own nation, which is the concern with the nation's spiritual as much as with its material welfare---never its power over other nations. Just as love for one individual which excludes the love for others is not love, love for one's country which is not part of one's love for humanity is not love, but idolatrous worship. Erich Fromm...from The Sane Society...1955


Should the disproportionality of what that solider termed "a massacre" surprise anyone? I think not. After all, Iraq is a nation whose total Gross National Product equals 15 percent of the GDP of the state of Washington. Half the population of Iraq is under the age of 15. And the annual defense budget was $1.4 billion, as compared with $400 billion for the United States. It has been a little like a pit bull taking on a particularly scrappy kitten. Only the morally atrophied can cheer such a victory, or portray it as Vice President Cheney has as "one of the greatest military campaigns in history." Anthony B. Robinson...from "War in Iraq a Reason for Shame"...Published on Friday, April 18, 2003 by the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Go HERE for entire editorial.


Before the war, American intelligence officials said that they had a list of 14,000 sites where, they suspected, chemical or biological agents had been harbored, as well as the delivery systems to deploy them. A substantial number of those sites have been inspected by the invading troops. Evidence to date of a "grave and gathering" threat: precisely zero. Andrew Gumbel...from "America Targeted 14,000 Sites. So Where are the Weapons of Mass Destruction?"...Published on Sunday, April 13, 2003 by the lndependent/UK...entire article is HERE


It's that our leaders are cruel because only those willing and able to be inordinately cruel and remorseless can hold positions of leadership in the foreign policy establishment; it might as well be written into the job description. People capable of expressing a full human measure of compassion and empathy toward faraway powerless strangers -- let alone American soldiers -- do not become president of the United States, or vice president, or secretary of state, or national security advisor, or secretary of the treasury. Nor do they want to. William Blum from the Introduction to Rogue State: A Guide to the World's Only Superpower, 1999


This war must end now. It was unjust when it started last week, and is still unjust today. The U.S. should get out now and try to save the lives of American troops and Iraqi citizens. Most importantly, ending the war now and resuming weapons inspections could salvage world opinion of the United States, which has been deteriorating since the talk of war began. After all, the greatest threat to the United States at this time is terrorism, which is breeding from this war. Dennis Kucinich...Congressman and Democratic candidate for President...from This War is Wrong And Must End on MARCH 28, 2003.

3/23/03---No Quote Selected .

3/16/03---No Quote Selected

3/9/03---No Quote Selected


Christianity is most admirably adapted to the training of slaves, to the perpetuation of a slave society; in short, to the very conditions confronting us to-day.... The rulers of the earth have realized long ago what potent poison inheres in the Christian religion. That is the reason they foster it; that is why they leave nothing undone to instill it into the blood of the people. They know only too well that the subtleness of the Christian teachings is a more powerful protection against rebellion and discontent than the club or the gunEmma Goldman...from "The Failure of Christianity," in Goldman's Mother Earth journal, April, 1913.


On the turning away
From the pale and downtrodden
And the words they say
Which we won’t understand
“Don’t accept that what’s happening
is just a case of others’ suffering
or you’ll find that you’re joining in
the turning away”

It’s a sin that somehow
Light is changing to shadow
And casting its shroud
Over all we have known
Unaware how the ranks have grown
Driven on by a heart of stone
We could find that we’re all alone
In the dream of the proud

On the wings of the night
As the daytime is stirring
Where the speechless unite
In a silent accord
Using words you will find are strange
And mesmerised as they light the flame
Feel the new wind of change
On the wings of the night

No more turning away
From the weak and the weary
No more turning away
From the coldness inside
Just a world that we all must share
It’s not enough just to stand and stare
Is it only a dream that there’ll be,
No more turning away?

Pink Floyd...from A Momentary Lapse of Reason, 1987, Lyrics by D.J. Gilmore and A. Moore

On The Turning Away


Patriotism is the conviction that this country is superior to all other countries because you were born in it.George B. Shaw...as quoted by Brainy Quote


A correlation is a regular, recurrent association between variables. Such recurrent assocations may be due to a causal relationship (one variable causes the other), but not all correlations are causal ones. Noncausal correlations may be due to pure coincidence or to the fact that both variables are related to a 3rd variable which has caused both.Keith Roberts from Religion in Sociological Perspective, 1st Edition, 1984, The Dorsey Press, fn #5...p. 11


American conservatives, who were quick to spot a homosexual entrusted with military secrets in the liberal ranks, failed to regard Senator McCarthy as psychologically disturbed. Our friends are never alcoholic, they merely enjoy their liquor. Our friends are never homosexual, merely sensitive aesthetes, if men, and strong, vigorous personalities, if women. The ironies of these imprecise and inverted definitions have often been pointed out by comedians. Recall W.C. Fields' delicious line: "A man who hates children and dogs can't be all bad!" We just have to face the fact that there are some nasty conservatives and some nasty liberals. No one is much more offensive than the kind of liberal who dogmatically hates everyone who hates and insists on being on the minority side of every issue, although the snobbishly, ultra-correct conservative does run him a close second. William Bruce Cameron...from INFORMAL SOCIOLOGY, 1963, NY: Random House...p. 145


Do not allow public issues as they are officially formulated, or troubles as they are privately felt, to determine the problems that you take up for study. Above all, do not give up your moral and political autonomy by accepting in somebody else's terms the illiberal practicality of the bureaucratic ethos or the liberal practicality of the moral scatter. Know that many personal troubles cannot be solved merely as troubles, but must be understood in terms of public issues---and in terms of the problems of history-making. Know that the human meaning of public issues must be revealed by relating them to personal troubles---and to the problems of the individual life. Know that the problems of social science, when adequately formulated, must include both troubles and issues, both biography and history, and the range of their intricate relations. Within that range the life of the individual and the making of societies occur; and within that range the sociological imagination has its chance to make a difference in the quality of human life in our time.C. Wright Mills...from The Sociological Imagination, 1959

1/19/03---No Quote Selected


Therefore, the wounds that I had carried thirty-nine years of my life were healed within five days through the emotional experience of perceiving that the "Other" is not other at all, that the "Other" is me, that at the profound human levels, all men are united; and that the seeming differences are superficial. The illusion of the "Other," of these superficial differences, is deeply imbedded through this inculcated stereotype we make of the "Other," which falsifies man's view of man.

Jean Lacroix has said that before one can truly dialogue in depth, one must open oneself to the "Other." I think this is not enough. I believe that before we can truly dialogue in depth, we must first perceive that there is no "Other," that the the "Other" is self, and that the I-and-thou concept of Martin Buber must finally dissolve itself into the "We" concept.

It seems to me that this and this alone is the key that can unlock that prison of culture. It is also the key that will neutralize the poisons of the stereotype that allow men to go on benevolently justifying their abuses against other men.John Howard Griffin...from "The Intrinsic Other"...in THE JOHN HOWARD GRIFFIN READER (1968)...pp. 464-467


The first fruit of this imagination---and the first lesson of the social science that embodies it---is the idea that the individual can understand his own experience and guage his own fate only by locating himself within his period, that he can know his own chances in life only by becoming aware of those of all individuals in his circumstances. In many ways it is a terrible lesson; in many ways a magnificent one. We do not know the limits of man's capacities for supreme effort or willing degradation, for agony or glee, for pleasurable brutality or the sweetness of reason. But in our time we have come to know that the limits of 'human nature' are frighteningly broad. We have come to know that every individual lives, from one generation to the next, in some society; that he lives out a biography, and that he lives it out within some historical sequence. By the fact of his living he contributes, however minutely, to the shaping of this society and to the course of its history, even as he is made by society and by its historical push and shove.C. Wright Mills...from THE SOCIOLOGICAL IMAGINATION (1959...Oxford University Press)

To read some "notes" on The Sociological Imagination...go HERE